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Folding Bike choices

Old 01-14-21, 08:30 AM
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chris1234
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Folding Bike choices

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'm living in Tokyo and looking for 20 inch bikes, budget I prefer upto $1000 but could go slightly higher. My height is 183 cm and weight 75KG. Probably leaning to 451 wheels rather than 406 for better handling and performance. Big factor for me is heaving a height adjustable handle post (its not always easy to find which ones do).

Will probably chose Tern or Dahon but wanted some advice on specific models (it seems some models are Japan specific).
So to the bikes I was considering (cant post links yet unfortunately, but can see these bikes on Dahon / Tern japan websites).

Tern Verge D9 - seems a good match, though this model is not sold locally so difficult to try first in local bike shop, think this has adjustable handlepost

Tern Verge N8 2021 - Japanese only model, tried and really liked it but the handlepost is not adjustable and too low for me.

Tern Verge P10 2021 - Bit overbudget but nice upgrade .Believe handle height adjustable though.

Dahon Speed Falco 2021 - Not in stores yet to try, 451 wheels, Chromoly steel but still reasonable weight. $100 cheaper than other options, seems not adjustable handle post though

Dahon Deftar 2021 - 405 wheels, again not in stores yet. Lightweight - 9.9 KG so easy to carry, Again seems handpost cant be adjusted,

Also there are a few 2020 sale models - Dahon MU D9 and Vitesse D8 - going for around $800 and $750.Cant find the full spec of the Vitesse but the MU D9 looks good. Wonder which is better between these two sale models?

Lastly I see a secondhand very lightly used 1 year old Birdy air - wonder peoples opinion on those? Its advertised nearly RRP ($2000), but suspect I could haggle down significantly.
Would be great to get any advice. Looking to be able to go to reasonably / slightly hilly areas, and also be comfortable to ride 40 / 50 KM in one day, which I think these can all do.

Thanks
Chris
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Old 01-14-21, 09:07 AM
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Welcome to this wonderful bike world! Don’t get hung up on components that can be upgraded too much. For the little time you will be on it, you might not find a non adjustable handle post that bad. Look to the frame and wheels as points to not skimp on.

Eager er to see what you choose and read others advice too! Dahon is my main ride but have mini velo too plus a soon Brompton owner.
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Old 01-17-21, 05:22 AM
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If you are using it also on public transport (i.e. you need to transport it over the stairs), in my opinion your number one criteria of differentiation should be the weight :-)
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Old 01-17-21, 10:39 AM
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Since you are in Japan, you also have to have a size easy to cover, which is required, as you know already.
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Old 01-22-21, 07:37 PM
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chris1234
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Got it - does anybody happen to know any good bike shops in / near central Tokyo that allow reasonable (5+ minutes) test drives.
Nearly everywhere in central Tokyo will only allow a 50 meter cycle at best and even that is rare, and the few shops with demo models seem to generally only have brompton or folding ebike as test models.

I heard Hasirin in Kashiwa is good - but its a 1.5 hour one way trip for me.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:01 AM
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Sorry, no help here. I grew up on Okinawa, far away from Tokyo. There are members here who seem to be current with Japanese bikeshops. Goggle will also give you a list to try.
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Old 01-24-21, 11:53 PM
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If you are looking to upgrade, make sure you get a model with quick-release wheels and modern cartridge bottom brackets for ease of service.
Any 8-9 speed bike from these companies will be perfectly fine for any kind of city commute, it all comes down to budget.
8/9 speed can easily be upgrade to 10 speed cassette/derailleur and shifter if you decide to do later (but not 7 speed)
To upgrade to 11 speed, however, you'll need an 11 speed specific 20" wheel (not cheap)

I used to ride a Dahon Vybe D7 (27lb), now I have a Dahon Mu SL (19lb) and I'd say if budget allows, go lighter and it will be much much easier to carry on the train or public transit.
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Old 02-04-21, 06:41 PM
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So after going to Loro Cycles in Setagaya (folding bike specialist shop which has 34 demonstration bikes available for a decent test ride) I decided to go with the Tern Verge N8.

I rode quite a few bikes - Birdy Classic, Birdy Standard, Tern N8 and P10 and Dahon Speed Falco.
Despite the Birdy's suspension I thought the Dahon had the best ride quality - probably due to the Chromoly steel and larger 451 wheels. I probably would have got the Dahon but fit wise (handlestem height and angle) I just could not get comfortable when adjusting saddle to fit me.
I was very surprised to notice the difference on the Dahon with its Chromoly frame, normally I am not that sensitive so wouldn't tell much of a difference but ride was definitely more comfortable.

Both Birdy's also rode well - but the Birdy Classic had no handlepost adjustment and was far too low for me when saddle adjusted (I wonder if this was a Japanese fit model or standard), Birdy Standard has adjustability so I could get a good fit but was very pricy.
As for the Tern's both rode very well still and fit wise the N8 was comfortable for me and lighter than Dahon (though the P10 had better adjustability), but decided that the N8 would be enough, as better priced and was specced well enough for me.

