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  1. #1
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    Dahon Speed P8 or Mu P8

    Hay, I just posted this in the Dahon forum, but thought it was well worth asking everyone here as well;

    I decide on buying a Dahon, but am struggling to decide between the Speed P8 and the
    Mu P8.

    One of the things I was wondering about is if the Mu P8 tires will be any significantly faster than the big apples on the Speed P8.

    One other thing I was wondering about is the riding position on these two bikes. I really like an upright comfortable position (beach cruiser type) and was wondering if I would need to purchase some different handle bars.

  2. #2
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    hmmm the biggest difference is the speed has a steel frame and the mu an alloy frame. Some folks have funky ideas what that means ( some of those funky ideas are based on bikes from 30 year ago)

    The Big Apples are somewhat slower than the rqcer tire becuause the weigh more than the racers.... Its not necessary that the wider tire is slower ( it might just feel a little slower)

    Both bikes are pretty much upright ... and you can help this with one of these
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/handlebar.htm

    Or if thats not enough a regular MTB 25.4 Handlebar with 2 inch rise will do the trick as well....

    Speed is red
    Mu Is white

    Mu is the later design .... a little tiny bit lighter as well ..plus I like white bikes ... and you can always put a pair of Big apples on the bike later .....

    lol
    Thor

  3. #3
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    The Mu will be lighter which may matter when carrying the bike. I like the hinge and clamp on the Speed better. It seems easier to operate and I worry that on the Mu the hard stainless steel clamp plate will damage the softer aluminum frame (both Brompton and Tikit have a clamp like this but with an aluminum clamp plate and a steel frame).

    The other advantage/disadvantage of the Mu is the lack of chainstays. This gives less interference when folding or packing in a suitcase, but it prevents you from mounting things where the seat and chain stays meet at the rear dropout, like trailer hitches and kickstands.

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    I thought the P8 has a smoother ride, so that's what I chose. However the Mu has a more modern look, so might be easier to sell if you upgrade later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by faffer View Post
    (both Brompton and Tikit have a clamp like this but with an aluminum clamp plate and a steel frame).
    The tikit has an aluminum "clamp plate", by which I suppose you mean on the stem? Really?

  6. #6
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    Well I could be wrong, but the one I saw sure looked like unpainted aluminum in contrast to the painted steel stem.

  7. #7
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    On the Dahon site the only difference I see between the two is the tires, Frames and clamps. The price difference on Thor's site is $120 and I would go with the Speed 8 , it seems the tires are more desirable from what I have read as well as the way it clamps. I owned the Mu Sl and loved the design just didnt care for the smaller wheels. Because of the price difference I would choose the Speed 8, If the price was the same for either I would probably choose the P8 because of the cool design.

  8. #8
    Hypocritical Cyclist scottbot84's Avatar
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    +1 for the P8, test rode both when I bought mine from Thor. With the same tires I'm sure the difference is less, but I think the smaller wheels benefit from fatter tires (plus they are BMX size and it is easier to get tubes in a pinch).

    Otherwise the Mu has a more modern look, which I liked but not enough to buy it. I think the P8 is the better deal but the Mu is still worth the extra $$

    The only way to know for sure is to ride both.
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  9. #9
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    If ride comfort is impt to you, the Speed 8 wins hands down. BA tires plus steel frame = plush! Put on the Thudbuster, you are in foldie heaven.

    I owned an alu Helios before, and long after the ride, I can still feel the vibrations through my hands and body. Sold it away and very happy with my Speed 8. Steel is my preference as I'm an oldy but thats just me.

    If the roads you ride are rather rough like this, you will appreciate the difference.
    Last edited by OldiesONfoldies; 03-18-09 at 06:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by faffer View Post
    Well I could be wrong, but the one I saw sure looked like unpainted aluminum in contrast to the painted steel stem.
    Ah, you mean the pac man (or C clamp). I suppose that could be a big hunk of thick aluminum, dunno. But the plates and stem are definitely steel.

  11. #11
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Having used both, I was much happier with the Speed than the Mu. The ride is more enjoyable with the steel frame. I owned a Mu for about a week and was unhappy with the hinge as well, it developed play repeatedly despite having proper adjustment and care.

