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Old 07-14-08, 12:22 PM   #1
pengyou
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How can I increase the weight capacity of my Dahon?

The brochure says it can handle 230 pounds and at 190 I am pretty close, especially when you throw in a gallon of water (yes, that is what I need for a full days activity out in the middle of nowhere), some munchies, a small towel, etc. Would changing the spokes help? The spokes and rim so that there are more spokes? Yes, ok, I know...loosing 10-15 pounds would help too.

Any other ideas?
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Old 07-14-08, 01:51 PM   #2
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Excessive weight alone (by a small margin) shouldn't over-stress the frame or components by itself. What is fatal to the components structural integrity is the product of weight and impact factor. Such as drive over a pot hole with normal tire pressure could result in a pinch flat where as the same tire at double the loading might not fail when riden over smooth road surface.

So, I would would be comfortable with overloading the bike marginally (such is your case) if I can be assured of avoiding road features that could cause an impact force (eg: gravel, pot holes, curbs, wash-board road surface).

You are carrying about 8 lbs of water plus other stuff, as you described. I am guessing your luggage could be as heavy as 12 to 15 lbs. You could review how you are distributing the weight amongst the two tires. If you could move more of that weight to the front wheel, this would be significant.

I do randonneur rides on a Cervelo R3, for which my luggage for overnight camping and water reaches about 15 lbs. Some of that weight is directly over the front tire: I attach two water bottle with cages to the outside face of each wheel fork on the front and the heaviest articles are loaded into a handlebar bag.

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Old 07-14-08, 02:08 PM   #3
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I don't know what model Dahon you have, but I'm within the weight capacity of my Matrix, and I'm currently waiting for the warranty replacement third frame, having broken two.

It's broken in the same place both times: Right at the braze where the seat tube meets the top tube. If I weren't selling it once the replacement is done, I'd try to avoid the problem by replacing the BioLogic Post Pump with a real seatpost that extends farther into the frame.

I don't think they expected anybody to actually, you know, ride it.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:34 AM   #4
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Wow! Third frame...how often do you ride it?
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Old 07-15-08, 08:59 AM   #5
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Anywhere from 0 to 125 miles a week. On average, probably somewhere around 75.
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Old 07-15-08, 11:45 AM   #6
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pengyo-between me and my gear I am frequently over the 230 capacity. Skeleton is right on, it depends on the use and surface more than anything else.

The Dahons put almost all their load on the rear wheel, and I think that might be the weakest link to consider. I destroyed the stock rear wheel on a D7 after too many direct hits with potholes (the poorly lit streets of Oakland, 200 lbs of me, and an amp on the rear rack did it in). Got a stronger rear wheel and no problems since.

On my Speed P8 with the impact friendly Big Apples, heavy loads have been a non-issue.

I would love to find a front platform rack to distribute more weight to the front wheel though. So far no luck finding one...
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