Pick it up at the weekend hopefully, so will report back in the future.
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Old 02-05-21, 03:17 AM
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I would not focus so much on 406/451 wheel. ultimately, you have been talking about comfort. To achieve this, you need volume i.e. larger tyre.

A 451 is usually fitted with a road orientated tyre; something like 28-451 (1.1*x20) which as the same size as a 406 fitted with a 2" tyre 50-406. So for comfort, you need the biggest tyre that the frame will accept and remember the extra clearance if you want fenders.

Chromoly is always more comfortable that aluminium, many tourers will tell you they find them more comfortable but they can be heavier.

reading about your test ride summary, it seems you need a stem like the Syntace VRO Stem. I have one which allows the handle bar to be further and the angle to be adjusted so that my back doesn't hurt.


Now, looking at the specs on Dahon Japan, the speed is really set up for "speed" with 20x1-1/8, ( 28-451) which is a road racing profile size. The frame comes with Braze On mount which is good as you can upgrade the bike for 1x8 to 2x9 (like the vitesse) or 2x10 very easily.
The MuD9 is barely lighter than the speed so, not important. it comes with 1.75x20 (45x406) which is comfortable and looking at the picture, these rims and frame will take 50-406 (classic bmx tyre). It run 1x9 and can be upgraded to 1x10. As it does not come readily with brase on, it is not as easy to convert to 2x9 or 2x10 (doable with a litepro bracket - see my helios thread).

As I said to Cruise on "Two Wheel Cruise", I like Dahon over the other brands because they don't seem to brake like tern and they are simple and use general bike MTB parts making servicing and supply relatively easy. I love Bromptons but, they use their own specific parts so if it brakes, you cannot just go to any shop to get the bits. with Dahon, you can go and get a shimano derailler (for example) in most bike place and you're on your way.
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Old 02-05-21, 03:24 AM
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The choice and availability of tires in ETRTO451 is limited !

There is no real benefit for choosing ETRTO451 because there are the same road race tires in 28x406 while there are very few wide tires in ETRTO451.
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Old 02-05-21, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe View Post
The choice and availability of tires in ETRTO451 is limited !

There is no real benefit for choosing ETRTO451 because there are the same road race tires in 28x406 while there are very few wide tires in ETRTO451.
exactly
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Old 02-05-21, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Fentuz View Post
Chromoly is always more comfortable that aluminium, many tourers will tell you they find them more comfortable but they can be heavier.
I normally hated alu-framed bikes, but on an occasion I rented one that was hydroformed and found it surprisingly pleasant. My expectation now is that the hydroforming can mitigate the typical harshness of alu. Durability issues will still be there but most people get bikes with only few year horizon in mind.
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Old 02-08-21, 03:34 AM
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[QUOTE=lifanus;21893506]If you are looking to upgrade, make sure you get a model with quick-release wheels and modern cartridge bottom brackets for ease of service.
Any 8-9 speed bike from these companies will be perfectly fine for any kind of city commute, it all comes down to budget.
8/9 speed can easily be upgrade to 10 speed cassette/derailleur and shifter if you decide to do later (but not 7 speed)
To upgrade to 11 speed, however, you'll need an 11 speed specific 20" wheel (not cheap)


I think you can go to 11 speed with Shimano mountain bike groupsets, and the triggers work well with flat bars. I went from a 9 speed SRAM to 11 speed Shimano XT without changing the hub. Not with road cassettes though.
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Old 02-11-21, 12:52 AM
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There are many considerations to keep in mind when you’re choosing best budget hybrid folding bikes.
  • SCHWINN 20-INCH LOOP FOLDING BIKE
  • FOLDING MOUNTAIN BIKE 26 INCH
  • TERN VEKTRON D8 FOLDING ELECTRIC BIKE
Here are top 3 choices you can select as your first bike.
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Old 02-11-21, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by walterpeter946 View Post
There are many considerations to keep in mind when you’re choosing best budget hybrid folding bikes.
  • SCHWINN 20-INCH LOOP FOLDING BIKE
  • FOLDING MOUNTAIN BIKE 26 INCH
  • TERN VEKTRON D8 FOLDING ELECTRIC BIKE
Here are top 3 choices you can select as your first bike.
?Page that is actually paid advertising dressed as independent review, and the posts steering to the pages for more traffic?
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Old 02-11-21, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Falconista View Post

I think you can go to 11 speed with Shimano mountain bike groupsets, and the triggers work well with flat bars. I went from a 9 speed SRAM to 11 speed Shimano XT without changing the hub. Not with road cassettes though.
That's interesting. I want to put 11 speed on my jetsteam but the wheels officially take 8 to 10 gears
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Old 02-15-21, 11:55 AM
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i have a dahon espresso 26" wheels.

Dahon Espresso D21 electric conversion project.

Last edited by kentpaul; 02-15-21 at 11:59 AM.
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