Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Downtube FS on public transport?

    I'm not getting on as well with my 20" Dahon as I'd hoped and I'm considering something that'll smooth out the often mangled London road surfaces better. I've more or less gotten used to getting my Dahon through ticket barriers and other obstacles and I'm wondering if the Downtube FS will be significantly less adept in that area. Things that I'm concerned about are:

    Probable greater width when folded combined with the fact that, as far as I know, there's no locking system on the handlebars which are on the outside when folded. I can imagine this causing some trouble and perhaps has more chance of getting tangled. Though looking at the official stats the Downtube claims to be a smaller fold, with 9cm off the height and equal width and length. Something is odd there, unless the Downtube wheelbase is much shorter than the dahon there's no way it could be the same length when folded as it rests differently on the ground.

    I don't know how secure the bungee cord lock system is for the frame when carrying and wheeling when folded. I wouldn't want the bike to be flapping around when I'm trying to wheel it through awkward spaces (it's awkward enough already with 20" bikes just due to the size). The Dahon is good in that department: the magnet system works well and the handlebar is secure, sandwiched in the middle.

    Then there's the weight factor. I don't know how accurate official stated weights are. According to the Dahon website my Vitesse is 11.9 kg, but I don't know whether that includes all accessories such as the ludicrously heavy rear rack which I've removed. I've tried weighing my bike in its slightly modified state on standard bathroom scales and I think it's closer to about 10.7. The stock pedals were very heavy and I've shaved about 300 gms off there.
    According to the downtube website the 9FS is 27 lbs or 12.24 kg. That's only marginally more heavy than the Dahon's official weight, but I don't know if that weight includes rear rack. If, as I suspect, my Dahon with mods/upgrades is more like 10.7kg, then that's a significant difference and I can imagine that extra weight make the Downtube awkward to shift around on trains and the like. On top of that I've seen the weight listed as 28 lbs elsewhere, though perhaps that was the 2008 version, but leaves me uncertain. I don't think I'd be able to lose any weight by component change as the pedals on the 2009 model are already light and the seat looks less chunky than the stock Dahon seat. I'm looking at the Downtube FH with the internal gear hub and the stated weight is also 27 lbs: that can't be right. There must be some inaccuracy in these figures somewhere.

    To summarise, I don't know the real weight difference between bikes so any incite there would be appreciated, and I'd like some views on the Downtube fold and it's portability.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Bay Area and Sacramento
    My Bikes
    Bike Friday Tikit
    Posts
    1,135
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can't speak specifically about the Downtube, but I can comment on bungie. I use a bungie cord to keep my Giant Halfway together when folded. It works rather well and only takes an extra couple of seconds to put on. A velcro strap will likely work just as well.

    --sam

  3. #3
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Washington, DC
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova, Bike Friday NWT, STRIDA, Austro Daimler Vent Noir, Haluzak Horizon, Salsa La Raza, Hollands Tourer, Bike Friday tikit
    Posts
    5,171
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How crowded is your public transport?

    Personally, I always recommend one of the 16"-wheel bikes -- or smaller -- for public transport.

  4. #4
    The Metropolis, UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recommend Schwalbe Big Apple tyres for your Vitesse. It's a very good bike and these tyres are designed to smooth the ride.

    The only proviso is that the brakes and mudguards (fenders) have the clearance for the thicker 20" x 2" dimensions. Anyone more expert to say categorically if the Vitesse will fit Big Apples easily in this case?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Invisiblehand, I wouldn't be battling through peak-time London transport, no way. That'd be a real pain even with a 16" folder, I think. Well, it's a real pain anyway.

  6. #6
    The Metropolis, UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Invisiblehand, I wouldn't be battling through peak-time London transport, no way. That'd be a real pain even with a 16" folder, I think. Well, it's a real pain anyway.
    Doable with a Brompton! I get on packed Paddignton bound peak hour trains quite a bit. The Brompton's compact fold handles it with aplomb!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your bike combo, Brompton plus FS is an ideal one, I think. There's no way I could afford a Brompton though. Poor me.

  8. #8
    Member Karlgw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Syston, Leics, UK
    My Bikes
    Pacific Reach (Road version); Dahon Vitesse D5; Carrera Subway 1
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
    I recommend Schwalbe Big Apple tyres for your Vitesse. It's a very good bike and these tyres are designed to smooth the ride.

