Downtube VIII Folding Bike

4.43/5 (7 Reviews)
MSRP : $289.00

Product Description

VIII 8sp front suspension all aluminum folding bicycle
  • Folding Aluminum frame w/folding pedals
  • Front suspension fork by Zoom.
  • 8sp SunRace Gripshift
  • Quality alloy stem, V-brakes, post, bar ends
  • Folded size: approx 30 x 60 x 81 cm (12" x 23.6" x 33")
  • Folding time: 10 sec
  • Rider Height: 4’9”-6’4”

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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 5

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rabraham a Commuter

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2008

Strengths:    Internal Hub Sturmey-Archer Gears (fantastic), wider handlebars.

Weaknesses:    Folding mechanisms (antiquated compared to Dahon), pedals (falling apart already), paint/decal job (paint is soft/Downtube logo is a Decal which is starting to peel off), folded size (handle bars fold to the outside of the frame rather than over it like on the Dahons), crank has already loosened up in the bottom bracket.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the Downtube 8HN folding bike earlier in the summer. I've used the bike to commute for a couple of months and on a month long camping trip. I also own a Yeah folding Bike using Dahon Licensed Technology. I really like both bikes but for differenct reasons. If I could put the gears and handlebars from the Downtube onto the Yeah I think it would be a nearly perfect folder. The Yeah folds more easily and smaller than the downtube (handlebars fold over the frame whereas the Downtube handlebars fold the other way), has full fenders, and better folding pedals. The Downtube has much better gearing (the Sturmey Archer internal 8 speed hub is fantastic) and much better (wider and more comfortable) handle bars. The quick acceleration and low center of gravity on both folders more than make up for their lack of top-end speed, so much so that I'm not really using my full size mountain bike anymore. I had problems with both cranks loosening up in the Bottom brackets. I figured out how to tighten the crank on the Yeah but am still trying to figure it out on the Downtube.

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Favorite Ride:   To Work and Back

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Yeah (Dahon Licensed Technology)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by EdMo a Road Racer

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2007

Strengths:    Comfortable and Fun to ride.

Weaknesses:    Cannot attach panniers (due to heel clearance)

Bottom Line:   
I have the NS (no suspension model) and I couldn't be happier -- not only is the bike comfortable to ride, it is really fun if you have spent years riding on aggressive road and MTB frames.

It's a great everyday bike -- it cruises fast on the flats, climbs SF hills easily with the low-gear and feels fairly comfortable going downhill (with the small wheels and tall stem, you have to remember to feather the front brake).

The only thing that stands out as feeling a bit "cheap" on the bike is the amount of friction in the brake system -- I'm not sure if it is the levers/cable or if maybe it is just the nature of having a fully-housed cable that allows it to fold.

I plan to upgrade components as they wear out, but the bike is completely functional with stock accessories.

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Favorite Ride:   West Marin County

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cory a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2007

Strengths:    Ability to fold is No. 1--that's why I bought it. I already have several good bikes and didn't need another. I'm surprised at its nimble handling and overall good performance.

Weaknesses:    Rider size range is exaggerated--I'm within the parameters by a couple of inches and 20+ pounds, but it's slightly too small for me, though still rideable.

Bottom Line:   
I have the IX FS bike--wanted the non-susp. model with internal gearing, but it won't fit a 6'4" rider. I'm generally very pleased--the bike works well and is a good bargain for the price. Shipping was fast and the company has been responsive to my questions.
I wish I'd known Downtube sells its own bikes new on ebay, though. They're going there for $75-$100 less than I paid. It seems faintly dishonest to charge more to a customer who takes the time to seek out the source and order a bike directly.

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Favorite Ride:   Downtube IXFS

Price Paid:    $359.00

Purchased At:   From Downtube

Similar Products Used:   Tested Dahon and Swift folders, but no long-term experience.

Bike Setup:   Replaced stock tires w/20x1.3 Ritchey Rov'rs rated for 100psi (I run them @85) for a big improvement on pavement. Stock saddle replaced w/old Brooks Pro, and I've ordered a 135mm stem to increase the reach to the bars.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paulbutler a Commuter

Date Reviewed: November 9, 2006

Strengths:    eMail help is good. The bike is fairly comfortable over distance. Value. Excellent features. Superb stability and accurate tracking on the road.

Weaknesses:    Lack of proper instructions for set up or adjustment, receipt or documentation. A tendency for the handlebars to jerk the hands more than a regular bike over bumps. This may be addressed by the FS version. No contact phone in the UK.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding this bike for a few weeks an I am really impressed with how much pleasure it provides. Hills are no problem with the 8 gears and the bike is easy to navigate accurately through traffic. I spent some time looking at the alternatives and nothing comes close in the UK for value. (Note: the price I paid is in £ sterling not $US).

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Favorite Ride:   commute to work

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Looked at Brompton but silly prices for entry level (£500) and a 16 week wait in the UK!

Bike Setup:   As standard but with Shcwalbe(?) kevlar low puncture tyres. I have modified a pannier for the carry rack that comes as standard.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mcgurme a Recreational Rider

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2006

Strengths:    Great bike for the price. Rides well, handles well, is relatively light, comes with decent components that are standard and upgradable. It is pretty comfortable.

Weaknesses:    The "NS" (non-suspension) bike is a bit small/short for tall riders over 6'. The bike needed some tinkering to get it ready to go after it arrived (wheel true, derailur adjustment, so on - nothing major). The built-in rack won't accept panniers.

Bottom Line:   
This is an excellent bike for the price. I have never had a better deal on a bike, and its lots of fun. I have an >$1,000 road bike, and an >$2,000 mountain bike, but I still like riding the Downtube. It attracts lots of positive comments from people, and it is just great to be able to fold it up and throw it in the car rather than dealing with bike racks. The component set that comes with it is by no means high-end, but seems reasonably functional. I have done some upgrades on my FS. The built-in seat is quite wide and cushy on the NS model, which is good if you want a soft ride. This NS model has a short top-tube/reach, so for tall riders like myself, it may require some adjustment (the FS model has a longer reach).

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Favorite Ride:   Fisher Sugar 2

Similar Products Used:   Downtube FS, and also have ridden various Dahons.

Bike Setup:   Mostly stock, but with new brake levers that increased responsiveness and reduced weight.

Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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