Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 133
  1. #1
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    First foldie purchased in Singapore by this newbie

    Bought Flamingo London NX7 in Singapore

    CORRESPONDENCE

    I contacted a famous folding bike shop in Singapore. Over ten days (?) I learned that they had two models in stock that I was interested in, the one that I had pretty much set my heart on they had only one left in stock. The MIT V-8 I was marginally interested in (more gor comparison). I was pretty much convinced that external gears could be a problem in transport.

    I got polite but terse replies from the store manager to my emails. The vendor clearly did want to get into a detailed discussion until I was in his shop. Perhaps he has had many lookie-Lous.

    So, I flew in from Vietnam (no quality folding bikes on market) and headed straight for the shop.

    FIRST VISIT

    Started off on the wrong foot. I wanted to test whether customers truly are offered test rides. So, instead of introducing myself as someone who had already corresponded with the manager I offered my passport and requested three bicycles models to test ride. No preliminaries. In less crude terms I was basically told to bugger off. After I protested the manager agreed, recognizing me as a serious potential customer.

    It seemed fine - the seat needed adjustment (maximum backward position). I found the grips a bit toy sized compared to the Ori I had fallen in love with in Taipei. But the manager told me that as the glide-through gear shifter was on right side modification would be impossible.

    The other concern I had was the same one I have with my Japanese made secondhand $70 small size bike that I use in Phnom Penh - that is, I find myself sitting slightly off the seat. Well, 1- 1 1/2 inches further back than where the seat seems to be designed to be sat on. I will see if on my new bike a twisted seat post can be used as an alternative. Years ago I bought one in Chiang Mai Thailand for the same purpose. And the Flamingo has this problem a lot less than cheaper foldies I tried in Taiwan. But it is not a perfect fit (The Ori was, but that gold was too big). I don't know if you're supposed to just get used to it or if there are solutions. I am only 5'8" and have normal length legs.

    I pointed out my laundry list of requested modifications and he agreed to do almost all of them for the advertised retail price of the bike alone. Only one or two items he wasn't sure he could dig up. He asked me to call back the next day (I had yet no local mobile). I offered a deposit and he said it wasn't necessary.

    SECOND VISIT

    It was the day before a public holiday and I had the sense that both the manager and technicians were too busy to deal with me. I was slightly disappointed but resigned to deal with a pleasant salesman. I will point out here that on several matters solutions to mechanical problems the patient person clearly hired more for his interpersonal skills, that he missed some obvious mechanical challenges, and I pointed them out (despite being a mechanical ignoramus and bicycle newbie, common sense and mature judgment won out over a warm and sincere personality for selling bikes). I do not mean that he pushed items I did not want. Not at all. However in future, for matters of judgment calls I will speak direct with the head technician or the manager (a hands-on kind of guy who did impress me with his knowledge).

    And I just accepted that the manager did not greet me upon my arrival to discuss the final details. I am perhaps spoiled by India where (at least in the better shops) there is a certain genteel way of doing business that involves formality and many cups of tea. The impression I got was that at least this Singapore bike shop time is money, and that the salesman was assigned this high maintenance customer buying a rather low-end premium bicycle. Most customers were in and out rather quickly compared to this geezer whose manner must have appeared to be Samuel Clemens. I actually liked to have a conversation. On-topic, but perhaps a bit obsessive-compulsive about minute details as if they gad all the tine in the world.

    DISAPPOINTMENTS

    two section clip: Manager had told me that it wasn't plastic as I described it, but rather it was coated metal. Never-the-less it looked and felt cheap to me. My concern was that a weak link in the chain could cause a problem. It needn't be a large or expensive part. A poorly designed ten cent part (instead of a one dollar part) can ruin a $1000 bike.

    See Accessories

    MODIFICATIONS

    Clip to hold fold: Already modified by MBS - a strip of tire wrapped on. Could be thicker? Maybe that would interfere. I expect to have to do this myself periodically. I see this as a design fault.

    Roller wheels, front: Yes, manager agreed that this was a weak point in design and could be improved. This was my major concern when I tested rolling the partially folded bike in Taipei. A very unacceptable wobbliness. In fact this Singapore shop offers a conversion service to minimize the weaknesses of Flamingo bikes and a DIYer online had recommended changing to larger better quality wheels. In fact when I went to pick up the bike supposedly ready I had to remind staff that this crucial feature hadn't been attended to. So, you gotta be on the ball!

