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  1. #1
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Dahon Curve D3 - First Impressions

    The UPS guy was kind enough to deliver the bike today. I took some pix, hopefully anyone who wants to see more detail than is shown on the Dahon website will be able to see it in these photos. They're all 1024 pixels wide, so they're not too big. The last one is a full size, 6 MP shot, a bit over 2 MB.

    The file names will give you a clue as to what the photos contain.

    I'm just inserting links, so this page doesn't load too slowly.

    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonboxed1.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonboxed2.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonboxed3.jpg

    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonfolded1.jpg
    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonfolded2.jpg

    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahonopen1.jpg

    As you can see, it did come with fenders and the rack. I left the rack on for now. If I feel the bike's too heavy, I'll take it off.

    The seat is horrible. it's one of those that looks like it is anatomically-shaped, but actually isn't. It pries one's butt apart right behind the sack. Just horrible. But at least it is small. It doesn't seem like it would cost much to make a seat like Jur has on his Swift? But apparently it does.

    The lowest gear ratio is higher than I thought it would be. Hill climbing will be a stand-up deal unless it's a shallow hill or you're hardcore. It is useful for mild uphills. Second gear is good for all-around cruising on flat land. Third gear is for going fast(er) downhill or on flat ground with a bit of effort.

    I like the tires, esp. the reflective tape embedded in them.

    The front wheel, at the rim, is not as smooth as it should be. I'll probably gently work on this a bit with the Dremel, so it doesn't take a small chunk out of the brake pad each time it goes around under braking. The wheel is slightly crooked, even though the seemed to be well-packed. It does that annoying thing whne you squeeze the brake where it grabs hard, then nothing then hard every time the wheel turns around.

    The turning radius is pretty mind-bending. In first gear, I can ride around in about a 6' circle, leaned back in the seat, with one hand on the handlebar until I get too dizzy to go on. Not that this is the most useful thing, but at times, it is nice to be able to swerve super-quickly.

    My wife and I were going for a ride in the forest preserve. (lots of hills, pea gravel surface) When we got there, I took the D3 out of the trunk, then went to take her MTB out of the trunk, only to discover the front tire was dead flat. Two days ago, it had 45 psi in it. So I think she picked up a thorn. I tried the pump that's hidden in the seat-post, and it is quite brilliant. But it must be a big hole somewhere, because it was flat again very quickly.

    My neighbor got home, called me PeeWee Herman. I said: "Let's go for a ride." So we went, and I raced him down a mild grade, and won. (only just) He's got a Trek 900 MTB from 8 years ago or so. He couldn't keep up with me, but admittedly, my legs are about 10% stronger than his, and he doesn't quite embrace the idea of frequent shifting. So I asked him how it felt to get smoked by PeeWee.

    The intructions are good. More later.

    Here's the modem-burner full size image of dahonopen1, above:
    http://home.comcast.net/~jzorns/dahon_full_size.jpg

  2. #2
    Senior Member kgibbs51's Avatar
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    JeremyZ: You are in Chicago right? I bought a Biologic Suspension seatpost from Thor for $45. I'm not going to use it. If you want it I'll give you a deal and if we can arrange pickup or something we won't have to worry about shipping.

    I don't use it because I like the free stand capability of the stock post. This one I use for 2 weeks and I just bought it a month ago. Its just not what I need while using Metra.

    Here is the link to Thor's website where I bought it:
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/seatpost.htm

  3. #3
    Senior Member kgibbs51's Avatar
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    OK, check this older Curve D3 thread out:

    http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=274922

  4. #4
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Silly me for not looking for a similar thread first.

    No thanks for the seatpost. To me, it's not the shocks to the butt that are painful, but the general shape of the seat. Just sitting on it constantly is painful, so I'll probably just get a new seat. Thanks for the offer though.

  5. #5
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ

    As you can see, it did come with fenders and the rack. I left the rack on for now. If I feel the bike's too heavy, I'll take it off.
    I think you will need the fenders later due to the location of severe winter weather the midwest has (that is why most of my family lives around here now). I don't think that the rack and the fenders add all that amount of weight to a bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    The seat is horrible. it's one of those that looks like it is anatomically-shaped, but actually isn't. It pries one's butt apart right behind the sack. Just horrible. But at least it is small. It doesn't seem like it would cost much to make a seat like Jur has on his Swift? But apparently it does.
    I was only lucky enough to buy 2 bikes that had the right saddle for me. The Dahon Boardwalk S1 2003 model and my old purchased used Phillips English 3 speed. That is usually an automatic thing I upgrade at purchase for my other 2 folders.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    The lowest gear ratio is higher than I thought it would be. Hill climbing will be a stand-up deal unless it's a shallow hill or you're hardcore. It is useful for mild uphills. Second gear is good for all-around cruising on flat land. Third gear is for going fast(er) downhill or on flat ground with a bit of effort.

