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First bike: Origami Wasp or Citizen Tokyo?

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First bike: Origami Wasp or Citizen Tokyo?

Old 05-18-20, 01:33 PM
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nydreaming
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First bike: Origami Wasp or Citizen Tokyo?

Hello everyone, first time posting!


Spouse and I are looking to purchase some compact folding bikes. Budget is $250-300. We have whittled it down to either Citizen Tokyo or the Origami Wasp.


Eager for some exercise, casual city and park riding. The lighter the better, since we have to carry the bikes up a few flights to our apartment, and occasional commutes into NYC via bus and subway. Ease of folding would be great. Also, we aren't the most fit (yet!) so looking for a bike that's not too heavy nor difficult to paddle but has decent speed.


Any recommendation on which one to go with?


Additional Q's:

1) We are complete newbies and hope to purchase all accessories at the same time as the bike. Citizen offers comfort bike seats and carrier racks on its site, but can't seem to find these options on the Origami website.

2) Does the Origami come assembled? Can't find as much information on it compared to Citizen bikes.


Other considerations:

Citizen is also offering free shipping right now.

Bike Exchange.com is offering the Origami Wasps for $40 cheaper (for 2 bikes). Any experience purchasing from that site?


Lots of Qs, thanks in advance for your input (and patience)!
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Old 05-18-20, 03:24 PM
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I've owned a Citizen Tokyo in the past. Just like you; didn't want to spend a lot on a folding bike.

Bought a hardly used model from Craigslist. Sold it after a few weeks. It was heavy(steel frame);
small wheels(16 inches) but not that small folded, ergonomics was weird, geared very low:
Citizen Tokyo folding bike by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
I'd suggest stopping by Bfold on 13th st. Try some bikes; lift, fold/unfold and test ride.
You'll probably end up spending a bit more; but you'll have a better experience/bike.

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Old 05-18-20, 03:54 PM
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Costco has the Zizzo liberte for a very good price delivered. It's a very light (for inexpensive) folder. Excellent customer service thru Zizzo and Costco. You order online. I don't know that you even have to be a member. Only 23 lbs. $359 incl. shipping. Search for reviews here.
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Old 05-19-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
I've owned a Citizen Tokyo in the past. Just like you; didn't want to spend a lot on a folding bike.

Bought a hardly used model from Craigslist. Sold it after a few weeks. It was heavy(steel frame);
small wheels(16 inches) but not that small folded, ergonomics was weird, geared very low:
I'd suggest stopping by Bfold on 13th st. Try some bikes; lift, fold/unfold and test ride.
You'll probably end up spending a bit more; but you'll have a better experience/bike.


Thank you for sharing your experience with the Citizen Tokyo! Very helpful to get a first-hand review. Can you kindly explain what 'geared very low' means? Noob, sorry!
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Old 05-19-20, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Costco has the Zizzo liberte for a very good price delivered. It's a very light (for inexpensive) folder. Excellent customer service thru Zizzo and Costco. You order online. I don't know that you even have to be a member. Only 23 lbs. $359 incl. shipping. Search for reviews here.

Thanks for the recommendation! I see it's 2 lbs lighter than the Origami Wasp, $80 more, but definitely more reviewed. I'll bump out the Citizen and move this up as a contender!
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Old 05-19-20, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Thanks for the recommendation! I see it's 2 lbs lighter than the Origami Wasp, $80 more, but definitely more reviewed. I'll bump out the Citizen and move this up as a contender!
Note that the Wasp has 16" wheels and the Zizzo 20". The Wasp will fold a bit smaller (even though it is heavier than the Zizzo) but 20" wheels will ride more comfortably (I own two bikes, one of each size). Also, the Wasp has a 7 speed freewheel. The Zizzo has an 8 speed cassette. Overall, the specs on the Zizzo are worth way more than the $80 difference in price, imo, and will be easier to upgrade if you decide to do that later on. I'm not affiliated with either brand, btw. A couple folks near me have bought the Zizzo from Costco and I've been impressed with the quality - as with any bike you have delivered, either check the set up yourself if you wrench, or have a shop give it a go-over.
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Old 05-19-20, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Note that the Wasp has 16" wheels and the Zizzo 20". The Wasp will fold a bit smaller (even though it is heavier than the Zizzo) but 20" wheels will ride more comfortably (I own two bikes, one of each size). Also, the Wasp has a 7 speed freewheel. The Zizzo has an 8 speed cassette. Overall, the specs on the Zizzo are worth way more than the $80 difference in price, imo, and will be easier to upgrade if you decide to do that later on. I'm not affiliated with either brand, btw. A couple folks near me have bought the Zizzo from Costco and I've been impressed with the quality - as with any bike you have delivered, either check the set up yourself if you wrench, or have a shop give it a go-over.
I 2nd the Zizzo. I have the Via, no issues to date and less expensive than my comparable Dahons.
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Old 05-20-20, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Note that the Wasp has 16" wheels and the Zizzo 20". The Wasp will fold a bit smaller (even though it is heavier than the Zizzo) but 20" wheels will ride more comfortably (I own two bikes, one of each size). Also, the Wasp has a 7 speed freewheel. The Zizzo has an 8 speed cassette. Overall, the specs on the Zizzo are worth way more than the $80 difference in price, imo, and will be easier to upgrade if you decide to do that later on. I'm not affiliated with either brand, btw. A couple folks near me have bought the Zizzo from Costco and I've been impressed with the quality - as with any bike you have delivered, either check the set up yourself if you wrench, or have a shop give it a go-over.