    The salesman couldn't get the rollerblade substitutes right, even after several attempts. I suggested washers or a different set. The senior technician solved it (yes, with washers). Moves much better now. Very smooth.

    Section fold clip: sort of, Manager promised to tighten it up. If he did, it is not much of an improvement. One can forget to get it out of the way refolding. Will that damage it?

    Fold clasp: When you pull over the wheel a black plastic piece attaches to the frame in a sort of clincher like you see mops stuck to the wall in a closet. During some mucking around the salesman pulled off an 'unnecessary' smaller wire clip that fits inside that. Hmm, if it is unnecessary, where is it there to start with? If it is necessary why did it fall off so easily? I requested that he secure it by adding tape and reinserting. It is nit confidence-inspiring eith doodads fall off a bike in the shop. All I ask is that my bike be built like tank.

    Clasp twisters: Technical name I do not know. I mean the part you turn to unlock the hinges. They are made of hard plastic. Why not steel? Sure, they are comfortable and rather ergonomic to the hand but couldn't they crack? A blog writer suggested strong metal replacements. The shop would/could not do this.

    Pedals: I didn't like the look of the folding plastic pedals. Looks like a kid's toy. Actually, I don't care if it looks like a clown's bicycle, as long as it is durable and comfortable. I was offered the option of two superior pedals - top end one was significantly wider but I have size 9 shoes and they were heavier so I chose a light airy set that pop off. I am not Mr. Dextrous, but I don't get why reaching from the other side is so much easier to release the safety clip and why only one us so stiff. Salesman assured me that it would wear in. I am skeptical. Shouldn't pop off pedals immediately come off smoothly without multiple valiant efforts? I promised I would come back if the one side continued to stick. I asked if it was the fault of the pedal, the part of the bike where they attach of me. Salesman was able to do it every time. Brand is Welgo.

    Tires: In future?, Salesman told me original tires are good enough for non extreme roads. I don't expect mountain bike tires but perhaps he has not biked in Cambodian small towns. Singapore roads are pristine.

    Brakes: In future?, I was so sure (in my manufactured memories perhaps) that the Flamingo London came with rear disc brakes. Whether I thought I saw that in Taiwan or where I do not recall. This one has standard V brakes. Perhaps that is hood enough for dry riding. I just park in tropical downpours. But but of *after* a rainfall in the rainy season in Borneo mud road? Hmmm

    Brake handles: Sort of, Salesman asked me to test the position and I found them a bit too low. But I was concerned that repositioning them would interfere with the fold. After he adjusted them to my preferences the technician corrected the right side bringing up my very concern.

    ACCESSORIES

    Carrying bag: Yes, UGH! My only serious disappointment. I expected a Flamingo bag, designed by Providence, Taiwan for this model. It appears to be a generic one. Good it zips from both directions, with holes in zipper tags so can add a small lock. It also opens wide. But geez, is it tight. Perhaps I am doing it wrong. But it is definitely going to tear with the pressure from the seat and steering wheel. Oops, betraying my bicycle cult ignorance - handlebars. And it is not designed to the actual shape which is irregular. I think I can do much better getting my custom luggage craftsmen in Hanoi to do something better.

    Only thing that could work is using the Bickerton folding bike bag (SGD80). I tried that one at the shop, in fact putting it as a second/exterior sleeve. In that padded and sturdy looming material bag there is enough extra room without being sloppy, it has several kinds of handles (although even the Bickerton shoulder strap has a barely adequate shoulder pad - almost every single bag except Victronix (?) from Switzerland and some add on pads from specialized travel accessory manufacturers in Japan are thus handicapped. Obviously this is a whole project of designing or shopping in itself.

    Removing the seat helps only on one end.

    Cover: No, I was so sure that the ad copy models I had seen had a small bag on the seat post that held a very thin cover. The manager told me that this shop did not provide them, yet somehow in my fertile imagination I expected one.

