Considering a Dahon Vitesse D7HG
So I never did end up getting one of those Citizen folding bikes, if anyone remembers my query into them last year - life takes unexpected turns.
Now I'm looking at something a little more upscale. The one that's attracted my eye right now is the Vitesse D7HG by Dahon.
Reasons I want a folding bike:
* Portable transport for mixed-mode commuting
* More easily stored "backup" bike / "Loaner" bike
* Standover / mounting height is basically a non-issue with small wheel folders.
* I like folding bikes and want to have an example of one
Having a backup is good, and I'm going to be parting with my big box Trailway as soon as I can replace it. Right now my main commuter is a Trek road bike, but it would be nice to have some variety. I'm planning a trip to Baltimore this summer for a convention and plan to take an extra day for exploring - which naturally I want to do by bike, because I walk slow and bikes are more fun. I'll be carpooling to a light rail station and then taking the train in, which requires a folding bike. Also, I'm quite short and have a hard time finding a bike that I like the looks of AND wont give me issues with either standover or mounting - especially with loads on the rear, I sometimes have issues "getting a leg over". Further, this might give me an option for winter bikes, as the lower step over height vs a diamond frame would make mounting in sketchy conditions easier.
Reasons I'm looking at the Dahon Vitesse D7HG:
* Dahon has a good reputation
* Lighter, higher quality frame than cheaper bikes (weighs about 5 pounds less)
* Hub gears. Weighs more than a derailleur, but I like that it is better protected and easier to adjust.
* 7 speeds should more than do it for me. So long as at least the top gear handles me on a flat, the rest is just gravy for brutal uphills.
* You can adjust the bars for a more forward or more upright posture, which might be pretty neat (Dahon bikes in general do this)
* The SO also liked the look of it and would like one for herself.
* I'd need to get a cargo rack
* I'd need to get fenders
* Good locks
They don't come stock with racks, but looking through the Dahon accessories section I see a couple really good ones. The Ultimate Carrier looks awesome, as does the front luggage options, but they're bound to be rather expensive and likely overkill. The lighter rack is likely more realistic in the near term, especially since I typically don't commute with much. In the city, loading up with big bags would just make hassle since I would be having to remove them at every stop, let someone steal them. Lighting is something I could do with batteries / USB rechargeable lights. Locks, I'd want a good small U lock. Something that it takes a grinder to get though, since it would be loud enough for me to hear / restrict casual theft. As a commuter, it would be kept in the lab or house and I don't think this would serve too well as a mainline shopping bike. Yet. Fenders are liable to be a good idea, however!
So there's all my data. Is this looking like a good "best choice" or is there another bike with better value in the same general class?