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Old 08-12-06, 11:25 AM   #26
Scooper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bookishboy
1. You stated that this was your bosses bike. Did he choose a folding bike, and particularly a DownTube, on your recommendation? Does he/she have other folders?
I believe he said the Brompton used in the photos belongs to his boss, not the DT Mini.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I borrowed a Brompton for comparison from my boss. (snip) If anyone is interested in more shots comparing it to the Brompton let me know. I have to give it back on Monday. I told my boss I'd tune it up for him if I could borrow it for a while to do some photo shoots.
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Old 08-12-06, 11:36 AM   #27
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I believe he said the Brompton used in the photos belongs to his boss, not the DT Mini.
D'oh. I misread it. Thanks for the correction. It is a very sharp-looking Brompton
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Old 08-12-06, 11:53 AM   #28
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[QUOTE=bookishboy]Not to derail the thread, but if you're happy with the purchases you made, and happy with the information that you got from the forum, give some thought to paying for an upgraded membership. It's apparently a one-time purchase, and helps to cover the bandwidth costs of the forum. The information/help that comes out of the community is worth the price many times over, in real dollars, when you consider the hazards of otherwise bad purchases, mechanical mistakes, hard-to-locate parts, etc etc.

You're absolutely right, bookishboy. I just upgraded my membership now.

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Old 08-12-06, 12:41 PM   #29
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Nice review Wavshrdr. I have a mini and I am in the process of modifying it. I have ordered an adjustable stem and I have made a telescoping seatpost, etc. I am 6' , and I believe that the mini will be perfect for long rides once I dial in a good stretched out position. The stability and responsiveness of the bike lend itself to be tour ready, even though y'all are probably laughing now. Wait till you see my pics when I am finished! As far as racks go, do y'all recommend the Topeak quick release rack that attaches to the seat post. I have a BOB but that might be more than I want to fly with again at this point. Only concern is that a rear rack and bags would make the mini wheelie bound unless I add a rack to the front as well. Tubus, or? Maybe a handlebar bag would be enough to anchor the front end. The gearing is perfect, and this bike may be at home in the mountains. As far as the 305 tyres, the big apples are fast rollers, are they not? Wouldn't this be the most compfy way to go?
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Old 08-12-06, 01:21 PM   #30
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Crankypants- Thanks for the compliments. How do my observations stack up against yours? I think the Mini has more potential than some will give it credit. My biggest issue is I am 6'2" and I could use a more stretched out position for long rides. It looks like you are addressing those issues already.

I too would be concerned about a tail rack. I think a BOB trailer would be no issue. Just buy the appropriate BOB NUTZ and you are set. No issues with wheelies then. This bike is really a lot of fun. If I personally was going to ride it more I'd think about handlebar extension or a Syntace System or maybe and adjustable stem.

Woofman- if you are upgrading membership then kudos to you! You put your money where your mouth is. I have enjoyed this forum a lot and I have gotten a lot from it. I try to contribute to it as much as I can.

Bookishboy- I am looking for tires now that might be good candidates. I have some expenses coming up so I may hold off before doing anything soon. I am leaning toward the Big Apples and run them at 70psi. My experience has been that they are much faster than a lot of tires when the roads are less than ideal. A Stelvios is faster than an equivalent Big Apple UNTIL the roads get rough. Given the tire's size I am going to stay with a high volume tire just higher pressure and faster.

As for the SA hub, it is still tiktiktiks while coasting but even that is very quiet. While pedaling it is eerily quiet on both my bikes. Obviously there is not a lot of energy being wasted either that or it is well insulated. There is no whirring of gears that you can hear. Just a little in top where there is the most gear multiplication.

Spambait- You ware free to disagree. Nobody has to disagree and I welcome intelligent counterpoints. I encourage you to ride them all and draw your own conclusions. As they say in the South, "I have no dog in this hunt!" I don't hate Brompton, nor do I love Downtube. I try to be as objective as I can.

My observations are colored by my experience and what is important to me however I try to give enough info so that other people can draw their own conclusions. I am not saying the Mini is the bet bike and may not be ideal for a lot of people. Nor do I think Bromptons can roll on water either. I am not a folding bike snob who thinks the most expensive bike is always the bst. The Mini is definitely an excellent effort and a good deal for the money. So if there is nothing of value in what I post then you can ignore it. My posts are pretty unbiased and I don't assume that what is best for me will be best for anyone else.

As I've said many times before. I am not forcing anyone to buy a Downtube or a Swift or any other bike for that matter. If you like a steel framed Brompton then I am very happy for you. As I ride more and more folders I have a better idea of what I am looking for. So far nobody makes it. I want a bike like my Swift that folds as small as the Brompton and weighs about what the Mini does but loaded like my boss' Brompton and with its luggage system. I don't want much do I?

On a slight Brompton detour, I still can't believe they have such mediocre brakes and the darn folding pedal can scratch the frame so easily when folded. When are they ever going to fix that and give the bike more gears too?
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Old 08-14-06, 03:41 AM   #31
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What tires do you have in mind for an upgrade? What's available in the 305 size (pref high-pressure) that would be considered "slick" or near-slick?
As well as the Schwalbe BAs, Primo produce a couple of tyres that shouldn’t be overlooked: the Comet and V-Monster. There is also the Maxxis Hook Worm.
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Old 08-14-06, 04:01 AM   #32
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Wav, nice review. It pretty much corroborates my preconceptions.

However,

Quote:
Dahon has a plastic piece in their lock that if it breaks you or out of luck. Definitely a design flaw on the Dahons.
is this “definitely a design flaw”? I ask as components can fail for many reasons. Has there been a spate of problems with this part? I recall a poster a few months back on this forum with this complaint, but is it a wide-spread issue with Dahon stems?
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Old 08-14-06, 04:50 AM   #33
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On a slight Brompton detour, I still can't believe they have such mediocre brakes and the darn folding pedal can scratch the frame so easily when folded. When are they ever going to fix that and give the bike more gears too?
I can’t see them changing their gear options again in a hurry. The six-speed, even with its limited range can cope with most situations, but it is best suited to flattish cities and towns (where most Bromptons are used). Those that want a wider spread can customise their rig. What’s more, when Brompton had the choice to overhaul the gearing in 2005, they plumped for the new one/two speed machines, as opposed to bikes equipped with hubs gears offering A 300+ range…

As for the brakes, believe me, they have improved! I have only had a test ride on a two-speed Ti S-type, but the brakes were OK. Certainly not up to the XTR set-up on my Birdy, but passable nonetheless. Even so, I also struggle to see why they did not switch to Vs or mini-Vs.
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Old 08-14-06, 09:27 AM   #34
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I just thought I’d update after a few more miles. I did try putting the handlebar stem between the bike when folded and how I have my levers makes this much slower. You also have to be careful with the bars hitting the chainring so you have to sort of partially fold and angle the bars simultaneously. It makes the package not quite as deep but that was my issue compared to the Brompton. It was its length that was a bigger problem. It isn’t that deep when folded anyway.

As an update to getting the gear adjustment and riding it a bit more that you DO NOT WANT to line up the little yellow dots on the adjustment mechanism. It is very sensitive to this. If you don’t get it right some gears will be spot on and others will not. For example my gears 1-4 were fine but above it if felt like you were in a hole in between gears. What I determined actually happens is that it doesn’t actually miss a gear so to speak but defaults to first gear which feels like you have not engaged any gear at speed. I guess in some ways this is a good thing. Since it seems like if the hubs shifter might break you would have a limp home mode by defaulting to first gear.

I still disagree with first being the 1:1 ratio as I’ll use it the least but I like the mid six gears and their spacing a lot. Overall the hub seems pretty efficient. MUCH better than the Nexus 7 speed. Notice I said Nexus 7 speed and NOT the 8 speed. The 8 speed definitely feels more efficient to me but I have no date to back this hub. The only gear that feels sort of inefficient is the 8th gear on the SA hub. This only stands to reason as it has the most gear multiplication going on. It maybe feels a wee bit coarser too. On the VIIIH I will almost never be in this gear with the stock gearing except down big hills. On the Mini it will still be infrequent.

All in all I am still enjoying the bike. The brakes are bedded in and are quite quiet now and very responsive. I put a clamp on rack on the back and it seems to work well. I will post some photos of the DT click-on bag (no rack needed) and their velcro’d tail trunk later. I must a heck of a sight while riding this little bike. I can imagine what some people’s internal reaction must be but it really is fun and very practical. I am more comfortable on it since I rotated the bars a bit.

What has really impressed me is how solid the bike feels. That rear sub frame is really strong. The bike accelerates very well and stops even better. It is so light and nimble that when I get back on my other folders they lethargic by comparison. The Mini has a great chance to be the sleeper in the lineup. I can’t way to try a tire swap in the future to see what improvements I get there. That isn’t likely to be any time soon though. Since I tightened the rear spokes all seems to be fine back there. No issues at all since then.

I’d like to hear any feedback from other Mini users and how they like theirs so far.
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Old 08-14-06, 10:07 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spambait11
Did this review really need a separate thread of its own?
Yes it does.

Thanks Wav.
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Old 08-14-06, 11:13 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
Nice review Wavshrdr. I have a mini and I am in the process of modifying it. I have ordered an adjustable stem and I have made a telescoping seatpost, etc. I am 6' , and I believe that the mini will be perfect for long rides once I dial in a good stretched out position. The stability and responsiveness of the bike lend itself to be tour ready, even though y'all are probably laughing now. Wait till you see my pics when I am finished! As far as racks go, do y'all recommend the Topeak quick release rack that attaches to the seat post. I have a BOB but that might be more than I want to fly with again at this point. Only concern is that a rear rack and bags would make the mini wheelie bound unless I add a rack to the front as well. Tubus, or? Maybe a handlebar bag would be enough to anchor the front end. The gearing is perfect, and this bike may be at home in the mountains. As far as the 305 tyres, the big apples are fast rollers, are they not? Wouldn't this be the most compfy way to go?
The quick release rack works well; although I recall that the weight limit is rather low compared to standard racks. Since we are talking about weight, given that you are 6', how close are you to the bike's maximum weight? Perhaps the quick release rack and a handlebar bag--filled with "stuff"--is about all you can safely carry.
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Old 08-14-06, 11:20 AM   #37
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I weigh 175, so I can still carry 25 pounds of gear and be on the 200 lb mark.
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Old 08-15-06, 11:27 AM   #38
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Yan - Are you planning to send a shipment over to the UK? If not, what would shipping/taxes be for an import (the £ is doing pretty well against the dollar at the moment - a bit more sterling appreciation and might be worth the effort/expenditure).
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Old 08-15-06, 12:26 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt52
Yan - Are you planning to send a shipment over to the UK? If not, what would shipping/taxes be for an import (the is doing pretty well against the dollar at the moment - a bit more sterling appreciation and might be worth the effort/expenditure).
The UK market has been very difficult for us so far. Our tax and shipping bill was 20% more than the cost of the bicycles......yes you read that right 120% up front bill. Due to the high cost and low margins we rerouted 2 containers to the US from the UK. I am looking forward to selling out our current UK stock and reentering the market in March.

Shipping a mini from the US will cost $280. I will not collect VAT, however customs will charge it.

Thanks,
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Old 08-15-06, 12:55 PM   #40
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Crankypants ...

I am interested in your modifications. I have run into the same problems testing out different small folders. Long story short, I like my legs to be stretched out during the downstroke--helps alleviate knee pain--and have a general touring position with the upper body and arms. When it all comes together, please write up a detailed report.

Thanks.
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Old 08-15-06, 01:24 PM   #41
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I will. In the meantime, I am just waiting for all my parts to arrive..........
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Old 08-15-06, 02:53 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtube
The UK market has been very difficult for us so far. Our tax and shipping bill was 20% more than the cost of the bicycles......yes you read that right 120% up front bill. Due to the high cost and low margins we rerouted 2 containers to the US from the UK. I am looking forward to selling out our current UK stock and reentering the market in March.

Shipping a mini from the US will cost $280. I will not collect VAT, however customs will charge it.

Thanks,
Yan
Wow - shipping starts to make the price add up - once VAT and delivery counted in (is there any import duty as well to pay?) comes to around 420, which makes it less of an "impulse purchase" than the bikes you are currently selling in the UK. I may have to make do with buying a VIIINS or FS before your stock runs out and make do with that until next year. How many have you got left in UK stock? Are you likely still to have stock when I make it back from holiday in September?

Cheers

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Old 08-15-06, 03:24 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I would not want to ride the Mini 20 miles. I could do it but I wouldn’t want to.


What is it about the mini that would make you not wnt to do 20miles or more?

