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My First Folding Bike

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Old 02-04-18, 05:25 PM
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tkrocks2
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My First Folding Bike

I'm looking at getting my first folding bike I am looking at either a Brompton or a Dahon Boardwalk.


I live in an apartment and I don't need a bike the folds as small as the Brompton but I will have to carry it up stairs at some point the elevator is broken here.


I'm looking for a folding bike that feels very solid and is well made.


I like the looks of the Dahon frame and I like the 20'' wheels and coaster brake but I want want to make a mistake and get the wrong bike for my needs.


I travel on very rough roads that would better suited for a mtb.


An help in would be great.
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Old 02-04-18, 06:10 PM
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The only boardwalk that I ever test rode had too much slop (movement) in the stem (handlebar attaches to stem then to frame). It turned me off folding bikes. Test ride it first.
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Old 02-04-18, 07:09 PM
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Have you considered a Downtube Mini? Great price, nice, solid build, excellent compact folding bike,...



https://www.downtube.com/downtube-mi...-folding-bike/

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Old 02-04-18, 09:20 PM
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"I will have to carry it up stairs at some point the elevator is broken here.

I'm looking for a folding bike that feels very solid and is well made."

Another model to you may want to consider:
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Old 02-04-18, 10:02 PM
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The two bikes you mentioned, the Boardwalk and the Brompton, are pretty far apart in price. A single speed Boardwalk can be had for around $250 USD, the multispeed Boardwalk a little more, whereas on a new Brompton, you're into four figures.

Elevator broken and you need to take the stairs - any chance you're in New York City?

Any single speed folder will weigh less than its multispeed counterpart, but if you live in a terrain with any kind of hills, single speed won't work as well unless you have legs of steel. The weight will make a difference lugging up and down stairs, though.

You might want to consider Origami and Downtube folders. The owners, Paul (Origami) and Yan (Downtube) are active on this forum and will probably be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 02-04-18, 11:59 PM
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I do know they are pretty far apart price wise I can afford to get the Dahon right now the Brompton is alittle out of my price range at the moment but if the Brompton is worth the money then I can see paying more.


The Brompton is also the only holding bike that I've found that comes in green I have to special order one from my dealer and the have a sale on Brompton right now $1,446.15 Cad + Tax It's $1,634.15 Cad.


They have Bromptons in stock just not the one I want I'm going there tuesday to see one for the first time I'm hoping to take on for a test ride but we are getting snow right now so I don't know if they will let me.


I live in Canada.


I don't have any big hills slight inclines but mostly flats I've had single speed bikes my entire life.


I'm not into aluminum frame bikes it's just my personal preference I prefer steel frame bikes and bike frames I prefer are Chromoly steel but finding them is like pulling teeth.

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Old 02-05-18, 02:24 AM
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Just save up for the Brompton you want; it's worth the money. I sold off 4 Dahons but intend to keep my Brompton forever. Dahons are tough to roll and very wide when folded which might make stairwells tight if others are coming down.

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Old 02-05-18, 07:30 AM
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The Dahon Speed Uno, and Dahon Speed P8 are both chromoly steel. I own both,...I'm a heavier rider (235lbs), and steel bends before breakage. Plus, they're really strong, and the ride is quite good. I did upgrade the Speed Uno to a 3 speed internally geared hub though,...

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Old 02-05-18, 07:47 AM
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These are my 2 Boardwalks. Both are 2002 bikes and came as 6 speeds. Both are now 7 speeds and the only difference is one bike has 1.75 tires and the other has 1.50 tires. BikeLite if the steering was loose it is 2 minutes of time to adjust the clamps to remove that. The frame has a diamond triangle in front of the bottom of the seat post and the bike carries perfectly balanced if you lift there. My concern is they are a bit heavy to carry up and down stairs. I will try to remember to weigh one but the way they sit they are probably 25+ pounds. Roger
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Old 02-05-18, 09:03 AM
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OK, I have to jump in here with my obviously biased suggestion. Take a look at the Origami Dragon. It weighs in at 23 lbs, has a 9-speed gear set with a Sora derailleur, folds easily, and has a great riding dynamic. It also comes in substantially less than the Brompton, but more than the Boradwalk (but, is certainly in a different class than the Boardwalk).
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Old 02-05-18, 09:38 AM
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I would get the Dahon. I luv my Boardwalk's simplicity and ruggedness.
If riding on mostly poor roads, I'll definitely pick a 20" over Brompton.
I have a friend who has a Brompton, and wished he has a Dahon.
The Bromtpon wheel is too small, and he said it rides funny.
He said Dahon rides more like a full size bike.

