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Old 10-17-07, 11:09 AM   #1
duke_of_hazard
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Newbie questions on Dahon D7

I am very excited because I just got my Dahon D7. I am ok with the pea soup color, looks modern. Some dumb questions ( keep in mind my previous bike was a $50 walmart bike):

1) Ill be using it a lot in Chicago downtown, should I lock it up folded or not? I have a cable type lock from Master, should I get a better one? How likely is it for someone to steal a bike from a populated area during the daytime ( my guess is small, but who knows )?

2) In the rear there is some little button with a spring in it that you can push in, what is that for?

3) In the front wheel there is also a quarter size coin-shaped attachment, can not figure out what it's for?

4) I have been lugging my baggage by just using the elastic strap to tie it to the rear rack, but it is not stable for wide loads > 10 inches. What options do I have for that?
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Old 10-17-07, 11:24 AM   #2
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I am very excited because I just got my Dahon D7. I am ok with the pea soup color, looks modern. Some dumb questions ( keep in mind my previous bike was a $50 walmart bike):

1) Ill be using it a lot in Chicago downtown, should I lock it up folded or not? I have a cable type lock from Master, should I get a better one? How likely is it for someone to steal a bike from a populated area during the daytime ( my guess is small, but who knows )?
Hello Duke Of Hazard and Welcome!

Please don't think that your questions are stupid in any way. They do indicate to me that you might have bought the bike at a on-line or from one of the many dealers that either does not know much about folding bikes or is too busy to take the time to explain the various features of your bike. I have 2 Dahons and so here goes....

Question #1, If you are thinking about locking up your bike especially in an urban setting...do not do it! You might get away with it for one or two times, but eventually the bike will disappear. You have a folding bike that is designed to be taken with you at all times. I feel this is the most important feature of any folding bike. Why buy one if you are not about to exercise this option? Besides, don't be lulled into a false security with the more harder, expensive locks. I have used a Master U-lock that I thought would at least discourage a would be thief. He/she tried to smash it anyway-in broad daylight with lots of foot traffic. So I no longer use bikes I have to lock somewhere. I use only folding ones.

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2) In the rear there is some little button with a spring in it that you can push in, what is that for?
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3) In the front wheel there is also a quarter size coin-shaped attachment, can not figure out what it's for?
Yes you can! For Qustions 2+3, this is another interesting feature of a folding bike-the ability to stay together in a neat package. In Dahons, this is uaually done by their Magnetix™ locking latch system. Both of my Dahons have these magnets to hold the two folded halves of the bike so the bike would not "fall apart" and hit someone or something while in transit or storage. when you fold up, if everthing is folded properly, you will be able to lock the two halves together (I usually hear a loud click when it is sucessful). And when you are ready to unfold, grasp the two halves by the wheels and pull apart with a little force.

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4) I have been lugging my baggage by just using the elastic strap to tie it to the rear rack, but it is not stable for wide loads > 10 inches. What options do I have for that?
I use extra bungee cords besides the one that came with the bike(s). Sometimes I need extra length in tying something on the rear racks. Or I might use a duffle bag to carry a bunch of smaller looser things without anything to fall out in between the cords. I also use backpacks, baskets, and seatpacks in addition to using the rear rack.

Your instruchion manuel should have went over these and other points with you-if the shop even bothered go give you one.. Or at least your dealer should have. This is one of the things that separate the department stores from a good bike dealer-post purchase answers, demostrations, and tune-ups (make sure you don't skip this step). If you have any more questions about your new bike, see the Dahon web site for much more information at:

http://www.dahon.com/

Do visit my web sites below on these and other folding bikes. I go into far more detail than I have the time here.

Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-17-07 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 10-17-07, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the very useful advice! I am reading your site now. Yes I did buy it online from Ebay, but a bike store that sells many bikes . Are bikes really stolen so frequently in big cities? I suppose what you are saying is not to bother locking it, unless I have a very strong U-lock?
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Old 10-17-07, 01:40 PM   #4
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Are bikes really stolen so frequently in big cities?
YES.