I'm due t supplement my normal bike with something I can easily take on a train or bus, and the mini's looking good, but if I'm gonna ache after 20miles, it kinda defeats that purpose for me.

BTW, lovely, lovely review, and very nice pics.
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Old 08-15-06, 07:09 PM   #44
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Great thread and review Wav! Thanks you!
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Old 08-15-06, 10:09 PM   #45
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My Mini arrived today.. I was so busy I didn't have time until this evening to unpack it... no bad surprises as packing has improved quite a bit from last year.. this will be my 4th Downtube that I've received and the Mini was packed the best and sustained no damage... As Wav did such an excellent report, I won't go into much detail .

My first impression was how small the bike is in it's folded state.. it is very compact.. a few rushed pics are included showing my venerable Dahon Helios P8 (inside handlepost fold), my hub geared FS (outside handlebar fold) , and the new Mini (inside handlebar fold)... this Mini was shipped to me with the inside fold...

I quickly tore off all the protective paper, checked the brakes, hinge tensions, quick release levers, aired up the tires and took off before it turned dark.. I like the 8sp Sturmey hub a lot! It's very quiet and shifts smoothly...the gear range is perfect.. it does require a slight pause during shifting (unlike the Shimano RedBand), but nothing that you don't adjust to quickly.... the Mini is deceptively comfortable... the tires are 16x1.75 and I aired them to 60lbs.. the seat and rear suspension soak up more road shock than you would expect with such small wheels.. this is a solid little bike and the brakes are terrific, with little effort supplying big stopping power... it's also seems remarkably stable for it's size.. I'm sure my girlfriend will love it... if I were going to ride it extensively, I would probably move the handlebars further forward to give me a little more reach.


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Old 08-15-06, 10:23 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceMetras
My Mini arrived today.. I was so busy I didn't have time until this evening to unpack it... no bad surprises as packing has improved quite a bit from last year.. this will be my 4th Downtube
Bruce
Anyone able to pull the wheels of and see in what size box it could fit that way? (kill pedals' contribution) A 1-2 minute modification to the package.

Did someone also list what the gear range (in gear-inches) was?

Great posts guys. The photos are really great.
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Old 08-15-06, 11:36 PM   #47
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Gear inches are about 28-85 if memory serves me correctly.

BelfastBiker- I could ride more than 20miles at a stretch but I am big guy. I'd need to move the bars forward to give a bit more clearnce and I wouldn't mind taller bars and possibly taller seatpost. Actual ride of the bike is VERY good. No issues there but mostly ergonomics. The seat is OK but I'd definitely want a different one for a long ride. Not because it is bad but I like a different style seat.

matt52- Have Yan check US Postal Service to the UK. It would cut the shipping in half or close to it.

Bruce- Glad to see your Mini arrived. It is a very fun bike. Doesn't it make a 20" folder look huge? Can you see the improvements in the fit and finish too?
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Old 08-16-06, 01:58 PM   #48
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Wavshrdr
Any comment on fitting an electric kit like BionX or Heinzman on an internal hub DT i.e VIIIH
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Old 08-16-06, 02:29 PM   #49
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I already replied in another thread where you asked this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wubrew
Wavshrdr
Any comment on fitting an electric kit like BionX or Heinzman on an internal hub DT i.e VIIIH
Please go here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...2&postcount=29

I answered your question several hours ago. Go back to that thread where you posted it and you will see my detailed answer.
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Old 08-16-06, 02:51 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr

Bruce- Glad to see your Mini arrived. It is a very fun bike. Doesn't it make a 20" folder look huge? Can you see the improvements in the fit and finish too?
There's not a doubt in my mind that of all the bikes I have, I would take the Mini if I had to commute by train or bus frequently.. there is no particular downside with it... With the 8spd Sturmey hub and super brakes, you can ride it like a regular bike up and down hills in relative comfort.. then fold it to this pint sized, lightweight package... I was going to stick my Garmin on it and go for my normal 8mi lunch run, but the day is just too packed... I like the iridescent green frame... reminds me of a pair of Haggar slacks I had in highschool...haha... what's interesting is it's not shiny, but a flat finish... looks durable... won't know 'til I start knocking it about...errr, I mean my girlfriend starts knocking it about....one thing's for sure, it is a cutie!!

Bruce
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