Testimonials

Please read the below testimonials. Feel free to add a testimonial by emailing yanL@downtube.com

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Don Herfert
From: Arizona

Great bicycle. The suspension functions quite well, brakes function well. The gearing is just right. Build quality is excellent. Easy to fold and lift. Highly recommended. Am looking for a rear rack - any suggestions? 

Added: March 3, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Alex Korolev
From: NY
Just have bought 8FS. It is my second bike from Downtube. Riding on bumpy surface I can feel a difference. It's worth it for me to have a full suspension bike. Although for my girlfriend Nova is better because of a lighter weight to carry. 
Added: February 28, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: N/A
From: CA 
I MOVED NOT TOO FAR FROM A TRANSIT HUB, SO I GOT THE 8 SP MINI FOR COMMUTING. I CAN HOP THE TRAIN AND THEN BIKE TO MY DESTINATION. IT DOES THIS WONDERFULLY. I LIKE THE BELT DRIVE, BECAUSE I DON'T WORRY ABOUT MUCKING SOMEONE'S DRESS CLOTHES FOR WORK WHEN I AM IN A PACKED CAR. PLUS, IT IS LIKE RIDING IN STEALTH MODE.

WELL, THIS GEM OF A BIKE IS FAST AND FUN. NOW I AM RIDING IT EVERYWHERE. I AM NOT TO FAR FROM THE BEACH, SO I LOAD UP THE BACKPACK, RIDE TO THE BEACH AND NOT WORRY ABOUT PARKING. INSTEAD OF DRIVING TO THE STORE TO PICK UP A FORGOTTEN WHATEVER, I RIDE THE BIKE, FOLD IT, PUT IT IN THE CART, GET WHAT I WANT, AND HEAD HOME. 

I DID A COUPLE OF MODS. I ADDED FENDERS TO KEEP THE MUD AND WATER OFF ME FOR THE BEACH RIDES. AND, I ADDED A REMOVABLE RACK FOR WHEN I HAVE MORE THAN MY BACKPACK CAN CARRY COMFORTABLY. 

BY THE WAY, THE MEAN GREEN MACHINE (MY WIFE'S NICKNAME FOR MY MINT GREEN MINI) IS AN ICE BREAKER. MY TEENAGE BOY LOVES IT. HE DID THE MODS. I GET ASKED ABOUT THIS BIKE ALL THE TIME. I HAVE RIDDEN A DAHON CURVE THE MINI HAS IT BEAT ON STYLE POINTS ALONE IN MY OPINION. WHEN YOU ADD THE RIDE, THE BELT DRIVE AND THE 8SP IGH, WELL IT TRULY IS NO CONTEST.
Added: February 22, 2015
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Harry S
From: N/A 
I might never own a 24 pound road bike, but I now own a 24 pound Nova Folder, It shifts nice. Brakes as well as any other bike I own. Looks pretty cool in yellow. 

I had to take a few minutes to understand the side latch, a little different from my Downtube 8FS..It has a hard rubber C shaped gasket that spreads, rather than be squeezed. Once I understood that, it was easy. On the other hand, the steerer tube hinge is easy to use and holds tight. 

The 14T top gear gives me about 14-15 mph at my fastest pedal rate. I'd like a little more speed so I'm going to try a 11-28T (free wheel) gear. 

One thing is true, This bike wants to be on smooth pavement. I have the tires up to the max and you feel every bump going faster. It will be much nicer when I ride with my wife. She gets the 8FS with full suspension, but she rides slow, so I'll be fine. 
Added: February 21, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Steven Blane
From: N/A

Best $299 bike ever! What can I say I have TWO Downtubes. I LOVE THEM. 

Added: February 8, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Francois Dubuc
From: Squamish BC Canada
we bought two FH8 (closest model to 9FS now) bofore setting sails south....after five years on the boat and biking thru Mexico-ElSalvador-Nicaragua-Panama- the caribean island-french polynesia.....I can truly confirm that our downtube are a sturdy,efficient and reliable bike. they are both still on all originals parts, only the SS chain develop some rust (aFter no rinsing from beach ride!) , not even a flat tire after all that milage in developing countries.....i call that lucky....lucky that i bought Downtube!!! 

.a smooth ride that last.... 

captain Frank, now riding in Tahiti... 
Added: January 27, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jim
From: N/A 

I'm not a bike expert but I am quite satisfied with the 8FS. 
Bought this bike for casual recreational cycling. 
My observations after owning 2 weeks are as follows: 

Fast seamless delivery. 
Fairly easy and minimal assembly 
Great quality for the price. 
Looks pretty cool, modern and 'hip'. 
Rides very nicely with the the front/rear suspension. 
Seat is comfortable for me. (Apparently some owners change the seat however.) 
Gears work fine. 
Not exactly ultra light-weight for a folding bike but acceptable I guess. 
Compact - Fits into my mid-size SUV with tons of room to spare. 
My rear brake needed adjustment as it was rubbing agains wheel. 
Folds ok. 
Good customer communication service with the Downtube company. 

So, overall I'm pretty impressed with the 8FS. I think it was a good investment for my situation. 

If you purchase, I highly suggest bringing your new 8FS to a bike mechanic immediately after assembly for a safety check, minor adjustments and peace of mind. I did this and it ran even smoother after it got the professional once-over. 

Tip - 
Surprising to me.....my bike mechanic said that the 8FS bicycle chain did not need to be oiled/greased when I brought it to him after assembly. Apparently the chain already comes coated with a special wax. 

Good luck with your research! 
It sure pays to do your homework when purchasing a folding bike. 

Added: January 9, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: N/A
From: N/A
I would definitely recommend this bike! It is very fun to ride. Quiet, clean and fast. 
After researching folding bikes I decided that I wanted one that could be packed in regular checkable airline baggage (not oversized) and that had a belt drive and an internal hub geared for climbing hills. The Downtube Mini is one of only two options that I found on the current market that meets these requirements (apparently Bike Friday just released a new bike, called the “Pakit”, but it is 2-3 times the cost of the Mini and I haven’t seen any reviews on it at this point). 
Here is a list of the concerns that I had about buying a Downtube Mini and what I learned: 
1) The bike would be too small for me (I am 6 feet tall). It fits me just fine with extension of neck/stem and the longer seat post. 
2) The bike would not climb hills well as I live Tacoma Washington which is very hilly. With the Alfine 11 hub the bike is geared low enough to tackle the steepest hills in my area. 
3) It might not fold well into regular airline baggage (so I would incur additional charges for checking oversized baggage). The mini fits well into the Samsonite F’lite hardcase. I did have to disassemble the bike at the neck and frame hinges but it is not hard to do. Takes about 10 minutes to disassemble and pack or to unpack and reassemble. 
4) Parts would be hard to replace/find. According to Yan, only the frame and forks are proprietary so replacement parts should be found easily. 
5) Customer service might be a challenge since the bikes are not found or commonly serviced in bike stores. Yan is great! He answers e-mails promptly, is easy to reach by phone and is very helpful in solving problems. I had a loose neck on the Mini when it arrived and he replaced it with a new one without issues. 
There is a potential downside for those who like to use rear rack panniers. Panniers on the rear racks of 16” wheeled bicycles tend to hit the heels of the rider as they pedal (this is not unique to Downtube). There are makeshift solutions to this such as moving the rack backwards (using some hardware and creativity) but the easier solution is to replace the stock rack with a seatpost mounted rear rack with a quick release. This puts the pannier higher and further back so your heel doesn’t hit the pannier. This is what I do and it works just fine. It does create an additional step when folding the bike (you have to loosen the quick release of the rack before lowering the seat post) but it is very fast. 
How does the Mini compare to a Brompton? 
Bromptons seem to be the easiest/fastest folding bikes on the market and the most compact when folded. However, I believe that the Downtube Mini 11 speed is a better bicycle especially for the price. The Brompton costs at least $600 more and that would only get you a 6 speed hub. I test road a 6 speed brompton at a local Seattle bike shop this week and I could not climb the steep hills next to the shop. But with the Mini I could. I have heard that Brompton can be customized to have “mountain gearing”(lower gears) but I don’t know how low the gears go and what the added cost would be for that option. 
To summarize, the Downtube Mini 11 speed is a great folding bicycle and at a good price. 
Added: January 11, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Lenny Harris
From: N/A 
I can't understand how these guys do it. This is much nicer than the bikes at my local bike shop and it is less than half the price. 
Added: January 11, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Janusz Swider
From: Warsaw, Poland
I think my 9FS is the first Downtube in Poland. A few months ago I asked my daughter to buy it and send to Poland. The bike looks nice, sturdy and well made, I like it . A frame size a little bigger than Dahon Jetstream is just for me /I am a 5'9" guy/. Now we have winter with snow in Poland, I'm waiting for the warmer days to hop on this bike to enjoy the long ride. 
Added: January 4, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Molinaro Drafino
From: N/A 
I can't believe how comfortable this bike is to ride. Much better than any other folding bike I have ever ridden. 
Added: January 3, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Sondi
From: N/A
Great bike, folds down small. It carries all my gear, and the rear fender, rack, and kickstand are perfect. 
Added: January 1, 2017
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Paul L
From: N/A
I found this manufacturer by accident while looking for reviews of other bikes. I was surprised how reasonable the price was for a light weight alloy bike with good quality components. I need the bike in a rush fora trip and they shipped right out. compartment. The full suspension gives it a soft ride nice for us old guys. Everything was adjusted and worked great, no fussing with derailleurs, shifters, or brakes! Fit nicely in the motor home storage. It does not come with a kick stand and they were out of stock at Downtube but the local bike shop had an EVO adjustable one that works fine. I'm still learning how the 20" wheels handle, watch the slow speed sharp turns! They do allow you to get going very fast which is nice. I have to add I've been riding a recumbent "tadpole" style trike for the last 10 years but it is a pain to take with the motor home. Some reviewers had trouble with the main latch pin. Having read that I sprayed both with silicone spray right out of the box and they both worked fine. Bottom line don't pass this up if your looking for a high quality folding bike that doesn't break the bank from a company that has outstanding customer service. 
Added: December 3, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Chris M
From: N/A
Seems okay, bought it for going to and from the train station and my office. It arrived well packed and survived the cross county trip. I had it tuned up at a local bike shop after it arrived, it needed a lot of adjustments. The only frustration so far is that when trying to put fenders on it the threads I the front fork are not the standard size and I had to buy additional (bigger) hex screws than those that fit every other hole on the bike. Over all for the price I think this is a Good deal. I will review again when I have had it longer. Also communication with the owner was quick and helpful. 
Added: October 22, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Kathleen B
From: N/A
I was hesitant to spend so much on something like this online, but I'm glad I took the risk! I've been wanting a bike for awhile but never went through with buying one bc of storage issues. When I found out there were folding bikes in my price range, I thought it would be fun to finally buy one. This bike suits my needs very well. I mostly use it for pedaling around my college campus. It's small and maneuvers well around people and pathways. I can pedal very slowly and still stay upright with the lower gear settings. It's also performing well on the hillier bits of campus and the bumpier stretches of road. It's easy to shift and pedal and the small size gives it a certain element of safety in busy places and at crosswalks. It also folds small enough to fit in the trunk of my mid size sedan, where it stays most the time. This bike is sleek, comfortable, sturdy and feels well made. (Had it about a week and been riding everyday) 

The reason I gave the bike only 4 stars is the ease of folding. I was frustrated at first with the difficulty in folding and unfolding. I have now gotten the hang of it, when opening, I have to use my weight as leverage to get the lock to shut, and when shutting I have to use a small object (I've been using a car key) to pop the latch back out. (This probably isn't such a bad thing overall bc it seems like it would be almost impossible for the bike to collapse while riding.) The bike is heavy and shifty and doesn't seem to lock in the folded position, so moving it around can be bothersome. Since I can easily latch up the unfolded bike to any rack around campus, this hasn't really been a problem. However I would not recommend this for an older person or someone planning to fold it up and port it around by hand. 

