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  1. #1
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Do any folding bike companies actually have spare parts readily available

    I have three Dahons so I must love them. But every single time I try to get a part for one you can't get it or it takes months to get. WTF?

    At some point I'll buy another folder but I don't think the next one will be a Dahon. Do they all suffer from parts availability issues?

    John

  2. #2
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Bike Friday sure does.....
    safe riding - Vik
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  3. #3
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Brompton sure does.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Raleigh 20? (upgrades is fun!)

    Parts availability and model churning is one of several reasons I have stayed clear of the Dahon's.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  5. #5
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    I have the same problem getting parts for my Dahon while it was still under warranty. I finally was able to get in touch with them via email, and they responded by sending me the parts. I had to get additional warranty parts, and they stopped responding. Dahon sucks at this.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    would be a good reason to upgrade the parts if it's upgradeable (and that's the question). i just bought a dahon so am i going to be had by the company thru the bike's life with me ? darn...that sucks big time. i hate to say this but i really love the ride of the bike and yet if it will give me problems getting parts (if i need one) down the line then what good it is to keep this bike. just when i thought i have found a better handling bike - here comes the parts issue. oh well. need to get back to the drawing board and plan my next acquisition......

    thanks,
    vic

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul Braithwait's Avatar
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    Xootr Swift is easy to upgrade and maintain as, apart from the frame, seat post and handlebar stem riser, everything else is standard and can be bought from any good bike shop.

  8. #8
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    so dahon's components are not standard and can't be upgraded ? just curious as i just had mine for less than a week and i am also planning on upgrading some parts like BB, crankset, hubs and others.

    thanks,
    vic

  9. #9
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Many Dahon parts are proprietary and get changed every few years. A few dealers (e.g. Gaerlan) may have older parts around, but it's kind of a crapshoot.

    Some parts can be upgraded, some can't. Hubs, rims, spokes, wheels, cassettes, chains should all be standard; rear derailleurs (e.g. Neos) might not.

    Definitely a plus for the Xootr and Bike Friday, in that almost everything is standard.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    Bike Friday sure does.....
    Yes, the few times I had a problem with mine I was very impressed with their service. First happened on our local 'Turkey Day' ride when I noticed a crack starting in a weld. Called their 800 number when I got home expecting to leave a message. But no, a real live person picked up immediately (at 4 pm on Thanksgiving) and gave me instructions for shipping it back to them via FedEx (at their cost). Had the bike back in about a week despite letting them know that it wasn't urgent since I had other bikes available - and at no cost to me.

    The other occasion was a couple days before leaving on a fully-loaded (i.e. camping gear) tour when I had a spoke break and decided that I'd feel more confident if I rebuilt the wheel with another rim. Mine has the 451 wheel size which is one of the few components on the bike that's not found in most local bike shops. So I called them and they sent me a rim overnight so I was able to build it up the evening before the tour.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    i wish every bike company had that kind of service. they a rare breed nowadays.

    thanks for the info. now that you mentioned it, i now know what folders to look for in my next upgrade. but what about the downtube ? are components standard ???

    thanks,
    vic

  12. #12
    Supreme Commander of CATO
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    I can't speak of experience outside of the USA, however, I will tell you that there seems to be a communication problem between DahonUSA and its dealers. Dealers place the part orders, but aren't getting the parts they request in a prompt manner. It's not the dealers fault, I'd place it squarely on the personnel at DahonUSA who claim to have the parts in stock.

    Dahons are great bicycles and I enjoy mine. I hope that this communication problem at DahonUSA stops soon. It is costing them a lot of lost sales and frustrates both dealers and owners.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    I have three Dahons so I must love them. But every single time I try to get a part for one you can't get it or it takes months to get. WTF?

    At some point I'll buy another folder but I don't think the next one will be a Dahon. Do they all suffer from parts availability issues?

    John
    Dahon support is very poor, at least in the US.

    I am trying for several weeks to find a replacement chain guard for a new Vitesse D7HG. I managed to get their phone number (not an easy task), talked with a technical guy but no help. I also checked at few dealers/LBS but no help either.

    Kam

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    hi dahon owners,

    i know that the crank size of dahon is 44T. i am thinking is i would be able to swap the crank with a Shimano Sora FC3450 50-34t 9-Spd 165mm 2-piece crankset . will this give me enough high and low speeds if i keep the stock 11-30T 6 speed cogs or should i also upgrade my rear cassette to a 7 speed ? is this a worthy component upgrade ?

    thanks again,
    vic
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  15. #15
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taser View Post
    I can't speak of experience outside of the USA, however, I will tell you that there seems to be a communication problem between DahonUSA and its dealers. Dealers place the part orders, but aren't getting the parts they request in a prompt manner. It's not the dealers fault, I'd place it squarely on the personnel at DahonUSA who claim to have the parts in stock.

