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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-28-08, 02:09 PM   #1
bike_brarian
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Dahon Speed D7 or Vitesse D7HG?

It looks like I will be getting a folding bike for my upcoming birthday. I've been eyeing the Dahon Speed D7 and Vitesse D7HG. I think my budget is $600 max.

I'm female, 5'5, and plan to use this to bike btwn Manhattan and Brooklyn to commute to work. This means street traffic, bridges, etc.

Would it make sense to get the Speed D7 and maybe upgrade the tires and/or seat or should I go for the Vitesse as is? Or other Dahon suggestions in this price range?
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Old 08-28-08, 02:19 PM   #2
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It looks like I will be getting a folding bike for my upcoming birthday. I've been eyeing the Dahon Speed D7 and Vitesse D7HG. I think my budget is $600 max.

I'm female, 5'5, and plan to use this to bike btwn Manhattan and Brooklyn to commute to work. This means street traffic, bridges, etc.

Would it make sense to get the Speed D7 and maybe upgrade the tires and/or seat or should I go for the Vitesse as is? Or other Dahon suggestions in this price range?
I believe they have the same tires and seat. The only differences are the internal hub, color, frame (aluminum vs chromoly), and weight.

Also check craigslist for a less expensive Dahon.
How about 16" bikes? They ride almost the same, for the exception that they turn better.

Dahon Curve D3: http://dahon.com/us/curved3.htm

Downtube Mini: http://www.downtube.com/mini_folding...rcher_hub.html
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Old 08-28-08, 02:51 PM   #3
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Joako,
I like the 20inch tires. For my needs, which DT would you recommend?
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Old 08-28-08, 03:14 PM   #4
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Joako,
I like the 20inch tires. For my needs, which DT would you recommend?

I like the 8H due to the internal hub (NYC is dirty).

http://www.downtube.com/Font_Suspens...ding_Bike.html

I think Roy's Bikes carry downtube and dahon bikes. I suggest you to test drive them before buying. Give them a call before stopping by to check if the bike is in stock.

Do you mind the weight and if it uses a derailleur or internal hub?
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Old 08-28-08, 05:36 PM   #5
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Roy's Bikes in Coney Island do carry both Downtube and Dahon - better call to make sure the one you want to ride is available.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:45 PM   #6
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The VItesse is a vewry cool commuter bike....... Internal 7 speeds is pretty snazy for the big apple, no doubt ..... but both nice bikes ...

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Old 08-28-08, 07:56 PM   #7
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I'm definitely going to visit Roy's bikes in Coney Island. The Downtube 8H with internal gear hub looks amazing on the downtube site. I'm looking forward to trying out the both the 8H and the Vitesse. If they are both great, the DT's lower price might be the deciding factor.

Anyone know how well the DT 8H folds and carries? I might bring it on the subway.
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Old 08-28-08, 09:04 PM   #8
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Anyone know how well the DT 8H folds and carries? I might bring it on the subway.
Well it weighs about 30 pounds.

I get the impression that you primarily want a folder for easy storage in your apartment. For that have you considered the Xootr Swift? It's a Brooklyn original that seems to be designed for your very purpose and it's generally more highly regarded than Dahons of the same price range.

http://xootr.com/
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Old 08-28-08, 09:11 PM   #9
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I went through this also. I decided that the vitesse seemed to have a better "fit and finish" then the (2008) downtube. For example, the magnetic locking system is pretty ingenious while the downtube doesn't hold together very well. The vitesse also comes with fenders, chainguard, and rack which is great for my commute or poodling around. You can add all that stuff to the other bikes but it's nice to just have it ready for you. Check out the vitesse thread for some more of my comments and good luck.

My vitesse weighed in at about 29 pounds but you can lose 2 pounds by removing the rack.

Last edited by mjw; 08-28-08 at 09:12 PM. Reason: weight
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Old 08-28-08, 11:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bike_brarian View Post
It looks like I will be getting a folding bike for my upcoming birthday. I've been eyeing the Dahon Speed D7 and Vitesse D7HG. I think my budget is $600 max.

I'm female, 5'5, and plan to use this to bike btwn Manhattan and Brooklyn to commute to work. This means street traffic, bridges, etc.

Would it make sense to get the Speed D7 and maybe upgrade the tires and/or seat or should I go for the Vitesse as is? Or other Dahon suggestions in this price range?
What about the Mu P8 ? We have 2 at home, my wife uses her to cruise around the city when she doesn't need her Hardtail mountain bike and i use my Mu for commuting, on weekends we are doing some long rides.
It's a great bike, the frame is a piece of art, really nice, light and feels great... when you say that the finish on some bikes are not great i totally hear you, this is very important to me as well and i can promise you that the Mu feels and rides like a quality bike.
The tires are Marathon Racer, not the popular Big Apple but they are faster and lighter (i think).
I have tried the Big Apple and it was a great ride as well just a bit slower.
My wife loves her bike, it is light and actually pretty small when folded, it doesn't come with a rack but i guess this is the tradeoff.... Thor USA has it for $600 shipped.

Sorry i don't know much about Downtube and this our own experience with the 2007 Dahon Mu P8, i hope it helps....

Cheers,

TC
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Old 09-01-08, 02:42 PM   #11
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Now I'm wondering about the Dahon Cadenza Solo. Yesterday, I test-drove the Dahon Speed D7 and a Downtube (can't remember the model name but it had suspension and derailleurs). The Dahon D7 did not feel very sturdy and the Downtube felt more substantial. I would really like to find someway to test-drive a DT 8H. In the meantime, I've been reading about the Cadenza Solo. I'm intrigued by the single-speed (or fixed gear option) and the larger tires while still being a folder.