Wow, I really appreciate your taking the time to outline the advantages of the Zizzo! Sounds like a better buy overall. Checking Costco now!
If it isn't much trouble, may I ask what I should check upon delivery of the bike? Thank you!!
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Old 05-20-20, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
I 2nd the Zizzo. I have the Via, no issues to date and less expensive than my comparable Dahons.
Thanks for weighing in! May I ask: Since the Zizzo will come to about $350-350 shipped, I'm seeing it's about the same price now as the Downtube Nova. Would you stick with the Zizzo still?
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Old 05-20-20, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Wow, I really appreciate your taking the time to outline the advantages of the Zizzo! Sounds like a better buy overall. Checking Costco now!
If it isn't much trouble, may I ask what I should check upon delivery of the bike? Thank you!!
Any new bike - check all the bolts/screws are properly torqued. check alignment of wheels against chainstays and fork. check brake adjustment and lever pull. check pedal attachment (I always pull them and regrease and reattach; they never get greased properly at the vendor and you go to pull them later and it's a pita). check handlebar/stem alignment. check tire pressure. check chain/derailleur/shifter moves freely and is lubed. adjust your seat height and saddel/fore-aft. test ride and adjust as needed. Pretty simple stuff, you'll need some very basic tools (15mm wrench for the pedals - make sure you are turning the proper direction!!!). some basic hex keys for the rest most likely.
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Old 05-21-20, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Thanks for weighing in! May I ask: Since the Zizzo will come to about $350-350 shipped, I'm seeing it's about the same price now as the Downtube Nova. Would you stick with the Zizzo still?
You may still have to add shipping for the Nova. Wonderful bike. I've had the latter for 3 years ($279 in 2017) now. All it has needed was some oil for the hinge, and I wish all my folders had the same stem because it's so solid, However, the Zizzo comes in at a higher price originally ($429 from amazon), so you're getting a good price break from Costco, plus the Costco support if anything goes wrong. It's also a teeny bit less weight.

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Old 05-21-20, 04:06 PM
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The Downtube Nova is $39 shipping,...
The Origami Wasp is $269 shipped,...I own the Wasp.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Any new bike - check all the bolts/screws are properly torqued. check alignment of wheels against chainstays and fork. check brake adjustment and lever pull. check pedal attachment (I always pull them and regrease and reattach; they never get greased properly at the vendor and you go to pull them later and it's a pita). check handlebar/stem alignment. check tire pressure. check chain/derailleur/shifter moves freely and is lubed. adjust your seat height and saddel/fore-aft. test ride and adjust as needed. Pretty simple stuff, you'll need some very basic tools (15mm wrench for the pedals - make sure you are turning the proper direction!!!). some basic hex keys for the rest most likely.
Thank you very much! We pulled the trigger and bought the Zizzo
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Old 05-22-20, 08:49 AM
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Thanks, everyone! With your advice, we went ahead and purchased Zizzo bikes. The Origami Wasp, Downtube Nova were tempting but the weight of the Zizzo won us over
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Old 05-22-20, 09:20 AM
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Please post pics when you can. I hope you love them, but the nice thing is if you decide they're not right for you, Costco will take them back. I considered getting one but I already have 2 folders and, unlike some folks on this forum, I do have a limit, lol. CONGRATS!
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Old 05-22-20, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Please post pics when you can. I hope you love them, but the nice thing is if you decide they're not right for you, Costco will take them back. I considered getting one but I already have 2 folders and, unlike some folks on this forum, I do have a limit, lol. CONGRATS!
Thank you, and yes, I'll share photos once we receive the bikes! Hoping they ship soon as it's starting to be beautiful out!

