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  1. #1
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    Dahon decision help please.

    Im a newbie who is considering getting into a folding bike. After shopping around i've sort of landed on Dahon. And im trying to decide between the MU SL, MU XL and the Hon Solo. And before you laugh me off the boards heres why im at these three.

    Why a folder: i bought a small air stream trailer and i need a something small and light for tooling around campgrounds and for going on bike rides in parks ond so on.

    Why Dahon: Id like to see it, try it in person. I have a dealer in town who carries them. As far as price range i'd prefer to stay under a grand.

    Why these models: Im not looking for a serious racing bike. Im looking for comfort and design.

    Im big on design and these all appeal to me. And i think this is something i could get into. I dont like to buy a cheap starter and then want to upgrade immeadiately i like to buy the best for what i want to use it for. Asthetics are important to me. I loved the Hon Solo. The dealer had one. Love the saddle seat. The pump in the seat post. The detail. But not sure if i really want or should get a single speed. That being said i have a 15 speed normal bike but rarely use more than 3 or 4 gears. That brings me to the other two. Hub gearing or normal? Not sure which way to go. Any advice as i try to figure this out?

  2. #2
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Is it comfortable?

    If you are one of the lucky ones that actually have a Dahon dealer in town, go on in for a test ride.

    If you are not used to bikes with 20" tires, the bike may seem a bit twitchy at first, but you will get used to it quickly.

    I'm all for having gears, myself. I've used my Dahon Speed 7 for my daily commuter for almost a year now. It's uphill all the way home, so I really like the gears!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randjg1
    II loved the Hon Solo. The dealer had one. Love the saddle seat. The pump in the seat post. The detail. But not sure if i really want or should get a single speed. That being said i have a 15 speed normal bike but rarely use more than 3 or 4 gears. That brings me to the other two. Hub gearing or normal? Not sure which way to go. Any advice as i try to figure this out?
    I'd try to get a test ride on the Hon Solo over the kind of terrain you expect to ride on. That way you can get a sense of whether that one gear will be enough.

    Hub vs. Derailleur - There's a loss of efficiency in the hub gear that you may find annoying. On the other hand a derailleur is exposed to potential damage with each fold/unfold or pack. It's not like you are likely to damage it every time, but if you plan to fold/unfold or pack a lot, the odds might catch up with you.

    Speedo

  4. #4
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Hi Randy
    what airstream you have ? Those are cool campers. ( My parents are airstreamers, big time )

    Now you will get a lot of enthusiastic responses about steel versu alloy, derailleur versus Hub geared, Single speed versus shifter. Dahon versus other ....Oh I forgot the brooks seat.. there is another almost religious experience ... Brooks versus other ...

    You have no idea my friend how many hornets nest you just opened ...

    Let me tell you one thing for sure ... Buy the bike you like the best and i mean the one you like best with your gut feeling ( not what people gonna tell ya ) . Only if you not only like to ride the bike but also like to be seen on the bike you gonna use it .... The fanciest schmanciest designer bike aint gonna be worth crap as lonmg as you are not having fun riding it...


    having said all of this .... a couple of generalisations
    Brooks saddles are way cool..IF you ride them a lot , they can be outright torture if you only use the bike sparringly and dont wear them in ... On the other hand they can be the only saddle you will ever us as long as your butt gets used to the saddle ( or vice versa)

    Single speed... very fun ... but I would consider a sindle speed the second or third bike in the stable.

    MU SL .. a real ferrari .. superlight, a cool design ... stiff frame .... very fast .... con: small high pressure tires, stiff frame , transmit road shock ..can be intimidating ..cause its fast and furious

    MU XL same for the frame, but now you have suspension and all kinds of gears add ons like carriers and fenders ... the accessories weigh the ferrari down, but it makes a plush ride and you have gearing for every situation

    What would be my bike : MU SL with big apple tires (real fat suspension tires ) slows it down just a hair, but gives you comfort enough to keep on riding ...

    I am a Dahon Dealer and also sell Brooks ...just as a disclaimer....

    Thanks Thor

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    Thanks for the input
    to elaborate, its a 19ft bambi, so small. And this bike purchase wants to scratch a few itches. One for practical purposes. But obviously i can get a cheap variety for that. I also want something that has a design that excites me. These three do. When you say ferrari it makes me think thats not the one probably. I dont want like an ultra road bike. But more able to handle a path, a bit of gravel and black top. Things i'd encounter at a campground or state park. And yes gears do sound handy given the terrain is hard to predict. So comfort is up there. Practicality is too, meaning rack for a bit of supplies. Not terribly complicated. My kids will want to ride it. Perhaps i need to ride the hon and the mu xl.

  6. #6
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    I think you are right on with the MU XL ... its the most universal out of the bunch and wont let you down. Get an El Bolso carrying bag with it, to stow it in the trailer... A Bambi , eh ... is it hand polished and saprkly ? A very cool trailer ( very expensive , but than they usually do not loose their value either )

    Go with the MU XL
    ( I dont have one.... ykes )

  7. #7
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    You are in the happy position of having a good budget (under 1k$ will buy you some very nice bikes!) and a market with lots of good choices, even if you stay within the Dahon line. Embrace the process! Go down to that dealership, wave your checkbook around, and have fun trying out some bikes!

