Friday, July 30, 2010

The Btwin Hoptown 20

Recently , we received our new stocks of Btwin bikes. The stocks included a few first timers in TBA. But none is more interesting than the Btwin Hoptown 20 - a 7 speed folding bike with 20 inch wheel. Interesting , because of the promise it brings as a affordable no nonsense folding bike. The time of launch is interesting too , with Dahon set to launch in a month. Accessories like side stand, fenders,chain guard, rear racks, ergo grips, rear LED light(not a blinkie though) comes as standard along with the bike. Some innovative design means there are 2 small wheels on the rack, which are supposed to aid you roll the bike along while still folded. It is too early for me write a review of the bike based on a 2 min ride that I have taken, so just some pics for now.



The Hoptown20, folded and unfolded

The first fold is right at the top of the headset


The seat post slides down


Folds at the centre of the frame.


Pretty compact once folded


The pedal uses a press fold mechanism. Basically, you press the pedal in certain direction to release the lever, and fold it


The rear rack , the luggage strap, the LED non blinkie, fenders - all part of the package


The ergo grips are very comfortable, and looks much better than what you see in this pic. The 7 speed shifter feels different, but shifts smooth.

Plush saddle with nice graphics



The 20 x 1.75 Kenda Quest

31 comments:

  1. Hello.
    I am considering buying a hoptown.
    Please share your experience.
    Best regards
    Jakop

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jakob,

    I haven't yet been able to take an extended enough ride to comment on the experiance part. Hope to post a note in the next 2-3 days. Where are you based at?

    Krish

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  3. Hi Krish. I am based in Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Will be in Brussels tomorrow and will most probably purchase a Hoptown there. I look forward to hearing from you. All the best Jakob

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  4. Hi Krish,

    Just saw the Dahon announcement on Bangalore bikers google group. Would love to see how you rate this bike against them.
    Planning to pick one up once the metro launches here in year end. Currently ride a Bianchi Camaleonte 1.

    Cheers!
    Sid

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Jakob,

    It might be a little too late for you. But only yesterday I could manage a proper ride on the hoptown. I did close to 50km yesterday, around 15km today on the Hoptown 20. And it is fare to say that the bike surpassed my expectations. We did a mix of tarmac and trail, small climbs too, and the bike handled everything very well. Highly recommended. Will post a seperate review soon.

    Krish

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  6. Hi Sid,

    Well, we would be receiving our first set of Dahon's in little more than a week from now. I am very eager myself to find out how they fare against the Hoptown 20, which I find is an excellent bike for its purpose and price. BTW, we have a demo bike of Hoptown, and if you are based in hyd or planning a trip here, you are welcome to try it out.

    Krish

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  7. Looking forward to the follow up review, one of these would be ideal for my 2 mile commute (with no bike storage at work). And at a fraction of the price of brompton etc seems like a bargain, considering my good past experiences with the decathlon/B'Twin brand

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi. Thanks for writing this review about the Btwin Hoptown ;) I'm planning to buy my first folding bike this month and this one is on my list. So, do you still recommend this bike? My budget is limited to 300€.

    Thanks again.
    Vitor

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  9. Hello.
    After three months of regular use, I would like to emphasise that I have seldom experienced such fantastic value-for-money.
    The Hoptown handles extremely well in all urban situations. Of course, you might be able to get lighter and smaller bikes but this one's a real deal at 300EUR. I recommend upgrading the tyres sometime, for even better handling and comfort. Go for it!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Vitor,

    As Jakob suggested, this a great bike for its price. Do we recommend? Yes, ofcourse. However , if you are a tall guy(taller than 6 feet), you may end up with a pretty upright posture. I have been a little lazy on the full review writeup, but should do it this week for sure.

    Jakob,

    Good to know you are enjoying your ride:)

    Krish

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  11. Krish

    I had been to decathlon and did not test this bike on real conditions. I was not sure about the 20 inch wheels to keep the momentum during long ride.
    1.I suppose the distance covered will be less in smaller wheel size. So do let me know your experience with it.
    2.With respect to ride in Bangalore conditions
    3.If you can carry it with the Indian Railway sleeper coach.
    4.Can this can be carried with the upcoming Metro trains of Bangalore.I mean going up and down the metro stations. Will this be allowed?

