I am a graduate student in the US that does research in South Korea during the summers and also travels domestic and internationally a fair bit. I am trying to decide between buying a folding bike or a mini velo makes more sense for me. I am new to both but experienced with cycling and touring generally.
What I am looking at:
Used Dahon Speed 8 that I found for sale in my area for $340. Its in good shape. Ill try and upload a picture! Hardly ever been used from the looks of it. I am worried that the 8 speed drivetrain might not be enough for me as I like to cycle cross country and Korea is HILLY! Can I upgrade this down the road when I get more $? Im pretty handy with bike repair.
DAHON Bikes:*Speed P8
A new Mercier Nano Mini Velo. I love these bikes. Always wanted one since first seeing them in Korea! Never ridden this exact model though and it looks to be on the cheap side. Also, not sure if this bike would cost just as much to fly with as a folder.
So, what do others who travel internationally and are serious about riding their bikes do? I like the idea of having a real, stiff, full size frame with lots of gears like the mini velo has. However, if it costs the same to fly with it as a regular full size bike, of which I have many, then it doesnt help me much. I like the idea of a folder bike but am worried about the cost of a new one and the lack of gears of the used one I have found here. Also, they just dont ride as well as a mini velo or full bike.
My hidden third option is to just fly to Korea and buy something used there that I can sell when I leave at the end of each summer. Sounds like a pain but probably the cheapest option. Maybe.
Thanks in advance for reading all this. You guys rock!
After googling a bit I found a site that describes how to upgrade the Dahons with a front DR fairly cheaply if I decide 8 speeds isnt enough. Still not sure though....