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  1. #1
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    My other folder is a Dahon

    I'm probably known here for my Swift, but I actually also own a 2005 Dahon Vitesse D5. My first folder. I bought it at a time when I had been away from bikes for over 7 years, and didin't know anything about folding bikes at the time, except that I liked the black paint job. I bought the Swift shortly after having multiple problem with the VD5, which were later resolved by Dahon taking back the bike and sending me a brand new one.

    The VD5 comes with a 5-speed Sturney Archer internal gear hub. It's horribly noisey (I liken it to a rear wheel when laced to a coffee grinder), and the gear spacing is all wrong (not low enough in the low-end, too wide a gap between 3rd and 4th, and a 5th gear that feels mushy and rattles like heck). The best I can say about the drivetrain is that it's reliable.

    The Vitesse D5 is somewhat notorious for "axle-creep": being that the rear axle slides forward in the dropouts over time and under torque. I've since resolved this by retrofitting a RedLine chaintug on the drive-side.

    Other mods include a carbon flat handlebar, San Marco racelite gel saddle, and 20x1.50 kevlar Comet tires.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Nice subtle mods. I know what you mean about the 'matt black' thing...
    It's just begging for a Rohloff!

  3. #3
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    . . .
    The VD5 comes with a 5-speed Sturney Archer internal gear hub. It's horribly noisey (I liken it to a rear wheel when laced to a coffee grinder), and the gear spacing is all wrong (not low enough in the low-end, too wide a gap between 3rd and 4th, and a 5th gear that feels mushy and rattles like heck). The best I can say about the drivetrain is that it's reliable. . .
    I've seen your posts on the Dahon forum, too. Well, I assume it's you, and not another James with exactly the same experience.

    About the Sturmey Archer 5 speed hub, I believe it's the same that I have on my Twenty, X-RF5, right? I know what you mean about the gear spacing, but haven't had any problem with it being noisy, certainly not like a coffee grinder, and it runs quite smoothly. I'm using a 46t chainring and 15t cog. I wonder if it's just a matter of tweaking the adjustment a bit.

    Anyway, it's good that you were able to fix the creepy axle problem.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  4. #4
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Slow week, eh?

  5. #5
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    creepy axle problem is solved with SA new agressive teeth anti rotation washers..... But the hub certainly should not sound like a coffee grinder ..... try to do a little adjusting back and forth ...

    Thor

    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon1003.jpg

  6. #6
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister
    creepy axle problem is solved with SA new agressive teeth anti rotation washers..... But the hub certainly should not sound like a coffee grinder ..... try to do a little adjusting back and forth ...

    Thor

    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon1003.jpg
    Yeah, I've fiddled with the adjustment. The SA-5 on my "defective" bike as well as the SA-5 on this new bike are both noisy. 4th gear seems to be the quietest.

  7. #7
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    Very nice bicycle. I always wondered how the SA-5 worked on a bicycle but I guess there really is no comparison to the Sturmey Archer AW3.

    I liked the AW-3 because it had direct drive but if 1st gear would only drop you to 22 inches, the hub would have been excellant. Unfortunately, that is not the case which is why that bike is no longer in my stable.

    It's sorry to hear that you had so much trouble. Does the SA-5 have a direct drive?

  8. #8
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    Very nice bicycle. I always wondered how the SA-5 worked on a bicycle but I guess there really is no comparison to the Sturmey Archer AW3.

    I liked the AW-3 because it had direct drive but if 1st gear would only drop you to 22 inches, the hub would have been excellant. Unfortunately, that is not the case which is why that bike is no longer in my stable.

    It's sorry to hear that you had so much trouble. Does the SA-5 have a direct drive?
    On the SA-5, 2nd gear is direct.

