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Dahon vs. Zizzo

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Dahon vs. Zizzo

Old 02-11-24, 12:04 PM
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Dahon vs. Zizzo

The last bike I purchased was over 15 years ago and I looking for a folding bike to get back into riding.

I am looking for folding bike for recreational exercise. The bike will be used mostly on the urban road, but I don’t mind if I can take it off road on few occasions.

Requirements of the bike would include
  • Light as possible for travel
  • A rack for storage
  • Under $1,000
  • Amazon or local delivery in Canada
Through my research I have narrowed the bikes to the following:
  • Zizzo Forte 2023
  • Dahon Mariner D8
Both of these bikes have similar specs.

Zizzo is cheaper and heavier load than the Dahon.

Dahon has a longer reputation than the Zizzo.

I am looking for feedback to which bike to get or you have any suggestions for another model.
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Old 02-11-24, 03:46 PM
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If you want light, why not the Zizzo Liberte? They claim it's about six pounds lighter than the Forte.
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Old 02-11-24, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy
If you want light, why not the Zizzo Liberte? They claim it's about six pounds lighter than the Forte.
Zizzo Liberte doesn't have a rack for storage.
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Old 02-12-24, 12:39 AM
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I have a Dahon. Used to be a good deal. Their prices have *skyrocketed* during the pandemic. What used to be $450 is now $1000.

The Zizzos look great, and the Liberte in particular has a better quality crankset than the Dahons, and 1/3-1/2 the price, depending if on sale.

The racks that come with either Dahon or Zizzo are nearly useless, you can bungee a small load on top, they are too low and too far forward to hold full-size panniers. If you want that ability, buy and fit a standard height rear rack, and I recommend one with a "full width" top platform to hold a trunk bag, not a narrower "streamliner', and I also recommend one with a "2nd tier" to hold the panniers a bit below the top, this makes it a lot easier to put both panniers and trunk bag on and off; but you will need: a) A rack that hangs the panniers completely behind the rear axle, the front of the pannier being even with the axle, for sufficient pedaling heel clearance on a bike with chainstays this short, and b) Rack stays to connect the rack to the seatstay braze-ons, that are extra-super-long, much longer than come with racks; Jandd makes them, as well as another rack or accessory maker that I can't recall the name of right now.

Decide if disc brakes are important; Lots of long descents, they may be. 20" wheels heat up quicker and thus pop spokes due to rim diameter expansion, and wear rim sidewalls quicket than bigger wheels. I can't recall if Zizzo makes a disc bike, but the Origami Bull is one example that does, might still be on sale for $500 (down from $700).

If you need mountain low gearing for ascents, having a folder with a front derailleur braze-on is a big plus, to mount a double crankset if you want. It's more difficult with an adaptor, I've done it, but it required a lot of "customizing", beyond the ability of many. I run a 50/34 double with 11-30 cassette that gives me 21-85 gear inches. That's almost as much range as a 52/42/30 triple. Many on here have instead mounted a huge 1X cassette with a huge low sprocket, it can be done, but rear derailleur clearance to ground is reduced a lot, like to marginal, as well as lateral clearance to tire if running wider tires.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-12-24 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
...Many on here have instead mounted a huge 1X cassette with a huge low sprocket, it can be done, but rear derailleur clearance to ground is reduced a lot, like to marginal, as well as lateral clearance to tire if running wider tires.
Well, it really depends, Grouch. I wouldn't be so categorical. Some have paraded RD as virtual grappling hooks sadly trailing their rigs while another has shown a worst case scenario of no less than 5cm of ground clearance, with no chain or RD tire rub. Not all large cogset 1x builds are the same, and some builders are more measured and savvy than others, achieving credible, transparent results.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 02-12-24 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Well, it really depends, Grouch. I wouldn't be so categorical. Some have paraded RD as virtual grappling hooks sadly trailing their rigs while another has shown a worst case scenario of no less than 5cm of ground clearance, with no chain or RD tire rub. Not all large cogset 1x builds are the same, and some builders are more measured and savvy than others, achieving credible, transparent results.
I agree. What I was trying to convey with my post, like the other comments, is, "This is something to be cautious about, which might otherwise be missed if you are a newbie, if it works for you, great." Definitely both are possible. Having a front derailleur braze-on makes that especially so, and you can always leave it unused, at zero penalty. Whereas, having no FD braze-on, makes it a heavier lift, if you decide to go that way (notably, with a FAT seat tube and further thickness added by FD clamped adaptor, derailleur could not go in far enough for the inner ring, I had to do mods that are beyond a newbie's ability).

