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Please help newbie pick a bike for commute

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Please help newbie pick a bike for commute

Old 06-22-16, 11:43 AM
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smellycat22
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Please help newbie pick a bike for commute

Hello everyone! I am new to folding bicycles and am looking for an entry level folding bike to commute daily to work and run errands in town. My commute is between 1- 2 miles (year round). I am a 5'5" and 107 lbs woman. Living in NY and will be riding on paved roads with occasional small hills.

It is important for me to get a bike that is light weight because I will be carrying it up and down the stairs daily. Low maintenance and little to no upgrade are ideal. I would like to not spend too much on my first folder but is willing to spend up to $600 for a good quality bike that will last. If the bike can be folded small enough to go on the train would be a plus.

Some bikes that I have been looking at are the Dahon (broadwalk S1, Speed Uno, Mariner D7) and Citizen (Tokyo, gotham1). Any suggestion is appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 06-22-16, 12:13 PM
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Azreal911
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I would skip the 1 speeds since you mentioned you might have the occasional small hill. The Mariner is a good choice but if you want something even smaller the curve D3 would work also: Dahon Curve D3 folding bike NYCeWheels.com
but it's just a little over your budget, just a little but the benefits would be having a hub gear to keep things clean and simple if you aren't into derailleurs and 16 inch wheels would make it a really compact fold here, which also makes it easier to lug it up and down the stairs daily. The 20" wheeled bikes are nicer rides but then depending on your stairwell and being 107lbs having a smaller folded package would make all the difference. Having a bike that's a hassle to bring down the stairs would make you want to stop riding fast! I've ridden a curve d3 before and it rides really well.

The citizens I do not recommend if you look at the citizen tokyo being a 16" wheeled folder is quite a bit HEAVIER than the 20" wheeled dahon! Ok now to grab some popcorn and waiting for someone to recommend a brompton for double the price .

Last edited by Azreal911; 06-22-16 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 06-22-16, 12:27 PM
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It does not matter how Big you are , folding bikes on your option list, are a just one size made Product.
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Old 06-22-16, 12:36 PM
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My Dahon is used as a commuter, grocery getter, etc. I've the same general requirements, but I don't have a need to put it on the train. And my ride is hilly. Works great for me. Also, I have a seven speed w/a derailleur. I fold mine daily and it rides in the work car during the day. I have not had a single issue with my derailleur or shifting etc. it has stayed in trim and worked flawlessly. My Dahon is a Vybe.
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Old 06-22-16, 12:57 PM
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I think you are the person for this bike. It has 14 inch wheels and is 18 lbs folds nice and would fit the budget despite a couple real nice components ( hence the low weight )
one two or even slightly more miles is no problem whatsoever. If you want to haul stuff or going 10 miles a day I would go with a 20 incher. However, especially with internal hubs those are closer to 30 lbs ... You can lower the weight taking fenders, carriers etc off, replace crankset with lighter one and such, but than your budget would be well exceded.


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Old 06-22-16, 01:46 PM
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I really love the look of the D3 but it is definitely over my budget

The Vybe sounds great. There is a couple of different models when I searched. C7a, D3, D7 ... Are there any differences? The mariner was my first choice before but it is a lot more expensive than the Vybe, is it worth the upgrade compare to the Vybe?

I also found these guys on craigslist. Are these ones any good?
MU P8- $480 https://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/5621302080.html
Speed P8 -$380 https://newyork.craigslist.org/que/bik/5640194519.html

