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Old 04-19-17, 05:46 PM   #1
tomtomtom123
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Dahon Speed TR vs Tern Verge Tour & Birdy for touring

I have a 2009 Dahon Speed TR that I used for touring for 7 months, then for commuting the rest of the years. The hinge was damaged early on, probably dropped from the airplane to the tarmac. I replaced the lever, but the hinge was a little loose when closed. The 2 halves no longer fit tightly. My only solution was to stick a piece of inner tube in the hind to dampen the movement.

Now I'm planning to start touring again, but 7 years on, I'm worried about the possibility of the hinge falling apart on me. So I'm thinking of getting a new bike.

For folders compatible with front and rear racks and minimum 3x8 drive trains, or over 500% range, I figured either one of these 3:

Get another Speed TR
3x8 DD2
37 x 82 x 66 cm
15.1kg
CroMoly
V-brake
700

or Tern Verge Tour
3x9 DD3
48 x 80 x 77 cm
16.6kg
Alu
Disc wire
1500

or Birdy Dual Drive
3x8 DD3
34 x 80 x 62 cm
13kg
Alu
Disc hydrolic
2700

or Birdy Rohloff
13.5kg
3700

The Speed TR was ok, but it's heavy. Maybe the hinge would have been fine if it wasn't damaged in the airplane. But I do go on a lot of bumpy gravel roads. The websites selling Speed TR have photos that look almost the same as my 2009 model. Nothing seems to have been changed/improved, except the addition of a dynamo hub, but I prefer not to have one. The dynamo is an old model from 2010. The handlebar stem doesn't fold down completely when I have the bars setup in the position I want them to be in (but it's ok for trains/bus).

The Tern Verge Tour has newer parts. Is the DD3 hub much different from the DD2 hub? It's also got a newer version of the dynamo, and disc brakes. But it's 1.5kg heaver and twice the price of the Speed TR. Is there much difference between CroMoly vs Alu? It's also got a quick release for the handle bars while the Speed TR needs a hex key. I saw that 2011 models of Speed TR had a quick release too, but they removed this from 2012. The Tern Verge Tour is almost 10cm taller than Speed TR when folded. My Speed TR just barely fits in the luggage racks of trains if I deflate the tires or remove a tire. I'm not sure if the Tern Verge Tour would fit in the trains.

The Birdy rides very well and has less flex than the Dahon/Tern. It's also much lighter. The suspension also makes the ride much more comfortable on bumpy gravel roads. But the rear luggage rack is rated to only 15kg and is almost 10cm shorter in length than the rack on my Speed TR. I normally lay a hiking backpack across 2 panniers on the rear rack, and I don't think it would fit on the Birdy rack, nor would it support the extra weight. I probably carry 20-23kg on the rear.

Any ideas or recommendations?
Thanks
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Old 04-20-17, 08:48 AM   #2
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I can offer a limited experience and perspective on the Tern Verge Tour as my wife has one. My wife sold her mountain bike and since we are planning to fulltime travel in an RV, she decided on a folding bike, fell in love with the Verge Tour, even though there will be no touring in her future. She finds it to be "the most comfortable bike she has ever ridden" and is happy with it. I was impressed with the build quality. Since I am an avid rider having never ridden or considered a folding bike and reluctant to go that route, my wife encouraged me to ride it to work to give it a good try. I found it a very comfortable and stable to ride. Although it is a heavier bike than some of their other models, I was able to make good time on it. If I were going to tour, and I wish it was in the cards for me, I would definitely buy a Tern Verge Tour. Because of my experience riding my wife's Verge Tour I ended up going back to the store and buying a Verge P10 which suits my riding style better and I am happy with the build quality on it as well. Sorry I cannot speak to the others you mentioned. I will be interested to hear what you end up with. best of luck.
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Old 04-20-17, 09:01 AM   #3
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Well heck, you look like you have a decent budget - you only live once, go for the Birdy Rohloff . I don't own Birdy but I could image the dual suspension rides really nicely, and the disc brakes will come in handy on those mountain descents I assume you need the super wide gearing for.

I'll thrown in one more idea though - how about a Brompton + upgrade of your camping gear to ultra-light/compact class? I recently got into UL backpacking and then added a Brompton, and have found the 'ultra-compact/ultra-convenient' (can't call a Brompton 'ultralight' ) combo to be so versatile and.. liberating... that it has rekindled my interests in bike touring after having quit decades ago. (fwiw, I have a Dahon Speed P8 that I wouldn't bother touring on even if outfitted the same).

You can widely gear it (Schlumpf or 2nd chainring/manual shift) although disc brakes are not easy. Lots of folks touring on Bromptons on the UK site.

