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Brompton style from Indonesia: United Trifold and Element Pikes

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Brompton style from Indonesia: United Trifold and Element Pikes

Old 10-26-19, 11:13 AM
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concreteone
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Brompton style from Indonesia: United Trifold and Element Pikes

Hi folks,

Iíve been idly searching for a travel bike - itís hard to justify the price for an original Brompton when one has six bikes already - when I happened upon some YouTube videos of Element Pikes and United Trifold bikes which are based on the Brompton style but seem to be kept more up to date with disc brakes and modern gear sets.

Does anybody know more about them? Have you bought one maybe?
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Old 10-26-19, 05:14 PM
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I would be gun shy with something if I needed parts for had none available. Cheap is not necessarily a deal. Roger
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Old 10-27-19, 02:14 AM
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In the past I would have agreed with rhenning, however Brompton are making it hard or impossible to get many parts now, forcing the customer to have parts installed by an authorised dealer, the labour costs of which make maintaining a Brompton insanely expensive.
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Old 10-27-19, 03:26 AM
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Now imagine that your Brompton used a bog standard shimano nexus 7 like these bikes do.
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Old 10-27-19, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
Iíve been idly searching for a travel bike - itís hard to justify the price for an original Brompton when one has six bikes already - when I happened upon some YouTube videos of Element Pikes and United Trifold bikes which are based on the Brompton style but seem to be kept more up to date with disc brakes and modern gear sets
If they can't even run a websiteÖ

"This site canít be reachedThe webpage at https://unitedbike.com/content/trifold-3s-9 might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address. ERR_TUNNEL_CONNECTION_FAILED"
https://unitedbike.com/
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Old 10-27-19, 07:32 AM
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I think there is something else going on because multiple indonesian websites are currently doing maintenance. Imagine Amazon going down for maintenance on a sunday. Because Bukalapak, their equivalent to amazon is also down right now. I'll try to post links on monday for Element and United. Instagram is full of pictures though.
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Old 10-27-19, 01:17 PM
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The United TriFold bike folds with the drivetrain to the outside.
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Old 10-27-19, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
The United TriFold bike folds with the drivetrain to the outside.
Yup, and the Element folds to the inside, but the trifold looks like it has more quality features and parts. Do you think itís worth going with a weaker bike as long as it folds to the inside? Thanks
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Old 10-27-19, 02:48 PM
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I don't know where in the world you are or which of these might be available there, but in addition to the Element and United bike you mentioned there's also 3Sixty, B-Bike, Cigna, Flamingo, Fova, Groo M3, Java Neo, Jcat, La Bici, MIT, Neo, Pico, Sanye, Viking and other low cost Andrew Ritchie pattern folding bikes.

...it’s hard to justify the price for an original Brompton...


The few of these available in the NA market aren't enough cheaper (by the time you pay shipping) than a Brompton B75 to entice me to buy one, but I suppose everyone has their own decision matrix for that kind of thing.

In the upper tier of Andrew Ritchie pattern folders, you've got Burke, Chedech, Crosshead, Curl, South Point and the option to put together a titanium model. These are as much or more than a Brompton and bring some unique feature set to the market.
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Old 10-28-19, 01:41 AM
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> I don't know where in the world you are or which of these might be available there, but in addition to the Element and United bike you mentioned there's also 3Sixty, B-Bike, Cigna, Flamingo, Fova, Groo M3, Java Neo, Jcat, La Bici, MIT, Neo, Pico, Sanye, Viking and other low cost Andrew Ritchie pattern folding bikes.

I'm in Europe right now, and I'm having a heck of a time finding an easy way to buy one of those bikes listed. But I'll keep on googling, thank you!
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Old 10-28-19, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
Hi folks,

Iíve been idly searching for a travel bike - itís hard to justify the price for an original Brompton when one has six bikes already
Actually, if you've already talked yourself into six assorted bikes, talking oneself into a seventh seems like a cake-walk!

If you wish to have a Brompton, get one.
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Old 10-28-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Actually, if you've already talked yourself into six assorted bikes, talking oneself into a seventh seems like a cake-walk!

If you wish to have a Brompton, get one.
AndI will only cry once. But where is the fun in that? When I could have a folding bike with Alfine 11 and disc brakes?
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Old 10-30-19, 07:04 AM
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I'm from Indonesia. Seen lots of trifolds and pikes on the street these days
Basicly these two local bicycle brands caters low end/entry level bicycles. The only local brand for middle/high end market is Polygon for now

United is older, bigger brand, while Element is newer but they go head to head in the market
Trifold came out first, in my opinion, better quality. Pikes comes later, but they fold exactly like brompton
Pikes struggles a little bit at first. A lot of faulty parts such as tensioner etc. But they're getting better. I think the 2019 Pikes is really good
Trifold fold to the left (brompton and pikes to the right), so the chain is exposed. But they have internal cable routing, alloy frame

As for the official websites, usually if their target market at the lower end, they don't really bother to update the website. Probably since their customers prefers to go to LBS and ask questions over there
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Old 10-30-19, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
I'm in Europe right now, and I'm having a heck of a time finding an easy way to buy one of those bikes listed. But I'll keep on googling, thank you!
It won't save you any money but a more modern 'travel' bike that folds smaller is available in the EU: https://eu.dahon.com/bikes/curl-i8/
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Old 10-30-19, 10:47 AM
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The Curl does look great and has modern hardware, but it's even more expensive than the Brompton? I am sure they are smart and they have somebody in mind for an audience, I wonder who buys it?
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Old 11-01-19, 12:48 AM
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Before I bought my Brompton I looked at the Dahon Curl as
I own six Dahons between the wife and I.