Maybe there is a way to lock it shut, which is another complaint I have, the bike came with almost no instructions and tells you to check you tube for details. 

One more thing to take into consideration is that I am about 200lb and it's seems just about at the weight limit for this bike. Still, it rides great for me. 

All in all for the price this bike serves its purpose and has been a helpful and fun asset to my everyday wanderings. I can't wait to take it to the beach and Cyclavia! 
Added: October 17, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: SHOICHIRO TOYAMA
From: N/A

I ALREADY OWN AN ELECTRO-KINETIC 24' UNFOLDABLE BIKE AND THIS LED ME TO POSSESS ANOTHER ONE, A FOLDABLE SMALL BIKE TO CARRY IN MY CAR. THERE ARE REALLY TONS OF BIKES BUT FOLDABLE+INNERSHIFTER+BELTDRIVEN ONE IS QUITE RARE! DOWNTUBE MINI IS ALMOST THE ONLY ANSWER TO MY REQUEST. BEFORE THE FIRST RIDE, I'M ENJOYING THE INITIATION TO BE THE OWNER OF DOWNTUBE MINI "8": A HARD LUMP UNDER DUST COVER LIP OF SHIMANO NEXUS 8 AFTER TECHNICAL BULLETIN MENTIONED ABOVE. WELCOME, MY NEW BIKE! 

Added: September 15, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tim Coburn 
From: West Valley , Utah
I received my 8 ft on Friday 9/2/16, pretty simple set up. I didn't care for the saddle so replaced it with my own. Rode git Saturday and enjoyed the ride gearing is a little lower than expected but still a fun bike to ride. I love the color.I previously owned a down tube 9 which I purchased in 2005, I hope the weld in the front gold down is better, it looks like it was beefed up compared to my 9. Still a great bike for the money. I have been riding for 68 years and hope to get in a few more. 
Added: September 4, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: N/A
From: N/A
Really enjoying riding this great bike. Everything working fine on the bike. I usually ride 7-10 miles 5 days per week. Really a good idea to tighten everything up after you unpack the bike and make sure everything is adjusted right. May want to have a bike mechanic do this if you are uncomfortable doing this yourself. Thanks for the fast ship and fast responses to my questions. 
Added: September 3, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Neill & Kathleen Corse-Scott
From: N/A
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!! 
Added: August 29, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Rabel Aracena
From: Camden, NJ 

Perfect bike for the price. Great build quality and rides so smooth on bumpy roads. It's surprisingly quick and handles well. I love riding this bike, makes me feel like a kid again.


Added: June 30, 2016

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Joel Rothschild
From: Lancaster, Pa 

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.



Added: June 9, 2016 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Alexandra Soltow
From: Sufferen, NY

I love my Downtube Nova! It has worked perfectly from the get-go and has been 100% trouble free. I've been riding it every day for the past month. I had originally bought it to take on a sailboat (which I did), but I realized that it fits really neatly in the front seat of my car, so I've used it when I was too lazy to put my bike rack on.



Added: May 2, 2016
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Lance W
From: Austin, TX 

I have a Smart car, which is as small as they come. And I was so glad to discover that the 8FS fits in the very tight space behind the seats. I emailed DOWNTUBE/Yan a photo to prove it, and it's now included in the photos here. See above. I am very happy with the bike. Other than the seat--which I immediately replaced--the bike is everything I wanted.



Added: April 17, 2016

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Michael Marble
From: Eagen, MN 

My bike arrived in less than a week. I've never owned a folding bike, but it was pretty simple to figure out the folding and unfolding after following the links here to the videos online. I brought it to the bike shop for the initial set up, and I was good to go. Due to the full suspension, the ride was very smooth on my test drive; and the gear shifting was smooth, too. Seat and handlebars adjust easily. It seems to be a fine bike so far. It's sturdy, and it looks cool, too. I look forward to using it a lot as soon as winter's over here in Minnesota (so, yeah, around June).



Added: April 5, 2016 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Scott
From: plainville, MA 

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!



Added:March 8, 2016 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Sandra Evans
From: Colorado Springs, Co 

We ordered two bikes, received them in less than a week, and they are beautiful. I had some questions regarding one of the bikes, so I left a voice message for Yan. I also sent an email, so I could send photos of the issue in question. It was late afternoon on a Friday (even later for Yan, since he's on the east coast), so I figured I'd hear back sometime the following week. He called back the same night! He answered all my questions, gave me much needed advice (I'm quite new to biking), and was great to talk with. Exceptional customer service.

We are so happy with our bikes. They fit exactly what we wanted. Highly recommended.



Added: February 27, 2016

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Daniel Long
From: Jersey City, NJ 

I'm blown away by the smooth ride my 9FS delivers.
I ride in nyc, I need a bike that is comfortable, compact, durable and can handle all the BS that NYC will throw at me during my commute. Thanks to Yan such a bike is now in my possession.

Cheers!



Added: October 22, 2015

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: John Haines
From: North Carolina 

The Mini will become my new world touring bike. i've taken different bikes on the plane with me for a number of years. I commute 12 mo of the year. The mini is solid, a wonderful ride, fantastic gearing ratio for large loads. I am outfitting it to take my large panniers and pull my collapsible aluminum trailer. Excellent service from Yan on my second bike from him.



Added: May 28, 2015 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Gabriel Chavez
From: Madison, WI 

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.



Added: June 27, 2015 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: LYON LOOMIS
From: Sarasota, FL 

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.



Added: June 15, 2015

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Christopher Ihm
From: Fresh Meadows, NY 

In a little less than a year I've put just short of 300 miles on the 9FS. I should bike more, because I'm gaining weight - but the bike is handling it very well despite my minimal maintenance. As a full-suspension bike with moderately-wide tires, the 9FS is smooth and comfortable to ride. I've added some basic stuff like rechargeable lights and a removable basket, but the tires and seat remain "stock" and I'm fine with them. I keep it all in my car trunk so I can bike after work. I find it takes me far longer to change into "biking clothes" at 5pm than it takes to pull out and setup the folder. So I shoot for two rides a week - once on the weekend and once after work. This is a well-built, easy to use and comfortable bike, so I have no excuse to blow off riding it, which is exactly what I was looking for.

 



Added: May 23, 2015
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: D & R
From: North Carolina 
Have had our Downtube Novas for about a month now and are greatly enjoying riding them. We like the way the bikes handle and find the folding/unfolding to be a simple process. Easy to fit them in the back of our small car to take along when we travel. 

Especially like the good communication with Yan; he's quick to answer questions; great personal service.
Added: September 27, 2014 

Submitted by

Testimony:
Name: Scott T
From: Chicago 
E-mail:stip78@hotmail.com
I have had my Nova for a few months now. It is fantastic. I wanted a reasonably priced folder, but something with real parts. This was the perfect option. I travel a lot and it can come with me anywhere. It takes about 20 seconds to set up and I am off and running. When I first got it, I had a question on how to pull the latch out. Yan was able to help me immediately and all was well. The frame is nice and comfortable. It will be with me for a long, long time. One mistake I made was not to buy the travel bag. Do this. It's not a big deal but I have scratched up my fork and I can't help but think it wouldn't have happened with the travel bag. Great bike. Check it out.
Added: November 29, 2014 


Submitted by Testimony:
Name: ros
E-mail:prolightbox@yahoo.ca
This is my second review for Downtube 9FS after 1.5 year of use this bike, almost 3000km done on it and I'm still very happy with this bike, I just removed front suspension fork and installed rigid aluminum fork instead with wide front tire (1.95" and 1,5" 100psi rear tire, this bike is fast, rigid and still has no flex at all, amazing!
Added: October 24, 2014 


Submitted by Testimony:
Name: D & R
From: North Carolina 
Have had our Downtube Novas for about a month now and are greatly enjoying riding them. We like the way the bikes handle and find the folding/unfolding to be a simple process. Easy to fit them in the back of our small car to take along when we travel. 

Especially like the good communication with Yan; he's quick to answer questions; great personal service.
Added: September 27, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Fred Hull
From: Sacramento, CA 
E-mail:fhull@cwnet.com
I just received my new orange Nova yesterday! 

...and the first bike I saw after leaving my office was a rider on an orange VIIIFS in front of the State Capitol (in Sacramento), he was happy with his Downtube as well. 

The Nova rides great and is lighter than the Dahon Speed I was riding as my full time commuter bike, the shifting is better, no crack on the frame by the seat stem from the plastic shim adjusting for a misfitting seat tube and no flexie steering due to a design flaw in the hinge clamp – a good call going with the Brompton design hinge. 

Thank you for a great bike, the weight, fold and ride are just what I wanted. 

I have a VIIIFS for the last 5 years with no problems, I just needed a tighter fold and lighter bike to take into the office where bikes are "forbidden". Cant beat the weight for the price!
Added: September 19, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tom J
From: New Hampshire 
I recently took my DownTube on a one hour journey by air from eastern Massachusetts to Katama Airpark on Martha's Vineyard. It folded nicely and stowed easily in the rear seat of a Piper Cherokee. It's always been a dream to land at an unfamiliar airport and explore the area for the day. I earned my private pilot license in 2013, and recently I achieved that goal with my trusty DownTube companion. 

My DownTube has also journeyed with me countless times on the commuter rail into Boston. Upon arrival I would ride from Boston's North Station into Cambridge (a savings of about 15 minutes each direction). 

It's a great little folding bike that rides and has the feel/stability of a larger bike. Yan makes a great product that I still enjoy greatly five years after I purchased it!
Added: September 1, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Julia S.
From: Antioch Ca 
E-mail:jullia887@yahoo.com
Thanks for a great bike!!!
Added: August 19, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: TimC
From: St Petersburg, FL 
E-mail:topcorner@cfl.rr.com
Have been researching folding bikes for our boat for some time, looking at various brands/price ranges from $200 - $1000. Key requirements --- good suspension as wife had 6 screws and a plate in neck and cannot take the jarring and all aluminum as we are in a salt water environment. These proved to be tough requirements to fill, that is until a recent excursion with several other boats. Most folks had folding bikes so we were able to ride several different brands – three different Dahon, Citizen, Schwinn, Dynamic (love the drive shaft idea but no suspension and at high end of price.). None really were comfortable. Then a vessel arrived with a brand I had not seen in my research – Downtube. They had a ~2007 era mini and a 8FS. The 8FS ride was so much better than the others. They fit right in the middle of our price range which surprised me because the build quality was equal to much higher priced bikes. 

Upon returning home, I found the Downtube site. Still had a couple questions which I sent to Yan. He immediately provided answers (on a Sunday!) and also gave me his phone number. We had a nice chat about the bikes, my requirements and how the suspension had been improved further since 2007. We pulled the trigger and purchased two. They arrived within three days. 

UPS delivered and the boxes showed some damage, holes in one and dents in the other. I accepted them, photographed the damaged boxes and opened. Was pleasantly surprised at the detail taken in packing/protecting the bikes. There was no damage. Took longer to remove all the protective wrap than it took to unfold the bike. I followed the excellent online instructions for initial setup making minor tweaks to the gears and we were on the road. The only thing I wish it had as a standard feature is a kickstand. I picked up a couple from our local bike shop. 

