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14R 10-04-05 10:20 PM

Hercules speed versa folding bike
Hercules site in Germany

v1nce 10-05-05 01:12 AM

Yup, i think maybe i can offer some help. That bike looks almost exactly (if not the actual) same as a rather pricy but very light and nice folder i have seen recently for sale here in the Netherlands in a shop right by my place. It is made by Batavus and sometimes comes with a suitcase for about E 900 to E 1000. I actually checked it out rather thoroughly and it looked very nice (though too bumpy/uncomfortable for my taste with those skinny tires.

Check this site

And you will see a very similair frame/model if more low end. I think the bike you found is top of the line and somewhat limited edition, if haven't seen many of them in NL/that's why there is no exact pic online. If it is a subbrand of Batavus with the same quaility it is a fine bike. Batavus is one of the best Dutch brands and i have never seen any bike by them that was crap. The higher end ones are always very good.

Still i don't know where you live but it is cheaper here and you get the very nice hard suitcase ( i think E 900 or maybe bit more) and somewhat nicer components (Carbon Bars etc). If u like i could look into it for u. Also it seems that they have copied Dahon in their propietory/non standard seat post and seat design. How i loather that kind of thing. Also keep in mind that the bike is Aluminium (unless you like that) and at that price it is getting in the Bike Friday range... Still, tis a sweet machine.

Dave Hickey 10-05-05 12:21 PM

Other than the propritory saddle/seapost combination, that bike looks sweet. The stem looks like it can be lowered much more than a similar Dahon model... Any idea how much?

pharnabazos 10-05-05 01:34 PM

I'm no structural engineer, but how can they just do away with the chainstays? The Dahon Mu has that similar sloping seatstay, but they retain a modified chainstay. Are the chainstays not all that helpful in relieving the stress on the weld?

Aside from the chainstay and a slightly different clamp, it looks to me exactly like the Dahon Speed, but in aluminum.

v1nce 10-05-05 03:49 PM

Yeah i didn't want to say anything before but it looks like a case of senseless (but fancy "modern") design to do away with the chainstay. Kind off daft. Though maybe there is design and engineering at work that i don't get which actually makes it a good idea.. doubtfull though... The whole new line of Batavus bikes follows this concept/frame design. So either they did testing to make sure it is a solid design or possibly (much more sinister) it may be a case of planned obsolesence....
This 2/3 s of a triangle (or: lose all your strength) seems particulary senseless with an Alu frame considering the properties of that material when it comes under much strain or flexes often.

The two bikes do look extremely similiar i am guessing there is some licensing going, they have the exact same components here and there. The Dahon is heavier because of it's steel frame but that material as well as better frame design make it a better machine IMO. More durable and possibly more comfortable.
Plus the wheels seem a lot stronger due to a "normal" amount of spokes. The hercules seems to be more intended as a racing machine, unlike with the Dahon i couldn't find any eyelets/braze ons for paniers for example.

14R 10-05-05 04:19 PM


I am a big fan of my Giant Halfway RS (even though I never had a chance to see ANYBODY ELSE with one, it's hard to imagine some other bike that would offer me more that what I got for US$400.00) but I do like search and explore the world of folders. I am not in the market for another folder right now, but I do want to know (or at least have an idea) of what is going to be my next purchase (maybe 3, 4 years from now and I know, things change between now and then).

But I am actually interested in any hard shell bag/luggage for a folder, so if you have a chance to share some images of this carrying case you mentioned, that would be nice. I am traveling from Orlando Florida (where I live) to Brazil and my girfriend and I are considering taking our folders with us.

And here is the Halfway RS for those not familliar:

James H Haury 10-05-05 04:20 PM

That Hercules looks so much like a dahon ,even Kevin Sorbo would think it was.

Mr_Super_Socks 10-05-05 06:00 PM

this is very similar to a 2006 dahon. it looks very much like the 2006 dahon mu sl

check it out

v1nce 10-06-05 05:06 AM

@ Rafael

Halfways are all over the place here in NL. Gaint is a big brand here so lots of stores carry them. I think they are pretty decent, i find the frame a bit too beefy/heavy/lacking rigidity but this is only from hearsay


and from lifting one.

And i am no fan of Alu (though this is really a personal preference) but not a bad machine for sure. Plus at the price you got it seems like a (very) good deal! The folding mechanism is beautifull i think and i only know on other folder in that price range with rear suspension.

I kindoff have the same, i am extremely pleased with my current folder, but since folder and Twenty inch riding has been such an eye opening experience i realize i may one day want to get an even "better" nice one. I think i will be hard pressed to get one that is so much better that it warrants 2 to 4 times the outlay i have spend on this one. But i think if i am start biking more and longer distances i may feel a folding recumbent or more likely a good Bike Friday (or perhaps 1 or 2 other bikes) may be well worth it. But i am in no rush, it seems to be a great time to be into folders, more and better bikes all the time. Nice!

pharnabazos 10-06-05 08:23 AM


Originally Posted by v1nce
Plus the wheels seem a lot stronger due to a "normal" amount of spokes.

But the 2006 SpeedPro, according to the new catalog, I think, is moving to Rolf 16-spoke wheels.

Rincewind8 10-06-05 08:55 AM

I don't know anything about this folding bike, but Hercules used to make some really good touring, trekking, and city bikes (and probably still makes good quality bikes).
Concerning the low spoke count wheels: 20" wheels are so stiff (compared to e.g. 700c), that I don't see any problem going to a lower spoke count. FWIT there is actually a 700c TANDEM wheelset with 16 spokes and apparently those are holding up well for most tandem teams.

v1nce 10-06-05 09:15 AM

Well, of course it is all relative, but generally speaking more spokes equals more strength. And i am not saying i would worry the wheels would fail quickly i happen to be a real fan of a bit of overengineering/making things bomb proof. Particularly when it can be done with something as light as a few extra spokes. The less spoke/aero thang seems to be mostly a marketing ploy and not a real improvement except for maybe pro racers.

But most of what i write is opinion of course. So take no heed if you feel otherwise! :-)

pharnabazos 10-06-05 09:51 AM


Originally Posted by Rincewind8
Concerning the low spoke count wheels: 20" wheels are so stiff (compared to e.g. 700c), that I don't see any problem going to a lower spoke count.

I wasn't really making a case either way--in fact, with so many people on the Dahon forum having problems with spoke breakage as it stands now, maybe reducing the spokes makes the spokes less likely to break...

v1nce 10-06-05 12:30 PM

Really? I didn't know that about the Dahon spoke prob. But i would have thought the reverse would be true: less spokes more breakage. Maybe Dahon just has/had a bad spoke supplier. Perhaps in their quest of making their bikes very affordable they went a little overboard and got some spokes that weren't up to scratch? More speculation
though, i know.

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