I also luv the fact that I don't have to worry about my Boardwalk.
If someone steals it...I just go buy another one on Craigslist for like 100 bux.
If someone steals my Brompton...I would have to cry.

Both bikes are heavy. I would not want to carry either one over many flights of stairs every day.

On the other hand, a Brompton would fold much better for an elevator.

Originally Posted by tkrocks2 View Post
I travel on very rough roads that would better suited for a mtb.

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Old 02-05-18, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
The only boardwalk that I ever test rode had too much slop (movement) in the stem (handlebar attaches to stem then to frame). It turned me off folding bikes. Test ride it first.
Mine also has alot of slop. But after almost 1000 miles on it...the slop has not gotten any worse.
And I've grown used to the slop and squeek of the handlepost. The pin on the hinge looks beefy.
I stopped worrying about it.
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Old 02-05-18, 10:00 AM
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Why don't you talk to Thor from thorusa.com. There are great bikes on sale in his garage sale section. He has always been helpful even though I have never bought a bike from him. My friend was at a bike show with him and had nice things to say about him. Everyone here including myself is prejudice towards their own bike. Thor will guide you to a bike that fits your needs and budget. There is a Dahon speed P 8 for sale at $479. The tires alone new would set you back $150. I don't think you could go wrong at this price.

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Old 02-05-18, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by tkrocks2 View Post
...the Brompton is alittle out of my price range at the moment but if the Brompton is worth the money then I can see paying more...
Nice to see a Buy Once/Cry Once attitude in a new folder buyer.... and you have a tough decision.

If I were to do it all again, or lost my bicycle stable to a fire (4 main rides listed in my profile), I'd just go with/replace the Brompton and be done with it. Terrain specialties aside, properly tuned for me, all my bikes are comfortable, enjoyable, and efficient to ride - probably more similar than they are different. It's what happens after the ride that tips my scale toward the Brompton - for me, it's like comparing a fixed blade knife to a multi-tool. The Brompton is my #1 pick for the folder, commuting, utility, LCF, family, winter, and touring sub-forums, and #2 pick for the road cycling. But that said, you mentioned riding very rough roads, and the Brompton would be last pick for the MTB and gravel sub-forums.

Other points: There is definitely something to be said for worry-free outdoor lock-up, so if that is your intention, the cheap Dahon is #1. As for carrying a bike, I find the Brompton easiest by far with the abiltiy to carry on top of one, or both, shoulders water-container style. In fact, when I go self-supported touring, I probably carry mine between 1/4-1/2 mile everyday (most bushwhacking to wild camping spots), and once carried it up a 30-story staircase (which wasn't bad).

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 02-05-18, 01:30 PM
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I weighed my red seat post Boardwalk and with the bag and other things on it it weighs just under 33 pounds. Basically like carrying 2 bowling balls up your stairs only a bit more awkward. Roger
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Old 02-05-18, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tkrocks2 View Post
I'm not into aluminum frame bikes it's just my personal preference I prefer steel frame bikes and bike frames I prefer are Chromoly steel but finding them is like pulling teeth.
This sounds like a Brompton 1 or 2-speed, a Bike Friday Packit or a Dahon Uno to me. Personally I'd perfer the Bromton, mainly for the reasons others have already outlined, but this is just personal taste.