I can’t say enough about how comfortable the ride is on these bikes. They roll like our full –sized Trek’s but with a softer ride due to the full suspension. All the joints are tight, unlike some of the other brands mentioned above. Trigger shifters are a nice feature as are the mini handle bar ends that make for a nice upright position on long rides. Most important my wife loves this bike and that is all that really matters in this entire review. :> 

My only recommendation is for Downtube to invest a bit in search optimization for its web site. A generic Google search for “20” folding bicycles” did not show Downtube on the first three search result pages (I didn’t go further). Downtube might be the best kept secret in the folding bike industry.
Added: July 8, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: dan
From: outside of Boston 
Some expert help from the owner (wow!) via email as well as the terrific sale price and good specs on the Nova convinced me to take the plunge. I ordered on Wednesday and took delivery on Friday. The bike arrived in good shape...no chipping of any paint, everything in working order (but for a broken bell ringer which Downtube agreed to replace). The bike is beautiful. Well-engineered. Everything works like it's supposed to. The brakes are very effective which is very handy in the city. The geometry is upright which took a minute to get used to but makes for falling-in-a-pool easy track-stands. It could use a bit higher gearing but does have a braze-on for a front derailer and I'm not sure I really want to go that fast (going about 20 downhill this morning felt a little twitchier than I like...don't try to re-enact scenes from Quicksilver). I like the very solid handlebar clamp (i'm told it's the same as the Brompton) and the new Dahon hinge is rock-solid. The bike is very light (25lbs) and folds up in seconds. 
Very happy with the purchase
Added: June 30, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Chris Ihm
From: Fresh Meadows, Queens, NY 
E-mail:chris.ihm@gmail.com
When I moved to an apartment in Queens I knew it was time to switch to a folding bike. I did a fair amount of research looking for one that was sturdy enough to carry my weight (225), would fold small and be fairly light to carry, would roll when folded, wouldn't break the budget. The 9FS met those criteria. 

I ordered it last Wednesday and received it on Friday as Yan predicted, and the bike was packed well enough that UPS wasn't able to damage it. In fact, after doing the bike-store-style checkup posted on the Downtube website, I was able to take it out for a quick spin two hours after I opened the box. 

Today I rode ten slightly-hilly miles on a multi-use path. The 9FS continues to feel solid and comfortable, and I'm looking forward to many more miles, and a lot more of the fun I had today. That is, if I can keep my wife off of it - I may need to order another one!
Added: June 24, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Paulo Maribondo
From: Rio - Brazil 
E-mail:paulodsm@gmail.com
This is my second 9FS. I bought the first one in Jan/2012, but unfortunately I was stolen at the College. As I liked the bike very much, I decided buying a new one during a trip to US (and also a good locker... lol). As I told in my first testimonial, this bike worth it a lot! Full suspension make the ride very very comfortable. Adding a pair of fenders and a rear rack will make this one an excelent commuter. 

I have to register that Yan (Downtube owner) helped me a lot with shipping issues. My hotel did not allow receiving packages, so I asked him to send me using a "hold and pick-up" service from Fedex and he promptly solved my problem. 

I have already asked Yan to check how to send bikes to Brazil, as Downtube has a very fair price.
Added: May 24, 2014 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Marty Minari
From: West Palm Beach Florida 
E-mail:marty@bngsailing.com
I ordered this bike Monday and It arrived on Thursday. I have been looking for a folder that would fit easily in a storage space on our sailboat yet not feel like a clown bike when you are riding it and the FS9 fit the bill. I spoke a few minutes with Yan and said if we like it we would grab another for my wife to which he replied you will be getting another. He is right, we will soon be ordering another. I have already put a couple of miles on the bike and am very impressed. I am 6'0" 220 pounds and don't feel at all cramped on the FS9. All around great product Yan! 

Thanks 
Marty Minari 
B&G Sailing Adventures
Added: May 1, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Roger Sarasin
From: Montreal, Quebec 
E-mail:roger.sarrasin@sympatico.ca
After many searches to find the best afordable folder, I found it here. 9 speeds, front shock and many other well designed features for commuting and touring in one single model is very impressive ! Bravo Downtube !
Added: April 24, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: KJ after exhaustive research on 20-inch wheeled folders and numerous questions that were quickly answered by Yan, ordered the orange nova. arrived in just a few days, well-packed. i appreciate that i can easily modify this bike w/the standard bike parts. like this bike so much i plan to order another and ditch my 26-inch wheels!
Added: April 6, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: art
From: Western NC 
I wanted a folding bike to take along for RV trips, but did not want to use a bike rack. A fellow RVer recommended Downtube, which I had never heard of. After some research I decided to give one a try. Sent a email to Yan asking his recommendation for my needs and he replied within 15 minutes, suggesting the FS9 since I am over 200 lbs. The bike arrived in great shape 2 days after my order. Again, had a question and emailed Yan and he called me within 15 mintues! The bike needed no adjustments other than a minor twist of the barrel for the shifter and then it was all fine. I am a retired guy, 66, and have ridden casually most of my life. My full size is a Trek Navigator (comfort/cruiser) and had other Treks before so it's not like I went from a K-mart bike to this FS9. I was astounded how smoothe the bike functioned. The handling was amazing and it rode like I was almost on a full size bike. It is also easy now to take the bike to a local park with bike trails wihout having to put on the trunk mount or the hitch mount for the full size bike. My lady tried the bike today and she was also amazed. I only had to lower the seat and handlebars slightly for her. I am 5'8" and she is 5'3". I do not have experience with other folders, but this folder has more than met my needs so far. The only modification I expect to do at this point is to change to a comfort seat since that is more my riding style. I love the upright driving position to which I have the bike adjusted. In this day and age I am reluctant to put my email address (SPAM, NSA, etc) in here but I can assure you this post is for real. I am very happy with the purchase so far.
Added: March 24, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Kevin Wilson
From: San Antonio, TX 
E-mail: ksw.phx@gmail.com
After hours and hours of researching folding bikes, I bought a 2008 Downtube 9sp front suspension. It's 2014 and haven't had one issue with the bike outside the normal wear and tear in six years. 
I'm 200+ lbs and jump curbs with no hesitation...still not one issue. The only other folder I would buy is the Brompton, but at $1400...that isn't happening. Downtube still stands out amongst it's competitors six years later. Better design, better build, and the best value folder on the market.
Added: March 9, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Denver kinard
From: South carolina 
E-mail:Denver_kinard@yahoo.com
I bought a Downtube Nova in orange and I love it. I was looking for a little higher gearing so I switched out the crank with a 52 tooth. When I tried to transfer my pedals I had some trouble and I emailed Dr Lyansky,directly and he answered my questions by a reply email in less than 15 minutes. Amazing. The customer service associated with Downtube is unrivaled. I would buy another one just for the customer service but the bikes are awesome as well. Very fast folding, extremely lightweight for a folder, and looks fantastic. I get complements everywhere I go. And my 11 year old rides it so much that he is saving up to buy one of his own. Would defiantly purchase another, and most likely will be soon.
Added: March 6, 2014 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Dale D.
From: Guam 
E-mail:pogibro@hotmail.com
i purchasd the 9FS. a really geat bike. For a folder it makes very few compromises. Once unfolded you are riding a solid bike, very comfortable (I am 6'2" amd 210 lbs), with a great suspension system. a good looking bike, too!
Added: October 18, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: David Whitten
From: Memphis,Tennessee 
E-mail:Davidewhitten@hotmail.com
I bought a 2011 Dahon Speed D7. For a Good price. The bike was hardly used. Not too many Folders in Memphis,Tn.USA.Then I purchased a 2013 Downtube Silver 9 from Downtube online. Yan had the bike shipped in two business days.The difference between the two bikes is like Day & Night! The Dahon rides stiff,makes noises,uncomfortable under geared with 7 speed. and throws chains with it's low end components.The Silver 9 right out the box(very minor adjustments)rode like a Dream. This is a wonderfully designed Bike. I love everything about it. All it needs is a matching front fender.I am going to use my Dahon when I travel on the road.I am going to keep my Downtube at home to be ridden in Class & Style.( It's a Chick Bike) The Ladies go Crazy over this Gem.I want to thank Yan Lyansky.For creating this masterpiece of a wonderful Bike.Thank You Yan! David Whitten. Memphis, Tennessee. USA.
Added: September 24, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Ros
From: Canada 
E-mail:photoshutter@sympatico.ca
I have 9FS bike for about 3 months, very very happy with this folder, frame on this bike is strong, no flex, good manufacturing, I just added many upgrades on this bike like rear and from fenders, 48T oval Sugino chainring, front disk brake, Brooks saddle B67, rear rack attached to seatpost, shifter Sram X0 short cage, wider handle bar than stocked, this bike rides like butter, I think Downtube 9FS is much better bike than Brompton, faster, smoother, and even it's looks pretty cool, Thank you.
Added: September 4, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Kevin
From: Boston, MA 
E-mail: kstine93@gmail.com
I bought my 9 speed Downtube 2 years ago for college. I take it on the subway and ride it to work. 
I've never had to take it in for a tune-up. 
i've never had a flat tire. 
Nothing has broken and it still rides like a charm after 2 years of riding. 
And all that for $400? 
I am so surprised by the sheer quality of this bike that I had to write my own testimonial. 
Look no further for a folding bike.
Added: June 20, 2013 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tom
From: Connecticut 
E-mail:thinkinginpictures@hotmail.com
One word- UNBELIEVABLE. I'm not joking. I have the 9FS and the bike is simply amazing. I'm already going to order some extra parts, but bought the bike used. Now the only thing I wish is that I just bought it new. That's because they don't lose a lot of value, so you might as well get the newer one. And with the black out bits I think they look more modern. Here's a few impressions I've gathered: 

I read a rant from someone stating the brakes aren't that strong. So I put this to the test. I took it down the hill next to my house that has an easy 50 degree incline- stopped on a dime. I weight 160lbs and thought about upgrading to discs. Why? They work great just the way they are. 

Build quality is great. Solid as a rock. I hear the 2013's are even better, but the 2010 I have can be tightened down perfectly with no wiggle in either the handles or seat post. 

9 speeds work great. I thought they might not be enough, but now I'm wondering why I'd need more. I've taken it on a long ride and can't seem to find any need for extra gears. If your a bike nut, then maybe. But for the average Joe- well, I just don't see how you could be disappointed. 

The handle bars are wide- and I love it. I didn't know if it would matter but IT DOES. It makes it so much more comfortable and easier to maneuver. You completely forget your on a folding bike. 

Adjustable suspension! I thought it might be to soft- wrong again. It's so easy to adjust and felt absolutely perfect even climbing hills. 

It folds fine. Is it the most compact in the world. No- but who cares? Frankly, I can't tell at all. It fits in my Chevy Sonic with a ton of room to spare. For the added comfort of a suspension, I'll take a few extra pounds. 

I'm so happy with this bike that I'm almost obsessed with it. Tomorrow is suppose to be nice out and I can't wait to take it for a ride. I get tons of looks on this thing too. 

Now, time to start ordering all the extra bells and whistles. This is the best bike I've ever owned.
Added: June 15, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Steven
From: MD, USA 
Long review ahead... 

I just bought a 2013 9FS after doing a good bit of research on folding bikes. Once I decided on it, I needed it quickly so I made sure they had a black one in stock, and Yan made sure that it got out the same day I ordered. In fact, it arrived here the very next day! A+ service! To top it off, the "black" paint has gorgeous multi-color metallic flakes in it that really pop in the sun, which I didn't expect. 

After unboxing, inspecting, adjusting, and tightening everything, I took it on an 8 mile test ride right away. In short, I am very impressed. It's a solid design and the components are pretty decent. Most of the complaints I've seen of past model years have been completely addressed. 

