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  1. #1
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Bent a rear axle today - Murphy's Law in action

    Ugh.

    I loaned a bike to a friend today who's considering buying a folder. Not any bike, the Dahon Helios XX Anniversary Edition, 17 lb ultralight, special-everything bike (that I got in December from another BF poster, Clownbike). Somehow, in the process, the chain drops and something happened that caused the rear axle on the super light, super expensive, especially made for Dahon, Rolf Accel wheel to bend. I wasn't there at the time, and didn't see exactly what transpired.

    I am freakin' disoncolate at this loss. I don't blame my friend, he was only riding the bike as intended. But, why, oh why, don't these things happen to my crappy bike with cheap wheels? Just to this one-of-a-kind, hard to replace, mortgage your house, wheels? #@$%$$#!!!

    I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't just buy another hub or another wheel without destroying the value and specialness of the bike. It's an anniversary edition and everything on the wheel was specially designed or patented or some such thing. I don't even know if I can replace them.

    I don't know what I will do. I guess I shouldn't decide for another couple of days, or else I'll do something stupid.

    Sheeeeit!

  2. #2
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Ugh.

    I loaned a bike to a friend today who's considering buying a folder. Not any bike, the Dahon Helios XX Anniversary Edition, 17 lb ultralight, special-everything bike (that I got in December from another BF poster, Clownbike). Somehow, in the process, the chain drops and something happened that caused the rear axle on the super light, super expensive, especially made for Dahon, Rolf Accel wheel to bend. I wasn't there at the time, and didn't see exactly what transpired.

    I am freakin' disoncolate at this loss. I don't blame my friend, he was only riding the bike as intended. But, why, oh why, don't these things happen to my crappy bike with cheap wheels? Just to this one-of-a-kind, hard to replace, mortgage your house, wheels? #@$%$$#!!!

    I don't know what I'm going to do. I can't just buy another hub or another wheel without destroying the value and specialness of the bike. It's an anniversary edition and everything on the wheel was specially designed or patented or some such thing. I don't even know if I can replace them.

    I don't know what I will do. I guess I shouldn't decide for another couple of days, or else I'll do something stupid.

    Sheeeeit!
    Bummer SC.

    Best bet is to contact Dahon. They might sympathize with you and find another hub.

  3. #3
    jur
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    If something can bend, might it be straightened? Even enough to be servicable? Who is the original hub manufacturer? I know Dahon used American Classic hubs before in their light weight bikes. If so, you could get hold of an axle.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Ugh.
    I am freakin' disoncolate at this loss. I don't blame my friend, he was only riding the bike as intended. But, why, oh why, don't these things happen to my crappy bike with cheap wheels? Just to this one-of-a-kind, hard to replace, mortgage your house, wheels? #@$%$$#!!!

    I don't know what I'm going to do.
    First take a few deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaths while saying... I will not covet material things, they are just stuff, unimportant stuff, stuff that can always be replaced...


    But DARN! I liked that stuff... It was really cool stuff...


    Then contact Dahon, Rolf, President Bush, Lance Armstrong and pray to Saint Sheldon, begging for help in finding a replacement axle.

    In the end its just an axle. Measure the outside diameter, width and thread pitch (might need a thread pitch guage for that) and see if if matches anything at your local LBS.

    Hard to believe it can't be replaced for a reasonable price.

    But remember, the important thing is to start with deeeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaths....

    We're all there with you on this one....

    - Pine Cone

  5. #5
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Thanks for your consolation guys. I knew you'd understand. It's just material stuff. It's just material stuff. Ommmm Ommmmm Ommmmmm.

    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    If something can bend, might it be straightened? Even enough to be servicable? Who is the original hub manufacturer? I know Dahon used American Classic hubs before in their light weight bikes. If so, you could get hold of an axle.
    It's an American Classic hub. Do you think I could order an axle and have someone rebuild it? I didn't think these sealed hubs were serviceable.

  6. #6
    jur
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    I have these AMC hubs on my Swift - the rear one I have disassembled, it is a very simple thing, very rebuildable. I think you can get hold of different axle lengths (130mm and 135mm), so it should be available. That axle is not salvagable if it is really bent, it is a hollow aluminium tube. I also think there are instructions on their site.
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  7. #7
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I have these AMC hubs on my Swift - the rear one I have disassembled, it is a very simple thing, very rebuildable. I think you can get hold of different axle lengths (130mm and 135mm), so it should be available. That axle is not salvagable if it is really bent, it is a hollow aluminium tube. I also think there are instructions on their site.
    Thanks for the tip. I'll check with AM and Dahon. The hubs appears to be fairly customized. Not a standard part. Hope they carry parts for it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member psykoocycle's Avatar
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    I think you are talking about that WHITE wedding DAHON... if that's the one... OUCH!!! Its always the special kid who needs the most attention (Murphy should be shot). I am sure you will find a solution... +3, this deserves a call to The HON!

  9. #9
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psykoocycle View Post
    I think you are talking about that WHITE wedding DAHON... if that's the one... OUCH!!! Its always the special kid who needs the most attention (Murphy should be shot). I am sure you will find a solution... +3, this deserves a call to The HON!
    Actually, it's a black 20th Anniversary one. I'm not familiar with the white wedding Dahon. It's a pretty unique bike and so I'm sure I'll need to speak to Dahon.

    Here's a picture with a straight rear axle :-(


  10. #10
    Bicycling Gnome
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    Sorry to hear of this horrible happening. Reminds me of the time I loaned my 250cc single cylinder motorbike to my mate back in 1970. He took it for a blast down a fast road near where we lived and brought it back clanking and smoking with blown big ends and a damaged piston. As it seized up his response had been to open the throttle more while the oil starved engine destroyed itself.

