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  1. #1
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    Chagzuki's Vitesse D5 2007 (continued)

    I thought I'd stick all my questions / thoughts in one thread as I'd been splurging all over other threads and making a mess.


    [Edit:
    I've been weighing some of the stock components and here are my findings:


    rear rack: 1056g (removed)

    Promax brake levers: 186g (replaced with Avid FR5, 155g)

    Handlebar 6061-T6 aluminum: 238g (replaced with an Outland handlebar from ebay.co.uk, 154g)

    Suntour folding pedals: 474g (replaced with MKS Promenade pedals, 350g)

    Velo saddle: 403g (currently replaced with Rido, 360g)

    front fender: 126g (removed)

    Unaltered:
    Fork (with magnet): 777g
    Front wheel (without tyre and tube): 738g
    Kickstand: 157g (lighter than I expected. If anyone knows of a lighter alternative please let me know.)
    Chainguard: 137g
    Grips: 85g (an Ergon replacement would be significantly heavier)
    Handlepost: 198g (I ride with mine at lowest position and fold that way too, so could cut some length off)

    Official weight stats:
    Sturmey Archer XRF5: 1250g (Shimano SG-7R46: 1465g)
    Kenda Kwest tyre: 445g

    Added Cateye EL510, 196g (including 4 AA batteries), and removed the post pump which should have saved around 200g.

    According to official stats Kenda Kwest tyres are 445g and I've switched to Schwalbe Big Apples 20x2.00 which are 530g, adding 170g.

    Those changes leave the bike 1298g lighter.]







    The upgrades / modifications to my Vitesse continue. Here's a crap picture that isn't at all revealing, for the time being:



    It's a 2007 5 speed model. Those are MKS quick release pedals and the saddle is a razor-sharp 130 gram job, bought for next to nothing on ebay. I'll be trying out a Rido as soon as it arrives in the post. The post-pump has been removed and the brake levers are Avid FR 5.

    The Big Apples are newly on and I've just been out in some ludicrously windy weather for a brief ride. First impressions:
    Yeah, the gearing has changed a bit with the fatter wheels and the bike doesn't feel so diddy any more. From official stats these tyres shouldn't add much weight but I guess the fact that rolling resistance isn't as good makes the bike feel less nippy. In-built suspension? Well, I think the best way to describe the feel is that they muffle the noise, 'pillowy' if you will. Kind of like putting your hands over your ears. I'll have to test them a whole lot more. One effect of the larger tyre size that I hadn't considered is that the angle of the bike when resting on the kickstand is somewhat extreme, a little off-balance.



    Most immediate technical issue to deal with (there's a bunch):

    Since buying the bike I've found that going over large bumps / off kerbs etc. would cause a clanky slapping noise, and I've not been sure what it was. I thought it might have been the kickstand moving and also I've noticed that the rear magnet rattles when moved (I'll sort that out with some duct tape soon). I felt that it was worse after changing the tyres so I had a close inspection and it's clearly the bottom of the chain flapping horizontally and hitting the chainguard (big plastic jobby you can see here on the dahon site (doesn't seem to allow inserting an image from the dahon site here).

    Clankiness isn't a quality I admire in bikes, so I'd like to fix this. I was advised on this forum to check the recommended chain tension and get that right when reinstalling the rear wheel. I didn't do this (I don't know how you measure chain tension), instead I marked the axle position before removing the wheel and put it back in the same place, assuming that the chain tension would have been right from the start (which may well make me an idiot).

    Where should I go from here? Are other Vitesse owners have this trouble? Could someone give me a quick lesson in the mystery that is chain tension?
    Last edited by chagzuki; 08-20-08 at 05:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Looks good.

    I can't offer any advice as I have never had a Vitesse. Can you post a pix from the other side? That looks like a chainguard and I'd like to see it full on.

  3. #3
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    I'll post some better pics tomorrow: need daylight.

  4. #4
    Building a better Strida
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    see if u can loosen the rear wheel and pull it further back to take up some slack in the chain.

    or remove chainguard.

    if it helps, if im pedalling hard on my strida, it creeks like a bed in a w hore house.

  5. #5
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    The gearing is close to nonsensical and I need a bigger chainring so I might have to ditch the chainguard. Only it's really nice for avoiding coating other people in oil. . . I'm not good at fighting.

    I've just seen chain tensioners mentioned on other threads, looks like I might need one of those.

  6. #6
    Member Karlgw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Since buying the bike I've found that going over large bumps / off kerbs etc. would cause a clanky slapping noise, . . . . .
    . . . . . Could someone give me a quick lesson in the mystery that is chain tension?
    First of all I wouldn't recommend going off kerbs etc. - it's a folding commuter not a mountain bike!

