I purchased my Mu SL just 2 weeks ago from Fudge Cycles on the Harrow Road near Paddington in London. I must say they come highly recommended as a Dahon dealer and bike shop. I was glad I bought it from here and they were very patient with test rides and holding the bike on deposit for a few weeks for me. Just like other readers on this forum I've had a varied experience with bike shops, it's the same in London.
I have sold off my Downtubes and wanted a 2nd bike alongside my trusty Brompton for faster or distances over 5 miles. It's not the Brompton can't do that but a 20" wheeled biked has distinct advantages and although I was never going to get the Brompton fold, I was willing to trade that for a lighter bike. Enter the Mu SL as my final choice. A test ride at Fudge Cycles confirmed it was the one for me.
The Fold and accessories
I have not been disappointed with the Mu SL. The fold is easy and the new hinges and latches are much better than older Dahons and require little effort to open and close. The magnet system that holds the front and rear wheels together works fine and the bike latches together fairly well although not as tightly as the Brompton of course. The Mu SL is a light bike at 8.7kg. It isn't quite as light as my Helios XX but has a much stiffer frame when riding it. I changed the tyres from Schwalbe Kojaks to Schwalbe Marathons as they have better puncture resistance and are still very fast. The additional weight was negligible. Despite the dismal UK weather of lots of rain this year I opted to forego mudguards (fenders) and keep the bike as close to its original weight as possible. I added my Son front light and a Cateye rear that mounts vertically almost in line with the seatpost and looks very neat. Both these lights are so good I even use them during the day except in very bright sunlight for increased visibility. The final addition was a high sensitivity Catye wireless computer and that was all I needed.
The ride is exceptionally good and I find this bike as fast as the Speed Pro TT despite the upright ride which I prefer anyway. I always feel you are more alert in urban traffic when riding upright and controlling the brakes from a conventional position. The Mu SL accelerates effortlessly to 25mph and the SRAM X9 trigger shift system changes seamlessly and provides a nice gearing range from 32-93". Sure the TT's higher g I've hit over 30mph easily but this is dangerous on London streets but the effortless acceleration is very welcome for other situations. I really do feel the lightness of the bike plus its relatively stiff frame means that it requires less effort than other folders I've used to reach high speeds and it is a joy to ride on longer distances. It may not have suspension but it handles the rougher road surfaces pretty well and the Marathons make it more robust. Handling and cornering is effortless and amongst the best I've experienced on any folder. So far I really cannot fault the superb acceleration, ride and handling of this bike. No wonder it receives so many favourable reviews and it has to be one of the finest bikes by far in Dahon's range?
The bike in my back garden. i really like its looks and svelte looks & curves.
Folded beside the Brompton. A larger footprint than my Brommie but good enough.
Even in the daylight the Son light (£20) is so powerful and provides excellent visibility. Lovely stainless steel finish too.
The Cateye rear light sits vertically with the seatpost so it looks much nicer. Very bright even in daylight too.
Finally the Schwalbe Marathons do not spoil the look and increase the versatility of the bike for even slight off-road use on trails and other kinds of paths. The Mu SL's drivetrain and gearing is excellent.
This may not be as compact a folder as my Brompton but it is a superb ride and extremely fast. It compensates for its larger fold by being so light to carry around and I find the Mu SL an ideal alternative for cycling longer distances more effortlessly and comfortably than my Brompton. While the Brommie is a better commute and go bike, I would settle for the Mu SL if I was going to have only one folder. It's a brilliant bike. Maybe one day i may add a Rolhoff to it without adding much weight, given the net gain would be so little when removing the current gearing system. For now the SRAM X9 is more than good enough.
Any suggestions how I could eventually get it down to under 8kg?