  9. #9
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    On the SA-5, 2nd gear is direct.
    Maybe you do have a different version than I do. According to the SA specs page, 3rd gear is direct. You have to scroll down in the window on the left. The link to a pdf manual doesn't work.

    http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs_5spd_XRF5.php
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFriMon
    Maybe you do have a different version than I do. According to the SA specs page, 3rd gear is direct. You have to scroll down in the window on the left. The link to a pdf manual doesn't work.

    http://www.sturmey-archer.com/hubs_5spd_XRF5.php
    I test rode last weekend the Dahon Presto Lite with the 3 speed Sram hub and was very disapointed with the quality of that hub. It was incredibly noisy compared to my Piccolo using a SA-AW3. I don't know what happend to the quality of hub gears today but it felt waaaay too cheap for a biyccle that cost over $600 USD.

    The crank didn't even spin backward freely and felt cheaply lubed. Maybe this is the situation with hub gears today. Quite sad.

  11. #11
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Nope Dahon-Steve, the current hub gears I have are very good. The Shimano Nexus 4spd and 8spd I have are very smooth and quiet, even better than the SA on my Brompton and Merc. I had a SRAM 3 speed too it was pretty quiet. Maybe the one you road was an anamoly. Then again who knows what Dahon spec'd exactly for that bike. I agree that if it was that noisy on a $600 Dahon, I'd not be happy with it either.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    Nope Dahon-Steve, the current hub gears I have are very good. The Shimano Nexus 4spd and 8spd I have are very smooth and quiet, even better than the SA on my Brompton and Merc. I had a SRAM 3 speed too it was pretty quiet. Maybe the one you road was an anamoly. Then again who knows what Dahon spec'd exactly for that bike. I agree that if it was that noisy on a $600 Dahon, I'd not be happy with it either.
    I liked the Nexus 7 on my Bianchi Milano and that was a very good hub. Unfortunately, it was too heavy and I really liked the 3 speed on my Piccolo but the bike was so used up, I'm in the market for a new hub geared folder. The Presto Lite had a solid frame but the transmission was horrible. Maybe the chain needed lub but there was no way I could buy that bike.

    I'm going to test ride the 5 speed Vitesse this weekend and if that hub is a nightmare, I'll have to stick with derailuers.

  13. #13
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    I have a Vitesse D5, and the only noises it makes are the "tictictic" of the lower gears' pawls being overdriven. Granted I've only had it for a week, and only have around 150 miles on it, but it's a great hub so far.

    Sometimes, if the chain is too tight, can hubs will make grinding sounds in some gears but not others. I noticed this with a friends Nexus 8.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by james_swift
    The VD5 comes with a 5-speed Sturney Archer internal gear hub. It's horribly noisey (I liken it to a rear wheel when laced to a coffee grinder), and the gear spacing is all wrong (not low enough in the low-end, too wide a gap between 3rd and 4th, and a 5th gear that feels mushy and rattles like heck). The best I can say about the drivetrain is that it's reliable.
    The hub on the Presto Lite sounded just like you said. A coffee grinder.

    A few years back, someone was selling a larger rear cog for the Nexus 7 hub gear. I was going to buy one but didn't because I wasn't using the Milano anymore. However, that larger sprocket lowered the overall gearing of the bike!

    I was wondering if there are larger sprockets sold for the SA-5 which would lower the overall gearing and possibly the spacing?

    Does anyone know of such a sprocket is for sale?

  15. #15
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    The hub on the Presto Lite sounded just like you said. A coffee grinder.
    . . .
    I was wondering if there are larger sprockets sold for the SA-5 which would lower the overall gearing and possibly the spacing?

    Does anyone know of such a sprocket is for sale?
    Harris Cyclery ( http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/sturm...her-parts.html ) offers Sturmey Archer sprockets up to 17T, and other brands up to 24T, which they claim will work on Sturmey Archer hubs.

    I had a wheel built by them with a Sturmey Archer XRF-5 hub. I'd ordered a 14T, it came with a 17T. When I complained, they sent me the correct sprocket at no extra charge. I've since replaced it with a 15T sprocket from an old AW-3 hub. My only point being that I've personally verified that all three of these sizes will fit. I'd take their word for it on the other sizes.

