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  1. #1
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    Upgrading Dahon Boardwalk and could use some advice

    I'm planning to upgrade my wife's Boardwalk SS hub to internally geared hub. Which hub do you suggest and how much do you think the bike shop will charge? Originally thinking about a 3-speed hub to keep tings simple but scared that the first gear might not be light enough top get her up hill.

    We are just leisurely riders who go at a fairly moderate pace and converse a lot while riding.

    Also, most the hubs that I have reviewed online come with either coaster brakes or roller brakes. Can someone please explain to me what roller brakes are? Can't seem to find a good definition online. Definetely don't want coaster brakes.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JosephLMonti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    I'm planning to upgrade my wife's Boardwalk SS hub to internally geared hub. Which hub do you suggest and how much do you think the bike shop will charge? Originally thinking about a 3-speed hub to keep tings simple but scared that the first gear might not be light enough top get her up hill.

    We are just leisurely riders who go at a fairly moderate pace and converse a lot while riding.

    Also, most the hubs that I have reviewed online come with either coaster brakes or roller brakes. Can someone please explain to me what roller brakes are? Can't seem to find a good definition online. Definetely don't want coaster brakes.

    Thank you.
    check this out:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_ri-z.html#rollerbrake

  3. #3
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    I'm planning to upgrade my wife's Boardwalk SS hub to internally geared hub. Which hub do you suggest and how much do you think the bike shop will charge? Originally thinking about a 3-speed hub to keep tings simple but scared that the first gear might not be light enough top get her up hill.

    We are just leisurely riders who go at a fairly moderate pace and converse a lot while riding.

    Also, most the hubs that I have reviewed online come with either coaster brakes or roller brakes. Can someone please explain to me what roller brakes are? Can't seem to find a good definition online. Definetely don't want coaster brakes.

    Thank you.
    You can go with the three-speed hub ... just change the chainring and/or rear cog until you get an acceptable gear range.

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    Thanks guys. Does anyone use roller brakes? I've never heard of this kid of brake. Any good?

  5. #5
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    I'm planning to upgrade my wife's Boardwalk SS hub to internally geared hub. Which hub do you suggest and how much do you think the bike shop will charge? Originally thinking about a 3-speed hub to keep tings simple but scared that the first gear might not be light enough top get her up hill.

    We are just leisurely riders who go at a fairly moderate pace and converse a lot while riding.

    Also, most the hubs that I have reviewed online come with either coaster brakes or roller brakes. Can someone please explain to me what roller brakes are? Can't seem to find a good definition online. Definetely don't want coaster brakes.

    Thank you.
    Perhaps I can help. I decided to convert my Dahon Boardwalk S1 into a three speed a while back with sucess. I ride a pace similar to yours so I think you will like the internal hub's features that will match your needs. See my Geocities page devoted to the conversion at:

    http://www.geocities.com/folder_fanatic/Selection3.html

    and photos on Flickr of the finished bike with a Sturmey-Archer three speed hub without a built in brake (I chose to add a hand brake instead) at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/sets/72157594461421431/

    plus other sets have that Boardwalk featured too. Let me know if this is the direction of what you want in your own conversion of your bike (just curious).

  6. #6
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    Yes, this is absolutely the direction I want to go in. Please tell me more about theSturmey-Archer hub How is the first gear going up hill?

    My first bike when I was 8 or 9 was this ugly, old thing my parents picked up at a garage sale. It had a long banana seat, chopper handlebars and a 3-speed rear hub. The bike confused me since I coudn't figure out how it shifted since I saw no cassette or derailuer. I was quite embarrased by the thing and only used the last gear and never sat on the seat! I had it for a few months before my parents finally bought me a yellow (imitation BMX) Huffy from K-Mart.

  7. #7
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    My advice to you would be to get a new Dahon Yeah at Camping World for $150. It is has about 7 gears, but they are not internal.

    I looked into upgrading my boardwalk, but found it too costly. A 3 speed hub was $50-60. The 7 speed hub was $10 more so why not spend a little more, right? I didn't find anybody local to rebuild the wheel. I think AEbike would have done it, but it would have been $120or so with shipping. My LBS would have installed the wheel and the shifter, though, at about $40 for labor. I didn't want to keep the coaster brake so I had to spring for some sidepulls and that would have been about $15 (extra labor for that?)

