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  1. #1
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    Folding Bike to Full Size Bike Transition

    Hello fellow folding fans!

    I have been riding my Dahon Helios for the last 3 years now - before this I had not touched a bike since my BMX days as a teen. In this time, I have discovered my enjoyment of road cycling - having converted my Helios to a very custom road bike config. My current setup if you are curious - and a BF post with more details:



    I think the time is right for me to investigate a full-size bike - I have become a much stronger rider and having moved out of the city there is room for a full-size bike now. I have concerns that sooner or later I am going to wear out my folding bike - which incidentally I virtually never fold... and I would prefer not to find myself ripping off the handlepost while sprinting through an intersection or something equally catastrophic.

    Where I could use some help is that, I have never ridden a full-size bike before. Never. In determining which models to look at, I would like a sense of how stiff or harsh my bike likely is in comparison to full-size bikes. e.g. I don't know if my ride is equivalent to a "plush" full-size or a very rigid race frame. Obviously my bike must have some flex, but it does ride quite harshly with its little wheels, steel fork, etc. I have to lift off the saddle for some of the least road imperfections otherwise it can be quite pounding. It can feel like freakin' Paris-Roubaix along the edges of the rougher roads.

    What I am hoping to get out of a full-size bike:
    - more gears (currently only 10, sometimes the jumps are too wide - not ideal)
    - more compliance over road imperfections (asphalt joins etc)
    - more security/rigidity in the front-end (handlebars etc)
    - faster & lighter

    I tend to ride for at least one to two hours by myself and generally try to ride as balls-out fast as I can. You won't find me posting anything to the "pootling" thread.

    My LBS was of little help suggesting where I might start, since admittedly my ride is a little... different. Hoping that some of you who have experience on folders and full-size bikes might give me the benefit of your experience. Right now I am considering something like a Felt F75, Cannondale CAAD9 or Six Carbon Six or Cervelo S1...

    Thanks!
    Callum

  2. #2
    小型自転車マニアック \(^o^)y
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    Nice looking bike!
    Is that a stock seat post?

    I was looking at a full size ride a few months ago too, think'n I needed one to keep up w/my roadie friends..
    But realized I just plain like min-velo's - so I bought another mini w/more road-like geometry, added a front derailer to double my gearing, and all the fixn's to make it a road-racer. : )

    I couldn't be happier!
    & Have no prob's in keeping up w/my full-sized road bike friends.
    (gear inch range: 20spds - 31.6~89.6)

    Personally, I'd get a test ride before buying..
    But that's me..

    Good luck!
    Rgds,
    K.
    Last edited by Kaito; 04-23-09 at 08:19 AM.

  3. #3
    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    I am havng a bit of diffculty trasitioning from foldies (brompton, picclo, kent) to a full-sized bike (mixte). Handing is so much different! Ymmv though; you'll probably have an easier time than I do because you already have a road setup on your bike, while I'm going from upright foldies to a mixte with drop bars.
    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

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
    Hello fellow folding fans!


    I tend to ride for at least one to two hours by myself and generally try to ride as balls-out fast as I can. You won't find me posting anything to the "pootling" thread.

    My LBS was of little help suggesting where I might start, since admittedly my ride is a little... different. Hoping that some of you who have experience on folders and full-size bikes might give me the benefit of your experience. Right now I am considering something like a Felt F75, Cannondale CAAD9 or Six Carbon Six or Cervelo S1...

    Thanks!
    Callum
    Might want to visit another LBS.. seems like suggestions should be pretty straight forward.. I'd be looking at a frame that fit you, something within your projected price range, and road test a demo..



    Quote Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
    What I am hoping to get out of a full-size bike:
    - more gears (currently only 10, sometimes the jumps are too wide - not ideal)
    - more compliance over road imperfections (asphalt joins etc)
    - more security/rigidity in the front-end (handlebars etc)
    - faster & lighter

    Currently owning a Helios XX and two previous Helios bikes, a good road bike will fulfill all of your above hopes.. general smoothness with the larger diameter wheels will be something you notice immediately.. when you start stressing the frame, more huge differences with the rigidity of a road bike will become apparent .. it'll take a bit of riding to get used to that sense of 'slower' steering response, but that will become second nature as you put a few miles under your belt. You should be faster, but probably not a night and day difference.. the engine is everything and your Helios setup looks to put you in a good position for body efficiency/power..

