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Old 10-26-07, 11:49 AM   #1
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The New DaBrom? Or Whatever Patent

http://v3.espacenet.com/origdoc?DB=EPODOC&IDX=US2007210556&F=0&QPN=US2007210556

Can anyone comment on this new Brom-Hon?, Hon-Brom?, DaBrom? ???

Is this the new direction that Dahon is going-backwards?
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Old 10-26-07, 12:00 PM   #2
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I seem to remember seeing some verbiage on here (or maybe on the Dahon Forum) within the last 12 months regarding Dahon's interest in purchasing or working with Brompton(?). The bottom line being that a merger wasn't of interest, but working together (or sharing technology) might be.

Is this an off-shoot of that?

Anybody else remember seeing that piece?
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Old 10-26-07, 01:31 PM   #3
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Interesting, but weird. I'm not sure what to make of it.
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Old 10-26-07, 02:44 PM   #4
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Sure, I'll comment. "Meh."

Looks like Mr David Hon and some of his engineers threw together a different design & patented it. Maybe they'll make something out of it, maybe not. Personally until it is an actual physical thing that you can buy in a store, I could not care about it to the slightest degree.
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Old 10-26-07, 07:47 PM   #5
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BromHon

This isn't a clone, it's a studied evolution to the Brompton design.

See figure 6, where the curved chainstays replace the traditional rear triangle assembly. This wraps around the (small) chainring and can allow for a wider rear axle width as a result ... aside from producing a cleaner rear design.

Figure 5 is also new ground ... the horizontally offset top tube. Not a Brompton feature.

Good on Dahon for accepting that Brompton's twin-fold and ezy-wheels design feature still can't be beat even after almost 20 years.

It will be great if Dahon can produce a model that can actually compete with the Brompton in it's own niche space as a commuter bike.

With an sleeker allow frame and other innovations worthy of Dahon perhaps they can drop 1.5 kg and get the basic model (no Ti parts) below 10kg.
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Old 10-29-07, 11:32 AM   #6
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Just also saw this in AtoB .. same but coloured in picture, and on front cover.
They had quotes from Dahon that the single fold in half hinge brings the wheels together but "the frame sticks out and the bicycle is still too bulky for packing and and carrying".

It looks like its an admission for Dahon that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"

The combination of rear wheel tuck under, with a front hinge is completely Brompton - but at least compared to more obvious copiers, Dahon have also added some innovation. But the threaad be called DaBrombirday as the angled rear hinge is also lifted straight off birdies and fridays.
If they can get 20" wheels into it, keep the weight down and use that neat rubber suspension 'lock' , it will be very interesting. Its where Brompton themselves should be going.

There was also an article in a sunday paper about brompton - about how they are increasing floor space in the factory (with extra mezzamine floors) to ramp up production to better match demand. But there was no mention of new bikes , which is a pity. Id like to support brompton (maybe out of some missguided british pride ??) BUT if they dont innovate and improve the product they will (eventually) become another Morgan or (dare I say) Moulton - just making a handful of 'original' 'olde english' bromptons - when there will be better ultra compact bikes to buy.
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Old 10-29-07, 11:55 AM   #7
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As the satisfied owner of a Brompton who is yet highly interested in the Bike Friday Tikit, which was reviewed quite favorably in the November 2007 a to b, I'd like to come to Brompton's defense a bit.

I do think that Brompton innovates, but I think they perhaps have more of the old school mentality about it - that is, refine the innovations until the kinks are worked out, *before* selling them to end users.

I recently had a chance to look at a Tikit in person, and it adds new value the Brompton lacks (specifically, better gearing options and rolling ability) but it is untested in long term application. The bike as a whole looks more complicated than the Brompton, and I wonder how it will hold up. Plus as a bike it's good, but Brompton has a whole system around it, for example luggage options. It doesn't appear that BF thought the luggage angle through (if it's a commuter, many people are going to want to carry a briefcase easily, and the Brompton system is the standard for that).

Or more likely, BF is part of the new world - they have thought of various angles that their ready-for-market product doesn't address, but are applying the "ship it" mentality - sell it, customers will tell you what needs to be improved, then you make those improvements and pick up some upgrade sales to boot.