    I never went through with it

    The Yeah is essentially the same bike with fenders and the included rack. The only potential negative to the yeah is that it is hi ten steel vs. cromoly for the boardwalk. I've had a lot of hi ten bikes and they've never let me down and have taken bumps as well as cromo. Some people just prefer cromo, though.

    Of course, if you're handy and have a true stand and can respoke a wheel, it may work for you. Good luck!

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    Thanks Shiny,

    The yeah bike is actually $200 at camping world. The thing is this, I already own a Citizen bike and have a Vitesse coming on Monday. If I get the Yeah bike then it would mean 2 bikes in the garage that I wont be using at all.

    Waiting to see what FolderFanatic has to say.

  9. #9
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    You're right. They must have just ended the sale. It was $150 a week ago.

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    I very much second the AW Sturmey Archer, in my opinion (i work as a Bike Mechanic) there has never been a more solid or better made hub! I am lucky to be in the Netherlands so i can actually find these hubs often on the streets. They are so bomb proof that 9 out of 10 times they still work perfect. There have been a slew, many millions actually of bikes produced with these hubs over the last 50 or so years, if you are lucky you can probably pick up a bike featuring this hub at a yard sale for very little and then have it build in your rim with some quality spokes. E-bay or so could be another good source for Old yet unused hubs. Quite some people think the older versions are actually a tad better made.

    The way i see it the AW is better than all other 3 speeds, more durable, easier to service with components that are easier to source and with a way better track record, plus it does not feature a click box which is rather inadvisable on a folder.

    I would advise against dérailleurs gears, sound like you don't need them and they are more fragile and definitely more expensive in the long run.

    As for rollerbrakes, i also encounter these daily at my job, they are not bad at all, quite good actually but they AW never features them and i am not sure if i would recommend them on a folder, i think not actually!
    Last edited by v1nce; 09-09-07 at 04:20 AM.
    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.

  11. #11
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    What's wrong with roller brakes on a folder? I was actually looking more at the Shimano 3-speed hub. Japanese products are usually better made than western products. Just look at the cars.

  12. #12
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    FolderFanatic, are you on vacation? I am eagerly waiting on your reply.

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Yes, this is absolutely the direction I want to go in. Please tell me more about theSturmey-Archer hub How is the first gear going up hill?

    My first bike when I was 8 or 9 was this ugly, old thing my parents picked up at a garage sale. It had a long banana seat, chopper handlebars and a 3-speed rear hub. The bike confused me since I coudn't figure out how it shifted since I saw no cassette or derailuer. I was quite embarrased by the thing and only used the last gear and never sat on the seat! I had it for a few months before my parents finally bought me a yellow (imitation BMX) Huffy from K-Mart.
    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Waiting to see what FolderFanatic has to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    FolderFanatic, are you on vacation? I am eagerly waiting on your reply.
    Sorry about the lack of response. I am busy right now overseeing extensive repairs and remodeling my house up to California State code and have not been visiting the internet much recently.

    As for my Boardwalk bike, I made sure that the chainring/rear cog ratio is balanced for my own physique and hilly demands that I face each time I take the Boardwalk and the other folders out for a ride. I live in a rather varied terrain where the road is quite flat for several blocks then pops up into a short steep hill.
    So all of my bikes reflect this by having a 44 or 46t chainring and a 13 or 14t rear cog on each bike. The Boardwalk has a 44t chainring and a 14t rear cog that came stock with the bike. I have no trouble with 99% of the hills surrounding my house (and I do not pedal standing up the hill either). Your experience with your first internal hub gear was rather unfortunate, but seems to illustrate that even these bomb-proof bikes need a good check-up by a bike mechanic who is comfortable and familiar with these hubs.

    I will make it a special point to visit this thread more often to see if I am needed.

  14. #14
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    So how much did it cost you?

  15. #15
    rhm
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    Quote Originally Posted by v1nce View Post
    I very much second the AW Sturmey Archer, in my opinion (i work as a Bike Mechanic) there has never been a more solid or better made hub! I am lucky to be in the Netherlands so i can actually find these hubs often on the streets. [snip]
    I would advise against dérailleurs gears, sound like you don't need them and they are more fragile and definitely more expensive in the long run.
    I too have found at least three SA AW hubs in the trash. In fact, if you want an old one (28 hole) I have one I'll be happy to part with. I would try to find a hub with the same number of spoke holes as the existing rim, and perhaps even make do with the existing spokes (though they will probably be too long).
    As for the gearing, I strongly recommend using Sheldon Brown's gear calculator:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/gears/ to figure out what you've got, what you like, and what you want. Figure out what gears you use most on the bike you ride most, figure out what gear ratios they represent, and try to match those. Remember that different hub models have different gear ratios.

