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  1. #1
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    Dahon D3 hub fault?

    Can anybody advise me on an annoying little problem i have with my D3?

    Basically, it's recently developed what i can only describe best as a notchy feel as i pedal. It makes a slight knocking noise and the pedals seem to slip ever so slightly on each revolution.

    The gears still shift cleanly and the chain is correctly adjusted. The bike has only covered about 500 (albeit quite hard) miles.

    Cheers, Matt

  2. #2
    jur
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    Crank arm loose?

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    Senior Member kgibbs51's Avatar
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    Bottom Braket needs work. Same thing happend to me at 350 miles. No problems since that was rebuilt but it shouldn't have happend in the 1st place. See if your local shop can cover it under warranty.

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    Thanks for the replys guys,

    Sorry for being dumb but what/where's the bottom bracket?

    Is there any way to fix this myself as i bought the bike from an internet shop so don't have the option to get it fixed under warrantee.

    Cheers, Matt

  5. #5
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    your adjustment for the internal 3 speed hub is out of whack,,,,, tighten the barrel adjuster on the grip or at thechain ... and it will be good again

    thor

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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    your adjustment for the internal 3 speed hub is out of whack,,,,, tighten the barrel adjuster on the grip or at thechain ... and it will be good again

    thor
    Oh, OK!

    I'll try that and get back to you.

    Cheers, Matt

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    Update:

    I tried adjusting up the cable as far as it would go (and everything inbetween) before it started to make gear shifting difficult. Unfortunately, this didn't fix the problem.

    I then had a look at the parts in the middle of the bike, where the pedals attach- i guess that's the bottom bracket!

    The knurled collar thing although not very loose was not exactly tight either so i tweaked it up and that seemed to improve the slipping but the knocking noise is still very noticeable.

    Finally, i've tried loosening the collar and tapping the the centre part a few millimeters clockwise and anticlockwise before retightening the collar (just incase it's worked it's way out of adjustment). This doesn't seem to have made much difference but i'm not sure which direction, if any, i'm supposed to be turning it!

    Any more advice or is the knocking indicative of a worn out part rather than something that can be adjusted?

    Cheers, Matt

  8. #8
    jur
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    Take it to the LBS ASAP. I still think it's a loose crank arm. If yoiu ride with a loose crank arm, it's toasted quickly.

    Or go to Parktools website and learn how to fix it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kgibbs51's Avatar
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    I'm telling you, I had the same problem. Its the bearings or something in the bottom bracket. I tried to service it myself too and I tweeked and tightend to no end. I suppose you could rebuild it yourself but you'd still need to go to the LBS and order parts and if you do that you might as well let them look at it.

    My LBS told me it was the rear hub and they replaced that but I got right on the bike after the repair and it still did that slipping/clicking and I could also swear it was coming from the crank area.

    They replaced the BB and told me it was all ate up. It's been smooth sailing from then on. I don't know why this happened other than to think it wasn't installed properly at the factory. I didn't beat on the bike, drop it, or even ride it in the rain.

  10. #10
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Ok, here's the way bottom brackets work. First, you take off the cranks (this will require a crank puller). Then loosen the "collar" (lockring in bike-ese). You don't need to take it all the way off. Then tighten the centre part (ideally you need a pin spanner) til you can feel a little resistance turning the axle - more than you think there should be (don't worry, tightening the lockring will have the effect of slightly slackening, so you need to overtighten just a hair). Then tighten up the lockring. Finally, put the cranks back on, tightening them up good and tight (Jur is right, that's a very likely culprit).

    The local bike shop can probably do this for you for a tenner, or I'm in Southampton, if you're in one of the nearer parts of Dorset, I can take a look at it for you for nothing one evening.

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    Thanks everybody for your help. Sorry for the delay in replying as i don't have regular internet access at the moment.

    From your descriptions, there's little doubt that the culprit lies somewhere in the crank/bottom bracket. I would have liked to have been able to fix/rebuild this myself but it's beyond my understanding and ability of bicycle mechanics.

    That said, a couple of days ago i loosened the collar and experimented with tightening and loosening the centre part (with a hammer and screwdriver!) and more or less got rid of the knocking noise - strangely achieved by loosening it, as tightening it made it worse. It seems to ride OK now but feedback through the pedals is still a little vague. I realise now that the cranks need to come off first to do this properly.

    It's probably not the right thread to mention this but i'm pretty dissapointed in Dahon's overall build quality. It could be that i just got a dud but i bought the D3 partly because i wanted a reliable bike requiring a low amount of maintenance but i think it's had it's had more than it's fair share of niggles. Still, it looks cool and that's the other reason i bought it, so thats OK hehe!

    Sammyboy, thanks very much for your kind offer but i'm in West Dorset so quite a long way from you. I shall have to bite the bullet and visit a good LBS if i can find one.

    Cheers, Matt

  12. #12
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbike View Post
    T I shall have to bite the bullet and visit a good LBS if i can find one.

    Cheers, Matt
    It would be hard to find a LBS that couldn't do bottom bracket work.

    That said, just stay away from Evans Cycles.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kgibbs51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattbike View Post
    It's probably not the right thread to mention this but i'm pretty dissapointed in Dahon's overall build quality. It could be that i just got a dud but i bought the D3 partly because i wanted a reliable bike requiring a low amount of maintenance but i think it's had it's had more than it's fair share of niggles. Still, it looks cool and that's the other reason i bought it, so thats OK hehe!
    I agree to some extent. My Curve D3 had a rear hub replaced and the bottom bracket rebuilt with less than 400 miles on her. Some of that was possibly the result of shipping damage. When I received the bike which was mail ordered I noted and photographed some damage but when I assembled everything it worked fine. Later the damage compounded from riding. Not sure if I would have bought it from a LBS if they would have fixed it straight away though.

