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Thread: Dahon Speed TR

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Dahon Speed TR

    Just curious if anyone here has a Dahon Speed TR and if so what do you think about? I am considering getting one to take with me when I travel for work and for around town use on transit. This would be my first folding bike.

    safe riding - Vik
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    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    This is an excellent model for touring - that means its steady and comfy. The 24 speed gears will tackle any hills or downhills, even loaded with panniers etc. But its also very porky at 12kg + so if you are carrying it around in transit, it may be a tad cumbersome.

    As your first folder, you need to ask yourself what is the primary use of the folder: commuting, racing or touring? How far do you need to ride daily? What type of roads are you going to be encountering? Is folding size important - squeezing in tight trains & buses during peak hours? Do you need to carry it or would you prefer that the bike is "stroll-able"? Do you need to carry bags/stuff?

    I'm sure other foldie gurus can offer their words of wisdom as to the choices available to you. All yours guys!

    My choice for shorter hops around town and the best for manouvering through crowded public tpt is, drum roll, (and people are sick of hearing me say this) ... CM! Of course, this is a totally different bike from Speed TR.

    http://www.pacific-cycles.com/news_d...&cat0=2&cat=17



    OnF

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    I bought two 2006 Speed TRs with the airport suitcases for the wife and I. We like them very much, so much so the wife likes ridding it to work over her Trek 7100 and her $4000.00 Easyracer Foldrush. We own 15 bikes and I have to say if there can be only one bike in the house it would be the Dahon Speed TR.

    I hope this helps.

    Ciao,
    Timothy
    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Just curious if anyone here has a Dahon Speed TR and if so what do you think about? I am considering getting one to take with me when I travel for work and for around town use on transit. This would be my first folding bike.


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    I order a 2007 model Dahon Speed TR from "Brands Cycle and Fitness" about March 21, 2007 for $829.95. I received a call back indicating the 2007 model would not be available until May or June of 2007, so I switched the order to a new Dahon Speed TR, 2006 model, for $749.99, because I didn't want to wait for the 2007 model, and the 2006 model provided a nice savings.

    The Dahon Seed TR is the only bicycle I've owned, since I was a little boy growing up in Baird, Texas around 1956, 1957. I owned a Swinn back then, I believe, so I don't have much experience with other bikes on which to base comparisons.

    I'm very happy with my Dahon Speed TR. When I first got the bike, it was pretty light, but its weight has increased as I've added items to it.

    Much of the fun of owning a new bike is building her up to suit yourself, but be sure and budget a little bit over the initial sales price for extras.

    The first thing I did after receiving the bike was to purchase a helmet, floor stand air pump, lights, and tool kit as follows:

    hashbar giro pneumo helmet 109.95
    shipping 14.25
    tax 10.25
    -------------
    total $134..45

    Specialized Air Tool Pro 66.00
    UPS 3 day select 11.64
    --------
    Total $77.64

    Front dualcross 300 NiMH LED 154.99
    Shipping 9.99
    ----------
    Total $164.98

    nashbar cateye TL-LD1000 tail LED 27.95
    Shipping 11.25
    Tax 3.23
    ---------
    Total $42.43

    nashbar rolled tool kit 49.95
    Shipping 11.25
    Tax 5.05
    --------
    Total $66.25

    After riding the Dahon Speed TR for awhile, I realized I needed some way to carry items like a mini pump, spare tubes, etc, so I purchased a rear rack and fenders from Brands Cycle and Fitness as follows:

    Dahon Tour Rear Rack 36.99
    Dahon Weatherbeater Fenders 34.99
    --------
    Total $71.98

    Arkel Tail Rider Pannier 84.97
    Shoulder strap 11.97
    Shipping 9.28
    --------
    Total $106.22

    Inside the Arkel Pannier I have the following:

    Topeak Road Morph pump with gauge 25.95
    Shipping 5.95
    --------
    Total $31.90

    2 tubes 20 x 1.5-2.50, AV @ 5.85 ea 11.70
    Shipping 6.50
    -------
    Total $18.20

    Next I added a water bottle

    nashbar ciussi water bottle cage 5.99
    nashbar 24oz Aluminum water bottle 4.99
    Shipping 5.75
    tax 1.38
    --------
    total 18.11

    I decided I wanted to try clipless pedals and shoes

    Shim A520 SPD Pedals 49.77
    Shipping 6.77
    -------
    Total $56.54

    SETTE element MTB shoes $49.98
    Shipping 6.49
    Insurance 1.25
    ----------
    Total $57.72

    Also, early on, I decided I wanted a more comfortable saddle

    Brooks B-17 Standard, black saddle 68.00
    Brooks Care Kit 10.00
    Shipping 7.00
    --------
    Total $85.00

    If my calculations are correct, I have around $1,681.41 in the bike now.

