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  1. #1
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Dahon Speed P8 review

    People,
    After a coupla-three years of reading this forum I finally got a folder. 2008 Dahon Speed P8. Good value, swell red paint.

    I struggled with this decision because I am 6'4" and didn't have a lot of test ride options. I bought this trusting the measurements on the Dahon site and a few insights from Dahon owners around here. A custom tikit might have fit me better, and the word is that the Birdy is great for a tall rider.

    I'm all torso so reach is my big issue. The Speed P8 has the longest (effective) top tube measurement (at max. seat height) listed on the Dahon site other than the MuSL. So I took a chance that it would be okay. However, after 50 miles I took out the hack saw. I went ahead with chopping off the QR clamp on the stem, and fitting an ahead style stem. Ahhhhh, that's MUCH better. Now the bike fits perfectly and it rides VERY well. Sadly the fold is affected by the stem mod. I manage to get the handlebars folded over the top of frame instead of inside the frame fold - it's not ideal - but we'll see how it works in actual use around town. If anybody else has done this mod and has ideas about folding I would be interested to know what you are doing. The Big Apples are great for city riding and not too pokey at all. Components are fine. Crisp shifting with the Neos and SRAM combo.

    Maybe I'll report again after some more city riding and folding.
    Last edited by atom bomb; 05-11-08 at 03:41 PM.
    Atom Bomb

  2. #2
    Explorer CaptainSpalding's Avatar
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    Nice review. Thanks.
    I came to say I must be folding . . .
    Dahon Jetstream XP
    Dahon Helios SL
    Strida 5.0
    Twenty project


    or not . . .
    Fisher Mt. Tam (c.1988)
    Merlin Road flat bar project
    Schwinn Twinn Deluxe

  3. #3
    Senior Member Loch's Avatar
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    I've done this mode also. There are two options with the speed frame. You can get a pretty good fold if you just remove the top stem portion when you fold it and lay it on the top of the folded bike. This works okay but you have a loose part to deal with.

    The other solution actually came stock on my 2003 Speed Pro. It was a Zoom adjustable quill type stem. With a 6mm allen wrench you can rotate the stem up so that it will fold. This works great but takes a bit more time and an allen wrench.

    This is what the stem looked like on my old Speed Pro.


    You probably don't want to here this but the Mu frames work well with an adjustable ahead type stem because the chainstay is missing so there is more room down there. I haven't even tried it with the speed frame it might be worth exploring but I think the chainstay would be in the way.

    This is what it looks like on a Curve frame, but it's very similar on the Mu.

  4. #4
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    This may or may not be of use to you...

    Another option is to pull up (and out) the upper-section of the handlepost when you fold.
    If your cables do not presently allow this, there are several different kinds of cable splitters that you can get

    One example is the Ritchey Breakaway cable splitters.

  5. #5
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas. Pulling out the stem seems to work well. It's a loose bit, but the whole business becomes quite compact.
    Atom Bomb

  6. #6
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    You can also use an adjustable stem that will allow you to 'straighten out' the stem for folding. Like the Speed Pro fix, this also would require an allen wrench. The other negative is that the stem will only go so 'straight' - it will still stick out at an angle, just not as much as your natural riding position. The plus is that you can get more extension with an adjustable stem, and that everything stays put together,

    Juan

  7. #7
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Update - The Speed P8 is a snappy folder. Bike to Work Day in Boston today - rode with the Newton, MA Convoy to Boston City Hall. Rally there sponsored by MassBike. Free coffee/cookies. Nice. The Speed P8 is a great urban bike. We rode at moderate pace on Charles River Path. I returned home via Cambridge to run errands and blasted around a bit at high speed. Great handling bike. Doesn't feel like a full size bike - it's a unique feel and I love it. Bike fits my tall person great now with ahead stem. Attached pix show lazy fold in the lobby of Schoenhof's Foreign Books. Handlepost with stem business flopped over the seat. Lazy fold takes about :10 - suits me. Suggested practice of pulling out post works great for a more compact fold when needed. Next trip will involve train transit.


    Last edited by atom bomb; 05-16-08 at 11:32 AM.
    Atom Bomb

  8. #8
    jur
    jur is offline
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    Dunno if this is possible on yours, but can you rotate the bars so that they can hang down from that position, or is there an anti-rotation groove on yours?

  9. #9
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Yes. Groove prevents rotation.
    Atom Bomb

  10. #10
    jur
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    On another topic, watch the handlepost latch very carefully. Get to fully understand how it works and always make sure it works as supposed to. That way you will avoid a lot of trouble. It is worth lots to apply Loctite to the right places (6 screws!) once you know what is what.

  11. #11
    low and laid back atom bomb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    On another topic, watch the handlepost latch very carefully. Get to fully understand how it works and always make sure it works as supposed to. That way you will avoid a lot of trouble. It is worth lots to apply Loctite to the right places (6 screws!) once you know what is what.
    Good advice. Will do.
    Atom Bomb

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