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Manufacturer - Tern vs Dahon and alternatives

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Manufacturer - Tern vs Dahon and alternatives

Old 01-14-21, 07:54 AM
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chris1234
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Manufacturer - Tern vs Dahon and alternatives

So I am looking for my first folding bike. Mainly for use on weekend trips and domestic vacations - so taking a train somewhere and then cycling (I have a Cross / Hybrid bike for day to day in the city. I'm living in Tokyo - so for 20 inch bikes (discounting Brompton) I was looking at Tern or Dahon (because of good availability to try in local shops, reasonable prices and good model range - Birdy or BikeFriday are a bit too expensive).

I'm looking to spend around $1000 local equivalent, but could go bit more - main question is which is the better manufacturer, I have read the reports on these forums about racking on Tern frames - it seems rare now, but Dahon seems less affected by this issue.

So I wonder advice on choosing between Tern and Dahon?
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Old 01-14-21, 08:10 AM
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Tern has a history of frame failures so my choice would be Dahon. Roger
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Old 01-14-21, 09:09 AM
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Between those two choices... Dahon. I would love to live in Japan again!
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Old 01-14-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by chris1234 View Post
So I am looking for my first folding bike. Mainly for use on weekend trips and domestic vacations - so taking a train somewhere and then cycling (I have a Cross / Hybrid bike for day to day in the city. I'm living in Tokyo - so for 20 inch bikes (discounting Brompton) I was looking at Tern or Dahon (because of good availability to try in local shops, reasonable prices and good model range - Birdy or BikeFriday are a bit too expensive).
Since you're in Japan, two local brands worth checking:
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Old 01-14-21, 08:16 PM
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Check out Loro Slow Spot and Y's Road Ueno for a broader range of folders. Relative to the scale of Tokyo they are close to each other, so in practice require one expedition.
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Old 01-14-21, 09:58 PM
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Chromoly will be dependable and, in the context of folding bicycles, at least, will be no heavier than aluminum. For those reasons among others, I chose the Dahon Speed.


Also, beware of the psychological draw of disc brakes. Unless the frame and fork are made for thru-axles (no mass-production folding bicycles that I know of are, yet), disc brakes are a scam, resulting in disappointment for the life of the bicycle.
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Old 01-15-21, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Check out Loro Slow Spot and Y's Road Ueno for a broader range of folders. Relative to the scale of Tokyo they are close to each other, so in practice require one expedition.
https://www.facebook.com/ysroadueno/
https://www.facebook.com/loro.nihonbashi/

Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
Also, beware of the psychological draw of disc brakes. Unless the frame and fork are made for thru-axles (no mass-production folding bicycles that I know of are, yet), disc brakes are a scam, resulting in disappointment for the life of the bicycle.
Why is that?
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Old 01-15-21, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Why is that?
Because discs are nowhere near as good as coaster brakes

There is actually a whole ongoing battle on the subject of disc/no-disc, but as an R&D engineer I have yet to see any convincing data for the pro or con camps, other than the usual model specific issues one would expect to occur. Lots of hearsay, of course.
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Old 01-16-21, 11:25 AM
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Lower cost, excellent alternatives are as follows (I still might miss something, so please forgive me):

Zizzo folding bikes: ZiZZO folding bicycle | Lightest folding bike | Max load 300 lbs

Origami folding bikes: Lightweight Folding Bicycle & Folding Travel Bike for Sale (origamibicycles.com)

DownTube folding bikes: Downtube Folding Bikes with suspension & carbon belt drives

These are just 3 alternatives, all providing cost effective bikes, and great customer service. The Origami and DownTube bikes have their owners as members of the forum.
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Old 01-16-21, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by chris1234 View Post
So I am looking for my first folding bike. Mainly for use on weekend trips and domestic vacations - so taking a train somewhere and then cycling (I have a Cross / Hybrid bike for day to day in the city. I'm living in Tokyo - so for 20 inch bikes (discounting Brompton) I was looking at Tern or Dahon (because of good availability to try in local shops, reasonable prices and good model range - Birdy or BikeFriday are a bit too expensive).
BTW, I read train companies in Japan are pretty strict when it comes to the size of bikes, hence the popular rinkô bikes. So you might want to double-check on its size folded. For that reason, 16" wheels (305mm; Brompton uses 349) might be a good idea.

Since it'll be used mostly in urban settings, if available, I would choose one with an internal gear hub instead of a derailleur.

Check out Dahon's K3, and its 14" wheels and… derailleur — At 84,150JPY (~USD$850), it's within your budget.: The 2021 model has a lug, so a Brompton bag can be used with the Minimod adapter:

Last edited by Winfried; 01-16-21 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 01-16-21, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Since it'll be used mostly in urban settings, if available, I would choose one with an internal gear hub instead of a derailleur.

Check out Dahon's K3,
For a 14" wheel bike with an internal gear hub, the Dahon Dove i3. The Dahon Curve D7 has 16" (ISO 305mm) wheels and a wider range 7-speed derailleur.

The 2021 model has a lug, so a Brompton bag can be used with the Minimod adapter...
Or you can use the KlickFix mount and any of their racks and bags directly with the Dahon front lugs - no adapter necessary.

https://klickfix.com/en/products/detail/variants/0211R
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Old 01-17-21, 05:00 AM
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However, the Dove i3 has no lug, although a fork-based solution is available.

The Curve might be bigger (Check train operators' requirements for folded bikes).

Klickfix takes less weight (max 7kg vs. Brompton 10kg), there are more bags for the Brompton, and (I find they) are more convenient.

Too bad the K3 doesn't come with a gear hub + chain protection.
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Old 01-22-21, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the shop suggestions in Tokyo - I have been to Ys Shinjuku (the ebike / folding bike dedicated shop - is the Ueno shop even better?).

Big question on bike shops in Tokyo (or around) - where can I get an actual decent test ride? Ys only have very few test drive models, I went to Asahi Bicycle and they let you ride it outside for about 50 metres. For me I would like a 5/10 minute ride so I can determine the fit would work and also to check how the different models and tyre thicknesses respond to uneven road / pavement surfaces.

Is there anywhere in Tokyo like that or just outside Tokyo - I heard Hasirin in Kashiwa is good - but quite a trek (1.5 hours).

'm considering going there as they have a great number of models I could test drive - though assuming I find something I like I would feel obliged to make the purchase there, which may make going back for maintenance in future a bit of a chore.

Wonder if any alternatives closer to Tokyo.
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Old 01-22-21, 11:19 PM
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This is the page of Y's Ueno. I am not sure about riding at Y's. Also, I do not know how your Japanese is, but at Y's Ueno it may be hard to find someone speaking English. At Loro Slow they will let you ride and nearly everybody speaks decent English. However, I do not think they have Dahon or Tern. Loro may give you a package deal when you buy accessories together with the bike.
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Old 01-26-21, 05:12 PM
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Just bought a 2009 Dahon MU SL, original MSRP is $1500, bought for $200, a super light 19lb 20" folding bike, and the thing is practically new... Definitely look for used Folding bike and you can get way better value.

I bought a brand new Dahon Vybe D7 last year for $480, and had to sell it last month for $350.

As soon as the bike leaves the lot, it depreciates... The exception would be Bromptons, as they retain value exceptionally well over the long run if that's what you are after. Its worth investing new.
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