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1st Impressions of a cheap folder: Sundeal F1

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1st Impressions of a cheap folder: Sundeal F1

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Old 10-28-18, 06:55 PM
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1st Impressions of a cheap folder: Sundeal F1

Hey Everyone,

Thought I'd post about my experience to date with the Sundeal F1, an inexpensive folder. This bike typically goes for $229, but I was lucky to get one via Ebay for just under $140 shipped to my home.

First impressions- The paint is a deeper green than pics indicate, which is a pleasant surprise. The bike is also available in a baby blue that looked bad to me, but seeing a video of that bike, it also looks like a deeper color in reality.

You better know how to work on bikes or send the bike to your local bike shop upon delivery. I found a lot of things wrong with it out of the box:

Cons
* It uses a threadless headset. I could barely move the handlebars. The headset cap was screwed tight, yet the side bolt was completely loose. I was able to shoot some lubricant into the top bearings but I couldn't free the fork from headset. I pounded the top of the fork tube with a rubber mallet to no avail. Fortunately, the lubricant did it's job and the handlebars are able to be turned easily now. I still want to get the fork free but I'll fight that battle another day.
*There was a frozen link in the chain (KMC) that obviously made it shift badly. I wasn't able to get it free to I replaced the link w/ a quick link.
*The rear derailleur was not installed correctly, the notch typically where the b-screw adjusts wasn't set in the indent of the derailleur hangar (there is not b-screw adjustment)
*I adjusted the derailleur hanger as the vertical alignment was off by quite a bit, not uncommon on bikes out of the box in my experience
*The folding handlebar stem pivot was very tight and doesn't look very serviceable. Seems to be working but I worry about the long term use of it
*Though I'm not tall (5'11"), I have to set the seatpost past the minimum insert level...not a lot so I think I'm okay, but if you're 6' or taller I don't think you'll be able to set the seat level
*there's nothing to keep the bike in the folded position so I'll have to use velcro or a bungee strap
*Rear brake is soft and not very affective. I'm sure the long cable doesn't help, but since the front brake works well, I feel there's hope. Thinking about getting some new pads.

Pros:
*paint is done well and looks nice
*the frame pivot looks beefy, I don't notice any flex in the frame when I ride the bike
*shifting is good after I fixed all of the issues and adjusted it properly
*folded up, it's pretty compact imo. Also, folding and unfolding is a pretty quick activity
*front brake feels nice and strong

All in all, given the price I paid and the service this bike fulfills (a short 1.5-2 mile trek to/from my car), I'm pretty happy!

Pics in the next post...
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Old 10-28-18, 06:58 PM
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Old 10-28-18, 06:59 PM
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Old 11-03-18, 12:06 PM
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Looks like a good value, I picked up a Sundeal Minivelo for a similar price. I put on higher rise handlebar and replaced the hard seat, It has mechanical disk brakes which work well for me.
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Old 11-03-18, 02:34 PM
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I hope you will have fun with the bike - it does not take much to enjoy riding. Aside from what you already noticed over time you will be swapping parts that will yield and, given the effort that goes into the swapping, this will be into a bit higher level ones. My guess is that pedals will break relatively early, then the shifter. The brake arms are alloy, right? or plastic? Obviously with any bike you swap over time this and that, provided you use it, but with some bikes you have to do it sooner and some later.
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Old 11-03-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Doc_Wui View Post
Looks like a good value, I picked up a Sundeal Minivelo for a similar price. I put on higher rise handlebar and replaced the hard seat, It has mechanical disk brakes which work well for me.
Nice! I wanted to get the F2 model with disc brakes but it would have been about 100% more money so decided to try this one. Last night, I used zip ties to true both wheels. Got them dialed in really well.
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Old 11-03-18, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
I hope you will have fun with the bike - it does not take much to enjoy riding. Aside from what you already noticed over time you will be swapping parts that will yield and, given the effort that goes into the swapping, this will be into a bit higher level ones. My guess is that pedals will break relatively early, then the shifter. The brake arms are alloy, right? or plastic? Obviously with any bike you swap over time this and that, provided you use it, but with some bikes you have to do it sooner and some later.
Brakes are alloy by Tektro. I am actually impressed with their quality and see no need to upgrade. Front brake works really well! Back brake is pretty weak; not sure what to do there. Not sure if it is the long brake line or brake pads, or a little bit of both. I might try to replace the pads. The cables say ďjag wireĒ and if that is true, it is a decent brand.