    Over the last few days, I've been playing with a project Airnimal Chameleon .. 520mm high pressure tires.. no front suspension.. rear suspension using the hardest of available elastomers (black) .. coming off of a plush, full suspension Moulton TSR with 406mm high pressure tires, my first impression with the Airnimal was how smooth it felt over the asphalt.. even though the Moulton is excellent at absorbing road irreguarities, there is a lot of commotion in the wheel area as the suspension does its work.. none of that type of commotion with the Airnimal.. nor my 700c Merlin..

  5. #5
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you are generally on the right track. There are tons of options for 700c road bikes, so I'm a little surprised that your LBS didn't have some good suggestions.

    In the $1500 price range, in addition to what you listed: Specialized Allez series; Jamis Ventura series; Orbea San Remo. If you're willing to drop $2,000 then carbon fiber becomes an option. Specialized Tarmac, Jamis Eclipse, Orbea Onix TDA, plenty of others.

    One classification of bike to consider is the "performance" or "comfort" road bikes, like the Specialized Roubaix, Fuji Roubaix, Giant Defy or Jamis Quest (among others). They tend to have a slightly more relaxed geometry and options for slightly wider tires, without much of a sacrifice in speed.

    Keep in mind you can add a little bit of comfort to any bike by using slightly wider tires, a little less PSI, a compliant saddle (e.g. Brooks / leather), and bar gels and/or doubling up the bar tape. You can also start by setting the handlebars in a semi-upright position, and slowly lower it as you gain flexibility.


    As to the switch from folders / the Helios: The biggest change will be in getting used to the riding position, which will be much more aggressive than the Helios. The 700c bikes will also have more stable handling, which at first may make the bike feel slow in comparison to the Helios. The Helios is likely set up more like a hybrid than a road bike, but the smaller wheels actually make the bike faster. As a result, you might not notice a huge boost in performance over the Helios at first, especially as your body needs to adapt to the new riding position.

    In terms of comfort and stiffness: To speak broadly, the road bikes will be much stiffer and soak up road vibes a little better than the Helios, especially the CF frames. Even a lower-end CF frame these days is usually designed for lateral stiffness and vertical compliance. Meanwhile, the tall handlepost, tall seatpost, and frame hinges tend to make Dahons flexy; and the smaller wheels, when used with higher PSI's and without suspension, make the ride harsher.

    Have fun driving your LBS's nuts with test rides...

  6. #6
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    Oh this is easy. Just go to shops and sample their wares!

    It's not like finding a folder where the shops don't carry them or put them together properly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cmd3 View Post
    What I am hoping to get out of a full-size bike:
    - more gears (currently only 10, sometimes the jumps are too wide - not ideal)
    - more compliance over road imperfections (asphalt joins etc)
    - more security/rigidity in the front-end (handlebars etc)
    - faster & lighter
    I think you won't get any of these.
    More gears: just not needed in most cases. So there are there. Useless. Just adding weight and complexity.
    More compliance: as thoroughly argued in another thread here, you can compensate with slightly wider tires, and keep the same weight and smoothness of a larger wheel (unless you are going off road).
    security: I don't see anything insecure with a Dahon?
    faster: why? You might get a 3% rolling improvement versus a 5% wind resistance loss. Overall smalle wheeled bicicles are as fast as larger wheel bicycles. This might be a suprise for many. But give it a try, then you will realize.
    weight: the Dahon Helios is the lightest frame in the Dahon line. I don't know its exact weight but surely it is below 2kg. Together with weight saving because of smaller wheels you end up at the weight of a super high end carbon racer, 7,5kg if equally outfitted.

    Oh, BTW, nice mods, what forck did you use?

  8. #8
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    4cmd3,

    You already have a super-modified Dahon using some of the lightest components money can buy. You also say you are now fitter and want to go faster.

    I hate to break it to you but since your existing equipment optimization is so good, going to a full size bike won't yield as much performance gains as you expect.