Thank you all for your help! I am so lost because these are just so many choices out there
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Old 06-22-16, 02:00 PM
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Mariner is polished alloy frame which I like a lot ..fenders and carrier ,,, if you take them off its light enough , lighter than the vybe which comes with fenders. the different vybes u see are older ones with carrier and fenders or without all together. The latest ones have a couple small things improved , nothing serious, and come with fenders only . I do sell many more vybes because of the price
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Old 06-22-16, 02:19 PM
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to your craigslist ... mu is 599 shipped no sales tax ... that's a lot less what he claims ( 829 plus tax)
the speed is 599 as well... versus the 699 he claims


those prices are a little high for both bikes. but not outrageous either... You wont have any warranty dues to riginal owner stuff, BUT Dahon is pretty good with warranty ( real warranty, no tires, wheels and the usual other unrealistic claims ) Maybe I have more "cloud" than other dealers, but I never had a problem helping somebody out with a warranty claim, even if the bike was not original owner or not bought from me ...
I just hate the fact that he is sooo FIRM on the price and that he overstates the price....
thor
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Old 06-22-16, 02:20 PM
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I suggest a used Brompton, if you can find one cheap enough. Weight is one thing, but folded size (and the ability to stay folded while being carried instead of swinging open) is important too. IMO, the Brompton would be the least unwieldy being carried up stairs, even though it might not be the lightest.
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Old 06-22-16, 02:37 PM
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Thank you ThorUSA for pointing out the issue with warranty and I will probably get a new bike just for that reason. Although it would be nice to test ride one of these before I buy them...

If I order these online are they ready to go out of the box? Or is it required to take them to a shop to have them tuned up? I am not really sure what that involves, but is it possible to do it myself?
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Old 06-22-16, 02:54 PM
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Dahon Mu P8 Black : Bfold

Was told reg. price was US$700; on sale for US$600. Seatpost has air pump integrated.
Nice shop; bought my current folder from them. They have other models to see/test ride as well.
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Old 06-22-16, 02:59 PM
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If you aren't in a rush, you can score a nice deal on a bike friday for $600 or less (I did). There's a pretty nice tikit, for example, in the Bay Area (Bike Friday Tikit foldable commuter). It took me about 3 months of daily looking to find mine, in part, because I am 5'4" so I needed a small frame. That's the nice thing about BF - the frames come in sizes, not just a one size fits all or doesn't kind of thing.
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Old 06-22-16, 08:59 PM
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There's a used Curve D3 for sale in NJ not too far from the city.
Dahon Curve D3 Fire Red Folding Bike Bicycle

Another possibility, given your short commute, is something like a Strida or a Pacific Carryme.

STRIDA 2 Folding Bike

Pacific Carry Me Bike Foldable Commuter
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Old 06-23-16, 07:23 AM
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I am looking to buy sometimes soon, but no rush. I will wait a little, maybe can find a reasonably cheap used Dahon. If not, wait for the 4th of July hoping for some deals
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Old 06-23-16, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by smellycat22 View Post
I am looking to buy sometimes soon, but no rush. I will wait a little, maybe can find a reasonably cheap used Dahon. If not, wait for the 4th of July hoping for some deals
I'll be honest with you, that Dahon Mu P8 is a fantastic deal. It's a definite performer,...
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Old 06-23-16, 01:12 PM
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Reading 100 threads later... I found out about Downtubes, are they similar in quality compared to Dahons? The Nova bikes are much cheaper than the Dahon bikes (Mariner and Mu P8) and just as light at 25 lbs. And I also found an used Nova on Craigslist for $150, very tempting... The Downtubes website says they use standard parts, does that make it easier to fix down the road in case I need to replace a part? Thanks
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Old 06-23-16, 03:07 PM
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Downtube bikes are fantastic. The customer service is solid as well. If you have any issues the owner will assist you personally. As you've probably discovered, he's a member of the forum. I'll eventually get a Downtube myself,...with an internal hub of course.
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Old 06-24-16, 10:00 AM
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The Origami Crane 8 will meet your needs. It comes in at 27.2 lbs. including the rack and fenders. Plus, we have a two-week test ride available, so you can return it if it doesn't meet your needs (but I am confident that it will). Plus, it will be tuned and ready to go right out of the box!
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Old 06-24-16, 11:12 AM
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Was out riding yesterday and ran into a guy I know who had a Dahon folder. He said the stem cracked and that was why he got a new bike. He was riding a downtube, had front shocks, don't know the model, said he'd had it about two weeks and he really loved it. Said it was super sturdy. It looked nice enough. He said it rode much nicer than his Dahon. FWIW.
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