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Old 08-30-06, 07:15 AM   #1
Fear&Trembling
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Dahon Curve SL

There is a cropped image of the new Dahon Curve SL in A to B magazine. It looks like a cross between the Sweet Pea and Mu SL. Unfortunately, you could not see the drivetrain...

From A to B: "Early reports suggest the bike rides and folds well, producing a package about the same length and height as the Brompton, but wider".

What with the DT Mini and Curve SL, competition in the ultra-small folder category is hotting up...

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Old 08-30-06, 09:27 AM   #2
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Curve at Eurobike

Dahon Curve: Compact, light 16" folding bike.

Commuter bike: Folds quickly, light and small enough to fit into a shopping bag. Revised frame geometry is reassuringly stable. A custom SL version of the Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub provides all the gears you are likely to need to commute.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:39 AM   #3
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If anyone is making it over to Friedrichshafen, perhaps they could have a go on the new Curve...

Are they ERTO 305s?
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Old 08-30-06, 11:08 AM   #4
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The only thing that I need to know about the new Curve SL is whether the frame is aluminum or steel. I could not find anything on the internet about that fact. That is the most important thing about any bike is the frame make-up (at least to me).
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Old 08-30-06, 11:54 AM   #5
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Ehh, I'm sure it's fine as a commuter. No official stats or pricing yet. Looks kind of clunky, and I assume that like other Dahons, the fold still exposes the chain (get that bag!) and it rides like a wet noodle.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather that Dahon improves its existing product lines and just get everything good and tight, rather than revising, like, everything every year....
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Old 08-30-06, 02:32 PM   #6
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sooo what wet noodle have you ridden lately ... The Curve will follow the design trend of the very stiff MU in a smaller package and FINALLY replaces the two other 16 inch offerings which in my opinion got really old over the years ...

Of course if they dont change anything than its back to a wet noodle of a couple years back .. I rather have fresh new designs which improves the breed. Although Dahons competitors who are a little slow at times might not like that all too much ..lol

Popcorn ready ...

just that I go through a lot of dahon bikes as a dealer and I kinda get tired of that crap of NOT to make the bikes better ....... baffles me. Let me say this , if the evolution of Dahon bikes would have stopped 2 years ago I wouldnt sell them today ( dont like wet noodles myself)

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Old 08-31-06, 01:40 AM   #7
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The only thing that I need to know about the new Curve SL is whether the frame is aluminum or steel.
Almost certainly hydroformed Alu...
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Old 08-31-06, 02:26 AM   #8
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Definitely aluminium frame.
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Old 08-31-06, 08:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakemeister
sooo what wet noodle have you ridden lately ... The Curve will follow the design trend of the very stiff MU in a smaller package and FINALLY replaces the two other 16 inch offerings which in my opinion got really old over the years ...
Dahon Mariner, specifically. "Lately" as in "yesterday."

Now, just to be clear, "wet noodleness" does not necessarily mean "awful," as the flexier frame soaks up some of the bumps. But it will slow you down, and you really can't pull back on the handlebars without stressing the handlepost which increases the odds of a frame / handlepost failure. So it's inadvisable to stand and hammer, especially uphills.

As a non-dealer, I don't ride as many Dahons as you. But I've been riding a Swift for the last few months; it's packed up right now, so to get some exercise I hopped on my Mariner for a few miles yesterday. Night and day. The Dahon is smoother at the seat but rougher on the hands, significantly slower, and nowhere near as solid a ride as the Swift.

I assume the flexiness is a design issue, due to the hinge and the long handlepost, as I've had several Dahon dealers (including Gaerlan) tell me there's no point in, say, swapping out the handlepost on my Mariner (or even upgrading to a Speed Pro!) to get a stiffer and faster ride. IMO the Dahon's flexiness is just a compromise for the smaller and more efficient fold of a Dahon, compared to the stiffer folders / collapsibles like the Swift, Bike Friday, Moulton or Airnimal.



Quote:
just that I go through a lot of dahon bikes as a dealer and I kinda get tired of that crap of NOT to make the bikes better ....... baffles me. Let me say this , if the evolution of Dahon bikes would have stopped 2 years ago I wouldnt sell them today
I have no problem with Dahon improving their products, I think it's great that they do not "rest on their laurels," so to speak. However, I am not exactly thrilled by their usage of proprietary parts, which are difficult to upgrade and, in some instances, repair after a few years.

