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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 10-22-05, 09:17 PM   #26
v1nce
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Yeah good post Rafael, makes sense. It is good you note (and to remember in general) that there are excellent value for money folders out there that are more than fine for all but the most picky/discerning user, especially as a commuting vehicle. I am one of the people very interested in relative merits and small differences in quality but it is true that most people probably would be hard pressed to even tell these margins between most reputable machines.

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Old 10-24-05, 09:56 AM   #27
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I own a bike friday and a dahon. My thoughts:

I LOVE the new world tourist. I have done loaded touring on it and fast club rides (got drop bars and SRAM 3x7 hub). Like you, I am pleased with the bike and it's packability is second to none, but find it cumbersome for quick folds and toting around folded.

I also have a Dahon Speed 8 that I upgraded to included a sram 3x9 rear hub for my wife to use for loaded touring. The Dahon is a great value for the money. my only complaint is some noticeable flex in the stem - I do not feel very comfortable out of the saddle. BUT, it folds great, rides great, and is really a better 'round town bike (and in and out of cars, buses, etc.)

As others have mentioned, it takes about as long to pack the Dahon in a standard Samsonite oyster case as the BF.

You will be happy with the Dahon - but don't get rid of the BF!!

Just to fill out my perspective, I also had an S&S coupled bianchi that I eventually sold because it was just too big a box and it took twice as long to pack as the BF. Great bike, though!

I also recently bought a Downtube folding bike to replace my beater commuting bike (wife didn't want me taking the Dahon through salt and slush) and I am so far very happy with it. It needs some upgrades to really be acceptable, though.
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Old 10-24-05, 09:33 PM   #28
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I can not compare with any folder except Dahon, but will say that my Dahon Speed TR is the most fun I've ever had with a bike. Just drop in the back of my car and where ever I am and the area looks like a fun ride, there is my bike and I'm on it in 5 minutes or less.

The nice thing about the Speed TR is the dual drive system, my wife has a Speed 8 which is nice but the low end on the 21 speed TR is a lot more helpful.

I've had MTB and road bikes for over 40 years, but again I say I have more fun with my Dahon then any of them.
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Old 10-25-05, 11:57 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
I also recently bought a Downtube folding bike to replace my beater commuting bike (wife didn't want me taking the Dahon through salt and slush) and I am so far very happy with it. It needs some upgrades to really be acceptable, though.
Mr. Socks, Which Dahon did you have? What upgrades do you think you'd like for the Downtube? And how would you compare the two (dtube/dahon)?
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Old 10-26-05, 03:51 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by jasong
Mr. Socks, Which Dahon did you have? What upgrades do you think you'd like for the Downtube? And how would you compare the two (dtube/dahon)?
I have a Dahon Speed 8, but it is actually more like a Speed TR at this point because I had a real wheel built onto a sram 3x9 hub by gaerlan cycling and replaced the rd with a compatible sram x9. My wife and I did a short self-supported trip through Tuscany recently and it performed extremely well.

I got the bike lightly used for $325 and with those mods, the bike nears the $600 mark.

without any modifications, I think the speed 8 at full sticker ($500 i think?) does not compare that great to the Downtube, which can be had for under $250. I posted my downtube at My New Downtube Commuter

I think the speed 8 is a better bike out of the box, but the downtube is a better value. The dahon's folding design and the actual folding mechanisms are more elegant and better designed (subjective opinion). the folded package on the dahon is superior and more compact. the shifter, derailer, brakes and front fork are all superior on the Dahon.

But I really like the frame of the downtube and with equivalent components would be a really tough call. I you were inclined to upgrade components anyway, or were just wanting something you could feel ok about abusing a little, the downtube is a great option. The Sunrace derailleur might be OK, but the Sunrace gripshifter is garbage - very sloppy. I have already modded a stem as you'll see in my other post, which helps gets a better riding position. One really cool thing on the downtube is: free fenders, free rack and free carry bag. that's some more $$ worth of accessories you don't have to buy! incredible value in the bike, but with compromises.

