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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 01-24-08, 06:13 PM   #1
flipflop
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Dahon as an everyday bike?

HI guys.

I'm looking into selling my Bianchi and picking up a dahon as my everyday bike. My current ride doesn't fit into my VW bus very well (if I need to put people in the back seat...) and doesn't fit on board my boat.

Any thoughts on the Dahon? I like going fast, and going on group rides. I keep up alright on the fixed gear... but don't know how much difference there is from a big bike to a folder?

I'll be going carless, and be in a salt air environment. The Mariner is targeted at sailors... is it any good? I'll need to add baskets and stuff to it too.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:33 PM   #2
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I think you can get a folder Dahon and others that can be your main bike even if you like performance, but you need to select it carefully. Many folders including lots of Dahons are targeted at the commuter/utility market where performance isn't the main consideration.

Also make sure you fit the folder well. Most folders are one size fits all. If that size works for you - great. If not don't buy it. It is one thing to ride a poorly fitting bike a few KMs at either end of a long train ride, but it is another if it is your only bike and you want to be able to put in some longer fast rides on it.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:55 PM   #3
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Since you aren't looking at a very small fold, take a good long hard look at Swift. (There is a mega thread on them here.) They are fully customisable, being able to handle derailers or SS or fixie, whatever you want. Special rear track end design. They also handle just like a large-wheeled bike (I refuse to use the tag "small-wheeled" ). Available in steel or aluminium.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:05 PM   #4
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Dahon's don't have the most compact of folds. There are others that fold more compactly ie. brompton and their clones.

In terms of adding a basket, you've got to come up with some sort of quik release mechanism to attach/remove a basket to your rack (quickly). I haven't come up with one yet. I attach my basket to the rack with some velcro ties. This adds to the fold/unfold prep/storage time. You can leave the basket on, but you lose most of the compactability.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:24 PM   #5
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Cool, I'll have to measure the spaces I have in mind on the boat. It'll have to fit into a cockpit locker, or go up in the bow somewhere.

The swift looks interesting, though a lot more expensive than I can afford. I'm on a limited budget for this bike. I'll need to sell my Pista to make the change.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:38 PM   #6
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ok .. your main concern is ride quality ... Nobody can do everything perfect.... some fold smaller some ride better ...
what you need is reasonable small fold with good ride .... go with a Dahon MU P8 .... best performance bike for the bucks and it folds nice ...
Now .. That Mariner stuff... The Mariner is an overpriced Boardwalk ..Or a Boardwalk with SpeedD7 components and a fancy name ... really way way way back the mariner was a little different than the other offereings.. today all is stainless and alloy anyhow.. no more need to spent extra bucks for the name ... you already know that you need to wash EVERYTHING from the saltwater on a boat anyhow ..

therefore go with a MU P8 .... put some stelvios on it if you want to go fast ( or think you going fast, as the regular thicker Schwalbes will be almost as fast as the skinny ones ..... but its a head thing )

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p.s. what boat ?
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Old 01-24-08, 07:46 PM   #7
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I've got a 28 foot Pearson Triton that I'm putting back together to go cruising. http://pylasteki.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-24-08, 10:17 PM   #8
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ohhh .......very sweet boat indeed ....
I have a 28 corsair :-)
and a Curve
http://www.thorusa.com/cordahon2.jpg

:-)
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Old 01-25-08, 12:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by flipflop View Post
I've got a 28 foot Pearson Triton that I'm putting back together to go cruising. http://pylasteki.blogspot.com/
Lovely! When will she make sail?
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Old 01-25-08, 07:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by flipflop View Post
The swift looks interesting, though a lot more expensive than I can afford. I'm on a limited budget for this bike. I'll need to sell my Pista to make the change.
In that case maybe you'd do well to buy used. Even the Mu P8 is only 15% cheaper than the Swift or thereabouts.
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Old 01-25-08, 08:34 AM   #11
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I've got a 28 foot Pearson Triton that I'm putting back together to go cruising. http://pylasteki.blogspot.com/
I have an Alberg 30 and have found that width of the hatch opening is the the key for my boat. In fact taking the front wheel off of a non-folder allows it to fit in the seat locker more easily than my folded Helios, which is a struggle to get in without removing the pedals.

The folder really doesn't offer an advantage over a non-folder of the same wheel size for stowage in my cockpit lockers. It is harder to fit my Helios in folded than unfolded with the front wheel removed. My daughter's MTB fits in fine with the front wheel removed, and I am sure my road bike would fit too, but may need both wheels removed.

I would think the Triton might be similar and suggest trying the various combinations before deciding what to buy. I actually plan to leave the folder home and use my road bike to carry on board this summer.
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Old 01-25-08, 08:52 AM   #12
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Great thoughts guys. Who woulda thought so many sailors on a bike forum... (Grin)

I'll be changing out the forward hatch to something larger. I'd be forever thankful if you would measure yours and tell which bikes transit through it.

Did you guys go through local shops to try out the size aspects before buying, or is there an online source for that?

I'm recoring the deck this spring while floating alongside (ouch)... and hauling out for a week or so to glass in some through hulls and other stuff below the water line. She'll be back sailing this summer, hoping to move down somewhere around July... (Pant Pant pass the ice cubes) and head for uncharted waters Fall 2009.
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Old 01-25-08, 09:20 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by flipflop View Post

Any thoughts on the Dahon? I like going fast, and going on group rides. I keep up alright on the fixed gear... but don't know how much difference there is from a big bike to a folder?
.
I wanted to comment on this part of your original post. I, too, am a roadie who likes to go fast and stay with the group. If indeed you plan to use your folder for group rides, pay attention to the gearing. Most folders have only 1 chainring up front. You'll find yourself running out of gears compared to the big bikes. Some of the folding bikes come with axle gears like SRAM Dual Drive to compensate. I got a Dahon SpeedPro for that purpose. But, the price is a heavier bike (27lbs).

Overall, the ability to keep up with the group depends more on rider fitness than anything. But, there are some trade-offs you should be cognizant of when you get a folding bike. Maybe you should keep your big bike for a while until you're sure of the riding experience on the folder.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:24 AM   #14
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As much as I love my Brompton for commuting and general biking around town/errands, I definitely wouldn't want it to be my primary recreational bike. The gearing is way too limited, it's heavy and not at all aero, and just not as responsive as a road bike.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:32 AM   #15
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I see no reason my Speed 7 will have difficulty finding a decent hold on my 25 Hunter. Got my eye on a second folder the MU P8 which will probably be used as an all around while the Speed 7 will stay in the boat by the dock. The folder is the ideal transportation means for sailors.
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Old 01-25-08, 10:47 AM   #16
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20" bikes are less safe at high speeds. If you plan to charge downhill on curvy roads with broken pavement, best to do it on something other than a 20" wheel. People think uphill is the problem with small wheeled bikes, downhill is the problem.
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Old 01-25-08, 12:44 PM   #17
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I'll have to test ride one to see. I'm gear limited to 40mph down hill on my fixed, which is faster than I like to go, things get hairy riding the front brake at that speed anyway. (I start thinking about spandex vs leather and Styrofoam bucket vs motorcycle helmet at that speed!)

For the most part I'll be hitting islands and harbor towns not really needing to go much further than 5 miles, for groceries and parts. Most coastal places are pretty flat, but eventually I'll make it to some volcanic island chains with hills. I guess I'll ride the brakes going down.
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