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I suppose what you are saying is not to bother locking it, unless I have a very strong U-lock?
A strong U-lock may not be much deterrent. Thieves aren't stupid, they may not take the time to cut through the lock, they may defeat it in any number of creative ways. Perhaps you recall the Bic pen exploit for certain barrel style key locks? (You could apparently open them by jamming in a Bic pen and twisting...) In that case you could have the biggest lock in the world and it would not matter.
Now if you have one or more beefy locks (with different mechanisms) on your bike and it is in a visible place and your bike is not that desirable compared to what else may be lying around in a less-protected state, then maybe the other bike will be stolen and not yours. On the other hand you can probably find stories where thieves bashed the tar out of a bike for being so well secured. "If I can't have it, then you can't either" sort of mentality.

Apparently the dutch carry a big chain in combination with a u-lock.
Oh and they ride really ugly looking bikes.

Locking it is still better than not locking it, but taking it with you is even better. There are also registration services where you an register your serial number in the event it is stolen (police etc)...
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Old 10-17-07, 01:56 PM   #5
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Welcome to the folding forum and enjoy your bike. I also have a D7 but it is '06 model with a dark blue color and just love it. Since, most of the questions you have had been addressed pretty much above, I agree with all posts y folderfanatic. The purpose of fodling bike is to take it inside with you when you get to your office. Folded and locked up will not deter a bike thief if left outside. You would have been better off if you ride a beater from the train station to your workplace which you could also leave locked at the train station on your way home. Bikes are very attractive to thieves and steal them at every opportunity specially in the city. So get used to carrying it with you if you are not riding. It's an investment you made so get all the benefit as much as you can from it.
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Old 10-17-07, 05:04 PM   #6
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What do you do when you ride your folder to a grocery store, hardware store, etc.? The ones around here would not like you packing your bike around inside the store.
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Old 10-17-07, 05:21 PM   #7
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What do you do when you ride your folder to a grocery store, hardware store, etc.? The ones around here would not like you packing your bike around inside the store.
Folder fanatic has pointed out a nice solution: use one of those lightweight foldable luggage trailers, put the folded bike on it and pull it behind you in store.

Or, mount a basket-type pannier and use the entire bike as a shopping trolley. When challenged, just insist that you are using it as a shopping trolley and are not taking more room than using an actual trolley, and if they are not happy then take your wallet elsewhere.
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Old 10-17-07, 07:01 PM   #8
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What is best advice for when I do have to lock the bike outside . If I lock it in front of a busy 5 star hotel lobby, would that be good? It is amazing how many people who work downtown commute. Each high rise office has tons of bikes around it, so it couldn't be that unsafe?
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Old 10-17-07, 07:41 PM   #9
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What is best advice for when I do have to lock the bike outside . If I lock it in front of a busy 5 star hotel lobby, would that be good? It is amazing how many people who work downtown commute. Each high rise office has tons of bikes around it, so it couldn't be that unsafe?
If you read my Security section on my web sites, I do go more in detail with lots of links on actual bike thefts in progress in supposed safe or secure areas (see my first Security page and scroll to the bottom of the page for the link list). My point is that when you lock it up even in hotel lobbies, you are leaving the bike open to tampering (vandalism) or actual theft. People do not watch your bike. They are usually travelling and are wrapped up in themselves. If I need to lock up my bike outside, I simply do not take mine with me. And I do not listen to idiots barking orders at me about the bikes when I do. I usually have a bike in the shopping cart/trolley when I am shopping. Or I am towing a bike around in a small luggage cart. When I am in a restaurant, I do use a cable lock to lock it to the table when I get up for some reason:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/world-of-folding-bicycles/265102648/in/set-72157594325178229/
In the photo, my bike is not locked because I stayed with it all the time. This is what the bike does best and is designed for.

This is the only time I do lock. When my hands/body is actually not on the bike. And it is inside underneath a table sometimes with others present.

Just remember thieves are not stupid. Some actually take orders for a certain type of bikes and look around for one that fits the bill. If you need to lock up a bike in a urban setting, why did you bought a folding one in the first place?

Last edited by folder fanatic; 10-17-07 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-18-07, 12:57 PM   #10
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I made a little video of my bike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDPPj8gvCkc
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Old 10-19-07, 11:22 AM   #11
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I made a little video of my bike http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDPPj8gvCkc
I added your link to my Bromptons And Other Folders In Action link list at:

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

Duke, if you do not wish it included on my web site, please let me know and I will promptly remove it from the list.
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Old 10-19-07, 01:14 PM   #12
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Sure, thanks for adding it. Maybe Ill make a better one in the near future and send you that one.
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