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Old 01-04-09, 09:20 AM   #1
deepakvrao
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Will a Dahon D7 do this?

HI guys,

My wife, kid and I are planning 2-3 weeks of cycling in White Mountain park and Acadia National park. We would be doing very casual riding [daughter is 10 and I am unfit], maybe 20-30 km per day maximum. We will be car based but cycling in the day so its not a classical tour with luggage etc.

I checked and saw that rentals are upto 100 USD per week so I thought it might be worth buying 3 Dahon D7s, use them and get them back in suitcases. We spend only a bit more than the rentals and we get the bikes for future vacations too. Plus with rentals of regular bikes we will need a car rack while I guess these could just go in the boot? Will 3 fit in a boot if there is no other luggage? Regular rental sedan.

Will these bikes do the kind of trails that we will find in these national parks? We live in India and have never cycled in the US before.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by deepakvrao View Post
My wife, kid and I are planning 2-3 weeks of cycling in White Mountain park and Acadia National park. We would be doing very casual riding [daughter is 10 and I am unfit], maybe 20-30 km per day maximum. We will be car based but cycling in the day so its not a classical tour with luggage etc.
Probably not if these parks have any significant slope to their roads and trails: Dahons do not have a broad gear range. Also, if the allowed bike paths include ones that are unpaved, or you are expecting any snow or ice, a D7 will be completely unacceptable.

My recommendation is that instead you purchase (or rent) three inexpensive mountain bikes in the US, and attach them to your car using a 3-bike rear rack such as this one. It'll free up luggage space in the car (which *will* be more important than you had expected) and mountain bikes will be far *far* more versatile in national parks.

I was in the same situation as you: getting bikes for occasional riding in a foreign country (in my case going from the US to Italy). In my situation, folding bikes made perfect sense. Given where you are biking, I think they do not.

Last edited by feijai; 01-04-09 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-04-09, 03:53 PM   #3
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Dahon bikes pack into a suitcase, however, this suitcase measures in at 73 linear inches, well above the 62 linear inch limit for airline luggage.
This is sometimes noticed at ailine check-in, someties not. But if you ever do get charged for oversize luggage (usually 50 to 80 dollars per piece) it may really offset your savings!
I srsly doubt you could get even 2 of the Dahon cases into a sedan boot, as they are big. They are also expensive, around 200 dollars on Dahon's site, I believe.
There is a way to pack Dahons into smaller suitcases, like the Samsonite oyster, but this does require quite a bit more dissasembly and fiddling.
Bikes with S&S couplers fit into airline-legas suitcases, and can be full sized mountain, or hybrid bikes. This would cost you alot more, but then you would have really good bikes that could travel with you everywhere. Another option is to look at folding bikes actually designed for airline travel and serious riding.
I bought an Airnimal Joey which travels with me evrywhere i go, and is my main mode of transport, saving me alot of money on taxis, buses and trains. I can pack in into its airline-legal case in about 5 minutes, it is great offroad with its 24" wheels with 1.5" tyres, and I often take it on park trails and the like. it is also fast on the road and comfy to take on long (100km+ rides). it cost me around 800 brithish pounds with the case. This is an option I decided on after years of traveling with full sized bikes, being charged every time I got on a plane, and sometimes having to leave them behind (my favourite Eddy Merckx is still waiting for me to go pick it up in arkansas!).
If you are not serious about riding and investing in bikes, I would say go with the rentals. I am sure you could make the Dahons work, but it may be more trouble than its worth for you.

Last edited by ChiapasFixed; 01-04-09 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:54 PM   #4
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As former owner of two D7's, I agree - not enough gears for typical U.S. National Park which will have some hills - or more likely, many hills. Also, a 10 yr old may be too small to ride the D7 with it's "Biologic II" handle bar configuration. It's quite a stretch.

Agree, 24-speed Mtn Bikes would be better. They will likely be less expensive than the Dahon's, and have suspension, too.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:57 PM   #5
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plan on renting real bikes. your white mountains adventure will be hilly. acadia not so much.
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Old 01-04-09, 11:27 PM   #6
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There is a way to pack Dahons into smaller suitcases, like the Samsonite oyster, but this does require quite a bit more dissasembly and fiddling.
^^
yes, as i said, it is possible to get a dahon into a samsonite oyster.
i dont have a pic of the joei in its case at the moment, but ill be glad to get one to you next time i pack it
anything specific you need to know?
you can view a picture on the airnimal website, go to user manuals > joey
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Old 01-05-09, 03:05 AM   #7
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Thanks guys - all very valid points. Thanks for the help.

I guess I'll rent bikes and take them on a car rack.

CrimsonEclipse - dont you think MTBs would be better suited for these kind of trails than road bikes?+
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Old 01-05-09, 02:17 PM   #8
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plan on renting real bikes. your white mountains adventure will be hilly. acadia not so much.
Uh, it depends on where you are riding. In the Whites you might have long sustained climbs on good roads. In Acadia, if you ride the carriage paths you could have a lot of steep up and downs. The ride up Cadillac Mountain is challenging, but fun and doable on a bike. I'd say both places can be hilly.

I agree with 127.0.0.1's conclusion though. I would rent bikes in each location. Skip trying to lug them. In the Whites you could rent road bikes. In Acadia rent mountain bikes and ride the carriage paths, they are a blast. In Acadia you could also rent road bikes and do the park loop.

Have fun!
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Old 01-05-09, 02:29 PM   #9
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Thanks guys - all very valid points. Thanks for the help.

I guess I'll rent bikes and take them on a car rack.

CrimsonEclipse - dont you think MTBs would be better suited for these kind of trails than road bikes?+
In the Whites, the ride over Bear Notch Road and across the Kancamagus is a classic road bike ride. You'd need to be fairly fit to do it though. The ride on the bike path from Lincoln up into Franconia notch is a fun ride. It will get you to the various interesting stops along the way. With car support you could do as much or as little of it as you like. A road bike or hybrid would be fine.

In Acadia you can ride the roads around the park and around Mount Desert Island on a road bike. Unless you go up Cadillac Mountain there are no big climbs. In the park there is a network of dirt carriage paths. The surface can be iffy, and there can be short steep ups and downs. They are a blast to ride on a mountain bike.

There are so many things to do in both places, why lug the bikes? Bring the rack by all means, that can get you to various start points, but I would just rent bikes on the days you want to use bikes. In both places you definitely want to leave time for hiking, kayaking, whale watches, miniature golf, ...

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