    If you can't find someone to build the wheel for you, do it yourself. It's not rocket science. In fact it's a lot of fun.

    I used to use a Shimano Nexus-4 hub which had a slightly wider range than the SA AW. I never had any problems with it, but I didn't like it much, mostly because I had it geared too high (my fault entirely). It had a roller brake, which I found to be reliable. The roller brake is a separate unit that attaches to the left side of the hub. Like a coaster brake it has an arm that attaches to the bike frame with a bent steel strap; but unlike a coaster brake you activate it with a conventional handlebar lever rather than pedalling backwards. If you buy a roller-brake hub, you may have to buy the roller brake unit separately, along with a brake lever, cable, etc. If you're upgrading a bike that has either a coaster brake or an ineffective rim brake, the roller brake is a pretty good option.

  16. #16
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    Thanks rhm. How do you compare the SA with the Shimano. I have alsway been under the impression that Japanese products are better made than European. And I am also thinking of paying a bit more for a 5-speed Shimano or SRAM. Any opinion?

  17. #17
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    So how much did it cost you?
    $350.00 for the the actual rear hub special ordered from a warehouse in Ohio, installation of the SA rear hub into the rear wheel, the shifter (later changed to a better more suited one a few years later), and an additional cost at the first tune-up one month after purchase of adding a Teckro hand brake to the rear wheel bring up the total cost of $400.00 equivilent to the Vitesse at that time.

    Since then, I tend to prefer to buy models with all the major components like the internal hub already in place. Coming from experience with these matters, based on how hard it is to find the right shop or the right people to do custom or even plain work to a proposed remodeling project, whether it be a bike or a whole house, I would rather have it come already assembled.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    $350.00 for the the actual rear hub special ordered from a warehouse in Ohio, installation of the SA rear hub into the rear wheel...

    $350! That's too much! Every LBS I have takled to said that they can do it for $175- $286 (SRAM 3-spd!) max.

    This is what the most expensive place quoted me:

    Build Labor: $45
    Shift Installation: $15
    Spokes: $36
    Rim: $40
    Total: $136
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Shimano 3 spd unit w/ shifter and coaster: $80
    -------------------------
    plus:
    SRAM 3 speed unit w/o brake: $130
    3 spd shifter: $20
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Sturmey Archer 3spd unit w/o brake: $80
    3 spd shifter: $26


    So I think you might have paid too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    $350! That's too much! Every LBS I have takled to said that they can do it for $175- $286 (SRAM 3-spd!) max.

    This is what the most expensive place quoted me:

    Build Labor: $45
    Shift Installation: $15
    Spokes: $36
    Rim: $40
    Total: $136
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Shimano 3 spd unit w/ shifter and coaster: $80
    -------------------------
    plus:
    SRAM 3 speed unit w/o brake: $130
    3 spd shifter: $20
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Sturmey Archer 3spd unit w/o brake: $80
    3 spd shifter: $26


    So I think you might have paid too much.
    I can't believe you.

    First you ask for advice and help. FFanatic gives it and you denigrate his response by saying he paid too much.

    The proper approach would be to get your job done, post all your costs, and let the reader draw his/her conclusions.

    I am reminded of that old quote "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

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    Sent it to the shop this morning. $175. FF did pay too much. Your approach is for wimps. Why do you prefer pretty lies over reality?

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    Just to let everyone know. I am having a Shimano Nexus 3sp with roller brakes put in.

  22. #22
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post
    ... FFanatic gives it and you denigrate his response by saying he paid too much. ..
    Just one little thing about FolderFanatic... he's a she.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  23. #23
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    $350! That's too much! Every LBS I have takled to said that they can do it for $175- $286 (SRAM 3-spd!) max.