-Folding/Unfolding 
This is my first folder and all I have to compare to is my co-worker's Brompton. The 9FS isn't as compact as the Brompton, but it's still very reasonable... I can fit it completely under my desk at work. The latching mechanisms work well. They're easy to operate (once you get used to it) and they hold the frame and the steerer tube very firmly while in use (addressing some past complaints). I do wish the bike latched in the folded position, but the included velcro strap works well enough when positioned right. It's tight enough that I can easily wheel the bike around using the (extended) saddle. Both pedals fold easily even though they feel plenty stiff when in use (another past complaint fixed). 
I weighed the bike @ 31 lbs, which is pretty light to me. It's 'slightly' awkward to carry around when folded, but not too bad. I much prefer wheeling it. The only negative to me is that certain parts rub against other parts when folded and leave clear rub marks. They are small, though, and not noticeable unless you look for them. 
Overall I give the folding attributes a solid B+. 

-Ride 
(For reference, I'm 5'8" and 175lbs.) 
While the suspension is certainly not top-notch and the fork is on the soft side for my weight, it does work very well in soaking up normal road bumps and the occasional shallow pot-hole. There is no comparison with the Brompton, which is like riding on a stiff roller-blade with rocks for wheels. My co-worker's very first comment when riding my 9FS was "Wow, it's so smooth!". We tried out each other's bikes to compare. While the Brompton does fold into a smaller thing, the 16" wheels and lack of suspension make it as miserable to ride as it is compact IMHO. The 9FS is much smoother and more stable, and the shifting and braking is better, too. I just can't see why anyone would spend a couple thousand on a Brompton when the 9FS is so much better to ride, unless you absolutely have to have the slightly smaller footprint. She was impressed, too, and I think she might have a 9FS instead of her Brompton if she had known. 
It shifts crisply and precisely and the V-brakes work well for the bike's purposes. I'm very happy with the gear ratios as well, from a hill-climbing low to a high that's comfy for me to cruise at a GPS verified 15-18mph. It'll go faster without going overboard (depending on the rider), but it's no race bike, of course. 15-18mph on the flats has a lazy-perfect cadence in my opinion. 
As for riding position, it feels great to me and has more than enough adjustment (especially the seat tube). The mini bar-ends actually do make cruising more relaxed (I was surprised that such small ends could actually make a difference). 
The only real negative in my mind about the ride is the hard saddle, that's the only widespread complaint that hasn't been addressed, I think. However, it's not a bad thing if you're one of those Lycra types who wants to pedal as efficiently as possible no matter what (but then again, if that's the case then this bike isn't really for you). That's easy enough to remedy with a new saddle of your choice though, just something to keep in mind. Still, some may like it as is. 
While 'ride quality' is entirely subjective, I'll just say that you could do much worse on a 26" non-folding bike, let alone a 20" folder. 

-Quality/Fit/Finish 
Not too shabby! This is another area in which they're leaps and bounds ahead of past years, from what I've been reading. Honestly, I can't see much that needs to be improved upon at this price point with regards to the quality. 
The only issue I can think of is that my rear wheel is slightly out of true right from the box, but that's an adjustment away from being right. 
I guess I could go back to the issue of parts rubbing when folded, but that's a minor issue and hard to control with the adjustability of the bike (namely the steering parts), and it's a non-issue issue while in use. 
The welds are consistent and nice looking (though that doesn't alone say there aren't any invisible issues with them). It's as good as one can tell from looking at it, at least. 
The powder-coating is well-applied, beautiful, and smooth. 
Everything seems to fit together just as it should, which is more than I can say for most products I see coming from China (especially bikes). 
Other than the true of the wheels which can be adjusted, I can honestly give quality, fit, and finish a solid A+, regardless of price point. 

-Durability 
This largely remains to be seen, as it is still pretty much new. I did take it over a few 1-1.5" high expansion joints at speed without standing up (to make sure it wouldn't fall apart), and it didn't complain. The suspension not only absorbs some shock for the rider, it does the same for the frame, which makes it less prone to any kind of failure vs a no-suspension bike. 
The bike overall feels solid and I'm not concerned about its durability for its intended use. 

-Value 
No ifs, ands, or buts, this is, by far, the best bang-for-the-buck folding bike you can buy. While the components aren't 'the' best that money can buy, they are quite good I think (better than year's past), and more than good enough for what this bike is designed to do. It doesn't have *all* the bells and whistles (it actually does have a bell though, LOL), but it has quite enough for a 20" folder. Full suspension is the obvious one, but it also has 9-speeds, a nice shifter, decent V-brakes, and mini bar-ends among a couple other things. 
If you do want to upgrade or add, they added mounts for front and rear disk brakes, a front derailleur, cargo racks, and a kick stand (but honestly, I think it should include a kickstand. Regardless, I paid $12.50 for the one on mine now so it's not a big deal). 
Overall, this bike gets an A++ for value. 

In summary, I couldn't ask for much more than this bike has to offer for my purposes. It's definitely not perfect, but for what it is... it's great! As it comes, the only thing I would change is the saddle and the lack of a kickstand. If it isn't obvious enough by now, I'm very happy with my purchase and I would certainly buy it again if I had it to do all over. 
Hopefully my review will help others to make informed decisions. Not everything is for everyone, so do your research and make sure you're buying what will work for you! The DT 9FS just so happens to work for me. 
Enough of all that, now, it's time to go for a ride!
Added: May 5, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Michael M
From: Fullerton CA 
I got the Downtube bike because of my brother. We are very happy 
i dont usually talk bike i buy. but i get lots of complements from people, highly recomeded 
thx 
MM
Added: February 15, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Paulo Maribondo
From: Rio de Janeiro (Niterói) 
E-mail: paulodsm@gmail.com
Just bought a Downtube 9FS 2013 model. The ride is very, very smooth here in Rio's streets, where cycloways and asphalts quality are not a big concern for city hall. Due to front and read suspensions, ride became much better. Considering the cost of this product, I can guaratee this bike's worth it a lot.
Added: February 14, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Rowe
From: Seattle, WA 
I love Nova! I have a mountain bike but it had been gathering dust for the past 3 years. The Nova, never a week that I don't use it. I used to bike to work daily but the ride was too short so I ride it during the weekends, where I can bike for an hour or so. 

I get many compliments on it while on the road. I wish there's a bag for this so I can take it to my flights and explore a new city. 

Looking forward to getting a mini! That is, if you guys are producing it. I fly to new cities all the time and would love to bring a bike on my flight! Pls keep me posted once you got a Mini again. Otherwise, I continue to enjoy my Nova.
Added: January 26, 2013 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jimmy Trice
From: Chicago, Il 
E-mail: trice_jimmy@yahoo.com
I bought my FS9 about 3months ago. I love the bike, it is a great deal for the prize. It's crazy what you get out of that little thing. I'm still impressed. I started a decorating contest project in my mind as if i got to have the best looking bike out there. I was even able to put some bad as plastic black mud flaps on the bike, and they look stupid, retarded. i believe that i got the best looking bike in the world. I'm crazy i know, but it's fun. i choose downtube over any folding bike out there hands down. Oh i also done a of other upgrades to the bike, like a new deraileur, disc brakes, seat, the way i positioned my lights, and even the kickstand i got, lifts the bike up, crazy, didn't even see that coming, and hand grips. People that bought dahon's missed out. don't let the china sticker fool you. the best folder for under 1000.00.
Added: December 27, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Peter Frischknecht
From: Apex, NC 
E-mail: cachaca@gmail.com
I will make it short... 
It is a great bike. 
I have a road bike, a mountain bike, an A-Bike, and the Downtube. 
The downtube has quickly become my favorite. It lives in the trunk of my car, and has the unforeseen advantage of being useable by my 7 year old, as well as me. 
It feels like a bike, not a toy. I have jumped ramps, done wheelies, rode backwards sitting on the handlebar... yeah... it is a bike. 
If I was to complain, this is my list: 
- It is small and light enough...butr not enough to easily fit in a suitcase 
- The gearing is too close together... top speed is not really fast. 
- breaking system is poor... downright lame components 

Otherwise, this bike is super... I love it.
Added: November 8, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Thomas Perry
From: San Francisco 
E-mail: tp3953@att.com
Dear Sirs It’s been two years since I've owned 2 of your wonderful bikes. I am a sailor and have often carried my full-sized bike on my boat to ride when we went ashore to enjoy the area. The bikes where too big and had to sit out on deck to travel which would subject them to the extreme salt air and sea conditions. 
I thought, how much more convenient it would be to have folding bikes, so I spent many months looking around our local bike shops then online for what I felt would be the type of bikes we wanted. I saw all the usual popular folding bikes but was concerned that the small 20” wheels would create a stiffer ride, I read many blogs and decided on the “Down Tube 8FH” brand bases on the feedback I read, it was reasonably priced and comes with full suspension. We have used these bikes for two years now and love them. These bikes are dedicated to the boat only. Its quality built and has a smooth ride, great for the light dirt trails along the coast and the 8 speed internal hub to keep things clean verses the usual derailleur configuration. On my bike I have put on fenders, a front disk brake and a rack on the back with Panniers for carrying extra clothing or for picking up food etc. for the boat. The other I’ve kept stock. It weighs about 27 LBS. a bit more with the extras added but light enough to carry on your back in the carrying bag while climbing up the ramp from the boat ramps. The Bikes are folded into their own bags and kept in one of our 3 sleeping cabins and supported by a lee cloth. We have no problems getting them through the cabin door, the companion way or into our dingy. They’re made of aluminum and built to withstand the sailing environment. We are no longer relegated to staying only around the marinas, but enjoy a daily bike ride to Light Houses, wharfs, farmers markets or city activities. Everyone that sees them says what a great idea and where did you get those? I tell them you can order them on line. For cruisers it’s a great way to get your exercise and enjoy the back road sites of out coast line. Thank you for designing a great bike we enjoy them every time we unfold them.
Added: October 17, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Alex
From: New York 
I love my new Downtube Nova folding bike. I use it for commuting in New York City: each morning I ride two miles from where I live to the subway station, fold the bike, roll it ahead of me under the turnstile, and carry it up the stairs and into the train. When I get to my stop, I roll it out of the turnstile again, then unfold it and ride the last half-mile to work. I did replace the seat with a firmer one and adjust the derailleurs a bit when it arrived; but, otherwise, the bike has been great. Almost every day, people on the subway see it folded up and ask about it.
Added: September 2, 2012
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Ron S.
From: Rapid City, South Dakota USA 
I bought my Downtube 9FS about a year and a half ago. I've been thoroughly impressed with it in nearly every way. It folds up easily and is compact---it fits into my sub-compact trunk easily. It is also extremely comfortable to ride. I have found myself choosing my Downtube over my non-folding bike. 

I should also point out that this is a bike that turns heads. People often wonder what it is. The gearing on it is excellent. Once in a while I do wish there was a 10th gear but the gearing is so impressive and smooth the rest of the way that I rarely think of it. 

I highly recommend the Downtube over other folding bikes that I've looked at.
Added: August 19, 2012 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Rob
From: Houston 
I have two Downtube Novas and a Citizen Gotham2. The Novas have a much stiffer frame (look at the connection of the handlebars to the stem for one reason why), better folding mechanisms, better overall quality (fit and finish), and many minor advantages (pedals, ergonomic handlebars, etc.). The Gotham2 does have a more comfortable saddle, stainless steel chain (my preference), and perhaps a slightly better derailleur (TX-31 vs. TZ-50). In terms of ride, there is no comparison. The Novas are fun to ride. The Gotham2 feels like work. Think sports car vs. truck. If I could do it all over again, I would have three Novas.
Added: June 29, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tori V.
From: St. Louis, MO 
E-mail:tvernau@gmail.com
I'm probably in error about the age of my bike - so just to be honest, it may be 3-4 years old now. Regardless, its a great bike, and I'm grateful that I bought the "mini" when I did. Thanks again.
Added: May 12, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tori V.
From: St. Louis, MO 
E-mail:tvernau@gmail.com
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for making your "mini" available to me. I am short, and really didn't mind paying more for a bike that would fit me better. I continue to be impressed with this fun bike, and am SO GLAD that I bought it when I did, since right now, it isn't available! Thank you! This bike is now 2 years old and going strong, and I still like this little package! It keeps up fine with the larger frame downtube, or other touring type bikes, and I'm glad to say that its still exactly what I need!
Added: May 12, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Doug P
From: Cincinnati, OH 
E-mail:dougpendery@me.com
Just received my second Nova. The 2nd bike equals the first bike out of the box. Everything was adjusted perfectly. The burst orange color is a great color. Our daughter loves the color and the bike. 