    YMMV on the hinge. I know several owners of the Mu who have no troubles with theirs, but my opinion of the bike is scarred.

  12. #12
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    The recent Speed P8s have an aluminum fork, FYI.

  13. #13
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faffer View Post
    The recent Speed P8s have an aluminum fork, FYI.
    I didnt know that... thanks for the useful info. What advantage does that offer other than reduce weight?

  14. #14
    小型自転車マニアック \(^o^)y
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    I owned a Mu for about a week and was unhappy with the hinge as well, it developed play repeatedly despite having proper adjustment and care.
    W/the Hinge, guess it was kinda hit or miss...Sadly, the same applies to my Mu too..it developes play..
    Luckily, the LBS that I bought it from keeps it in tune every few months w/o any gripes.

    If you do decide on the Mu, I'd somehow have an agreement w/the shop that if any hinge-play developes, they'll remedy the situation 100%, however that may be. Just an idea..

    A buddy my mine rides a Speed, and enjoys his alot. Personally, I like my Mu. Its not as cushy, but does feel a bit more towards the 'faster' side. And as noted, the ride is more harsh, but luckily, we have good roads here.

    Hope you find a good fit!
    Rds,
    K.

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    Hypocritical Cyclist scottbot84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faffer View Post
    The recent Speed P8s have an aluminum fork, FYI.
    No idea why either, possibly to add stiffness, or to prevent rust? doesn't seem to affect the ride, and I figure it will last at least as long as the other aluminium parts.

    As for the hinge problems, the manual does specify using locking adhesive, and I saw somewhere on the forums where someone used a nylon nut also.
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  16. #16
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    I think it should eliminate steel = comfort as a consideration. The entire front end of a Speed P8, handlebars, handlepost, fork, rim and hub is aluminum except for the spokes and bearings. The most flexible part in the rear apart from the tires will be the aluminum seatpost.

  17. #17
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by faffer View Post
    I think it should eliminate steel = comfort as a consideration.
    +1

    A bike's riding quality comes from the ensemble, not just the frame material. Frame material I believe has negligible effect. Geometry, shape, seatpost, parts etc play a much bigger role than the frame metal.

    Steel and titanium allows you to design in more flexing frame members, but it's not the metal which makes the ride.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    If you have the chance to ride the aluminium Helios and the steel Speed 8 on a long ride, I think you may change your mind. Both of these bikes use almost the same components. The Helios literally leaves me buzzing after a ride on bad roads though its much faster.

    I also found my steel Bridgestone hybrid far more comfortable than my Marin Sausalito despite its front suspension fork and suspension seat post.

    Grant Petersen seems to be a steel frame person too and most touring bikes like the Surly LHT, Koga M, Trek 510 etc are made of steel.

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/bicyc...rame_materials

    I dont have scientific lab tests to substantiate my opinion but this is what I've learned from many kms of riding, and spending too much $ on more folders than I need. If you have a different opinion, I would like to hear and learn from you. As a bicycle tourer, ride comfort is supremely important to me, and steel seems to do the best job for me - ceteris paribus considered.



    Maybe we better start a new thread - is steel more comfortable than alu folders?
    Last edited by OldiesONfoldies; 03-19-09 at 06:31 PM.

  19. #19
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    Maybe the Helios is just uncomfortable. I think they had different geometry than the Mu and Speed frame's Biologic II geometry. My anecdotal evidence is that my two heavy steel mountain bike frames were less comfortable than my thin walled aluminum road bike, skinny tires and all.

    Full sized frames don't have a long unsupported seatpost to flex. You can verify this by leaning on the seat. For me the seatpost bends visibly and the frame doesn't.

    I could be wrong and steel could be indisputably better. I think titanium and carbon have been shown to absorb more vibration, like a titanium tuning fork wouldn't ring, but thud. Maybe steel is the same and aluminum isn't. In this case, your hands will still be uncomfortable from the aluminum front end on the Speed P8. Better in this case to buy the Speed D7 with its steel fork, or the celebrated, super-stiff, steel Swift.
    Last edited by faffer; 03-19-09 at 06:44 PM.

