I recently bought a 2008 Dahon d7 vitesse. When pedalling there is noise coming from the rear derailleur/chain/freewheel. The gears engage properly, it rides OK and there's nothing wrong mechanically but I don't like the noise and the rough gear change. I've adjusted the gear cable and oiled the chain.
I want it to be like my hybrid mountain bike which is very smooth. The rear derailleur on the dahon is sram I think and it looks pretty basic. Is it normal for a folding bike to be noisier than a full size bike? Would it make any difference if I upgraded the rear derailleur/freewheel?
Base of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Wonderous things!
2010 Cannondale Hooligan 3
The Vitesse D7 has a Neos which is a joint production with Suntour. It isn't a particularly accurate or quiet derailleur, but it isn't the worst. If you want to change derailleurs, you will need to get a derailleur hanger for your Vitesse (unless you already have one), as the Neos doesn't mount on a hanger, it mounts on your chainstay.
One thing that made quite a bit of noise on my Speed D7 was the plastic tooth that keeps the chain from falling inwards. It was rubbing the chain constantly initially and backing it off just a tiny bit helped, i'd check that piece too. My experience with the Speed / Vitesee D7 is that it simply isn't a very quiet bike - the hubs aren't very quiet, the chain tooth can whirr against the chain, and the Neos clicks and clanks - but the bike itself still works quite well.
Thanks for the advice and link. I think I will give it a few more weeks and see how it goes. How practical is it to change the rear derailleur and replace the grip shift with a rapid shift lever(finger operated)? Is it worth the hassle and can I use any rear derailleur that macthes the no. of speeds/cogs on my bike?
The vitesse only cost me £225 (about $315) - most other shops were selling it for £330+ so I don't mind spending a bit of money to upgrade. 7 speed rear derailleurs are quite cheap on ebay but I'm not sure if the standard ones are suitable for folding bikes.