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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 06-27-06, 06:20 AM   #1
dalmore
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Ok, I was wrong ....

Today was my first commute on Big Apples and my thudbuster seat post since I go the Mu SL with Stelvio and the Pantour hub. I've been raving about the smoothness of the Mu SL. Well It's no where near as smooth as the combo of the Big Apples and the Thudbuster on the Speed TR!! And to think I was beginning to wonder why everyone said skinny tires were harsh or the big apples were smooth... doh!

How could I have not realized this? See, I had been running a wally world tire on the back of the Speed TR for a couple of weeks just as I got the MU SL. It was an emergency replacement due to three-inch screw through the sidewall of my Big Apple. Then after I replaced the wally world with a Big Apple I had used the harder seatpost/seat from the Mu SL on the Speed TR. Today was my first ridewith the Thudbuster back on the Speed TR with the Big Apples all around. It was much smoother that I remembered it being. Funny how that happens huh?
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Old 06-27-06, 06:26 AM   #2
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So since I'm in the market for a first folder, can you assist me in understanding your message? Is the MU SL not as comfortable as the Speed TR, all other things (tires, seatpost suspension) being equal?

Or is it just the tires and suspension post that made the difference?
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Old 06-27-06, 06:47 AM   #3
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Sure thing Cooker - I'm kind of new to biking too. I got my first bike since childhood last October at age 41. From the reading I did ahead of time, I learned that people in general consider fatter tires and the Big Apples in particular - to be smoother riding than high-pressure skinny tires like the Stelvio. Likewise steel frames like that of the Speed TR are considered smoother riding by most people than an aluminum frames like that of the Mu SL. And the particular seat and post combination on the MU SL often garnered complaints for being hard and rough riding while the Thudbuster supension seatpost on Speed TR got many raves for smoothing out the bumps.

I've been riding the Speed TR since Last October. A few weeks ago I got the Mu SL because I wanted a faster, more high-performance bike in addition to the Speed TR. When I got it I was expecting a very harsh ride like a skateboard given then things I'd read about the various components. It was and is actually much smoother than I expected.

However, now that I put the Speed TR back to it original configuration with Big Apples instead of cheap tires and the suspension seatpost instead of the lighter and hard seat from the mu - I now remember exactly how smooth that bike is. It's a far smoother ride than the Mu SL even though the Mu SL is far smoother than I expected considering what I had read before buying it.

So to answer your question directly, I think tires and seats made the most difference in the smoothness of the bikes... Wow, I can be verbose when I get going - sorry for the length.
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Old 06-27-06, 10:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting your review(s). It's very useful to hear these user side-by-side comparisons. Especially because you've been doing some experimenting.

All things being equal, the higher volume tires will be better at absorbing shock. PV=nRT; you might recall that from physics. Their downside is weight, and sometimes rolling resistance. But if comfy is what you're looking for, the larger volume tires are the way to go.

The aluminum versus steel might be a bit of a red herring. Particularly when the frames are being shaped so carefully by the designer. It's the material and the structure that determine the feel of the bike. That's one of the things that makes your side-by-side so interesting. I've read elsewhere in the forums comments about Dahon steel frames being "flexy". That probably depends a lot on how big the rider is. Other posters have commented that the MU frames are stiffer. If you don't mind my asking, how heavy are you, and do you have a sense that one frame was more flexible than another? Did you have a sense that you were flexing either frame at all?

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Old 06-27-06, 11:06 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Speedo
Thanks for posting your review(s). It's very useful to hear these user side-by-side comparisons. Especially because you've been doing some experimenting.

All things being equal, the higher volume tires will be better at absorbing shock. PV=nRT; you might recall that from physics. Their downside is weight, and sometimes rolling resistance. But if comfy is what you're looking for, the larger volume tires are the way to go.

The aluminum versus steel might be a bit of a red herring. Particularly when the frames are being shaped so carefully by the designer. It's the material and the structure that determine the feel of the bike. That's one of the things that makes your side-by-side so interesting. I've read elsewhere in the forums comments about Dahon steel frames being "flexy". That probably depends a lot on how big the rider is. Other posters have commented that the MU frames are stiffer. If you don't mind my asking, how heavy are you, and do you have a sense that one frame was more flexible than another? Did you have a sense that you were flexing either frame at all?

Speedo

I'm 175 pounds and about 6 foot tall - I don't notice any "flex" issues with either bike - however, there is a little play in the Dahon steering post if the hinge is not adjusted properly. Personally I think a lot of the flex people report is probably that but I could be wrong. i.e. cranking hard the pedals and pulling back on the steering to get leverage and you feel the steering post move and think flex.

Regarding the comfort, I've been thinking about it. I have ridden on the cheap tire and the thudbuster. and the Big Apples and the non-suspension seat post and would call them about the same. But the big apples and the thudbuster together is much smoother. The cheap tire was a fat 1.95 inch wide tire, low-pressure similar to the big apple was not as smooth by any stretch.

FYI - I run the big apples now at 65 PSI both front and rear.
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Old 06-27-06, 04:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dalmore
FYI - I run the big apples now at 65 PSI both front and rear.
So you've given up on the speed thing and trying to catch roadies, huh?
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Old 06-27-06, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
I'm 175 pounds and about 6 foot tall - I don't notice any "flex" issues with either bike - however, there is a little play in the Dahon steering post if the hinge is not adjusted properly. Personally I think a lot of the flex people report is probably that but I could be wrong. i.e. cranking hard the pedals and pulling back on the steering to get leverage and you feel the steering post move and think flex.
Thanks! A useful data point for me, I'm about 195 and I have been wondering about that.

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Old 06-28-06, 01:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by spambait11
So you've given up on the speed thing and trying to catch roadies, huh?
Blasphem! My commute is pretty lonely now that I changed the route. No Roadies to chase. Besides - I rode in a century this past weekend and learned I was only catching the Freds anyway (write up to come later today or tomorrow when I get the photos back.)
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