    PS - I wonder why someone thought a hollow aluminium tube would be a good substitute for steel on a bike rear axle?
    Last edited by EvilV; 05-06-08 at 03:28 PM.

  11. #11
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    H'm, I'm guessing that is a slightly older model. Dahon might have the parts, but might not. They stopped the "Helios" line a few years ago iirc.

    The white one psyk is talking about is probably the 25th Anniversary Mu, just came out this year.

    I'd contact Gaerlan, nice guys who deal with a lot of Dahons, Dahon upgrades, spare parts and so forth.

  12. #12
    jur
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    SC - I think the internal intricate parts would be standard despite any other customization AMC did for Dahon - they are not likely to have redesigned the works.

    If you have a 19mm cone spanner, you undo and remove the 2 nuts on the left side of the axle, then the axle tube slides out. (Remove the QR first of course.) It has 4 sealed bearings, 2 on the hub shell, 2 at the freehub body. The bearings may be jammed a bit on the damages axle. Watch for a very thin spacer ring between 2 sealed bearings of the hub shell and the freehub body. (I went and lost mine once.)
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  13. #13
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    Sesame,

    The Helios SL is still alive and well in Japan for 2008:
    http://www.dahon.jp/products/compact..._sl/index.html

    Looks like American Classic hubs ... an option for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    ... Somehow, in the process, the chain drops and something happened that caused the rear axle on the super light, super expensive, especially made for Dahon, Rolf Accel wheel to bend.
    SesameCrunch,

    sorry to see that happen!

    Do you have a contact email or web form for Dahon then?

    At the end of the Spezi show in Germany a couple of weeks ago, I rode a white Dahon Mu which was just great, but was so busy taking photo's of others & their bikes, I forgot to photo' that bike to identify which variant it was! This was on a "track" with no Dahon employees around to ask. As it felt a tad lighte than my Strida, it may have the same axle as yours in fact.

    I can't see a Dahon Germany branch listed, & the web "contact us" doesn't seem to help. It'd be really nice to find out more about that bike.

  15. #15
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your concerns and comments.

    I talked with an American Classic dealer and they affirmed what Jur said, which is that the hub is replaceable. Having never taking a hub apart before, and not wanting to learn through trial and error on a $300 hub, I took it into my LBS and they said they would try to order the part and replace it.

    I hope it all works out and that parts are indeed available. According to the American Classics website, they have 2 types of axles - 15mm and 17mm. So I'm hoping mine is one of them, and not some unique, custom blend they did for Dahon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    Thanks for all your concerns and comments.

    I talked with an American Classic dealer and they affirmed what Jur said, which is that the hub is replaceable. Having never taking a hub apart before, and not wanting to learn through trial and error on a $300 hub, I took it into my LBS and they said they would try to order the part and replace it.

    I hope it all works out and that parts are indeed available. According to the American Classics website, they have 2 types of axles - 15mm and 17mm. So I'm hoping mine is one of them, and not some unique, custom blend they did for Dahon.
    Crunch -

    Bummer dude.

    I don't believe the hub and axle were unique to the 20th anniversary model, but not sure. Try contacting Thorsten at http://www.thorusa.com/about.htm .He's the fellow I originally purchased the bike from and is a long time Dahon dealer.

    Unfortunately Rolf no longer supports these wheels in any way and I had little luck with Dahon trying to get bits two years ago. But like Jur said, just about anything is repairable. If nothing else, a competent machinist should be able to duplicate the part.

    Good luck and hope you get it on the road soon.

    CB

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    Hi Crunchy -

    Just wondering how things went with getting the axel/hub repaired.

    CB

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    Hi Crunchy -

    Just wondering how things went with getting the axel/hub repaired.

    CB

  19. #19
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    I haven't heard back from the LBS. I assume that no news is good news and that if parts were not available they would have called.

    I am getting anxious and will check with them soon. Thanks for asking. I'll let you know what happens.

  20. #20
    SWS: Small Wheel Syndrome kb5ql's Avatar
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    New rule, don't loan unobtanium-based bikes out to anybody.

    Sorry to hear about the explosion.

    REMEMBER, STEEL IS REAL

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb5ql View Post
    New rule, don't loan unobtanium-based bikes out to anybody.

    Sorry to hear about the explosion.

    REMEMBER, STEEL IS REAL

    Hey kb5ql ... quiet!!... shush!! .... please remove post so Crunch doesn't see this.. I wanted to 'borrow' his Moulton right after he finishes the resto...

  22. #22
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb5ql View Post
    New rule, don't loan unobtanium-based bikes out to anybody.
    NOW you tell me !

    Repair update - Checked in with the LBS today. There was some delay in reaching American Classic. But an axle is on its way. Hopefully all will be well again.
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 05-15-08 at 04:52 PM.

  23. #23
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    Hey kb5ql ... quiet!!... shush!! .... please remove post so Crunch doesn't see this.. I wanted to 'borrow' his Moulton right after he finishes the resto...
    Bruce:

    I'll trade rides between my Moulton and your Pacific Reach!

    The Moulton is rideable now, although on borrowed wheels from the Merc. I'm still waiting for LittlePixel's organ transplant wheels to arrive via snail mail from the UK.

    We'll have to arrange a meetup one of these days!

  24. #24
    jur
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    I wonder if you could ask them for the damaged part? I would really like to see the damage and learn more about AMC hubs' reliability as I rely on them rather heavily.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  25. #25
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I wonder if you could ask them for the damaged part? I would really like to see the damage and learn more about AMC hubs' reliability as I rely on them rather heavily.
    Will do, Jur! I'll take pictures and post them for a post-mortem.

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