on June 20, 2012
I've put about 100 miles on this bike and feel I can offer an decent review.
First, I love the bike in as much as it's a Dahon knock off at a fraction of the price. I researched many folding bikes before deciding on this commuter style bike. I found cheaper bikes, but none that weight as little as this one does at about 23 lbs. My requirements were light and tight, as I plan on traveling with the bike by train, plane and automobile.
I rode several Dahon bikes at a local shop. They are nice, they are expensive. Similar bikes were running 2 - 3 times the price of this one. My decision was based on over all VALUE. I figured if this bike was built reasonably well that I didn't need a bike that would last forever. Keep in mind that this bike for me is about convenience -- not having to rent a car, take a bus or taxi when traveling to new places. It's not a touring bike. It's a commuting bike. I've been practicing commuting on this bike and it works just fine.
The tires are decent, the seat acceptable, and the build quality seems good. After I got the tires pumped up (be aware you'll need a Presta valve pump or adapter), I rode it out of the box without any adjustments. I rode this is mostly on streets, sidewalks and a little off-road trail riding just to try it out.
With six gears, you're a bit limited in finding that perfect gear for some situations. However, keep in mind the price point and I think you'll be satisfied with your options for commuting. I found I could comfortably cruise at 10 mph and push it to 20 mph if I wanted to really push it.
Now for the issues. The bike will loosen up a bit after riding, so be very careful to pay attention to anything that is seeming to come loose -- nuts, screws, etc. In particular, I was riding one day and the handle bars got crooked on my because the headset bolt had worked loose a bit. I needed an allen wrench to get it tight, but didn't have one with me. Needed to get a ride home where my tools are and not risk losing steering.
Another problem was that the pin on the handle bar hinge, the one that allows that handlebar post to fold down, lost a screw (or maybe didn't have one in the first place). This leads to my biggest issue with the bike - support.
This bike is distributed and supported by Kent Bicycles of NJ, kentbicycles.com, but made in China. When I realized the screw that holds in the handlebar post pin was missing, I tried several times to contact Kent support -- by phone and email, to get the part. I had no success getting through. I watched my bike sit for two weeks, unable to safely ride it. I finally got tired of waiting and found a screw and washer that would work to hold the pin in. It took a bit of custom work on my part to solve the problem. This is not acceptable to me. My pet peeve with any support is an email address that no one responds to. I took time to document my issue in pictures and sent several emails to Kent support and got zero response. :( I had a few other questions for Kent regarding a bit of play in the same handle bar hinge, a twisting of the handlebar post, and a possible missing tension screw in main hinge where the frame folds in two.
Now I'm very handy and have the skills and tools to maintain mechanical things. But, if you're not that kind of person you may be in a lurch as to what to do. The main problem I think you may run into is that a reputable (or should I say snobby) bike shop may not even want to touch your cheap, Chinese made bike. They may even admonish and excoriate you for buying such "junk" rather than spending the money for a Quality Dahon or other expensive model. Kent bikes caters to the Walmart bike buying market more than the higher quality market, so just be aware that you're likely to have support issues. Even getting parts will be a problem based on my lack of response from Kent support.
If you can deal with these potential problems, then I think you'll be satisfied with this bike as a snappy, lightweight folding commuter.
on March 8, 2012
So, I decided to buy a folding bike because I travel quite a bit (and am too young to rent a car). Many of the places I travel to are tropical in nature: places like Hawaii and Florida. For those of you who havent been to either of these places: they are warm, and many people spend most of their time outdoors.
I love riding bikes, and realized on my last vacation that I could not possibly bring a bike to Hawaii easily. I began looking up portable bikes.
I looked at a local bike shop, they offered one Dahon bike, for like $600. Im broke, thus I didnt want to spend that much. Also, I'm 6'2" and 180 pounds, so I needed a bike big enough to support my height (not necessarily my weight).
I ended up making my decision on a number of factors: price, size, weight.
Size really does matter! I wanted a bike that would fit into a suitcase so I could pack it for my trips. You'll notice that the Stow-A-Way bikes are too massive to be packed. Also, many of the bikes are way too heavy to be packed for a trip (without having to pay the ridiculous airline fees associated with heavy baggage). This bike is really less than 30lb, which makes it easy to put into a case that is still under the 50lb weight limit for most airlines.
