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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 03-21-09, 11:09 AM   #1
guitarsophist
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Bike for daughter

I just got a new Dahon Speed D7. Everything worked great right out of the box. Yesterday I rode it from Venice Beach CA to Santa Monica and back, about 10 miles roundtrip, and it was a lot of fun.

Now I would like to buy a folder for my daughter, who is 5'4". She says that the handlebars on the Speed D7 are too far forward for her. What models should I consider? Maybe a Dahon Curve? She was thinking about the Espresso with a small frame, but I think that the folding size might be a problem, with the bigger wheels. I want something in the same price range as the Speed D7, or maybe cheaper. Would a Citizen work? It seems to me that the angle of the front fork tilts back more than on the Speed, so the handlebars might be a little closer.

Thanks,

John
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Old 03-21-09, 04:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by guitarsophist View Post
I just got a new Dahon Speed D7. Everything worked great right out of the box. Yesterday I rode it from Venice Beach CA to Santa Monica and back, about 10 miles roundtrip, and it was a lot of fun.

Now I would like to buy a folder for my daughter, who is 5'4". She says that the handlebars on the Speed D7 are too far forward for her. What models should I consider? Maybe a Dahon Curve? She was thinking about the Espresso with a small frame, but I think that the folding size might be a problem, with the bigger wheels. I want something in the same price range as the Speed D7, or maybe cheaper. Would a Citizen work? It seems to me that the angle of the front fork tilts back more than on the Speed, so the handlebars might be a little closer.

Thanks,

John
You seem to be describing the reach or the distance between the saddle and the handlebars/stem. This is a very critical part of fitting the bike to the cyclist as you can get awfully tired real fast if the reach is either too short or too long from you. I am a bit surprised at your daughter's discomfort as being in a more upright position makes the reach not as critical as say, a road bike. Women might have longer legs but generally a shorter torso, arms, and hands/fingers. If you have a Brompton, I would have recommend that you bought a Saddle Adapter Pin. As far as I am aware of, there is no part like it in the Dahon line. You might consider trying out the smaller 16" wheel size Curve to see if she likes the fit. With my Piccolo, I noticed a slightly more compact reach-but then again it might be all in my head as fit is a very subjective personal feel or opinion we each have for a particular bike.

One of our female members swear by her KHS folder as far as the reach being more favorable to her if I recall correctly. So it is probably is a matter of trial and error or test riding many brands of bikes before purchase.
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Old 03-21-09, 07:09 PM   #3
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Yes, the reach is the problem. I ordered the Speed D7 online but I have found that there are a couple of Dahon dealers near me, so I will take her to try the Curve. I don't think there are any KHS dealers near us. I am new to folding bikes, and in fact I haven't had a bike at all for about 10 years, so I am getting reacquainted with bikes in general, and with folders in particular. I love being able to put the bike in the trunk and ride at the beach.

Thanks,

John
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Old 03-22-09, 06:48 AM   #4
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A quick thing you might try is adjusting the saddle on your D7. Just loosen the saddle a little and then push it forward so that it sits on the back part of the rails.

You've definitely got the right idea. Take your daughter to a shop to test ride a couple of bikes. A popular, and inexpensive, option is the Downtube Mini (which I didn't see mentioned in your list).

--sam
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