Regarding the carrying: I carry my Brompton every day (including luggage), to my flat as well as to my office, often more than once. My flat is at what an American would call fifth floor. I is in a very old German building (which means: roofs as high as 3,something meters), therefor it are roughly 100 steep steps to my flat from street level. It is easy to carry the Brompton (easier than a 20" bike) and weight does matter dramatically. I own a titanium 2-speed (supereasy to carry at ~10,5 kg), a titanium 6-speed with rack, dynamo hub and leather saddle (ok to carry at ~12,x kg, but could be lighter) and a steel 6-speed with rack, dynamo hub and leather saddle (a bit on the heavy side at ~13,5 kg). All bikes have the telescopic seat post. I had modiefied the steel one to an 8-speed hub for a while but at 14,5 kg in total this was too heavy to carry everyday with pleasure, so I removed the 8-speed again.

From my experience I would go as light as possible (and as you can afford), thus I'd prefer the 2-speed if we are talking about Bromptons. Single speed does not really have a noticable advantage weightwise with the Brompton and the second gear comes in handy at times. Steel is ok, titanium is lighter, but at a dramatically higher price. Rationally thinking not worth it for most people.

No personal experience with the Packit nor with the UNO. I own a 20" based on a Tern Link frame as well (which should be comparable to the Uno in terms of Geometry when it comes to carrying) and it is a bit more awkward than the Brompton but clearly possible. Mine has an 11-gear Alfine hub, making it unpleasurably heavy for carrying.
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Old 02-05-18, 02:44 PM
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@berlinonaut , in my video at post #5. I weighted both my 6 speed titanium Brompton, and a demo pakiT w/ Alfine 11. Both were around 10 kilos.
Didn't get a chance to weight my own pakiT yet; but with 8 speed der. and titanium parts - should be less than 9 kilos. I have also owned a Speed Uno;
hated the back pedal brakes. Sold it after a while:
Dahon Speed Uno Weight by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

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Old 02-05-18, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
@berlinonaut , in my video at post #5. I weighted both my 6 speed titanium Brompton, and a demo pakiT w/ Alfine 11. Both were around 10 kilos.
Interesting - a S6Lx like your's weights 10.9 kg according to Brompton (with Brompton tires). Your's has a leather saddle (possibly heavier than stock) and an aftermarket seat post - possibly lighter than the stock model.

My 2-speed and my 6-speed are both H-models - a tad heavier than the S. The 2-speed with folding Kojaks weighted 10,3 kg when it was new. Brompton says it would be 10,4 kg. I did some modifications but it should still be in the same ballpark. Part of the extra-weight is the telescopic seat post which I am using due to my long legs - it adds ~360g in comparison to the short standard version according to Brompton.

My 6-speed has the rear-carrier, SON hub dynamo and Edelux-lights, telescopic seat post, a selle anatomica leather saddle, Brompton tires and the 6-speed has been modified to 9-speed using aftermarket thumbshifters that are a bit heavier than the stock ones. A stock H6RDx with SON and a Brooks saddle ends up at 12,3kg, according to the Brompton configurator, so the 12,x kg that I wrote sound about correct.

Steel vs. titanium is roughly 759g difference, the 8-speed adds roughly 1 kg in comparison to the 6-speed. Hence the 14,5 kg that I weighted for my stell M8RD seem to be a fit again. The 14kg mark proved to be the max that I am willing to carry upstairs, but less is highly recommended. The tiny bits and differences in component weight quickly add up. Heavier tires, blades, a rack, lights, leather saddle all add weight (or save weight if you can live w/o them).
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Old 02-05-18, 06:08 PM
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Why, oh WHY can't Brompton make an 8 speed Sturmey Archer model??? I'd get it no matter what!!!
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Old 02-05-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Why, oh WHY can't Brompton make an 8 speed Sturmey Archer model??? I'd get it no matter what!!!
As you add gears, friction increases and the weight goes up. The 6 speed solution is good one. It has drawbacks but I think they made the right compromises. That said if I buy another one, I will get a 2 speed.
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Old 02-05-18, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
As you add gears, friction increases and the weight goes up. The 6 speed solution is good one. It has drawbacks but I think they made the right compromises. That said if I buy another one, I will get a 2 speed.
Nope,...not acceptable to me. I use a Shimano Nexus 8 speed IGH, and the friction issue isn't an issue. Weight? I'm not concerned about it,...the 8 speed IGH would be perfect for me. The 6 speed solution isn't good for me, and is the reason why I've passed on a Brompton till this day. Maybe a single speed, modded, would work for me. But I'd honestly want a STOCK 8 speed,...and I'm not holding my breath for it.