  8. #8
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Hello Randjg1 and welcome! Here is my thoughts on your possible bike purchase:

    "Why a folder: i bought a small air stream trailer and i need a something small and light for tooling around campgrounds and for going on bike rides in parks ond so on." -Randjg1

    I like to and have used all three of my folding bikes for traveling around parks and a former campground (now a city park) and found that each of them were fine on hard packed dirt or semi or completely paved paths and roads.

    "Why Dahon: Id like to see it, try it in person. I have a dealer in town who carries them. As far as price range i'd prefer to stay under a grand." -Randjg1


    I agree fully with you desire to see and try it in person. My last 2 folding bike purchases (Brompton "C" and the Dahon Piccolo) were done at bike shops that carried them and I was very pleased with them both. As for price, I actually save money by buying my stock Brompton off the shelf rather than buying a more expensive bike that I still would end up using and riding the same way".

    "Why these models: Im not looking for a serious racing bike. Im looking for comfort and design."-Randjg1

    All of my present bikes were selected in the comfort and design range as you are doing.

    "I'm big on design and these all appeal to me. And i think this is something i could get into. I dont like to buy a cheap starter and then want to upgrade immeadiately i like to buy the best for what i want to use it for. Asthetics are important to me. I loved the Hon Solo. The dealer had one. Love the saddle seat. The pump in the seat post. The detail. But not sure if i really want or should get a single speed. That being said i have a 15 speed normal bike but rarely use more than 3 or 4 gears. That brings me to the other two. Hub gearing or normal? Not sure which way to go. Any advice as i try to figure this out?" -Randjg1


    I made my own decisions based on the terrain that I live around and/or will probably come arcross eventually. I either placed a Sturmey-Archer AW three speed hub on my formerly single speed Boardwalk S1 or now I tend to select bikes that already have this feature installed on the bike. But I do make sure the frame is made of steel and that the bike has it's chainring in the mid-forties and the rear cog somewhere between 13t and 16t at purchase since that size works for me. Just keep in mind that if you just love everything else the Hon Solo has, adding the price of the rear hub might just do the trick for a custom bike that you will treasure and use for years to come. The price should come under $1000 and still be in your budget you already set. Talk to your dealer about this.

    In the meantime, check out my websites below to see what I have done to my bikes.

  9. #9
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randjg1
    Im a newbie who is considering getting into a folding bike. After shopping around i've sort of landed on Dahon. And im trying to decide between the MU SL, MU XL and the Hon Solo. And before you laugh me off the boards heres why im at these three.

    Why a folder: i bought a small air stream trailer and i need a something small and light for tooling around campgrounds and for going on bike rides in parks ond so on.

    Why Dahon: Id like to see it, try it in person. I have a dealer in town who carries them. As far as price range i'd prefer to stay under a grand.

    Why these models: Im not looking for a serious racing bike. Im looking for comfort and design.

    Im big on design and these all appeal to me. And i think this is something i could get into. I dont like to buy a cheap starter and then want to upgrade immeadiately i like to buy the best for what i want to use it for. Asthetics are important to me. I loved the Hon Solo. The dealer had one. Love the saddle seat. The pump in the seat post. The detail. But not sure if i really want or should get a single speed. That being said i have a 15 speed normal bike but rarely use more than 3 or 4 gears. That brings me to the other two. Hub gearing or normal? Not sure which way to go. Any advice as i try to figure this out?
    We also have an Airstream, and as the kids are starting to get bigger, it was getting difficult to transport bikes - theirs plus ours. Now we have two Dahons, one with an internal hub, and one with derailleurs. One with an aluminum frame, and one with steel.
    Either hub works fine, although if you're the type who does much out of the saddle hammering, go for the derailleur, I think.
    On the plus side for the internal hub, the lack of a derailleur plus the addition of a chain cover really helps keep the stains off whatever the bike is around.

  10. #10
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    Have a look at the Jetstream P8 as well. Finest folding bike I've yet ridden and a comfortable, yet fast ride at that. I absolutely adore mine.

    DG1

  11. #11
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    Having had a Dahon roo for 3 years and 4000km and now a Dahon with rear suspension, I would definetly recomend a dohon with bounce. Its a bit heavier than without but a much softer ride.

  12. #12
    Senior Member michaelalanjone's Avatar
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    The Dahon Jack doesn't fold up as small as those mini-bikes, but it definitely is comfortable on lots of terrain. It has thick, bouncy tires for that. It is a full-size bike, that folds.

    It is not little, though. If your camper is tight, you probably want to go with a mini-bike. Folded up, the Jack is the size of, say, three [collapsed] aluminum lawn chairs, stacked.

    I did a review of my Jack on the Folder Society, if you're interested.

    http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/Mike/jack.html

    Also, you might not want multiple gears, but imagine the hills in parks that you may camp in. You wouldn't want to push a bike up hills, for the sake of a pound or two. Gears are nice to have. Just a thought. I considered getting a single speed, and now I am glad I didn't. (Please, no flames from fixies!)

  13. #13
    I like chrome. Donkey Hodie's Avatar
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    old thread yes, but +1 on the Dahon Jack if a slightly larger fold is not an issue.

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