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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 03-31-06, 07:25 AM   #1
dunand
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Downtube VIIIFS vs Dahon speed P8

A need your help to choose my folder. I like the price, suspension and upgradability of the DT. But I also like the weight and components of the speed P8.

Can you help me answer those questions. Take in consideration that I need to fold, unfold the bike 2 times a day (for the bus). I'm 5'11'' 180.


Which one is the smallest folded bike?

Which one is the fastest for folding, unfolding?

Do the components of the speed P8 are a lot better than the DT's components?


thanks
Jean-François
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Old 03-31-06, 09:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunand
A need your help to choose my folder. I like the price, suspension and upgradability of the DT. But I also like the weight and components of the speed P8.

Can you help me answer those questions. Take in consideration that I need to fold, unfold the bike 2 times a day (for the bus). I'm 5'11'' 180.


Which one is the smallest folded bike?

Which one is the fastest for folding, unfolding?

Do the components of the speed P8 are a lot better than the DT's components?


thanks
Jean-François
I was deciding between the exact two bikes and I am your same height/weight. My consideration
was ride quality and ability to store on a boat. I went with the DT because I both liked the
price and the look of the bike as I could not test ride either (My local Dahon dealer special orders and not in stock) All I can say is that the DT rides great. However, I am upgrading the parts myself
that are not up to the quality you find on the Dahon (cables, shifter etc) for the special purpose
of saltwater exposure. But I have no complaint about the ride of the DT right out of the box.
With both having twenty inch wheels and the same pivot points, the folding time should be the same.
Both are rated at a 15 second fold time. I will not try and claim the DT has the component quality
of a Dahon, but the frame is very nice and is all standard so upgrading components is easy.
However neither bike is tiny when folded and will be cumbersome on a bus. I put mine on the front rack of the bus and save the folding for my boat and car. Most bike/bus commuters try a bike with 16" wheels, but you won't get the ride of 20" wheels. And the full suspension is like riding on air over the bumps.
Hbob

Last edited by hbob; 03-31-06 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 03-31-06, 09:31 AM   #3
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popcorn ready


thor
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Old 03-31-06, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thor - I have the chocolate covered peanuts and the drink to go with your popcorn. Normally it is about this time the fireworks will start. Don't you just love it?
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Old 03-31-06, 10:36 AM   #5
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Has anyone ridden both 2006 model bikes? If so I'd love to hear impressions.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 03-31-06, 10:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakemeister
popcorn ready


thor
I'm not even considering starting this battle again.....
I'm sure Yan will pop out of the cake any minute now
The only word I'd like to add is : DAHON
Oops ! get in your tanks and load your kalashnikovs, it's showtime !
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Old 03-31-06, 10:40 AM   #7
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He jumped out before I even finished my post! Waw, Yan, you're fast !!
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Old 03-31-06, 10:55 AM   #8
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If someone would kindly send me '06 models for both I would enthusiastically test and compare them both and provide detailed feedback. Any takers?
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Old 03-31-06, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakemeister
popcorn ready


thor
When forums get into the negative vibes they cease to be helpful and fun and
have me fleeing for the exits. I was simply answering the poster's question
based on my experience and bias as an owner of one of the bikes he was asking about
and as one who had the same decision to make as he has before him.
I do appreciate that Yan, the Downtube salesman/owner seems more open minded than the
various Dahon dealers around here. DT owners do seem a little more enthusiastic. Maybe
they (and I) are pleasantly surprised by our inexpensive bikes. I think we have all been
totally honest about where they can be upgraded.
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Old 03-31-06, 12:12 PM   #10
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Heck, that's an easy one... you get a free zippered nylon bike bag to carry not only the bike, but the $200 cash that you saved!! And lest we not forget, there's a 30 day satisfaction guarantee!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2006_Downtube_VIIIFSv2.jpg (47.6 KB, 85 views)
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Old 03-31-06, 01:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Which one is the smallest folded bike?
The respective websites approximate the folded size as:

Dahon - 13" x 25" x 32"

Downtube - 12" x 23.6 x 33"

Your guess is as good as mine as to how accurate these figures are in practice.
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Old 03-31-06, 01:48 PM   #12
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I own both brands, 05 models. The OP is comparing a Dahon (that costs twice as much as the DT FS) with the DT FS: that's a message in itself. My advice is... standard upgrade paths mean ALOT. IMO, the DT FS alu frame and full sus is a better frame and sus than anything Dahon offers. If you enjoy wrench time, the answer is clear. If you want something with better componentry out of the box, and don't care about upgrade paths, the Speed P8.
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Old 03-31-06, 01:48 PM   #13
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calm down hbob ....
no reason to get all tense ......
you all know my opinion. we are all crazy about folders and sometimes the newbies thing we are nuts...

both bikes are great .... one greater than the other, but part of this is in the eye of the befolder

thor
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Old 03-31-06, 01:55 PM   #14
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Sorry, I was off the forum for a few hours, any casualties?

It's simple:

You want a cheap bike? Get a DT
You want to spend a little more and have better components? Get the Dahon.

Case closed.
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Old 03-31-06, 02:10 PM   #15
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I think the main question is -- do you want FS or not?

