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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 04-27-09, 09:38 PM   #1
tedi k wardhana
transport, not sport.
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9t? 16"folders..

this is sort of a complain.
but not sure to whom I am addressing.

I have been interested in reading sheldon's article about small wheel and gear ratio, and the cassette with a 9t cog. yes, the capreo has been around since 2005(?).

but, learning from websites, I felt rather dissappointed to know the facts that shimano is not wholeheartedly supporting the small wheel bike industry.

how do I make such conclusion, you might ask..?

take for instance, the big player like dahon.
how many of their 16" bikes uses the capreo?
correct me if I am wrong, only starting this 2009, the curve gets the capreo.

now let us look at the Downtube line of bikes.
some say, the minis now don't come with capreo anymore, due to short supply(?)
the mini is now back with sturmey archer 8speed internal gear.

meanwhile, here in indonesia, the market for folding bikes is blooming.
but, the 20" wheels becomes the more affordable (and better value-for-money) choice.

there is this local brand that also produces 16" wheels.
but as you can guess, they are normally singlespeed.
some are equipped with 6speed derailer, but (you can count the gear inches yourself) are still geared too low with the 14-18t freewheel.

eventually, many buyers would convert their 16" to an internally geared hub. but the range of 170% is still inadequate, in my opinion.

so, what's my point?
isn't there someone (beside dissapointing shimano) that can make a freewheel, of let's say 6sp 9t-20t,
affordable, for the masses of 16" folders?
and yes, the OLD should be something like 126, or 110, NOT 135...
or, should we 16" folders lovers just be content with a century(?) old design of the 3 speed internal gear?

is this wishful thinking??

-vehicle, not toy. transport, not sport-
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Old 04-27-09, 10:04 PM   #2
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According Dr. Yan of Downtube, they are discontinuing the capreo Mini due to low sales of that version of the bike.

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Old 04-27-09, 10:24 PM   #3
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... then again, the Bike Friday Tikit is revolutionizing the folding bike industry, and it has 16" wheels and comes in all sorts of configurations with multiple dropout options. It is deff. not priced for a mass market, but may be heralding a new age of invocation for 16 inchers...
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Old 04-28-09, 06:17 AM   #4
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Internal gears with 350% range are now available and, IMO, if conditions are cramped enough that you'd benefit from folding then you'll also benefit from the superior shifting of an internal gear. Check out the Sturmey Archer 8 speed (the reason to prefer small wheels if you're on a budget).

Smaller sprockets are also less efficient. So increasing your front sprockets is a more efficient solution to gearing up than decreasing the rear down to 9t with a capreo.

Now of course, these aren't good solutions if you need a monster gear range (wide range cassette with a triple), but I think you'll find in such cases the capreo is actually being used. For example, the capreo is used widely on small wheeled recumbents and IIRC there are actually two competing capreo compatible hubs being manufactured for different brands of recumbent trikes.
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