Rear derailleur and freewheel are Shimano, at least they say that. For the price, seems okay.

Correct on the pedals, they are plastic and trash. I could see the breaking easily. Trying to determine what to replace with. Not sure I need collapsible replacements...

The headset issue bugs me a lot. It is working fine now, handlebars can turn easily. But I want to replace the headset because but thatís hard to do when the fork is stuck on.
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Old 11-05-18, 03:16 PM
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Impressive pricing.
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Old 11-05-18, 04:13 PM
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do you have a link for the ebay seller? my granddaughter could make use of this for riding to her job.
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Old 11-05-18, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cocoabeachcrab View Post
do you have a link for the ebay seller? my granddaughter could make use of this for riding to her job.
I'm not seeing my model currently. Here's the more expensive one with disc brakes:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sundeal-F2-...IAAOSwg8xb2lXd
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Old 11-05-18, 05:49 PM
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So I used this bike for the first time today for it's intended purpose. I road ~1.5 miles to our facility where there's extended parking and our gym. It took me ~6 minutes which was better than I would've guessed for time.

Some things I noticed...you feel bumps a lot more with a 20" bike than a 27.5" full suspension mtn. bike. . But it wasn't too bad...

I was able to ride past the top gearing pretty easily in a few spots even though there are some mild hills in that distance.

I nearly killed myself during the first part of the ride because I didn't engage the safety on the handlebar stem and it collapsed. No wreck/injury but a little scary. I'll never do that again.

One other thing from the other night... I unfortunately got a significant scratch in the paint when it was folded...not sure what from...maybe a pedal. A weakness is there isn't a great system keeping it folded so metal on paint is not good. From my mtn. bike experience, I have a lot of helicopter tape which I applied to one side of the frame/chainstays...basically anywhere I thought the paint could be scratched.

Overall, still feeling good about this purchase and I think it will serve its purchase well. I think I'll apply a "wait and see" attitude about how much I use it...if I use it a lot, I might upgrade to a model with more gears and a little higher quality. The good news, given the great deal I got, pretty sure it'll retain at least that value if I decide to upgrade 4-6 months down the road...
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Old 11-05-18, 06:33 PM
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thank you for the link!
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Old 11-05-18, 09:40 PM
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Are the brake levers Promax with choice of 2 different pullratio (between caliper vs V-brake)?
Check to see if both have the brake cable ends installed in the outer V-brake setting. Your rear might be plumbed into the shorter pull slot.(Unless this is INTENTIONAL by the factory; V-brakes are plenty powerful & always have enough to lockup rear wheel. Lately I've been noticing various ideas to "reduce" braking force... like inline springs in the cable, different levers etc. Ok for anyone unfamiliar to bike braking techniques, but annoying when I'm looking for good brake feel.)
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Old 11-05-18, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post
Are the brake levers Promax with choice of 2 different pullratio (between caliper vs V-brake)?
Check to see if both have the brake cable ends installed in the outer V-brake setting. Your rear might be plumbed into the shorter pull slot.(Unless this is INTENTIONAL by the factory; V-brakes are plenty powerful & always have enough to lockup rear wheel. Lately I've been noticing various ideas to "reduce" braking force... like inline springs in the cable, different levers etc. Ok for anyone unfamiliar to bike braking techniques, but annoying when I'm looking for good brake feel.)
Thanks for posting. They are Tektro. Not sure if they have the feature you're speaking about...I don't think so, but I'll check...

I did pull them off the other night and say that, though they looked align, barely the upper part of the brake pad was actually touching the rim. I hit the pads w/ some sandpaper and readjusted them. Better, but not great. Fortunately, the front brake works good.
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Old 11-05-18, 11:37 PM
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Koolstop brake pads work wonders.
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Old 11-06-18, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
Thanks for posting. They are Tektro. Not sure if they have the feature you're speaking about...I don't think so, but I'll check...
yeah they look like levers made by Tektro or ProMax for the OE market they've got 2 cable spots on each lever so the same item can be used for both short pull (calipers, cable discs) or long pull (V-brake, cantilever). Good when the same bike is sold in different levels eg a disc version
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Old 11-06-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post


yeah they look like levers made by Tektro or ProMax for the OE market they've got 2 cable spots on each lever so the same item can be used for both short pull (calipers, cable discs) or long pull (V-brake, cantilever). Good when the same bike is sold in different levels eg a disc version
Excellent, thank you for the follow up! I will try to take this brake apart in the next few days and report back. Makes sense this might be the case because I have always had positive experiences with v-brakes being strong enough.
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Old 11-06-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
I nearly killed myself during the first part of the ride because I didn't engage the safety on the handlebar stem and it collapsed. No wreck/injury but a little scary. I'll never do that again.
Sounds like the hinge might be too loose. Even without the safety engaged, the hinge should not come loose under normal riding circumstances.

