8H internal hub belt drive folding bike

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8H folding bike
8H in Hatteras

It’s back, but we just sold out of the silver color! Yes, the Downtube 8H  has returned due to popular demand and now comes with an ever richer assortment of biking refinements and high-tech innovations for 2017!! The 8H uses Shimano Nexus 8sp hub with Gates CDX belt.

The new 8H folding bike builds upon its proven heritage of design excellence and now features an innovative Gates Carbon Drive belt or lower cost stainless steel chain. The Gates Carbon Drive belt is rust-proof and won’t stretch or slip as you change gears. It uses a proven belt technology more commonly found in motorcycles. The rounded carbon fiber teeth on the new belt is easier to maintain, more reliable, smoother running resulting in a more comfortable, relaxing riding experience.

The 8H multi-speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hub uses a single, handlebar mounted shifter, that’s so intuitive especially when compared to the dual handed, gear shifters that used pulleys to adjust externally exposed gear cassettes and chain-rings.

The “old days” of remembering which combination of front and rear, left and right derailleur gear combinations to use to avoid stretching and fatiguing the metal chain are over. The virtually maintenance-free Shimano Nexus 8-speed gear internal hub is completely sealed from damaging dirt and grime.

The 8H’s solid legacy of bike excellence has been greatly enhanced with additional design upgrades. If you are a boater, RVer and commuter, you will simply adore this model. Nowhere will you find a better bike with Gates Carbon Drive belt comparable to the affordable 8H with Shimano Nexus 8-speedhub!

The 2017's have a disc front hub, 60T front CDX chainring & 22T cog, and no suspension option. What does all of that mean in layman terms? Well, you will have a bike that allows for a comfortable ride. The 8H has no rear derailleur or external shifter. It has no cogs or gears as well as no chain. That means you don’t have to be concerned about improper shifting or cleaning the drive train. So much work has gone into making this bike of better quality than it was before.

Not that the previous one wasn’t great, but we wanted to make sure that you had more than our expected. The bike is enclosed in a completely sealed and maintenance-free setting. The 8H is very comfy and that is all due to the 20 inch wheels and the suspension fork. If you are a boater, RVer and commuter, you will simply adore this model.

Nowhere will you find a bike with a Gates CDX carbon drive belt paired to the Shimano Nexus 8sp hub for under $2000!

This bike gives you the sound of a new evolution! It also gives you clean and quiet riding without the chain, lubrication, stretch or maintenance.

So that you could enjoy the ride, we included some excellent features that included the aluminum frame equipped with lightweight fenders. We also added a durable rack and kickstand. Of course, how could we leave out the high quality levers and Tecktro V brakes? We even matched up the levers and brakes with aluminum machined-sidewall rims, which make the bike able to stop on a dime, immediately engaging the textured surface.

If you use your bike to commute, we thought about you too. We added a water bottle braze-on, but the cage is not included. And we also added an interface for the headtube bag. We went further with our upgrades by adding the frame quick release, folding pedals and stem.

We decided to integrate the headset into the head tube. Additional mini-bar ends and high-rise handlebars give the rider more edge by customizing the fit without having to interfere with the fold.

Watch the videos to learn more about bike


  • Shimano Nexus 8sp hub
  • Gates Carbon belt drive
  • Preload adjustable transarch Zoom suspension fork
  • 8H use Shimano Nexus gripshift 
  • Lightweight and easy to fold alloy pedals
  • Upgraded cold forged crank
  • Machined sidewall rims
  • Longer Seat tube to allow for taller riders
  • High-rise bars
Folded size: approx. 14" x 24" x 33"
Weight: 28.5 lbs no suspension model (w/o rack, pedals, saddle )
Folding time: 15 seconds
Rider Height: 4'9" - 6'3"
Rider Weight 255lbs max.
Frame: Xtra-Light Aluminum frame
Fork: Zoom transarch designed fork with disc tabs and alloy lowers
Saddle: Gel saddle
Seat post: Kalin 500 mm Aluminum seat post
Brakes: Tektro V brakes
Brake Levers: Tektro levers
Front wheel: Quando 24H QR hub w/ machined V shaped rim
Tires: Kenda 20 x 1.5" front and 20 x1.75" rear
Shifters: Gripshift 8sp or trigger shifter 11sp
Cranks: 8H uses Prowheel 170mm 60T Gates carbon ring 22T rear cog
11H features direct drive crank with external bearings 
Gear Inches: 8sp hub 27 ( 1st ) - 82 ( 8th ) 
Belt/Chain: Gates Carbon Drive Belt
Pedals: Folding right and left

