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Downtube folding bike

Old 09-16-10, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by puppypilgrim
Are Downtube Minis still being made and sold?
No, he isn't doing the mini any longer. Also, sadly, he may not do any 8H's either. Seems he had trouble selling the last shipment, and now the hub prices have skyrocketed. Said he'll have the Nova, 9, and 9FS as regulars in his stable. Kinda sucks,b/c I had my heart set on two 8H's. I really wanted that IGH. Someone suggested swapping out the cassette on a 9 for a hub, but I don't know if that's even possible. Maybe I'll just go with the 9. Not sure I really need all that rear suspension in NYC.
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Old 09-16-10, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cliffdweller
Someone suggested swapping out the cassette on a 9 for a hub, but I don't know if that's even possible.
It is possible but you would have to have the rear wheel rebuilt with the internally-geared hub and use a chain tensioner b/c of the vertical dropouts. I suspect you would need a new shifter as well. So while it can be done, it wouldn't be cheap.
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Old 09-17-10, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cliffdweller
No, he isn't doing the mini any longer. Also, sadly, he may not do any 8H's either. Seems he had trouble selling the last shipment, and now the hub prices have skyrocketed. Said he'll have the Nova, 9, and 9FS as regulars in his stable. Kinda sucks,b/c I had my heart set on two 8H's. I really wanted that IGH. Someone suggested swapping out the cassette on a 9 for a hub, but I don't know if that's even possible. Maybe I'll just go with the 9. Not sure I really need all that rear suspension in NYC.
I have an 8FS and I ride the NYC Manhattan street daily, I find myself standing up on the pedal (using my knee as the suspension) often on the bumpiest ride, and I also find myself bouncing up and down during my hardest pedaling, which is kind of annoying.
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Old 09-17-10, 07:47 AM
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Thank you for the firsthand experience. I've been scouring the streets hoping to spot a DT but so far no luck. I figured that suspension was unnecessary here. What tires are you running on? Also, I had concerns about the durability of that suspension configuration. It looks like it's begging to go out of alignment or worse. What's been your experience with maintenance on your bike?
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Old 09-17-10, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JosephLMonti
It is possible but you would have to have the rear wheel rebuilt with the internally-geared hub and use a chain tensioner b/c of the vertical dropouts. I suspect you would need a new shifter as well. So while it can be done, it wouldn't be cheap.
Thanks for confirming that. It sounded like a lot of trouble and expense.
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Old 09-17-10, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cliffdweller
Thank you for the firsthand experience. I've been scouring the streets hoping to spot a DT but so far no luck. I figured that suspension was unnecessary here. What tires are you running on? Also, I had concerns about the durability of that suspension configuration. It looks like it's begging to go out of alignment or worse. What's been your experience with maintenance on your bike?
I'm still a new commuter myself, and I too have been trying to spot a DT in the city, so far I've ran into one single DT Nova I think once, that' it. It's NYC(more specifically Manhattan) and the largest % of folders I've seen are Dahons, all kinds of them, I've also ran into quite a few Bromptons as well. People got $ here and they aren't shy to show it.

My DT 8FS is a 2008 second hand bike, so far maintenance has been just a quick wipe down and lube up, nothing is done to the front and rear suspension since they work the way they're suppose to work and although I wish I can tighten them up a bit I don't think I've got the option. I'm in the process of some minor upgrades, mainly to make it shift better. I do get quite a bit of flats from broken beer bottles since I ride the street pre-dawn before the Sanitation Dept.'s daily sweeper truck. So I'm getting some new tires as well(Schwalbe Marathons) that can pump up to 100psi and withstand better than the Kendas that came with the bike.

If you're in city, come to the "ride to support the East River Greenway" on 9/26 https://eastrivergreenway.org/2010/08...iver-greenway/ I'll let you test ride my 8FS on the crappiest Greenway Manhattan has to offer.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:00 AM
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Wow, I agree about the Dahon contingency in NYC. Dahons are like Starbucks and iPhones. They're everywhere, can't be avoided. They may not be the best choice but their ubiquity gives them an advantage. I can't relate to the Brompton crowd at all. Having said all that I'm leaning toward a Dahon after all. Most of the LBS carry them and work on them, and there are deals to be had from time to time.