    This is what the most expensive place quoted me:

    Build Labor: $45
    Shift Installation: $15
    Spokes: $36
    Rim: $40
    Total: $136
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Shimano 3 spd unit w/ shifter and coaster: $80
    -------------------------
    plus:
    SRAM 3 speed unit w/o brake: $130
    3 spd shifter: $20
    -------------------------
    plus:
    Sturmey Archer 3spd unit w/o brake: $80
    3 spd shifter: $26


    So I think you might have paid too much.
    True, I did. But if you factor in the location of where I live (Southern California, where everything is very expensive-besides bikes), my personal choice of that particular bike shop at that time (they did great work and were familiar with folding bikes and internal hubs-which most bike shops around here are not), and the need of a folding bike for practical reasons (transit strike and I needed a bike to see my sick father in the hospital without locking the bike up outside-and sure to disappear if I did), and you might begin to see the beginnings of why I created my web sites and write in these forums-to educate others to select the best bike and at the right time, place, and price-a critical factor if you think about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post
    I can't believe you.

    First you ask for advice and help. FFanatic gives it and you denigrate his response by saying he paid too much.

    The proper approach would be to get your job done, post all your costs, and let the reader draw his/her conclusions.

    I am reminded of that old quote "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
    Thank you very much for defending me. But I learn to take critical questions as well as compliments whenever they are directed at me. I do this for a strickly volunteer basis-for now-and an proud to help whenever I am ask to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Sent it to the shop this morning. $175. FF did pay too much. Your approach is for wimps. Why do you prefer pretty lies over reality?
    The reality is still the same for me whethever you think what I did is wrong or bad. I still have the bike. I have used it in an extreme emergencies-father dying in hospital, no transportation option available at that time, don't need to accept rides from strangers, freedom from maintaining a very expensive car in a city where cars are king, and better health. So for me it seems to work out in the end. And I do have 2 other folders to rely on now.

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    Just one little thing about FolderFanatic... he's a she.
    Yes I am. When I was going through school, girls were not allowed to take shop so I am a bit handicapped in my knowledge of mechanics. And I do not have a nice husband or father anymore to help me with the bikes or house. To see what I look like when I was little:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/289494505/in/set-72157594325178229/
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-16-07 at 03:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    True, I did. But if you factor in the location of where I live (Southern California, where everything is very expensive-besides bikes), my personal choice of that particular bike shop at that time (they did great work and were familiar with folding bikes and internal hubs-which most bike shops around here are not)
    Internal hubs should be much easier to deal with than dérailleurs and cassettes. That reminds me, I need to call up the shop and make sure they mount the shift and brake line in a way that won't interfere with the folding of the bike. Thanks.

    I guess you might not have a choice or perhaps you like it but I really think the Hollywood area is a incredibly ugly and dirty place, not to mention dangerous. There are so many nicer places to live in SoCal such as Orange County.
    Last edited by yamcha; 09-16-07 at 09:19 PM.

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yamcha View Post
    Internal hubs should be much easier to deal with than dérailleurs and cassettes. That reminds me, I need to call up the shop and make sure they mount the shift and brake line in a way that won't interfere with the folding of the bike. Thanks.

    I guess you might not have a choice or perhaps you like it but I really think the Hollywood area is a incredibly ugly and dirty place, not to mention dangerous. There are so many nicer places to live in SoCal such as Orange County.

    I do not live in the Hollywood area anymore. We moved out about 40 years ago in 1967. Back in those days it was a great area to live and even raise children. But when I did the Hollywood shoot for that particular group of photos of my former home for my Flickr Web site, I actually left my bikes at my present home (they might be taken from me by force-even in the daylight). I live somewhere else now. No area is free of crime and trouble in SoCal anymore, so I guess my folding bikes can be considered to be one of the ways I cope with these changes in a nonviolent means. And Orange County is just as problematic as Los Angeles County when it comes to gangs, street violence, ethic tensions, etc. plus much more expensive to live. I bet you can see why I am remodeling my present house now (I wanted to move away at first).

    As for the selection of a bike shop, I think in the United States (I assume you are located in this country) most bike shops are not familiar with internal hub gears or any other different bike like a folding one except for the most popular bikes like mountain bikes, you will get someone who either does nothing and charges you for the pleasure, completely messes up the hub more, or just might actually attempt to fix it. I travel to 2 (yes 2) bike shops that either are a Dahon stocking dealer for the Dahons or is comfortable around internal hubs. These are located from 10-15 miles from my residence.
    Last edited by folder fanatic; 09-17-07 at 08:11 PM.

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