As a Speed owner I will point out that one weakness of the Speed P8 to consider is that you get a proprietary seatpost that doesn't use standard rails--so if you're thinking about using your favorite saddle you'll have to swap the post as well. And the stock SDG saddle is a bit of an ass-hatchet.

On the plus side the Schwalbe Big Apples have turned out to be excellent--but on the downside, you can't mount full fenders on tires that thick.

Folding time, even when I got pretty good at it, usually came to ~35 seconds. But if you're only folding it in half and throwing it in the trunk, it's like 5.

One last thing--because there's only one place to get DTs, you have no competition--but if you wanted a 2006 you could get one for 449.99 with free shipping from Brand's, for example--

http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.c...6&catalogId=39

and thor's got some competitive prices on Dahons too--

Hope this helps, and I tried to keep to the new forum spirit of only bashing/promoting things you've actually ridden
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Old 03-31-06, 02:26 PM   #16
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I've got a 2004 Speed P8, and think it's good value for the money. The one weakness is that without suspension, the ride on dirt roads can get pretty rough. A sprung Brooks saddle smooths things out in back, but the front end shakes pretty badly. However, I usually stay off of dirt roads except for brief shortcuts, and even then, not every day. Replacing my 20 x 1.35 Primo Comets with something like Big Apples might help. As it is, it's been a trustworthy commuting bike for me, and it's holding up well. Incidentally, the 2004 model still had a standard seatpost clamp, so I didn't have to change the seatpost to change the saddle.

If I were going to ride a lot on really bad or unpaved roads, then full suspension might begin to look attractive, and I'd have to at least consider a DT. I've never seen one, but it might be worth taking a chance.

One other point. At the risk of turning this into another interminable frame materials thread, that is one major difference between the two models, aluminum frame on the DT, chromoly frame on the Speed. Just another thing to consider.

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Old 03-31-06, 02:48 PM   #17
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SDG Seat on the 06 Dahon is a velvet .. considerably more comfy than the one on the 05 and prior models. The Big Apples are very nice tires... they are expensive, but for good reasons. I think I havent heard one bad comment about the fat tires.... EXCEPT that regular fenders dont fit. Gaerlan has a pic of some full fenders from Planet bike on his website with the fat tires... I dont like the planet fenders all too much, so I prefer clip ons as long as I dont find something better in a full fender.

thor
boy oh boy that brands price is a knockout ... but I will match it ( only for Bike forum participants !!!)
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Old 03-31-06, 07:18 PM   #18
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Thanks for your answers. I ordered the DT FS

I can't wait for my bike to arrive !!! I'm so tired of walking.
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Old 03-31-06, 07:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunand
Thanks for your answers. I ordered the DT FS

I can't wait for my bike to arrive !!! I'm so tired of walking.
OMG! It's a disease. Another newbie infected with the DT virus. When will it ever end????

Just kidding, I have two of the boat anchors myself. So far nothing has broken yet other than during shipping. Seriously and all jokes aside, both of my DT's were damaged in shipping. Specifically the derailleur hanger bracket. It looked like the shipping company played soccer with my boxes. Check it over before riding or pay your local bike shop $20 to check it for you.
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Old 03-31-06, 09:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharnabazos

Hope this helps, and I tried to keep to the new forum spirit of only bashing/promoting things you've actually ridden
That is an excellent practice!
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Old 03-31-06, 09:58 PM   #21
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welcome to the fold

of course you know the drill when that new bike has arrived... shine it up and post some pics

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Old 03-31-06, 10:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharnabazos
Hope this helps, and I tried to keep to the new forum spirit of only bashing/promoting things you've actually ridden
Based on this standard I can darn near bash everything. So could Chop.

Honestly while I may have opinions at times I do try and look for solutions so if others have these problems I might be able to offer an alternative. Don't complain it's broken if you have no clue how to fix it.

It is late here but finally warm. We are in the upper 40'sF and I feel like going for a ride. Anyone else like cruising late at night? I have some awesome lights but our air is pretty good here so a lot of time the moon is enough to ride by. Of course if I am on a road I use my lights.

It would be interesting to have a discussion on lights for folders. I have 3 watt LED flashlights on my DT and Swift. They rock and really light up the road. I also have a big mama 10W/6W dual headlight combo with lithium pack in a water bottle too. That really gets cars to notice. I love mounting on my DT and going off-road riding at night. Bombing through the parks scares the P out of people loitering.

One thing I've noticed about my DT is it makes a pretty fine tank. You can ride it like a BMX bike and have a ton of fun. It takes the punishment with no issues. I was always fearful of riding my Dahons like this. No sweat on my DT. I don't try to abuse them but they are so useful when the terrain is crappy.
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Old 04-01-06, 02:46 AM   #23
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@wavshrdr I forget .... what rims and tires do you have on you DT FS?
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Old 04-01-06, 03:29 AM   #24
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I have the original ones. Mine are '05 models so they have more spokes and heavier and stronger than the '06 ones.
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Old 04-01-06, 09:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
I have the original ones. Mine are '05 models so they have more spokes and heavier and stronger than the '06 ones.
Why are the 05 wheel sets better? I too have '05 FS and was worried I would need to change my spokes
at some point, as I will be getting some exposure to saltwater. I do like bouncing around.... I even
aim for the chuckholes in the road. Are the stainless spokes on an 06 any weaker or is it just
the fact there are fewer of them?
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