I actually live on the East side and frequent the Grayway quite a lot. I'll probably ride there and in Carl Schurz park often. Maybe I'll check out that event on the 26th.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:10 AM
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Yan has really scaled down his line in the last year from the glory days when he had six models with 16" and 20" wheels, IGHs and cassettes, and full suspension, half suspension, and no suspension. Right now all he's selling is the Nova. I hope this doesn't mean he's planning on shuttering the business.
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Old 09-18-10, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cliffdweller
Wow, I agree about the Dahon contingency in NYC. Dahons are like Starbucks and iPhones. They're everywhere, can't be avoided. They may not be the best choice but their ubiquity gives them an advantage. I can't relate to the Brompton crowd at all. Having said all that I'm leaning toward a Dahon after all. Most of the LBS carry them and work on them, and there are deals to be had from time to time.

I actually live on the East side and frequent the Grayway quite a lot. I'll probably ride there and in Carl Schurz park often. Maybe I'll check out that event on the 26th.
LOL, Starbucks and iPhones, you definitely hit bulls eye on that one!! I live on the east side as well and the "gray(sometimes brownish)way", I ride the south ferry to 34th St. section. Having experience for the first time the Hudson GREENway last week, I'm sick in my stomach by how the city allocate funding. East River is as much a NYC water front as the Hudson.

I think Dahons are cool, I spent days on Craigslist and Ebay looking for a used Dahon and someone always beats me to it.
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Old 09-18-10, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Urbanis
I hope this doesn't mean he's planning on shuttering the business.
According to his posts on the Downtube bulletin board, he just got a shipment of the 9fs and 9 models in and should be selling them any day now.
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Old 09-18-10, 09:28 PM
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I was at Carl Schurz Park today and talked to the owner of a Mariner D7. There's nothing like seeing the bike out in the environment. You really can't get a sense of proportion in the shop or from photos. It's a much more substantial feeling and looking machine than I would have imagined, yet it truly is lightweight. (I wonder how it compares to the Speed D7 since they use different material (aluminum versus steel alloy). I'm leaning heavily toward this Mariner now. The man I met uses his to commute to Midtown every day. I'd probably put an equivalent amount of use on mine in terms of distance and frequency of riding.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:22 PM
  #1862  
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Hi Yan,

Ive got a FS9 for travelling, but its located in UK (I live in Hamburg, Germany). So my problem is: does the Carradice Limpet front roller system fit on that bike?
I dont know about the correct place of the velcro straps on the bags for fitting on the suspension forks (forks to short / interfear with the breaks).
I have had the bags fitted on my Bike Friday New World Tourist for a test ride - no problem at all.
So I intend to use the Carradice Camper Longflap saddlebag as well on the FS9, tackling the canal path from Birmingham to London in October (Grand Union Canal cycling path).

Would be great to have an answer from you, may be giving me the measuring of the front fork (in case you dont know about using the Limpet system).

Kind regards

Tilman
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Old 09-28-10, 12:20 AM
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Hi Tilman

I'm the European sales partner for Downtube. I'm not familiar with the system, (and I doubt Yan will be either) but if you can tell me what measurements you need, I'll be happy to take them off my own 9FS. I have an 07, and an 09 with the Zoom fork. Let me know what fork you have, and what measurements you need, and I'll sort them out.
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Old 09-28-10, 05:55 AM
  #1864  
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Sounds great - thank you for reply! I will take the FS9 09 with the zoom fork and need the front wheel axle to the top of fork measurement, esp. the space without interruption from brake bridge. That seems to me quite short, so Im fearing that the double velcro strap will be in the wrong place (you cannot move it on the bag).
the bag system is from www.carradice.co.uk and you will find it by searching for Carradice Limpet front rollers - so you will be able to see the problem better, as I may do it in that description. https://www.wallbike.com/carradice/limpet.html
Next question would be for looking after a solution for having mudguards fitted on the bike. I know, ther are no eyelets or other fixing points, but it would be great to know, if someone had fixed mudguards, may be on a bit curious way. Bike Friday does fix the mudguards with using just one screw in the centre - would that be an idea for Downtube? I want to takle down the Grand Union Canal path from Birmingham towards London in mid of October and Im expecting some rain and muddy sections on the way (its about 150 mls to London). So it would be great to have a solution for that problem as well.

Best regards
Tilman
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Old 09-28-10, 07:03 AM
  #1865  
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Tilfold,
I fitted some fenders/mudguards on my FS DT. Here's my experience:

https://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...uspension.html
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Old 09-28-10, 04:20 PM
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I'll be back and able to measure on Thursday, and will post then. There's no perfect solution to mudguards, but ShinyBiker's post sums it up well. The other option to the Freddy Fenders he used are Dahon fenders, which are apparently very good.
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Old 09-29-10, 03:11 AM
  #1867  
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Thank you for information, ShinyBiker! I will try to get some Dahon mudguards in Birmingham and want to fix them in the way you did by using cable ties or velcros.
The Carradice bags might prevent me a bit from mud as well, I hope.
Tell you about my experiences when coming back to Germany..
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Old 09-29-10, 08:13 AM
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After checking out Yan's new pix, I spotted the new hubs looked disc compatible... Yan confirmed it. All 9FS Downtubes are disc brake ready, woot!