Logically this "ship it" mentality assumes that your beta customers, if you will, will come back for more. Having been something of an early adopter when I was younger, I'm beginning to question whether I myself want to help develop a product. I'm beginning to think that unless a new product is a large improvement over an existing product, the quality risk isn't worth it. The Harmony 1000 remote and T-mobile's HotSpot@Home service come to mind--these products represent great potential, but they have a lot of annoying bugs that a) underwhelm my expectations and b) waste a lot of user time.

I suspect that Brompton is innovating, just at a slower pace so they can maintain their reputation. I tried a couple of different "no-flop" clips for the rear triangle, which were a waste of money - they eliminated flop, but introduced other annoyances. Then Brompton brings out its clip, and it is truly perfect. Nothing could be better about it.
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Old 10-29-07, 12:04 PM   #8
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nope. chain is on the outside.

not close to a brom.

wake me up when you see it fold with the chain on the inside like a true brommie
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Old 10-29-07, 12:24 PM   #9
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nope. chain is on the outside.

not close to a brom.

wake me up when you see it fold with the chain on the inside like a true brommie
In Fig 6 and 7, is the chain on the inside of the fold?
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Old 10-29-07, 12:36 PM   #10
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Hmmm, my browser/linux does not seem to be working with that Doc. All i see is ONE visible page with one diagram that looks like a standard Dahon. The rest of the pages are blank. Could someone please post a few of those pics here?! I am very interested in this folder! Thank you.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:24 PM   #11
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Vince - It's an embedded PDF but I've downloaded it and am hosting it here for a limited time if you want to download it...

Last edited by LittlePixel; 10-29-07 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:48 PM   #12
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In Fig 6 and 7, is the chain on the inside of the fold?


oh yeah. that. I screwed up.

then this is just a copy of the original brompton idea.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:05 PM   #13
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Vince - It's an embedded PDF but I've downloaded it and am hosting it here for a limited time if you want to download it...
I have the same prob as vince... AND LP's hosted one I also see only page 1, the rest are blank???
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Old 10-29-07, 07:08 PM   #14
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Ok so the file I uploaded only had one page because saving from that cranky viewer only downloaded the page you were viewing, [!?!?!?!] not all 8 as you might have imagined.
My bad - I should have checked. As pennance, I've pulled them all down, removed the silly page security and re-collated them back into a normal 8 page pdf. I has the l33t Acrobat Skillz!


Get it here. (303kb)

To summarise as people seem to be getting confused:
Pages 1 and 2 list the patent applicant detais and are referencing 'conventional' (ie existing Hon designs); These two images are not of the proposed 'new' bike.

Page 3 is not a Brompton ripoff but a demonstation of 'Prior Art', manifested as a working diagram of an actual Brompton. [ok so it goes unnamed but we all know it is] This is so the innovations detailled on the next pages have a real-world benchmark on which to be measured by.

Page 4 and 5 shows the new patent-applied Dahon inventions with it's interesting longditutinally bent tubes. From what I can tell the chainring IS on the outside but is shrouded by the curve of the rear stays; Fine but someone had better assure us it's got some sort of internal hop-up like the Schlumpf speed-drive in the bb shell or it will go at like 1 mph with that laughably small chainring. Form follows function guys! Great if it fits in the space but what about riding it!...

Page 6 shows a cross section of the frame hinge on the current Brompton and how the screw-on clamp marries the two halves together.

Pages 7 & 8 detail all the above with textual context and keys/labels for the various numbered points on the diagrams.
Huw

Last edited by LittlePixel; 10-29-07 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 10-29-07, 10:18 PM   #15
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Thanks Huw.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by edzo View Post
oh yeah. that. I screwed up.

then this is just a copy of the original brompton idea.
Certainly a modification of it. And if it is executed correctly, it will be an improvement.

At least you are up now!
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Old 10-30-07, 07:27 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
Ok so the file I uploaded only had one page because saving from that cranky viewer only downloaded the page you were viewing, [!?!?!?!] not all 8 as you might have imagined.
My bad - I should have checked. As pennance, I've pulled them all down, removed the silly page security and re-collated them back into a normal 8 page pdf. I has the l33t Acrobat Skillz!

