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Old 11-16-17, 08:42 AM   #51
Winfried
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But then, is it possible to produce a bike in Asia that would…
  1. fold as well as the Brompton,
  2. be as comfortable,
  3. last at least a few years with daily use,
  4. provide the same gear inches while
  5. costing anywhere between $500-1,000
… ?
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Old 11-16-17, 09:15 AM   #52
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"I see many bikes superior to Dahon for a fraction of their price, better components, better frames, stronger etc. "
I really don't, although I've been looking for many years. I hate to defend them, because they once didn't honor their frame warranty in my case, but I still think they offer the most bang for the buck for the everyday rider like myself, even though components sometimes need to be replaced after purchase. I guess the sales numbers just work in Dahon's favor and allow them to play with smaller margins for what they offer.
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Old 11-20-17, 12:51 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
But then, is it possible to produce a bike in Asia that would…
  1. fold as well as the Brompton,
  2. be as comfortable,
  3. last at least a few years with daily use,
  4. provide the same gear inches while
  5. costing anywhere between $500-1,000
… ?
I imagine the Merc would still cost less than a $1000. It's hard to remember how much it cost in 2008 and relative Brompton prices at the time. Hi-ten steel fork and rear triangle with an aluminum frame. It was a copy of the old Brompton with the shorter wheelbase. I wrote some of this earlier but for clarity will list again, one size that roughly matches M-model, single cog on the rear with three speed hub, single pivot brakes, plus rear rack, front mount, front bag and fenders, and side wall generator.

I'm not up to present pricing. But I guess a 3-speed M-type Brompton with front mount, bag, rear rack is roughly $1500. The single pivot brakes sucked and the longer wheelbase (and some differences that I have not listed) have some value, IMO. A Brompton is pretty customizable from the dealer so the "hedonic" price difference between the two is smaller than the $500 guesstimate I have here since you'd have to figure out how to get what you want with the Merc.
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Old 11-20-17, 06:45 PM   #54
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What's the Merc?

Flamingo ?
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Old 11-21-17, 08:40 AM   #55
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What's the Merc?

Flamingo ?
It was a clone.

Here is an old thread with some thoughts.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthrea...ferrerid=31812
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Old 11-21-17, 02:54 PM   #56
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"I see many bikes superior to Dahon for a fraction of their price, better components, better frames, stronger etc. "
I really don't, although I've been looking for many years. I hate to defend them, because they once didn't honor their frame warranty in my case, but I still think they offer the most bang for the buck for the everyday rider like myself, even though components sometimes need to be replaced after purchase. I guess the sales numbers just work in Dahon's favor and allow them to play with smaller margins for what they offer.
I'm pretty sure Origami, Downtube, Euromini are all offering bikes of higher spec/price in the US than Dahon and that's without much looking around as I'm in the UK. Here in the UK the difference is even more dramatic because often Dahon bikes are downgraded over here but still at higher prices than the US. We will have to agree to disagree on this I think. Only a couple of days ago. I posted a link that had an ultra critical review of a Dahon which was such poor quality despite fairly high pricing with many issues on the bike and easily explained by the poor components fitted to the bike. I don't think its particular fair to write 'most bang for the buck' and then 'even though components sometimes need to be replaced after purchase'. For me a bike that needs some components changed shortly after purchase is a very poorly configured bike. I can accept some customisation may be necessary, a suitable saddle, new pedals etc but anything beyond that shouldn't really be happening.
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Old 11-26-17, 10:34 PM   #57
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I have come across a few unknown (to me) Clones & at prices that are far less than the cost of shipping in some cases. Whether the product is any good is still another unknown as I can't find any reviews or buyers online. - Sorry, not enough Posts to show the links but you can try a search on Global Sources & Alibaba. (16 inch Folding Bikes)

tjsihai.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008851629199/pdtl/Non-electric-folding/1150409607/16-inch-three-folding-bike.

tjsihai.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008851629199/pdtl/Non-electric-folding/1146867197/16-Alloy-Portable-Three-Folding-Bike.