The philosophy of safety mechanism is for freak scenario that the latch is popped open somehow.

Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post
Some things I noticed...you feel bumps a lot more with a 20" bike than a 27.5" full suspension mtn. bike. . But it wasn't too bad...
Keep in mind, the upright nature on folding bikes means a lot of shock is transmitted straight up your sphine. So, they makes it feel more bumpy.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 11-06-18 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 11-06-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post


yeah they look like levers made by Tektro or ProMax for the OE market they've got 2 cable spots on each lever so the same item can be used for both short pull (calipers, cable discs) or long pull (V-brake, cantilever). Good when the same bike is sold in different levels eg a disc version
Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Sounds like the hinge might be too loose. Even without the safety engaged, the hinge should not come loose under normal riding circumstances.

The philosophy of safety mechanism is for freak scenario that the latch is popped open somehow.



Keep in mind, the upright nature on folding bikes means a lot of shock is transmitted straight up your sphine. So, they makes it feel more bumpy.
Thank you for this info. I definitely adjusted it looser so I will tighten it!
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Old 11-06-18, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Tamiya View Post


yeah they look like levers made by Tektro or ProMax for the OE market they've got 2 cable spots on each lever so the same item can be used for both short pull (calipers, cable discs) or long pull (V-brake, cantilever). Good when the same bike is sold in different levels eg a disc version
Checked the brakes, unfortunately, there aren't two positions. I might try different pads, but the front brake works pretty well... I also tightened the collapsible handlebar stem...
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Old 11-06-18, 10:34 PM
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These came in today. Solid compared to the stock plastic pedals. Feel better during a trial in the street. Unfortunately, one pedal is defective and doesn't collapse. They are pretty heavy too, but I think it's a fair tradeoff.

Ordered a new set...

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Old 11-07-18, 07:54 AM
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I also bought a Sundeal F1 on eBay, final winning bid didn't exceed $140 with $30 shipping fee.
The bike comes in box as a typical budget bike would have been delivered to a local bike shop.
The steering mast, chain, derailleur adjustments are typical of a mass-produced bike that comes in a box at low price point.
I kept the OEM plastic pedals, I feel they are lighter in weight, serve their purpose just fine.
The OEM brake levers seem to be smaller reach than typical MTB or adult sized bikes, maybe folding bike is considered as kid's bike for Sundeal.
I find the OEM brakes performance decent enough for my NYC commute, they are easily adjusted once loosen the pads completely and reposition them to proper location against the braking surface.

For the stuck Wellgo pedal, you might consider trying some lube or heat gun and tap the pedal with a mallet to see if it loosens up for folding.
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Old 11-07-18, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I also bought a Sundeal F1 on eBay, final winning bid didn't exceed $140 with $30 shipping fee.
The bike comes in box as a typical budget bike would have been delivered to a local bike shop.
The steering mast, chain, derailleur adjustments are typical of a mass-produced bike that comes in a box at low price point.
I kept the OEM plastic pedals, I feel they are lighter in weight, serve their purpose just fine.
The OEM brake levers seem to be smaller reach than typical MTB or adult sized bikes, maybe folding bike is considered as kid's bike for Sundeal.
I find the OEM brakes performance decent enough for my NYC commute, they are easily adjusted once loosen the pads completely and reposition them to proper location against the braking surface.

For the stuck Wellgo pedal, you might consider trying some lube or heat gun and tap the pedal with a mallet to see if it loosens up for folding.
Curious, is there anything you use to keep it folded? I find it a bit awkward to carry, but havenít had to carry it far, yet.
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Old 11-08-18, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovespicyfood View Post


Curious, is there anything you use to keep it folded? I find it a bit awkward to carry, but havenít had to carry it far, yet.

Use a velcro strap. Even on a folding bike with magnets this should be a requirement.
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Old 11-08-18, 08:02 AM
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Velcro straps or cheap nylon toe straps..



I keep the bike unfold as much time as I can, once folded, I try not to move it at all.
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