    The only proviso is that the brakes and mudguards (fenders) have the clearance for the thicker 20" x 2" dimensions. Anyone more expert to say categorically if the Vitesse will fit Big Apples easily in this case?
    Big Apples clear the Black SKS mudguards provided you use the 20 x 2" (406-50) version. There is also a 20 x 2.5" (406-60) version available, which will not clear the mudguards. I am told that if you have the silver mudguards then neither size of Big Apples fit.

    I fitted the 406-50 BAs to my Vitesse and they do make a big difference to the ride quality - they also have a very low rolling resistance compared to other 'fat' tyres - comparable to many low profile tyres. You can find more information about these tyres on the folding society website (www.foldsoc.co.uk).

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    44
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Downtube FS experience was that it was not good in crowded transit situations. Getting it up the Embarcadero staircases in SF during morning rush (wall to wall people and packed trains) was 100% no fun. It's an extrememly awkward fold for carrying in crowds or for long distances, and fussing with a bungie to hold it together seemed silly compared to the easy fold of the Dahon (FWIW, people here say that the Downtube Mini is better).

    I think you've already got a really good bike for the price, keep modding the Vitesse. The Big Apples are excellent on my Speed P8, that's a great idea too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've been perusing a few threads here and saw that a few people had swapped their Downtube front suspension for rigid, keeping the rear suspension. Whilst riding today I was trying to work out whether the shocks to my hands/arms or spine were significantly different in the degree to which they bothered me, but I couldn't really tell, experientially they all blurred into one. I don't think I'll figure it out until I've tried the various permutations. I'm hoping I'll be happy with the Big Apples, but I'll also give a suspension seat post a try. Thing is, dahon components are hugely overpriced and hard to get hold of in the UK. I was looking into the possibiliy of buying an aluminium tube and inserting a standard suspension post in the end, but the closest match I could find in diameter was 34.9mm which I assume is too large.

  11. #11
    The Metropolis, UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's where a Dahon at 199 plus 25 is such a good proposition. If you use a bungee cord the fold is fine. While a very good bike I'd use it for other purposes than overcrowded trains though. It will also tell you what you want from a bike in the longer term. The dual suspension works well actually and doesn't give too plush a ride.

    There's been an odd one recently 2nd hand on ebay UK too and one now but its orange. Orange ones tend to get snapped up by Snafu25 Anyway it's an 8 speed, the 9 speed is a better system and drivetrain.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    My Bikes
    Upgraded Scott Sub 20 in silver; Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc 2006 in limited edition Army green; Dahon Curve D3 foldable in white; Dahon MU P24 in blue.
    Posts
    342
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Big Apples are very good for the Vitesse. I used to ride an 2006 model and the Big Apples made the ride totally smoother on uneven roads. Do know that BAs are heavier tires and will add some weight to your bike. I still think they are worth the extra weight.

    The Thudbuster is also a very good suspension seatpost if you want some nice suspension. You will lose some power on the slopes though. Oh, and it is heavier than the regular seatpost.

    I guess there is usually a tradeoff between weight and comfort.

    May I also suggest Ergon grips. I have found them very comfortable to ride with. Much better than the stock grips.

    I've done mixed mode with both 20-inch and 16-inch Dahons, and in crowded conditions, the 16-inch one is slightly easier to get onboard though the 20-inch model is fine with non-peak crowds.

    I'd tweak the Vitesse, if I were you. Do you carry the bike through your station? I usually roll my bike so I am less concerned about the weight. Although I have taken the Tube in London and I've noticed you need to climb stairs a lot.
    Mercy overtakes
    even when you push fifty
    pedaling His paths


    My blog | My podcasts | My Flickr | My Rides

  13. #13
    The Metropolis, UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post
    Big Apples are very good for the Vitesse. I used to ride an 2006 model and the Big Apples made the ride totally smoother on uneven roads. Do know that BAs are heavier tires and will add some weight to your bike. I still think they are worth the extra weight.

    The Thudbuster is also a very good suspension seatpost if you want some nice suspension. You will lose some power on the slopes though. Oh, and it is heavier than the regular seatpost.

    I guess there is usually a tradeoff between weight and comfort.