The 6 speeds are a quick-shifter design by Shimano, after a few test runs, it has been completely smooth. I am truly impressed with the fact that this small, lightweight bike has 6 speeds (since comparable Dahon bikes only have a single speed).
The rear break is very strong, which makes me feel safe. The front brake made a terrible squeaking sound whenever I used it, so I may replace the pads. Honestly, if that is the only issue I have, then there is no need to make this bike less than 5 stars.
I'll update this later as I continue to ride it
on March 26, 2012
Frame design and welds look strong. Steartube is 1 1/8, hinge area is large and well fitted. Looks like crank (68mm?), rear hub (probably 130mm) and handlebar are standard size and could be upgraded in the future. Uses 52t chainring for faster than other folders ride (still, not very fast due to 20" rims). It'll probably accommodate tires up to 2" wide. Equipped with easy 6 speed shimano index shifter. Good fit for people up to about 33-34 inseam (~6.1' tall?).
paint job is unfinished around hinge bolt, only visible if you pay attention and I'm not too worried since it's aluminum
rear wheel seems slightly untrue and causes brake to squeak
25lb weight does not include fenders (which are not included)
although bike comes assembled it requires bolt tightening here and there
hinge adjustment bolt was loose and needed thread locking compound
Update: Bike served me well until handlepost insert snapped. So far I'm unsuccessful getting any useful response from Kent customer service (they asked a bunch of questions about the issue than stopped replying - I guess they don't have a solution). Once I hear from them I might increase the rating. Right now I'm pretty disappointed.
Update2: I fixed handlepost myself by drilling small hole and affixing plastic insert with small machine screw. Before I decided to fix it I looked around and found that all folding bicycles in Giordano's price range do not use as good parts or weight more. I increased rating to 3 stars.
on June 13, 2012
Since I live in a tiny apartment, I figured a folding bike would be an ideal way to get back into bicycling without taking up a lot of space, and also without having to leave the bike outside to rust. Seeing that the reviews for the 20" Giordano Folding Bike were universally positive (though there were only 3 at the time), I decided to purchase this model. When the bike came in the mail, I followed the instructions for "assembly" (there's not much to assemble, really; you just have to unfold the bike and attach one of the pedals). The unfolding/folding process is very straightforward -- it's a shame the bike didn't work properly, as it would have been amazingly convenient!
After I had the bike ready to go, I took it outside to test it out. However, after about 3 seconds of riding, I was surprised when the rear wheel suddenly locked up. I examined the bike, and found that the rear derailleur had become caught in the spokes of the wheel and became bent backwards. (That's not supposed to happen!) I managed to sort-of fix it, but it still didn't really work right. After some examination, I concluded that the derailleur had probably been bent inwards during shipping (the box in which the bike was shipped was in pretty terrible condition). Based on this conclusion, I decided to exchange the bike. A few days later, the replacement bike arrived. Interestingly, this one's box was in much better condition, which I figured was a good sign! (Soon, I imagined, I would be riding all collapsibly and it was going to be awesome!) This time, in addition to following the instruction manual's steps for assembly as I did previously, I also took care to check that the derailleur would not catch the spokes at any gear. (It didn't.)
I took the new bike down for a ride again, and it worked! Or rather, I thought it did. Then I shifted into 6th (the highest) gear. In that gear, the bike chain slipped, constantly, making the bike completely unridable in that gear. Assuming it was simply misadjusted, I took it to a bike shop. There, I was told that the chain was the wrong type for the bike. Skeptical, I took it to another bike shop. The person there concluded that the freewheel was low-quality, and needed replacement. Finally, I took it to a third bike shop, and the people there said that the derailleur was out of alignment! Given this lack of consensus, I concluded that the replacement unit was, too, defective, and I returned it as well, but this time for a refund instead of an exchange.
While I'm glad that the other reviewers had good experiences with this bike, I certainly didn't! If you're looking for a folding bike, I wouldn't recommend buying this one (if you're expecting it to work correctly, that is.)
on February 27, 2013
The bike itself is almost completely generic. That is, unknown manufacture of almost all components including rims, tires, tubes, brakes and seat. That being said, they are all ok. It came folded, undamaged and completely assembled.