To summarise as people seem to be getting confused:
Pages 1 and 2 list the patent applicant detais and are referencing 'conventional' (ie existing Hon designs); These two images are not of the proposed 'new' bike.

Page 3 is not a Brompton ripoff but a demonstation of 'Prior Art', manifested as a working diagram of an actual Brompton. [ok so it goes unnamed but we all know it is] This is so the innovations detailled on the next pages have a real-world benchmark on which to be measured by.

Page 4 and 5 shows the new patent-applied Dahon inventions with it's interesting longditutinally bent tubes. From what I can tell the chainring IS on the outside but is shrouded by the curve of the rear stays; Fine but someone had better assure us it's got some sort of internal hop-up like the Schlumpf speed-drive in the bb shell or it will go at like 1 mph with that laughably small chainring. Form follows function guys! Great if it fits in the space but what about riding it!...

Page 6 shows a cross section of the frame hinge on the current Brompton and how the screw-on clamp marries the two halves together.

Pages 7 & 8 detail all the above with textual context and keys/labels for the various numbered points on the diagrams.
Huw
I see ... in FIG 6 the saddle is still pointing to the front of the bike. So the chain is on the outside and edzo can go back to sleep!

The front folds to the left instead of to the right like a Brompton/Merc.

You are right about the chainring ... unless it is designed for something like the SA-8 hub.
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Old 10-30-07, 09:33 AM   #18
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Allright! Thanks very much for posting those Littlepixel!!

Very interesting concept and too be honest i figured it was bound to happen, Dahon would be crazy not to try this! I must say on the schematic the bike looks a lot less elegant and sturdy when compared to the Brommie, mostly due to the odd curved tubes and missing chainstay tube. But i am no engineer and the design probably reduces a lot of weight and width. And it is only a schematic after all. If this bike comes into production i really hope it will be steel (unlikely) strong and that it will ride very well and hence be tourworthy. A tiny fold is not worth it to me if the ride quality suffers overly.

Any ideas on whether this design will be produced and if so when? Perhaps there is info to be gleaned at the Dahon forum?
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Old 10-30-07, 10:27 AM   #19
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Ditto the thanks to LP for posting the pdf.

- That first hinge seems ridiculously close to the headtube. I hope they test this part thoroughly. BTW, their hinge lock resembles a Downtube quick-release hinge lock; I wonder if it's the same?
- It looks as if the pedals have to be in a certain position in order to achieve that tight fold.
- It will be interesting to see how they run their cables to avoid cable stretch problems.
- That bike will be easier to carry left-handed than right handed.
- I can't believe they're still using that handlepost lock design. Hopefully that gets upgraded.
- That "rear fork support bar" (description 5) ball lock looks interesting. I'd definitely want to see what that does for shock absorption and frame longevity.
- Any bike hinged at the rear triangle which allows vertical movement will most likely develop lateral movement in the hinge as well. I'm curious to see how Dahon addresses this potential (costly) problem.
- Definitely looks like it will be made of Al.
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Old 10-30-07, 11:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by v1nce View Post
Allright! Thanks very much for posting those Littlepixel!!

Very interesting concept and too be honest i figured it was bound to happen, Dahon would be crazy not to try this! I must say on the schematic the bike looks a lot less elegant and sturdy when compared to the Brommie, mostly due to the odd curved tubes and missing chainstay tube. But i am no engineer and the design probably reduces a lot of weight and width. And it is only a schematic after all. If this bike comes into production i really hope it will be steel (unlikely) strong and that it will ride very well and hence be tourworthy. A tiny fold is not worth it to me if the ride quality suffers overly.

Any ideas on whether this design will be produced and if so when? Perhaps there is info to be gleaned at the Dahon forum?