Also have a look Jur's Birdy rig (front wheel cargo).. I think he gone to a Brompton now too.

Bought a Birdy AND a Brompton
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Old 04-20-17, 09:41 AM   #4
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first are you sure the advertised weights are correct ?


Why are you even interested in 2 lbs different if you will hang 60 lbs on the bike ?
I know that the rohloff is widely used for touring around the world. Do you get spares or can fix it in places unknown ? Plus the large diameter hub, is asking for extremely short spokes, radial lacing is the only sane way to go.
I understand the WISH for 500 %, but do you need that ? When are you going over 30 miles an hour while pedaling fully loaded ? ( Coasting down a hill is a different animal )


If I would do a world tour , I would try very hard to go simple and easily fixable
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Old 04-20-17, 11:08 AM   #5
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Bike Friday has a loyal following from touring folks.
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Old 04-20-17, 12:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reppans View Post
Well heck, you look like you have a decent budget - you only live once, go for the Birdy Rohloff . I don't own Birdy but I could image the dual suspension rides really nicely, and the disc brakes will come in handy on those mountain descents I assume you need the super wide gearing for.

I'll thrown in one more idea though - how about a Brompton + upgrade of your camping gear to ultra-light/compact class? I recently got into UL backpacking and then added a Brompton, and have found the 'ultra-compact/ultra-convenient' (can't call a Brompton 'ultralight' ) combo to be so versatile and.. liberating... that it has rekindled my interests in bike touring after having quit decades ago. (fwiw, I have a Dahon Speed P8 that I wouldn't bother touring on even if outfitted the same).

You can widely gear it (Schlumpf or 2nd chainring/manual shift) although disc brakes are not easy. Lots of folks touring on Bromptons on the UK site.

Also have a look Jur's Birdy rig (front wheel cargo).. I think he gone to a Brompton now too.

Bought a Birdy AND a Brompton

I am new to the folding bike clan and was unfamiliar with the Birdy, so after reading your reply I took a look and it sure does look like a nice bike, especially for touring. It would not have been in our price range, so nothing lost. While I stand by my original reply that the Tern Verge Tour should make for a nice touring bike, if the OP has the budget, the Birdy is certainly worth a long look.
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Old 04-20-17, 01:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
first are you sure the advertised weights are correct ?


Why are you even interested in 2 lbs different if you will hang 60 lbs on the bike ?
I know that the rohloff is widely used for touring around the world. Do you get spares or can fix it in places unknown ? Plus the large diameter hub, is asking for extremely short spokes, radial lacing is the only sane way to go.
I understand the WISH for 500 %, but do you need that ? When are you going over 30 miles an hour while pedaling fully loaded ? ( Coasting down a hill is a different animal )


If I would do a world tour , I would try very hard to go simple and easily fixable
Other than the option of getting the same Speed TR model, I had my eye on the Birdy Dual Drive for a while. It's just the load restrictions on the rear rack of the Birdy, and the higher price that holds me back from it. My concerns for the Speed TR is the reliability of the hinge, durability on bumpy gravel roads, heavier weight, larger fold, and gear range.

There are a couple of benefits that come with the lighter weight and more compact fold of the Birdy when taking trains in Europe. Normally, if the folded bike can fit in the luggage rack, you can take it on the express trains. The Speed TR just barely fits in the express trains with the tires deflated or wheels removed. The Birdy is much smaller and won't have that problem.

The actual weight is probably different than what the companies have stated. If the Speed TR hasn't changed from 2009, the current version would be around the same as my bike, 16kg stock. So the difference from the Birdy DD would be about 3kg.

A little bit of weight can make the difference between 2 or 3 trips up steep stairs transfering platforms at an old train station, getting up the stairs of a highway bridge from the river, or trying to cross a stream with a washed out bridge. The larger size of the Dahon and extra weight makes it more bulky and difficult to carry around for longer periods of time or around/above obstacles.

Currently my 3x8 DD2 with 11-32t cassette and 36t chainring supposedly has around 16-83" gear inch. I rarely use the lowest gear fully loaded. Would be easier to get off and push. Maybe used sometimes when unloaded. The second lowest is 19". So maybe 18 would a good lowest. At 83", I can get up to 27-29kph (light load). Would be nice if I could get to 90-96" for tailwind or downhill.