    Seriously though, chain tension can be altered by loosening the nuts holding the rear axle in place and physically pulling the wheel back (or forward) and retightening. You obviously need to make sure that the wheel runs freely and is centred correctly before fully tightening. The chain should have no more than about half an inch of vertical play. After altering the position of the wheel in the dropouts you may also need to readjust the gears.

  7. #7
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    Chain tension is sorted I think, and in so doing I've gain a bit more fender clearance. Marvellous.


    So what's next?

    Well, the gearing is bordering on farcical and I'm looking into bigger chainrings, or rather cranksets as I think mine's an all-in-one dufus. I can't see how the ring is locked in place. Here's a picture:



    It's covered in organic matter, I know. Disgraceful.
    Here's the Dahon blurb: "Cold-forged 6061 aluminum crank arms, hand-polished, 38T chainring"
    Does that mean the chainring is steel?

    At this stage I'm needing to understand gearing and gear ratios, and all that business, a little better. My gear hub is a Sturmey Archer 5 speed (XRF5). I'm having problems with grinding in the highest gear (if highest means pedalling slowly, wheel turning fast), so I need to look into that, but for the time being I'm thinking about gearing that'd make sense for the way I ride.

    Here's the gear ratios for the hub:

    • Overall Range - 225%
    • Gear 1 - 0.67 (-33.3%)
    • Gear 2 - 0.79 (-21.1%)
    • Gear 3 - 1.00 (Direct Drive)
    • Gear 4 - 1.27 (+26.6%)
    • Gear 5 - 1.50 (+50.0%)


    I ride almost always in gear 4. I've never used a lower gear than gear 3, so 1 & 2 are redundant. Gear 5 is usefull on downhill sections and long stretches, and sometimes I find I need a higher gear, but not very often. (I can understand Dahon are aiming for unobtrusive components with this model but I can't see this gearing being functional for anyone except a walking-pace rider).

    Conclusion: Gear 3 ought to be what gear 4 is now. Gear 4 is 26.6% higher than gear 3, therefore I want my front chainring to be 26.6% approx larger. Which would mean a 48T chainring.

    Have I made any novice blunders there?

    I'm inclined to think that it'd be more efficient to be using the 1:1 for the majority of my riding, though I don't have any understanding of the hub internals. It's crossed my mind that it may be possible to buy diffent hub internals/cog-thingies to change the gearing rather than the chainring. . . don't know.


    Following from all that: I'd need to lose the chainguard, and I'm fond of it. I'd like another one & I don't know where I'd find one for a 48T chainring, or whether it'd be too large and bulky.


    In terms of which chainsets might be appropriate/affordable I've seen 2 that look like decent upgrades, the FSA Vero single speed:



    and the Sugino RD:




    The Sugino is reportedly around 550g and the FSA 630g. I've no idea what my stock crankset weighs but will find out soon.

    Any thoughts/advice?
    Last edited by chagzuki; 08-13-08 at 09:58 AM.

  8. #8
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    Could the gearing be so wrong at present because the internal gear hub is set up wrong? Seems extremely unlikely, but equally unlikely that the gearing would be so odd.
    Last edited by chagzuki; 08-13-08 at 09:59 AM.

  9. #9
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    What rear sprocket are you running?

  10. #10
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    Doh! Hadn't even gotten as far as thinking that'd be swappable. It's whatever comes with the gear hub, I assume. Though looking at it I can't see the hub could fit anything smaller.
    Last edited by chagzuki; 08-13-08 at 11:16 AM.

  11. #11
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Doh! Hadn't even gotten as far as thinking that'd be swappable. It's whatever comes with the gear hub, I assume. Though looking at it I can't see the hub could fit anything smaller.
    Try to swap out the rear sprocket first and see what that gives you. Most of the time its easy and surely cheaper that the front ring. Some Shimano rear sprockets are as simply as removing the wheel and clicking out with a screwdriver. Not sure about that SA one, though.

    If you had kept the front fender, the BB area would not look so dirty. That's been my experience anyway.

  12. #12
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    If I were to change the chainset are there potential incompatibility issues with the thickness of rings? I think I saw somewhere that there are 2 standards in single speed ring thickness/width and I remember from my old biking days that Shimano used to invent new chain width standards whenever they were bored.

  13. #13
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    Moving the rear wheel/axle to tension the chain isn't working. I believe it's a common complaint of this model that the rear axle slips, so I can't retain any tension in the chain (it loosens within 3 minutes of riding), it's just flopping all over the shop. At this stage I'm starting to regret ever getting into the folding bike thing as I've spent a lot of money and my bike still has a lot of problems.