    I like the tires, esp. the reflective tape embedded in them.
    The gear ratio can easially be changed with a different rear larger cog and if that does not do the trick, a smaller chainring. In my own experience, internal hub geared bikes generally come in the right size for most-but not all-people.
    Dahon usually comes up with really good tires for their bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    The turning radius is pretty mind-bending. In first gear, I can ride around in about a 6' circle, leaned back in the seat, with one hand on the handlebar until I get too dizzy to go on. Not that this is the most useful thing, but at times, it is nice to be able to swerve super-quickly.
    That is a secret these little wonders have due to their "sportscar" feel. The quick acceleration and handling serves me well in the fast everchanging unpredicable roads and traffic we have here in Southern California.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ
    My neighbor got home, called me PeeWee Herman. I said: "Let's go for a ride." So we went, and I raced him down a mild grade, and won. (only just) He's got a Trek 900 MTB from 8 years ago or so. He couldn't keep up with me, but admittedly, my legs are about 10% stronger than his, and he doesn't quite embrace the idea of frequent shifting. So I asked him how it felt to get smoked by PeeWee.

    The intructions are good. More later.
    That is one sore spot I have with even well meaning people making fun of people who choose bikes that don't fit the "normal" bike image. If one could move beyond that, these bikes are for almost anyone. And I find that the instructions are good too-except that the manuals need more information on use in various situations would be very welcome, besides how to fold and unfold the bike.

    I look foward to reading how you and your wife are experiencing your new Curve over the new months. I think both of you will like it-more than your other bikes!
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 07-12-07 at 06:37 PM.

  6. #6
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    Did you give your dog a go ? !

  7. #7
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffaloboro
    Did you give your dog a go ? !
    Believe it or not, Floyd goes with me from time to time. Last time, it was in the basket of my 125cc scooter. One time, he rode on the footboard, and since he was a puppy, he's ridden in my jacket on motorcycles rides. He pops his head out from time to time, and when he figures out there's nothing for him to do, he allows the rocking to put him to sleep in there. (and I get free heat!)

    he doesn't like being a passenger on a bicycle quite as much.

    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    I look foward to reading how you and your wife are experiencing your new Curve over the new months. I think both of you will like it-more than your other bikes!
    Sadly, she is having second thoughts. I was disappointed by the fact that either the front wheel isn't straight or whatever is causing the brake to be grabby at one point on the wheel. If she doesn't feel like it will be worth it to invest $360, I'm still going to get her a folder. She was thinking of that 2007 Downtube with full suspension and 9 speeds. I may just surprise her. What fun is it to go somewhere with only ONE folder between the two of us?

  8. #8
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    I finally had the chance to view your photos of your new bike on a faster proper Broadband connection. I think that the problem here lies that you bought your bike "fresh out of the box" without the seller checking it out and doing the intial tune-up before they shipped to you. That is a simple matter of either 1. you doing the tune-up or 2. taking it to a good bike shop and having them look it over (usually costs extra). I always do the latter-even if it means extra cost. I find that it is too much of a critical step to skip or ignore.

    I like the little dog. He reminds me of my Zero. He is located on the Internet at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265102684/in/set-72157594325178229/

  9. #9
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Second Impressions

    Now that the brake pads have taken the edge off of the rim, the braking is slowly getting better.

    I went for a ride on a bike trail with a couple of friends. One is a hardcore mountain biker. He has a nice Gary Fisher MTB with full suspension and disc brakes. His wife, on the other hand, is not hardcore, and I was pretty sure she'd slow us down. So I thought that'd be the perfect time to get the D3 out for a trail ride.

    The three gears on this bike are just perfect for casual biking. Top gear and a decent pedaling rate is about as fast as you'd want to go on 16" wheels. Bottom gear is a good hill-climbing gear. It's low, but not ultra-low.

