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  1. #1
    Lyen lyen's Avatar
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    Fastest Folding Bike On Earth? Dahon Matrix or Speed Pro?

    I am in the progress of buying a folding bike to go to work. I need something fast in terms of speed & MPH. I'm 170lbs & 37 years old. My current candidate would be either the Dahon Matrix or the Dahon Speed Pro & possibly the Speed Pro TT. Which one do you think is faster? Or are there any faster folding bikes? Any suggestions if money is no object?

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Well.... The performance differences between any high-end folding bike will be minimal / negligible.

    Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro with drop bars will probably be the "fastest" of the bunch -- but not by much. Xootr Swift with the handlebar set low and high pressure tires will be about the same speed, and only $700.

    Speed Pro TT will be close, but it is a very weirdly designed bike. You can't lower the handlebars very much, and since they're bullhorns this will severely limit your ability to get into a more aero position. It's also got suspension and an internal hub (the DualDrive), which will have a minor affect on performance. I do think it will have the best fold of the high-end lot.

    My first choice would be a Swift, second a Bike Friday (but only if you know what to look for in a bike), 3rd might be Speed Pro or a Birdy.

    I'd also make sure the folded sizes will work for you. If space is a premium, you might want to go straight for a Birdy or Brompton.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    I am in the progress of buying a folding bike to go to work. I need something fast in terms of speed & MPH. I'm 170lbs & 37 years old. My current candidate would be either the Dahon Matrix or the Dahon Speed Pro & possibly the Speed Pro TT. Which one do you think is faster? Or are there any faster folding bikes? Any suggestions if money is no object?
    what's the difference between speed & MPH ?

  4. #4
    Lyen lyen's Avatar
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    I'm sorry Diode100. I meant speed in MPH. KPH also works for me if you are in Europe or Asia. I can simple go figure the conversion from KPH to MPH by myself. As for the suggestion from Bacciagalupe, I think the gear ratio for the recommended Xootr Swift is slower according to their website. Its gear inches is 36-92" at 27 mph (45 kph), where as for the Dahon Speed Pro TT. The gear inches is 26-125". Both of the bikes are 20" in wheel size. I have also noticed the Dahon Matrix gear inches is 23-113" but the wheel size is 26". Therefore, would the Dahon Matrix be the fastest when you combine both the wheel size & gear inches?

  5. #5
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    I recommend you choose your bike based on considerations other than speed. Gearing is one of the simplest things to modify, while fit can be one of the hardest.
    I came to say I must be folding . . .
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  6. #6
    Radfahrer Rincewind8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    I am in the progress of buying a folding bike to go to work. I need something fast in terms of speed & MPH. I'm 170lbs & 37 years old. My current candidate would be either the Dahon Matrix or the Dahon Speed Pro & possibly the Speed Pro TT. Which one do you think is faster? Or are there any faster folding bikes? Any suggestions if money is no object?
    Fastest folder on earth if money is no object?! Most likely none of the above. I'd envision an extremely light custom carbon TT bike with some folding/take-apart ability. Just don't hit a pothole...
    Then again, most bikes are just as fast as the rider can pedal hard.
    TH 1.81 (133kg*62)

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainSpalding View Post
    I recommend you choose your bike based on considerations other than speed. Gearing is one of the simplest things to modify, while fit can be one of the hardest.
    +1

    Find the bike that fits. Changing a chainring is easy.

    EDIT: If money is no object, then you can get a custom Bike Friday, Airnimal, or Moulton. Have fun choosing.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    Therefore, would the Dahon Matrix be the fastest when you combine both the wheel size & gear inches?[/COLOR]
    Wheel size is already factored into the gear inches calculation.

    What is the gearing like on your current bike?

    Speedo

    P.S. +1 for moving gearing down the list of requirements.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    You said that you are shopping for a folding bike to go to work.

    What in your commute makes you want a folder? Are you doing multi-modal? (i.e. riding a bus or train for part of the way) Or is it that you just want to be able to bring it inside with you? If so, a small fold will matter more than all-out speed. If you just want to be able to bring it inside, comfort combined with speed should be the priority.

    The Swift seems like the choice for the guys who want a good bike at a fair price that is fast. The fold doesn't look all that compact, but it has the same geometry as a full size bike. People who know (i.e. not me) seem to just eat them up.

    Maybe I'm just being closed-minded, but to me, the price of the high-end Dahons will buy a nice semi-custom folder, like a Bike Friday or Swift.

  10. #10
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    I am in the progress of buying a folding bike to go to work. I need something fast in terms of speed & MPH. I'm 170lbs & 37 years old. My current candidate would be either the Dahon Matrix or the Dahon Speed Pro & possibly the Speed Pro TT. Which one do you think is faster? Or are there any faster folding bikes? Any suggestions if money is no object?
    If you have some skills, then you could build up your own Swift like I did. A lot of fun, you get to select exactly what you want, it's cheaper than buying an equivalently-spec'ed bike outright, plus this Swift is fun to ride and fast.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    +1

    Find the bike that fits. Changing a chainring is easy.