    May I also suggest Ergon grips. I have found them very comfortable to ride with. Much better than the stock grips.

    I've done mixed mode with both 20-inch and 16-inch Dahons, and in crowded conditions, the 16-inch one is slightly easier to get onboard though the 20-inch model is fine with non-peak crowds.

    I'd tweak the Vitesse, if I were you. Do you carry the bike through your station? I usually roll my bike so I am less concerned about the weight. Although I have taken the Tube in London and I've noticed you need to climb stairs a lot.
    Some good advice there!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I checked the weight difference with the tyres and I think they'll be adding something like 130 grams extra in total, so it's acceptable.


    Are ergon grips good at soaking up vibrations? They look sort of hard in images I've seen, but I think that's merely due to the style of photography.

  15. #15
    The Metropolis, UK
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    2,272
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    I checked the weight difference with the tyres and I think they'll be adding something like 130 grams extra in total, so it's acceptable.


    Are ergon grips good at soaking up vibrations? They look sort of hard in images I've seen, but I think that's merely due to the style of photography.
    I added them to my Brompton (I had to cut them down a little for the Brompton M bars). Yes they are excellent, not only in terms of comfort but arguably do insulate the wrists and hands.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As for rolling the bike, I've not found a way to do it that works very well. I've just been looking at this thread: 9NS or dahon d7. Can any of this 2 be rolled while folded? and I'll have a go with the handlebar method. So far I've been using the saddle; the most comfortable way for me has been to reverse the saddle, hold onto the seat post and let the indentation/cut-away section in the centre of the back of my saddle (not the stock one) lock into my forearm. Makes it easier to balance on one wheel (I'm going to try a Rido saddle this week and that has a similar shape). But should I have to get through a ticket barrier or something like that, I have to lower the seat post, and all the adjusting gets awkward, so I tend to just carry the thing. Which is also somewhat awkward. Which is why potentially the weight/comfort ration might be breached with a full suspension bike: I can imagine it being too cumbersome to carry, but it all depends on what the real-world weights are.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    In the past, before my biking abstention, I was fond of ODI Yeti dual density grips, I think intended for the downhill market. Standard shape, i.e. not ergonomic, but extremely soft on the outside.

  18. #18
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    The Mangroves, UK
    My Bikes
    None.
    Posts
    1,896
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a Dahon D7, and I currently have a DT IX FS. I would hate to carry either very far, especially on the Tube in the rush hour.

    If the other gripe is comfort, then you're sort of limited to new grips, suspension seat post, gel saddle, or a different bike. Big Apple tyres help too, but not as much as you might hope for. Or rather, I hoped for when I had my D7.

    Bikes with suspension are excellent for urban adventures...., but they add weight.


    Hmmmm. Downtube mini?
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I did state that this wasn't for rush hour journeys. Watching videos of 16 inch wheeled bikes I'm just not convinced, particularly those with a shorter wheelbase like the Curve and Mini. Of course, I'd like to give them a test ride, and perhaps I'd find a combination like mulleady's Brompton & DT FS ideal. But I don't have a lot of money to be chucking about.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    My Bikes
    Brompton, Dahon Vitesse D5
    Posts
    1,799
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Is there a forum for 2nd hand bike/component sale, specifically for folding bikes? I'm after a Dahon suspension seat post and this site doesn't seem to be the place for that sort of thing. It's a UK problem - if I was USA I'd buy one new but I haven't been able to find one in stock here, and I've been told that 'Dahon are on holiday' (?) at the moment so I'll have to wait up to 3 months, plus the prices here are unreasonable.