I especially like the looks of that Origami Bull; Disc brakes, nice 36h 3X wheels, and comes with a FD braze-on, $500. That's one day's work and less than $100 in parts from being the bike I would want. Only concern is combo of disc brakes and QR axles.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-12-24 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I have a Dahon. Used to be a good deal. Their prices have *skyrocketed* during the pandemic. What used to be $450 is now $1000.
The racks that come with either Dahon or Zizzo are nearly useless, you can bungee a small load on top, they are too low and too far forward to hold full-size panniers. If you want that ability, buy and fit a standard height rear rack, and I recommend one with a "full width" top platform to hold a trunk bag, not a narrower "streamliner', and I also recommend one with a "2nd tier" to hold the panniers a bit below the top, this makes it a lot easier to put both panniers and trunk bag on and off; but you will need: a) A rack that hangs the panniers completely behind the rear axle, the front of the pannier being even with the axle, for sufficient pedaling heel clearance on a bike with chainstays this short, and b) Rack stays to connect the rack to the seatstay braze-ons, that are extra-super-long, much longer than come with racks; Jandd makes them, as well as another rack or accessory maker that I can't recall the name of right now.
I haven't thought about that. I may end up getting a bike back and front rack accessories. I am open to accessories recommendations.

I am not familiar with the brands, but I am looking for a bike with good quality.
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Old 02-12-24, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
I haven't thought about that. I may end up getting a bike back and front rack accessories. I am open to accessories recommendations.

I am not familiar with the brands, but I am looking for a bike with good quality.
Dahon used to be my bare minimum for quality; Chrome-moly steel (not cheaper "hi-ten(sile)"), nice frame welds, components at the low end of consumer range, in particular, a cheap crankset with steel chainring swaged onto an aluminum arm, cheap single wall rims, but at least good things like stainless steel spokes, and forged aluminum hubs, if not high quality; Dahons generally functioned well, *except* for their earlier rear ("compact") derailleur design, which functioned poorly, that was the first thing I replaced on my Dahon. The folders below Dahon at half their cost, were junkier, cheap steel hubs, perfectly reliable but heavier. Dahons were a good value proposition; a couple hundred dollars more, and a noticeably better bike.

That is no longer. As said before, Dahon's prices have shot up. So did all bikes during the pandemic. But now I see ones like the Zizzo Liberte, regular $470(?) I think, some here got on sale at Target for $300. I looked close at the photos, it has a much superior crankset, a hollowtech II style with superior bearings, nearly identical to the upgraded crank I put on my Dahon, in fact I wondered if that crank could just add an inner chainring to make it a double crank. I liked what I saw. At least in the photos, the welds look good. The Liberte is an aluminum frame, looks identical in design to Dahon's aluminum bikes, like the Mariner at almost $1000. Zizzo's other offerings, one comes with a rack but a cheaper crankset, I would go for the better crank as I would replace the rack anyway. They're a good deal, it appears to me. But at their list price, I would spend only about $30 more and get the Origami Bull (on sale now at $500), because I want my next bike to have disc brakes; I live in an area with steep hills and rain, and discs would be a plus, and also improve wheel durability. The Bull also has an aluminum frame, and a bit nicer rack, and a front derailleur mount, nice to have that, if you ever wanted to put a double crankset on it. The tires on the Bull are pretty wide, a plus for ride quality, but I don't know if you want the extra weight of that. I think Origami has other similar models with same features but more normal tire size, but you could also just replace the tires on the Bull if you want.