On a side note: We convinced a friend to get a folding bike. She popped into a local bike shop and grabbed a Reid Metro 1. I'm no expert (clearly!) but it looks great and rides very well!
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Old 05-22-20, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Thank you, and yes, I'll share photos once we receive the bikes! Hoping they ship soon as it's starting to be beautiful out!

On a side note: We convinced a friend to get a folding bike. She popped into a local bike shop and grabbed a Reid Metro 1. I'm no expert (clearly!) but it looks great and rides very well!
Couldn't find the weight on the Reid website. But with a steel fork, it's probably not light. It also has a freewheel so it's limited in terms of upgrading. Otherwise, seems like an okay bike. I think you will be glad you got the one you did, though.
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Old 05-24-20, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Thanks for weighing in! May I ask: Since the Zizzo will come to about $350-350 shipped, I'm seeing it's about the same price now as the Downtube Nova. Would you stick with the Zizzo still?
Downtube is another one on my potential list. The reality is Zizzo, Origami, Downtube, all have solid entry models. My first folder was a Dahon Vybe which I scored from LL Bean for $300. I am switching out beach cruiser bikes at my beach house in the near future with these entry level bikes to save more space in the storage closet and I can't go wrong with any of the brands, just depends on the best deal at the time.

Zizzo has a military discount if that is an option for you. The most important things that I got on the Vybe was just by luck...a telescoping handlebar and a headset that allows for a front mounted bag. These are things that I didn't know about as a regular bike purchaser but now see as vital. Telescoping handlebars allow you to ride like a cruiser or like a road bike, the option is yours.

Either way I am sure that you will find the bike really fun to ride. I rarely use my Cannondale road bike anymore, preferring the folders (I have 4 so far).
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Old 06-09-20, 10:14 AM
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Finally received our Zizzo Liberte bikes last week, and we are loving them...thank you all for the recommendation! They're opening up wonderful new experiences for us, we are hooked!

I'll break this post into 2 separate ones, so I can reach the 10-post requirement to share photos

– The bikes arrived pre-assembled, which was great for us newbies. Performed the safety check, and everything was well in place
– At 23 lbs, we still break a bit of a sweat carrying them up 3 flights of steep, narrow stairs. Can't imagine having gone with heavier bikes! :O
– Stable ride, we already biked them uphill and downhill! Loving the 8 gears. Our friend, who purchased with Reid, is so envious (her bike, which came in at $500, only has 6 gears)
– The brand's customer service is great. They are friendly and respond very quickly to inquiries.
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Old 06-09-20, 10:17 AM
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Here are the add-ons we've purchased so far (quickly realizing how addicting it is to purchase bike accessories! Falling into the rabbit hole now... )

– The seat is comfortable enough for me, but the spouse ordered a Cloud-9 comfort saddle
– Purchased an Ibera PakRak rear rack, which attached perfectly, no problem
– Just purchased a Sunlite Quick-release basket for the pup; will test it this week and share photos, if anyone's interested
– Ignore the silly bells, didn't want to spend on them, haha

Thank you for encouraging this purchase. Glad we bought them right away...a few days later, they were completely sold out on Costco!
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Old 06-09-20, 10:17 AM
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Loving our Zizzo Liberte bikes! We wanted different colors, but only the red ones were available. Still love 'em though!

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Old 06-09-20, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Loving our Zizzo Liberte bikes! We wanted different colors, but only the red ones were available. Still love 'em though!
Beautiful bikes,...ENJOY!!!
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Old 06-09-20, 05:45 PM
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"Falling into the rabbit hole now... )"
Some people call it, "The slippery slope". I know that feeling.

Enjoy the bikes. They seem to be really nice for the money.


Originally Posted by nydreaming View Post
Loving our Zizzo Liberte bikes! We wanted different colors, but only the red ones were available. Still love 'em though!

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Old 06-10-20, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, if you're carrying bikes up and down stairs every single pound matters. That 26lb bike you initially considered would have been a killer over time. That said - remember that accessories add pounds. My rule is every time I add something with weight, I need to find something to take off. Ymmv, but I've managed to keep my Bike Friday under 20lbs that way, when I could easily have loaded it up with goodies and removed any advantage of the lighter bike. At the very least, quick release accessories are great, pull them off and into your handlebar bar which hopefully has a carry strap, and then the bike weight on one side will remain the same. I've got an Arkel handlebar bag with a shoulder strap and I dump all my goodies into it when I have to deal with stairs; takes a few seconds and helps to keep the load light. One easy way to save weight is to buy lighter weight tires when yours wear out. The pics are awesome and I am so glad you got them before Costco ran out!!!
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