I do not quite understand a prior posting with regards to the quality of the bike because it is made in China. Probably 98% of all bikes sold in the USA are now made in China. In fact most expensive $2000+ carbon composite bikes are now made in China. 

By the way for those worried about paint chips as a result of folding the bike against itself I would suggest the use of plastic foam pipe insulation. This can be purchased at your local hardware store. About a 2 inch piece at each touch point is all you need. 

We are heading to the Carolinas in a few weeks. Can't wait to put some miles on our bikes....
Added: February 22, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Doug P
From: Cincinnati, OH 
E-mail:dougpendery@me.com
I ordered the Nova.... And I gotta tell you that I was not expecting much of a folding bike for the dollars that I spent.... So...... I was quite surprised when the Nova arrived.... The shipping packaging and packing was excellent... Not a scratch on the bike...The quality far exceeded my expectations.... Including the tapped rack lugs and the FD lug and cable lug... And that the bike was adjusted and set up so well, was even a bigger plus. 

I did order the "gray" and the bike looks more green-blue.... But the color really looks sharp... I am very impressed to say the least... 

Great bike.... Excellent timing on the shipping .... Thank you so much... I will probably order a 2nd one shortly for my wife...
Added: February 8, 2012 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jason Robinson
From: Guelph, Ontario, Canada 
E-mail:jasonrobinson@rogers.com
I purchased a 9FS a few weeks ago, and managed to get 2 rides in before the winter season hit. I am not an avid cyclist, but intend on riding to and from work come spring time. As I live in a small condo, I decided that a folding bike was a necessity and I did quite a bit of research before settling on a Downtube. So far, I have been immensely satisfied with the quality that I got for such a reasonable price. It shipped very quickly and was packaged very well. All of the parts seem to function well, and most of them are well above basic quality parts. 
Thank you for such a good value!
Added: January 2, 2012
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Andrew
From: Singapore 
E-mail:ataysg@yahoo.com.sg
Having read so much great reviews, I made a commitment to purchase a 9FS. As suggested by Yan, I managed to contact the a reseller in Jakarta. Flew there, bought the bicycle and flew back with it. 

No regrets, performed well and most important value for money. 

Thanks Downtube..
Added: November 18, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Kevin Murphy
From: Baltimore, MD 
Hello, 

Two years ago (after much research and several dead ends) I bought a Orange FS-9. Being 6", 240lbs, with lower back problems, I needed a ride that would be strong and not beat me up. It is solid and the front/rear shocks cushion my big b***. 

It is manuverable enough to ride on the sidewalk, comfortable over potholes and convenient enough to fit in the trunk of my subcompact. 

It was meant to be a puttering around 'vacation/boardwalk' bike, but after changing the chainwheel to 56 teeth, it's my all time bike. 

I joined a local bike club (casual riders!!) and I have no problems doing 10-12 mph. Note: it is NOT to be confused with a Tour De France road bike, but to be a 'pavement' bike. 

The bike (and helmet, gloves, extra bike shorts) live in my trunk. And I'm ready to ride a trail, neighborhood, shopping center anytime. Besides the one/two mile exploring rides I did the last two weeks, I did 24, 28, 31 mile group rides with friends. 

Needless to say, it is always the object of curiosity. 

Obviously I am uber pleased with this bike. The only upgrades being the longer seat stem (option) and the 56t chainwheel (should be an option). 

Thank you, 
Kevin Murphy
Added: July 27, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Greg
From: Florida 
E-mail:gjl2home@yahoo.com
We purchased our Downtube IX FS bikes over 4 years ago while on a trip in Florida. We bought them online, sight unseen and had them delivered to the RV park we were in at the time. They fit well in the back of our Subaru WRX. We now ride them every Sunday for 20 - 25 mile trips even though we have some 26" street bikes we could ride. These bikes have a very comfortable ride (other than the hard seat)and shift well. Ever since we first rode them we get lot's of looks and interesting comments from kids and adults alike about how cool these bikes are. If we had a mobile dealership in our RV we probably could have sold hundreds of them. The RV is now gone and we no longer need foldable bikes but .... these are still the bike of our choice to ride. In fact ... today I'm shopping for new tires since the originals are showing threads You just simply can't go wrong with this bike!!
Added: July 1, 2011
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: James
From: Fairview,N.J. 
E-mail: jgocto2@aol.com
I must congratulate the people over at Downtube! I had ordered my Downtube Nova-(in White as my 6yr. old son suggested-Lol!) and I am so happy! I've been teaching my son how to ride but I've not been able to ride with him because I have to drive to his favorite park-where he feels comfortable. My old mountain bike doesn't fit in this little car with his bike and I've not found a bike rack, that I liked for the car. So,I did my research and found that Downtube offered some really nice folding bikes for reasonable prices-especially for someone like me who just got back into riding and has a small budget to work with. I love this bike SOOOOO Much!!! Thank you for building a bike that I can go anywhere with my son. It's brought me so much joy! Thank you!!! 
Sincerely, 
James G. !!!
Added: June 30, 2011 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Boby
From: Malang, Indonesia 
E-mail: tb_iseza@yahoo.com
Cycling is one great way to have fun and exercise at the same time. Folding bike is a great choice for this, when you travel a lot by car, foldbike can easily be brought and use. 

Downtube Nova was very satisfying and enjoyable for me. Nice look, lightweight, easy to fold (Can be folded less than 30 seconds) , and of course, comfortable to ride. 

There are so many cheaper folding bikes out there, but, really, don't compromise price for quality. 
Better spent a bit more to get what you will really enjoy for a long time, than getting cheap bikes which is not so comfortable and might break easily and give you troubles.. 

Trust me, Downtube is really a great choice for your cycling. 
Have fun cycling with Downtube!
Added: June 16, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Riki
From: Indonesia 
E-mail:antareja49@gmail.com
Get a something to ride on a bike? Downtube nova white is the answer,yeah two days ago i got it from my pal Mr.Ardi thanks a lot to him, being a beginner as newbie.I feel something different with another bike its light and easy to control also lively. 
Finally, I found the effectual choice,wait my another story with my mine.
Added: June 10, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Verdy
From: Indonesia (east Kalimantan) 
E-mail: verdys@gmail.com
Just bought the 2011 Downtube 9FS White, a couple of days ago from a local vendor in Jakarta (online purchase). The bike feels great, better ride than my folding MTB on the road. Only clocked ± 50 km so far, will plan to have longer trips in the near future :-) 

One thing I noticed, there is no "D" symbol on the front post, only "Downtube 9 FS" on each side. At first, I suspect the bike to be a fake version, but after matched all the equipments installed on this website and feels the ride quality, it looks too good to be a fake. Any explanation why there is no "D" symbol on the front? My vendor also doesn't understand why there is no "D" symbol :-( 

I plan to install a rack at the back, soon. I'll see how it goes :-)
Added: April 11, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: George C.
From: Lexington, MI 
E-mail: gcrackel@avci.net
I have been researching and shopping for folding bikes for about two years and finally decided on a pair of Downtube 9FS's. The last bike I had came from a department store in 1974 and bike technology has certainly changed! 

I placed the order in mid December in hopes it would arrive by Christmas. Much to my amazement the bikes were on the front porch in about 72 hours! No damage to either bike and they really are beautifully built. 

So, we are waiting for spring to come and are planning this year's vacation around bike trails. Can't wait to put some miles on these bikes. 

Note to pilots: I managed to get both bikes into the baggage area of my Cessna 150. Granted there is not much room left but I think we'll be able to pack a duffel with enough clothes for a few days away.
Added: January 30, 2011 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Greg K
From: SF North Bay 
E-mail:peasant1951@yahoo.com
FS bike arrived in great condition and needed very little set up or adjustment. Put on 10 miles first day and rides really nice. Looks like it's built to last; frame and welds top notch. 9 speed shifting is very smooth. Easy to add on accessories. Folding and putting in the trunk of my car is a snap. Looked at other brands and for the price, this bike is a very good deal.
Added: October 30, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Charlie
From: Jupiter, Florida 
E-mail:chuggs561@gmail.com
Have you ever had one of those "Eureka!" moments, where you felt like you finally found what you'd been looking for? I think that's what describes the feeling I had when I first rode a DOWNTUBE. 

My wife and I recently purchased an RV. We are really enjoying taking trips around the state, or up the coast to relax, enjoy the scenery, and get out and get fresh air. We found ourselves renting bikes. Beach cruisers, recumbent, you name it... It was very enjoyable to get out and ride the trails or go some place a little too far to walk. The bikes, however, just didn't feel like they were the ticket. Then I came across a Rental while on a business trip to Los Angeles. "That's unusual", I thought...looking at these 20" folding bikes. The moment I launched forward on one of these bikes, I thought to myself..."Eureka"...this bike is phenomenal. It wasn't too big, too small, it was smooth to maneuver and pedal. This IS the bike that I've been looking for. I noticed a "D" on the front...but all the other markings had been removed and replaced with the Rental companies name & phone number (good thing if you want your bikes to come back home) When I returned home...I figured the "D" must have stood for Dahon. I searched their entire product listing looking at the bikes, the features, etc... I was really disappointed. I kept on searching. Looking at every folding bike I could find on the internet. Then I came across an understated website. DOWNTUBE... There they were. All this time, the "D" stood for DOWNTUBE. We ordered a 9FS and a 9 right away. The bikes arrived three days later. When we un-wrapped the bikes...it just happens that the 9 required no derailleur adjustments at all. The 9FS took about two half turns on the indexing knob. Wow. These bikes are solid! The component selection is nothing short of genius. Just how can you get all these features on a 20" folding bike? C'mon, I've got a 9-speed cassette with a range that will climb hills, or fly on a straight away. Thumb trigger index shifting, so you don't have to change your grip when you want to shift gears. Bar ends. Super solid and super smooth bearings in the head tube and bottom bracket. The adjustment range is amazing. My wife is 5' 1"...I'm 6'...we both feel like the bike was custom built for us. Plus they are a breeze to fold up and stash in the back room, or in the camper. 

I was lucky. I got a chance to take a spin on a previous model year DOWNTUBE. That's what sold me right away on these bikes. The only reason that I'm writing this testimonial...is so those of you looking at folding bikes don't waste your money. The DOWNTUBE...without a doubt...is worth every penny. I highly recommend them to anyone. If you're not satisfied with the amazing 9 speeds this bike gives you...NO PROBLEM...add a couple of chain rings, and a front derailleur and you'll have a 27 speed. Want high performance brakes...did I mention that both front and rear hubs on this bike and the frame are ready for disc brakes? You can upgrade 'til your heart’s content...but it's a very well built bike right out of the box. 

We purchased the bikes, primarily, to use when we go camping...but find ourselves riding around the neighborhood. We also came across a nearby park, which we frequent for kayaking...but were unaware of the beautiful trail system they had. We had some time last week and went over to explore the trail system...it's amazing. The DOWNTUBE bikes ride great on the asphalt paths...as well as the crushed shell and limestone paths. We had a great time and the scenery was amazing. We just could not be any happier. 

We've added some comfort seats, lights, water bottles, and kick stands...all set for the upcoming trip in the camper. 