    Front bag: Yes, very satisfactory. I had seen them on Taiwanese website and expected the two external pockets plus zipper pocket would be excessive but I found them to be practical. I find the facf that the bag stays stationary while the wheel turns very good engineering. The bag clips on and off easily and stays snug. I am uncertain whether the reinforced bottom is a good thing (making the bag not collapsible) and I find the bag carrying handle a tad small.

    Bag mount: Like the Brompton the Flamingo comes with two holes to attach a mount (for various bags?) The manager gave me an extra because he was not convinced that the original would last. Hmmm, in retrospect I would rather install the item he has confidence in and keep the original as a spare. I noted the bag was a bit wobbly and the salesman said it is supposed to be that way. I am not convinced.

    Tool kit: I have no idea which one to buy so bought the Biologic mini-kit since it performs 22 functions and I am more or less happy with their folding helmet.

    Light: I brought my Cat eye ('Made in Japan') 4-battery light from my Bintan, Indonesia tour, But it is just so-so. I much prefer the tiny MOON METEOR USB-chargeable 50-200 lumen 5-types of light tiny powerful light with a flexible rubbery on-off handlebar clasp (SGD75). But they come uncharged so can't test until tomorrow.

    Flashers: Mountain Equipment Co-op in Vancouver provided me with a low-cost red flasher for rear light, also USB- rechargeable.

    pump: Clever design Flamingo pump fits under rear rack but was told it is a piece of garbage. At first I suggested something to attach my own Polygon mini pump from Indonesia to the frame. Salesman suggested to the steering post using a rather expensive Japanese clamp (designed probably. isn't everything actually *made* in China?) It looked to me like it would interfere with the fold and anyway the stem is too thick for it to easily attach. Technician agreed saying it's really made for water bottle. I'll figure out something later.

    Salesman tested it and it worked to add air. I had an aspect of its use backwards. No wonder I thought it was broken.

    SPARE PARTS

    Tubes: Yes, I requested some premium spare tubes and was told that Schwabe would fit the bill. Again as a bike newbie I was confused by the box - finally realizing that it wasn't that there were five varieties of tubes but the opposite, these tubes would fit five sizes of tires. I am surprised that tubes can fit 16" and 18" wheels equally well, but really - what do I know? Whether I could have purchased the same tires back 'home' in Malaysia, I do not know. Curiously (import tax?) the same bike is MORE at a bike shop outside of Kuala Lumpur.

    Tires: Future, I was told that the original tires were adequate for even dirt city roads of Nepal and Sri Lanka where I would be travelling. I have my doubts.

    Bearings & washers: Maybe I am being a jerk, but I asked for every little extra that could cost me days looking for in the capital city of a developing country. So I asked and got two spare bearings and washers. Why? I lose stuff during repairs or tinkering.

    WEIGHT

    I credit the staff that at no time did anyone say 'Hey. old man, we really don't have time for your million questions' and no request was refused or deflected. I got straight answers although a few times I think they might not have been the right answers.

    Anyway, asking to know the weight of the bike a hand-held scale was produced. 12.6 kilos. Hmm, felt like just under 15 to me. But I overestimate all my checked luggage for airlines. This low weight came as a delightful surprise since the whole point of my buying this bike is to have compact transport to explore Asia with THAT FITS IN AN AIRLINE SUITCASE and makes it under Air Asia's 15 kilo limit or if impossible 20 in an 'indestructible' suitcase.

    SIZE: Seeing a compact foldie (as far as I have learned from my reading that consists of only two companies - Brompton and Flamingo) in photos by bloggers it looked like they fit into airplane overhead luggage compartments (foolish) and in between ferry seats. Yet when I see mine - no way. I'll have to get out a measuring tape and akso place it side by side a Brompton. and more kmportantly a common household object for scake. This bicycle is NOT tiny. It is not LIGHT-WEIGHT. It's just more so than a regular bicycle. I can't imagine myself doing much more than rolling it and sending it on flights in a very solid suitcase. The promotional videos I think are BS exagerrations. Nobody is going to actually *carry* their foldie - it's marketing spin. I can see sticking it in the corner of my hotel room though.