    Dahons are great bicycles and I enjoy mine. I hope that this communication problem at DahonUSA stops soon. It is costing them a lot of lost sales and frustrates both dealers and owners.
    My experience is the same. I'm amazed the shop I ordered from was even able to get the bike in in the first place.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    The key is to purchase a bike that uses "standard" components - other than the frame. BF and Swift do so. Makes things a lot easier.

    That said, BF has a good stock of parts and is prepared to ship them all over the world at a moments notice, if needed. Fortunately, to date, our Fridays haven't needed any replacement parts due to breakage.

    What parts I have ordered from them - to modify the bikes - have been shipped to us very promptly.

    My Dahon S1 is a bit different, the Thudbuster seat post had to be custom, but the brakes, brake levers and bar ends were from performance bike. I started to look at changing the gear range on our previous Boardwalk D7s and it was not going to be that easy, although it could have been done.

    BF is also prepared to refurb their frames or even whole bikes - Dahon is not.

    Two different business models and volumes of business. (BF is making something like 2,500-3,000 bikes/yr while Dahon is making 300,000-400,000/yr.)
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 04-15-09 at 11:42 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by taser View Post
    It is costing them a lot of lost sales and frustrates both dealers and owners.
    On the other hand it somehow must also be enabling them to bring in lots of sales by keeping their bikes affordable and competitive (though I'm not sure exactly how...you'd think standardization would make things cheaper ).

    Sure, there are better riding folders on the market, but few fold as well or are as much of a bargain. Don't get me wrong I own a 20" Downtube (which uses standard components) and also consider it a bargain, but it's heavy as sin; The Downtube Mini is lighter, but then again once you add fenders/rack/tires/etc it's considerably more expensive than the Dahon Curve.

    It's a shame that Dahon's aren't more standard, but I think it's a worthwhile tradeoff for what you get. If I didn't need a cheap bike to lock outside I'd replace my Downtube with a Dahon from www.thorusa.com in a heartbeat (I can't imagine Thor leaving any of his customer's out in the cold on parts...he'd make it right one way or another).

  18. #18
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    I had this conversation a couple times now.....
    I wonder what parts are so different on a Dahon than on any other folder.....

    Seatpost size : same as swift and others : I have 6 different seatpost in stock ...
    Neos rear derrailleur..Yeah this is correct BUT a regular derailleur hanger ( available all over the place) can be bolted on the frame and a regular derrailleur can be used ....
    Saddles... most all saddles are regular ones, the SDG/kore saddles come with their own seatpost... they can be replaced with a regular saddle and seatpost, OR an adapter to convert I beam to regular ( adapter available from JB to all dealers including me who has them in stock...
    front hub is Dahon or other hub manufacturers, several in the FAr East, American Classic in the US ....
    Rims spokes Brakes, Cranks, Bootom bracjets, chains grips, handlebars, all are standard
    Frame is always own brand of course, same as fork ...
    Handlepost is own design , same as all other folding bike companies have their own...

    I wonder where this stark resentment about Dahon comes from, and always nothing better than the call for proprietary Dahon Parts...... yes if you want to upgrade an old Boardwalk to an adjustble Handlebar than you are plain out of luck ( you should have donme that 5 years ago ) Today we only have parts to keep you going, but nothing to upgrade anymore....
    Same as other parts.... like chainguards.... Yes it has been a pita to get them, but they are cosmetic nature and not 100% necessary to keep roliin ...I had a couple for 2 years on my shelf they never sold , I ll try to get a couple more after those are gone , but have no calls for them .....

    Having said that.... the accessory delivery of Dahon could be improved ( and I know they are trying to do that, but also keep in mind that Dahon has a handfull of employees , versus trek or Specialized etc who have literrally hundreds .... I rather have a sharp calculated bike, and have to wait for a special carrier once in a while, than to pay for hundreds of people with an inflated bike price....) But again the accessories could flow a little faster.... Components are available, when the dealer order them ( Usually)

    Thor

  19. #19
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    The hinge joint on my curve and the retaining clip for the stem lever had to be replaced. I assume these are proprietary parts, and it took several weeks and a lot of phone calls/ emails to Dahon.

    Also, purchasing parts isn't the problem (I have a magnetic retain thing on order from you which has shipped promptly, thanks!) so much as getting warranty replacement parts from Dahon or through my shop.

    This is last year, but it took an awful long time, a month or two, to find out that the Curve SL I had ordered was backordered and wouldn't be available for some months. They couldn't have told the dealer this sooner?
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  20. #20
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    I had this conversation a couple times now.....
    Thor, any suggestion on how to get that acrylic chain guard for a few months old Vitesse D7HG?