    FOR me half the fun of owning a folder, like the Dahon Speed TR, is the process of customizing the bike over time to suit my needs. In my case I have sacrificed speed and weight in favor of comfort and functionality. I also find doing Internet research on products like saddles, peddles, shoes, etc a pleasure. I then can decide on the product that delivers the best value for me by comparing prices and quality of the items available. In doing my research on products, I have found this forum to be a valuable tool.

    I love my Dahon Speed TR.

    Regards,

    LelandJ

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
    I bought two 2006 Speed TRs with the airport suitcases for the wife and I. We like them very much, so much so the wife likes ridding it to work over her Trek 7100 and her $4000.00 Easyracer Foldrush. We own 15 bikes and I have to say if there can be only one bike in the house it would be the Dahon Speed TR.
    Wow! That's quite a testimonial!

    What is it in particular that you like so much about it?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    Only this morning I was reading this on "Crazyguyonabike"
    After reading this I'd think twice before buying one......

    The good: Folds easily and quickly, lots of shmancey features, spectacular gearing (for me at least), comfy seat, very flexible riding position, comfy and unique grips, cheap/free to fly with, seat pump is a great idea (see gripes about this below), very bright rear light, dual drive hub/cassette is GREAT.

    The bad: Nothing when it comes out of the box. This bike comes with all the bells and whistles, and everything is awesome. The problem comes after riding it for a while, as most of those bells and whistles break in the first month of touring. Here are the problems I had (didn't ride it hard at all; all sealed road in France and Italy):
    - The front wheel, oh, the terrible front wheel. I had to replace the bearings (at a cost of about 15 euros each, and there are 2 of them) 3 times in 1 1/2 months. To replace the bearings you need to open the hub, which has a dynamo. Opening the hub breaks the connection to the dynamo, rendering the light/dynamo useless. I still cant figure out how to reconnect the light, and the documentation is nonexistent. The spokes would come unscrewed constantly, necessitating truing every night (several times I discovered I had ridden all days with 4 spokes just hanging there). Nothing could get them to stay put.
    - The seat pump. Great idea, and works very well. It is basically a floor pump built into the seat tube. However, the pump often falls out of the bottom of the frame while you're riding, and inevitably breaks at some point. Happened to both my and my wife's speed TRs.
    - The tail light. Has light and motion sensors that are supposed to only allow it to turn on when riding at night, presumably so you don't leave it on all day and kill the battery (why is there a battery for the tail light when you have a dynamo hub, anyways?). What happens is when riding at night on smooth city streets the light doesn't always turn on because not enough motion is detected. When it is on it is plenty bright.
    - The frame. Mine is starting to creak in a frightening way. At least the warrantee is good. We'll see what happens if it breaks.

    Overall, the bike is OK. I am able to overlook most of these issues, but the wheel problems are terrible and a huge pain. For a company that claims to be innovative, and the cost of the bike, I was surprised the bike had so many problems. The dual-drive rear hub/cassette, as I said, is spectacular and was problem-free for me.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    Only this morning I was reading this on "Crazyguyonabike"
    After reading this I'd think twice before buying one......