    By the way, I'd just like to stress that, in contrast to some other people's experience, the 5 speed SA hub has worked beautifully for me. The shifting is reliable, and there is no excessive noise. Maybe I got the one good one.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaFriMon
    Harris Cyclery ( http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/sturm...her-parts.html ) offers Sturmey Archer sprockets up to 17T, and other brands up to 24T, which they claim will work on Sturmey Archer hubs.

    I had a wheel built by them with a Sturmey Archer XRF-5 hub. I'd ordered a 14T, it came with a 17T. When I complained, they sent me the correct sprocket at no extra charge. I've since replaced it with a 15T sprocket from an old AW-3 hub. My only point being that I've personally verified that all three of these sizes will fit. I'd take their word for it on the other sizes.
    This is good news.

    The OP said his Vitesse D5 came with gearing that had an excessive gap between 3rd and 4th. No wonder as I see the bike is geared with a 13T cog! Maybe someone can do the calculations as I don't know the teeth of the chain-ring. I suspect if you buy a 15 or 17th tooth cog, that jump from third to 4th will get a lot better. I wonder what the gearing of the bike is in direct drive? (3rd gear). Maybe if you lower it too much, direct drive becomes useless forcing you to always ride in an inefficient gear or 4th gear. Whatever the case, the bike is geared too high at 37 inches.

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    OK... I test rode a new Vitesse D5 and liked it alot! Over quality of Dahon bikes are better than when I purchased my Piccolo 5 years ago. I think the OP received a bad hub because mine was silent and shifted very well. It's amazing how much better the hub was on that bike compared to the Dahon Presto costing more! My faith in hub gears have been restored.

    However, there were some issues I had with the bike. First, the handlebar was too big and forced the rider to sit straight up! If you don't have a suspension seat post or a Brooks Champion Flyer, this is not the position to be in for long periods in the saddle. I like the fact that Dahon put a better saddle but you must be able to lower that handlebar down or the bike will beat you up. I told this to Josh Hon and he still does not believe me. The saddle on the bike is good but you would need a Champion flyer with springs on this bike.

    The gearing is too high like the OP said. The huge jump between 3rd gear and 4th reminded me of the jump between 2nd and 3rd on the Sturmey Archer AW-3. That high jump makes 5th gear really unusable for the most part except for down hills. I think changing to a larger sprocket in the rear wheel may be in order if you have hills. You have to get close to 30 inches and the bike is set up for 37! Overall, it's a solid product.

  18. #18
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Problem with the SA 5speed in general is that it has too few gears to cover a wide gear spread. Personally I don't think it was a great choice for the bike. For not much more they could have gone with a 8spd SA or Nexus. You just have big steps in the gears which often means you can't quite find the right gear for conditions even though you have a wide range. Since Dahon already buys the 8spd Nexus, why didn't they put in on the Vitesse? It'd be a much better bike.

  19. #19
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    OK... I test rode a new Vitesse D5 and liked it alot! Over quality of Dahon bikes are better than when I purchased my Piccolo 5 years ago. I think the OP received a bad hub because mine was silent and shifted very well. It's amazing how much better the hub was on that bike compared to the Dahon Presto costing more! My faith in hub gears have been restored.

    However, there were some issues I had with the bike. First, the handlebar was too big and forced the rider to sit straight up! If you don't have a suspension seat post or a Brooks Champion Flyer, this is not the position to be in for long periods in the saddle. I like the fact that Dahon put a better saddle but you must be able to lower that handlebar down or the bike will beat you up. I told this to Josh Hon and he still does not believe me. The saddle on the bike is good but you would need a Champion flyer with springs on this bike.

    The gearing is too high like the OP said. The huge jump between 3rd gear and 4th reminded me of the jump between 2nd and 3rd on the Sturmey Archer AW-3. That high jump makes 5th gear really unusable for the most part except for down hills. I think changing to a larger sprocket in the rear wheel may be in order if you have hills. You have to get close to 30 inches and the bike is set up for 37! Overall, it's a solid product.
    My '05 VD5 originally came with riser bars, which felt and looked like ape-hangers. Switching them out for flat bars lowered the bar height by about an inch and a half, but as you can see from my pics, the bar is still way too high for someone that is 5'6" like myself. This extreme upright position makes the bike painful to ride on distances greater than 10 miles, which is why I only use the bike for short errands, or if I just feel like sidewalk cruising on a lazy Sunday.

