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Dahon Qix vs Brompton

Discussion in 'Folding Bikes' started by e-rider, 3 Jan 2017.

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  1. e-rider

    e-rider crappy member

    Location:
    South West
    I have been looking at a Brompton for some time and I have no doubt that they're are great folding bikes. However, the price tag is just so high I'm struggling to get the pennies up together for when I start work later this month.
    I have seen the Dahon Qix that gets great reviews for about half the price of a Brompton (under £600), and the price difference is making me think this could be a better option for me.
    As I've never owned a folder, what are the major downsides of the Dahon vs the Brompton?
     
  2. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Active Member

    Location:
    Swindon
    The Brompton will almost certainly last longer. Dahon have a nasty habit of deleting spare parts for machines out of production and their lineup changes a lot... Bromptons undergo incremental refinements that are nearly all retrofittable to earlier models. Look at secondhand Bromptons, as for 500 you can certainly get a useable machine, most of the maintenance bits aren't too expensive. Also if you are going to be doing a commute involving public transport then the Brompton is head and shoulders above pretty much anything, the fold is very compact adn when folded it stays folded and is pretty easy to pick up in one hand with the bag in the other. We have other bikes getting on the bus that I catch, along with several other Bromptons, and I'm pretty sure that most Brompton owners practice the special look combining pity with an air of superiority whenever we get to watch someone getting a non-Brompton aboard
     
  3. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Most other folders stay folded and many aren't difficult to lift, but it's true that Bromptons fold smaller than most and have a more stable model range and spares.

    I've got a Dahon and so have friends. A relative and some friends have Bromptons. Some still have Raleigh folders. All good in their own ways.
     
  4. Cycleops

    Cycleops Veteran

    Location:
    Accra, Ghana
    I'm also looking to get a folder, but not for commuting. I favour the Qix over the Brompton as it costs about half of the Brompton, folds quite small, has 20" wheels and weighs about the same. I'd say unless you need the smaller fold go for the Qix.

    I understand the appeal of the Brompton but feel they just want too much for it. Obviously part of this is its made in the UK so costs are higher, plus their marketing costs must be steep. Also some of the fittings are just cheap and shouldn't have a place on a premium product. There's also a bit of Brompton snobbery too as evidenced by Chriscross, looking down on cheaper machines, but don't mind that.

    Just weigh up the pros and cons and try to evaluate your needs and relate them to the bikes.
     
    chriscross1966 likes this.
  5. chriscross1966

    chriscross1966 Active Member

    Location:
    Swindon
    If you aren't looking for a commuter then I would agree that a Brompton is rather expensive for what you get.... and I say that as someone who has spent 2.5K on custom bits for his 2012 H3R :-).... I guess the major component of that expense is having a frame that is jig-brazed, by hand, in a factory in London, plus a lot of the bits that seem like normal components are specially made for Brompton... the pedals and crank, the brakes and levers, the hubs are odd (slimmer than normal) widths.... even the bottom bracket is slightly different to a standard one (as I'm finding out in my quest to fit a Campagnolo racing crank and BB to mine)
     
  6. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Man-Machine

    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Check the value of a 5 year old Brompton.
    Then check the value of a 5 year old Dahon.
    The Brommie will be near its new price. The Dahon, well, you could weigh it in for scrap...
     
    mickle likes this.
  7. Cycleops

    Cycleops Veteran

    Location:
    Accra, Ghana
  8. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

    If that goes for less than £550, I'll be staggered.
     
    mickle and Cycleops like this.
  9. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

    Here's my two penneth...

    I've owned two Dahons and had no end of problems with them. Both were 26" wheeled Matrix models with alu frames.

    The first was a 2009 'lockjaw' model. From memory, this was certainly up there with the cheapest of the Bromptons price wise at about £800 (on the ride to work scheme). However, I had to spend a fair bit on it to keep it going - including having the wheels trued on an almost monthly basis. After having the front and rear done about 6 or 7 times each (at £10 a time), I eventually upgraded the wheels to some Mavic CrossMax and they ran true throughout the ownership of the bike - about 4 years. But that added to the ownerships cost of the bike by a total of about £300 - so we're now at £1100.