    EDIT: If money is no object, then you can get a custom Bike Friday, Airnimal, or Moulton. Have fun choosing.
    Maybe that's your answer then Iven, the moulton holds the bicycle speed record as I recall, and the current models split the frame in the middle. mind you for what you would pay for a new single or double pylon model I'm sure you build up a complete previously owned set of all the bikes that have been mentioned so far, and probably have some change left over.

  12. #12
    To fold or not to fold?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diode100 View Post
    Maybe that's your answer then Iven, the moulton holds the bicycle speed record as I recall, and the current models split the frame in the middle. mind you for what you would pay for a new single or double pylon model I'm sure you build up a complete previously owned set of all the bikes that have been mentioned so far, and probably have some change left over.
    Iven - I think this thread is in danger of losing focus. How much do you mean when you say money no object? How much do you want to spend? £500? £1000? £1500? £2000? £5000? There are good options you'd be completely happy with at each of those price points. Indeed, given a bit of a steer, we could probably recommend them to you...

  13. #13
    Lyen lyen's Avatar
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    Jur, I am sold as soon as I look the your Swift website. The bike is very customizable and that is what I want. My budget is about $3000 USD although I said money is no object earlier. Gasoline prices in San Francisco is very high. It's about $3.70 USD average in the Bay Area per gallon. The another think I need to know is how fast can you ride the bike without feeling scary. This is another critical question I have forgotten to ask because I will be adding an electric motor to it. JeremyZ asked why I want a folder is because I need to take it inside my house over the stairs. So the questions now are:
    1. Is the Dahon Matrix, Dahon Speed Pro TT, or the Xootr Swift the least scary to drive at about 45MPH or 72KPH?
    2. Which bike is the most customizable in terms of changing gear ratios to match with a fast electric motor such as the Crystalyte 5303 brushless motor with 72V 40A controller?
    I apologize if I am asking too much!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    Jur, I am sold as soon as I look the your Swift website. The bike is very customizable and that is what I want. My budget is about $3000 USD although I said money is no object earlier. Gasoline prices in San Francisco is very high. It's about $3.70 USD average in the Bay Area per gallon. The another think I need to know is how fast can you ride the bike without feeling scary. This is another critical question I have forgotten to ask because I will be adding an electric motor to it. JeremyZ asked why I want a folder is because I need to take it inside my house over the stairs. So the questions now are:
    1. Is the Dahon Matrix, Dahon Speed Pro TT, or the Xootr Swift the least scary to drive at about 45MPH or 72KPH?
    2. Which bike is the most customizable in terms of changing gear ratios to match with a fast electric motor such as the Crystalyte 5303 brushless motor with 72V 40A controller?
    I apologize if I am asking too much!
    Now that you want electric assisit and to go 45mph in SF, of the choices you've given, the Dahon Matrix with a good front suspension fork, more robust frame, disc brakes and 26" wheels, will handle the speed and terrain with more confidence... there are also Folding scooters around, including new DiBlasi's
    Last edited by BruceMetras; 07-26-07 at 09:34 AM.

  15. #15
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyen View Post
    Jur, I am sold as soon as I look the your Swift website. The bike is very customizable and that is what I want. My budget is about $3000 USD although I said money is no object earlier. Gasoline prices in San Francisco is very high. It's about $3.70 USD average in the Bay Area per gallon. The another think I need to know is how fast can you ride the bike without feeling scary. This is another critical question I have forgotten to ask because I will be adding an electric motor to it. JeremyZ asked why I want a folder is because I need to take it inside my house over the stairs. So the questions now are:
    1. Is the Dahon Matrix, Dahon Speed Pro TT, or the Xootr Swift the least scary to drive at about 45MPH or 72KPH?
    2. Which bike is the most customizable in terms of changing gear ratios to match with a fast electric motor such as the Crystalyte 5303 brushless motor with 72V 40A controller?
    I apologize if I am asking too much!
    Hmmmm, I really don't know.

    But here is an example of a Xootr Swift folder with an electric motor.

    http://nycewheels.com/xootr-swift-el...ding-bike.html

  16. #16
    Señor Mambo
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    45mph on a folding bike? Aside from being illegal in bike lanes (I know - who's gonna catch you, right?), I would not put such a strong motor in anything but a steel frame. Though I know you won't be going that fast all the time, I'd hate to see what your battery pack is going to look like and weigh.

    As for carrying it inside your house and over stairs, I don't see why a non-folding bike is more cumbersome: you can prop the toptube on your shoulder to balance weight. You might have to make a second trip anyway just to retrieve the battery pack alone.
    Last edited by spambait11; 07-26-07 at 05:16 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
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    Well, seeing where this is going, I think a folding bike isn't the answer. (unless you just like tinkering and need to get your fix!)

    Your answer should be to look at 50-150cc scooters. There are some 50cc scooters which will go 45 mph no problem. (two-strokes) They'll get around 100 mpg, so you'll still be buying gas, but precious little.

    I think in CA, they don't have a license exception for 50cc scooters, so you may as well just get a 125 or 150. Those will come in right around $3k, and will be much safer at 45 mph. (and 55 mph too) It would have better brakes, better wind protection, and just be a bit safer all around.

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