  21. #21
    Member Karlgw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Syston, Leics, UK
    My Bikes
    Pacific Reach (Road version); Dahon Vitesse D5; Carrera Subway 1
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Is there a forum for 2nd hand bike/component sale, specifically for folding bikes? I'm after a Dahon suspension seat post and this site doesn't seem to be the place for that sort of thing. It's a UK problem - if I was USA I'd buy one new but I haven't been able to find one in stock here, and I've been told that 'Dahon are on holiday' (?) at the moment so I'll have to wait up to 3 months, plus the prices here are unreasonable.
    The Cane Creek Thudbuster suspension seatpost is manufactured in a size to fit the Dahon seatpost tube and is available direct from the manufacturer. They have many rave reviews and the Thudbuster is the leading suspension seatpost. They are in the states but will ship internationally. They make 2 seatposts, both of which can be ordered in the size to fit the Dahon seatpost tube. You need to decide whether to go for the short travel or long travel version. The long travel version will provide a better effective suspension at the expense of having a taller folded package (both systems will increase the height of the folded bike). For the Dahon you should order the following: 33.9 x 510mm (LT model) or 33.9 x 460mm (ST model). Shipping costs are $39.50 (they say to expect 5 days) and the posts themselves cost $139 (both LT and ST) so your total cost will be $178.50 (about 93). Of course theoretically you should also pay import duties - I don't know how that works or how much it would add to the cost. The website is here: http://www.thudbuster.com/.
    I've thought about buying one of these myself but put it off for now. If you get one I'd love to hear how you get on with it.
    Last edited by Karlgw; 08-11-08 at 04:57 AM.

  22. #22
    Member Karlgw's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Syston, Leics, UK
    My Bikes
    Pacific Reach (Road version); Dahon Vitesse D5; Carrera Subway 1
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Is there a forum for 2nd hand bike/component sale, specifically for folding bikes? I'm after a Dahon suspension seat post and this site doesn't seem to be the place for that sort of thing. It's a UK problem - if I was USA I'd buy one new but I haven't been able to find one in stock here, and I've been told that 'Dahon are on holiday' (?) at the moment so I'll have to wait up to 3 months, plus the prices here are unreasonable.
    The Thudbuster suspension seatpost is available direct from the manufacturer. They have many rave reviews and are the leading suspension seatpost. They are in the states but will ship internationally. They make 2 seatposts to fit the Dahon seatpost tube. You need to decide whether to go for the short travel or long travel version. The long travel version will provide a better effective suspension at the expense of having a bigger folded package (both systems will increase the height of the folded bike). You should order the following: 33.9 x 510mm (LT model) or 33.9 x 460mm (ST model). Shipping costs are $39.50 (they say to expect 5 days) and the posts themselves cost $139 (both LT and ST) so your total cost will be $178.50 (about 93). Theoretically you should also pay VAT and possibly import duties - VAT would bring it up to 109.28 and, if I understand it correctly, import duty, charged at 3.5% would be below the 7 minimum and thus would be waived - but I may have interpreted this wrongly - see this website for details: http://tinyurl.com/5b4873). The Thudbuster website is here: http://www.thudbuster.com/

  23. #23
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Professional, 2002 Lemond Zurich, Folders - Strida, Merc, Dahon, Downtube, Recumbent folder
    Posts
    3,843
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Watching videos of 16 inch wheeled bikes I'm just not convinced, particularly those with a shorter wheelbase like the Curve and Mini.
    You don't need to worry about the ride quality or stability of the Mini. I'm 6' tall, 190 lbs. I have ridden my Mini under very "aggressive" conditions - 40 miles, 1,000 feet of climbing, downhills up to 38 mph. It's a very stable bike, I never felt uncomfortable, not even at 38mph down hill. The only reason I didn't go faster is because I ran out of gearing, not because I was afraid of the bike.

    I do run Big Apple tires on mine, and I think it's a significant upgrade.

  24. #24
    The Legitimiser Sammyboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    My Bikes
    Gazelle Trim Trophy, EG Bates Track Bike, HR Bates Cantiflex bike, Nigel Dean fixed gear conversion, Raleigh Royal, Falcon Westminster.
    Posts
    4,848
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I've used my FS on peak hour services to and from Waterloo, and it's fine - you can always find some corner to stow it in. I wouldn't want to take it on the underground however. The Downtube Mini, I've got to tell you, is even better in either situation, though still a bit cumbersome on the deep lines. If the extra 125 is on hand, I'd go with the Mini.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mrbrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Singapore
    My Bikes
    Upgraded Scott Sub 20 in silver; Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc 2006 in limited edition Army green; Dahon Curve D3 foldable in white; Dahon MU P24 in blue.
    Posts
    342
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ergons are softer, and the wider grips mean you can rest on them instead of having to grab them. So yes, they help with vibrations a lot.
    Mercy overtakes
    even when you push fifty
    pedaling His paths


    My blog | My podcasts | My Flickr | My Rides

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •