Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Folding bikes for the beginner Part 2

A good quality folding bike is built to perform
The performance factor
If you are stingy, you get crap.
That is a fact.
If you are indecisive, you end up chasing your own tail. Chances are, you won't do anything besides talking and talking and talking.
One thing that any foldie would need to know is this: there are bikes that are made for general utility usage, some were made for comfort and a handful are made to perform and race.
If you have RM2.5K to blow, the Dahon Dash P-18 is the bike to go for. It has the gear range and speed. With a 55T x 32T pairing, you can't go wrong.
Its evil twin brother, the Dash X-20, is another bike to consider. Sadly, its not available anymore.
One step up the notch is the Vector X-10. 
This one is built for speed and if you want to burn rubber, I don't think any 20" folding bike can come close to its performance.
Just one step higher, is the Vector X-20 with the SRAM Red groupset. At a pricetag of RM10K a pop, this foldie is worth considering if you are dead serious.

The best
Very few people can claim they have a range from good, better and best in terms of assessing folding bikes.
I know for a fact that if you got smitten by the foldie bug, you tend to spend more time researching.
High up there, are bikes like the Mu-EX, now retired and replaced by the Vector series. These are road bikes.
Dahon is also one of the few manufacturers of folding bikes who has a range of full-suspension foldies. You can try the Jetstream P8 and EX.
Affordable: The Dahon Jetstream P8
If you are willing to spend, the EX series are the best money can buy.
Its top-notched performance components that have been proven by professionals.
So, you won't have any doubts on where it would take you.

A word of advice
If you are looking for 'something simple' without the urge to race, then get an entry-level bike. The cheap components might not perform, but it'll be enough to get you from 'point A' to 'point B'.
Don't buy into trends and following. Chances are, your bike will rot in your store room.
Ride your foldie in good health. No harm in starting small like a 2K loop around your neighbourhood.
If you are willing to spend, without putting too much emphasis on 'What people said', 'What the internet gurus recommend', 'The review says so..' good folding bikes will usually retail at prices above RM2K. That is a fact.
Don't get duped into paying a bomb for bikes that are made as 'official licensed' merchandise.
These are usually made by original equipment manufacturers.
Get a reliable brand where after-sales service support is available. 
If you get proprietary components, you might have a hard time finding a suitable mechanic who can service it.
If you have issues with squeaking noises from you bike, that is normal. Even some of the pricier bikes tend to be twitchy and also flexes. This is no issue if you don't give a damn.
Take your foldie out as much as you can, join a group so that you can get used to your bike and its settings.
Remember, the money is in your pocket, its your every right to know what you are getting before you make a decision you would regret for the rest of your life. So, spend wisely!

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