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Old 06-14-02, 06:04 PM   #1
John E
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military folding mountain bike -- FACTS needed

Does anyone have any real-world experience whatsoever with the folding paratrooper mountain bike?

http://www.militarybikes.com/civilian.html

I believe Alvio is near the bottom of the Shimano food chain, but if the frame and wheelset are decent, this could be a reasonable commuter for me. Is this thing junk, or does it have any redeeming and endearing qualities? I am not hung up about weight, although I hope it's below 14kg or 30lbs.
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Old 06-14-02, 11:22 PM   #2
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Well, you could buy a Trek 4500 or 4900, I don't remember which for about $550. This bike has a better frame, components, and wheels than that bike. BTW I've never really heard much about Montague, I usually ride, Trek, Specialized, etc. These brands usually have very good deals on their lower level bikes, you might want to go to a LBS and try one out.
www.trekbikes.com
www.specialized.com
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Old 06-15-02, 09:04 AM   #3
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Seems expensive for the very low-end materials and components you are getting. The rear triangle is unbutted hi-ten steel.
As folders go, its quite big and heavy.
What kind of commute are you looking at mixed public transport and riding?
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Old 06-15-02, 10:37 AM   #4
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I seem to recall Dahon do better spec'd folding MTB's - might be worth looking at them or one of the smaller wheeled folding bikes - there are a few folding bike sites AtoB or something similar is one of them.

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Old 06-15-02, 01:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelW
Seems expensive for the very low-end materials and components you are getting. The rear triangle is unbutted hi-ten steel.
As folders go, its quite big and heavy.
What kind of commute are you looking at mixed public transport and riding?
My new commute is 2km on road or partly on a dirt path, 15 minutes on the train, then 5km on road, except for a 1km dirt path bypass around a homicidally-designed freeway interchange. On days my left knee says no to jogging, my Schwinn mountain bike is up to the task and obviously vastly superior to this Paratrooper thing, but a folder would be nice when the train's bike racks are full.
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Old 06-15-02, 04:00 PM   #6
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Hi John, I just took one in for repair yesterday, scheduled for completion on Wednesday. I'll take a closer look at it, weigh it, and have an opinion in a couple of days. How much detail do you want?

The unit is by Montague, the company has been around about a dozen years, they do no manufacturing (comes out of Taiwan). They were distributed by Schwinn in the early 90's, they made the BMW bikes in the late 90's. So the company has been around awhile.

On a side note, for a while they made a neat tandem that pivoted at each seat tube and could fold tight enough to fit in the trunk of a car.

Later.
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Old 06-19-02, 08:13 AM   #7
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Okay John here's the report.
The paratrooper is using a Deore rear derailleur and 2003 flip fire Shimano shifters. The front der. is about Alivio level but it had no external markings (I didn't pull it off to check the model #). I didn't recognize the crank brand but it is compact drive with riveted (non-replaceable) chainrings. This is also square taper. The bottom bracket is not cartridge. I didn't see a brand on the rear linear pull brake, but it looked like Cheng-Shin. The front is a mechanical disc brake, but I've never seen one like this before. The hubs are Formula, I have had good results from the front hubs, but a lot of freehub trouble over the years, though this was the best sounding Formula rear hub I've heard (they usually have a growling sound to them). The rims are Alex double wall rims with eyelets--a very solid rim. The cassette was Sunrace (I think) so it had the typicall clunky shift associated with the sub standard ramping. The seat post is a Kalloy Uno and the saddle painful.
The bike weighs in at 29.8 lbs. Just as a note, the bike doesn't fold up compactly unless you pull the front wheel.
The bike without the folding capability would probably retail around $375-400, (only because of the disc brake and rear der, other wise around $275). The folding feature usually adds $150+
I hope this helps.
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Old 06-24-02, 07:51 AM   #8
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R U 4 Real - they are taking the piss out-of-you.

Looks a bit like a Klein Mantra- Anyone agree?

If you have jumped static-line, that is the last thing you want attached to you. What possible merit would such a stupid concept have - jumping in by bike....... Wait a second..... isn't that how "KOOT" got into the "MOG" in BlackHawkDown? I mean, seems like a waste of time to fly to an area by plane - jump out of perfectly good plane survive 50 seconds of hang-time then ride a long way home!!!!! Hey - where can i get one of these paratroopers? You have a great sense of humour.
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