EDIT: I didn't realize the 2009's front hub was a disc mount, but both front and back are now.

Last edited by Klaw; 09-29-10 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 09-29-10, 08:50 AM
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Yes, and they all have rack mounts, too, which are entirely on the swing arm, so the articulation between the rear wheel and the main frame is not an issue. Hurrah for progress!
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Old 09-30-10, 05:02 PM
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I have a chance to buy a DT 9fs, 2007 vintage. I wonder if anyone has any feedback on that particular year for this bike. As I recall, those bikes don't have a way to mount a rack or mudguards, and I seem to remember issues with the finish on them.

Last edited by cliffdweller; 09-30-10 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Adding new information.
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Old 10-01-10, 10:15 AM
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cliffdweller,
See my post above on how I fitted mudguards. You can add a rack, but you have to be creative. See this pix below on how this guy did it:
https://www.downtube.com/Folding_Bike....php?4,file=23
I have a 09 FS and the paint has a tendency to chip easily. I'm fairly sure earlier models are the same. Kinda problematic if you fold it frequently as contact points seem to take the greatest impact.
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Old 10-01-10, 11:14 AM
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Thanks, Shiny. I get the sense from reading other posts about these bikes is people get them then systematically upgrade all the components (shifters, brakes, derailler, etc.) Did you find that necessary, or is it just that folks like to tweak their component sets? In other words, am I better off getting a later model with more upscale components or can the parts on the 07 serve me well enough? I'm obviously thinking here in terms of cost effectiveness. Two hundred for a used bike is only good if you aren't dropping a like amount doing upgrades.

Last edited by cliffdweller; 10-01-10 at 11:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-01-10, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cliffdweller
Thanks, Shiny. I get the sense from reading other posts about these bikes is people get them then systematically upgrade all the components (shifters, brakes, derailler, etc.) Did you find that necessary, or is it just that folks like to tweak their component sets? In other words, am I better off getting a later model with more upscale components or can the parts on the 07 serve me well enough? I'm obviously thinking here in terms of cost effectiveness. Two hundred for a used bike is only good if you aren't dropping a like amount doing upgrades.
It depends. I personally find that the only thing that is a must-do upgrade to a FS is the twist shifter (at least on mine). My stock Sunrace M90 rear derailleur is apparently high quality. If you get a low range or mid range shimano or SRAM attack shifter that matches, you'll improve your shifting tremendously. I've seen people swap out the rear derailleur with short cage one too; I guess they're afraid that the low hanging cage can rub against the road when leaning.

Other things are replaceable as you go, IMHO. The rims could wear down (hey, get a new lighter rim!). Kool stop pads, BB, stainless bolts and bits (most metal parts will rust). The frame, the bones of the bike, is really solid and lightweight.
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Old 10-06-10, 07:08 AM
  #1874  
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Originally Posted by tilfold
Sounds great - thank you for reply! I will take the FS9 09 with the zoom fork and need the front wheel axle to the top of fork measurement, esp. the space without interruption from brake bridge. That seems to me quite short, so Im fearing that the double velcro strap will be in the wrong place (you cannot move it on the bag).
the bag system is from www.carradice.co.uk and you will find it by searching for Carradice Limpet front rollers - so you will be able to see the problem better, as I may do it in that description. https://www.wallbike.com/carradice/limpet.html
Next question would be for looking after a solution for having mudguards fitted on the bike. I know, ther are no eyelets or other fixing points, but it would be great to know, if someone had fixed mudguards, may be on a bit curious way. Bike Friday does fix the mudguards with using just one screw in the centre - would that be an idea for Downtube? I want to takle down the Grand Union Canal path from Birmingham towards London in mid of October and Im expecting some rain and muddy sections on the way (its about 150 mls to London). So it would be great to have a solution for that problem as well.

Best regards
Tilman
I hope this is the measurement you're looking for. I went from the spindle to the top of the static part of the fork, and it's 260mm approx. See pic below:

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Old 03-13-11, 12:49 AM
  #1875  
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Has anybody serviced the frame hinge on their Downtube?

The winter road salt has finally started to take it's toll and my frame hinge is rather stiff (requiring enough muscle to open/close that I'm afraid I might taco a wheel). I took the bottom/top bolts off the hinge, but even with them completely off it's still just as stiff and there doesn't appear to be any way to further disassemble it.

Last edited by chucky; 03-13-11 at 01:14 AM.
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