And while I think it's good for them to offer bikes for many needs, I find the ever-changing lineup to be confusing. Keeping in mind that I'm an end-user and not a marketing expert, I'd just think it's better to streamline their product lines, keep the model names a little more consistent (unless low sales necessitates a drop), and maybe index by year. For example, it seemed odd that they either renamed the Boardwalk to a Speed, or dropped the Boardwalk D7 and made a cheaper Speed, or... what did they do again, exactly?
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Old 10-17-06, 01:24 PM   #10
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According to the Dahon forum, the Curve SL will not be available in the US...
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Old 10-17-06, 02:11 PM   #11
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Handlepost?
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Old 10-17-06, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shilun
Dahon Curve: Compact, light 16" folding bike.

Commuter bike: Folds quickly, light and small enough to fit into a shopping bag. Revised frame geometry is reassuringly stable. A custom SL version of the Sturmey-Archer 5 speed hub provides all the gears you are likely to need to commute.
Interesting indeed!

I like the fact they are going to use the SA-5 Sprinter hub on a 16' inch wheel folder. I wonder where this leave the Presto Lite because that was a good bike. You can tell they put better quality components on that folder than the Sweet Pea which should never have been released. It goes to show you that Dahon is still thinking when it comes to the 16' wheel commuter. The company hasn't had a 5 speed 16' wheel bike in about 10 years! Overall, it doesn't look like a bad folder.

I hope they use a larger rear cog for that bike instead of the 13T to give you a lower direct drive.

I also hope they include a chain guard like the Piccolo, Presto and Presto Lite.
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Old 10-17-06, 03:26 PM   #13
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My Mu SL frame is very, very stiff. The stem flexes, but less than other Dahons. If you direct the force into the cranks rather than the handlebars, it's at least as efficient as a road bike.

Last edited by pm124; 10-17-06 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 10-17-06, 03:39 PM   #14
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I am not sure about that statement about the curve sl being not available in the states..... lets see about that ... I know that there are several options made.. like a 3 speed and a 5 speed... Now if Dahon would make one with a nexus 8 speed I would really go crazy
lol
give them a little time. I am sure it will arrive in spring 07

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Old 10-18-06, 03:34 AM   #15
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I am not sure about that statement about the curve sl being not available in the states..... lets see about that ... I know that there are several options made.. like a 3 speed and a 5 speed... Now if Dahon would make one with a nexus 8 speed I would really go crazy
lol
give them a little time. I am sure it will arrive in spring 07
I hope so. It is frustrating when particular models (usually the one you want) are available in other countries, but not your own!
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Old 10-18-06, 07:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brakemeister
I am not sure about that statement about the curve sl being not available in the states..... lets see about that ... I know that there are several options made.. like a 3 speed and a 5 speed... Now if Dahon would make one with a nexus 8 speed I would really go crazy
lol
give them a little time. I am sure it will arrive in spring 07

Thor
The Curve SL should replace the Piccolo and Sweet Pea. I still think the company should keep the Presto Lite but there really is no need to go with the Nexus 8 Speed. You have enough gears with the SA-5 and all you would have to do is lower the gearing by using a larger cog. Yes, you give up one higher gear but this bike really isn't for touring or long commutes. It's a multimode commuter and a 3 speed would be fine.
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Old 10-19-06, 02:45 PM   #17
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Old 10-19-06, 03:39 PM   #18
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Very nice blown up picture. Thanks

I'm going to put those same tires on my Presto when the time comes. Very nice looking folder. I don't expect that folder to sell less than $400.00 USD. The only thing missing from that bike is a Brooks Champion flyer or the Dahon suspension seat post.
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Old 10-19-06, 03:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
....there really is no need to go with the Nexus 8 Speed. You have enough gears with the SA-5 and all you would have to do is lower the gearing by using a larger cog. Yes, you give up one higher gear but this bike really isn't for touring or long commutes. It's a multimode commuter and a 3 speed would be fine.
FWIW.... using Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator and using a 50t chainring to a 15t cog (numbers pulled completely out of thin air), the Archer 5 Speed Sprinter produces "gear inches" of

67.3
56.8
44.9
35.8
29.9

whereas a Shimano Nexus 8 speed produces gear inches of:

72.5
63.7
54.9
44.9
38.2
33.6
28.9
23.6

The shimano's 2nd through 7th gives basicly the same range as the SA's 1st through 5th. All you get with the Nexus8 is a lower low and a higher high -- but not that much in either case.