Those seem the best deals I have seen of late. I am not a shill for any seller, just my opinion. Both of the above are merely "bifold" 20", so can easily fit in a trunk or train car luggage area, but are not easy to carry when folded. In terms of form-factor, if you've folded and carried one, other brands are very similar. If you want a "frequent folder" for daily folds and multimode transport, you may desire a folder with smaller wheels and smaller fold, like a Brompton or clones (referred to as Brompnot, there is a recent thread about those), those have 16" wheels and a "trifold" frame that folds MUCH smaller than any bifold frame. If you're unfamiliar with either of those styles, you should handle one in person before buying online.

EDIT: "Light enough for travel." Details please; car, train, or flight?

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-12-24 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Those seem the best deals I have seen of late. I am not a shill for any seller, just my opinion. Both of the above are merely "bifold" 20", so can easily fit in a trunk or train car luggage area, but are not easy to carry when folded. In terms of form-factor, if you've folded and carried one, other brands are very similar. If you want a "frequent folder" for daily folds and multimode transport, you may desire a folder with smaller wheels and smaller fold, like a Brompton or clones (referred to as Brompnot, there is a recent thread about those), those have 16" wheels and a "trifold" frame that folds MUCH smaller than any bifold frame. If you're unfamiliar with either of those styles, you should handle one in person before buying online.

EDIT: "Light enough for travel." Details please; car, train, or flight?
Light enough for travel means able to store in a car or carry up a flight of stairs.

I am looking at the Zizzo Urbano, it is only 1 pound heavier than the Liberté. Urbano offers a wider saddle and wheels.

All the bike stores in Toronto doesn't sell the Zizzo or Dahon in person to get a good feel of it.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
Light enough for travel means able to store in a car or carry up a flight of stairs.

I am looking at the Zizzo Urbano, it is only 1 pound heavier than the Liberté. Urbano offers a wider saddle and wheels.

...
That's a breath of fresh air around here where the channel gurus tend to reduce "light enough for travel" narrowly to Brompton or the compromised Birdy.

I would not choose a bike on the basis of the width of the saddle. As for the wheels being wider, you mean the tires or the rims? If the former, again I would not choose a bike based on the stock tires.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 02-12-24 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 02-12-24, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
... I am not a shill for any seller...
Tread carefully, Grouch, lest JoeRemiBleu indict you for having a profit motive and running a bike business here. 😂😂😂
​​​​

Last edited by Ron Damon; 02-13-24 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 02-12-24, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
Light enough for travel means able to store in a car or carry up a flight of stairs.

I am looking at the Zizzo Urbano, it is only 1 pound heavier than the Liberté. Urbano offers a wider saddle and wheels.

All the bike stores in Toronto doesn't sell the Zizzo or Dahon in person to get a good feel of it.
Travel:
- Store in car, no problem, but you'll want to make sure it is not visible from outside when parked; Both bike theft and car burglary are way up, even in "nice" areas of town, thieves will break a window and steal the bike.
- Carry up stairs, not a problem, as long as you can lift 30 lbs with one hand. You can also find a sturdy strap and take some weight on your shoulder. If unfolded, you can at least use both hands, one lifting the frame just behind the seatpost, the other gripping the handlebar stem.
- If no flying, a bifold 20" should be fine. On paper, I think a 20" bifold, wheels off, seatpost out, and any tall rack unbolted and nested tight around the frame, should (I hope) pack small enough for the 62" combined girth max for free checked luggage on Southwest airlines. Many of the other airlines not do not charge extra for any bike, even a full size non-folder, but still charge standard checked bag fee, last I looked it was $35, but could have gone up.