globalsources/gsol/I/Nonelectricfolding/p/sm/1152952956.pos_kw=prod_PrdtKWSImage_1_40_16+inch+folding+bike_NonSP#1152952956

wholesaler.alibaba/product-detail/BROMPTON-M2L-Black-folding-Bicycle-16_60636679879
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Old 11-27-17, 10:42 AM   #58
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I have come across a few unknown (to me) Clones & at prices that are far less than the cost of shipping in some cases. Whether the product is any good is still another unknown as I can't find any reviews or buyers online. - Sorry, not enough Posts to show the links but you can try a search on Global Sources & Alibaba. (16 inch Folding Bikes)

tjsihai.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008851629199/pdtl/Non-electric-folding/1150409607/16-inch-three-folding-bike.

tjsihai.manufacturer.globalsources.com/si/6008851629199/pdtl/Non-electric-folding/1146867197/16-Alloy-Portable-Three-Folding-Bike.

globalsources/gsol/I/Nonelectricfolding/p/sm/1152952956.pos_kw=prod_PrdtKWSImage_1_40_16+inch+folding+bike_NonSP#1152952956

wholesaler.alibaba/product-detail/BROMPTON-M2L-Black-folding-Bicycle-16_60636679879
Well there you go! The first two links worked for me but the second two did not. Nonetheless, if someone is willing to buy sets of 20, the first is an all alloy frame/fork for ~$130/piece. The second has a minimum of 100 for an alloy frame and steel fork at ~$110/piece.

They remind me of the Mercs -- alloy frame with steel fork -- with the single pivot brakes but without racks nor front mount.
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Old 11-27-17, 11:40 AM   #59
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Minimums

[QUOTE=invisiblehand;20017591]Well there you go! The first two links worked for me but the second two did not. Nonetheless, if someone is willing to buy sets of 20, the first is an all alloy frame/fork for ~$130/piece. The second has a minimum of 100 for an alloy frame and steel fork at ~$110/piece.

From my experience, you can order single 'sample' copies from these manufacturers on Alibaba & Global Source but you have to watch out for the shipping & customs fees which can easily push the price up around the $6-900. mark. What I found cheeky was the Alibaba link actually calling their bike a BROMPTON. $660. + $231. u.s. for a total over $1000.cdn. plus duty & taxes. If you would like the link please message me as I still can't post links or send messages.

Last edited by Daytriker; 11-27-17 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Forum Rules!
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Old 12-02-17, 04:17 AM   #60
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Could this be considered a Brompton alternative (not clone).

Folds bigger but still relatively small but significantly heavier. UK price only £109 even with 20% VAT. You could imagine tweaking this design to more approximate the Brompton design in a few places. Same weight limit.

https://bicycles4u.com/collections/f...iant=836191423


Last edited by Bonzo Banana; 12-02-17 at 04:18 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-02-17, 07:38 AM   #61
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You get what you pay for:

"This is a snip from BBC Fake britain about Strida and Brompton Folding Bikes and FAKES"
https://vimeo.com/114490426
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Old 12-02-17, 08:05 AM   #62
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You get what you pay for...
The wine producer/merchant Ernest Gallo repeatedly ran a test from the 1930s to the 1970s: he would place two unlabeled bottles of wine on a table, marking one at twice the price of the other, and offer samples. Over the years consistently some nine folks out of ten said they could taste the difference between the two wines, preferring the more expensive one.

It was the same wine in both bottles.
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Old 12-02-17, 05:27 PM   #63
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So go ahead, and buy some Chinese copies of Brompton and Strida.
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Old 12-02-17, 06:12 PM   #64
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I watched a yt video from pathlesspedaled about some clever tyre levers that can be fitted together to form a chain master link removal tool. He mentioned that probably the market would be flooded with copies soon enough but that you might be interested in picking up a set of the original ones. That set me thinking about the Rubiks cube which hit the market 1980 and was soon followed by a flood of cheap inferior copies. Nevertheless most people I knew then were prepared to pay more for the original. And so it is for the Brompton or any other well-known brand item. Sure you can buy a clone but getting an original which is (almost) always better quality in looks, finishing and functional integrity, is better in the long run. You (at least I) will look after it with more care whereas a cheap copy would probably be treated less carefully and as a result deteriorate much faster, a double whammy added to overall quality.