BEFORE RIDING - TIGHTEN EVERY NUT, BOLT AND SCREW!!!
Everythinng on this bike was loose. Pay special attention to the wheel nuts, the brakes, the pedals, and the folding joints. And with any new bike, it will also need to be adjusted and tuned.
SHIMANO SIS RD-TY15 Bike Rear Derailleur
SHIMANO SIS Revoshit 6 Twist Shifter
*REPLACED 6 SPEED FREEWHEEL WITH SHIMANO MF-TZ20 FREEWHEEL - part wore out after 60 miles and the chain skipped*
The manual is almost useless in that the bike parts are remanufactured and replaced with less expensive versions so the illustrations and descriptions don't match. There are also no specs for anything also attributed to the changing component line.
Overall it's OK. It is definiately a low end knockoff of the DAHON Mu series but the price is also knocked off. This is a nice casual portable bike. The instructions are aweful but the simplicity of design allows for intuitive folding and unfolding. For more serious riding, I would definately upgrade from the low end components.
on June 8, 2013
Weighed 28 lbs--a bit over 10% more than what's advertised...which is significant enough to NOT be a one-off manufacturing defect.
The new (current) design which I was 1 of the first to receive --which eliminates the lower-pair of rear forks that MOST bicycles have-- means:
1. you can't use a standard U-lock to lock the frame AND rear wheel (of Kryptonite/Trimax/OnGuard/other major brands, ALL were at most 4.5" wide; this bike would need a 6" to let you secure the frame AND rear-wheel to most poles: so need a chain [the usual alternative to a D-lock/U-lock but heavier], or else D-lock your bike--but use only a weak cable on both wheels (takes approx 3 sec's for thieves to snip cables, thus well worth a thief's time to get BOTH wheels, as the rear wheel is a bike's most valuable part if a thief can't steal your whole bike);
2. the chain RUBS on the now-enlarged rear-fork (they needed to make that fork bigger [taller cross-section] to regain some of the strength they lost compared to the older, superior design, now that they have only 1 pair of tubes to attach the rear wheel to the rest of the bike), so I needed to mount the rear wheel a few mm's off-center to stop the chain from destroying the frame (and that was BEFORE I modified it to take an 8-speed, as described below). Not happy, as when I bought it (December 2012), the photo on Amazon's website wasn't updated to even disclose that the design was the 1 shown today: a non-triangulated/non-space-frame design which is different from about 98% of the bikes I've seen (as it's no longer a true space-frame i.e. a design that gives better strength-to-weight ratio, it weighs more without gaining any strength: the 25lbs that's advertised was ALSO advertised back when they made the rear forks with the older, properly-designed/"standard to 98% of the world's bikes" TWO PAIRS of tubes to support the rear wheel. I figured instead of returning it, I'd try something new, e.g. maybe it fits into my suitcase better (WRONG: no luck there). It does fit a 62" suitcase though (with wheels/seat removed).
Decent or maybe above-average welds, hinges, paint & wheels for such a cheap bike (it was 170 when I bought it!):
* alum hubs & rims, steel spokes
. . .but I upgraded to an 8-speed freehub for a total of $10: WheelMaster Alex101-FHRM40RckyMtnCycle--write down that part-number if you think you might wanna go faster than 10-14MPH (16-22kph) on a folding-bike, because folding bikes with 20" wheels don't have many other options, if any, to get an 11t (tooth) top-gear or tall (54T-60T) chainring! The cheapest bikes with 11t I found (Dahons/etc: all 8/9-speed) started @ $600 or so...but once I sold this bike's parts & bought new shifter/derailleur/rear wheel (including tire+tube+freewheel), the cost to upgrade was only $10 more than what I got for the parts I'd sold! (yes, only ten, I didn't forget to add a zero. :-) So I saved $400 compared to a $600 8-speed! Who buys those overpriced bikes?!) The other option to go faster: 56T Vuelta alum chainring for about $40. If you're daring: I can cruise @ 25MPH (40kph) after I replaced BOTH (11t cassette & that 56T chainring--these can be applied to nearly ANY cheap folding-bike; see below).
