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Old 08-23-07, 01:40 PM   #1
EffDat
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Dahon 1 Speed

Hi,

I just bought a Dahon 1 Speed folding bike off Amazon for 211 dollars. I expected it to be way smaller than it is. It seems less convenient folded up than it does open. I wanted something I could fold up and carry but its pretty big and awkward to carry.

Aside from that Im not sure if the ride because I havent ridden on it yet. Im so disappointed in the size, im tempted to send it back or sell it on craigs list.

Does anyone have any comment on this bike?Did I make a big mistake in purchasing it?
Also, do you recommend a bike thats more compact, easier to carry that costs 300 dollars or less?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much
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Old 08-23-07, 02:10 PM   #2
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I have one of these. It needed a tuneup right away, but it's actually a pretty decent ride, considering all of its cheapo components. I am torn as to whether to keep it as a beater or not... But I have a Brompton, too, which I often ride even when I don't need to fold it up.
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Old 08-23-07, 02:21 PM   #3
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whats a beater?
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Old 08-23-07, 02:22 PM   #4
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is the brompton easy to carry around and fit into a bag? I know my dahon 1 speed isnt going to fit in a bag! its so big! :-(
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Old 08-23-07, 04:04 PM   #5
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There is a Dahon singlespeed on Ebay with cool components.
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Old 08-23-07, 04:05 PM   #6
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whats a beater?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=beater

Just replace "car" with "bike" and you get the idea!
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Old 08-23-07, 04:11 PM   #7
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How come you use the Brompton when you dont need to fold it? Isnt the Brompton known for being a great folding bike because its so compact?

Would you recommend me getting a Brompton? I like how small they fold. They have them here in NY starting at 800 dollars. thats pretty steep but I want something that folds small. The dahon doesnt fold that small. You said the Dahon has "cheapo" components. Do you think Im going to have a lot of trouble with it? How long do you think it will last before I have to replace something on it? What do you think will break first?
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Old 08-23-07, 05:19 PM   #8
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Did you expect to fold it up and put it in your pocket or something?
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Old 08-23-07, 05:19 PM   #9
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My my, so many questions....

Obviously there's a limit to what you should expect from a $200 bike. However it's also a very simple bike, so there is less stuff to break.

Bromptons do fold smaller, but they are also kind of heavy -- around 28 lbs iirc. They are easier to store but not that much easier to carry.

I'd say if you are looking for something ultra-ultra-foldable, you should consider a scooter.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:57 PM   #10
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lol no, but i at least expected it to fit in some kind of a bag.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:59 PM   #11
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the Brompton looks a little easer to carry truthfully. It doesnt seem as bulky. But I cant afford that. I think the best I can do is 400 dollars. Im going to look into what I can find for that. And get something with more than one speed.

thanks for your help everyone. Still lol@put it in my pocket. that would be GREAT!
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Old 08-25-07, 12:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EffDat View Post
Hi,

I just bought a Dahon 1 Speed folding bike off Amazon for 211 dollars. I expected it to be way smaller than it is. It seems less convenient folded up than it does open. I wanted something I could fold up and carry but its pretty big and awkward to carry.

Aside from that Im not sure if the ride because I havent ridden on it yet. Im so disappointed in the size, im tempted to send it back or sell it on craigs list.

Does anyone have any comment on this bike?Did I make a big mistake in purchasing it?
Also, do you recommend a bike thats more compact, easier to carry that costs 300 dollars or less?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much
I cannot say for sure in your case, but I think it takes time to adjust to the smaller wheeled folders. Actually they are rather on the heavy side (I should know, I own 3 now), but the portablility factor lies more in it's ablility to fold or collapse down to a much smaller package than lightness (even for the so-called light models). My first folder is/was a Boardwalk S1 too. I still have it, ride it the most, take it everywhere with me (even on crowded buses), and have extensively modified to suit my own whims. For more information on thinking along this line, see below (especially the Flickr photos):
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Old 08-27-07, 06:31 AM   #13
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My brompton is 7lbs lighter than my Boardwalk... That thing is a tank. It also folds up smaller, fits in a bag nicely, is a more comfortable ride, etc. The Boardwalk does feel a bit more stable at first due to the larger wheels, but you get over that quickly. I often use the Brompton even when I don't need to fold it because it's fun to ride and the block-mounted luggage system is super-convenient. I got the touring pannier (because I intend to tour with it) and I brought a week's worth of clothing to work in it and it didn't affect the handling of the bike at all, although it did cut down my speed a lot.

