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  1. #1
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    Dahon Eco3 review

    I am a new bike rider and this is my first folder. I bought a folder because I am a trucker wanting a little more execising than walking. I bought the Eco from ThorUSA based on my wanting to add upgrades to the bike in the future. Thor recomended this bike for my needs and wieght, 215 lbs.
    I took my first real ride yesterday, and I think I made the right choice. The 7 speeds work for my out of shape self. I rode up and down small hills, and the gearing works for me. The bars are very narrow, which makes it a little "squirrelly" when riding with one hand. Just fine with both hands on the bars though. I either need to do some major adjustments with the seat, or get a better one, as I was a little sore after a 35 minute ride. Overall, I am very happy with the bike. It meets all of the needs I was looking for...Small for keeping in the truck, easy to fold/unfold, light. I am looking forward to spending more time on the bike this summer.
    Thanks Thor, for the great recomendation, and bike. I would highly recomend ThorUSA. He is easy to get in touch with, and knows the Dahon line very well. I know where my next bike will come from.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaggerSteve View Post
    I either need to do some major adjustments with the seat, or get a better one, as I was a little sore after a 35 minute ride.
    Thanks. FYI from Sheldon Brown about saddles:

    A cyclist who is out of cycling shape, from being off a bicycle for a few months or more, will start out strong, but the legs will tire rapidly. When the legs tire, the rider sits harder on the saddle, and that's when the trouble starts. Many saddle complaints are actually traceable to fatigue caused by starting out the season with a longer ride than you are ready for.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html

    As a previously new rider late last year, I agree (humbly).

  3. #3
    jdaniel
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    To add to that, whenever the wife and I started biking for the first time since childhood, our behinds were sore as well. Make sure that the soreness is on your sitbones. If it is, you're fine. You'll toughen up in a week or so and won't feel any pain. If the soreness is in the soft tissue, then there are issues.

    Chances are, the seat is just fine and you have to let your body get used to sitting in a saddle. If you go out and get a soft and cushy seat, all that gel will likely squeeze up into your middle and cause you even more troubles.

    Give the seat and bike a couple more weeks. If you are still sore or if the soreness is anywhere besides your sit bones, go to a bike store and ask for advice there.

  4. #4
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    Good advice. I'll run with this seat for a month or so.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaggerSteve View Post
    ... The bars are very narrow, which makes it a little "squirrelly" when riding with one hand. Just fine with both hands on the bars though.
    The "squirrellness" is probably due to the small wheels.

    I am yet to see a 20" bike that has the stability of a full size bike.

    Kam

  6. #6
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    The "squirrellness" is probably due to the small wheels.

    I am yet to see a 20" bike that has the stability of a full size bike.

    Kam
    Stability is a very subjective term.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    Stability is a very subjective term.
    Not really. In engineering terms as long as the trail is the same the stability is the same (unstable at low speeds and stable at high speeds).

    The handling can be faster with small wheels, but attributing instability to that is akin to attributing instability to fast bikes just because the rider is too clumsy to avoid crashing.

    Small wheels are not unstable by any definition and my suggestion to anyone claiming difficulty holding a line on a small wheeled bike at speed is to simply stop turning the handlebars!

  8. #8
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    The effective stem length on Dahons is short and that makes the handling very sensitive.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    BY the way. Welcome to the folding bike forum, baggersteve !

  10. #10
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    The "squirrellness" is probably due to the small wheels.

    I am yet to see a 20" bike that has the stability of a full size bike.

    Kam
    better watch what you say around here....
    J/K, but srsly my Joey is waaay more stable than most 700c bikes, and so is my GF's NWT for that matter.
    there are long threads in this forum exulting the advantages of 16 and 20" wheels
    ever tried a Moulton?
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  11. #11
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    ever tried a Moulton?
    +1.

    My Moulton TSR30 is extremely stable. I can ride it no-handed forever. Love the ride of that bike. Now if would only go on a diet and lose some weight
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 04-10-09 at 09:36 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsajustme View Post
    ...
    Small wheels are not unstable by any definition and my suggestion to anyone claiming difficulty holding a line on a small wheeled bike at speed is to simply stop turning the handlebars! ...
    I can ride full size bikes hands free but cannot get even close with small wheel bikes.

    If you claim that a small wheel bike can have the same stability as a full size one, please send me the make and model so I can order one ;-)

    Kam

  13. #13
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    I can ride hands free on my Dahon Vitesse, no problem.

  14. #14
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    ever tried a Moulton?
    No, but I like to. Hard to find a dealer around here.

    Hopefully I will be able to see one in the Northcal ride.

    Kam

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
    +1.

    My Moulton TSR30 is extremely stable. I can ride it one handed forever. Love the ride of that bike. Now if would only go on a diet and lose some weight
    Or a Pacific Reach (any model) .. tracks like a freight train

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    I can ride full size bikes hands free but cannot get even close with small wheel bikes.