    One thing to watch out for on this bike is that fine pea gravel in the deep spots, where it's kind of like sand. Boy, I almost went for an unplanned flight when the front hit one patch of that on about a 20 mph downhill section. I had to turn a bit, as the path was turning. These tires have street tread, and wanted to wash out quite easily.

    All of a sudden, I didn't have first gear any more. It turns out the factory did not tighten the lock nuts on the hub adjustment. So I had to do the whole rest of the ride in 2nd and 3rd gear. It wasn't bad, I just had to stand up and pump.

    When I got home, I couldn't get the handlebar telescoped in. I remembered reading something in the manual about lubing that with some anti-seize. So I got some copper grease, and that did the trick. Just a smidge. Since the wheels have broken in a bit, I could tighten up the brakes, and that made it even better.

    Then, I got home and put a new inner tube in my wife's front wheel, as she punctured it on a wood-chip trail. I installed the Bell "granny seat" from Wal*Mart, which I'm sure will please her. Went to the LBS and bought her a cage and a nice Nalgene water bottle, and a horn. She's going to be beside herself. I got myself a water bottle and a horn too for my hybrid bike. Now, I'm all sweaty & nasty, and have to pick her up from the train station in a bit, so time to shower up.

    I like this little D3 more each time I ride it.

    Oh, one other thing. I ordered a Speed P7 for my wife. I figure the fact that the P7 is faster than the D3, and will have less rolling resistance due to the larger wheels, she'll be able to keep up no problem. We're going to really have some good adventures!

  10. #10
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    I like the little dog. He reminds me of my Zero.
    Floyd is 1/2 Chihuahua and 1/2 Miniature Pinscher. Your Zero is also 1/2 Chihuahua. I can see it in the apple-head and sheepish eyes.

    It looks like he peed a little, in order to protect the Brompton. Nice! That is more likely to deter thieves anyway than a tiny dog yapping away, hehehe.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic
    The gear ratio can easially be changed with a different rear larger cog and if that does not do the trick, a smaller chainring. In my own experience, internal hub geared bikes generally come in the right size for [B
    most[/B]-but not all-people.
    I would leave the gearing as is because it's low enough. If I'm not correct, his bike has a 48T ring and a 13T cog which gives you the following.

    66' -- High gear
    49' -- Direct Drive
    37.3 -- Low gear

    That low direct drive is perfect. I can ride in that gear for hours on my Piccolo/Presto with no problem. Unfortunately, the low gear is not really low enough but that's something you'll have to live with. You should not lower direct drive any further than 49' inches or you'll spin too much making it very inefficient and slow. In addition, it really won't lower the low gear that much.

  12. #12
    Cries on hills supton's Avatar
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    I looked at Dahon's site, which should list at least new D3's, and while it doesn't list the rear gear, it does list the crank as being 46T. And the gear ratios as being 42/56/77 gear-inches. I've been reading up on it, as the local hill on my way home has been too much for me after an hour of riding--and I wind up using 36 gear-inches on my 25lb 20yr old bike. 42 sounds too high to me, although it may be just right for legs in better shape than mine, or for shorter rides, or for more rolling terrain. [I don't know the steepness of the hill, but I think it peaks at 5 or 6%. Best I can tell, the hard part is 120' up in 0.3 miles--yep, need to get into shape.]
    '07 Trek Pilot 1.2
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by supton
    I looked at Dahon's site, which should list at least new D3's, and while it doesn't list the rear gear, it does list the crank as being 46T. And the gear ratios as being 42/56/77 gear-inches. I've been reading up on it, as the local hill on my way home has been too much for me after an hour of riding--and I wind up using 36 gear-inches on my 25lb 20yr old bike. 42 sounds too high to me, although it may be just right for legs in better shape than mine, or for shorter rides, or for more rolling terrain. [I don't know the steepness of the hill, but I think it peaks at 5 or 6%. Best I can tell, the hard part is 120' up in 0.3 miles--yep, need to get into shape.]
    Interesting.

    Dahon went to a smaller 11T cog and smaller 46T chainring. I think this is a mistake because my Vitesse 5 speed had a 56' direct drive and that was too high. I lowered it to 49' and now use more of my gears.

    The OP could still go for the 13T cog and get real low gears again.(64/48/36). This is not bad at all and it's almost what I have today. I would not get a higher rear cog or that will drop direct drive too low and he'll be inefficient.

    I agree that 42' inch low gear is too high.

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