Fnhon Gust 16 Inch Wheel First Impression Review

Fnhon Gust 16 Inch Folding Bike
Fnhon Gust 16 Inch Folding Bike

Adapted from Heng Choo Chian – Thebicycleguy

Listen to the spinning rear wheel. Not bad! Not Bad!

Today I am going to do a review about my new bike, the 16-inch wheeled Fnhon Gust.

Let’s go!

So, what I have here is a new bike that I just received. I will be filming my ride around town in an upcoming video for my vlog but for right now I will be giving you my first impressions of my Fnhon Gust.

First, I will discuss the frameset. Secondly, I will cover the groupset. Third, will be the wheelset and the lastly the finishing kit.

As always, at the end, I will conclude with 3 things that I like about this folding bike and 3 concerns that could be improved. Hopefully, this information will be beneficial to know if you are in the market for a folding bike and more specifically a Fnhon Gust.

Fnhon Gust: Frameset

So, the first point to discuss is the frame. This Fnhon Gust is a 16-inch wheel folding bike frame. As you can see it can attract eyeballs in the market because of the vintage design and the awesome paintwork.

For those who do not know about Fnhon they are actually a Chinese brand that used to be the OEM bike frame manufacturer for Dahon. In the early days, Fnhon produced 20” frames which were mostly copies of Dahon. At some point, they started to do their own in-house R&D and this Gust frame is the first frame they brought to the marketplace. Ever since then they have focused more on the smaller 14” inch and 16” inch wheeled market.

You immediately notice that this frame has no seat stay, only a chainstay. This is a unique selling point for this frame. Due to having no seat stay you get a more compliant ride, which is more spongy and springy, and completes that minimalistic look. I also need to point out the paintwork on this frame. You can see that this is not your standard black frame. Under sunlight, you can really notice the sparkle that gives more depth to this paintwork.

The frame that I am showing is actually a third generation Fnhon Gust. The first generation was launched in a champagne gold color and a silver color. The second generation came in four vintage colors: blue, green, red, and silver. The third generation went with black or gold.

Let’s now move on to the next part, the groupset.

Fnhon Gust: Groupset

One aspect of Fnhon that I really appreciate is that they offer the consumer the option of just purchasing the frame. While other brands such as Dahon, or Tern, only offer complete folding bikes which usually come with a groupset that you don’t like, a crankset with a lower range, or older standard, and so on.

For this frame, I actually spoke with the dealer about the specs that I wanted because of my research. So, I opted for a Shimano Sora 9 speed RD, 11-32T cassette, and a 56T Litepro 1x front crankset. There is no chainguard because it is a 1x and the teeth profile is made to retain the chain.

Fnhon Gust Rear Derailleur

I have an Altus shifter (because the Sora shifter was out of stock) and Sora lever and Tektro caliper brakes. Another highlight about this bike is in the Malaysian market you usually get a frame that comes with V brakes. For the Fnhon Gust frame, it’s caliper brake specific so I can use a caliper brake from a road bike, and it looks much neater.

Fnhon Gust Tektro Brakes

Pro Tip: When you want to use caliper brakes remember your lever has to have the correct pull ratio. You can’t use the V brake lever on a caliper brake. You need to use something like a Shimano Claris or Shimano Sora lever that comes with 2 pull ratios so your caliper brake can work properly.

The third part, is the wheelset.

Fnhon Gust: Wheelset

The wheelset is actually a quite standard China boutique wheelset manufacturer, called Mialo. The wheels feel kind of lightweight because of the 16″ wheel size. Wheel size is very confusing in the small bike world. There are actually 2 standards in 16″ wheels, there is the 305 and the 349 wheel dimension. 305 is commonly used by Dahon and also kids’ bikes. The 349 wheel size use to be a Brompton exclusive. Apparently, the Fnhon Gust frame can fit both 305 and 349 and of course, I opted for 349 because I wanted the Schwalbe One tanned wall tire, which launched a few years back on the Brompton CHPT 3. And this specific Schwalbe One makes my bike even more handsome.

Last but not least, will be the finishing kit.

Fnhon Gust: Finishing Kit

As you can see, I decorated the bike to my preference and tried to apply some of the theory as to what makes a folding bike look nice and proper. One rule that you always need to follow when you decorate your bike is the 60-30-10 rule – 60% primary color, 30% secondary color, and 10% highlight.

The 60% over here, of course, is the black color which comes from the frame along with black colored components, handle post, seat post, and so on.

The 30% is the brown leather element so I have a Brooks saddle and tool bag and I added a leather belt in front.

Fnhon Gust Leather Accessory

Lastly, the 10% highlight will be the color gold which comes from the handlebar grip, the headset, the gold chain, and the detail highlight which comes from the frame.

