How well do the 20" Dahons perform on wet, hilly roads?
It's raining and I'm at work, but I'll have to leave in about an hour so I was wondering how the bike would handle on wet roads. I have a 2008 Mariner D7 and am mostly concerned about traction on hills. If it makes any difference, the tires are probably the ones that shipped with the bike, but I don't know for certain because I bought it from a bike shop instead of ordering it from Dahon. I've only put maybe 50 miles on the bike so far, so the tires are still pretty new. I don't want to have to take the bus if the bike will be slipping all over the road, but I'm still a bike noob and I'm probably giving the bike less credit than it deserves. Here's the elevation chart, but reverse it for my work-to-home commute (and the hill that has me worried is the one in the middle, naturally, which is on a busy stretch of road):
The bike will be fine in the wet. Yes there is less traction on wet roads but generally tarmac is good also in the wet. But DO avoid painted lines, blocks arrows etc. And DO avoid metal manhole covers, railway lines and other steel surfaces like the plague.
Brompton S2L-X, Bridgestone Moulton, 1963 & 1966 Moultons, Scott Mountain bike
Assuming that you have a tread pattern on your tyres, I would say that you are being over-cautious. I have been ridding my Dahon Mu-SL in very heavy rain without any problem and that is fitted with Schwalbe Kojak slicks. Jur is right about painted lines and man-hole covers, they can be really slippery when wet. I’ve spent a good few years riding motorcycles and I know that in dry conditions it is the front brake that provides the main braking force and the rear is just to stabilize the bike so you are looking at 75% front / 25% rear. In wet conditions you need to adapt and use the front and rear in equal amounts 50% front / 50% rear and try to avoid braking while in a bend / banked over.
Bicycles are similar except they are much lighter in weight and you are not travelling as fast.