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Old 09-18-13, 11:16 AM
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If your budget is $400, you're pretty much talking entry level folders. Since folders have to be engineered to a different standard than rigid bikes - beefy hinges, easily folded/disassembled, liability issues - most of the money on an entry level folder goes into the frame, so you wind up with cheap components that themselves can dissuade a potentially happy buyer from keeping it.

In other words, cheap folders tend to leave the vast majority of buyers dissatisfied in one way or another, and turn them off from folders completely. Shame, because there are some very nice folders out there but not at that price point.

Now if you're in no hurry, the internet is your friend. Out of my dozen or so folders, only two were purchased new, and even those had trades of other folders involved so I wasn't paying full new prices.

Where have my folders come from? CL. Ebeast. Bike Friday's YAK! list. Word of mouth. Haunting thrift shops, flea markets, rummage sales, you name it. Patience pays off here rather than jumping in quickly.

Oh, and in the meantime - if you know anyone with a folder, ask to test ride. Same applies to visiting shops that sell folders, test ride as many as you can before you commit, because all folders are so different both in presentation and execution. What can be a wonderful feature for one buyer is a dealbreaker for another.
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