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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 01-15-09, 01:53 PM   #1
Smen
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Dahon questions: Speed TR, Speed Pro TT, vitesse d7hg

Speed TR: Does anyone have this bike? got any reviews on it, how it handles?--what kind of loads it can take?--how well it folds down for hopping on busses and trains?

Speed Pro TT: How light is it? How does it handle at faster speeds?--maintenance, etc. stiffness?

Vitesse d7hg: How well does this one handle pottholes? Maintenance issues?--folding issues?--how much weight can the rack take?
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Old 01-15-09, 02:18 PM   #2
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I can provide some input on the Speed Pro TT. I have had mine for ~8 months now and LOVE it. With all my stuff on it (lights, water bottle, pedals, tools, etc) it weighs in around 23 pounds. But I'm 5 feet tall and about 125 pounds and I can carry it with relative ease. The smaller 20" wheels did take some time getting used to. At first, they felt a little squirrely. But I quickly got used to them and, for riding in city traffic, find that they are preferrable because they are easier to manage around cars, people, and anything else I encounter. I can reach some pretty decent speeds on this little bike. In fact, I go about as fast on it (max 25 mph) as I do on my high-end Trek road bike.

It is very fast and nimble and, for me, incredibly comfortable to ride. I would suspect that anyone over 5'11" tall would not be comfortable on this bike, but the bike boasts some highly-adjustable features, which should allow it to accomodate a wide range of cyclists. The frame is surprisingly shock-absorbing when riding through city streets. The roads here in DC aren't in the best condition, but this bike takes them well.

The speed pro TT does not fold down as small as some of the other bikes, but I can easily take it on the Metro with no problem (taking it on the commuter train is a bit more difficult, but I do that too when necessary). The reason is the track-style handle bars. If you need a smaller fold you can take a wrench and fold them down, but that would add time and probably isn't necesarry in most circumstances.

As for maintenance - ALL folders are a bit more tempremental than your average bike. This is because they are moved around more, have more moving parts, and have some unique features. Regarding the speed pro TT here are some of the things I've had issues with.

First, like all folders, the cables are longer (because you have to fold everything up) and this can present some problems with delayed braking and cables needing to be replaced more often. I replaced the stock pads with some Kool Stop Salmon pads and noticed a marked improvement in braking capability. I also clean the bike every few days and give it all the tender love and care it could desire.

Second, the hub gear on the speed pro can be a little tempremental. I'm having an issue with mine currently that, while it hasn't made the bike unrideable, has been annoying. This happens. To solve this issue, I made sure I bought my bike through a local dealer that does free tune-ups (which I would highly recommend if you can get away with it for any folder, unless, of course, you're more bike-saavy than I am).

Third, with any folder, because there are moving parts, you have to give the bike a close, visual inspection each time you get on it to ensure everything is secured. So far, my Speed Pro TT's folding and locking mechanisms have all withstood my daily folding and unfolding.

Fourth, when in the folded position, the magnet that holds the bike together can sometimes come undone. This has not been a deal-breaker for me- I just tie a bungee cord around the two sides and it works just fine. Even with the bungee cord trick, folding time is still less than 30 seconds and very easy.

Overall, I LOVE this bike and would buy one again in a heartbeat. For me, it has been worth every penny. When I realized I needed a folder for my commute, I wanted one that handled with the speed and agility of a road bike, but was easy to fold up and carry onto the Metro. In that respect, the Speed Pro TT delivers 120% and then some. I ride upwards of 20-30 miles on each day. My longest daily mileage on it was a little over 60 miles. It is incredibly comfortable and has quickly become my favorite bike. I think there are a few improvements Dahon could make, but FEW is the key word here.
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Old 01-15-09, 02:34 PM   #3
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Vitesse d7hg: How well does this one handle pottholes? Maintenance issues?--folding issues?--how much weight can the rack take?

while I don't have the D7HG, I do have the previous year's model Vitesse D7

it handles pot holes, pretty decently, like most 20" folders will
it doesn't rust like the steel models, maintenance on the drive train is even easier with an IGH.
can't have too many accessories on the bars, otherwise you can't fold the bar properly.
the arc rack should be able to handle around 10kg. I've stuffed 8kg on there before and it held up fine.
touring rack can take 12kg.
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Old 01-15-09, 07:46 PM   #4
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those are three very diffferent models .....
Speed Pro TT if you really wanna go fast , wear lycra , and are ready to punish the big bikes on the wednesday afternoon club ride.... only occasional folding ( Internal and derrailleur for lotsa gears t go fast )
Speed Tr here you have the full loaded version great for touring , hub generator expensive lights front and rear etc etc ( Internal and derrailleur for lotsa gears t go up and the alps on one side and down on the other ) You probaly wear kakies with lots of pockets
Vitesse hg 7 ,Internal hub widely spaced , fenders carrier the necessities pacjed into a urban folder who wants to be used every dau for commuting etc etc ,,,, its teh cheapest of the three but it is a great bike... more understatement ,, business suit to Designer jeans this will fit...


lol
this might or might not make sense .... I do have every one of them in stock by the way


FREE THUDBUSTER with every Speed TR !!!
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Old 01-15-09, 08:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
Speed Pro TT if you really wanna go fast , wear lycra , and are ready to punish the big bikes on the wednesday afternoon club ride.... only occasional folding ( Internal and derrailleur for lotsa gears t go fast )
Yes, this bike does go fast, but it's not just for lycra-clad club riders. I've been using my speed pro TT as a multi-modal commuting bike and it's really great for this purpose. It gets folded and unfolded 4-6 times each day and has done amazingly well at withstanding this punishment, as well as carrying it on and off the train or subway. For people who have to commute significant distances and need to generate a bit of speed so that they're not out there all day, this is a great commuting bike.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
You probaly wear kakies with lots of pockets
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Old 01-16-09, 11:40 AM   #7
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I've had the Speed TR since 2006. At that time it came with the Thudbuster LT seatpost and didn't have the generator hubs or racks. I does have the SRAM Dualdrive.

The bike has been great. I had my heart on a Bike Friday, but when I found the Speed TR, for about 1/2 the price, I couldn't pass it by. The bike rides great, folds quickly. I like riding it on trails/dirt roads since the Big Apple tires and Thudbuster smooth the ride. No issues with anything about the bike. I mounted an old Blackburn rack and have plans to tour on the Erie Canal this year.

Brian
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Old 01-16-09, 10:38 PM   #8
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Here's my review of the 2008 Speed TR

http://epicureancyclist.blogspot.com...-speed-tr.html
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