I actually still have my original Rubiks cube although my solving methodology is long forgotten.
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Old 12-02-17, 08:25 PM   #65
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At times threads come around that keep you spellbound, such as 'Helix Update?' One series that kept me biting my fingernails in the expectation of new installments was that on acquiring a Brompton clone:

First foldie purchased in Singapore by this newbie

Cautionary tale - Flamingos (Brompton knockoffs)...

time to *sell* the Flamingo (Brompton-esque folder)

Like good folk tales and novels, good threads come with a moral.
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Old 12-02-17, 09:25 PM   #66
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Heh I remember that one well but forgot the user name. Just dipped into it for some quick entertainment.
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Old 12-03-17, 04:47 PM   #67
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What's even stranger, is that, after all these years, a company the size + expertise of Dahon still hasn't been able to come up with a valid Brompton alternative.
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Old 12-03-17, 06:38 PM   #68
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Could this be considered a Brompton alternative (not clone).
[/IMG]
No, not really.
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Old 12-04-17, 10:58 AM   #69
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So go ahead, and buy some Chinese copies of Brompton and Strida.
My take is that this is the main point. If anyone thinks that a Chinese knockoff can be efficiently brought into say the US and a decent profit made, they should go for it. As I wrote earlier, I think that there are lots of hidden costs.

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What's even stranger, is that, after all these years, a company the size + expertise of Dahon still hasn't been able to come up with a valid Brompton alternative.
I think that's somewhat unfair. The Curl looks like a nice bike and the first year of production usually comes with lots of land mines. It seems to me that the price difference was already enough for some folks to give it a whirl. Moreover, a year or two will make a big difference with some refinements, IMO.
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Old 12-04-17, 12:06 PM   #70
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No, not really.
Not sure why. I never said it was a good alternative. It's a 16" wheel folding bike with rear suspension and pretty much capable of doing the same things as a Brompton.

However the point I guess I was making is just how cheap folding bikes are to make in China. You can imagine changing the frame design and allowing the rear section to hinge under the downtube using a rubber block instead of a shock absorber and you have covered some of the design ground of Brompton. Of course the cheaper steel would still be thicker and therefore the bike heavier and the drivetrain basic entry level but you could improve the compactness of the fold at no increase in price.
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Old 12-04-17, 04:21 PM   #71
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Not sure why. I never said it was a good alternative. It's a 16" wheel folding bike with rear suspension and pretty much capable of doing the same things as a Brompton.

However the point I guess I was making is just how cheap folding bikes are to make in China. You can imagine changing the frame design and allowing the rear section to hinge under the downtube using a rubber block instead of a shock absorber and you have covered some of the design ground of Brompton. Of course the cheaper steel would still be thicker and therefore the bike heavier and the drivetrain basic entry level but you could improve the compactness of the fold at no increase in price.
I don't think you make those changes and sell it at no increase.
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Old 12-05-17, 02:54 AM   #72
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I don't think you make those changes and sell it at no increase.
I guess it depends on the frame design and if you make it easier or more difficult to manufacture and whether more material is needed. With regards the rear shock though I would of thought a rubber block was cheaper than the rear shock absorber. I personally think its possible to do this at a very low price but the important difference would be the weight. Brompton achieves a good strength to weight ratio with a long lifespan for the frame. I think this cheap alternative would sacrifice weight to achieve this and end up being in the 14-15kg range, 2-3kg heavier than Brompton plus of course the lower end drivetrain would need more maintenance. However many people on this forum seem happy with the low end Tourney drivetrain and freewheel fitted to this basic bike and is used on many brands including Tern, Dahon, Downtube and many others. I'm not a fan myself and would always try to avoid such a drivetrain partly due to weight and partly because I'm an all weather cyclist who gets fed up with cleaning and oiling drivetrains. I prefer stronger drivetrains with a more robust and reliable mechanism that need less attention. However the point is if its fit for purpose on a better brand its fit for purpose on this one so really it ends up being a question of weight.
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