    If you truly want to go faster, you should be looking at recumbents because at the speed that you can achieve with your supermodified Dahon on the flats, you lose more efficiency to wind resistance than weight resistance. If you like going fast, riding alone and riding hard with less pain, trying recumbents is the way to go. The recumbent is:

    - easier on the body
    - heavier but faster (not quicker, faster)
    - fun
    - more comfortable in every way over every type of surface than the Helios

    Choosing between your supermodified and optimized Helios (I ride a Helios myself) and a full sized road bike isn't as big a difference as you could imagine. To go appreciably faster than your Helios, get a recumbent or modify your Helios to a Cruzbike recumbent and try that first.

    If I haven't talked you out of a road bike yet, I would highly recommend looking into a full titanium bike. Feel of good steel, compliant, strong, aesthetically pleasing (I don't love the look of carbon). Possibly more fixable than carbon if you ever damage the bike.

  9. #9
    jur
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    I think virtually any road bike would be good for you... but if you save up and get something special, ie a good frame with quality componentry, the ride will give you much pleasure and last a long time. Buy something closer to entry-level, and likely pretty soon afterwards you'll be either upgrading or buying another. If you do test rides, this difference in ride quality becomes evident.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  10. #10
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    Why not consider something like a Bike Friday Tikit? It should like similar to a full size road bike and you can outfit it with a full complement of road bike components.

  11. #11
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    4cmd3,

    Please post back and don't forget when you finally settle down with whatever new bike you choose.

    Given folders are normal for you, your experience switching to a more conventional bike should be an interesting one to note. I'm inclined to think you'll be disappointed, but I'm trying to keep my mouth shut because the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I want to see what you taste.

  12. #12
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    More gears: just not needed in most cases. So there are there. Useless. Just adding weight and complexity.
    Either a triple, or a compact double, will provide a wider range and a little more control over cadence. Definitely a reason, at a minimum, to change bikes.


    Quote Originally Posted by pibach
    More compliance: as thoroughly argued in another thread here, you can compensate with slightly wider tires, and keep the same weight and smoothness of a larger wheel (unless you are going off road).
    Wider tires and lower PSI will incur a performance penalty. The road bike will probably perform about the same -- possibly better, but only if he can manage a more aggressive position that, for some reason, he can't get with the Helios (e.g. not enough reach, bars can't get low enough).

    It's pretty clear that the Helios is going to have a fairly harsh ride (aluminum frame, no suspension), especially if you optimize it for speed. Plus, even if he doesn't go for a full carbon frame, even a $1200 road bike will have CF forks, CF seat stays, and likely a CF seatpost. CF parts, diamond frame, larger wheels will all add up to a more comfortable ride.


    Quote Originally Posted by pibach
    security: I don't see anything insecure with a Dahon?
    He's referring to stiffness. Dahon frames are flexy, due to the long handlepost, long seatpost, hinges, lack of diamond frame etc. Plus, 700c will have more stable handling and better resistance to bumps and cracks and so forth.

  13. #13
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    I also own a folder and a full sized road bike and I wouldn't trade either. As good as my Pocket-Rocket is, I still average about 2 mph faster on my 700C wheeled road bike and the ride is smoother.

    As already suggested, any entry level road bike will do you fine. The things you may want to figure out in advance are ... Do you want racing geometry, Cyclocross, touring, or a sport tourer. Do you want a triple crank, a double, or a compact double. Do you want STI shifters, barcons, or downtube? do you want steel, aluminum, Ti, or carbon. Will you want braze-ons for a rack?

    Once you figure out which of the above items you would prefer, then you can begin to narrow down the choices to what fits into that list. Then go ride, ride, ride......

    Just a suggestion... If you want a road bike, don't post in the folding forum.. go to the road cycling forum.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  14. #14
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    Thanks to everyone for their response and great points. I was pretty sure that there would be some good info and was hoping I wouldn't be flamed for looking at non-folding alternatives! Every bike has its place.

    @Kaito
    I too love the mini-velo's but the sad truth is that they are next to impossible to get here making it pretty much a moot point really. My seatpost is a modified Dahon telescoping post - the lower section is cut down slightly, with a replacement Syntace upper carbon post, and replacement titanium bolt with aluminum cups instead of the QR (both because it was heavy and I found the QR rubbed my leg). At the time the Kore seatposts were not available - I think overall the Kore seatpost + adapter might be a bit lighter than mine.