The boardwalk's not a bad bike, but it is a cheap bike, so if you buy it, get it tuned up ASAP and don't expect it to last forever. And I don't think Dahons are generally bad products... I have spent a lot of time drooling over their catalog, my wife's Speed P8 is great, and I briefly wished that I'd bought their Curve SL instead of the Brompton. If you want specific details, my Boardwalk's front wheel's hub came loose in the first 10 miles of riding and I had to get it tightened up. It turned out the rear wheel was also installed crooked. When it first arrived, I had to bend the fenders so they wouldn't rub on the wheels.
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Old 08-27-07, 06:38 AM   #14
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For the $400ish budget, you might consider the Dahon Vitesse. it is still their "deluxe" component set (which means cheap) but it is aluminum and should be much lighter than the boardwalk, which is a plus for a folder. They claim 21lbs, which probably means 25 or so. My boardwalk is supposedly 25 but if you actually weigh it, it's 32.

I can't wholeheartedly endorse Dahon, either. My boardwalk needed work right away. My wife's bike needed a second tuneup after 2 hours of light riding, and they couldn't sell it to her right away because the handlepost needed to be replaced due to faulty welding. A friend bought a Curve SL and the hub gears were bad. I only have 1st/2nd hand experience with three of their bikes and they all had some issues right out of the box... But I think that the products are pretty cool, as long as they are roadworthy.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:10 AM   #15
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For the $400ish budget, you might consider the Dahon Vitesse. it is still their "deluxe" component set (which means cheap) but it is aluminum and should be much lighter than the boardwalk, which is a plus for a folder. They claim 21lbs, which probably means 25 or so. My boardwalk is supposedly 25 but if you actually weigh it, it's 32.

I can't wholeheartedly endorse Dahon, either. My boardwalk needed work right away. My wife's bike needed a second tuneup after 2 hours of light riding, and they couldn't sell it to her right away because the handlepost needed to be replaced due to faulty welding. A friend bought a Curve SL and the hub gears were bad. I only have 1st/2nd hand experience with three of their bikes and they all had some issues right out of the box... But I think that the products are pretty cool, as long as they are roadworthy.

I know you all consider anything under $400 to be cheap, but I think if someone is spending $200+ on a bike that only has one speed, it should at least work correctly after the initial tuneup. Any bike you buy that needs to be shipped should be tuned up when you receive it since it can get banged around during shipping, but if it needs more tuneups soon after that, wouldn't that mean it is just poorly made and Dahon shouldn't be selling it for $200, or even $100? I just bought a cheapo folder on eBay that is now being tuned-up (first tuneup), but I have low expectations since I didn't pay much. This discussion makes me wary about buying a more expensive folder in the future from the major manufacturers.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:30 AM   #16
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Thank you so much NJ folder for that comment. I was thinking the same thing. I mean, I know 200 dollars is cheap for a folder..but 200 dollars is not cheap for a bike..for 200 dollars it should at least work right.

I have to admit, I rode the bike a lot over the weekend and I like it. Its not too shabby. Ive decided I will keep it and ride it until Ive saved up enough for a better model. I think Im going to get a Brompton because I hear a lot of good things about it. Im not going to spend 400 dollars on a Dahon bike if its still going to be made with "cheapo" parts. That wouldnt be smart to me.

Thank you WTB and Folder Fanatic for all of your suggestions. I am definitely going to take a look at the bikes you suggested. I wont rule them out completely without at least looking into them. Also thank you for describing the details of your issues with your Dahon Boardwalks. I knew that i should get a tune up from reading this site..its possible you saved my life. I went to the bike store and got everything straightened out before I ride it and it rides well.

You guys are great. )

The only problem I have with it so far is the seat. I put it a certain height and after I ride it a few blocks I notice that its lower. It slides down by itself. I tightened the latch that holds it in and that helps, but I still notice it slides down after riding it for a while. not as much but it does. And I cant tighten it any more because then I wont be strong enough to close it. I have a hard enough time squeezing it closed where it is now.

Thats my only issue. It gets pretty annoying because I have to keep stopping to lift the seat.
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Old 08-27-07, 07:48 AM   #17
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My seat sinks down, too, and on my brompton as well. FWIW I am about 210lbs right now, which should be in the realm of reason for the Brompton but is more than ideal. Their advice from the Brompton FAQ that may also apply to the Boardwalk is *not* to tighten the seat clamp, but to try degreasing the post and the ... socket? first to prevent slipping. I tried this on my Brompton on Saturday but haven't really ridden it since, because I am recovering from wisdom tooth surgery and biking on vicodin doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I just felt like tinkering.

