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  1. #1
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Dahon speed pro TT

    As a R20 owner, I'm a bit of a scooge to buy a new expensive modern folder, BUT, the Dahon speed pro and tt models look pretty tempting, has anyone had a ride of either model or heard good and bad points about them or wants to give me one for free?
    Also how do Dahons compare to Bikefridays, Bromptons etc in quality, rideability and whatever else you might like to tell me?

    Stevegor

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    There was a thread not too long ago on it. Search appears to be busted, but it's probably only a few pages back.

    The pros that I see are fast tires and TT bars, which look interesting but are rarely used on anything except fixies / SS / tri bikes. Dahon's fold is pretty good, better than BF and Swift imo. I also think it aesthetically it looks sweet.

    The cons are that design-wise, the bike can't make up its mind. Suspension on the front wheel? An internal hub? Minimal handlebar height adjustment? Steel frame? All seem like strange choices for a modern road bike.

    Also, it's got the i-Beam, so saddle choices are limited, unless you change seatposts. Other parts (like the derailleur) ought to be standard but I'd check on it first.

    I'd also assume / have been told that, like most Dahons it's inadvisable to pull back on the handlebars, as it has lots of flex.

    My guess is that the Speed Pro will fold better than, but perform as well as, a basic Swift or BF. Once you go above that level, you're paying more for things like drop bars, more gears, custom fit, lighter and more robust components etc., but the basic functionality doesn't change all that much. With new folders, once you're over $800, I think you are in the Land of Diminishing Returns....

  3. #3
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    There was a thread not too long ago on it. Search appears to be busted, but it's probably only a few pages back.

    The pros that I see are fast tires and TT bars, which look interesting but are rarely used on anything except fixies / SS / tri bikes. Dahon's fold is pretty good, better than BF and Swift imo. I also think it aesthetically it looks sweet.

    The cons are that design-wise, the bike can't make up its mind. Suspension on the front wheel? An internal hub? Minimal handlebar height adjustment? Steel frame? All seem like strange choices for a modern road bike.

    Also, it's got the i-Beam, so saddle choices are limited, unless you change seatposts. Other parts (like the derailleur) ought to be standard but I'd check on it first.

    I'd also assume / have been told that, like most Dahons it's inadvisable to pull back on the handlebars, as it has lots of flex.

    My guess is that the Speed Pro will fold better than, but perform as well as, a basic Swift or BF. Once you go above that level, you're paying more for things like drop bars, more gears, custom fit, lighter and more robust components etc., but the basic functionality doesn't change all that much. With new folders, once you're over $800, I think you are in the Land of Diminishing Returns....

    I test rode one ... really not a bad bike at all. I ended up with a Bike Friday NWT since I wanted something more robust for sport touring and am sensitive to ergonomics. My guess is that almost everyone would notice the several differences between the bikes in both how they ride and how much they cost. The proprietary components of Dahon bikes also annoy me as well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    There was a thread not too long ago on it. Search appears to be busted, but it's probably only a few pages back.

    The pros that I see are fast tires and TT bars, which look interesting but are rarely used on anything except fixies / SS / tri bikes. Dahon's fold is pretty good, better than BF and Swift imo. I also think it aesthetically it looks sweet.

    The cons are that design-wise, the bike can't make up its mind. Suspension on the front wheel? An internal hub? Minimal handlebar height adjustment? Steel frame? All seem like strange choices for a modern road bike.

    Also, it's got the i-Beam, so saddle choices are limited, unless you change seatposts. Other parts (like the derailleur) ought to be standard but I'd check on it first.

    I'd also assume / have been told that, like most Dahons it's inadvisable to pull back on the handlebars, as it has lots of flex.

    My guess is that the Speed Pro will fold better than, but perform as well as, a basic Swift or BF. Once you go above that level, you're paying more for things like drop bars, more gears, custom fit, lighter and more robust components etc., but the basic functionality doesn't change all that much. With new folders, once you're over $800, I think you are in the Land of Diminishing Returns....



    Thanks for that :

    Actually I use anything from 10spd Ultegra or 9spd XT through to 3 or 8 speed internal gear hubs on various bikes I own...horses for courses I say.
    A bit scary about not pulling back on Dahons' bars, heck, how do you climb a mountain without doing some of that?
    Some riders of small wheelers feel a non suspended front wheel/fork gives too harsh a ride, (Sheldon), I'm not too sure about that, I find mine bearable and I've had fractured tailbone and vertibrae.

    for the Land of Diminishing Returns....been there...still doing it.

  5. #5
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    I've never been on a Speed, but I used to own a Mu SL. People say the frame is much stiffer on the Mu, and I believe them...it was a very stiff bike. Dahon has hinge problems and stem problems, but they do a great job of providng a light bike at a low cost. The Mu SL is a 9-speed, though, as you probably know.

    The suspension hub doesn't seem to do much, and the ride is indeed a bit harsh. I agree with the above comments. The bikes strength is its ability to quickly fold into a small package. I think the Dahons are second probably only to the Tikt in terms of time and ease of fold.

    If you want a quality performance bike that avoids the hinge but still folds small, there's the (expensive) Birdy. Today, I rode with another biker on a 10-year-old Birdy that has been ridden nearly every day over that period. That probably won't happen on a Speed; the frame hinge and stem probably won't make it that long. If you don't need the folded package to be small, Friday.