    Anyway, I got the bike for a super deal at $360 USD. I don't know many other bikes that would have sold me into folders for that price. The competition was $60-$100+ and I wasn't even considering higher quality bikes retailing over $600 because I wasn't sure if I would even like the whole experience.

    Now that I've had the D3 for over a year I definately would replace it with something very high quality because I really think it has a utility and I enjoy it. I'm just not sure if I would go with Dahon again.

    Perhaps Dahon would be better served assembling a more elite line of products in the USA and charging a premium. I'd be willing to pay 20-50% more if the build and component quality was higher.

    Fender does this with guitars so why can't Dahon.

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    Hi all,

    Just to give a final update (courtesy of new internet connection and Mac yay!).

    I took my Dahon into a LBS and arranged to collect it later that day. When i did come to collect, they made a nasty sucking noise through their teeth (never a good sign!) and informed me that the bottom bracket was indeed toasted with very scored cups and knackered bearings. They put it down to lack of grease on assembly as it was almost dry inside?

    Anyway, they had replaced the bearings and packed it with grease. I was advised that it was still not great due to the damage to the cups but to ride it anyway and see if i could put up with it. If i can't they said they would replace the whole unit with a sealed jobbie (about 20GBP) but wouldn't charge me any labour next time.

    It is certainly much better but i don't know how long i can put up with the slippy, sloppy feedback through the pedals.

    Frankly, i think i'll put up with it until i have saved enough money to buy a DT Mini...

    Cheers, Matt

  15. #15
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    My 2006 D7 BB was 'dry' from delivery, with a minimal amount of grease. As were the front hubs. I spent an afternoon lubing stuff up and all was fine. From that I think there's a moral with lower priced bikes with cup 'n cone bearings - get in there ASAP and check all the lube points.

    Notably, the Hammerhead and Matrix, with sealed bearings have been fine, of course.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  16. #16
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    I'm shocked!

    When i bought my Dahon i had thought it was quite near the high-end of the folding bike market - admittibly before i discovered this forum but i would have thought even the cheapest Chinese knock-off bike would come with grease on the bits that need grease. I shall definitely be more wary in future.

    Cheers, Matt

  17. #17
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Construction standards vary, some early Dahon supplied rims were appalling, but Dahon sorted out the production problems reasonably swiftly. If you read the tales of woe on the BMW car forums for instance, you'd never buy one. I stopped buying Mercedes as my last two fell to bits...
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  18. #18
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that your LBS didn't just bang in a sealed BB, having found that one was toast.

  19. #19
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    I'm surprised that your LBS didn't just bang in a sealed BB, having found that one was toast.
    +1

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    I'm surprised that your LBS didn't just bang in a sealed BB, having found that one was toast.
    Yes, that would probably have been better. I guess they didn't want to do a more expensive fix without talking to me first. There again, at least it would have been fixed!

    Cheers, Matt

  21. #21
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    I mean a cheap run of the mill bottom bracket is like 5 bucks , why somebody repairs a broken one with pitted balls and bad running surfaces is beyond me .. its like a gurantee to get the customer back in not time ....????

    maybe it wasnt all that bad and just loose .... wondering

    thor

  22. #22
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgibbs51 View Post
    Perhaps Dahon would be better served assembling a more elite line of products in the USA and charging a premium. I'd be willing to pay 20-50% more if the build and component quality was higher.

    Fender does this with guitars so why can't Dahon.
    Well first off you can buy a Bike Friday Tikit if you want a folder hand built in the US. Bike Friday will spec it for you with several different component configurations depending on your budget and planed use.

    In Dahon's defense they sell bikes at all price points. You could buy a Curve SL for $920 or a MU SL for $1200 - both of which would have a better component spec than the Curve D3 at $530. So they seem to be doing exactly what you want.
    safe riding - Vik
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  23. #23
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
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    Why would they want to assemble them in the USA? All the same components are available to assemble bikes in the Far East. American workers are far from being the best in the world. I'd FAR rather have a product made in Japan than anywhere else, on pure quality grounds - forget USA, Germany or anything. Would you expect a Chevy to outperform a Toyota in the long term?

  24. #24
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sammyboy View Post
    Why would they want to assemble them in the USA? All the same components are available to assemble bikes in the Far East. American workers are far from being the best in the world. I'd FAR rather have a product made in Japan than anywhere else, on pure quality grounds - forget USA, Germany or anything. Would you expect a Chevy to outperform a Toyota in the long term?
    Well I think your basic assumption is wrong. You can build quality products in the US or Germany [Bike Friday [USA], Rocky Mtn Bikes [Canada] and Ortlieb [Germany] are a few examples]. On a logical level there is no reason US or German workers could not build quality products and the reality is they do. Where things fall apart is if the consumer wants the product to be built well and be sold inexpensively. That's where almost all North American or European built products fail to meet expectations.

    If you want a folding bike for $300 don't call Bike Friday and if you want waterproof panniers for $50 don't call Ortlieb. Cheaper versions of the these products exist that are made by workers in parts of the world where costs are less. The quality of these cheaper products is debatable. I've had and bad experiences.

    There is a reason why I bought a Dahon D7 for less than $500 and then spent $1000 to buy a Tikit.
    safe riding - Vik
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