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  1. #1
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    I *love* this little bike

    Can I just say that? Even though it tried to kill me a few weeks ago, when the stem spontaneously folded at an intersection. It's easily done thousands of kilometres around Beijing, is helping me explore Shanghai, and has been with me on trips to Toronto, Calgary, and Singapore. It's always nearby -- I keep it inside at home, and under my desk at work. And even after two years, its sheer usefulness just continues to surprise me: I just went and bought a new electric oven about 4 miles away, and simply strapped the box to the rack and pushed the seat down flush with its top to secure it -- not something you could easily do on a standard bike.


    (Hmmm... needs a wash)

    Standard disclaimer goes here (not employed by or representing Dahon/not related to anyone employed by or representing Dahon, just someone who loves his bike).

    Anyone else find that their folding-bike giddiness just refuses to go away?

  2. #2
    jur
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    I feel that way about my Raleigh Twenty. It continues to amaze me with the sheer riding comfort. (Of course I installed all components so it must be comfy, but still...) Pics tomorrow. Promise.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    Good Post.

    My Dahon Piccolo was a work horse (before I sold it) during the time I had it. I'm surprised that heavy box didn't interfere with the fender. It goes to show you the quality of Dahon bikes in general.

  4. #4
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    jur: Yes! Pics are always good .

    Dahon.Steve: Thanks! The box wasn't super-heavy, so the rack was perfectly capable of handling it. It didn't interfere with the fenders at all. Do Boardwalks sold in the states come with a rear rack?

  5. #5
    (((Fully Awake))) Serendipper's Avatar
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    That's amazing, and wonderful!
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    無上甚深微妙法 .... 百千萬劫難遭遇..... 我今見聞得受持

  6. #6
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb
    jur: Yes! Pics are always good .

    Dahon.Steve: Thanks! The box wasn't super-heavy, so the rack was perfectly capable of handling it. It didn't interfere with the fenders at all. Do Boardwalks sold in the states come with a rear rack?
    I you don't mind that I chime in, I have a Boardwalk myself here in Southern California. My Boardwalk did come with a rear rack. I myself only used it a couple of time. But when I did, I really needed to have one ready on the bike.

  7. #7
    jur
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    OK, here is the other love of my life:


    Resprayed, RST 200k forks, American Classic front hub, Sturmey Archer 8 speed hub, Sun Ringle rims CR18 (front) and Rhino Lite (back).


    A shot of it when the original forks were still installed:
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  8. #8
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    Jur,
    Great looking Twenty you have there! You have done a great job on it! It's very interesting to see how owners customize their Twentys!
    Mine is stock, I have added a Honey colored Brooks B67 and Comp Pool tires and I might have a set of alloy wheels laced up for it (for better brakes), but otherwise it is and will remain basicly stock! It seems to me they look great however they are personalized!!

    Al
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Jur -- I love what you've done with your Twenty! That's a nice looking bike. Is that a Brooks Swift? I need to change the saddle on my Dahon: I didn't fold it properly on one of my trips, and a chunk was taken out of the back of the saddle (you can see it in the picture above). I'm thinking of a B-17 -- but do you think the swift is worth the extra money?

    Al -- The B-67 looks great with those raised bars!

  10. #10
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    I'll post another picture, just 'cause I'm in love

    Here it is waiting to take the ferry across Shanghai's Huangpu River:


  11. #11
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    I you don't mind that I chime in, I have a Boardwalk myself here in Southern California. My Boardwalk did come with a rear rack. I myself only used it a couple of time. But when I did, I really needed to have one ready on the bike.
    I agree -- I had taken mine off, but put it back on when I realised how useful it can be. I didn't like the look at first (I was running it without fenders for a while, too), but I've come to appreciate the beauty of utility .

    Edit: Sorry for the triple-post... got kind of excited

  12. #12
    Junior Member DaveC's Avatar
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    Jur -- I love what you've done with your Twenty! That's a nice looking bike. Is that a Brooks Swift? I need to change the saddle on my Dahon: I didn't fold it properly on one of my trips, and a chunk was taken out of the back of the saddle (you can see it in the picture above). I'm thinking of a B-17 -- but do you think the swift is worth the extra money?
    Hi - I think Jur's saddle is actually a Swallow. I have been lucky enough in the last year to add 4 Brooks saddles to our collection of bikes this year. Up until that time I rode my mountain bike for something in excess of 3000km with a B17, I thought it was the ultimate saddle. When I got our first Twenty in the middle of 2006 I of course got a B17 then a B67 intending it for my wife's Twenty. The B67 looks cool but I don't like riding on it although the Twenty is nice and soft. And I got an almost new Swift for my Colnago (which is incomplete now). I have ridden the Twenty over 1200km on the B17 but recently I have been using the Swift on my Legnano and I like it better than the B17.

    But the nicest is the 1961 Brooks Swallow that came with a beautiful 1961 Raleigh Gran Sport (now disassembled) I was given earlier this year. I have never used it on the Raleigh. I rode on it for a few km on the Twenty and a few hundred km on my regular road bike. So if it's any help and you don't mind spending the money I think the Swallow wins, but it sure is expensive. The Swallow is so old and it looks so nice I am hesitant to actually use it, so it is going back to the Gran Sport, which will be babied. I would think a Pro would approach the qualities of a Swift it's just a bit heavier.