There seems to be little about this model on the forums. Does anyone out there own one and use it to commute more than 8 miles a day? I'd love to hear your thought if you do.
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Old 09-01-08, 07:36 PM   #12
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Last year I went back and forth over the Speed D7 and the Vitesse D7. For 2008, the Vitesse has the internal hub (D7HG) , but for '07 both used the external Neos compact derailleur system. After some churn, I ended up with a January closeout special on the Vitesse D7 at an absolute bargain price (a little over 3 bills). I use it nearly every day, and could not be happier with the purchase.

If you want a near match for last year's Vitesse D7, take a look at the Mariner D7. I believe they moved that off of a steel frame and onto the Vitesse alloy frame. Other than not having a front fender, it looks to be identical.

Tire size: After riding both a 16" and the 20", I think the 20" is the wiser choice for less than perfect roads. Even a 20" can be jarring over potholes that you cannot always avoid when riding with traffic. Also, forget about a single or fixed gear bike on any kind of hills. I use each and every one of those 7 speeds.
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Old 09-01-08, 08:26 PM   #13
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Mariner does indeed come with a front fender .. I do not understyand why the photos do NOT show the front fender .... lol

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Old 09-02-08, 06:54 AM   #14
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thor,

Thanks for the clarification. Is my assumption correct that the new Mariner is last year's Vitesse D7?
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Old 09-02-08, 07:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bike_brarian View Post
It looks like I will be getting a folding bike for my upcoming birthday. I've been eyeing the Dahon Speed D7 and Vitesse D7HG. I think my budget is $600 max.

I'm female, 5'5, and plan to use this to bike btwn Manhattan and Brooklyn to commute to work. This means street traffic, bridges, etc.

Would it make sense to get the Speed D7 and maybe upgrade the tires and/or seat or should I go for the Vitesse as is? Or other Dahon suggestions in this price range?
Both Dahon bikes have racks. Good for carrying books and such.

Another Dahon to consider is the Speed P8. It felt very sturdy when I gave it a test ride. It is a little lighter than the Speed P7 and it has Big Apple tires: good for urban riding and if you let out some air, they give a fairly cushy ride.

The Swift which was suggested to you, is inconvenient for carrying packages. The Swift scores high on Fun and low on Utility, IMO. The racks have to be mounted on the Swift seatpost, which has a larger-than-standard diameter, so rack options are limited. Moreover, the seatpost-mounted rack also tends to interfere with the fold on the Swift, or at least complicates things. The Swift fold is quick and easy, but the folded size is really too large for taking onto a crowded train; the fold is enough for putting the bike in a car trunk or packing it up in a large suitcase to take with you on a trip.

The Downtube with Sturmey-Archer hub that you mentioned is bargain priced, but I do not much like the SA 8-speed hub. If the cable-tension isn't just right, the pedaling can slip with near-zero-resistance and you can even lose control of the bike because it can happen all of a sudden and throws your balance off.

Also in your price range, the Cadenza Solo, but only the medium frame is available in the US (despite what the Dahon website says). You might need to get a shorter stem. Also, you might wish you had some gears if you should ever want to ride the bike up a long slope.

Regards
T

Last edited by timo888; 09-02-08 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 09-02-08, 07:43 AM   #16
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The 'sturdy' issue:
I have a 2007 Vitesse with aluminium frame. People often mention the flex in the stem with Dahon bikes and I've found myself not liking this aspect of the ride. However, I've recently cut down my handlepost slightly so that I can drop my handlebar a little lower and with the short stem / handlepost length the flex issue is negligible and the bike feels compact. I'm happy with the ride at the moment. But people who prefer a more upright riding position are stuck with the flex.


In the bike's favour I find the fold very tidy and the magnet system works very well. I'm not sure if the Downtube fold is particularly good, but they are far more upgradeable and customizable. You're able to switch out fork so you can ride front suspension or not & you can adjust stem length easily. Dahon bikes use quite a few proprietory components that limit your upgrade choices.
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Old 09-02-08, 08:31 AM   #17
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Vitesse or a Mu P8. The style of the Mu is cool and within your budget. I have foound that I can change quite a few things on the Dahon with other manufacturers parts and Thors site has options for Dahons also.
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Old 01-02-10, 02:29 PM   #18
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Do all the Dahons with 20" wheels roll pretty well when folded? I don't want to have to hand carry these bikes when I'm not riding them, and that's one reason why the Downtube was so appealing. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 01-02-10, 07:32 PM   #19
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Do all the Dahons with 20" wheels roll pretty well when folded? I don't want to have to hand carry these bikes when I'm not riding them, and that's one reason why the Downtube was so appealing. Any thoughts on this?
Dahons roll fine, but not very well. I can speak for the Speed D7, but YMMV with others. Yes, it does roll, but generally not straight. It wobbles left and right, and can get annoying.
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Old 01-03-10, 04:36 AM   #20
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Dahons roll fine, but not very well. I can speak for the Speed D7, but YMMV with others. Yes, it does roll, but generally not straight. It wobbles left and right, and can get annoying.
Do you carry when folded?
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Old 01-03-10, 05:44 AM   #21
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Rarely. Too heavy to carry for extended periods, so I roll it. Works fine...
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Old 01-04-10, 09:51 PM   #22
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Do all the Dahons with 20" wheels roll pretty well when folded? I don't want to have to hand carry these bikes when I'm not riding them, and that's one reason why the Downtube was so appealing. Any thoughts on this?
I have both an MuP8 and Speed P8. I find the speed rolls a bit easier because of the way the wheels line up when folded.
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