8H Features:

8H Folding & Unfolding:



6 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Don Bellchamber on May 31st 2017

    I received my 8H today. Bike was packed well and there were no problems with shipping. It took no longer than 15-20 minutes between opening the box and having the bike ready to ride. Very simple and straight forward w no assembly required other than to slide the seat post into place.
    I rode it for a while and then made a few simple adjustments to the handlebar and seat height. I tend to ride in a comfort position with handle bars up high and sitting up straight; the design of the bike easily made this possible. I am very pleased with the comfort level of this bike!
    Shifting is a breeze with very little noise. I love the feel of the belt drive as it is incredibly smooth. Lastly, the bike looks cool and the quality of the build is quite good. It simply looks and "feels" like a well built machine. The suspension up front is a nice touch as it helps me maintain steady control when going over irregularities on the street. I even took the bike off-road and it performed quite well. So far I am very pleased with this bike.

  • 5
    Best Equiped Folding Bike for Design & Cost

    Posted by Neill & Kathleen Corse-Scott on Aug 29th 2016

    Researched a longtime to source the best folding bike for our specific needs for aboard a sailboat. The Downtube 8H bike model consistently was first on our preferred list to what other brands had to offer on an equal value cost comparison. There were none other out there that could fulfill our needs. We bought two of the same with the accessory panniers. Downtube's customer service & after sale follow-up is exemplary. We anticipate enjoying our bikes for many years to come!!

  • 5
    Excellent bike and value

    Posted by Joel Rothschild on Jul 31st 2016

    I have been riding my Downtube 8H in a variety of conditions, mostly city, for a month and I am very pleased with the bicycle's design, components, portability, and performance. I have taken it on many trains and buses without trouble, and I am pleasantly surprised how well it carries significant pannier freight when I am traveling.

  • 5
    review of 8H

    Posted by scott on Jul 31st 2016

    I wanted a couple folding bikes to keep on my boat as we frequently sail to harbors and islands in MA and RI where the rentals are expensive and lots of wasted time. My initial preference was either the 8H or Dahon Mariner. I chose the 8H because of the belt drive and 8 speed internal hub. It's a pain to bag the bikes, get them into the dinghy, and then unload at a variety of beaches and docks, all of which would subject a bike with a derailleur to damage. Also, I wanted to avoid getting chain grease all over the place. So I bought one 8H and rode it around for a couple days and really like it. It's solid and I love the internal hub and shifter: great gear range and a nice low 1st gear for hills while toting a couple bags of groceries back from the market. My wife had been holding out for a different bike, but after a couple rides on my 8H she told me to buy another for her. So, if you're in the RI/MA area this summer, look for us on the 2 bright red H8's!

  • 5
    Great bike, great price

    Posted by Gabriel Chavez on Jul 31st 2016

    I purchased an 8H in early June. It was delivered promptly, but was damaged by the shipper. The front suspension fork was scratched. The damage was cosmetic and Yan took care of it. I have been commuting on the bike for several weeks and have been impressed. The belt drive and internal hub are a commuters dream. I also purchased the rack pack with panniers which is a nice set up for commuting. It's much smaller than the bags on my full size bike so I'll need to purchase the head tube bag system when it becomes available. I also own a Brompton which I like for the fold, but other than that the 8h is superior.

  • 5

    Posted by Lyon Loomis on Jul 31st 2016

    I got my new 8H last week and love it! Thanks Yan, it was great to work with the owner/designer to get good info and questions answered.

    I had been wanting a folding bike with an internally geared hub and Gates belt drive for some time...the 8H brought those features to a price point I wanted. As a boater, I wanted the portability without the greasy or rusty chain.

    The 8H rides smooth, smooth, SMOOTH, AND QUIET. Very comfortable position for my 6'1" 210 lb frame. Love the longer handlebar and bar ends. Gone is the twichiness in the steering of some other very expensive fancy brand 20" folders I've ridden. The front suspension is fantastic! Also missing from those pricier bikes.

    Great job Yan!

    One little nit... the Shimano shift controller...not Downtube's fault. It runs reverse from the Shimano one on my 24 speed MTB. So, switching between bikes I have to think too much! Why so Shimano? Also noticeably stiffer upshifting versus down.