    @Bruce
    Thanks for your comments, much appreciated - that Airnimal looks pretty cool too!

    @Bacciagalupe
    Thanks for all your info - one thing regarding pricing for me to consider is whether I migrate my components from the Helios over to the new bike - and while I'd like to leave it fully configured, my budget probably advocates for moving the parts over. One thing I had considered was getting a fully-configured new bike and swapping whatever it comes with (105/Ultegra) onto the Helios, or just to get a new frameset + add parts. So far, leaning towards the frameset, pulling the good bits off the Helios and adding what I need in the way of extra parts - just for overall lowest cost.

    I definitely want to try some test rides, unfortunately the place that I frequent is downtown and I would never ride in that area. Concerned about falling off the full-size while testing... "Ooops you just bought that R3 buddy!" heh

    @makeinu
    yes I had not really considered how many more options there are in the full-size spectrum. I remember sweating for like weeks/months over DualDrive vs. Capreo vs. brifters vs. brakes... trying to make it all work on the folder. I wonder how unique my circumstances are - having started on folders and only having experience folders. Have to make a poll. Regarding the "proof is in the pudding" ~ yes I will definitely respond to the thread if/when I get something else. Part of me fears taking apart my current Helios config and then finding out that I don't like the "new" thing as much. Then again I had the same fear every time I upgraded the Helios...

    @pibach
    hey peter
    gears: there are times when I do max out my top gear... I'm just flying and I've got nothing else to pop into. Similarly there are rare times when I could use an even lower gear... and there are frequently times when I am "just in between" gears and I go back and forth between "5" and "6"... when I could really use like ... "5.5"

    compliance: true I could go to chubby tires, but honestly I do not like the look and it would generally add weight.

    security: I agree that to date my Dahon has been ROCK solid but I recognize that how I am using it, is not how Dahon would represent that it should be used. Their sticker says outright "Do not race" if I recall... I am pushing the bike perhaps harder than it was intended. You do read about folks with periodic failures of one part or another, and I recognize that it is going on 3 years now and my concern is that the more time goes by, sooner or later something may fail in a bad way. I do check for cracks etc and so far so good knock on wood no problems.

    weight: My Helios weighs...22.4lb which is just over 10kg , 20.6lb if I swapped to Stelvio's. That's on the heftier side compared to a road-bike as I understand it. Maybe if I had an aluminum fork or I had the Kinetix Pro wheels I could drop the weight some more. But the alu fork is pretty hard to get and I would worry that it might not handle the pounding. I am considering the Kinetix Pro wheels as my rear rim is wearing out anyway, but thinking that is money that I cannot recover if/when I get something full-size. The other issue is that there is no good source of weight information for the fork and wheels, so it is sort of blind as to how much weight one could save that way. AND I recall hearing the SRAM 10-speed cassette may not be compatible with the hub on the Kinetix Pro for some reason - hard to get a clear answer on that before pulling the trigger.

    fork: it is just the original steel fork, with spiffy decals

    Another final issue with my folder is that if I did want to jump into competitive cycling/racing then they are just plain not allowed...

    @puppypilgrim
    Yeah I hear you... I do love my folder... A recumbent is not something I'm interested in, but you are right it would probably be "fastest". I guess then maybe "speed" isn't quite as much a factor that I originally posted. I would definitely consider Ti, though a good frame is perhaps beyond my current ballpark. Have you checked out Guru (gurubikes.com)? - they do a nice one. I didn't think Ti was particularly repairable, but probably more damage proof than carbon anyway - I fear carbon frames from that perspective.

    @jur
    Truer words have never been spoken! cheers

    @ilovebicycling
    I think if I'm going to get a replacement that it will not be another folder. I'm hoping to still keep the Helios for times when the folder is of more use (e.g. throw in the trunk of the car, go off somewhere far away) - it is very handy that way.