One of the nice things about living here in Southern California is living a stone's throw (about 15 or so miles) from Dahon's Global US Headquarters in the neighboring city of Duarte. Perhaps I might see the prototype being tested out on the street. If I do, I will be sure to post it here first!
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Old 10-30-07, 04:45 PM   #21
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Here is a link to the full doc
http://www.littlepixel.info/twenty/pdfdoc_unlocked.pdf
Also I am pasting in an email I sent to Pacific Cycles and their reply, quite informative. Note, reply is 1st, then my inquiries.
Our upcoming 20" Reach Racer will be equipped with the Swivel-Head folding technology, which makes the bike folding in less than 5 seconds and you can pull it like a troller into the building to avoid theft.

However to fit the airline approved size, you need to detach both front and rear wheels, fold the frame and put them all in a carrying bag.

The Racer version is designed specifically for pure performance, therefore panniers and mudguards are excluded but you can find them on the Trekking and Offroad models.

The gear ratio of the Racer version is racing oriented, but still achieves a wide range of 30"-117".

Unlike the mass production throwable bikes, all bikes by Pacific including Reach Racer are true gems. They take years from scratch to finish, fully hand-made, countless hours devoted, deserve its price.

Best regards,
Max Yeh
Pacific Cycles Inc.



Date: 2007/10/27 [FONT='新細明體','serif']下午[/FONT] 11:10:19
Name: Carol McAnulty
Company:
email: cmcanulty@hotmail.com

Content:
I read the Bicycle Trade news release of Oct 18, 07 and am very excited about a new folding bike design. Here is what I think is very important to be done on it. For the 20" size (the largest practical size to pack in an airline approved size (max 62" girth and max 50lbs) what is needed is easy and quick folding, with room to spare as the airlines will inevitably lower the allowed size eventually, a wide range of gears so it can be ridden in all areas (I would like 20" to 100" gear range), fenders , rear rack and capability to add either front rack for panniers or some other way to carry gear on front, chain guard for clothes, light weight, available in suspension or without, a price that isn't so high that you are afraid to leave it locked in a city maybe around $500 US, standard parts for the main drivetrain, hubs etc for ease of service, choice of colors , tire width choice for city or off road customers. Then I and many others will buy! There is no 20" bike sold now that fits in a suitcase without a lo of disassembly and no 16" with a wide gear range. If you have time please let me know what you think of these ideas and when the bikes will be available. People will pay a decent price if they can get a truly travel able bike that is also a versatile machine. Thank you, Carol McAnulty
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Old 11-01-07, 05:00 AM   #22
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Good research thanks for posting Carol. Looks like something IS really happening, as reported in THIS Thread too.
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Old 11-02-07, 11:31 AM   #23
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...Fine but someone had better assure us it's got some sort of internal hop-up like the Schlumpf speed-drive in the bb shell or it will go at like 1 mph with that laughably small chainring.
Yeah, uh, "hop-up" has commonly been managed by gears in the rear hub for the last, oh, 110 years or so.

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Old 11-02-07, 04:04 PM   #24
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BUT if they dont innovate and improve the product they will (eventually) become another Morgan or (dare I say) Moulton - just making a handful of 'original' 'olde english' bromptons - when there will be better ultra compact bikes to buy.
While much of the cycling world continues to build 1880s Starleys in carbon fiber, Dr. Alex Moulton has introduced seven major new model designs since the AM bike's as-yet unbroken world speed record in 1986. The 87 year old Moulton was recently spotted out on a ride, personally testing a new experimental front suspension.

Dare I say "becoming like Moulton" would be a complement to the vast majority of the cycling industry?

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Old 11-03-07, 04:45 AM   #25
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Dare I say "becoming like Moulton" would be a complement to the vast majority of the cycling industry?
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If all bikes where like moultons the bike industry would be dead because few would buy bikes that cost as much as cars. The challenge that moulton AM's have avoided, is making affordable bikes. I have as much respect for companies like Dahon (and Giant, Trek, and even Downtube etc.) for making their bikes, light, fast, high quality and affordable. I worry that Brompton will become a quaint olde english brand - respected just from a historical view point as others overtake them on performance and value. ... I hope this doesn't happen, and that next year we'll see a new brompton (say 20" wheels, same folded size, faster fold / automatic joints, lighter, with better brakes) ... but it looks like they wont or cant rise to this challenge. ... enter Dahon with this patent.... I suppose as a brompton user and supporter I'm a bit angry that this patent is not from Brompton.
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