    I was thinking about getting the replacement adjustable stem from Gaerlan.

  20. #20
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    [QUOTE=james_swiftThis extreme upright position makes the bike painful to ride on distances greater than 10 miles, which is why I only use the bike for short errands, or if I just feel like sidewalk cruising on a lazy Sunday.

    I was thinking about getting the replacement adjustable stem from Gaerlan.[/QUOTE]

    I think the adjustable stem from Gaerlan, a suspension seat post or/Brooks Champion flyer and a changing the cog to 15T would have made the bike perfect.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    Problem with the SA 5speed in general is that it has too few gears to cover a wide gear spread. Personally I don't think it was a great choice for the bike. For not much more they could have gone with a 8spd SA or Nexus. You just have big steps in the gears which often means you can't quite find the right gear for conditions even though you have a wide range. Since Dahon already buys the 8spd Nexus, why didn't they put in on the Vitesse? It'd be a much better bike.
    You're right about the price of the 8 speed not being much different than the SA-5. However ,the difference in weight is visible and I think the only thing the bike needed was a lower gear by changing to a 15T cog would have made it perfect.

    The heavy weight of the Nexus 8 speed and the fact that it does not have a direct drive makes me like the 5 speed.

  22. #22
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    The 8spd Nexus has a 1:1 ratio in 5th gear. If you went with the 8R25 version the difference in weight is about 250-300 grams. This 8spd shifts much better than the SA5 and has a wider variety of shifter choices.

    One thing the Nexus does heads and shoulders above the SA is downshift well under load. I have both the 8R20 and 8R25. The 8R25 is the nicest internal hub I've ever used. The 8R25 is the premium version of the R20 model and is lighter and with better bearings and supposedly more efficient. I have it on my Swift and it is a great hub. It has about a 307% range as well. This is about equivalent to a 11-34T rear gear cluster on a derailleur so you have a very wide gear range and pretty nice even steps. It has been absolutely great for me so far.

  23. #23
    All ur bike r belong Enki james_swift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    One thing the Nexus does heads and shoulders above the SA is downshift well under load.
    My SA-5 shifts terribly under load (if at all) and sometimes will ony shift if I stop pedaling, or even pedal backwards a little during the shift.

  24. #24
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    James- I have that issue even on my SA-3. Definitely can be balky at times. I almost have to stop pedaling too. It never fails that Murphy will interfere and on the steepest part of the hill I have to back pedal to get it to shift and then it kills all my momentum.

  25. #25
    Member, Schmember DaFriMon's Avatar
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    I wouldn't doubt that the Nexus 8 is a better quality hub. One reason I picked a Sturmey Archer 5 speed for my Twenty was that I didn't want to deal with spreading the rear dropouts. Another was that I wasn't looking for the ultimate in performance on this bike anyway. However . . .

    With a 46 tooth chainring and a 15 tooth cog, I get a range of 38 to 86 gear inches. This lets me get up any hill that I have to deal with, although I wouldn't care to take it touring in the Rockies. It also lets me go fast enough for practical purpose on the flats. If I want speed, I'll take another bike.

    The jumps between gears are wider than I'm used to from derailleur bikes, but the spacing works for me. I do most of my riding in 4th gear, shifting down to 3rd to deal with strong headwinds or slight uphills.

    I do have to ease off the pedals to shift. I've gotten used to this, and it doesn't bother me any more. I like the feature, common to all hub geared bikes, of being able to shift at a standstill, while waiting for a red light, or my turn at a stop intersection.

    None of which is to recommend the 5 speed hub over an 8 speed. Just saying that it can be quite satisfactory. It depends on what you want from it.
    You're right, I do have more bikes than I need.

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