    @bicycleflyer
    Thanks! I'm thinking "racing/double/STI" ... I will have to start testing. My preference is to keep both bikes operational. If nothing else I don't think I could part with the Helios due to pure emotional attachment. Yes I do frequent the road-cycling forum also, although everyone seems so much nicer here to be honest! I could just imagine how well my post would be received over there... "So I have this folding bike and..." bwahahahahaha.


    And everyone is quite right that almost any full-size bike would probably suit, at least in the short term.

    Once I sort through everything, I'll post with how things turn out
    (did I end up buying full-size or not, what happened to the Helios, how do they compare, etc.)

    Thanks to one and all,
    Callum

    PS. I do love the attention the little bike gets, although sometimes you find yourself talking to people more than riding!
    Last edited by 4cmd3; 04-23-09 at 09:07 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Either a triple, or a compact double, will provide a wider range and a little more control over cadence. Definitely a reason, at a minimum, to change bikes.
    I have to wonder if the amount of time spent in the extra gears would make up for all the time spent in the wrong gears due to the shifting sequence, avoiding cross chaining, downshifting before stopping, etc.

    Maybe if you're just riding in circles on rolling hills or if they've cleared the roads and "rolled out the red carpet" for bicycle racing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Wider tires and lower PSI will incur a performance penalty. The road bike will probably perform about the same -- possibly better, but only if he can manage a more aggressive position that, for some reason, he can't get with the Helios (e.g. not enough reach, bars can't get low enough).
    I don't think the evidence bears this out (that "wider tires and lower psi will incur a performance penalty"). It depends on the tire construction and road surface. On a smooth steel riding surface anything softer than steel "rims" incurs a performance penalty, but the optimum performer on other surfaces varies widely.

    Everyone seems to be able to accept that a stiffer won't necessarily be faster off road, but stiffer is not always faster on road either. After all, if stiffer and narrower is always better then why use rubber at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    He's referring to stiffness. Dahon frames are flexy, due to the long handlepost, long seatpost, hinges, lack of diamond frame etc. Plus, 700c will have more stable handling and better resistance to bumps and cracks and so forth.
    I thought he was referring to maintenance. Gotta keep all those hinges, joints, etc tight, especially the handlepost. You gotta keep 'em tight on a regular bike too, but on a Dahon there's just more to worry about.

    Although, speaking of "security" even if the OP is now in a bigger home where's he going to put his new bike at his destinations? Is it really going to be lighter with a sufficient lock?
    Last edited by makeinu; 04-24-09 at 05:37 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    I mean no offence by the following comments, but......

    It seems to me that some SWB riders complain how roadies sneer at SWBs and make negative and uninformed comments about our "clown bikes" and how slow they think we are, yet we are pretty quick to make biased and complicated arguments about why SWBs are better than 700c bikes. And yes I know that a Moulton holds the land speed record and blah, blah blah.

    Horses for courses, IMHO.

    May I humbly add that very few of you guys have ever experienced the rigours of training and road racing, let alone the speeds and risks necessary to win a hard race. I know some of you guys might sometimes ride in bunch rides and also, some of you might have done very long rides on you SWBs, but that CANNOT be compared to the intensity of a serious road race.....I should know, I raced for quite a few years at a fairly high level.

    While I enjoy riding SWBs immensely, I know what I want to ride on a HAMMERFEST.... not a SWB.

  17. #17
    jur
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    No offense taken... I have definitely not raced. Unless you count that time when I raced a pre-school mate on my tricycle which I lost when I fell off in a tight corner. I had garden path rash for days.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    jdaniel
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    I'm going to second all the ones that said, get an entry level bike and be prepared to move on from there. Get on good ole Craigslist, find a reasonable bike that you can afford to buy (and then sell back after a couple of months).

    Find out what you like and don't like about that bike. Then you can go into an LBS with a much more informed and experienced idea as to what you would like. You'll also have a base that you can use to compare the other bikes to.

  19. #19
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    I recently acquired a full-size road/touring bike in my bicycle fleet after a year of riding nothing but folding bikes, so my situation somewhat resembles yours.

    I love folding bikes. I think they offer practical solutions to so many problems of human mobility, particularly in crowded urban environments. And they are fantastically diverse... and fun!

