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Joshnsuch 09-02-10 04:06 PM

Recommendations for first timer between two/three choices?
Hello to all! I've been looking around the forums for a while and couldn't find a good comparison between the bikes I have been looking for. I'm looking for a decent folding bike, not super high end, that will mostly be used to ride around campus between classes but I would also like to be able to go on the occassional ride around the city with my friends on their road bikes. After A LOT of browsing, I've decided between three. If it matters, I'm just above 5'10, weighing around 160, 21 years old.

The Downtube Nova 7sp - The main thing I don't like about this bike is where the fender goes if I chose to buy one.. I do like the gears that it has though. Unfortunately I haven't found many reviews for this one.

Citizen Bike's Gotham2 - I like the looks of this bike a lot, but I'm not too sure how well it will perform.

Dahon's Boardwalk S1 - I like that this and the G2 both have fenders over the tire, and the price on this one is quite a bit better, but I don't know if a single speed will do well enough for me.

To sum it up, I mostly want an urban performance bike. Perferred fender over the tire (not sure if it would be possible to get a different fender for the Nova), I would like the option to have gears, and be able to get up to a decent speed, too. I'm not looking to do too many modifcations to the bike, either. Ive heard a lot of good things about the Downtube and S1, but I'm wondering the the Citizen Bike will be somewhat of a combination between the two. I'm only a little leary on the citizen bike because I have read some issues about quality a few years ago on their older models. How have they been holding up for you guys who have them?

Thank you in advance for anyone's opinions, it will definitely be factored in my decision.

puppypilgrim 09-02-10 04:44 PM

Do a search of this forum.

Dynocoaster 09-02-10 04:53 PM

Thor has a new Dahon Eco 3 for $250 shipped, 1 only

Joshnsuch 09-02-10 05:04 PM

Dynocoaster, do you have any opinions on the Mariner on the same page? I looked at that one for a bit, but brand new was out of my price range.

Dynocoaster 09-02-10 05:10 PM

hose are close to the prices of the ones you are looking at and that is why I posted the Eco D7
The Mariner is a lot of bike for the money and built a bit more resistant to rust. Those prices include shipping which is a great deal. Thor is a regular here, by the way welcome to the fold.

Folder4life 09-02-10 05:19 PM

I have the Boardwalk S1 and it is slow! So, don't get it, haha. It's a good bike to take to the park, but the handle post is fairly close to the seat post so your sitting really upright. I love it for short trips though.

Joshnsuch 09-02-10 05:32 PM

Well I certainly understand why you mentioned that one. Thanks for the welcome! The only thing that seems kind of weird to me concerning that is there are no pictures or anything of the bikes and I don't see any mention of being able to return the bikes listed on the garage sale section in case they didn't work out for me. They don't really seem used.. They seem to be more like the ones they just kinda forgot about, haha.

Folder4life, thanks for the response. I really appreciate the input.

Dynocoaster 09-02-10 05:35 PM

The Eco D7 is a new model for 2010 and the Mariner is the older model.

Foldable Two 09-02-10 06:57 PM

At your height and weight you can choose about any folder - you'll fit.

A "performance" bike the S1 is not - I have one and have ridden it quite a bit...On flat ground is does well, unless your friends decide to push the taller gears on their road bikes. You won't be able to keep up. Also, if there are any hills involved you will again be at a disadvantage.

Something with 7 or 8 gears would be a more versatile choice, IMO.


Joshnsuch 09-03-10 12:32 PM

Found the D7 for 350 on thorusa. Seems like a good deal.. Maybe I should check this out? And it's in black, which sounds awesome.

vmaniqui 09-03-10 01:10 PM


Originally Posted by Joshnsuch (Post 11405981)
Found the D7 for 350 on thorusa. Seems like a good deal.. Maybe I should check this out? And it's in black, which sounds awesome.

this might be an even better deal:

GeorgePaul 09-03-10 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by Joshnsuch (Post 11405981)
Found the D7 for 350 on thorusa. Seems like a good deal.. Maybe I should check this out?

If you're going to get a Dahon, I would suggest getting one with an aluminum frame -- they are lighter than the steel bikes. The D7 has a steel frame.

***Correction: The Eco D7 has an aluminum frame.***

Joshnsuch 09-03-10 01:48 PM

Vmaniqui, I really like that bike, but it's just a bit out of my price range. If I went up to that price, I was thinking of getting the speed P8. At first I was looking around the 300 price range but I'd be fine with going up to 400. Too bad I cant just stumble upon a bag of money.

I'm not too concerned about weight of the bike. Anything under 30 pounds is gone by me, but I appreciate the input.

Dynocoaster 09-03-10 03:05 PM

The EcoD7 for $250 in the Garage sale is the same Eco D7 for $342.

vmaniqui 09-03-10 04:48 PM

by the way, where are you located ? have you checked your local CL ? you might find a good deal right there.

Joshnsuch 09-03-10 05:59 PM

I'm Louisville, Ky. I have called around the bike shops here and none of them even carry anything involving folding bicycles. :(

Joshnsuch 09-07-10 07:09 PM

I ended up going with the Dahon Mariner 2007/08 D7 for 300 off of Thor if anyone was interested. Hopefully it'll he be worth it for a good starter bike. Thanks again for all of the recommendations.

Dynocoaster 09-07-10 07:41 PM

That is a great deal on the Mariner, I have owned one and it is a well made folder. Congrats. Now for your next folder................:-]

GeorgePaul 09-07-10 09:26 PM

@Joshnsuch: Good choice for a first folder. Have fun!

Joshnsuch 09-07-10 10:18 PM

Feels great to have my decision supported. Thank you very much Dyno for the link to thorusa or otherwise I would have had no idea that they existed.

*Anxiously waits*

Foldable Two 09-08-10 05:55 PM

Also agree, good choice for first one. We started with Boardwalk D7's (same as the Mariner, but w/o the Stainless Steel parts).

If you end up not liking folders or only ride occasionally, you have a decent bike and you're not out that much dough. If you do like folders (commonly called "folderitis") it's a good stepping stone and a great back-up bike.

FYI: Wife confirms, we definitely have "folderitis".


Joshnsuch 09-09-10 09:55 AM

Just a quick question- I've still been looking around at other bikes and have found what I think to believe an MU-8 for $300 with loads of different accessories (weatherproof bag, in seat air pump, cycle meter, fender, rack) in slightly used condition.

The problem is that the man I spoke with continues to say that is a PU-8 even after I have mentioned the MU-8 model to him. After shipping and all of that, it would be around $350.. After searching, I haven't found a PU-8, just the MU-8. Looking at pictures it's curved like the MU-8 is, but this bike is blue. Is this man just crazy and doesn't know what he has? If it means anything, the bike is about 2 years old and he paid ~$600 for it.

How does this compare to the bike I've already ordered?

cliffdweller 09-12-10 04:00 PM

Speaking of aluminum vs. steel frames; I was out hitting some LBS yesterday. Both made th comment re Dahon that the aluminum frames are less flexy and feel more solid. They also mentioned that, in their opinion, bikes built for Dahon in China are less desirable than those built in Taiwan. Has anyone heard this, and how much truth is there in it? He said the way o tell with the different models is to check the locking mech on the bikes. The older ones are Chinese, while the newer mechanism is on the Taiwan made bikes.
\Oh, one other thing; both dealers said they felt the Mu and Curve lines were better suited for city potholes as opposed to the Mariner or Vitesse.

puppypilgrim 09-12-10 05:32 PM

Agree with the LBS. Mu and Curve are the way to go. Get them with fenders and racks if possible.

cliffdweller 09-13-10 03:03 PM

Thanks, puppy. Now, one last item I'm considering is the Eco D7. I see some good prices on it everywhere I look, way below $400. But I can't help wondering about this bike. They named it Eco - makes me think of Economy. Has anyone here had any experience with this item? My wife and I are both in the market for folders now, and are both really green about them.

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