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Need folding bike for commute <$400

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Old 05-13-18, 02:52 PM
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Zweifler
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Recs for a workhorse folder for commute >$400?

I live in the East and have a commute that's mostly flat, but with two small but very steep hills. It is 11 miles each way - a route I've done all year around in snow, rain, and heat, with my Trek 520. Unfortunately, that commute now ends at a building that is bike unfriendly so, long story short, I need a folder.

I'm looking for a workhorse folding bike with a rack for this commute that is under $400 - firm. I am thinking about the Downtube 8S.

I see a lot of positive comments about Downtube. Unfortunately, it looks like most of these comments -- here at least -- are several years old, and most relate to the 9-speed models. The only other recent ones I can locate online are on the Downtube site.

I'm torn - I like the components on the DT8s and the easy upgradeability, but am a sucker for steel. I'm also nervous that I won't be able to see the bike up close or ride it before I buy, as Downtube is online-only. Finally, I don't like the idea of a suspension fork on a road bike - it seems unnecessary and an additional point of potential failure from an engineering point of view. To be sure, have never owned a folder so maybe this extra cushiness is important.

I don't want to be one of those no-backbone turkeys who winges and moans, then asks strangers to convince him that he's making the right purchase. That said, now that I have all this wingeing out of the way, if someone could convince me that I'm making the right purchase that would be just swell. Thanks. Z.

Last edited by Zweifler; 05-13-18 at 04:03 PM. Reason: I feel like, in retrospect, I asked a stupid question, and needed to clarify.
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Old 05-14-18, 09:58 AM
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Khb
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You may well be able to find a used folder for less. I found a Dahon that way. As I was far from certain that I'd tolerate the small wheels, it was an experiment (my commute is bike friendly, and I ride a Stromer).

I've bought a couple of bags from Downtube; Yan picks quality suppliers. I regret not biting the bullet and just springing for one of his bikes. I don't currently have enough biz travel to justify the purchase of a quality folder.

You might ask Yan about his return policy; you may be pleasantly surprised.
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Old 05-14-18, 12:24 PM
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Where are you in the East?
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Old 05-17-18, 01:42 PM
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Zweifler
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Originally Posted by pinigis View Post
where are you in the east?
nyc
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Old 05-17-18, 10:41 PM
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If the Downtube deal doesn't go through for you;
Bfold on 13th st has a Dahon Vybe D7 for US$399:
bfold.com

Has fenders; but rack is extra. One thing nice in dealing
local; ability to test ride/fold.
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Old 05-18-18, 01:21 AM
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There is also the euromini Urbano or Liberte within your price range. Very good value bikes with decent components and a lifetime warranty on the frame. They also do a 30 day trial but assume you would be lumbered with the return costs but still a good deal where you could test the bike for a few weeks to make sure its ok and suits you and if not return it. The small size of a folded folding bike in its box makes return costs less than a normal full size bike but still will be a chunk of money. I don't know how it works in the US compared to the UK but in the UK if there was a fault on the bike or something about the product was wrongly described you wouldn't be responsible for return costs as the supplier wouldn't have met the contract of sale but 99% certain you would have to pay to return it purely down too your preference.They do a wide range of bikes but would not recommend the other bikes as they fit lower end components. My choice would be the Urbano of the two because while a little heavier I prefer some of the components on the Urbano overall and there is a cost saving too. The Urbano seems more designed for general use and comfort where as Liberte is focused on speed and lightness. Definitely worth adding to your options.

https://www.euromini.bike/shop-libere
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Old 05-18-18, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Zweifler View Post

I'm looking for a workhorse folding bike with a rack for this commute that is under $400 - firm. I am thinking about the Downtube 8S.ot of positive comments about Downtube. Unfortunately, it looks like most of these comments -- here at least -- are several years old,.....
Contact Yan and ask if there is a Downtube owner in your area. Maybe he can help you with a test ride.
I think I remember there was some serious problems with stuff being lost from the Downtube website (crash? Hackers?). Most of the reviews was lost I think I remember. This could be the reason. I have been around for many years and can not remeber anything other than positive reviews about Downtube bikes and company.
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