Thank you Dr. Lyansky for sharing your amazing design with us!
Added: October 14, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Enrico G. Flor
E-mail: ricoflor@gmail.com
After having my Downtube 9FS for seven months, I can say with conviction that the bike serves me well. In a nutshell, it has helped me (try to) keep fit (hehe) with a weekly 6-24k waterfront, had not failed me in a bimodal fun race, kept up with mountain bikes on a paved up and downhill ride, and it has kept me in touch with several newfound friends from a folding bike fan group! 

The pluses I find include a sturdy build. I get to kerb drop down our standard 6-inch kerbs here without much of a permanent rattle afterwards (the wheels did need truing after air transport, but once done, it kept true). Except for a couple of occasions, when I failed to check my stem cam-lock tightness, everything held during rides. As for those occasions, the worst thing that happened was my handlebars just got misaligned. 

It is a joy during portages because of the less weight (compared of course to my full-sized chromoly bike), and the "downtube" was a convenient grab when transitioning from riding to portaging (the saddle nose acted as my shoulder-rest). 

How the shock functions depends, I guess, to how much you expect of it. I never was a free-rider from the start, so suspension for me were mainly for softening my ride and remaining in control (hardcore weekend cross-country biker??). This was achieved with the current DT9FS. Like I said, kerb drops were achievable. On-seat shock-riding, though, is not recommended since, as in all spring-coil shocks, damping is minimal. You will get pogoed off your seat. So like the cross-country purist that I am, I still stand on the pedals when humping over rough urban terrain. 

Some stuff I've dispensed with: those black platic pedal guards. In the heat of the fun race, they got slammed off. Anyhow, they acted more like trimmings than functional protectors. Part replacements? Contact points: grips, saddle, transmission (the Juju got slammed hard in transit from the US even in a DT suitcase. The derailleur noodle broke off. Installed an SRAM X7 instead). Additions: bike lights (which meant bye-bye stock rear reflector), saddle bag, lock, kickstand (there is an existing mounting point). 

If ever I've a gripe, it is the "quite large" package the bike presents when folded. Actually it is ably compact. I was able to fit it in an over-sized suitcase as a check-in luggage. However, when you get strict rules such as only man-portable, folded bikes in the Dubai Metro, the combination of bar extensions, curved bars, and its outside-of-fold handlebar placement, it gets cumbersome. Just as when I've adapted to a system of rolling the bike with your handhold on the seat, the Metro rule ups the ante. So Dr. Y, expect me to purchase in the future that folding DT bag to make it Metro-legal. 

All in all, it's great. And with an Arab winter approaching, I will most likely try dirt riding good old Black Beauty (yes Kato, the Black Beauty). Might have to change the Kendas for a knobbier set though. Got a Pedro's Dry Lube for the chain already prepping for them sandy rides...
Added: September 17, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Roz C.
From: CA 
Excellent experience. This folding bike is very cool, has many nice features and is well made. The packaging was done very well and delivery time reasonable. When I sent an email with a question I received an immediate response. Thanks to Downtube for a very nice bike. 

PS I have always loved bike riding but haven't had a decent bike for a very long time. I had a back injury about 10 years ago so I was a bit nervous about whether bike riding would help or hurt. Adding to the challenge, I live in a small upstairs apartment and have no place outside to securely store a bike. 

It was quite a challenge to find a bike that worked for me -- in terms of price, weight, suspension features, storage size. I spent a long time looking. Finally I just happened to see a woman rolling a Downtube down the street and asked her about her bike. BINGO! I studied your website and made my purchase. It was a little nerve racking to buy a bike long distance, but it worked out. (Appreciate the 30 day guarantee period. That helped.) 

Just wanted to let you know I am very happy with my new 8FH and grateful to Downtube for what you are doing. 

Hope to visit your store when I am in the Philly area.
Added: August 10, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Chris Shelton
From: Clinton, MO 
E-mail:chris.shelton@rocketmail.com
This is my second folder. My first was a cheap u-frame model that I picked up a few years ago at a garage sale. It gave me enough experience to realize the importance of good design. It is so difficult to get the frame locked closed that I tend to leave it that way all the time,negating the advantage of a folding frame. The frame also flexes so much that it robs me of energy that I should be putting into forward motion. It is also pretty darned heavy. 

I own a full size bike also. It is an 80's Motobecane Grand Touring road bike that I put upright handlebars on. As a road bike it is comfortable to ride on for longer distances (I'm talking 6 to 8 miles not a century run). It is a very light bike. 

I have a nerve disorder (Charcot-Marie-Tooth Syndrome) that makes it hard for me to walk quickly enough for me to get my heart rate up, so I've been using a stationary bike for exercise, but that gets boring. I bought a home a mile from a rail-to-trail conversion, the Katy Trail, so I've expanded to bicycling outside this spring. 

As many have done before me, I've read the reviews and done a lot of research online before making my final purchase. In doing the research, I think I've made the same mistakes many make. I get an idea in my head and look for testimony to support my idea. Don't get me wrong, this is a great product. There are definitely lots of pluses that I do think out weigh the minuses. 

I have several different criteria for a bicycle. I enjoy canoeing the Missouri River and wanted a bike I could fold up and take in the canoe so I could tour some of the towns along the way as I come to them. I have hopes of a sailboat in the future and wanted a rather weather resistant model for that idea. 

I also want to be comfortable while riding. With the Motobecane, because of my unsteady balance, my "take-offs" and "landings" are always the dicey part of the ride. As long as I am upright pedaling I'm feeling great. It's the starts and the stops that I dread. 

I wanted a lighter bike, something with a little lower center of gravity, and since I drive a silver New Beetle, I thought that the 8H in silver would be a fine match. I especially liked the price when compared to others that I considered in the same "peer" group. 

I put in my online order on a Sunday evening for a 2009.5 silver 8H model. I received an email notice that it would be shipped on Monday but that no tracking number would be provided. I'm not sure why because, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't think there is any charge to the shipper, and it would have let me know for sure when to expect it. No foul though, I received it Friday evening after work. And my silver bike turned out to be a grey bike with a silver fender and silver bike rack. Oh well, it's still attractive in its own right. 

Out of the box, the bike required very little additional assembly. I took it to the local professional bike shop as the instructions specified. They kept lowering the amount they were going to charge me for the tune up. The brakes were straight, and the technician said shifting was so smooth that it was hard to tell if the gears were shifting. What had started out as a $100 charge was knocked down to a final $15 charge, all due to them, I never said a word to argue the bill. 

My initial impression of riding the bike is mostly favorable. The starts and stops are easier with this bike. When cruising, the 8H is a little less comfortable than the Motobecane. That's the trade off for having a smaller bike. (If I could just start off on the Downtube and cruise on the Motobecane, but the world doesn't work that way.) The mini-bar ends on the handlebars tend to give too narrow a hand hold for me personally. I might try to remove them soon to give a little more open feeling. 

The gearing seems adequate. I haven't yet used the top gears. 1st through 4th out on the Katy Trail gets me where I want to go comfortably. 

The bike is listed as 26.5#s which does not sound very heavy. Compared to the u-frame folder it is not. Compared to the Motobecane, it is. Dahon makes a model that is 20.3#s. If I remember correctly, the Dahon was also priced about $500 to $800 more than the Downtube 8H depending on the vendor marketing it. 

As I gain more experience with the bike I'll report more about it later.
Added: May 4, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jim C
From: Toronto Canada 
E-mail:bestintime@rogers.com
I would also like to add: 

- IMO this is the best folding bike I own even though one of the Dahons cost $150 more 

- this is first testimony I've written for a bike
Added: April 11, 2010 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jim C
From: Toronto Canada 
E-mail:bestintime@rogers.com
This Downtube 8FH is my 7th folding bicycle after leaving 3 dahons in Florida after moving to Canada, and then purchasing 3 more (1 Bazooka and 2 J-Rock) up here. My friends and I go for day long bike treks and folders are just the ticket. 

The 8FH is a very nice bike and a truly excellent buy for the money. I very much like the 8 widely spaced gears of the SA hub, the big heavy welds on the frame including extra reinforcements at major stress points, excellent design and looks, great ride and comfort, and the overall use of very decent components. My gut tells me this bike will last. 

Thank you Downtube.
Added: April 11, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Patrick
From: San Francisco area 
E-mail:patricksptang@gmail.com
I just got the Downtube Nova and I think it is an excellent bike and it is inexpensive. 

I have multiple road and mountain bikes so I do a lot of shopping online and at EBay. The Nova is the best deal I ever had.
Added: January 14, 2010 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Asep Kamaluddin
From: Jakarta - Indonesia 
E-mail:tanjidor@gmail.com
675km touring with 9FS 

On 5-9 June 2009 me, Adams (a bikepacker from Polandia), Mito & Muhammad Firdaus done a 650km bikepacking trip from Jakarta to Jogyakarta with my Downtube 9FS. 
I carried about 15kg on my pannier rack mounted on the back of my 9FS. Since, there's no bolt hole for the pannier rack I made it my self using an electrical drilling machine first then taped the right hole for my Toppeak pannier rack. 
With a 15kg luggage on my pannier rack my 9FS still stable on way down and pretty fast on uphill, and off course thought on a rough road. 
I still using a kenda 1.50 in front & 1.75 tyre on the back.
Added: June 16, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Peter Colley
From: Los Angeles 
E-mail:peter@petercolley.com
I bought my Downtube FS a couple of years ago. I love it. I bought it to use on the Los Angeles subway which has restrictions on full-size bikes during rush hour, but it's also handy to throw into the trunk of my car. Amazing how much attention it gets. In one trip a kid on the platform of the Hollywood subway says: "Is that some kind of new BMX bike?", another passenger asks: "Is that an electric bike?", and cycling down Hollywood Boulevard someone shouts: "That's a cool bike, man!" And it works as good as it looks.
Added: April 30, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Asep Kamaluddin
From: Indonesia 
E-mail:hwarakaduh@yahoo.com
Hi Yan .... 

I'm Asep Kamaluddin from Jakarta, Indonesia. 
I'm one of many Downtube 9FS owner in Jakarta 
I bought my first 9FS Downtube 8 months ago ... 
since then I promote the 9FS to some of my friend 
and did a lot off touring using this bike, mostly uphill 
10-12 April 2009, me and my friend Daus, did a 402km touring trip using a 9FS Downtube, From Rangkasbitung - Cileles - Mt Kencana-Malingping- Pelabuhan Ratu, Cikidang-Cibadak-Bogor then back to Jakarta, a duo downtube touring trip. 
the trip was realy torturing, because almost 50% of the route was an extreme uphill. 
The highest speed we reach when down was 80km/hrs ..... 
Amazingly, the downtube handled everything from an extreme uphill to the fast downhill, an ability that others folding bike dont't have. 
Pls come visit to our multiply, bikepackerindonesia.multiply.com to see some photo. 

Rgrds
Added: April 22, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Chris M
From: Ny, NY 
E-mail:feedyourego@aol.com
I ordered my bike at 2am on sunday morning ( i was up late comparing models- wink wink). I called Monday morning and Yan answered the phone and told me my bike had already been shipped. Here i am 2 days later and its sitting on my doorstep, how great is that!! It didnt fold as small as i thoguht but every other feature far surpasses that point. It rides super smoothe and for the money ($300) i am super satisfied w/ my decision. You know the same style bike cost like $1200 at the bike shop!?! Great job Downtube!!
Added: March 24, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jay
From: NOLA 
E-mail:jayreimers@msn.com
After owning my DownTube for a month, I couldn't be happier. I am hard on bicycles, and recently destroyed a competitor's, folding bike after having it just two years. From the first time I took it out of the box, I feel like I've upgraded with this bike...for less money. The quality, convenience, and comfort can not be beat--at 6'2" this is the first time I don't feel like I'm riding a clown bike, when I'm on a folding bike.
Added: March 7, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Michael
From: Alaksa 
E-mail:msoller68@msn.com
I received my orange 8FS aout a month ago and since have upgraded most all components. Rides like a dream; even managed to make it a 16FS now (more to come in the forums). Thanks yan for such a remarkable product and the best foldable out there.
Added: February 23, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jimmy
From: Maine 
E-mail:bradahkimo@gmail.com
Just received my 9FS (orange) the other day and must say that I'm impressed. I did a few weeks of research looking for information and reviews on the internet. Yan was also helpful in addressing a few issues/questions that I had. Still, even with the information I was able to obtain, I basically purchased "sight unseen". 

