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  1. #1
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    Should I get rid of my Dahon???

    Hi guys,

    About 3 months ago I bought a Dahon Speed D7. I've been really happy with it. I basically ride it for pleasure on paved roads. I have absolutely no complaints with it.

    Now I have a problem. I'm moving to Switzerland in October and the region where I will be living and working is quite hilly. Yeah I know most of guys can ride folders as if they were mountain bikes but I can't so I have a dillema. I can't/don't really want to have 2 bikes (lack of space, money, etc.)

    What should I do? Should I get rid of my Dahon? Its very painfult to think about it, especially since its basically new and has really been fun to ride.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Is the problem that the D7 is a folder or that it doesn't have the gearing for really steep hills?

    For where you are going I would would get rid of both the mountain bike and the Speed 7 and get a folder with a wide gear range. In my case I would want a suitable Birdy but other makes also have models that may suit you.

    I would also compare prices and buy it there if the pricing is better or equal.

    David

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by energyandair View Post
    Is the problem that the D7 is a folder or that it doesn't have the gearing for really steep hills?

    For where you are going I would would get rid of both the mountain bike and the Speed 7 and get a folder with a wide gear range.
    Hi David,

    thanks for you reply. The D7 has 7 gears but the issue is the steep hills and the 20" wheels. It seems I have to pedal twice as much!!! Maybe its just me

    Why would you get rid of the mountain bike? Why do you think its not a good option?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesmail View Post
    The D7 has 7 gears but the issue is the steep hills and the 20" wheels. It seems I have to pedal twice as much!!! Maybe its just me
    Sorry to be impolite, but that's a very puzzling statement. If you have to pedal too much, then the gearing is very low, and it should be easy to get up the hills. Usually, it's when you run out of low gears and you have to pedal hard and slow that makes a bike poorly suited for hills.

    The mfg's spec show a range of 34-92 gear-inches. That's a very respectable range. Of course, you could also do some very easy modifications to lower or raise the gear range.

    Is there another reason why you don't want to keep the bike?

  5. #5
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    One likely idea is to replace the main crank from the stock 53T to a 42T. The site below offer a 42 which I haven't had a chance to do so to make some hill climbing capability on D7.

    http://www.gaerlan.bizland.com/

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Sorry to be impolite, but that's a very puzzling statement. If you have to pedal too much, then the gearing is very low, and it should be easy to get up the hills. Usually, it's when you run out of low gears and you have to pedal hard and slow that makes a bike poorly suited for hills.

    The mfg's spec show a range of 34-92 gear-inches. That's a very respectable range. Of course, you could also do some very easy modifications to lower or raise the gear range.

    Is there another reason why you don't want to keep the bike?
    Not impolite at all - right now I need every possible reason to keep the bike!! My (short) experience has shown me that I have to pedal on flat terrain normally on 3rd or 4th gear or else my legs get shot after 4-5km. I'm not in the greatest of shapes I know but I think its also has to do with my height. I am 1m85 (not sure how much that is in feet). So it got me thinking. If I have to ride for 5-10 km in hills I'm screwed (sorry for the language). That's really the only reason for considereing changing bikes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jnb-rare's Avatar
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    For very hilly country, you may not need much TOP speed anyway, so lowering the gearing by switching to a 42 chainring (as an example) should do the trick. That would give you a low gear of around 26 inches, which is quite similar to many mountain bikes. Pedalling at 60rpm (assuming a lower cadence on a big hill) you'd be doing around 7.5kph/4.7mph. Slower than that, you might as well walk.

    At the high end, you'd be restricted to a gear of about 71 inches with this setup, which still gives you 31kph/19mph at 90rpm. Going downhill you'll just start to coast a bit earlier.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nesmail View Post
    Hi David,

    thanks for you reply. The D7 has 7 gears but the issue is the steep hills and the 20" wheels. It seems I have to pedal twice as much!!! Maybe its just me

    Why would you get rid of the mountain bike? Why do you think its not a good option?

    Thanks
    There is no reason that a suitable folding bike cannot climb steep roads as easily as a mountain bike. Many folding bikes will actually climb more readily than a typical mountain bike due to lighter weight, greater pedaling efficiency and tires that are better suited to road use.

    Mountain bikes generally have very low gears so you can turn the pedals easily when going up very steep hills such as they have in Switzerland. The lowest gear on your D 7 is more like a mid range on a mountain bike. You can lower the overall gearing on your D7 but this lowers the top gears as well as the bottom gears and I know that I would miss the higher gears on flat or moderately downhill terrain.

    I would not take a mountain bike because I believe that storage space is likely to be an issue in Switzerland and I believe that the right folding bike will do everything I would want to do there as well as or better than a mountain bike. Also over there I can imagine often wanting to take a bike on public transport or in the trunk of a small car.

    David

  10. #10
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    How to go up hills easier: improve your spin!

    A better pedal stroke is your key to going up hills faster and easier. Many people resort to a push-push kind of stroke when going up hills, which is very tiring and doesn't work nearly as well. You can tell if you're one of these people with a bad pedal stroke by paying attention to your body as you go up hills. People with bad pedal strokes will notice that their upper body sways when they pedal seated up hills. When they push down with the left foot, their upper body will move to the left to exert more pressure. This will not happen with people with a good spin, because they aren't putting all their effort into pushing, but instead onto making their pedal stroke smooth and even. I guarantee you that if you fix your pedal stroke, you will go up hills easier. It also gives you something to think about as you are climbing, which makes the hills seem to go by quicker: you pay attention to your body, feeling your legs, trying to keep things as smooth as possible. And then when you get to the top, you'll look behind you and see that you've left most of your fellow riders far behind. I'm not kidding. It works that well.
    The best thing I've done for my pedal stroke was a trick taught me by Penn Cycling Team coach Pete Durdaller. Find a flat road with light traffic. In Philly, this is West River Drive on the weekends. Then pedal with only one foot, holding the other one out. This works best with clipless pedals, but if you don't have your straps too loose, it probably could work with toeclips as well. You can't do this for very long because it's very tiring. What I would do is pedal about 15 strokes on each leg, do 3 reps of this, then just pedal regularly for awhile before doing it again. The first time I tried this, my pedaling motion was incredibly jerky. But I stuck with it, and concentrated on it (this is why you need the low traffic), and eventually I got it more or less smooth. This teaches you the feel of smooth pedalling. Once your legs learn what it feels like, you can do it when you're pedaling with both legs.
    Another things that helps is to make sure that you're pulling back at the bottom of you pedal stroke. Think about scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes after a muddy walk. This is more or less what should be happening at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
    Keep it up, and soon you'll find that hills aren't nearly as bad as before.

    http://www.myra-simon.com/bike/pstroke.html

  11. #11
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    WOW! energyandair and yamcha I really appreciate the tips that's great.

    I was a bit dismotivated with the folder in Switzerland but I will definetly give it a try now. I'll try yamcha's tip on pedaling as I do think maybe I don't have a smooth pedal and if that fails maybe change the gears.

    I'll let you guys know how it worked out in a month or so. But believe me these ideas have really pushed me into taking the folder to the Swiss!!!

  12. #12
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    @ Yamcha, excellent post! Great tip! Nice one.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

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