    Waiting for your reply,
    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rajesh,

    The smaller wheels do not compromise on the speed or pedaling effort. This because these bikes have higher gearing ratio, maning for each revolution of the pedals, the wheel turns multiple times, effectively covering similar distance per pedal stroke as you would do in a bike with stan16 inch wheel. The bike handles indian roads very well, no problem at all. You should be able to carry it easily with you on a sleeper coach . I am not sure about the 4th point mentioned by you. I presume , in non peak hours you shouldn't have any problem.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry for the typo in my last comment. I meant standard 26" wheels, and not 16 inch.

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  14. Thanks for the information Krish.

    Hi all,
    There is a feedback which says a customer returned back the Hoptown 20" folding bicycle.

    Take a look at the link below

    http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/finer-things-life/57774-folding-bikes.html

    Did any of you face such problems?

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    ReplyDelete
  15. -Rajesh,
    what fpessanha writes is very interesting and merits a comment.
    1. Remarkably, I have never seen a bike "tyre" burst. I presume he means the inner tube. That, in a seasoned biker's opinion is no big deal and not normally a warranty case. And ususally doesn't mean replacing the whole cycle.

    2. Allegedly on the replacement bike "some pieces were missing". It would be interesting to find out which "pieces" these were.

    3. "However, not many days after that, I had not one but three flat tires going along on normal tar-mac roads". Perhaps the author had forgotten to check whether the cause for the punctures (thorn, spike, glass) was still in the tyre after having fixed the puncturere resp. having replaced the inner tube. I admit to having used the Hoptown for slides on gravel paths in a forest I regularly cycle through. I haven't had a single puncture in the four months of intensive use. I weigh 85KGs and ride a MTB so I am used to bouncing up and down curbs. Yes, even with the Hoptown.

    5. "..when I was unscrewing one of the bolts, it just smoothed out under the presure". This can happen on expensive gear, too. I'd like to see the tools deployed and how they were used.

    6. "The joint had developed a gap wide enough to fit a bit of heavy grain paper. The aluminum started to show some strain after only 4 weeks of daily folding and 14km a day on the road." This is serious enough to withdraw the Hoptown from public traffic and worth checking with Decathlon PR how often this has happened worldwide.

    All in all, it would be worth contacting Decathlon store in Brussels (Anderlecht) or Decathlon PR to verify this story, as it is scary.
    The Brompton is an expensive alternative and certainly better quality. But I could imagine that some components are produced in China. As some of the components on my very expensive MTB are, too.
    Best
    Jakob

    ReplyDelete
  16. -Rajesh,
    what fpessanha writes is very interesting and merits a comment.
    1. Remarkably, I have never seen a bike "tyre" burst. I presume he means the inner tube. That, in a seasoned biker's opinion is no big deal and not normally a warranty case. And ususally doesn't mean replacing the whole cycle.

    2. Allegedly on the replacement bike "some pieces were missing". It would be interesting to find out which "pieces" these were.

    3. "However, not many days after that, I had not one but three flat tires going along on normal tar-mac roads". Perhaps the author had forgotten to check whether the cause for the punctures (thorn, spike, glass) was still in the tyre after having fixed the puncturere resp. having replaced the inner tube. I admit to having used the Hoptown for slides on gravel paths in a forest I regularly cycle through. I haven't had a single puncture in the four months of intensive use. I weigh 85KGs and ride a MTB so I am used to bouncing up and down curbs. Yes, even with the Hoptown.

    5. "..when I was unscrewing one of the bolts, it just smoothed out under the presure". This can happen on expensive gear, too. I'd like to see the tools deployed and how they were used.

    6. "The joint had developed a gap wide enough to fit a bit of heavy grain paper. The aluminum started to show some strain after only 4 weeks of daily folding and 14km a day on the road." This is serious enough to withdraw the Hoptown from public traffic and worth checking with Decathlon PR how often this has happened worldwide.