I was surprised by the attention to detail. For example, the fact that the handle bars and frame cannot accidentally fold because of built-in safeties was a nice touch. Also, I appreciate that the handle bars can be adjusted to suit the style of riding: from "racer" to an upright "cruiser". Besides, now I don't have to buy a bike rack for my vehicle. I can just fold it up and put it in a the trunk! The various part look professional and well-made. 

At $359 (on sale) I didn't think I could go wrong especially when I compared the Downtube to other brands. It is a great bike for the money.
Added: February 2, 2009 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Tom Matheson
From: Wilmington, NC 
E-mail:tvmatheson@gmail.com
My wife and I have put better than 500 miles on our Downtube H8 bikes in tha past 6 months on all kinds of terrain while RV'ing from Maine to Florida. We have folded and unfolded them countless times from their storage (with lots of other stuff) in the back of a little pickup truck, and it is quick and easy. The design shows care...such as the wider back tire for soft surface navigation, and the front shock works well. With the high pressure tires and a wheelbase length longer than even most big-wheeled bikes it has the stability of a great highway bike, and with the 20" wheels the center of gravity is close to the ground and slow-speed handling is much more nimble and stable than with big wheels. I added aerobars and a Brooks leather saddle and it'll run all day, but the bike is basically great right out of the box. The internal-geared 8 speed hub is a teriffic thing...smooth and easy shifting. 
I have put many 10s of thousands of miles on all kinds of bikes, even a recumbent, and the Downtube H8 is my favorite...and my wife's too!
Added: December 26, 2008 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: J.A. Winslow
From: DC 
E-mail:winslow@att.blackberry.net
I got the full suspension folder at a ridiculously low price of just over $300. I figured something too good to be true...My first day on the bike was a cold, rainy miserable affair. Amazingly the downtube handled everything with aplomb. This may be the best deal on any purchase I have made via the world wide web in my entire 43 years! Oh, I also put the bike together with nary a peek at the directions: very intuitive build. A+ all around!
Added: December 12, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Richard Cavosora
From: San Francisco 
E-mail: rcavosora@earthlink.net
I received my 2009 9FS within a week of ordering it, but it was unfortunately damaged while in transit. Something apparently fell on the box, and its impact bent the frame protector and the derailer hanger. I was anxious that I was not going to have a bike for an upcoming tour in Asia. 

Very fortunately for me, Yan quickly responded to my phone call and e-mail. His response and support were world class! As for the bike, after making some easy repairs with a mallet and pliers, I was off and running in no time. 

Compared to an 8-speed, fully-suspended folder that I had previously tested from a big brand company, the 9FS rode more smoothly and was definitely more manageable uphill. The 9FS is about 3 pounds heavier based on publicized specifications but it is just a little of over a third of the price of big brand folder I tested. 

I am very happy with the bike, and, more importantly, I am so impressed with Yan's service and support. If you're looking for a fully suspended folding bike, I highly recommend downtube's 9FS. Great value and service! 

Richard C
Added: November 26, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Richard Choate
From: North Alabama 
E-mail: rchoate@charter.net
I received my Front suspension 9 speed last weekend. I needed a short-commute bike which could be stowed behind the rear seat of our rideshare van which takes us to-from work. 

Looks like a PERFECT solution - so glade I found you and your product! 

I plan to ride on damp streets, so I was wondering if you (or ANYONE) had a suggestion for a FRONT FENDER for my 9. This bike has front suspension and may not have conventional mounting point for the fender. Do you have a specific source or any suggestions for a front fender? THANKS Folks! 
Richard
Added: October 1, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Kathy Ellen Davis
From: Quincy, MA 
E-mail:kathyellendavis@yahoo.com
I love my downtube bike! I started researching folding bikes over the summer, and my sister went on vacation to the Outer Banks, so she got to pick out the bike for me, and it was fit to her on the spot (we are around the same size.) 

Now that I have it back in Massachusetts, I use it at least once a day. I'm taking classes in Salem, and even though I have a car, I'm not messing with traffic! I ride to the T station, and have to make two transfers to get to the Commuter Rail. Only folding bikes are allowed during peak hours, so the bike works out perfectly! I fold and unfold at least 5 times or more a day when I'm doing this commute. 

Everyone that sees it asks me where I got it and thinks it is a really cool bike. Someone even asked if I was European! They were surprised to find out that you can get this bike in the US! 

Thanks for the excellent bike. I don't think I'm ever going to get a "normal" bike again! 

Kathy Ellen
Added: September 26, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Alan Goman
From: Boston, MA 
E-mail:agorman@cambridgesoft.com
I bought a bright orange 9FS a couple of months ago, and I am delighted with it. I commute from Boston N. Station to Cambridge daily (a distance of about 11 miles roundtrip) and I can make the trip more quickly than if I took the subway. The bike is a comfortable ride, despite that I am 6'4" and 240 pounds. Hopefully the bike will help me lower that last figure!
Added: September 10, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Gary Teters
From: Portland Or 
E-mail: garyteters@comcast.net
I recently purchased a Downtube 8H for my daughter. It had a couple of minor problems due to shipping. These issues were addressed by Downtube quickly and courtiously. We could not be happier with this bicycle. I can't imagine anyone purchasing a folder anywhere else. An excellent value!
Added: August 9, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: JH
From: California 
E-mail: jh@sacbeemail.com
I recently ordered and received a new IXFS Orange Aluminum Full Suspension 9 speed. The bike was quickly shipped, packaged well and easy to set-up and ride within 15 minutes of taking it out of the box. The quality, ride, and handling are excellent, and the bike can easily be adjusted to fit both 6'1"-200 lb me, and my 5'3"-115 lb wife. I'm very pleased with this bike and suspect it will get more use than my 3 other standard non-folding bikes since it's so easy to transport in a car, boat, plane, etc. Makes a great traveling companion. Thanks, Downtube for making a high quality well designed bike at a very good price!
Added: July 21, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Neil Matthews
From: Leeds, UK. 
E-mail:neil.matthews2@homecall.co.uk
I've had my DT VIIIFS for a day or two now. 
It came within 2 days. I am very surprised by the excellent build quality. I got a good quality carry bag, bell and reflectors thrown in too. I sent a thank you e-mail to Yan and he replied personally to acknowledge receipt of it. 
The bike just needed a few bolts tightening ( a 5 minute job) and it was ready to go. 
I haven't had chance to use it yet as the weather in the UK has been the wettest in years for July. Definitely consider a Downtube before shelling out small fortune on a Brompton, or a lesser fortune on a comparable Dahon. 
Cheers Yan.
Added: July 17, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Geoff
From: Near Toronto, Canada 
Some companies just know how to spell service - some know how to also give it - what a delight to find one! Bikes arrived in three days and duty was reasonable after hearing some stories re. the cost. 

I am delighted with the quality and ingenuity that has gone into the bike (8H) and I look forward to getting out once the temperature drops a little. 

Thanks Downtube and especially Dr. Yan for the fast replies and advice. Clearly a man with a passion for bikes AND service!
Added: July 16, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Eric Maxmonko
From: Toronto 
I bought a lightly-used 2006 9NS this spring. I found that it had better ergonomics than any of the other 7 20-inch folders from other manufacturers that I had test-ridden. 

I've now put over 100 miles on the bike, and found it to be quite comfortable and capable. The nine gears are useful for a variety of grades. 

Some day, I'd like to test-ride a suspension model.
Added: July 16, 2008 

 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Mark
From: Chicago 
E-mail: benz@iit.edu
Excellent choice of bike for my purposes. 

I ordered the 8HN (on sale) and bike bag to commute to/from my house to my local train station and then use for some cummuting and exercise in downtown Chicago. 

The bike arrived within the three working days as listed on the website. Though the bag was listed as 'out of stock' it appeared with my bike...a nice surprise. The bike was essentially ready to hit the road out of the package (simple handle bar and seat height adjusments were naturally required). I'm 5'11" and weigh 195lbs. 

My normal routine is to ride 1.9 miles to my train station (only folding bikes are allowed on the Chicago METRA during rush hours, so this works great for me). If the train is late getting into town and I miss my university bus, I ride the 4.5 miles to my office. A couple times a week I also bike along the Lake Michigan waterfront paths for 30-45 minutes. 

I've been riding this bike for two weeks now and it meets or exceeds all my needs. The ride is smooth and the shifting is smooth. The 8HN has no suspension, but that is not noticeable since most of the roads/paths are well kept. I've had a couple other folding bikers in the downtown area (who ride Dahons) comment favorably on the ride and cost (about half of what they paid). 

Overall an excellent bike and value. At this point I'd recommend it to anyone interested in folding bikes.
Added: July 14, 2008
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Gordon
From: Washington State 
I just wanted to let you know that the two 9FS bikes we purchased from you arrived without damage and on time. I took them to our local bike store for a good check up as you suggest and am happy to report that the only thing they needed was a tune up of the de-railers. The charge was $15 so how can one go wrong with that. 
We have taken several rides and look forward to many more. These things are going with us on vacation. 
Thanks for a great product. I can't understand why folding bikes of this quality have not taken off yet. Maybe it is just a mindset in the biking community. 
Anyway, thanks again
Added: June 24, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Lina
From: Columbus, OH 
E-mail: lina.juswara@gmail.com
I just received my folding bike. It is awesome. It took only 3 days for the bike to arrive. The size is suitable for me with the adjustable seat. The bike is finely made. Dr. Yan responded my emails very fast too. Thanks downtube.
Added: June 2, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Roger
From: Indianapolis IN 
We just received the 8H we ordered and I am glad with the decision I made to go with your product and the 8H. It will be used on our 36' boat and the design and quality appears to be better than the Dahon and West Marine bikes I considered in the same price range. I liked the idea of the internal hub design for the marine environment. I'm 6'2" and was unsure about the size of the 8H based on some of your data on the website, so I ordered the 8H for my wife and to see if it could work for me as well. Rode it today - no problem with the size. Quick service as well!
Added: April 18, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Francis Mulleady
From: London UK 
E-mail: fmulleady@hotmail.com
Got this from Yan in late 2007. I already have a Downtube VIIIH which I wrote about before. The FS is a great looking bike and I have been impressed with the smooth ride quality. While it is a very capable bike for folding and commuting, it shows its versatility when I use it on trails such as the Grand Union towpath which goes into central London. This varies from smooth pathway to rough trail. The FS eats it up and smooths out the ride allied to agile handling. This is a very versatile bike and an absolute bargain. I get a lot of positive comments from people in London. While I've had some ignorant people laugh at me riding a Brompton, nobody laughs at this bike because it looks such a serious piece of kit and doesn't fail to deliver on its looks either. Highly recommended.
Added: February 22, 2008
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: the doomslayer
From: Ganymede, Jupiter (aka FL) 
E-mail:nouseforausername@verizon.net
It's finally here! The bike looks great (FS). Shipping took about a week. Disappointed that it didn't come with a bag for it but that's okay. Certainly the best bike I've ever owned. Originally thought about getting a CitizenBike but I'm glad I got what the Downtube instead.
Added: January 21, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: the doomslayer
From: Ganymede, Jupiter (aka FL) 
E-mail:nouseforausername@verizon.net
I haven't rode a bike in forever but recently I decided to purchase a folding bike for getting to classes at school. I think the FS looks great and I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of it.
Added: January 19, 2008 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Wai
From: Folsom, CA 
One of the best bargain on the foldable bike market, bar none. Have to change a few components to lighten my Blue NS, but you don't have to.
Added: December 21, 2007
Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Jim
From: Batavia, IL 
E-mail: willit@anl.gov
I purchased my first Downtube (model VIII) two years ago and have since used it in a bike-train-bike commute for over 5000 miles. It has performed perfectly and has made my commute to and from work both enjoyable and good for me. My goal is to be in better shape at age 50 than I was at age 40. I just treated myself to an "upgrade" a new Downtube IX. The improvements in the IX are significant. The front shocks are much better (the old ones would bottom out sometimes) and are load adjustable. The bike feels a bit bigger and seems to have a slightly longer wheelbase. The riding position is more stretched out and the gearing range is wider. I'm also pleased with the upgraded rims and alloy camlocks. My folder is my primary bike and I have no complaints or regrets. Downtube definitely provides the best bang for the buck and Yan's personal customer service via phone, e-mail and AIM is amazing.
Added: November 12, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Ian Tang
From: New York, NY 
E-mail: tang1an@netzero.net
I should not have made my feedback private! In a nutshell I 've had many compliments about my Orange 9 speed FS bike and people think it's over 1000 dollars. I just tell them to get one from downtube.com! It's so much better value than a Dahon. For the same price Dahons offer no suspension at all....Not good for NYC's bumpy surfaces!
Added: October 16, 2007 