. . . good paint w/clearcoat on frame but paint on wheels/handlebar/seatpost (all black) was a bit more delicate
. . . welds: I already chopped-off the kickstand-bracket to save weight (every ounce counts when flying coach with a bike LOL), and even that bracket (which doesn't need to be heavy-duty) had pretty good penetration & was welded on BOTH sides of the flat sheetmetal.
. . . it did have nice lifetime warranty on FRAME ONLY--but ofc we'd need to pay shipping to NJ and I think you'd need to do (or pay for) the labor to put all parts BACK ONTO the frame.
All else tends to be fairly standard for bikes of <$190, so for the 250 they're currently asking despite the hassles of a rubbing chain till I compensated for it, and can't use a standard D-lock/heavier rear fork(all-round poorly designed rear fork), I'd suggest most of the folding-bikes sold on Amazon for $175-225 (IF they've got good reviews!) with chains that DON'T rub, etc, instead (this 1 was about 170 when I bought it just 6 months ago!):
* came with a 46T steel chainwheel: the annoying part is it's not easily replaceable when either the teeth are worn-out (usually only ~3000miles/5000km!) or if you want larger chainwheel--so you'd need to either replace the whole bottom-bracket (@ labor rates in EU/USA, ya may as well buy a new bike!) or else you need to CAREFULLY drill 5 holes so that when the new chainwheel spins, it's CENTERED: thankfully there were 5 fake (plastic/cosmetic-only!) hex-head "bolts" that I used to guide my drill so that the new/larger chainwheel spins, centered, around the pedals' main-bearings/bottom-bracket;
* 28t-14t freewheel -- this means max speed of 10-14 MPH for most people, unless you upgrade the chainwheel or get a freehub (cassette) as discussed above; also a freewheel (FW) is more likely to bend the axle than a cassette, especially if you were to upgrade to a 7-speed FW & it's why they don't make 8-speed FW's. As many of us use folding-bikes on vacation far from home, don't wanna spend time fixing a broken axle, and 7-speed FW's go down to 12t but not 11t, I was happier re-selling the WHOLE rear wheel instead of trying a 7-speed FW;
* 106 KMC chain, cheapo revo-shifter & TY-18 mech as all the low-priced 6-speeds come with; * Serial # is stamped on bottom-bracket (theft prevention);
* 1.75" brand-x tires, no quick-releases except seat:
* horribly narrow seat will hurt in 10-20 minutes unless you're a child or VERY small woman--but they all come with tiny, bad seats--even most $400-$800 folders.
on June 8, 2012
Like this product very much. I spent a good few hours going through different options. I wanted to buy the Boardwalk by Dahon - except it was "temporarily unavailable" on amazon.
I am happy to have bought this product. It has gear, very quick to fold and unfold - within 20 seconds. It is definately nice-looking. The 20" wheels seems to have been a good choice, I can imagine 16" will look and feel funny. I tested it around my office and in parking lot, it seems very solid and easy to ride. Several people also checked it out and they all liked it.
I wish it was a bit cheaper but if you want a folding bike, this is a very good option.
on July 18, 2013
I have three different foldups and this one is my favorite. I did replace the peddles to folding ones and the grips with soft ones. I keep this one in my trunk and use it 3-4 times week. Needed little tuning out of the box and a little tweaking here and there but with nothing out of the ordinary.
on October 12, 2012
The bike itself is well designed. Once it is set up it properly and the broken parts replaced, it works fine.
If you expect to ride the bike out of the box, forget the Giordano.
The wheels had to be tightened as well as the pedals, the brakes had to be adjusted, the derailleur needed tightening and adjusting. After that there was still a persistent problem in third gear and the rear spokes had to be replaced. Be prepared to bring the Giordano to a bike shop before you ride it. It cost us an extra $50 before it could be usable.
There is apparently no quality control at the factory. China \/ (icon for "hands up in the air")
on February 3, 2013
I love my bike. I am 5'3" and 64 years old. I needed a bike I could carry and handle. It folds down easily, rides great and is the perfect size for me. I did buy a more comfortable seat, but I knew I would have to do that. I can fold it, pop it in the back end of my Rav4 and drive to any biking spot. Very happy.