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Old 12-26-14, 08:14 PM   #1
edwong3
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My First "16 Incher" ;-)

This is my second attempt to post this, so bear with me just in case the first post shows up, I am not repeating myself unnecessarily.

I have always wanted a 16 inch folder and since it's the holidays, this was the perfect time to move forward on this.

Since I'm cheap , I went online, and searched on eBay, Amazon, and the general web to find a retailer that offered a good value for the money purchase.

Needless to say, the Citizenbike Tokyo topped my list but then I came across a seller from upstate NY that distributes the Solorock brand made by Green Cruiser. They have a budget priced model called the Swift of all things. No it's not the same Swift sold by Xootr just in case some of you wonder. By the way, it's a seven speed.

Anyway, I ordered it 5 days ago, and took delivery today Friday from FedEx. First thing I noticed, the box was in excellent condition, and showed no signs of mishandling. Whew!

I opened the box, and pulled the bike out of its packaging. The bike was perfect, and fully assembled. The only thing I used any kind of tool was to tighten the brake handles and the bell.

I won't go into a lot of details at this moment but the Swift was almost spot on with the brakes and derailleur adjustments out of the box.

A test ride of about two miles was most pleasant as the bike is as smooth as silk. Once I get it completely dialed in, it should feel even better.

I took a couple of quick photos on my Nexus 7 tablet:



Since taking these photos, I adjusted the seat angle so that it's more level.

Sorry for the brevity but overall, I am happy with my purchase. I may post some updates from time to time, and participate in any response from fellow forum members.

Happy trails,
Edward
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Old 12-26-14, 08:33 PM   #2
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nice bike.
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Old 12-26-14, 09:20 PM   #3
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Thanks! I had the bike delivered to a female friend's house, and she loved the bike's appearance. She has an artistic background so her standard of aesthetics is pretty high.

Edward
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Old 12-26-14, 10:45 PM   #4
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What's the seatpost diameter?
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Old 12-27-14, 05:53 AM   #5
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What's the seatpost diameter?
It's 34mm.

Edward
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Old 12-27-14, 12:25 PM   #6
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wow. 14kg.
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Old 12-27-14, 05:17 PM   #7
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wow. 14kg.
About the same as the Citizenbike Tokyo. Nothing unusual for what it is. It is very sturdy and robustly built, and feels like you're riding a larger 20" bike.

Edward
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Old 12-27-14, 06:16 PM   #8
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Nothing unusual for what it is.
right.
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Old 12-27-14, 07:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
Needless to say, the Citizenbike Tokyo topped my list but then I came across a seller from upstate NY that distributes the Solorock brand made by Green Cruiser. They have a budget priced model called the Swift of all things. No it's not the same Swift sold by Xootr just in case some of you wonder. By the way, it's a seven speed.
It'd be interesting to compare those entry-level bikes with established alternatives (Brompton, Dahon, and Tern), and see how they fare after one year of daily use.
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Old 12-28-14, 12:45 AM   #10
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It'd be interesting to compare those entry-level bikes with established alternatives (Brompton, Dahon, and Tern), and see how they fare after one year of daily use.
Well I've had pretty good luck with the entry level folders. I've owned a Qile Duo 20 inch folder for more than six and a half years with little issues, though I'm retiring that bike this year.

In addition, I used to own a Greenzone Value Edition and rode it daily to work for about 15 months, and also for some sports/pleasure riding. I sold it three weeks ago, and nearly got what I paid for it, as the bike looked and worked like it had come from the showroom. In case anyone was wondering why I sold it, the simple answer is that I needed the money, and no, it was not to buy my latest folder.

Edward
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Old 12-28-14, 02:46 AM   #11
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It'd be interesting to compare those entry-level bikes with established alternatives (Brompton, Dahon, and Tern), and see how they fare after one year of daily use.
What aspects are we going to compare it?
I think it will fare just as well.
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Old 12-28-14, 04:53 AM   #12
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I don't know, but a question that pops up when people ask how much a Brompton costs, is why spend so much more on a folder when cheaper alternatives are available. This is also true for Dahon, Tern, or Birdy, for that matter.
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Old 12-28-14, 05:17 AM   #13
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There are cheaper alternatives to dahons. Many out there. However, one many also find thedahon the cheapest alternative depending on deal, specs and discounts.

I would agure there are not many cheaper alternatives for brompton,mezzo or birdie. They all fold and preform in a way it's difficult to name another bike to replace it directly.
Ie what replaces a brompton. Space grenie, dahon curve, tikit...not really comparable.
Mezzo and brompton are possibly interchangeable, but they have very different rides and qualities.

As far as I know nothing folds as compactly as a birdie but preforms as well off road. I could name several 20 inche bikes that are cheaper and ride better. Downtube fs, dahon jetstream.........but much less compact folded, my downtube does not make an alterative to mybirdie.
There are brompton clones that can be made to preform as well but that's another can of worms.
Cheaper alternatives to established names are thiner on the ground possibly than the poster implies.

