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Help me choose?

Old 09-06-17, 02:25 PM
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Help me choose?

I'm looking to buy my first-ever folding bike, and I'm not feeling picky. I'm going to spend max $200 (might sound crazy) and am looking at two bikes on Craigslist: a 5-speed 1994 Dahon Stowaway and a 6-speed Durban Metro. Sorry, I can't post links yet. They both claim and look to be in good shape.

I have heard that the Durban Metro, while a little slow and a bit heavy, is a pretty good deal. I like the look of the Dahon but am worried that something from 1994 will be even slower and heavier - but I can't find any actual specs on it. Any thoughts? I don't think I have time to go test ride either of them, so if anyone has experience with either bike I'd appreciate some advice.
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Old 09-06-17, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lulubell
I'm looking to buy my first-ever folding bike, and I'm not feeling picky. I'm going to spend max $200 (might sound crazy) and am looking at two bikes on Craigslist: a 5-speed 1994 Dahon Stowaway and a 6-speed Durban Metro. Sorry, I can't post links yet. They both claim and look to be in good shape.

I have heard that the Durban Metro, while a little slow and a bit heavy, is a pretty good deal. I like the look of the Dahon but am worried that something from 1994 will be even slower and heavier - but I can't find any actual specs on it. Any thoughts? I don't think I have time to go test ride either of them, so if anyone has experience with either bike I'd appreciate some advice.
I'd pass on the Stowaway because of it being pretty old, design wise, and won't ride as well as most of the current bikes on the market, although it will fold up smaller than most...

Amazon have a few that don't look bad in your price range.. one that caught my eye was This One
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Old 09-06-17, 03:11 PM
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Lulubell, I always recommend that for your first folder, spend some time testing a few first. You are in a wonderful position in NYC in that there are two folding bike stores for you to visit, NYCEwheels and B'fold.

Why test first? To get an idea of what $200 will buy in a folder, which unfortunately is not much. Also to get an idea of what you can live with and what is a dealbreaker. For example: Let's say you plan to use this folder daily, perhaps folding and unfolding several times along the way. A cheap folder will not have the same folding bits that a better folder would, so if that folding/unfolding process is not smooth, you will be frustrated every time you need to fold/unfold.

As an example of a cheap folder that I would only recommend for occasional use, I present a Schwinn Loop that I sold earlier this year for $125. Now on paper, this bike doesn't look too bad; 7-speed drivetrain, V-brakes, etc. But the folding hinges were just awful. Very fiddly and cheap-feeling, had to really pay attention to what I was doing, and it shouldn't be a pain to use those folding hinges, but that's exactly what it was. I advised the person I sold it to of all the above, and fortunately for him, it really was an occasional-use folder (storing at a cabin), so he didn't mind. But you might.
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Old 09-06-17, 03:45 PM
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For that kind of money I'd get a more modern Dahon Boardwalk or similar mid-2000s Dahon for a first folder.
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Old 09-07-17, 05:16 AM
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You'll get a usable bike for $200 but if you could just stretch to $300 you could get a really nice bike equal to many bikes costing up to 2 or 3x more.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-list...&condition=all

However it really depends on your ability to service the bike. If you are going to be reliant on a bike shop anyway you may get a better deal and subsidised rate by going to your local store. Bikes do need adjustment and components may fail or wear. As well as needing a bike now think about what you will need in the future. If you buy a bike from the local bike store and get a puncture in the first month that's going to be free or maybe just the price of the tube but buy online and the shop will charge you labour too. It all adds up.
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