    I don't see that there's an elegant way to fix this. I'm going to have to insert a very carefully measured & crafted piece of plastic into the frame to prevent the axle from slipping.


    Any ideas?

  14. #14
    jur
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    There is a purpose-made washer for this froblem, available for free from Dahon AFAIK. Contact Thor. Failing that, look at BMX axle chain tensioners. Very cheap and may work.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #15
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    Thanks jur, your advice over the last couple of weeks has really helped. Once past this hurdle I've got the problem of eradicating the grinding on the fifth gear of the sturmey archer hub. Scary; don't know if it's something I should aim to get my head around and service myself or whether I'll merely cause more problems for myself by trying to do so.

  16. #16
    jur
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    Can you describe the 5th gear problem? I suppose you have a manual for that hub and have gone through the steps for shifting setup?

    I have the anti-slip washers that came with my SA 8sp hub; not sure it is right for your bike, does it have horizontal axles slots? And what is the actual axle slot width? The washer I mean has a flat shaped hole in it for the axle to prevent rotation, with a folded down lip that engages in the axle slot, plus serration where it binds on the frame to prevent slipping. I could send it to you.
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  17. #17
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    Yes, horizontal axle slots. Width is . . . do mean length? i.e. distance the axle can slip? That's around 30mm.

    That component you describe sounds a lot like what I have with my hub gear, only I don't remember there being much of a serrated edge. Plus I may (or may not) be missing one, as in the manual there's one at each end, whereas I've only got one on the non-chain side. Perhaps that's the problem, though I assumed that it'd only stop rotation rather than slippage. I guess I'd better check with Dahon as to whether I'm supposed to have another on the chain side. I'll also check whether mine is serrated.

  18. #18
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    I have gone through the steps of getting the cable length correct for shifting. Since the start I've found that in gear 5 there's a constant grinding sound when pedaling and I've avoided using that gear as much as possible. It's never gotten better or worse, so I assume there's something misaligned in the hub internals. The manual doesn't go as far as documenting the internals and states that they should be serviced by a trained professional, so I'm not sure how I'd go about doing it.

  19. #19
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Yes, horizontal axle slots. Width is . . . do mean length? i.e. distance the axle can slip? That's around 30mm.

    That component you describe sounds a lot like what I have with my hub gear, only I don't remember there being much of a serrated edge. Plus I may (or may not) be missing one, as in the manual there's one at each end, whereas I've only got one on the non-chain side. Perhaps that's the problem, though I assumed that it'd only stop rotation rather than slippage. I guess I'd better check with Dahon as to whether I'm supposed to have another on the chain side. I'll also check whether mine is serrated.
    Ah. That explains it. The one on chain side is vital, that's where the forward pull is due to chain tensioin while pedalling. The serration is a bit woosy but it works fine on my Mini.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chagzuki View Post
    Yes, horizontal axle slots. Width is . . . do mean length? i.e. distance the axle can slip? That's around 30mm.

    That component you describe sounds a lot like what I have with my hub gear, only I don't remember there being much of a serrated edge. Plus I may (or may not) be missing one, as in the manual there's one at each end, whereas I've only got one on the non-chain side. Perhaps that's the problem, though I assumed that it'd only stop rotation rather than slippage. I guess I'd better check with Dahon as to whether I'm supposed to have another on the chain side. I'll also check whether mine is serrated.
    Well, there's the axle slip problem.. you need two anti rotation (serrated) washers.. one especially on the drive side... as to the shifting problem.. can you pull the cable manually to engage 5th gear without noise (rear wheel off of the ground)?



    ooops, sorry Jur, you must have been typing at the same time.. ahha

  21. #21
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    Excellent, will feel much better when this is sorted. I'd rather not deprive you of your spare, unless you're sure you have no use for it. I'm sure I'll be able to order the part online.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    .. can you pull the cable manually to engage 5th gear without noise (rear wheel off of the ground)?
    Good point. Gear 5 is that where the cable is most retracted toward the hub, so I'd wondered if it were a case of a spring not being strong enough to pull the cable in. I'll give that a try tomorrow, thanks.

  23. #23
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    Got my new washer, installed it and went out for a 5 minute ride. Does nothing, the rear wheel moved so that the tire is touching the frame (Big Apples are fat), and of course the brake pads were totally out. Extraordinary.

    I guess a BMX chain tensioner is the only thing that's going to do it (more money). Or perhaps I should roughen the outside of the dropout somehow?

  24. #24
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    I just hope I can get away with one tensioner on the drive side as it will have to go inside/wheelside of the chain stay.

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