    I recently acquired a full-size road/touring bike--a Jamis Aurora--because I have the ambition to complete a century ride and have found that I can not go fast enough to complete such a ride in a reasonable time frame and within my energy limits. I recognize that there are several individuals posting on these folding bike threads who are very fit and athletic and could probably complete the Tour de France on a folding bike and beat Lance Armstrong. I am not one of them.

    I find that when riding a full-size bike, I ride appreciably faster and with less effort. Again, I realize my fitness and riding techniques may not be optimal, and I could probably wring more performance and speed out of my folder but why *not*, if you've got room and budget for it, use the tool best suited for the task? Folders excel at the tasks they're designed for, and so do road bikes. There's room in the universe of human-powered devices for many, many kinds of solutions.

    But really, as others have said, the only way you can make this decision for yourself is to go and test out bikes. I recommend checking out the Jamis Aurora. It's a high-quality bike for a very good price.
    Last edited by Urbanis; 04-24-09 at 09:16 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    No offense taken... I have definitely not raced. Unless you count that time when I raced a pre-school mate on my tricycle which I lost when I fell off in a tight corner.
    I had garden path rash for days.
    good one Jur.

    I have suffered from T.H.O.O.O.R. in the past.......Too high opinion of ones'self rash.

  21. #21
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    @4cmd3

    Gears: there are singlespeed riders which are almost as fast as geared bike riders, don't know exactly why, its just a fact. Difference is less than <5%.

    Compliance & tires: The Kojak 1.3" is light and gives already some improvement over the Stelvio. Also the Pantour hub works nicely, but seems to be discontinued, unfortunately.

    Security: If you are team racing, the Helios frame might be too weak, indeed. Better choice might be: BF Pocket Rocket, Pacific Reach SL, or Airnimal.

    Weight: here is a list of wheelset weight from speedmatrixdepot. There are Dahon Mu configurations weighting down to 7,4 kg, the Helios should be some 200g lighter.

    I'm in the same boat, looking for something more performance oriented (having had a Mu SL, got stolen, know I have Mu XL, which I like but is too heavy). My favourite is something like this Mu fixed gear custom mod:
    Last edited by pibach; 04-27-09 at 02:45 PM.

  22. #22
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Gears: there are singlespeed riders which are almost as fast as geared bike riders, don't know exactly why, its just a fact. Difference is less than <5%.
    Sure ... but the engines are different and/or the route is flat. Otherwise, there is plenty of evidence that more gears -- subject to diminishing returns ... maybe even negative at some point -- is much faster for the vast majority of riders.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    Sure ... but the engines are different and/or the route is flat. Otherwise, there is plenty of evidence that more gears -- subject to diminishing returns ... maybe even negative at some point -- is much faster for the vast majority of riders.
    I have always been convinced gears do have a definite advantage. But I am not sure about that any more. I did some test over various distances comparing shifting to non shifting acceleration and I was fastest without shifting, surprisingly. You just need to adopt your riding style a bit with frequent 'stand-n-hammer' intervals. Therefore you need a stiff frame. This won't be for everyone, admitted, but it is suitable for many. Interestingly, single speed riders range also top in hill climbing and marathon competitions.

  24. #24
    小型自転車マニアック \(^o^)y
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    I have always been convinced gears do have a definite advantage. But I am not sure about that any more. I did some test over various distances comparing shifting to non shifting acceleration and I was fastest without shifting, surprisingly. You just need to adopt your riding style a bit with frequent 'stand-n-hammer' intervals. Therefore you need a stiff frame. This won't be for everyone, admitted, but it is suitable for many. Interestingly, single speed riders range also top in hill climbing and marathon competitions.
    I've tried this out a few times too, but throw in a headwind, toss in some uphill gradients, maybe even some fatigue, and I appreciated every gear I had!
    Spread all them ingredients across a longer distance, and I think gearing then becomes a 'must'.. for me at least..

  25. #25
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    I did have one of my 20" (406) wheel bikes as a singlespeed for a while, something like 58/14 with Conti HP slicks....could spin comfortably at 30 kmph and chase down other riders at 40 ks. Took it for a 100km ride one day with some nice hills, it was great fun, BUT, give me gears and more gears for Hammerfests and real climbs.

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