NOTE: this will be more meaningful if you plug in the actual tire size, chainring size and rear cog size.
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Old 10-19-06, 05:22 PM   #20
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I understand the comment regarding the need for an 8-speed drivetrain. But after a knee injury and a new emphasis on spinning in a relatively hilly area, I would love a little commuter with wide 8-speed gearing.

Look at the favorable reviews that the Downtube Mini has ben receiving. This cut fit that niche but also include an adjustable stem (that the Mini lacks).

Just curious, anyone have an idea of the relative costs of a 3, 5, and 8 speed sturmey archer internal hubs?
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Old 10-19-06, 05:44 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invisiblehand
...anyone have an idea of the relative costs of a 3, 5, and 8 speed sturmey archer internal hubs?
Froogle.Google says:

Shimano 3 speed -- $60
Sram 5 speed -- $125
Shimano 7 speed -- $135
Sturmy 8 speed -- $143

Rohloff 14 Speed -- if you have to ask, you can't afford it

I couldn't find pricing for anything but the Sturmy 8 speed.
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Old 10-19-06, 09:50 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerLater
FWIW.... using Sheldon Brown's Gear Calculator and using a 50t chainring to a 15t cog (numbers pulled completely out of thin air), the Archer 5 Speed Sprinter produces "gear inches" of

67.3
56.8
44.9
35.8
29.9

whereas a Shimano Nexus 8 speed produces gear inches of:

72.5
63.7
54.9
44.9
38.2
33.6
28.9
23.6

The shimano's 2nd through 7th gives basicly the same range as the SA's 1st through 5th. All you get with the Nexus8 is a lower low and a higher high -- but not that much in either case.

NOTE: this will be more meaningful if you plug in the actual tire size, chainring size and rear cog size.
Good observation.

My Piccolo and Presto used the 48T ring and 13T cog and I suspect Dahon will use the same effective combination with the Curve. My numbers below are more reflective of possible gearing using Sheldon's calculator.

Sprinter 5 speed with 48T ring and 13T cog

74.5
62.9
49.7
39.7
33.1

The range is perfect! The 49 inch direct drive is exactly the gear range I found perfect for my Presto and Piccolo. The Presto/Piccolo both have direct drive at 49 inches and I can ride in that gear for hours without getting tired. I did Bike New York on my Piccolo (40+miles) with no problem. In addition, the low of 33.1 is almost as low as my Jamis Aurora touring bike so that should get you up most hills.

However, if you really wanted a real low gear bike and were willing to sacrifice one top gear, a 16t cog gives you the following.

Sprinter 5 Speed with 48T ring and 16T cog

60.6
51.1
40.4
32.3
26.9

Fourth gear is almost perfect at 51.1 and you can ride that gear all day long. The bottom gear at 26.9 is so low, you'll be able to climb up most hills with no problem. You're not going to do loaded touring with this bike so the gearing is just fine and more than enough for commuting.

I changed the gearing on my Vitesse (which uses the Sprinter) so that 1st gear is 32.4 inches. That gear is so low, I hardly use it during any ride and can climb most small hills in 2nd gear.


These are the figures for the Nexus 8
with 48T ring and 16T cog

65.2
57.3
49.4
40.4
34.4
30.2
26.0
21.3


It's not bad at all. You would ride the bike in 6th gear and the 21.3 inch gear is so low, it's now perfect for loaded touring! Somehow, I don't think you'll want to do loaded touring on this bike which is why the Sprinter 5 is just fine.
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Old 10-20-06, 02:35 AM   #23
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The 8sp hubs are also heavier, important on a bike you are going to carry.
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Old 10-20-06, 04:30 AM   #24
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Update (from the Dahon forum)the Curve D3 is goibg to be available in th US
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Old 10-20-06, 07:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerLater
Froogle.Google says:

Shimano 3 speed -- $60
Sram 5 speed -- $125
Shimano 7 speed -- $135
Sturmy 8 speed -- $143

Rohloff 14 Speed -- if you have to ask, you can't afford it

I couldn't find pricing for anything but the Sturmy 8 speed.
Rohloff 14 spd is around $1k at Harris Cyclery if I remember correctly. The Schlumpf mountain drive is also pretty pricey (goes into the BB, though).

I looked into the S-A 5spd hub since you can get it with an OLD = 114mm for an old English 3spd. S-A e-mailed me to say it's available by ordering through the LBS, but I haven't gotten around to asking for a quote from my LBS. If anyone gets a price, please post it.
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