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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 04-14-07, 05:34 PM   #1
mcalpik
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I've created a monster!

I love my folding bikes. They are there calling me from the trunk of the car, as I pass a bike trail sign. "Ride me" they say. My old Speed P8 was great. Reliable, comfortable, and ready for any trail.....

Then I got my MU SL. Under 20 pounds, fast tires, stable at speed, and able to be fit to my liking. I am now in love. Fast, really fast, rides. Hands off stable, easy to flick where I want to go. Now suddenly, I am looking through catalogs for graphite parts, and speed ratings on tires. Graphite bottle cages and handlebars, Garmin GPS to record the rides are already on the way.

Anyone else in love? I need help.
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Old 04-14-07, 06:37 PM   #2
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This is a terrible addiction, but there is good new.

In reality, you won't be able to shave much at all off of your Mu Sl. The one thing Dahon is really good at is part selection. I'm not sure about the 2007 model, but my 2006 had Syntace bars, an American Classic hub and BB...really, there's very little you can do to lighten the bike. Certainly nothing you'll be able to notice when picking it up...just grams. You can't even get a lighter tire. If you feel compelled, get a nice pair of light clipless pedals and call it a day!
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Old 04-14-07, 07:02 PM   #3
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I'm in love with my Dahon Curve D3. I ride an average of 14-15mph, not really fast, but my Curve has a really nice Garmin Legends and some roadster features. My goal is to finish a 20 mile ride averaging 18mph on my little red rocket.
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Old 04-15-07, 07:56 AM   #4
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14R, what was your Merc average? Or do you have an average for a full size bike? I know it's not scientific, but ballpark comparisons are interesting. Also, how is the spoke tension on your baby?

mcalpik, you are probably wondering why there are full size bikes out there that weigh 15 pounds, but your little bike weighs 20# with similar componentry and smaller wheels. The answer is the frame. I doubt that there are lighter wheels than yours on the market (unless you look at 355 or 349 wheels), but the diamond on roadbikes allows for featherweight tubing. So, even though there is more of it, it is substantially lighter than the Sonus tubing. The hinge is the biggest offender. Hinge-less bikes like Bike Friday or even what someone described as the "tractor-looking" Birdy would probably be (significantly and somewhat respectively) lighter with your componentry. Some Fridays weigh in at road bike weights. Somebody on the Birdy forum got one into the sub-8Kg range with Tune and American Classic components.

Of course, it sounds like you like a light bike for riding rather than carrying. (I'm the opposite; I'm a weakling and have to carry the bike all the time.) For that, there is some evidence that your lower profile is going to give you an advantage over big bikes, at least on a smooth tarmack.

For riding, I prefer strong hubs and wheels. I can bunny hop big potholes (if my safety latches are working and the wheels don't fold under the bike) or smack into them on my Birdy in ways I couldn't on the Mu. The fully spoked little wheels are strong enough to take significantly more abuse than big wheels.
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Old 04-15-07, 02:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pm124
14R, what was your Merc average? Or do you have an average for a full size bike? I know it's not scientific, but ballpark comparisons are interesting. Also, how is the spoke tension on your baby?
I am not a "spinner", I am a "cranker". I never had a chance to go really fast for too long on my Merc due to a well-known/well-documented issue with chain tensioners on Brompton/Mercs. My Specific Merc, no matter what I tried, would never let me crank the way I usually do. My average on that bike was below 13mph.

On a conventional bike (Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra) my average is about 16-17mph.

Spoke tension on my Curve is "standard" (if that means anything to you lol). Not adjusted since day one. Never measured. I just made sure it was fine...it's not a performance bike after all.
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Old 04-15-07, 02:48 PM   #6
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Interesting, so your more serious bike is more efficient at the end of the day. Of course, it's a difficult comparison to make with Big Apple tires, etc., but fun to know anyway. I find that I go a bit slower on the Downtube than the Birdy, and the former has 406 wheels. The Downtube is going to have to be traded in for a smaller bike one day soon, and I'm trying to decide what to go for. Whatever it is has got to fit better in a suitcase but still allow my girlfriend to keep up. I can't afford another Birdy, but there don't seem to be any other small wheeled performance bikes.

Good to hear that there are no wheel problems. Perhaps they've fixed QC issues.
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