Urbano: Looks nice, crank is better quality than typical Dahon, but is on taper-axle bottom bracket (like bikes for over 50 years), nothing wrong with it, I just really like the features of the "hollowtech II style" cranks like comes on the Liberte.

If any stores local to you that carry any 20" wheel folding bike whose frame looks like the Urbano, it should give you a pretty good feel, though may ride a bit worse if skinnier tires. But the general feel and folding form factor, should be very close.

While it sounds like you don't want to invest in a Brompton, it's still good to have all information; I'd recommend examining one at a dealer, and looking online, there appears to be a dealer in Toronto. There is a thread here regarding Brompton "clones", "Brompnot" is in the thread title, at much lower cost, I think one shown is available in Canada for about CD$700 if I recall correctly. (Many can be had for that in Asia, but shipping to north America is typically another $300.) You can also just look online to see a folded view of one, that says everything, and even though not any lighter (for the 6 speed), the reduced folded size does make it easier to carry.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-13-24 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 02-13-24, 06:31 PM
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The Zizzo Liberte' is the clear winner. That HollowTech style bottom bracket makes a world of difference when it comes to pedaling smoothness and efficiency.
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Old 02-14-24, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101
The Zizzo Liberte' is the clear winner. That HollowTech style bottom bracket makes a world of difference when it comes to pedaling smoothness and efficiency.
That's my feeling too. The external bearings on mine (hollowtech II style, not Liberte, but I think that exact same crank) have been noticeably smooth and durable, and readjust (to remove play), in 2 minutes. Tires are easier to change than a crank, although, my crank with bearings was $65 new (a steal IMO), and two tires, especially fatter ones, with tubes, can easily run that much (I think the buyer said they preferred the larger tires of a different model). The wrench to install the new crank bearings was $30 (I bought a 4-pattern wrench, planning for the future). I already had tools for taper bottom brackets.
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Old 02-14-24, 03:48 AM
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I am still looking into the differences between the Zizzo Urbano and Liberté.

Differences include difference seat (wider - Urbano vs. narrow - Liberté). How hard is it to replace the seat?

Also with tires (1.95" - Urbano vs. 1.5" Liberté).

Does having wider tires make is easier for travel?

Can I change the Liberté tires to a wider one - 1.95? Or do I have to replace the entire wheel (rim?) of the bike?

- If no flying, a bifold 20" should be fine. On paper, I think a 20" bifold, wheels off, seatpost out, and any tall rack unbolted and nested tight around the frame, should (I hope) pack small enough for the 62" combined girth max for free checked luggage on Southwest airlines. Many of the other airlines not do not charge extra for any bike, even a full size non-folder, but still charge standard checked bag fee, last I looked it was $35, but could have gone up.
Sorry, I am not familiar on what is bifold 20" is.

The Zizzo Liberte' is the clear winner. That HollowTech style bottom bracket makes a world of difference when it comes to pedaling smoothness and efficiency.
I am not familiar with the HollowTech style bottom bracket. What is the benefits of having a HollowTech style bottom bracket? Does the Urbano have this bracket as well? I can't tell with the pictures I have seen.

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Old 02-14-24, 04:41 AM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
I am still looking into the differences between the Zizzo Urbano and Liberté.

Differences include difference seat (wider - Urbano vs. narrow - Liberté). How hard is it to replace the seat?

Also with tires (1.95" - Urbano vs. 1.5" Liberté).

Does having wider tires make is easier for travel?

Can I change the Liberté tires to a wider one - 1.95? Or do I have to replace the entire wheel (rim?) of the bike?



Sorry, I am not familiar on what is bifold 20" is.



I am not familiar with the HollowTech style bottom bracket. What is the benefits of having a HollowTech style bottom bracket? Does the Urbano have this bracket as well? I can't tell with the pictures I have seen.
Seat is easy to change, 3 minutes.