One reviewer
https://www.bikefolded.com/dahon-cur...ompton-killer/
My first impression with the bike was not so good. As soon as I
, I could see the chain tensioner is broken. I was quite disappointed because that was the first time I received a Dahon with a broken part. Then I had to wait a couple of weeks for the replacement part. When I installed the new chain tensioner, I immediately figured out why it was broken in the first place. If you watch the
, you can see that the front wheel is folded back and leans on a plastic holder on the chain tensioner. Therefore, the part can easily be broken during transportation.
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Old 11-11-19, 12:41 PM
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Just curious

Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
AndI will only cry once. But where is the fun in that? When I could have a folding bike with Alfine 11 and disc brakes?
I have only just come across these new Malaysian / Indonesian versions of their take on the Brompton & the Electric version of the United Trifold looks brilliant. Compare what they have done to the clunky versions of The Brompton Electric & you begin to see why the appeal of a better designed bike at a far better price point than the Brompton. Same with the 7 speed Nexus & 11 speed Alfine versions. After seeing the current versions of Bromptons at my local bike store it was like looking at 1940's technology in the 1980's. So I am just curious if there is anyone with ownership experience of this new crop of Asian offerings? Watch almost to the end. -
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Old 11-11-19, 02:49 PM
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Maybe @redstarcap has first hand experience?

I talked to United Bike and they quoted me $600 for shipping one bike to Europe. I'm currently thinking about using parcl.com to try to ship one over.
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Old 11-13-19, 01:58 AM
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I don't have first hand experience for Element Pikes and United Trifold, since I dont own them. I do take a close look at their user groups on facebook.
Most of them have good experiences, there are few issues on the frame hinge, rear latch doesnt align properly, broken chain tensioner, and other small issues. All are warranty covered by United and Element, but usually they only want to deal with bike shops you bought them. From what I know, they dont do direct consumer sell.

I own a 2007 brompton, work on it a lot, and doing mods on a lot of my friends brompton. All I can say is this, Will butler-adams, the brompton ceo, once said, in most bike factory, the tolerance is 2mm, on brompton factory it's 0.2mm tolerance. From my experience modding bromps, yes, the 2mm means a lot for the bike that fold as complicated as a bromp. That's why they let the patent lapse, that's why they're still made in London.
Folding bike is unique, it has more moving parts than most bikes. Will the cheaper choice can withstand 12 years of use like my bromp? Only time will tell
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Old 11-13-19, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by redstarcap View Post
That's why they let the patent lapse
Letting a patent expire is like allowing the sun to go down. Brompton has continued to cast about for possible protection, though, infamously having their legal action against Dahon dismissed and being ordered to pay Dahon's legal expenses.

that's why they're still made in London.
Sheldon Brown once said, 'Some folks don't believe that the Taiwanese can make stuff as well as the British did, but there's no factual basis for that belief, and in many cases, this attitude may be traced to racism.'
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Old 11-14-19, 07:25 AM
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In the mean time, there's still no "Brompton killer" in Europe/North America, ie. a bike that passed certifications, folds like the Brompton, and provides a better transmission + brakes.

… or doesn't bring anything new but is available for €£$500-1,000 with the same gear range as the six-speed.


Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
I'm in Europe right now, and I'm having a heck of a time finding an easy way to buy one of those bikes listed.
Not surprising, since those bikes are copycats of the Brompton, so would be impounded the second they made it to European or North American stores, where there's something called copyright/industrial property.

"All" they have to do is make their bikes look different enough so that they can't be mistaken for a Brompton, which is the case of the Dahon Curl… which Dahon seems to have put on pause (no longer available from the big german site Faltradxxs).

Last edited by Winfried; 11-14-19 at 07:50 AM.
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Old 11-17-19, 10:54 PM
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European 'Brompton'

Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
Maybe @redstarcap has first hand experience?

I talked to United Bike and they quoted me $600 for shipping one bike to Europe. I'm currently thinking about using parcl.com to try to ship one over.
If you are in Europe have you considered the Ahooga? Stupid name but looks like a great option - https://ahooga.bike/folding-bike/
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Old 11-23-19, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by concreteone View Post
I think there is something else going on because multiple indonesian websites are currently doing maintenance. Imagine Amazon going down for maintenance on a sunday. Because Bukalapak, their equivalent to amazon is also down right now. I'll try to post links on monday for Element and United. Instagram is full of pictures though.
have you got one?

if you are on facebook, perhaps you can join id-foldingbike or jogjafoldingbike some folks also have their own bicycle store, or maybe someone have experience sending bicylce to europe
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Old 12-03-19, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by burnfatburn View Post
have you got one?
Not yet, but thank you for the tip!
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Old 12-06-19, 03:55 AM
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it is bit funny, some of you want to have Pikes or Trifold, while top executive of Indonesian flag carrier lost his job since he put Brompton (two pcs, plus some Harley Davidson's parts) inside a brand new Airbus delivered into the country....probably he wants Brompton more than anything else...
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