    I know I jumped in and interrupted the flow, but I like all the Brooks saddles and of course I was intrigued by the thread's heading. By the way I have had an incredible time building the Twenty, a nice folding bike is a compelling device. Its riding characteristics hugely exceeded my expectations. It is by far the most versatile of all our bikes. So I can understand your sentiments. And go get your Brooks saddle.

  13. #13
    jur
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    Heh heh, my Brooks is actually a butchered B17 along Swallow lines, including the tie underneath.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  14. #14
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC
    I know I jumped in and interrupted the flow, but I like all the Brooks saddles and of course I was intrigued by the thread's heading. By the way I have had an incredible time building the Twenty, a nice folding bike is a compelling device. Its riding characteristics hugely exceeded my expectations. It is by far the most versatile of all our bikes. So I can understand your sentiments. And go get your Brooks saddle.
    Not at all! Thanks for your post. The Swallow is gorgeous, but I just checked some prices and am not sure I want to get a saddle that's worth more than the rest of my bike. At least not yet

    I'll almost certainly be getting a B-17 -- just need to decide if I want a standard or narrow. The problem with my renewed love of the Dahon is that it's harder to justify the Surly Cross-Check I've been thinking of buying. Perhaps if I start doing more long distance rides...

  15. #15
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Heh heh, my Brooks is actually a butchered B17 along Swallow lines, including the tie underneath.
    Butchered in what way? Was it a custom job, or something you did yourself?

  16. #16
    Junior Member DaveC's Avatar
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    Heh heh, my Brooks is actually a butchered B17 along Swallow lines, including the tie underneath
    Nice work, sure had me fooled. The bike is great, about the first thing I did was toss the cottered cranks but they sure look great on your bike.

    And now for an unsolicited post of some of my bikes. Cuz I like showing them off. No Gran Sport though.

    gbcb

    I could take a photo of the bottom of the factory Swallow, albeit an ancient one, and you could see how they differ from the other saddles if you want

    http://s68.photobucket.com/albums/i40/ClimrK8/

  17. #17
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb
    Butchered in what way? Was it a custom job, or something you did yourself?
    No, I did it myself after learning of a whole subculture that exists on Brooks saddle mods. Some pics of a Swallow showed me it is nothing but a normal (actually a narrow) saddle cut differently. I drew the cut lines on the side skirts and cut them off with a box cutter knife, leaving 2 flaps that I folded towards the middle and joined with cable ties.

    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    jur
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    Here are 3 pics of my saddles, a normal one, the butchered one and a narrow one:



    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  19. #19
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Excellent mod, Jur! I'm not sure I'd have the guts to do that myself, though. To clarify -- was it a standard or narrow B-17 before the... errm... procedure?

    And those are some nice pics and bikes, DaveC. I hadn't been convinced before about the black B17, but it looks great on your Twenty! And if you could post that picture of the ancient swallow, it would be most appreciated.

  20. #20
    Junior Member DaveC's Avatar
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    Here is the 1961 Swallow. Its dimensions are essentially the same as the modern Swift, actually a bit longer. If I were to do it again and for some perverse reason I will, I think I would get a Pro, the price is more reasonable, I prefer the narrrower saddles and the B17s are a bit soft and seem to not maintain their shape as well. But Jur's modification is tempting, it looks great and eliminates my biggest objection to the other saddles, chafing. I hope there is enough material to maintain the strength. Jur, your steerer extension on the original forks is interesting, was there noticeable flex? I am determined to use a Cinelli stem on my next folder, not the one on my Colnago it stays on the Colnago.

    Last edited by DaveC; 01-14-07 at 12:20 PM.

  21. #21
    jur
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    The modded B17 is a standard one. A narrow would look better modded, since the Swallow is also a narrow. The only difference between a B17 narrow and a Swallow is the B17 has a ridge in the leather around the top surface, where the Swallow has none - see the pic of the black one.

    As for guts, I agree it took a while before I took the plunge.

    The B17 narrow will maintain its shape a lot longer since there is less leather to stretch in the sideways dimension. My black narrow is still very hard despite having been ridden a lot. Modding a narrow I think is fairly safe wrt to stiffness. My modded one is OK due to the flaps folded and tied underneath. But having support in the middle also helps - I at one stage had a piece of plastic between the flaps and the seat post clamp, supporting it. The side skirts are doing a very important job to maintain saddle shape and support; That is the reason why I cable tied my un-modded saddle skirts to the seat posts (see pic above) - these tended to flare a bit sitting on it, and the cable ties make a huge difference to keep the skirts away from the legs and keep the saddle stiff. The tension on the ties is so high that one snapped once.

    The fork extension had a small amount of flex, but it was stiff enough for me to stand on the pedals and hammer up steep slopes while pulling hard on the bars. When I first built it it used to bother me a bit but I soon found that riding it I hardly notice anything at all.

    Apologies for a major thread hijack, but t shows that you were spot on with starting it in the first place - don't we *love* these little bikes!!!!!!!!
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  22. #22
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    No worries about the hijack -- I enjoyed it! It also made me realise that I haven't splurged on anything in a long time. Perhaps it's about time to look at a Brooks more seriously. After all, my bike deserves a present

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