Shaving off weight from my baggage would help, and I would be looking into that for my next trip. But what I remember is:
16-17kg backpack incl. 3kg water (tent, sleeping bag, hiking poles, 1 change clothes, wet/cold weather gear down to -5C, mini cooking stove, 5 days of dry food, etc).
4 panniers 3kg (transfer stuff from backpack to panniers when riding)
Bike stuff 6kg (clothes, tools, brooks saddle sprung, egronomic handles, hemlet, locks, spare chain/spokes/nuts/cable, etc)
extra 2-3kg water for overnight camping without water source
1-3kg camera / electronics / books / maps
Total max around 30kg
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Old 04-20-17, 02:59 PM   #8
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All up I had 20-25kg on my Birdy, from memory, because we carried camping gear too. Distributed approx. 2/3rd - 1/3rd back to front. Putting all of that on the back would require a full rack on the back and losing folding ability. Suspension should still work fine.
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Old 04-20-17, 03:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
For folders compatible with front and rear racks and minimum 3x8 drive trains, or over 500% range, I figured either one of these 3:
Didn't Dahon discontinue the Speed TR?

Since money doesn't seem to be an issue, besides BikeFriday (which isn't well distributed in Europe), you might want to look at Moultons (eg. TSR30):
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/tour-travel/
MOULTON Bicycle Company

Just for reference, Ben Cooper in Glasgow sells modified Bromptons that can take Shimano or Rohloff IGHs, and even disk brakes:
Brompton ? Kinetics
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Old 04-20-17, 03:42 PM   #10
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here in the US the speed TR has been discontinued since 3 ? years
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Old 04-20-17, 04:30 PM   #11
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Birdy DualDrive

Rohloff, way too heavy, way too pricey, and less range than a SRAM DualDrive.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:57 PM   #12
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Rohloff, way too heavy, way too pricey, and less range than a SRAM DualDrive.
thats why I dont believe the weights of the complete bikes
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Old 04-20-17, 11:11 PM   #13
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I'm <10kg w/2 days/liters of food/water, +2kg/L for a shower dry camping. Single quick release pannier that can backpack. Bike is 15.5kg with accessories, tools/tube, cover/lock, helmet, etc. So <28kg combined Max, and I usually carry it all ~1km/day (mostly to/from of stealth camping spots), and once up a 30 story staircase (top of a dam).

FWIW, wheeling while folded is critical to me - I've 'baby strolled' my rig for many kilometers through pedestrian parks, museums, malls, markets, and stores. I also find a compact, tight, locking fold to be important as it permits shoulder (one or both) carry for long distances and in tight confines.
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Old 04-21-17, 04:07 PM   #14
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I spoke to a birdie owner who added small extensions to e rear rack. Just a few inches to move the rear pannier area back to get heel clearence.
I use a front pannier on the back for occasional use. I tend to catch my heel alittle, but its ok for local shopping. I do have a large roller blade fitted on the rear rack and I think adding a small pole extension using a qr bolt or wing nut instead of the rack wheel sound like enough.
Espically as that was the set up by the touring birdie user he mentioned.
Else maybe adding pannier with heel cut shaped might work well. Seen a few of these around. There is also the frame pannier that hangs near the chain ring and I wounder if a double frame pannier would work also mounted well forward.
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Old 04-22-17, 03:46 AM   #15
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There is also the frame pannier that hangs near the chain ring and I wounder if a double frame pannier would work also mounted well forward.
What kind of bag do you mean?

https://www.google.com/search?q=bird...niers&tbm=isch
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Old 04-22-17, 07:32 AM   #16
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Rohloff, way too heavy, way too pricey, and less range than a SRAM DualDrive.
But IHG work better on a birdie to a large extent.
Chain can catch wide tyres on high gears.
Less need for long cage to handle chain slack for folding therefore better ground clearance.
Less cables,
Better chain line as chain can wear into frame on lowe gears.
I would tend to go IHG on a Birdie.
I have both set ups on my Birdies.
As you know I am a big fan of dualdrive.
I might set a third birdie up with dual drive as I have the kit spare.
But IHG works better on Birdie in my expereince
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Old 04-22-17, 07:40 AM   #17
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This one and maybe a frame pannier also.
Jur used a black one I believe.
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Old 04-22-17, 11:42 AM   #18
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This one and maybe a frame pannier also. Jur used a black one I believe.
Thanks. I might use the same type of bag to carry camping gear that way instead of on a rear rack or in a Carradice saddle bag.

Edit: Looks like there isn't much space to use frame panniers on a Brompton, though:


Quote:
Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
I would tend to go IHG on a Birdie.
As a complement for a touring bike: Provided it's doesn't exceed what a Nexus 8 can take, there's the solution of getting a Nexus 8-based Birdy City, and replacing its bottom bracket with an ATS SpeedDrive (245), as a more elegant alternative to a double chainring.


Last edited by Winfried; 04-22-17 at 12:34 PM.
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