However, I am sure many people have cheaper bikes that established expensive bikes don't directly replace either. I love a cheap secondhand diblasi r4, I like the falcon 18 inch folder in alloy....
Finding the good cheaper alternatives is often a less safe bet that established bikes, but worth a go...if you have patience,luck,or skilled.

Last edited by bhkyte; 12-28-14 at 05:29 AM. Reason: mad smilie placed by accident I dont even know how to insert them!!
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Old 12-28-14, 08:25 AM   #14
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You all have made some interesting points. I know I joke a lot about me being "cheap" but I think I know enough about how to get a decent new bike for not a lot of money. It's worked for me so far. I do agree with one of the posters that there are some models like the Brompton that really have no low cost alternatives.

Back on topic. I took my new Solorock to my local Dick's Sporting Goods yesterday Saturday and left it there so that the bike tech can go through the entire bike. It's called a "premium tune up". I always recommended this to people who have posted in the past about their new bike that was purchased via the internet or mail order. It makes a big difference.

Hopefully, the bike will be ready by today Sunday. It's another beautiful day here in Orlando, and I want to get a little sight seeing done.

Edward
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Old 12-28-14, 08:55 AM   #15
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Hi ed wong.
You are always very reasonable on these forums.
I am just clarifying I said there are not many alternatives. Just been to Spain and the most popular folder I saw was the dethalon folders.

The world would continue to revolve with out premium folding bikes.
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Old 12-28-14, 05:07 PM   #16
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Hello bhkyte,

Is "Dethalon" a make of folders? I'm assuming it is a budget priced line. I couldn't find anything online about it, though I admit to not looking very thoroughly.

On topic. I got a call from the bike tech at Dick's today about 3 p.m., and he said my bike was ready. He made the remark before we hung up that he tested it outside, and it was a "really nice bike".

About 40-45 minutes later, I picked it up and rode it home. He did a wonderful job, and the bike now feels dialed in and silky smooth. Because I had some chores at home to do, I didn't have time to take it for a good ride through the neighborhoods.

I work at a call center and the call volume is probably going to be very low like last week, so chances are they will send me home early tomorrow Monday before noon. If that happens, I will take it for a spin and take a few more pictures out in "the wild".

Edward

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Hi ed wong.
You are always very reasonable on these forums.
I am just clarifying I said there are not many alternatives. Just been to Spain and the most popular folder I saw was the dethalon folders.

The world would continue to revolve with out premium folding bikes.

Last edited by edwong3; 12-28-14 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 12-28-14, 05:30 PM   #17
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Is "Dethalon" a make of folders? I'm assuming it is a budget priced line. I couldn't find anything online about it, though I admit to not looking very thoroughly.
Because it's Decathlon, a big retailer of sports goods from France.

DECATHLON - Sports Shoes, Sportswear and Sports Equipment

I wouldn't recommend their folders, though, at least not for more than casual use.
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Old 12-28-14, 06:30 PM   #18
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Thanks I did see that in the search results from Google, and didn't think that the reference was to the retail chain. I thought that it was a specific brand of folding bicycles.

Edward

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Because it's Decathlon, a big retailer of sports goods from France.

DECATHLON - Sports Shoes, Sportswear and Sports Equipment

I wouldn't recommend their folders, though, at least not for more than casual use.
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Old 12-29-14, 09:53 AM   #19
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wow. 14kg.
I also would not expect it to be any lighter than that for the price they sell them for, if it was light I would really question the strength and durability of that folding bike because something would be sacrificed for sure at that price range. It's hi tensile steel so it should be pretty good and forgiving, just heavy. we have one in our neck of the woods selling solo rocks also:

SOLOROCK 16" 7 Speed Upgraded Steel Folding Bike - Swift - Xmas Special :: Folding Bike,Electric Bike,Toronto ON Canada

for the price I would really like to slap on some big apples to make the ride really nice and change out to a bigger chain ring which I think doesn't look like you can just swap out without the entire crank set. But I would like to hear more from edwong on the long term use and ride quality on this. He did the right thing taking it in to a bike store to "tune up" unlike alot of others that just ride right out of the box and complain about the parts not fitting and shifting correctly.
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Old 12-29-14, 06:18 PM   #20
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Hi Azreal911,

Thanks for your comments.

Correction to my previous comment:

I bought my SR Swift from the USA website, not the Canadian one.

http://solorock.us/collections/front...l-folding-bike

The frame is indeed hi-ten and it's almost over engineered, but that's great for durability. It's not light, but it's strong.

This evening, I just got back from my first grocery run on it, and was able to pay more attention to the ride quality. It feels very stable like a larger bike. In fact, the 20 inch Greenzone VE I owned until recently was actually "twitchier" than the SR Swift with its smaller 16 inch wheels. I like it a lot!

As for the stock gearing, I am happy with it for now. The pedaling effort is very easy. One very quick and inexpensive upgrade to get a higher top gear without sacrificing the lower end, is to install a seven speed, 11-28 freewheel. There are many sources available to buy one.