    I had not luck with dealers or with Dahon directly (called them few times).

    Thanks,

    Kam

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    Seatpost size : same as swift and others : I have 6 different seatpost in stock ...
    Neos rear derrailleur..Yeah this is correct BUT a regular derailleur hanger ( available all over the place) can be bolted on the frame and a regular derrailleur can be used ....
    Saddles... most all saddles are regular ones, the SDG/kore saddles come with their own seatpost... they can be replaced with a regular saddle and seatpost, OR an adapter to convert I beam to regular ( adapter available from JB to all dealers including me who has them in stock...
    front hub is Dahon or other hub manufacturers, several in the FAr East, American Classic in the US ....
    Rims spokes Brakes, Cranks, Bootom bracjets, chains grips, handlebars, all are standard
    Frame is always own brand of course, same as fork ...
    Handlepost is own design , same as all other folding bike companies have their own...
    I think the complaints are mainly the handlepost and the wheel hubs:
    -Folders which don't have folding handleposts just use regular handleposts, but those folders obviously don't fold nearly as well as a Dahon (except the Carryme which ingeniously just uses a regular quill stem with a QR at the top to telescope into a long threaded steerer and head tube, but that's only possible with really small wheels).
    -No doubt there are manufacturers of appropriate wheel hubs, but the end user needs distribution...which is why it's important to buy from a good dealer like you instead of a shop which throws in the towel if Dahon doesn't hold their hand. Personally I like the idea of the smaller wheel hubs because if standard width hubs are optimal for larger wheels then smaller hubs would have to be optimal for smaller wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    I rather have a sharp calculated bike, and have to wait for a special carrier once in a while, than to pay for hundreds of people with an inflated bike price....)
    Me too. The whole point of replacement parts is to keep a folder being ridden and folded. So compromising the fold or ride for easier replacement is counterproductive. Besides, ease of replacement is a self-fulfilling prophecy because your choice (in aggregate with the choices of others) is what determines what "standard" will be.

    Quote Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
    ...through my shop...
    ...They couldn't have told the dealer this sooner?
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't imagine your dealer would get much better service from Trek or other manufacturer's selling volume at discount. I suspect the difference is that your dealer is much more dilligent in dealing with Trek since they know what brings home the bacon.

    That's why I like to buy from little guys participating in online forums; you buy the bike and you get knowledge, enthusiasm, and dilligence for free, whereas if you walk into an LBS you're paying for every single minute they spend researching, understanding, or interacting with the manufacturer of those "gimmick bikes"...or they just sit on their arses and blame it on the manufacturer.

    IMO, end customer's shouldn't be expecting much when calling Dahon. That's not the kind of business they're running. Your dealer should be dealing with it and if they aren't then you probably chose the wrong dealer.

    Quote Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
    Thor, any suggestion on how to get that acrylic chain guard for a few months old Vitesse D7HG?

    I had not luck with dealers or with Dahon directly (called them few times).
    Have you tried posting in the for-trade thread? I was thinking that I should put some of my more esoteric folder parts on there...like the kickstand for my Carryme.

  22. #22
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Ok shoot me an email I have a chainguard for ya

  23. #23
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    When I packed the Friday to take it home from Oregon I found that a couple of the parts for the packing case were missing. They had them in the mail to me by the end of the week. Same deal for the seat post when I traded the adjustable in for a built-to-order one (it was the wrong size originally for some reason). New post was there, by Fedex and at no cost to me, in just over a week. There should be no cost -- it was there mistake after all -- but I was surprised at how fast it went.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  24. #24
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    I had an MuP8 whose frame bent. I can't get any joy out of Dahon. I'm just out cash for that bike.
    I want some rubber spacers that keep the handlebar all nice and centered. They're mostly cosmetic but they're on every bike so somebody makes them.
    Dahon told me to use zip ties.
    I asked for black touch up paint and Dahon told me to use a Sharpie.
    I needed a Revolve bar stem as one bent on one of my bikes. Forget about that. Can't get one anywhere. An LBS supposedly ordered one for me and said two months. That was about 8 months ago.

    I need a replacement shock for my Jetstream. The answer from Dahon? Get it rebuilt.

    I NEED a replacement. I did rebuild it and whoever rebuilt it before me botched it. BADLY. It holds air but it won't forever. I need a replacement.

    Simple fact is I've gone to Dahon support probably 5x's or so. I have owned FOUR Dahons that I bought in the course of one year. I'm an awesome customer. I've never had one satisfactory encounter with Dahon Tech Support.

    Oh I always get a lengthy email from support but it never actually provides an answer.

    I love my bikes but I'll never buy another one.

    John

  25. #25
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    Ok shoot me an email I have a chainguard for ya
    Thanks Thor. Will send you email now.

    Kam

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