    THE FOLD

    Youtube demonstrators folding Flamingos (and perhaps Bromptons too) are they showing off their dexterity or is it because I have had my bike only hours? Right in the shop taking note of the actually 9-step fold, I found out that if you pull the front wheel back too high and set it down too roughly you could break a spoke. And I find the salesman's advice that it is normal to have the folding hook so close (or was it on top of?) a cable is normal, questionable. I don't like the proximity.

    FIRST REAL RIDE: *Very* nice. Easy to handle. Some forum participants (Brompton afficiandos) have complained of wonky steering. I noticed none of that. Turns 'on a dime' No problems with light load in front bag.

    Only concern is the looks of interest when I passed from both pedestrians and bicyclists. Oh oh, this is going to be a high profile bike in Ghana. Women look the most. Perhaps it's the cute factor. It's certainly not my Hollywood good looks.

    The only significant disappointment is I expected there to be more of a difference between gears - a broadly spaced high to low if you know what I mean. I am sure there is a technical science to this that I am ignorant of. I just noticed that the gears seemed too much like each other, as if in a hypothetical gear range of uphill to downhill something had been missed in the engineering heaven of possibilities. Going up slight inclines I found the lowest gear a little inadequate but going down slight OK. Haven't tried any hills yet. I was worried that 7-gears was going to be overkill. Now I think the opposite - unless I am in flatlands of the Mekong Delta.

    BUYER'S REMORSE

    Only regret is price. I prefer bargains, secondhand, distress sales etc. This was not. However, as the saying goes, "Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten." At least I avoided the temptation to go deluxe (buying a Brompton).

    Just in case I could have bought a Flamingo online by some private seller
    in Singapore I checked again. Out of three folding ads one was LOOKING for a Brompton and two were selling same. - SGD2300 for a six-speed and SGD2150 for a three -speed. Zero Flamingos. It would appear Providence bicycles exist in a niche market within a niche market.

    So, SGD1250 seems like a good deal for a new compact foldie.

    SECOND TEST RIDE (daytime) next
    Last edited by Hermespan; 05-02-14 at 12:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Trek 730, Bike Friday NWT, Brompton M6R, Trek 830, Dahon HAT 060, ...
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So what is your next destination after Singapore? Are you getting a suitcase for the bike? Does the cost of some of those flights+lodging add to your effective bike cost or would you have been doing that travel anyway?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nepal or Sri Lanka, then my family's home in bike-friendly BC, Canada.

    Absolutely I am getting a suitcase, although not necessarily one manufactured for carrying bikes though. I intend to transport that way only for flights, parking that luggage and using something much lighter for domestic travel.

    "Does the cost of some of those flights+lodging add to your effective bike cost or would you have been doing that travel anyway?"

    I do not understand your question.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I asked for an owner's manual so I could learn about tire pressure (and if truth be told the names for parts)

    Not provided.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ed in Toronto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congrats on your new bike, I'd love to see a picture if you have any.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    My Bikes
    Trek 730, Bike Friday NWT, Brompton M6R, Trek 830, Dahon HAT 060, ...
    Posts
    1,419
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    "Does the cost of some of those flights+lodging add to your effective bike cost or would you have been doing that travel anyway?"

    I do not understand your question.
    Well, you underscore the cost savings relative to Brompton, but if you need to go to a particular place and spend there some time, this dilutes the savings. You might have explained your poking around the area in other threads but I followed them only in part. On the other hand, we might suspect that deep down in your heart you count the time getting a new trophy bike as a quality time.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, I see. I do not travel to buy a bicycle. I have business and personal reasons to be in Asia - nothing to do with bikes. I see your point - if I was travelling just to buy a bike I could have bought ten Bromptons by now.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 05-02-14 at 12:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    York UK
    My Bikes
    2X dualdrive Mezzo folder,plus others
    Posts
    2,207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good choice.

    May need some refinement
    Cheap tyres often have lower pressure, this makes them much slower on a small wheeled bike.
    Plastic folding pedals can be very weak,and bearings last less than one year.
    If the front block is not strong enough it's a simple job for a bike shop to re tap the threads or put a bolt though the head tube. I had this problem on my Brompton clone.
    Consider an extending seat post if not long enough. It needn't be a Brompton one.
    Brakes upgrade go for quality pads like koolstop or swisstop.

    Enjoy.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have I been tricked?