 

Submitted by Testimony: <
Name: Angela Teichmann
From: Doylestown, PA 18901 
E-mail:angieteichmann@yahoo.com
My children bought me the 8H Red Bike for my 70th birthday on Saturday Sept. 22. It is a beautiful bike. I took it for a spin and it rides like a dream. It is easy to get on and off and very comfortable. It is a very well made bike my son knows a lot about bikes and was impressed that I pick out such a good bike. When I looked in the internet for folding bikes and saw the 8H, I knew that is the bike I wanted. Angie
Added: September 24, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Charlie
From: NYC 
E-mail:cvanhorne@abbottcapital.com
This is THE bike for NYC. 

I spent almost a solid year researching different bikes, manufacturers, likely developments and settled on the 8FH folding bike (full suspension internal 8 speed Sturmey Archer hub). Many of the good points have been made by others, but I will reinforce that it rides like far more expensive bikes, folding or not, the company responsiveness is almost unique in this day and age (in terms of how good it is), and I wholeheartedly recommend this bike. The Sturmey Archer hub, i.e., the internal gearing, is a huge plus in terms of moving around and not greasing up thinks that get in the way (like me), and, as others have said, it works very nicely. I have put my Bianchi and Specialized road and crossovers in the building storage (for the time being?). 
I should add two other points: it has satisfied my spouse in terms of use of apartment space (which was not anticipated) and my 12 year old son's comment was "cool bike". It is rare that anything in our house satisfies all three constituancies. I did have it tuned by my local bike shop (I trust them as we have used them for 20 years), which sells the Dahons--and they were notably impressed also...
Added: September 11, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Michael Bolser
From: Valrico, Florida 
E-mail:michael.bolser@verizon.net
Dear Yan: 

I'm in the financial sphere and used to be a senior manager in the medical device field and a flight instructor with 4,000 hours of command pilot time in another life before that. 

I'm average at 5'7" and 160 lbs with my wife the same height and a little lighter at 140. I run two miles twice a week and spend a bit of time at the gym at 63 years of age. 

I had not ridden since the Bears were in contention for the Super Bowl in 1984-5 when Brittany Spears was 7 years old. Used to ride all around Chicago's suburbs and out to Fermilab on rail converted trails on a Schwinn 15 speed tank. Overhanging trees and NO roads or cars made for super rides on weekends. 

I followed your instructions and adjusted the brakes, pinned the Sturmey Archer yellow calibration mark, used my compressor to add 60lbs each to the tires, made sure they spun clearly with no drag, made doubly sure of the brake pressures, actuation ranges and wheel clearances and checked all fittings and stem attachments for security. And THEN... 

Went bombing around the neighborhood on the SILVER 8H. WOW! The SA gears were a BIG surprise at how easily they shifted. No real hesitation between shifts...just click...and there the new gear is! One more thing... 

DO NOT CHANGE THE CHAINRING GEARING. In the "Alps" of Florida here at 124 ft above sea level, Valrico does have a few "Hills". Nothing like San Francisco, but they are still hills and low gear is just FINE where it is. 

I checked Sheldon's (Harris Cycle) calculator and the "Gear Inches" appear to be 34 on the low side). I fretted about a 39 tooth chain ring upgrade but not any more. High gear is as fast as anyone wants without a motorcycle Kevlar crash suit. I also thought about a High end bike with the Rohloff 14 speed but after the SA8 spending that kind of money seems excessive. This thing is essentially limited only by areodynamic drag. 

I'm going to run to the LBS later this week to get the checkup done and make some friends there by spending a bit of money on goodies. I intend to add a front basket and copilot seat for my beloved Cain Terrier "Harris". He HAS to be in front. He wanted to jump on during the H8 test flight. 

Then I came back to assemble the 8FH as a surprise for my wife. She thought there was only ONE delivery. In ten minutes she was riding and rusty on her WHITE 8FH ... But riding along with me like a schoolgirl. There is a noticable smoothness to the 8FH just as you asserted in adverts but my 8H is very close and I'll probably add a Brookes 67 just to play the leather snob.j 

Thank you for a GREAT set of products! 

I'll get some photos up this weekend. 

Michael Bolser
Added: August 29, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Ken Lakin
From: Chicago 
E-mail: Kenal0@mac.com
I purchased 2 bikes from Downtube for use on our boat when we travel. They have performed flawlessley since day one. They are a great way to get around and I am very pleased with the build and ride quality. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a folder. 
Ken
Added: August 24, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Dr. Ron Klein
From: Philadelphia, Pa 
I love the bike. It's extremely portable, it's light, it folds. You can put it in the back seat of your car. You don't need a bike rack, which means extra wind resistance – and gas – per mile. You can take the bike inside the building with you. It's an attention getter. It's just neat
Added: August 21, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Francis Mulleady
From: London, UK 
E-mail:fmulleady@hotmail.com
I purchased a Downtube VIII H with the 8 speed Sturmey Archer gears in a silver colour. Delivery was rapid and unpackaging and set-up very easy. The gears needed minor alignment and Yan was more than helpful on this. I have researched Bromptons and Dahons extensively and tried and test-ridden these models. Whilst the Brompton has a slightly more compact fold, you cannot compare the spec or ride quality to this Downtube model. It compares to £600-700 ($1200-1400) folders, if not exceeding some of them in ride quality and aesthetics. I've never had so many people admire a bike, and a folding one at that! It rides just as good as my full sized Specialized Crossroads MTB and the Sturmey Archer Hub gears come into their own when commuting. If I stop suddenly at a red light in a high gear, I can change into a lower starting gear whilst stationary, a major boon. I've taken this bike off-road on to canal towpaths (trails) and the front suspension works a treat and the bike performs excellent with good grip and agility. 

Perhaps Downtube is a smaller company now but the larger competition need to be really scared of the quality and price combination. I'm thrilled with my bike and recommend it without reservation. One of the best products in any genre I have bought in a long long time.
Added: August 18, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Said Said
From: Greenville, NC 
E-mail: ssaid@suddenlink.net
I have owned a Downtube folding bike for almost a year. This was my first folding bike and I love it. I teach at a university that is three miles away from home and I ride the bike quite often to work. What I love most about the bike is its light weight, smooth ride, and versatility. The gear shifts extremely well and the shock absorbers make the ride very pleasant. I have dressed the bike with lots of accessories such as light, odometer, rack, bell, mirror, etc. So far I have never had any problems with the bike. I take it quite often in the trunk of my car when I go out of town on trips and specially to the beach. I would highly recommend it to anybody. Buy it, you will never regret it.
Added: August 2, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Geof Gee
From: Washington DC 
E-mail:geoffreygee@yahoo.com
I just received the Mini and did a few modifications to it. While I have ridden too few miles to give a quality review of the bike, I will write that Yan has been more than helpful responding to e-mails and providing good customer service. In our case, the handlebar base never arrived. I e-mailed Yan and in less than 24 hours, a new handlebar base was mailed to us. 

It can be unnerving buying a $300-$400 product via the internet. But Yan puts in considerable effort to keep his customers happy.
Added: August 1, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Colin
From: New York, NY 
This (a Downtube Mini) is the first bike I've owned in years, and it's been a great way to get back into bike riding. I would have never guessed that something with small wheels could ride so smoothly. I really enjoy it, and the paint finish turns heads when I'm out in the neighborhood. I'm not a big bike mechanic or anything, so I think that having the internal hub is going to make it really easy to maintain.
Added: July 31, 2007 

Submitted by Testimony:
Name: Predrag
From: New York 
E-mail:downtube@predrag.net
We have owned two identical 2007 9FS bikes for about half a year now. And they get used more than I ever thought! They arrived quite well tuned up, some minor adjustments were all that was needed. I have noticed a cross threaded shock adjuster, emailed Yan, and the new shock was mailed to me right away at no charge! 

Bikes are well made, and controls feel luxurious and precise. Gearing is carefully chosen, and I have never needed any gears taller nor lower than the 9 available. (And I ride fast, and we live up the extremely steep driveway.) Suspension is great for the city pavement and curbs. 

I'm 6' tall and frame is more than comfortable for me - there's more on the seat post, and handlebar distance and height have a large range of adjustment. Maybe I'll change the seat, feels a bit hard after a day of riding without padded pants. 

There are 2 ways to fold the bike: one is the way it comes, with the handlebars on the outside, that is faster/easier, but it ends up being bigger. The smaller fold is achieved by rotating the handlebar post 90 degrees so that bars fold inside the bike. This requires loosening the handlebar adjustment quick release. But I have that one and the seat marked with a Sharpie, so there's never guessing about the postition. 

Also, I have taken of the shoulder strap from the bag and attached it to the bike directly (rear swingarm and steering head). A short bungee holds it up towards the seat while riding. When folded, I rotate the seat about 120 degrees ccw (which makes a nice hand rest), put the bike on my left shoulder, and this feels quite comfy to carry. The bungee holds the ends together (swingarm to fork), and the bag can still be slipped on and zipped up if bike needs to be hidden. 

Bikes are little less compact than Bromptons, but those cost 2000 and are less solid ride. Still, I can put 2 inside what is probably the smallest car on the market - a Honda Insight hybrid w/o trunk. 

All in all, these bikes make us h
Added: July 31, 2007 

 

 


I might never own a 24 pound road bike, but I now own a 24 pound Nova Folder, It shifts nice. Brakes as well as any other bike I own. Looks pretty cool in yellow. 

I had to take a few minutes to understand the side latch, a little different from my Downtube 8FS..It has a hard rubber C shaped gasket that spreads, rather than be squeezed. Once I understood that, it was easy. On the other hand, the steerer tube hinge is easy to use and holds tight. 

The 14T top gear gives me about 14-15 mph at my fastest pedal rate. I'd like a little more speed so I'm going to try a 11-28T (free wheel) gear. 

One thing is true, This bike wants to be on smooth pavement. I have the tires up to the max and you feel every bump going faster. It will be much nicer when I ride with my wife. She gets the 8FS with full suspension, but she rides slow, so I'll be fine.,