If you want a slick folder out of the box, the speed 8 is better, but costlier.

One thing I still can't figure out is why the downtube's stem is noticeably stiffer. the bike is heavier and it may just be a heavier steel stem assembly, but for the $, the Dahon should be stiffer (fwiw, mine is a 2003, I think the '04 and '05 models are stiffer.)

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-27-05, 03:04 PM   #31
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After the mostly favorable comments here, I attempted to find a dealer nearby which had some Dahon models which I could test ride. I had to call 4 shops before I found one that had any in stock. I eventually located a shop that has several models in stock, and I hope to go there this weekend for some test rides.
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Old 10-27-05, 07:32 PM   #32
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Let us here on this forum know how you liked/disliked about the bike.
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Old 10-29-05, 05:07 PM   #33
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Well, I test-rode 2 Dahons today, a Vitesse & a Speed Pro. The Speed Pro is far more expensive (around $950) than I anticipated spending when I first thought about a Dahon. The ride of the Vitesse was acceptable, but excessively high stem/handlebar of the Vitesse would be a deal-killer for me. I'm glad someone warned me about that so I wasn't surprised. The ride of the Speed Pro was quite good, certainly better than the Vitesse, and the stem could be adjusted so the handlebar height was OK for me. The folding ability was impressive, and it was much easier for me to carry than my Bike Friday. However, I don't think I'd be willing to shell out that kind of money unless I had a need for to fold it up on a daily basis for public transport purposes. Right now, I don't have that need, but my work location may very well change soon. Thanks for the many useful comments to my original query.
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Old 10-29-05, 05:24 PM   #34
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The Speed Pro is definately one of the nicest models of Dahon. And with the superior folding it is a serious contender/competitor to BF's in that price range.
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Old 10-30-05, 12:55 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks
I think the speed 8 is a better bike out of the box, but the downtube is a better value. The dahon's folding design and the actual folding mechanisms are more elegant and better designed
Thanks for your comparison.

I just received my Downtube this past week and will do a similar review, but in short I think some impressions are (I'm 6'0", 170lbs, 34.5" inseam):

- should preface all of this with a non-folding riding background , so I don't know what to expect. Certainly there are inherent limitations.

- I think the front suspension fork is unnecessary, espec. with shipped tires.

- tires that came with it are way too beefy (heavy) for me. Not important since replaceable.

- think the BB should have been offset appropriately to let the seatpost slide all the way down when folded.

- gearing is good, but the grip shifter seems sloppy (but that's a $15 replacement since 8spd is so cheap). Seems to shift well in one direction, but not in the other.

- agree with your points about the value included (rack + fenders + bag would be $100)

- like the adjustability of the front stem height. It's perfect for taller people.

- pretty well assembled out of the box. Just the derailleur dialing in a bit. The wheels were perfectly true, brakes right on. Shipping packaging: seems like some wall padding would be desireable. My box arrived with a pedal that had kicked out the wall of the box (but no damage it seems).

- like the bar ends. Braking seems very adequate.

- being my first folder, the mechs for this seem good and well safety protected (stem bend/frame). However, the clamp onto the "final" stem is not so. I could get it to slip a bit into the clamping tube.

- and this nagging feeling while climbing or just going - why am I not going faster? I need to develop that feeling a bit more with quantifying that using similar pedals to a normal bike. Eventually would like to put on those MKS RR-2 and power grips. These folding pedals that come with it just really don't save that much space - there's a lot of

- am also having a bit of trouble seeing how the stated folding specs are quickly met (12x24x33) - but it must be possible, since that seems to be the size of the bag.

Need more time.. It's fun to ride. It seems really maneuverable, guess that's how most folders feel. Plan to turn the bars outward or put slight risers that get the handle bars further from me. Less distance between me and the bars than I'm used to.
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Old 05-02-06, 11:01 PM   #36
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Dahon Speed P-8 in suitcase

Once you remove the pedals, the Speed P-8 will fit in a "standard" suitcase w/out the use of tools. Check the Dahon website in the General Discussion section page2 Dahons in standard suitcases.
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