    I made it abundantly clear that the primary purpose of purchasing any folding bicycle was the smallest Brompton-like fold. However it doesn't fit in the standard folding bike carrying case I was given. The whole look is angled up at one end. There is something like a huge (to the eye, maybe 3 1/2 inch space that I can get rid of by NOT hooking hook over the frame but letting it sit on the tire. I just looked at a photo of the MIT-V8, and unless it's clever photography the new model looks much more compact and closer to the Brompton fold.

    Anyone have models and can authoritatively comment on the dimensions and fit of these two Flamingo models versus Brompton. I, for one, don't care much about features. All I care about is weight, cubic size, and linear size

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    39,805
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ah Buyer's remorse . already ... was the savings enough?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Staring at the beast folded up I figured it out - statistics lie. Sure, the Brompton or the Flamingo are X kilos and X cubic centimeters *if you measure it totally unrealistically* compared to how normal people in the real world use a bicycle: without the pannier rack, without fenders etc. Looking at it for 15 minutes with anger of how it looks in photos versus how it looks in front of me I figured it out - 'add-ons' convert the mouse to an elephant (compared to the ideal).

    The biggest distorter of that compact fold possible in the world of mathematics is the 3 inches lost by it having the rack installed. Bigger wheels don't help.

    I work in film and shouldn't have been so naive. All the photos are taken *from above*, without scale references (such as a standard brief case) and stripped down. Sure, Billy Bob weigh 30 kilos and is five feet tall if he slouches, wears no clothes and hasn't eaten for a week.

    Somehow, fool that I am I expected it to be about 20% smaller.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 05-01-14 at 12:11 PM.

  12. #12
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    WEST NEW YORK, USA
    My Bikes
    2013 Scott CR1 Pro carbon, 2013 Brompton S6L-X titanium, 2013 Citizen Tokyo steel
    Posts
    3,105
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    I asked for an owner's manual so I could learn about tire pressure (and if truth be told the names for parts)

    Not provided.
    The sidewall of tires usually states the maximum pressure allowed, sometimes the minimum pressure as well.
    Use that as a guideline. To familiarize yourself with different names of components; browse the following:

    Park Tool Co. Park Tool Co.
    Sheldon Brown-Bicycle Technical Information

  13. #13
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,668
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    Have I been tricked?

    I made it abundantly clear that the primary purpose of purchasing any folding bicycle was the smallest Brompton-like fold. However it doesn't fit in the standard folding bike carrying case I was given. The whole look is angled up at one end. There is something like a huge (to the eye, maybe 3 1/2 inch space that I can get rid of by NOT hooking hook over the frame but letting it sit on the tire. I just looked at a photo of the MIT-V8, and unless it's clever photography the new model looks much more compact and closer to the Brompton fold.

    Anyone have models and can authoritatively comment on the dimensions and fit of these two Flamingo models versus Brompton. I, for one, don't care much about features. All I care about is weight, cubic size, and linear size
    this is the importance of understanding volumetric differences. if the Flamingo Shanzhai 1000™ has a part that juts out into space 3.5", then that entire volume from top to bottom must be considered occupied for purposes of storage or transport.

    just looking at a Birdy for example. next to a brompton, it's clearly bigger when folded. based on a casual glance, one might say, "meh, it's slightly larger." however, when the measurements are actually taken and volume is calculated, the Birdy, with all of it's sticky-out bits, occupies a considerably larger cubic volume and is actually nearly 50% larger.





    Last edited by smallwheeler; 04-30-14 at 07:56 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very useful observation smallwheeler, thank you.

    Fuming at my stupidity I created a list of emotionally and practically significant negative discoveries in the first day owning this Flamingo. Perhaps they are surmountable with assistance from My Bike Shop in Singapore.

    1. Bag does not fit. I can order Vincente from Bangkok (took a close look at one of their samples at Taipei Bike Show - it seemed possibly adequate but I think I could design myself something more suitable).

    2. Pick it up by frame and fold falls apart (something new, what is going on?) I can overcome this by picking it up by the wheel but this is neither hygienic nor good for the bike I expect.