For the handlebar, I used a standard aluminum Litepro straight bar since I like my riding position to be front rotation. I don’t use a riser bar here as I prefer a straight bar.

The seat post is actually a 33.9mm in diameter and it comes in a 600mm length. I also fitted an Apidura front bag over here for my casual ride so I can put my phone, wallet, and other things inside because I don’t wear a cycling jersey when I’m on this bike. I have my Bryton Rider 750 computer on the front to give me the stats, the distance, time, weather, temperature, and so on. And of course, I have my Moon light and also a blinker in the back for when I’m riding at night. That’s pretty much it with my upgraded specs for my Fnhon Gust.

And now let’s go to the conclusion.

Fnhon Gust: 3 Good and 3 Concerns

So that’s pretty much about the bike that I have for now as I just got my Fnhon Gust not too long ago and I haven’t clocked in a lot of mileage, but for a first impressions review like this, I have 3 things that are good about this bike and 3 concerns about this frame that may not be suitable for someone.

So, 3 good things first about the Fnhon Gust...

Right off the bat the “first look” is very handsome. No matter what color you choose, it looks awesome. The paint job is not your usual paint job that you see on a typical bike which is usually dull. Fnhon paid particular attention to this detail and you can easily dress up your bike with 60-30-10 theory. For example, my bike is 60% black, 30% leather brown, and the last 10% highlight comes from the frame and accessories i.e. the headset and the grip.

Second, this bike is fast and light! For a folding bike at this price point, it’s considered a really fast folding bike. I can easily cruise at 32km/h (20 mph) by putting in a bit more power and I think because of the tires I can cruise easily at that speed for quite a while. So, if you like pushing it a bit or climbing a major hill I think this folding bike can easily handle it.

The third thing I like would be if you compare this brand to the established brands, it is pretty cheap. For this price, you can get a Tern or Dahon, but usually, the components are outdated or of a lower grade. One good thing about Fnhon, because they offer the ability to purchase only the frame the options open up for the consumer in that you can order a custom-made Fnhon Gust from a bike shop based upon your spec request. For example, for my Gust, I opted for Schwalbe One tires, gold chain, Litepro crankset which was all communicated to the dealer. The dealer was able to quote me a fully assembled folding bike price instead of the folding frame and each individual component.

And, 3 concerns about the Fnhon Gust...

The first concern it this folding bike is currently hard-to-find rare in my market or my local bike shop. Fnhon’s target market is China, and then it got popular in Indonesia and just now Malaysia so there are hardly any bike shops that stock it. This in turn means there is no after-sales service support if you buy this bike. You can probably purchase it online and import it directly from China but you will need to be equipped with all the technical knowledge if anything happens to this folding bike. For example, the shifting is not smooth, so I have to rely on my own expertise instead of getting after-sales support service like local bicycle brands.

The second concern is there is a weight limitation. I think because the main target market is China the manufacturer never put in design thought for all the potential larger-sized riders. The Fnhon Gust frame unfortunately comes with a 90KG (200 lbs) weight limit. I guess most of the local online sellers won’t mention this but if you are considering buying this bike do take note of this limitation. And other than the weight limit the bike also has a height limit. For example, I’m not someone who is very tall to start being 168cm (5′ 5″), my seat post is actually pulled all the way up to the safety point. I guess if you are a taller rider maybe at 175cm or 180cm this bike will be too cramped for you and you may not be able to fully extend your leg or you will have a very cramped space in between the handlebar and saddle so please take note to the weight limit and height limit.

Editor’s Note

The Origami Lotus is a modified version of the Fnhon Gust 16-Inch which is produced for the US market and compensates for height and weight limits of the current frame.

Fnhon also produces a Fnhon Gust 20-Inch version for taller riders.

The third concern is some of the workmanship, as well as some of the accessories that look like an afterthought.

For example, this frame, which is a caliper brake specific, kind of limits the gear ratio because the crankset can only start at 56T which is a dinner plate size crank. If you are using an 11-28 cassette, the gear ratio will be very heavy to tackle a hilly terrain.

Fnhon Gust Front Sprocket

Also, my frame has a front block bracket much like you would find on a Brompton. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work because it looks like an afterthought where they welded a piece of steel at the headtube, and once you install the bracket the steering angle that is left will be very minimal because the caliper brake is in the way. This is something I think a bike brand should give consideration to as to how a rider plans on using a folding bike. The front bracket is important if you plan on putting your bags to go grocery shopping or carry stuff and things like that.

For this case, I think Fnhon didn’t put enough thought into that part and it looks more like an afterthought.

I think that’s all for now.

And until next time,

Bye Bye

Photos Courtesy Heng Choo Chian