    The good: Folds easily and quickly, lots of shmancey features, spectacular gearing (for me at least), comfy seat, very flexible riding position, comfy and unique grips, cheap/free to fly with, seat pump is a great idea (see gripes about this below), very bright rear light, dual drive hub/cassette is GREAT.
    The bad: Nothing when it comes out of the box. This bike comes with all the bells and whistles, and everything is awesome. The problem comes after riding it for a while, as most of those bells and whistles break in the first month of touring. Here are the problems I had (didn't ride it hard at all; all sealed road in France and Italy):
    - The front wheel, oh, the terrible front wheel. I had to replace the bearings (at a cost of about 15 euros each, and there are 2 of them) 3 times in 1 1/2 months. To replace the bearings you need to open the hub, which has a dynamo. Opening the hub breaks the connection to the dynamo, rendering the light/dynamo useless. I still cant figure out how to reconnect the light, and the documentation is nonexistent. The spokes would come unscrewed constantly, necessitating truing every night (several times I discovered I had ridden all days with 4 spokes just hanging there). Nothing could get them to stay put.
    - The seat pump. Great idea, and works very well. It is basically a floor pump built into the seat tube. However, the pump often falls out of the bottom of the frame while you're riding, and inevitably breaks at some point. Happened to both my and my wife's speed TRs.
    - The tail light. Has light and motion sensors that are supposed to only allow it to turn on when riding at night, presumably so you don't leave it on all day and kill the battery (why is there a battery for the tail light when you have a dynamo hub, anyways?). What happens is when riding at night on smooth city streets the light doesn't always turn on because not enough motion is detected. When it is on it is plenty bright.
    - The frame. Mine is starting to creak in a frightening way. At least the warrantee is good. We'll see what happens if it breaks.
    Overall, the bike is OK. I am able to overlook most of these issues, but the wheel problems are terrible and a huge pain. For a company that claims to be innovative, and the cost of the bike, I was surprised the bike had so many problems. The dual-drive rear hub/cassette, as I said, is spectacular and was problem-free for me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    Sorry some how got to post twice

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    jur
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    That reflects what has become known about Dahons... great ideas, terrible execution of those ideas. Like the seat post pump - nice idea - but widely reported as prone to falling out. Leaves one to wonder are Dahon designers actually testing their ideas outside the company parking lot???
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    Both the seat post that houses the air pump, and the dynamo lighting system embedded in the front wheel hub are new to the Dahon Speed TR 07. The Dahon Speed TR 06 came with a thudbuster suspension setpost and no lighting system, so the problem expressed in the post would be specific to the 2007 model.

    I did a search on the Joule Hub Dynamo and Hella Micro FF Halogen Light Set, which are new to the 2007 model and cost around $30.00 if purchased separately. Below is a link for more information on the new light system.

    http://www.speedmatrixdepot.com/cata...products_id=46

    It sound like I lucked out in going with the 2006 model, but I'm confident that Dahon will get the problems with the new stuff worked out over time, if they havn't aready worked thing out.

    Regards,

    LelandJ

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the posts. I don't really need the hub dynamo/taillight or the built in seat pump, but I do want the racks & fenders as well as the gearing system.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

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    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    the bigger problem will be to actually find a speed TR .. as far as I know Dahon is out for the year and doesnt expect any more 07 models back in... 08 are maybe 5 to 6 months away ( the expensive models anyhow )

    About the dynamo hub..... I have no spare parts for it, that means than in the last 3 years nobody ever asked me for any spares..... cause I am kinda easy to find and somewaht a Dahon specialists that can only mean that its pretty bulletproof ....


    Thor

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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Thanks for all the posts. I don't really need the hub dynamo/taillight or the built in seat pump, but I do want the racks & fenders as well as the gearing system.
    That is why I bought the 2006. I don't like the complicity of the dynamo and the constant drag whether the lights are on or off. It only powers the front light the rear is still battery powered anyway.

    I added the touring rear rack, front rack and fenders. The 2006 also comes stock with the Thudbuster seat post. Very smooth! I think it was about $150 less than the 2007 even with all the add ons. I lucked out finding the local dealer with the two in stock.

    I don't know if you can still find a 2006 modal year but my dealer had a 2007 Speed TR on the floor as of three weeks ago. His name is Dale at Angle Lake Cyclery in Seattle, WA phone 206-878-7457

    OR here on line they say $833.39 with free shipping. http://bicyclesource.us/itemdetails....Id=39&id=16312

    Ciao,
    Timothy
    Last edited by tim24k; 10-16-07 at 04:29 AM.

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Thanks I found a 2007 Speed TR at a dealer. I'm hoping to get there this weekend to test it out. I'm not 100% on getting the bike so I'll see what I think after the test ride. It isn't a purchase I absolutely have to make, but it would be nice to have a compact bike I can throw some panniers on and ride.