And yes, I will reiterate that taking a bike bought online or through the mail to a bike mechanic, will improve the performance, durability, and riding enjoyment. A win, win!

Edward

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I also would not expect it to be any lighter than that for the price they sell them for, if it was light I would really question the strength and durability of that folding bike because something would be sacrificed for sure at that price range. It's hi tensile steel so it should be pretty good and forgiving, just heavy. we have one in our neck of the woods selling solo rocks also:

SOLOROCK 16" 7 Speed Upgraded Steel Folding Bike - Swift - Xmas Special :: Folding Bike,Electric Bike,Toronto ON Canada

for the price I would really like to slap on some big apples to make the ride really nice and change out to a bigger chain ring which I think doesn't look like you can just swap out without the entire crank set. But I would like to hear more from edwong on the long term use and ride quality on this. He did the right thing taking it in to a bike store to "tune up" unlike alot of others that just ride right out of the box and complain about the parts not fitting and shifting correctly.

Last edited by edwong3; 12-29-14 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-29-14, 09:07 PM   #21
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I can't help thinking your Solorock bike looks as though it was made by a Chinese firm under licence from Dahon..My wife has a folding bike made by Yeah under licence from Dahon..I have a Ridgeback folding bike also made under licence from Dahon..
Other firms I have seen which make Dahon clones are Ecosmo and Biceco..In fact your bike is the exact copy of a Biceco bike for sale in Thailand this year..
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Old 12-29-14, 09:08 PM   #22
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I can't help thinking your Solorock bike looks as though it was made by a Chinese firm under licence from Dahon..My wife has a folding bike made by Yeah under licence from Dahon..I have a Ridgeback folding bike also made under licence from Dahon..
Other firms I have seen which make Dahon clones are Ecosmo and Biceco..In fact your bike is the exact copy of a Biceco bike for sale in Thailand this year..
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Old 12-29-14, 09:20 PM   #23
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I must admit some of these cheaper folding bikes are remarkable value...especially when you can buy them for about 15 to 20 % of the price of a Brompton ,Birdy or Mezzo and a top quality Dahon and Tern..However the quality of them is not up to the standard of the more expensive bike..ie hinges, bottom brackets, chainwheels, hubs, brakes and wheels..Having said that my wife and I have 4 cheaper folding bikes between us plus a Bike Friday and a Brompton and the cheaper ones are good to ride and remarkable value...A cheap bike with just a few small changes to the saddle,brake levers,chainwheels,etc can be turned into really good bikes and still only be 25 to 30 % of the price of a Brompton/Birdy/Mezzo..Tikit..
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Old 12-30-14, 04:09 AM   #24
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Hello tudorowen,

Yes there are some remarkable values out there on folding bicycles. And you made a good point. At these low prices, one can afford to upgrade, and modify to one's content, and still come out ahead money-wise.

In my humble opinion at least, the stock components on the Solorock are "good enough" for years of service as long as the owner takes proper care. The main frame hinge has zero play and seems very strong. The hinge on the handle-post is a bit unique in that it is designed like a "cantilever" that when locked, provides tremendous down force on the mating surfaces to keep it in place. The handle-post is quite stiff with little flex. Maybe I'll take some photos tonight or tomorrow.

For the money, I didn't go wrong on this one.

Thanks for your comments.
Edward

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I must admit some of these cheaper folding bikes are remarkable value...especially when you can buy them for about 15 to 20 % of the price of a Brompton ,Birdy or Mezzo and a top quality Dahon and Tern..However the quality of them is not up to the standard of the more expensive bike..ie hinges, bottom brackets, chainwheels, hubs, brakes and wheels..Having said that my wife and I have 4 cheaper folding bikes between us plus a Bike Friday and a Brompton and the cheaper ones are good to ride and remarkable value...A cheap bike with just a few small changes to the saddle,brake levers,chainwheels,etc can be turned into really good bikes and still only be 25 to 30 % of the price of a Brompton/Birdy/Mezzo..Tikit..

Last edited by edwong3; 12-30-14 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 12-30-14, 04:18 AM   #25
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@tudorowen1,

I really wonder about that frame design because I have seen it in so many different bikes of many price points in both 16 and 20 inch variants.

One time, a forum member who is very familiar with the bicycle manufacturing industry in China and Taiwan, explained that they have whats called, "design bureaus" that produce a product, and then make it available to any manufacturer that wishes to make it under license. But I don't know if this is the case with Dahon and these frames. Who knows.

Thanks for your comments,
Edward

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I can't help thinking your Solorock bike looks as though it was made by a Chinese firm under licence from Dahon..My wife has a folding bike made by Yeah under licence from Dahon..I have a Ridgeback folding bike also made under licence from Dahon..
Other firms I have seen which make Dahon clones are Ecosmo and Biceco..In fact your bike is the exact copy of a Biceco bike for sale in Thailand this year..
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