    3. Last minute handlebar plugs added on by conscientious technician. Should have known then that if they fall out once they could fall out again. Already one is missing. Not a big deal, but not confidence-inspiring when a Mercedes wannabee hood ornament snaps off in the first 14 hours.

    4. The reason the plug has been lost is because on the right side of the handlebar it is 3/4 inches of empty foam because of the gear shifter occupying space and thereby pushing out the foam cylinder. No way can it remain secure.

    5. Because of the new less acute angle of the stem (courtesy of bigger rolling wheels and rack, plus perhaps a less precise/well-thought out design in the drawing room), the handlebar (if looking straight down) sticks out 1 1/2 inches into outer space

    6. Likewise the brake lever sticks out (aesthetically into the stratosphere) 2 1/2 inches.

    7. Numbers five and six will make a snug strong fit into any bag a huge challenge. I know, I design luggage and have gone through multiple prototypes of creating organizing systems of leatherette, webbing etc. The tiniest details can foul up what seems like a good idea.

    I hope the mechanics can solve this challenges to my satisfaction.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Smallwheeler... To my eye the second folder from the left is vastly superior fold. Who is the manufacturer?

    After the shop in Singapore does what it can with my foray into the jungle of folding bikes I will take up the challenge of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. First step will be to determine dimensions, then create styrofoam blocks (to be rubberized in Malaysia) of what corners need to be protected. Hand-cut and sew a cloth pattern prototype. Then approach some craftsmen in Vietnam or Indonesia to custom make a sturdy bag that is light, strong and not too costly. I would like to see a bag that follows the basic shape of the fold instead of the artificial square or rectangle stuffed with rubbish. Is there any advantage to a square or rectangle, such as airlines measuring every linear inch of a hexagon? Perhaps an asymetrical square?

    Designing an appropriate case or bag is not how I planned on spending a month. I would rather just buy from someone who has already done the job and mass produces them in China. Then the problem arises - what if Flamingo quality control is less than stellar and there is no consistency in shape of the fold?

    Similar experiments of my designing furniture and luggage in no workshop created hardwood couches you could dance hippos on and military-grade pockets of Japanese see-through plastic and stainless steel rings. Perfection that weighs and costs too much.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 04-30-14 at 08:50 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,668
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    Smallwheeler... To my eye the second folder from the left is vastly superior fold. Who is the manufacturer?

    After the shop in Singapore does what it can with my foray into the jungle of folding bikes I will take up the challenge of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. First step will be to determine dimensions, then create styrofoam blocks (to be rubberized in Malaysia) of what corners need to be protected. Hand-cut and sew a cloth pattern prototype. Then approach some craftsmen in Vietnam or Indonesia to custom make a sturdy bag that is light, strong and not too costly. Not how I planned on spending a month. I would rather just buy from someone who has already done the job and mass produces them in China.

    Similar experiments of my designing furniture and luggage in no workshop created hardwood couches you could dance hippos on and military-grade pockets of Japanese see-through plastic and stainless steel rings. Perfection that weighs and costs too much.
    my friend, that's a brompton.

    p.s.

    you are engaged in madness.

    i anticipate in 6 months some hapless Marlow will be searching for you (Kurtz) in the jungles of Cambodia...


  17. #17
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    "The horror, the horror"

    You don't know how spot on you are. I work as a line producer, location scout, etc in Cambodia. The tropical heat has clearly done something to my brain.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 04-30-14 at 09:11 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    1,668
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermespan View Post
    "The horror, the horror"

    You don't know how spot on you are. I work as a line producer, location scout, etc in Cambodia. The tropical heat has clearly done something to my brain.
    i will likely be your Marlowe as i will heading your way in a couple of months.

    just leave a cryptic map for me taped to the underside of a table in that one particular cafe (you know the one) in ho chi minh city. or leave a micro cassette detailing your plans with that charming Hmong dan moi merchant..

    i'll find you... eventually.


  19. #19
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    York UK
    My Bikes
    2X dualdrive Mezzo folder,plus others
    Posts
    2,207
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To the op.

    You have made a good choice of bike. I can not be sure as I , like most on this forum, have not had first hand experience of this make of bike.

    However, if there is one bike I would like to made available in the UK its this one..