  20. #20
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    Abney Cat: Having used both, I was much happier with the Speed than the Mu. The ride is more enjoyable with the steel frame.

    Kaito: A buddy my mine rides a Speed, and enjoys his alot. Personally, I like my Mu. Its not as cushy, but does feel a bit more towards the 'faster' side. And as noted, the ride is more harsh, but luckily, we have good roads here.

    Brakemeister: hmmm the biggest difference is the speed has a steel frame and the mu an alloy frame. Some folks have funky ideas what that means ( some of those funky ideas are based on bikes from 30 year ago)

    Love to hear your opinion on this Thor - you being the Dahon guru among us.
    Last edited by OldiesONfoldies; 03-19-09 at 06:42 PM.

  21. #21
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    on the mu p8 in Australia, the rear fender is held up by the rack. i.e. no rear fender stays So you can’t remove the rack without removing the fender. A bit of PITA.

    The Speed p8 comes without the fenders or rack. And the dealer can add fenders that fit Big Apple tyres for a fee.

    Something to consider if you don’t want the rack, or want to get an alternative rear rack.

  22. #22
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    """"""""""Brakemeister: hmmm the biggest difference is the speed has a steel frame and the mu an alloy frame. Some folks have funky ideas what that means ( some of those funky ideas are based on bikes from 30 year ago)

    Love to hear your opinion on this Thor - you being the Dahon guru among us.
    """"""""""""


    heheh Thanks for the guru ..I am trying I am trying ..lol
    Steel versu Alloy is almost a religious discussion with no real winners on either side.... Thats actually one reason Dahon offers both Steel and Alloy frames.... ( a lot like internal gears versus derrailleur)

    There are folks who like their ride and it happens to be steel.... and voila they should be happy ....

    30 years ago when the first alloy bikes came into existant there were a couple of different ways to do the alloy thing ( Alan or Vitus= France alloy tubing ,,, kettler .from GErmany and than came the Americans Gary Klein and Cannondale who more or less singlehandidly came up with super large diam Alloy tubing which was super thing and strong ( versus the Kettler Alan Vitus sstuff..... which was alloy but flexible as a noodle .... look back Vitus and Alan frames were the rage in Cyclocross those days .. because they were so forgiving and flexible.... !!!!)
    Anyhow the large stiff dia Klein Cannondales were stiff as train tracks ... but they were also feeling dead and without soul.... * Insert clever marketing genius from Italian steel manufacturer here...

    also the alloy frames were breaking and exploding at that time .... while steel was holding together ...
    mostly ..lol

    Anyhow Grant makes superb touring bikes with very special touring geaometrie ... IF he would built those with the same angles and the same parts in alloy today they would be comfortable as well . however just like surly or a couple of other " cult" brands relying on steel ( and there is nothing wrong with that ) ....

    lol

    Thor

  23. #23
    jur
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    It's very instructive to see Sheldon Brown's take on the issue.

    Another link I once read told of how a frame builder had 3 bikes, alum, steel and titanium, otherwise almost identical. He then deliberately selected componentry and tyre pressures for the 3 cases, and challenged an expert to identify the frames based on the ride experience.

    The rider called them all wrong. He thought the most comfy ride was titanium or steel and the harsh one aluminium. This showed clearly that ride quality comes from the ensemble not the frame material. The most you could say from a frame material, is that it transmits higher frequencies differently.

    The best test would be to compare a Vitesse and a Speed, both fitted with absolutely identical parts and pressures.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  24. #24
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    I agree, but to get back to the original question, if can't tell the difference on a test ride, it's probably not worth worrying about. Get the Speed. It's painted the best color of all the Dahons.

  25. #25
    Small wheels ARE better! OldiesONfoldies's Avatar
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    "The best test would be to compare a Vitesse and a Speed, both fitted with absolutely identical parts and pressures. "

    Thks Jur - will certainly try both bikes at the same time soon and report my findings. Sheldon makes a lot of sense.
    Last edited by OldiesONfoldies; 03-19-09 at 09:36 PM.

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