Bottom bracket (BB):
- Very old style: square taper ends, separate BB axle, bearings (greased by hand), cups (outside bearing races). The most work to rebuilt (negative), but can be adjusted to remove slack as it wears (positive)
- Cartridge BB (square taper): Everything is one piece. You just screw in a replacement into the BB shell. More expensive, but save big on labor, it's a 5 minute replacement versus a couple hour job of disassembly, cleaning all of the above parts, greasing, putting back together, and adjusting. Only downside: Once there starts to be any slack in the bearings from wear (you can slightly wiggle crank arms laterally to feel it), there's no way to adjust out that play, you just live with it until too much for you and then replace the cartridge. Depending on how much you ride and how wet, this can be anywhere from annually to a couple years, to 10 years. Like I said, pretty easy replacement, but cheap cartridge BB are $30, pricey ones can double or triple that. NOTE: Some cartridge BBs are not square taper ends but are **proprietary design** (like Octalink) and fit only a limited number of cranksets, sometimes only one brand, if the design and patents are still fresh.
- Hollowtech II style (NEW! IMPROVED!): I'm skeptical on newer designs, many are just to force proprietary interfaces, but this design is a step forward. May have originally been Shimano proprietary but is now widely available as a generic; There is a hollow steel tube that constitutes the BB axle, that is permanently bonded to the right crankarm/spider. There are no "internal" bearings in the BB, it uses "external" bearings that are screwed into each side of the BB shell, fitting just between the shell and crank arms. BIG advantage there, the bearing balls are bigger and/or more of them, much smoother and more durable. After those are screwed in, you insert the right crank and axle, through both bearings to the other side, slide the left crank arm onto the splines, screw in the axle end cap to specified torque, then tighten the left arm clamp bolts. ADVANTAGES: Easy to disassemble in the field, you only need an allen wrench, and, when the bearings start to loosen, just loosen the left clamp, retorque the end cap, retighten the clamp bolts. Better. As in BETTER.

Tires (and possibly tubes) are easy to replace. Rims (wheels) may be exactly the same, that would be my bet, but best to verify. Wider tires (and deeper in height) give a more cushy ride, you can run them a bit lower in pressure, and are better if you ride on soil or gravel, won't sink in as much.

Bifold 20" means a folding bike with 20" wheels, that folds in HALF (bi=2). A Brompton is smaller for two reasons, a) 16 tires, and b) the frame is a trifold, it folds into 3 sections (2 folds). This results in a VERY SMALL folded size. You might comprehend this by pictures online, but better if you go to a bike shop with both 20" bifold and 16" trifold bikes to grasp this large difference. People have brought Bromptons as **carryon** on flights (suitably disguised in a bag).

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Old 02-14-24, 04:43 AM
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- Hollowtech II style (NEW! IMPROVED!): I'm skeptical on newer designs, many are
Are there any known cons/disadvantage with this style?
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Old 02-14-24, 04:59 AM
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Imo, ime, the advantages of HT2 over Square Taper (ST) BBs are:
  • Lighter
  • Easier, quicker to install/uninstall the crank
A cartridge ST BB can be quite smooth too.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 02-15-24 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 02-14-24, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
Are there any known cons/disadvantage with this style?
EDIT: Yes, mostly in that, with square-taper bottom brackets, you can get them in different lengths, to vary the spacing of the right crank to the bike frame. However, my Hollowtech II style (generic) came with the exact correct spacing. In fact, when I tried to space it out 4mm using spacer rings under the right bearing (due to space issue with front derailleur), the chainline was off, it was dropping the chain off the crank. Fixed derailleur issue, removed spacers, works perfect. Other than that (a non-problem)...

The only con I have seen, is not available in all styles. I prefer a "retro" (old) chainring pattern of 5 arms on 110mm Bold Circle Diameter (BCD). Hollowtech II first came on 5x130mm BCD road cranks (doubles, and triples), later, the Shimano-specific 4 bolt asymmetrical pattern (which I loathe). I currently run a double crank, 50/34 (they can now do 16 tooth difference), and 34 is too small to mount on 130mm BCD, it is a 110 BCD (a very old standard). Gives me almost as much range as a 52/42/30 old style road triple. But there is no inner 74mm bolt circle as on triples, which I would need if I want a low chainring smaller than 34T. Very hard to find. But if you find a crank that suits your needs in terms of chainrings, zero downside. By the way, my much-loved crank, was $65, bearings included, on amazon. Super deal, but no longer available there. I don't know if that nice crank on the Liberte, is 130mm or 110mm BCD. I would prefer 110mm, it might allow mounting a 34 inner. If 130mm, it might mount a 39 or larger inner ring. (Both by moving the chainring to the chainguard position on the outside, then add an inner ring, but this is only of value if you want to mount a front derailleur. That's just how I roll.) If you're curious, details on this thread:

Better gear ratio without changing the whole setup

I also prefer "road" cranks because they have a lower Q-factor, this is how far apart the two pedals are, laterally. Road cranks have straighter arms and lower Q, than mountain cranks which tend to have more outward bent arms and larger Q, to clear larger frame chainstay tubes.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-14-24 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 02-14-24, 11:01 AM
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I find hollowtech outboard bearings seem to wear out more quickly, especially on my mountain bike. Square taper cartridge bottom brackets seem to last forever, even cheap ones.
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Old 02-14-24, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by RZetlin
Are there any known cons/disadvantage with this style?
I know with traditional square taper bottom brackets you can get the chainline (for SS or IGH) spot on with different spindle lengths, which vary over a significant range. How is this done with hollow tube bottom brackets?
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Old 02-14-24, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
I know with traditional square taper bottom brackets you can get the chainline (for SS or IGH) spot on with different spindle lengths, which vary over a significant range. How is this done with hollow tube bottom brackets?
Yeah I mentioned the above. With hollowtech, not nearly as much variation allowed; I put 4mm of spacers under the right cup due to a FD interfrence issue, so on left, tube recessed 4mm more than design intent. Left arm came loose. I subsequently made mods to the FD, removed the spacers, and chainline was spot-on. I hadn't realized that most cranks are designed for a "standard" chainline; On my HT double, it's 43.5mm I think, to the center between the two rings.
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Old 02-14-24, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by seat_boy
I find hollowtech outboard bearings seem to wear out more quickly, especially on my mountain bike. Square taper cartridge bottom brackets seem to last forever, even cheap ones.
Hmm, interesting. The external bearings, structurally, are superior; Larger and/or more balls, and positioned closer to the crank arms, so more shear and less moment loads. My only guess about the above is a) on external, seals are larger, so longer circumference to leak, b) with the external bearing right against the crank arm hub, there may be grinding of dirt between the two, and c) with internal, both smaller seal, and it's recessed away from crank contact.
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Old 02-17-24, 08:37 AM
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Very interesting and useful information here. Notice the quantity and quality of the information I wish I had when looking at my first folder. Some disagreement possible but that’s why coffee, beer and card games are for.
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Old 02-17-24, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jfouellette
Very interesting and useful information here. Notice the quantity and quality of the information I wish I had when looking at my first folder. Some disagreement possible but that’s why coffee, beer and card games are for.
After using a 20" folder (Dahon Speed), very similar configuration to the Mariner and Zizzo, for many years now, my conclusions are:
- Very happy with this size bike as my townie, as it completely replaces a full size bike (on pavement), I can fit touring size racks and panniers, has reasonable ride on 20"x1.75" tires, and has 400% gear range, the lower 2/3 range of a typical touring bike (after fitting a 2X crank) with all-external derailleur gearing. But it's not a frequent folder, and is cumbersome to carry when folded.
- If I needed a frequent folder, it would have to be a Brompton or clone, the folded package size is unbeatable. If I travel much without touring loads, I may want to get one.

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