Folding Bikes - Just received Dahon Smooth Hound from Amazon for $899 but issues...
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08-09-11, 08:04 PM
:( I want to bring this beautiful midnight blue bike, with Brooks saddle and moustache handlebars, into a LBS for assembly, but I can't seem to fold it. It won't fit into my small car without folding. I read the instructions for folding utilizing this LockJaw Hinge technology(see illustration included of LockJaw Hinge) I'm not sure which version Hinge I have, or if I have to adjust any additional bolt(s) before folding. I just assumed I'd have to adjust the OC bolt (see image 4) and now I see there are 2 other bolts. I don't want to over tighten or strip the hinge. I'm starting to get a bit of buyer's remorse, more so knowing that none of the bike shops in South Florida area have a single folder in their inventory.
Has anyone dealt with this LockJaw technology before and have had to make adjustments before folding the very first time? Is there a Dahon tech support desk in the U.S? I don't think Amazon knows the answer.
Don't despair. The most important thing for you is to try and understand how the hinge works. The fear of the unknown is worse than the actuality. Once you figure it out you'll be laughing.
Unfortunately I haven't had a Dahon with this hinge so can't speak from experience. I'll study the booklet you posted and see if I can come up with some helpful hints. It would also help if you took some pics of the actual one you have, so we can determine which version is relevant. Try to get the underside.
OK, I have read the instructions. Let's start by assuming you don't need to do any adjustments, that the bolts have been assembled correctly before shipping.
So, to fold it, undo both OC bolts anti-clockwise by 180deg. That should be enough - now exert some force on the two frame halves to rotate them towards each other.
If it is very stiff, adjustment will be required but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Think twice before handing the whole thing over to the LBS; try to make sure the LBS mech is knowledgeable and won't wreck it. There are of course a multitude of very good ones out there but equally there are some out there who don't know the next thing about folders and won't bother finding out before they break something.
For tech support, you can try to contact Thor of thorusa.com. He is a Dahon dealer, and VERY willing to help out even if there is nothing in it for him. He is very tech savvy and will be able to walk you through it.
08-09-11, 11:40 PM
Only 4 hours later, and I've removed the safety screws and pulled them out. Looks like my folder is version B. I had to loosen the Adjustment Bolt enough so I could successfuly fold the bike using the OC bolt. I haven't replaced the safety screws of the Adjustment Bolt yet, but they are in a safe place. Since this is a labor of love, I don't mind learning the quirks of the Dahon Smooth Hound. I decided to purchase from Amazon because the price was $200 cheaper than either Nashbar or NYCeWheels. Next, I'm going to study all the folding areas and attach the handlebars and this 'hard as rock' but sweet-looking Brooks saddle.
Before taking my Smooth Hound to an LBS, I am going to read and reread the manual so I know as much about this specific bike as I can. The rest of the assembly will probably be routine for a certified bike technician. I have never assembled a bike before. By the time I'm done learning, I will be the most knowledgeable 'Dahon Smooth Hound' maven in Boca Raton (well at least west of I-95).
Those hinges need constant checking to make sure they are optimally adjusted, to get a long life out of them.
08-10-11, 11:25 AM
Looks like a separable, but with a hinge. Does the OC bolt screw into a steel insert, or into a threaded socket in the alloy frame? If screwing into aluminum, be careful not to over tighten. Anti-seize on the bolt would be a good idea as well. The instruction to tighten 'till you here a "click" makes me nervous, unless they have a clutch mechanism on the bolt.
As finding an LBS with folder proficiency can be difficult, pick up a copy of Park's Big Blue Book of bike repair. Always a good idea to give a new bike a good going over, just in case the assembler 'rushed' things, or it was put together on a Monday or Friday.
08-10-11, 11:46 AM
if you want to learn how to tune it up and other bike adjustments and repair I have found this site helpful. http://bicycletutor.com/
08-10-11, 12:22 PM
Thank you guys for your help. I had a moment of panic when I realized I had no customer support, no bike shops, and no friends that ride folders in my area. I'm okay now. I ordered those two books mentioned in the thread (from the bicycle tutor website) and I was at the LBS today and, fortunately, the mechanic knew the Dahon.
We went over the Lockjaw assembly, and I will be mentioning some of the comments on this thread when I pop over this afternoon. My bike will be ready for a debut ride on Thursday. I already have a Trek Navigator 3.0 cruiser and Trek fx 7.5 WSD so this so the Smooth Hound is not going to be used daily, but rather 'babied' and used on the many occasions I travel to Florida parks and nature preserves in the North and Central and Panhandle areas. I'm a senior citizen (55 oh my!) and ride about 10-17 or so miles on a good day so this is great fun for me.
Great that you found a good LBS :thumb:
Read on in that thread which I linked to - another valuable post re the Lockjaw has been added.
(Senior at 55?! Not a bit of it. Life begins at 50. I just barely started life, and I discovered riding well has nothing to do with age, merely what you are willing to put into it.)
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