The other day I posted about a question regarding the rim quality of the Dahon. Now I have another about the hub.
I took off the front wheel last night to correct the mismatch in the rims. I was astonished to find that the cones were tightened so tightly I could hardly move them. Fortunately, I have only put a few miles on this bike.
But hey, that's OK. I haven't use my cone wrenches in years...
I normally would have chalked this up to incompetent assembly techniques (not uncommon), but John Forrester had the same complaint when he tested a Dahon back in '89.
p.s. have you asked your dealer, why the cones where too tight ? That is usually a part every tech has to check during checkup ..
Thanks for the response.
I talked to the dealer and he was very helpful, if not somewhat surprised, since he remembers test-riding the bike. I'll bring the bike by the shop on Friday. They need to fix the rims and be sure the hubs were not damaged.
As for Forrester's article, I admit he had valid points. I'm a mechanical engineer too. But the article is dated. My Dahon doesn't have the handling characteristics he describes. It rides just fine, even without hands.
A Dahon isn't a racing bike and doesn't pretend to be. If I want to tour or ride off-road, I'll use my Cannondale.
Bike Friday, Bridgestone MB-6 700c, Ti-frame Xtracycle, RANS, Brompton, Dahon, Downtube IXFS, ex-Birdy & a recumbent pedicab.
The article is pretty dated, and I'm not sure he specifically mentions a particular model (other than one "involved in the Westcott accident," which I'm not going to bother to look up). In addition, he, of all people, ought to know - being an "expert witness" and all - that contradicting bike manual statements are usually a mix of fact, hyperbole, and legally suggested restraints all mixed together so that, yes, the reader can often be confused about the bike's true capabilities. To use the manual as a foundation for a legal case or opening statement is pretty lame to me.
Anyway, for my Dahon Boardwalk S1, I found the front hub was too loose. Blue Loctite on one side of the cones didn't work well, so I used red loctite on both sides, and so far, no rattle or squirrel-iness(sp?) while in motion (primarily the rattling).
As far as Forrester's Dahon model having bad trail and thus bad stability, I noticed that the Boardwalk S1 is very stable when the forks are turn 180 degrees, giving negative trail like shopping cart wheels or a Xootr scooter, though it's positive trail, and thus stability, never bothered me before anyway (riding no-handed for 5+ plus miles with different fork directions felt the same). The only reason I can turn the forks 180 degrees is because I don't have any cables attached - one of the benefits of coaster brakes.
I had some problems with my Dahon Boardwalk S1 when it was new with the front hub. My dealer replaced the axle, cones, and whatever else within the hub. For the last 2+ years, no problem-although the axle was obviously one intended for a larger wheel. The ends stick out very far (over 1"). But it does not really effect folding.