Oh, and with the hills I encounter on my rides, nothing LESS than an 8 speed is acceptable for me. 2 speeds I wouldn't even consider,...

Remember, 1 persons heaven is another's hell,...
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Old 02-05-18, 07:52 PM
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If you can get away with a single speed, and carrying weight is a big factor, nothing beats the <20lb pound Bike Friday pakit. The ride quality is amazing, as well, in spite of 16" tires. Depending on how much $ you want to throw at it, you can get that bike down close to 15 lbs.
If you get a brompton, consider the two speed. Very little weight penalty over the single speed and you may end up appreciating the extra gear if you use it to travel at all. Any of the bromptons with more than 2 speeds are pretty heavy to carry up stairs.
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Old 02-05-18, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tkrocks2 View Post
...


I travel on very rough roads that would better suited for a mtb.


An help in would be great.
take this from one who comes from an mtb background who likes to ride rough at timed. unless you are a masochist and/or have the willingness to ride standing up over the rough stuff, you need to look at a bike for 406 wheels & plump tires, or a full-suspension 355 job like a Birdy. Dahon makes a full-sus 406er called the Jetstream. Just a thought.
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Old 02-06-18, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Why, oh WHY can't Brompton make an 8 speed Sturmey Archer model??? I'd get it no matter what!!!
I wondered the same thing and fitted one myself. The 8-gear hub that I haed in my steel Brommi was the S/A XRF8w. In theory it sounded like a very good idea, the practice turned out to be different, at least for my taste. Weight is one thing (and a big one), drag is another (also a big one). The third was the shifting. It turned out that the XRF8w needed constant adjustment (and I mean constant!) and quite reliably often missed a gear while riding. Especially the sixth often did not make it. Furthermore it eats shifting cables for breakfast, becoming totally unreliable once it has eaten another one every couple of months. I have another XRF8w in a 20" bike that shows the same behaviour in every aspect, thus it seems not to be a single-hub-event. So from today's perspective I would not buy the hub again and can understand why Brompton did not go down that route.

I've ridden (but not owned) Bromptons that were fitted with a Shimano Nexus premium. Much, much better. Fitting is more complicated and the weight is more or less in the same ballpark. But it has less drag and shifting works totally reliably.
If you still want the S/A 8-speed in your Brompton: There is a kit from Ben Cooper/Kinetics or you can buy the Hub from i.e. SJS and do the rest yourself.

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Old 02-06-18, 02:20 AM
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I think Brompton's choice of the 3 speed hub is purely for strength and reliability. They are simple hubs that outlast other geared hubs with more gears (maybe not rohloff) and it doesn't even matter which brand you go for it seems, Sturmey, Shimano or Sach's they all seem very reliable. The 6 speed setup means even if the hub shifter cable goes out of adjustment or breaks you still have the derailleur to give 2 gears. I've got a Carrera Subway 8 with premium Nexus 8 hub and while great, a couple gears are noisy and feel less efficient it feels like engineering that is slightly compromised to achieve that number of gears. At the time I remember it was recommended to buy the 8 speed over the 7 speed which had some reliability issues. I don't think you hear about such issues for the Nexus 7 now.

I think Brompton have gone with the 3 speed hub purely to reinforce the quality aspect of the bike, it's strength and reliability even if it slightly compromises the range of gears. It would be nice to see a Rohloff factory option though but the retail price for such a model is probably the reason it hasn't happened.
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