Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flamingo London NX7: First Impressions!

A new bike! Why did I get a new bike? It is to serve a different purpose, for different riding styles. Although the Dahon Boardwalk X20-R is a folding bike, it is not that convenient to fold and does not fold very compactly. When required, the Boardwalk can be folded in half to "trolley" onto the MRT, or folded further to put in the backseat of a car. However, the folded Boardwalk is too wide to go onto the bus easily, and sometimes I don't want to fold it because I am carrying lots of stuff with the bike.

The Boardwalk is now a fast bike, meant to go fast with the drop bars and road bike components. Will be putting up a list of components for the Boardwalk X20-R soon. It can also be a touring bike, meant to go further distances, with its double chainrings for hills and rack+panniers for loads. It is a very versatile bike, its only disadvantage is that it does not fold compactly.

And this is where the Flamingo London NX7 comes in! It has practically the same fold as the Brompton, which has the most compact fold of any 16 inch (349) wheel bike. Another important feature is that it has a rack with rollers that enables you to roll the bike around when folded, excusing you from unnecessary gym sessions with your arms.

High handlebars for a super relaxed ride

Shimano Revoshifter for 7 speed hubs, paired with no brand brake levers.

Closeup view of the 7 speed Revoshifter!

Knob on handlepost that clips into the latch on the front fork, keeping the handlepost secure when folded.

Front fork, with rear mounted mini V-brakes and the latch for locking the handlepost. The Brompton uses caliper brakes instead.

Decent Driveline square taper crankset with folding pedals. 48T chainring..

Rear triangle with rear rack, including 4 rollers. Chain tensioner also seen.

Promax Mini V-brakes (85mm) on the front fork. Might be changing to a normal V-brake (~100mm).

 Closeup of the rear of the bike. Rubber wrapped around the chainstay to prevent scratches when the front fork hooks onto the chainstay during folding. High capacity chain tensioner to take up the slack in the chain when folded.

Normal V-brakes on the rear. (100mm tall). I added a small red blinker for night rides.

Top view of rear rack. Problem with this bike is that the 4 rollers are not aligned properly such that they are parallel. This causes wobbling and auto steering to one side when rolling the bike around.

Red hook will hook onto the rear chainstay when folded.

Big knobs for locking the handlepost and frame. A nice touch for the 2012 Flamingo London NX7 is the integrated FSA headset.

Curved aluminium frame. Comes in a stealthy black colour, low profile. Internal cable routing!

 Convoluted and messy cabling, supposedly required to prevent tangling when folding and unfolding. Noticed that some parts of the cable seem too stretched. Will investigate further when I have the time.

Simple metal clip to hold the rear triangle when carrying the bike up. The Brompton's latch system is much more convenient. Rubber block suspension.

Shimano Nexus-7 internal hub, SG-7R46 (previous model). Works pretty well when shifting gears. Additional drag is noticeable.

One bonus that this bike has is a kickstand! No need to fold down rear triangle to let the bike stand. Obtrusive but convenient.

Dr. Air saddle, very comfortable! It is like sitting on a sofa. Perfect for this bike's usage.

Attached my saddle bag from the Dahon on this Flamingo. It will be a common saddle bag that I transfer between the two bikes depending on which one I am riding.

Misaligned rear rack rollers

The major problem here is with the rear rack rollers. See how misaligned the rollers are! The ones on the rack can be re-aligned by bending the tabs, but the ones on the frame itself (under the seatpost) cannot as the attachment points are far too thick to bend.

Because of this, the bike does not roll straight when I push the bike when folded. Quite irritating as I will have to use a significant amount of strength to prevent the bike from wobbling all over the place. Still thinking of a solution for this.

Other than the rear rack roller issue, the bike works great! The internal gear system together with the Revoshifter means that I can shift gears anytime I want, and jump to multiple gears easily! The gear range is pretty good, will be calculating the actual gear inches for the 7 gears. The tradeoff here is the weight, as the bike weights 13kg with the internal hub! Luckily I can roll it around.

2 more articles coming up for this Flamingo London NX7 will be regarding mixed mode commuting with this bike, and a simple size comparison with a Brompton!

10 comments:

  1. Hi,

    Nice review of the bike. Would you tell me roughly how the size of the bike is when folded?

    Thank you
    Clark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the folded size is slightly larger than a Brompton. will post the exact dimensions when I blog about the comparison between the Flamingo and the Brompton

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  2. How much did it set you back? Also, I didn't know these were available in the U.S?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in Singapore, and I got it locally at MyBikeShop. SGD 1350 each.

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  3. What is the OLN (Over Lock Nut) dimension of the rear dropouts?

    Is it 135mm? or something less?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe the 7 speed Nexus internal hub has an OLD of 130mm. the 8 or 11 speeds ones have 135mm OLD.

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  4. do you have hand on for rear tyre changing video or note?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no never had to remove the rear wheel before.

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    2. Here in TaipEi where I am a tourist the Flamingo London NX7 with internal hub 7-gears and everything else appearing same as your description is SGD 543 at a folding bike shop. I thought that was expensive for a Taiwan-manufactured bike but maybe it is a bargain!

      Have you tried traveling with it? I am concerned that it might not fit in a standard airline checked-in suitcase. But it is a more tight fold than the Ori Classic C8 (retails at same shop
      for SGD1119.) But the Ori's generously wide handlebars and it's design make it much larger when folded. Also, I find the Orio fold very weird. In both cases though the wheels are odd sizes whatever for the Flamingo and 16 X 1 3/8 for the Ori. I am concerned that neither will be available in Cambodia where I live. You can take off the seat post to make the Flamingo fit smaller but that destroys the folding lock. When I push it on its wheels it is rough compared to the Ori. What I like best about the Flamingo ( compared to the gorgeous Ori) is that it looks cheap and this won't attract thieves.

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  5. Correction: the NT13000 price was for a cheaper Flamingo that was not suitable. The NX7 was the same as the Ori: NT26800 = SGD1119. That is a savings of only SGD132 plus I won't get the warranty and service.

    Shopping for a bicycle in Taiwan for a non-Chinese speaking customer I don't recommend it.

    ReplyDelete