  6. #6
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    I test rode one ... really not a bad bike at all. I ended up with a Bike Friday NWT since I wanted something more robust for sport touring and am sensitive to ergonomics. My guess is that almost everyone would notice the several differences between the bikes in both how they ride and how much they cost. The proprietary components of Dahon bikes also annoy me as well.


    I've admired BF's ever since I found them on Google, I'm particularily fond of the Pocket Rocket and Pro as I used to road race, however these days commuting, touring with full panniers and general fitness riding leads me to a NWT with dropbars, I just wish they were easier to buy in Oz. Or I could try to get some S&S couplings and make my non folding R20s into folders for that tour around England.

  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor
    A bit scary about not pulling back on Dahons' bars, heck, how do you climb a mountain without doing some of that?
    Sit & spin.

    Basically, instead of standing in the saddle, you stay in the saddle, go to a low gear and spin at your regular cadence. When using this method, you relax your hands and upper body, as the typical "holding on for dear life" when climbing is unnecessary, wastes energy and might slightly affect your breathing. (This is how I usually climb anyway btw.)

    Actual frame failure is pretty rare though, especially if you don't put too much strain on the handlepost on a regular basis.

  8. #8
    Raleigh20 PugFixie, Merc LittlePixel's Avatar
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    Anecdotally I know of someone that's been through 2 SpeedPro frames and is on his third warranty replacement; Sadly I don't know where the failures were. I'd go the Mu way for a stronger frame - or - go mad beefing up a Downtube or Swift with trick components....

  9. #9
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
    Sit & spin.

    Basically, instead of standing in the saddle, you stay in the saddle, go to a low gear and spin at your regular cadence. When using this method, you relax your hands and upper body, as the typical "holding on for dear life" when climbing is unnecessary, wastes energy and might slightly affect your breathing. (This is how I usually climb anyway btw.)

    Actual frame failure is pretty rare though, especially if you don't put too much strain on the handlepost on a regular basis.



    Yes, I normally do to, but sometimes when my lowest gear on my road bike is 39/23 and the gradient is way steeper than 10% in places it's hard not to strain the bars ...a little bit, but I am in agreement with your technique....it is a better way to climb. Maybe I should put slicks on the MTB and hillclimb train with that.

  10. #10
    jur
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    Ironically, the cheaper steel Dahon handleposts are better - they dont suffer of any of the problems that the alu ones suffer from. You can stand and hammer just fine. They are stiffer, don't fold accidentally if you pull really hard and don't have the loosening bolt problem.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  11. #11
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur
    Ironically, the cheaper steel Dahon handleposts are better - they dont suffer of any of the problems that the alu ones suffer from. You can stand and hammer just fine. They are stiffer, don't fold accidentally if you pull really hard and don't have the loosening bolt problem.
    Yup. I agree. Briefly owned a Breezer Zag 8 that was built up with decent components and Marathon Racers, but with steel bars. Genius. It didn't weight much, either. But the hinge was out of whack and the bike was unusable. Otherwise, that's a great use of Dahon parts. (Too bad the decals are so lame!) http://www.breezerbikes.com/zigzag_details.cfm

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor
    I've admired BF's ever since I found them on Google, I'm particularily fond of the Pocket Rocket and Pro as I used to road race, however these days commuting, touring with full panniers and general fitness riding leads me to a NWT with dropbars, I just wish they were easier to buy in Oz. Or I could try to get some S&S couplings and make my non folding R20s into folders for that tour around England.
    Oz?

    My apologies, but once again someone is demonstrating how geocentric we are in the US.

  13. #13
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevegor
    I've admired BF's ever since I found them on Google, I'm particularily fond of the Pocket Rocket and Pro as I used to road race, however these days commuting, touring with full panniers and general fitness riding leads me to a NWT with dropbars, I just wish they were easier to buy in Oz. Or I could try to get some S&S couplings and make my non folding R20s into folders for that tour around England.
    S&S couplings are sensitive to the shape of the tubes, however. Are the R20 tubes round?

    I have been pretty happy with my NWT ... although I should tell everyone that you need to be pretty careful with the folding process to prevent bending the front derailer and braze-on mount.

  14. #14
    wot?
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Oz?

    My apologies, but once again someone is demonstrating how geocentric we are in the US.
    Oz-tray-lya
    a life well lived is the best revenge

  15. #15
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    Oz?

    My apologies, but once again someone is demonstrating how geocentric we are in the US.

    Sorry about that.....I mean "Terra Australis Incognita".....Australia.."The Great Southland"..home of convicts, bushrangers, sheepfarmers and bike riders.

  16. #16
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Very good ... thanks for clue'ing in the clueless (me).


  17. #17
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand
    S&S couplings are sensitive to the shape of the tubes, however. Are the R20 tubes round?

    I have been pretty happy with my NWT ... although I should tell everyone that you need to be pretty careful with the folding process to prevent bending the front derailer and braze-on mount.

    Yes the R20 tubes are round.........I think oblong or oval shape would have blown everyones' mind in the 70"s . Does anyone know the size though, and if S&S couplings make them that size?

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