    Then the frame developed a small crack just about the time that Dahon were getting into trouble. Evans were useless at helping me out as they no longer stocked them and at that time, no one was importing them. I had a 5-year frame warranty that wasn't worth the paper it was written on. My only option at that time was to pay for the bike to be transported back to Dahon factory in China and hope that there'd still be a company to honour the claim. On the information I was given, it estimated that it would take them around 3 months to even look at the bike and there were no guarantees they'd ever do anything about it. There was talk of another importer possibly offering the warranty I needed. The advice I was given was to wait out that deal and hope for the best.

    However, as cycling saves me around £250 a month in parking and tube fares, I didn't want to be without a bike for any length of time as it would end up being cheaper to just buy a new one.

    So I ended up buying another Dahon Matrix from a work colleague. this time a 2008 model Matrix. Knowing the history of the bike i knew that it had been ridden less than 50 miles in the intervening years.

    I rode that for a year and then the frame actually snapped on that.

    That was so bad that I junked it. And then went back to my original Dahon as it was cracked rather than snapped and rode it for about a year until that too completely failed.

    In the end, I threw away both bikes, salvaging my upgraded wheels and little else.

    It was then that I decided to take another look at Bromptons. And ended up buying an H6L for £1080 on the ride to work scheme. So far, I've had one wheel wear through and split - which I didn't expect, (but seems to be down to cycling through horrible London sludge and not cleaning it often enough, but otherwise it's just been consumables - new chain, sprockets and chain ring at £50.

    It's just as fast, is just as comfortable, and folds up far smaller which makes more sense for me.

    So, for me, I wouldn't recommend a Dahon to anyone I'm afraid.
     
  10. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    Yes, could be, but I suspect that's only true if you've trashed the Dahon and kept that Brommie fed with a steady stream of (often custom) parts and not dinged the paint (it'll need to be 8/10 to get a good price AFAICT). Otherwise, yes, the old Brompton will probably still sell for more than some new Dahons, but you'll have paid a lot more for it at the outset.

    Anyway, who gets rid of a bike after 5 years? I think even my second-newest bike (probably the second-hand Dahon) is that old! ;)

    If I was riding it more, I may tend to a Brompton because of the more stable model range and spares availability, but I doubt having more money tied up in it is worth it for occasional use.
     
  11. srw

    srw AGM 2008, Dykes medal 2011

    Not really true. I sold a Brompton, after over 10 years of hard use and weak maintenance that was a 5/10 at best, and got about 70% of the original purchase price.
     
    mickle likes this.
  12. e-rider

    e-rider crappy member

    Location:
    South West
    the Dahon is £500 less than the Brompton - if I was loaded I'd probably go for the Brompton, but I'm not. The Qix gets the best reviews I've seen for a Dahon so I'm most likely going for it - let's just hope the frame doesn't snap! I tend to look after my bikes well so I think it'll be okay - some people seem to destroy bikes within months; not sure how they manage that as I've got bikes that are well used and 20 years old that still look like new.
    I could always upgrade to a Brompton in a few years time, if I seem to be using the folder a decent amount - there is a chance it will be collecting dust after a few months!
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2017
    Cycleops likes this.
  13. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    I think it's really true because "about 70%" isn't "near its new price". On £1100 of Brompton, that would be a difference of £330, which is more than the purchase price of some new Raleigh or B'Twin folders and within an average London dinner out of a new rebadged Dahon.
     
    Cycleops likes this.
  14. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

    Well - in 40 years of cycling, the only two frames i've ever snapped were both by Dahon...

    Like many things in life, it depends on multiple factors, but the whole life cost of a Brompton is likely to be less than the Dahon.

    Even in the example above, you buy a Brompton and lose £330 on it over 10 years. But you've had 10 years of riding a better bike than a Raleigh. Assuming that the Raleigh cost £330 and is still going after 10 years, how much do you think it would be worth? £30 tops? Or £3 a year extra to ride a Brompton.

    And in my case seeing as how my Dagon cost me more than my Brompton anyway and was scrapped I lost 100% of its value. So that bike cost me £1100 to own.

    Sekonda used to have a strapline in the U.K. that sums it up.

    Less expensive than cheaper watches.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2017
  15. Kell

    Kell Well-Known Member

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