I think all folding bikes are some sort of compromise, but FWIW, I am really fond of my Brompton and I'm confident that I will be riding it for a long time. I plan to take it on some easy weekend credit card tours with my wife, because of the luggage system, the gears (my other bike is a fixie/ss), and the fact that I can fold it up and bring it into the hotel room conveniently.
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Old 08-27-07, 08:48 AM   #18
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Dahon's customer service leaves a lot to be desired.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:01 AM   #19
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The only problem I have with it so far is the seat. I put it a certain height and after I ride it a few blocks I notice that its lower. It slides down by itself. I tightened the latch that holds it in and that helps, but I still notice it slides down after riding it for a while. not as much but it does. And I cant tighten it any more because then I wont be strong enough to close it. I have a hard enough time squeezing it closed where it is now.

Thats my only issue. It gets pretty annoying because I have to keep stopping to lift the seat.
I haven't noticed this problem on my folder, but that sounds potentially dangerous. Maybe take it to a bike shop and see what they recommend?

I've been looking into buying a Downtube when I'm ready for a better folder. I don't live too far from their main office so it might be a fun day trip.
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Old 08-27-07, 09:03 AM   #20
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For Dahon seatpost slipping, you can get an alloy seatpost shim which works wonders.

For Brompton seatpost slipping, I initially used one layer of packing tape around the seatpost. It can get messy because it gets worn sliding up and down the tube, but eventually the seatpost conformed to my preferred height after constant riding (albeit it took about a year) such that I have had no more slipping problems and was able to clean off the tape residue.
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Old 08-27-07, 12:54 PM   #21
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I notice on the link that SpamBait posted that there is a page where you can upgrade your bike. What if i wanted to add 3 gears to my 1 speed. Would that be possible? Do I have to use Dahon parts, or can I just take the bike to a bike shop and have them do this for me?
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Old 08-27-07, 02:36 PM   #22
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I notice on the link that SpamBait posted that there is a page where you can upgrade your bike. What if i wanted to add 3 gears to my 1 speed. Would that be possible? Do I have to use Dahon parts, or can I just take the bike to a bike shop and have them do this for me?
You'll have to get a new hub or hub gear. Folder Fanatic got a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub put into her S1. They'll have to widen your rear triangle slightly to put the hub gear in. You might want to ask Folder Fanatic about the overall procedure.
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Old 08-27-07, 03:19 PM   #23
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You'll have to get a new hub or hub gear. Folder Fanatic got a Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub put into her S1. They'll have to widen your rear triangle slightly to put the hub gear in. You might want to ask Folder Fanatic about the overall procedure.

Hey Folder Fanatic,

What would be the cost and procedure of getting this done to my bike? Would it be more cost efficient to just get another bike? I was gonna send my 1 speed back and exchange it for a 3 speed or 7speed, but the only 3 speeds they have are in other colors, and I like the black that I have and I like the overall style of my bike better than the one they offered in exchange.

How much do you think it would set me back to upgrade my boardwalk 1 speed to a 3 speed?
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Old 08-29-07, 05:26 PM   #24
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Hey Folder Fanatic,

What would be the cost and procedure of getting this done to my bike? Would it be more cost efficient to just get another bike? I was gonna send my 1 speed back and exchange it for a 3 speed or 7speed, but the only 3 speeds they have are in other colors, and I like the black that I have and I like the overall style of my bike better than the one they offered in exchange.

How much do you think it would set me back to upgrade my boardwalk 1 speed to a 3 speed?
Since you already have the bike, like most of the things already on it like the color, I would recommend for you to consider seriously the conversion. Make sure to get a really knowledgeable bike shop that is comfortable with internal hub gears and do expect to pay much money for the labor involved. This includes rebuilding the rear wheel to place the new 3 speed hub in, adding a shifter of your choice and perhaps a new rear hand brake if your new hub does not have the ability to brake, and maybe a new saddle (I find that this the the most popular item replaced on any given bike-like shoes everyone has a different opinion and sense of what works best for them. But if you are planning to keep the bike for at least a few years like I did (and still have that bike), I think that the conversion is a good thing to do.

Let me know if you actually went through the conversion and how you like it or not.
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Old 09-03-07, 12:20 AM   #25
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thanks folderfanatic,

i will let u know. at this point im not sure i need it. ive been riding my bike for the past week and i like it. i admit that certain areas would be easier to pedal thru if i had more gears, but considering the amount of weight ive been gaining, the harder pedalling is probably doing my fat arse some good ha ha..also, i dont think i need it to go much faster than it already does because id probably be scared to go too fast. i find myself hitting the breaks when going down hills too fast, and other people zoom by me. im not comfortable enough to go very fast.

its actually not as hard to ride as i thought it would be. i even rode across the bridge which gave me quite the work out but i was able to do it and it wasnt too bad. i figure putting that much money into a bike that many bike experts consider a "beater bike" might be a waste of money. so instead ive decided to just ride this bike til it falls apart and save up money for a better model in the process.
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