    If you claim that a small wheel bike can have the same stability as a full size one, please send me the make and model so I can order one ;-)

    Kam
    Any model Pacific Reach should fit the bill.. I really like the City and also currently have a new Road on the SF Craigslist. I also sell TSR Moultons, but they are quite a bit more dough ..


  17. #17
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Riding no hands is not the best test of stability.

    700c road bikes fitted with dropped bars often have a tendancy to try to invert when trying this due to the weight of the bars if you go round slow corners. It is fine on the striaght granted. Even worse 700c bikes with aero bars or low profile bars are even more prone to this. The best bars for no handed are striaght bars with little forward rack to the stem. Stunt BMX bikes with low rise narrow bars are the best IMO at riding no handed around corners.

    This is a test of the bikes ability to be ridden no handed ,not a valid test to prove stability of wheel size. If I removed the areo bars from my old timetrail bikes they would pass this test fine. But with them fitted. I would sooner be riding almost any 20" wheeled bike with striaght bars on. I also don't like no handed on suspension bikes, it does no make them unstable a design.

    I would not ride no handed on my mezzo, possibly do to the short wheel base and the massively forward reach of the bars. A simular prepective to my experince of a aero bar equipped 700C time trail bikes. Stem angle and steering lenght can alter the steering speed, but as far as I know the wheel size does not.

    I have raced BMX bikes around tight indoor tracks, and stability is over rated if it reduces manovability in any plane,including up and down. ie a 27" BMX crusier does not allow the rider to get in to some good balancing postions due to the height of the top tube. Therefore the crusier rider is more likely to fall off due to the frame layout , not due to the wheel size all things being equal. But they are not, the wheel weight distrution is further away from the rider reguiring more strenght to controll.

    Stability come from many factors, wheel size maybe one of the variables. But only one.

  18. #18
    jdaniel
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    oh lord.... did this thread get hijacked or what?

    BaggerSteve, keep us updated on the Eco3. I've been very interested in seeing how it runs. I have two older Dahon Boardwalks (the single speed and the D7). The Eco3, in all that I can figure out, is replacing the Boardwalks as Dahon ECOnomy folding bike. It will be nice to see how it might compare.

  19. #19
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    I considered the Boardwalk, but wanted a better platform to add upgrades to when the time came. I also didn't want to spend a fortune, the bike spends most of it's time getting banged around in the back of a semi. So far, it's a great bike that fits my needs. It's also pretty fun to ride.

  20. #20
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    kamsa:
    maybe you should move your discussion to the "large wheels are pointless" thread?
    Bagger: congrats on the bike!!!
    IRO Mark V Pro, home made bamboo track bike, eddy merckx corsa extra, Airnimal Joey, UGADA Tikit

  21. #21
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdaniel View Post
    oh lord.... did this thread get hijacked or what?
    Yes sorry. I tried not to ,but somone made me do it ! Lesson learnt I hope.
    Welcome again baggersteve, sorry.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 04-11-09 at 12:22 PM.

  22. #22
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    I have had a few more rides... I have not riden a bike since grade school...this bike is bad ass. I'm sure that alot of the people here are VERY into bikes, but this folder is the sh*t. Now it may be that any folder will work for the application I need it for...but this is my first, and it is ideal for the trucker. It is small, light, and a great way to get excersize and get out of the truckstop.
    I carry a fold-into-itself backpack (Eddie Baurer, $19) and a cable lock, and can go anywhere without having to walk. It expands the area I can get to in a short amount of time. I have had alot of other truckers ask alot of questions about the bike. I see a new market on the horizon. Thor, are you feeling me?

  23. #23
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Oh yeah
    might want to get my ole CB radio out and let one of the girls in the office hail out...

    Break onenine we do have thebest folding bikes south of the windy City and if you look over your donkey you will see Steve comming down the hammer lane with his trusty steed in the caboose.....make a quick stop here, fill your coffee cups and get one of the fresh Ecos


    that sounds about right ?

    thor

  24. #24
    jdaniel
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    Hahaha! That's great!

  25. #25
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    Nice new bike steve! Welcome to the world of foldies. This is a great place with lots of frienly people and cute/awesome/badass bikes.

    Now let Dr. Nekohime (well, Dr. in training anyway, and not medical either...PhD lol ) tell you the bad news. You may want to sit down for this. Now that you have a foldie, I am sorry to tell you that you have been infected with folderitis. The symptoms are mild at first, and include happiness, enjoyable riding, renewed interest in cycling and increased confidence. Yes, I see those symptoms now. These are good things, but watch out for the later severe symptoms!!! If not careful you will find yourself with a garage full of foldies, two of which regularly ride in your truck...believe me, I thought I would stop at two foldies, but my collection has ballooned and I'm thinking of getting another one... You can also observe the more severe symptoms in members SesameCrunch and Jur...and pretty much all the members here.
    Wanna join my charity folding bike ride? Sign-up here!
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way :p

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