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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-11-05, 04:23 AM   #1
dalmore
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how to pick a bike mechanic ...

My new Dahon Speed TR is on order!

I went internet because all four of the local bike shops seemed uninterested in helping me buy a folder. I hope I can find one interested in maintaining a folder. I spoke with the mechanics at all 4 shops as much as possible. 2 were truly busy so I wasn't able to get a feel for them. One of the others was probably having a bad day but he didn't impress me much. The other was very helpful, but he's never seen a folding bike before.

Total newbie here - haven't ridden a bike much in 25+ years. I'm also a dedicated DIYer so I suspect I will not be satsified with any bike shop after a bit. However, I need to start with a tuneup to activate the warranty and build a relationship with a shop for a safety net - yes I have loaded parts into a box and had my car towed when I got in over my head. The one I liked was at REI. I'm a little weary of a chain. should I be?

My intent it to commute mostly with occassional 25-30 mile pleasure rides. I plan to buy my accessories - helmet, lights, pannier/bag/backpack, gloves, mirror - at this shop even though I can probably save some dough using the internet.

Recommendations for books on bicycle repairwould be appreciated too.
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Old 10-11-05, 07:24 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
My new Dahon Speed TR is on order!

I went internet because all four of the local bike shops seemed uninterested in helping me buy a folder. I hope I can find one interested in maintaining a folder. I spoke with the mechanics at all 4 shops as much as possible. 2 were truly busy so I wasn't able to get a feel for them. One of the others was probably having a bad day but he didn't impress me much. The other was very helpful, but he's never seen a folding bike before.

Total newbie here - haven't ridden a bike much in 25+ years. I'm also a dedicated DIYer so I suspect I will not be satsified with any bike shop after a bit. However, I need to start with a tuneup to activate the warranty and build a relationship with a shop for a safety net - yes I have loaded parts into a box and had my car towed when I got in over my head. The one I liked was at REI. I'm a little weary of a chain. should I be?

My intent it to commute mostly with occassional 25-30 mile pleasure rides. I plan to buy my accessories - helmet, lights, pannier/bag/backpack, gloves, mirror - at this shop even though I can probably save some dough using the internet.

Recommendations for books on bicycle repairwould be appreciated too.
www.parktool.com get their biek book
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Old 10-11-05, 07:35 AM   #3
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For bike repair help:

Online:
http://sheldonbrown.com/

http://parktool.com/repair/

As book:
Park Tool has a book, Zinn's repair manuals, and my favorite Barnett's Manual (http://www.bbinstitute.com/manual.htm)

If you have a good set of tools there are few things that you can't do yourself, especially if you already are a DIYer.

As for activating the warranty, I don't know if any shop qualifies for the activation. You might want to make sure the shop you choose does. (I'm not a Dahon owner so I don't know about their warranty policies, sorry!)

Have fun riding!
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Old 10-11-05, 07:48 AM   #4
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With a decent book, some talent (or at least enjoy the task even if you face difficulties at the beginning) and the following tools you will be able to perform all maintenance/major adjustments, minor repairs and develop a deeper relationship with your bike:

-Repair Stand;
-bike-specific tool kit (including hex wrenches,brakes, cassette and freewheel tools);
-spare tires/tubes;

Don't worry about frame, fork or wheel tools for now (if you end up with major damage to these parts, go see a professional).

Honestly, if your bike is new and all you gonna do is commute and 25-30 mile rides from time to time, you can stay away from professional maintenance (as long as you keep everything clean and constantly checked) for at least a couple years.

Another good investment is the US$25.00 to support this forum. think about is as a buck a day for 1 month and the rest of your life for free. Users here will end up making you save by the hundreds with their help.

Congratulations on your Folder,

Rafael
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Old 10-11-05, 08:33 AM   #5
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Awesome about the Dahon! I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Ditto other comments: DIY.

I was so intimidated by my bike when I got it. Now I don't think there's a part on it I haven't had apart and serviced myself. (that was only a few months ago)

Park's Big Blue Book of bike repair is excellent - full colour eye candy and very easy to use. It's basically the contents of their website (or their website is the contents of the book?) very well indexed.

Hint on DIY bike maintenance: every part is just a piece of a different system. Drivetrain, brake, steering, wheel etc. Taken in little chunks, a bike is less intimidating.
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Old 10-11-05, 09:43 AM   #6
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Yeah i have to agree with all the ideas and recommendations given here. DIY is always a nice way to go though having a reference manual/site or perhaps an experienced "Grease Monkey" around that you can tap up for info is really really nice and handy.
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Old 10-11-05, 10:19 AM   #7
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Thanks all - especially the tip about checking with Dahon to see if I need to go to Dahon approved shop to get the lifetime warranty.
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Old 10-11-05, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Guerra
...

Another good investment is the US$25.00 to support this forum. think about is as a buck a day for 1 month and the rest of your life for free. Users here will end up making you save by the hundreds with their help.
I couldn't agree more. I just now went to payup and I noticed that doing so will make me ad free. Strange as this may seem - I like the ads. Google ads are not invasive and their key word search technology is really good. I often find the ads contain useful information. Do you know if I can elect to continue seeing google ads? Or a sysop type person I can contact about this? I haven't noticed any other types of ads so I figure that must be what is turned off with the fee.

Perhaps I can send a contribution without actually signing up and killing the ads? If nothing else I can do so through a second user name ...
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Old 10-11-05, 11:04 AM   #9
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Oh yeah, congrats on the Dahon! That's one of my favorite models, may even get that one (if i don't go for a BF or other bike) one day. Great price/performance in that bike. I love the beefy steel frame too. Hope you find time to write a review on it!
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Old 10-11-05, 12:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
I couldn't agree more. I just now went to payup and I noticed that doing so will make me ad free. Strange as this may seem - I like the ads. Google ads are not invasive and their key word search technology is really good. I often find the ads contain useful information. Do you know if I can elect to continue seeing google ads? Or a sysop type person I can contact about this? I haven't noticed any other types of ads so I figure that must be what is turned off with the fee.

Perhaps I can send a contribution without actually signing up and killing the ads? If nothing else I can do so through a second user name ...
Send Maelstrom (the Forum Admin) a PM and ask if he can leave the ads on even if you pay. It used to be possible!
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Old 10-11-05, 09:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
Thanks all - especially the tip about checking with Dahon to see if I need to go to Dahon approved shop to get the lifetime warranty.
It doesn't need to be an approved Dahon shop. Any bike shop will do. You can also register your warranty online. You did make an excellent choice in going with the Speed TR.
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