    All in all, it would be worth contacting Decathlon store in Brussels (Anderlecht) or Decathlon PR to verify this story, as it is scary.
    The Brompton is an expensive alternative and certainly better quality. But I could imagine that some components are produced in China. As some of the components on my very expensive MTB are, too.
    Best
    Jakob

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Jakob for deeper analysis of the feedback given by fpessanha .

    Krish can you add anything to that?

    Looking at HopTown it looks cute to buy and ride , moreover you can fold it, put it in your car , train, or bus and utilize in the place of your interest.

    However the post by fpessanha (http://www.straightrazorplace.com/forums/finer-things-life/57774-folding-bikes.html) did scare me to think twice before a purchase. At the same time some of you have posted that you have been using the hoptown from 3 months without major issues.

    Thanks,
    Rajesh

    ReplyDelete
  18. Rajesh,

    I completely agree with Jacob. Punctures happen to any tire, even the puncture resistant ones. In case of repeated punctures, its needs to be explored whether its is because the tyre has worn out, or a piece of glass or nail stuck at the inside of the tire or something similar. Its too vague to say things like the bike is crap because my tyre blew off or I keep getting punctures. Regarding chinese components, even the cannondales and treks come from china. There is nothing wrong in that, as long as the company is able to deliver quality.

    Even if I believe 'fpessanha' in that thread, I would assume it would be a one of case. But some of the complains ( tire blast, punctures, chinese components) etc are so immature, that it seriously puts doubts on his more serious complains with respect to the gap at folds.

    I have a friend of mine here (Sridhar), who has been using the hoptown for commutes for the last 3 months without problem. Ofcourse, if you want something lighter, and a more comfortable, you can invest in the Dahons which are now available in India. But I don't see any quality issues in the hoptown for sure.

    krish

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  19. Hi chain-gang ... i m hopping in HYD with hop-town 20 for the last 3 months and i think i've completed more than 800 KM with this. Besides hoptown i ride cannondale f9 and i didnt find any difference with respect to ride comfort or what ever. I even went out with other bikers and we were riding all along ... the post by fpessanha is more of Indian filmy style, where the Hero faces all the problems in the world at once ...

    I'm taking my hop-town in local MMTS (local trains) and even in city buses ... not sure how to add the pics here of the hop-town i've taken in one of the buss. I take it in my friends car to some extent and from there i bike to work ... i would suggest this any one ... the reason its very comfortable to un-fold and use the way u want ,,,, if itz sunny/raining take it into buss / train / car.



    Also i totally agree with Jakob with his comments on hop-town ... value for the money we pay :) .... on the lighter note ... Rajesh you should not face any issues unless you get same bike returned by fpessanha to decathlon :))

    --- happy riding ... sridhar@bike2work.in

    ReplyDelete
  20. btw, I have the metallic orange model.
    it has proven a real eye-catcher.

    ReplyDelete
  21. The 20" wheel might be good for short travel in city traffic. It does not provide leverage as a 26". One might become frustrated due to this factor.It is not so handy as we think after folding. about 14 kgs of uneven edges does not even stand properly. when placed.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Did you buy yourself a hoptown? You may be suprised to know that George, who competes in the BBC races on his 20 inch moulton, often wins them too. The hoptown stands very well on the ground. The seat post, when lowered acts as a support along with the 2 wheels. Check the first picture in this blog and you will understand what I am talking about ? Yes, it is a little heavy, but it would be a little unreasonable to expect a featherlight folder bike at this price.

    ReplyDelete
  23. i wanna buy hoptown too. today i saw it in the shop. looks nice.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Does any body know the maximum rider weight for a hoptown folding bike.

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  25. no idea, but I weigh 87 KGs and have used my bike daily for over year.

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  26. Neither did the guy in the shop. I know Dahons are 105kg maximum rider weight and Bromptons 110kg. It's an important piece of information on a folding bike. Because I weigh in at 103kg its an important piece of information

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hoptown 5 is not good uphill. Ok for flat cities. However, i would still go for dahon eco 3 for almost the same price.

    ReplyDelete
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  30. i need a hoptown in hungary, my purple was stolen :'(

    ReplyDelete