    Folding bikes have Al kinds of draw backs and no bike is perfect.
    I owned a Brompton after upgrading from a diblasi . far from Perfect!!
    But,
    The diblasi is the best fold of any folding bike IMHO, not the smallest, but the best.

    I also bought a Brompton clone. It needed a tad refinement but it was interchangeable with the Brompton after little effort. I have since owned birdies and 2 mezzo. I much prefer the riding position on the mezzo for road use than the Brompton . However, I quickly found the mezzo disappointing under geared and spent a lot of money getting upgrading it into a very fast commuting bike. Due to fitting racing bars on my mezzo the front wheel fold is secured by a hair bobble. Mezzo click together but some owners of other bikes use velcro,magnets,bugger cords......

    Recently I had a Brompton offered to be very cheaply and I got the handling and riding position the best of any folding bike I have owned with the experience I learned from previous upgrades.

    I still ended up selling this Brompton due to the limited options for hub and gearing upgrades available.
    The best standard brompton gear option is the 6 speed. 2 of the 5 gear changers are double shifts ie you use both levers. There is large steps between them and as the range is wide you may feel you are never in quite the right gear. The brakes are adequate, but disappointing compared to v brakes.
    I am not having a go at the Brompton here, just pointing out experience.
    My mezzo has a sticky up stem,the package is wider,seat post clamp brittle,less mezzo spefic upgrades, lacks Brompton front bag system, needs more maintenence etc.
    The birdie has its own issues also.
    All makes of folding bikes are not perfect. They are aso never as small or convient as they look in adverts,or on the Web etc.

    You have a bike that folds in a great way, has better potential than any similar compact folder I know of.
    You mayfind you needto repostion the hook, get some proper ergo grips, tyres,

    You have a bike with great potential. It has the potential for more gears, better tyres,brake upgrades that the Brompton simply does not,(with out bespoke customisation).

    I know you are say you are not interested in features and such but often a tad of customization, upgrade, or refinement is the way to get a product you are really happy with.

    A lot of the things you mention are simple to rectify,and cheap.
    Good luck. Pictures please.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 05-01-14 at 03:42 AM.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  20. #20
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,142
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I travelled to and from Malaysia with my Brompton. After trying out various options in previous travels, I just strapped the folded bike up and had it wrapped at the airport with that wrapping service. Oh, I removed the sticky-out bits and taped them inside the fold. This worked really well. On the journey out of Malaysia I was late and there was no time to wrap it at the airport so I just chucked it strapped as-is into the luggage system. Also worked fine.

    The wrapping method protects the bike better than a soft bag due to the tight fitting wrapping, and does not leave you with a clumsy piece of luggage.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To be fair - one of these new problems is of my own making, albeit unconscious. Turns out that removing the seat is the cause of fold not staying together . Reinserting it solved this problem. I knew this but forgot as I had no 'body memory' of learning the hard way.

    The frustrations of this learning experience I chauk ip to being a grumpy old man. It is rather like learning how to use a Mac (although a better analogy would be a Newton). It is indeed not perfect despite the advertising mystique.

    Jur, thank you for your plastic wrap suggestion. The downside of this of course is it invites extra fees does it not? My plan is discreet packaging within airline limits so it goes as standard luggage.
    Last edited by Hermespan; 05-01-14 at 04:37 AM.

  22. #22
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,142
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When wrapped it is not obvious what it is. The wrapping ends up not transparent. It ends up as some vague "stroller"-like shape. The extra fee issue is applicable to normal bikes, because they require extra handling. Asian airlines also care not about extra fees for bikes, that is an American issue. A knee-jerk reaction to a rule that says bikes will pay levy.

  23. #23
    jur
    jur is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    6,142
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    handsonbike.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/comparison-between-brompton-and.html

    Seen this?

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Singapore
    My Bikes
    Dahon MU Uno; Giant Anthem X1; Brompton M6R
    Posts
    573
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Did you go to MyBikeShop (MBS) or MBS Too? I've only visited MBS Too and I found the service to be somewhat unremarkable. They'll help you and answer some questions when you need, but otherwise is happy to linger behind the counter while you're browsing. That's pretty much the standard here for most shops.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hermespan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    294
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jur, Yes, I have seen and read probably more videos and articles online on this subject than any sensible person should spend his time on

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •