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Availability of 16 inch wheel folders in USA?

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Availability of 16 inch wheel folders in USA?

Old 02-20-24, 02:58 PM
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Availability of 16 inch wheel folders in USA?

hi all. just wondering. besides origami, citizens and downtube. not counting brompton of course, are there any other sellers of 16 inch wheel folders in the usa. ? i had a dahon da once upon a time that was a blast, i got it for cheap on cl, but gave it up to a relative to use at school, which was promptly stolen from them. so they say. but thats another story. anyway, i've looked at the origami lotus at 599 and citizens toyoko i think it is for 389 with free shipping. the toyoko is a beast tho. at around 32 lbs, i like the lotus but its a bit more than i want to spend, so i was just wondering if there are any more alternatives that i do not currently know about here in the usa. i envy the folks in asia for their choices of 16 inch folders. currently i have a 20 inch which is fine. but would like to add a 16 inch as i enjoyed that ride , even tho some websites i looked at said it was only for 2-3 mile rides. again , another debate for another day. any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
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Old 02-20-24, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
...i had a dahon da once upon a time that was a blast
...
i envy the folks in asia for their choices of 16 inch folders... but would like to add a 16 inch as i enjoyed that ride...
I am not here to answer your question, sorry, but I am here to support and add to that sentiment. Bikes with 16" (305) wheels are a hoot to ride, nimble, spritely and agile like no other, plus they are very unique, with a high X factor and quirky appeal. And the greater width and profile height as well as the lower tire pressure of the ETRTO305 size takes the edge off from road imperfections and makes for an even stronger wheel.

I am also here to add to your envy...




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Good luck with your search.

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Old 02-20-24, 04:02 PM
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Dahon offers a wide variety of 16ers (both 305 and 349) in various markets of the world, and in the past has offered some well-loved and/or quirky 16s in North America. Alas, these days N.A. offerings have dwindled down to just the K3+, retailed at an eye-popping $1499 (but currently discounted to $999).

BikeFriday offers the pakit. The single-speed model starts at $1795 (and just like that, the K3+ seems reasonable).

The Chedech, Iruka and the Hummingbird are all available for international ordering (and just like that, the pakit seems reasonable).

There's the Jcat - and now you know as much about the Jcat as I do.

There may or may not be the Burke 16.
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Old 02-20-24, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
...would like to add a 16 inch as i enjoyed that ride , even tho some websites i looked at said it was only for 2-3 mile rides.
Several riders used their 16" wheel bikes for the 1200km (740 miles) Paris-Brest-Paris.
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Old 02-20-24, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
... would like to add a 16 inch as i enjoyed that ride , even tho some websites i looked at said it was only for 2-3 mile rides
...
It really does depend on what you and your bike are made of, don't it? Here I was just last on a tour of Bali on a 16" (305) rig.


Open tour in Google Earth
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Old 02-20-24, 05:29 PM
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The Origami Lotus is available in the USA (cromomoly steel frame, 9 speeds, hydraulic disk brakes, around 25lbs): https://www.origamibicycles.com/shop/p/lotus


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Old 02-20-24, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
hi all. just wondering. besides origami, citizens and downtube. not counting brompton of course, are there any other sellers of 16 inch wheel folders in the usa. ? i had a dahon da once upon a time that was a blast, i got it for cheap on cl, but gave it up to a relative to use at school, which was promptly stolen from them. so they say. but thats another story. anyway, i've looked at the origami lotus at 599 and citizens toyoko i think it is for 389 with free shipping. the toyoko is a beast tho. at around 32 lbs, i like the lotus but its a bit more than i want to spend, so i was just wondering if there are any more alternatives that i do not currently know about here in the usa. i envy the folks in asia for their choices of 16 inch folders. currently i have a 20 inch which is fine. but would like to add a 16 inch as i enjoyed that ride , even tho some websites i looked at said it was only for 2-3 mile rides. again , another debate for another day. any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks.
The Solorock Dash is available on Amazon and their own website.
https://www.amazon.com/16-Speed-Alum...s%2C216&sr=8-1

and: Dash - SOLOROCK 16" 8 Speed Aluminum Folding Bike - V Brakes | SoloRock Sports & Appliances



I actually owned one of their entry level steel-framed 16-inch folders years ago and it was a great bike. This model I imagen is miles better than the one that I owned and for just under $450 US, not a bad deal IMHO. It's about 25 lbs. And finally, you can add as an option, a Brompton style front luggage carry block available on Solorock's website. And with that purchase, it does come with the bag too.







Front Bag for SoloRock Aluminum Folding Bikes | SoloRock Sports & Appliances





Edward

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Old 02-21-24, 01:19 AM
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I'm looking forward to the USA debut of the Dahon Curl D9 (external derailleur gear, with single-sided front fork, and discs); The i3 has been on the market at least a year. Price on the D9 is unknown. I'm hoping on the D9, they use a Capreo or similar freehub that can accommodate a 9 tooth high cog, a big plus for 16" wheels.

There's another recent thread regarding Brompton clones (Brompnot), one was a raging deal, but on close examination, it folds to the left, not right like a Brompton which then envelops the drivetrain, a big plus in my view.
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Old 02-21-24, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I'm looking forward to the USA debut of the Dahon Curl D9 (external derailleur gear, with single-sided front fork, and discs);

....
Have you started hawking the kidney that you'll have to sell to afford it?
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Old 02-21-24, 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Have you started hawking the kidney that you'll have to sell to afford it?
Yeah that's my guess too, especially based on Dahon's pricing in recent years (and with the same materials and labor sources as the much lower-cost competitors). I think they may have destroyed their own market, at least at the lower end of their range. The Curl D9, if it folds as compactly as a Brompton, and has better features (wider gearing, all external, and discs), and with Dahon's known name, against the even more premium-priced Brompton, they might have a chance. If they were smart, they'd sell it for half versus a Brompton, but I doubt that, it'll probably be much closer to a Brompton 6.
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Old 02-21-24, 02:52 AM
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The Dahon Curl is a real innovative folding bike.

Its folding is inspired from the Brompton but unlike Brompton clones its improved and unlike Brompton clones its not a stupid copy of the Brompton transmission.

It folds more compact than any bifold and is even slightly smaller than the Brompton.

Innovation requires investments that must be covered by the price of the bike.

So, its normal that its more expensive than classic bifold.

But its a pity that there is no mounting for any kind of front bag (if I remember well, some previous iterations of the Curl had mounting points for a Brompton front block ?).
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Old 02-21-24, 06:44 AM
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What is your price range?
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Old 02-21-24, 09:30 AM
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Sorry to hijack your inquiry, jdog!

But it's a pity that there is no mounting for any kind of front bag (if I remember well, some previous iterations of the Curl had mounting points for a Brompton front block?)
Nope, in 15 years I've never seen a Curl with any front mounting block, Dahon-style or Brompton-style.

The Curl D9 that's been teased for a little short of 2 years now has disc brakes and a clean front end.




Seems like a Dahon-style front block would be a natural, but one hasn't appeared in the teasing literature.

I've posted my front luggage carrying on my Curl several times, and I'm always told that attaching dunnage to the steering axis, like the Birdy and BikeFriday also do, ruins the handling and the rider will be lucky to keep the bike between the ditches.

If they were smart, they'd sell it for half versus a Brompton.


Wonder why nobody ever suggests the Birdy or Iruka should be half the cost of a Brompton?

I'm hoping on the D9, they use a Capreo or similar freehub...
The teased specifications list an 11-28T nine-speed cassette. For world touring, I suggest modifying with a Sturmey-Archer CS-RK3 hub:


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Old 02-21-24, 09:45 AM
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I rode a Citizen Tokyo for years in my (4-6 mi. one way) commute in NYC.
The weight of the Tokyo never bothered me for carrying it up & down subway stations & platforms.
Personally, I find the handling of 16" compact folding bike is too much of a compromise for the small size.
Any significant up grade or down grade in terrain would make the bike rather unstable when compared to 20" wheels.
If you mostly ride on flat or terrain with minimal vertical change (no need for large range gearing), and need a compact package for lack of storage when bike is not ridden, 16" folder would work for low speed.
But if you're riding more, like I was, I prefer 20" wheels for roads that have potholes.
I still have the Tokyo, kept it for my wife to ride once in a while.
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Old 02-22-24, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Sorry to hijack your inquiry, jdog!



Nope, in 15 years I've never seen a Curl with any front mounting block, Dahon-style or Brompton-style.

The Curl D9 that's been teased for a little short of 2 years now has disc brakes and a clean front end.




Seems like a Dahon-style front block would be a natural, but one hasn't appeared in the teasing literature.

I've posted my front luggage carrying on my Curl several times, and I'm always told that attaching dunnage to the steering axis, like the Birdy and BikeFriday also do, ruins the handling and the rider will be lucky to keep the bike between the ditches.



Wonder why nobody ever suggests the Birdy or Iruka should be half the cost of a Brompton?



The teased specifications list an 11-28T nine-speed cassette. For world touring, I suggest modifying with a Sturmey-Archer CS-RK3 hub:

That's exactly the gear range I would need as minimum. My current 20" 2X setup is 21-85 gear inches.

I'm not a big fan of the front block unless the load is very close to the bolts, I don't like a long cantilever on relatively short bolt span, unless light load. One reason Dahon may have stayed away from that, is fatigue issues at the screws may be more of an issue on an aluminum frame, though Dahon does it on their other aluminum bikes I think.

Steered load, added in front of or balanced over the steering axis, can actually improve bike handling with small wheels, a bit less agile, but a bit more stable (mass damping). It says so on paper and I've experience it in practice. Non-steered front load, using the head-tube screw block, might also help stability, there is a university paper about that:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...f-stable-bike/
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Old 02-22-24, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jipe
The Dahon Curl is a real innovative folding bike.

Its folding is inspired from the Brompton but unlike Brompton clones its improved and unlike Brompton clones its not a stupid copy of the Brompton transmission.

It folds more compact than any bifold and is even slightly smaller than the Brompton.

Innovation requires investments that must be covered by the price of the bike.

So, its normal that its more expensive than classic bifold.

But its a pity that there is no mounting for any kind of front bag (if I remember well, some previous iterations of the Curl had mounting points for a Brompton front block ?).
The cost of innovation has come down enormously; With very advanced computer solid-modeling and dynamic kinematic simulations, they can work out a perfect fold, a lot quicker than Andrew Ritchie did for the Brompton, which I'm sure involved a lot of trial and error. And they can then use that exact same model to perform a Finite Element (stress/strain) Analysis (FEA), and that reduces development time and cost hugely, designs these days are often successful on the first iteration. That is how SpaceX has slashed costs and time, versus NASA in decades past; However they stand on the shoulders of giants, as those advanced design tools were developed and financed by NASA and/or the defense industry.

Similar standard bike components, have similar costs.

The big cost on the Curl would be a) testing, especially cyclic fatigue tests, assuming they do any, however that is still a minor cost, and b) tooling, I think the Curl tubes may be hydroformed, I don't know the tooling cost on that, but with Dahon's volumes, that's still a minor cost. The big cost on high-volume production is always raw material cost, and labor, and increasingly so with better computer design and simulation tools. With an iPhone, different story I think; Much larger hardware and software design staffs, and the manufacturing machines for that precision are more than for hydroforming, for example. In fact, Taiwan's chip and electronics machines are the most sophisticated in the world, and when supply lines suffered during the pandemic, the USA decided we needed to tool those things up domestically, especially chips needed for defense apps. But a Dahon is not rocket surgery.

But my point is... the Curl looks to be a premium product in the 16" wheel market, and Dahon can price it higher. Price it too high, and there will be many competitors in a few years. Not get too greedy, and it creates a marketing "moat", more risky for competitors to enter the market because the potential profit, and competitiveness, is less.

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Old 02-22-24, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
The big cost on the Curl would be a) testing, especially cyclic fatigue tests, assuming they do any...
Dahon is one of the few bike companies that have their own in-house certified test lab.


They test their bikes and comparison-test competitors' bikes, too.



Some other folding bike companies test their bikes. Brompton:



Strida:


Since the knock-off/clone folding bike companies never publish images/videos of testing, I'm guessing they reverse engineer and call it good. No design staff, no computer modeling, no testing: save big money!

I think the Curl tubes may be hydroformed,
The duck comes down, you win $20. The Curl's hydroformed frame was one of several points Dahon presented in EU court back in 2017 when Brompton sued them for...well, I'm not sure what Brompton's claim was. (Brompton got spanked in that lawsuit, BTW.)
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Old 02-22-24, 12:35 PM
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Extensive testing always cost a lot of money. Fort several products, mode than development.

Smartphone is a bad comparison.

First, the development costs are shared between several companies, the chip designer, the chip manufacturing (many semiconductors companies even big ones like Qualcomm are fabless, manufacturing is done by TSMC), the semiconductor companies besides the silicon, develop a lot of SW (Qualcomm has more SW engineers than semiconductors design engineers) and deliver so called "standard designs" that smartphone companies use to develop their phones, they do more customization of these standard design than real development, they don't do the complete phone development themselves.

Second, the amount of pieces produced is by far the biggest, no other product is produced in such big quantities, so all development costs are amortized on huge quantities of phones, much bigger than for any other products.
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Old 02-22-24, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Dahon is one of the few bike companies that have their own in-house certified test lab.

https://youtu.be/6iO14EPJ2-U?si=jhRqTKFcPKdnJG8e

They test their bikes and comparison-test competitors' bikes, too.



Some other folding bike companies test their bikes. Brompton:



Strida:

https://youtu.be/iKNo4OIp0H8?si=vjSmckz6yWndVIa6

Since the knock-off/clone folding bike companies never publish images/videos of testing, I'm guessing they reverse engineer and call it good. No design staff, no computer modeling, no testing: save big money!



The duck comes down, you win $20. The Curl's hydroformed frame was one of several points Dahon presented in EU court back in 2017 when Brompton sued them for...well, I'm not sure what Brompton's claim was. (Brompton got spanked in that lawsuit, BTW.)
Good to know! I only doubted Dahon's development due to previous cracks on their frames, however those frames were produced 20 years ago (but cracks detected within 10 years), so perhaps their testing was not as good then, but is now.

Video: I think I see one test simulating the failure I had in the seat tube, I think I see cyclic fatigue with a big barbell load simulating rider weight. 100,000 cycles is low, in my opinion, unless they exceeding max design loading. The pedal fatigue testing showed a ton of runout on the pedal axle, but perhaps that was designed into the test, versus a straight pedal axle.

Brompton probably sued for general fold design or aesthetic design being associated with their brand identity, but yeah, you're gonna lose if the defendant's design represents significant improvement. It may get weird with Brompton clones that are dead lookalikes, differing only in the frame being welded and not brazed. But I think the patent has expired so they would have to sue based on the folding design being a "trademark" design.

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Old 02-23-24, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Pinigis
What is your price range?
350 to 450 cc pay only
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Old 02-23-24, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
350 to 450 cc pay only
I can get you an Origami Lotus within your price range. Just call me at 855-767-4426 or email paul@origamibicycles.com.
​​​​​​​
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Old 02-23-24, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Brompton probably sued for general fold design or aesthetic design being associated with their brand identity, but yeah, you're gonna lose if the defendant's design represents significant improvement. It may get weird with Brompton clones that are dead lookalikes, differing only in the frame being welded and not brazed. But I think the patent has expired so they would have to sue based on the folding design being a "trademark" design.
We've covered this in a couple of previous threads. In a nutshell, the EU courts have ruled that:

1) Copying Brompton's name, graphics, literature, or font is a violation of EU trademark law.

Curiously, multiple t-shirt/wearable/soft goods companies imprint with Brompton's name using Brompton's font and/or imprint with Brompton's graphics and that doesn't seem to bother the company.

2) Brompton's classic Andrew Ritchie trifold design is not artwork covered by copyright, but a functional industrial design covered by a patent that expired decades ago.

Brompton took both Dahon (2017) and Chedech (2019) to EU court, apparently on a specious "3D Copyright" claim. Brompton lost both times.
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Old 02-24-24, 02:34 AM
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Above: Good to know, thanks!
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Old 02-25-24, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
We've covered this in a couple of previous threads. In a nutshell, the EU courts have ruled that:

1) Copying Brompton's name, graphics, literature, or font is a violation of EU trademark law.

Curiously, multiple t-shirt/wearable/soft goods companies imprint with Brompton's name using Brompton's font and/or imprint with Brompton's graphics and that doesn't seem to bother the company.


2) Brompton's classic Andrew Ritchie trifold design is not artwork covered by copyright, but a functional industrial design covered by a patent that expired decades ago.

Brompton took both Dahon (2017) and Chedech (2019) to EU court, apparently on a specious "3D Copyright" claim. Brompton lost both times.
I think they allow it because it promotes the brand, and they're just not interested in a clothing line.
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Old 02-25-24, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101
I think they allow it because it promotes the brand, and they're just not interested in a clothing line.
Brompton actually maintains an ever-refreshing, not-competitively-priced soft goods line, but yeah, it's far from a significant revenue stream for the bike company. They'll probably leave the t-shirt screeners alone unless some of their upscale collaborators complain.

https://us.brompton.com/stories/collaborations

I've also not heard them going after tattoo artists in court.


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