    I appreciate all the replies. Great to have a resource like BFs for feedback on some obscure machines like this...=-)
    safe riding - Vik
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    I purchased my Speed TR in May of 06 and I have been very, very pleased with it. On the plus side: the Thudbuster seatpost which can be adjusted to provide just the ride you like (I had a Brooks saddle on mine), and that combo provides a comfortable ride, The Sram Dual drive is great for providing a wide range gearing, but not having the complexity/ issue with a front derailleur, and the Schawlbe Big Apple tires let me ride both smooth and gravel roads without any issues, folds quickly/easily and is a small package.

    Downside - I don't like the strange handlebar/stem mounts. You can't just swap out to a different stem, but that's about it.

    I've mounted a rear rack, wireless cyclocomputer, and LED lights. I enjoy riding it and I've had no issues in 2 seasons of use (note mine doesn't have the dyno hub).

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Thanks for all the posts. I don't really need the hub dynamo/taillight or the built in seat pump, but I do want the racks & fenders as well as the gearing system.
    Vik you might want to check out the Speed Pro?
    (Not the Speed Pro TT, but its less-publicized brother the Speed Pro)

    It has standard flat handlebars (not bullhorns), and V-brakes (not calipers), but it has the Dual-Drive system. You would have to add racks/fenders and whatever else. Sometimes people need something in between the two models and it depends on each person as to which is the better starting point.

    Speed TR ---> custom <--- Speed Pro


    Speed TR comes with a tour-rack which isn't always ideal for everyone... some folks have had to replace with the standard rack, so then if you had to buy a rack anyway...check it out perhaps... cheers.

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    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    good advice
    yes one can mix and match pretty easy .... problem with the speed Pro is also its getting rare.... very rare for the 07 modelyear.. and its not coming back for 08 ....
    I still have a couple but they will be gone pretty quick ......

    soooo if somebody wants a steel frame 24 gear dualdrive ..... now its the time ...

    thor

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    What is replacing the Speed Pro?

    What is Dahon going to have in it's line that has the 24 or 27 speed bike?

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    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    the speed TR will stay in the line......as will the the speed TT .... other than that there will be one more dual drive ... but thats already more than I am allowed to say at this time .... :-)

    thor

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Well I had decided not to get a Speed TR. For several reasons...one of which was the $1K price tag. I have two DF touring bike so that aspect of the bike wasn't essential. I've been away from home 2 weeks with no bikes out in a rural area on the shore of Lake Huron. The lack of a bike has been making me a bit crazy. I almost bought a $150 folder and then a $300 MTB at Walmart just to have a bike to ride, but they were both crap.

    Today I went to Urbane Cycles to meet some blogging friends. I got there so I figured I might as well test ride some folders. I ended up buying a Dahon Speed D7. The sub $500 price and fun ride made me pull the trigger. At least I can go for a bike ride every day now.

    Once I gave up on the touring aspect of a folder 7 speed is fine.

    Thanks for your replies to my inquiry.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

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    Congratulations vik on your new Speed D7. It's a good bike and for not much money. I may buy me a Speed P8 some day as a addition to the TR. I like the way it rides and the simplicity of it.
    Ciao,
    Timothy

  22. #22
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim24k View Post
    Congratulations vik on your new Speed D7. It's a good bike and for not much money. I may buy me a Speed P8 some day as a addition to the TR. I like the way it rides and the simplicity of it.
    Ciao,
    Timothy
    Thanks! Definitely a fun bike...

    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

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    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    ...Once I gave up on the touring aspect of a folder 7 speed is fine....
    Who says you have to give up on touring on a folding bike? Take more time to explore the possibility of using a folding bike for that by buying a Bike Friday or the like in the future and keep the Speed D7 for everything else or spare.

  24. #24
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by folder fanatic View Post
    Who says you have to give up on touring on a folding bike? Take more time to explore the possibility of using a folding bike for that by buying a Bike Friday or the like in the future and keep the Speed D7 for everything else or spare.
    Oh I am aware you can tour on a folder. I'm just saying that given the fact I have 2 excellent DF touring bikes I couldn't justify the extra cost to get the Speed TR. The same logic would apply to getting touring folder or travel bike as I now have 2 DF touring bikes & a folder...

    If I was going to do anything of that sort I'd get S&S couplers put into one of my DF touring bikes.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  25. #25
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    A little more porn..
    Last edited by vik; 11-15-07 at 05:52 PM.
    safe riding - Vik
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