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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 05-03-09, 06:54 PM   #1
puppypilgrim
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Dahon Helios with short bullhorns

Did a chop and flop of chrome drop bars to make these short bullhorns which are perfect for my riding. The short bullhorns do not interfere with the bike's fold. I tested straight bars with bar ends but did not like the look.


Before the bullhorns.




After.




Bontrager gel tape. These are the cat's meow. I can ride with or without gloves now.




Since the horns are short, I can rapidly pivot my hands from the horns to the brake levers with no problems.







I was looking for setup that would offer multiple hand positions, comfort, an ability to climb out of saddle by pulling on the handlebars which requires moving your center of gravity forward and a tuck position for protracted cruising at high speed. A road bar would compromise too much of the fold. So would long bullhorns. A chop and drop is what worked best for my setup.
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Old 05-03-09, 07:35 PM   #2
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Looks great!
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Old 05-03-09, 07:40 PM   #3
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That looks sharp. The local shop here has a Helios SL and I had to toss a coin between it and the Speed Pro TT I got.
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Old 05-04-09, 03:31 PM   #4
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Nice work there. Looks really comfy! Have you had any problems with the bars slipping in the "stem" clamp?
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Old 05-04-09, 06:40 PM   #5
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Nice work! Interesting solution to the brake cable routing
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Old 05-10-09, 10:49 PM   #6
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No issues with the bars slipping in the stem
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Old 05-10-09, 10:50 PM   #7
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This afternoon, I dropped by the bike store, bought a 14T cog for $6. After I got home, I pulled off the rear wheel (had to remove one brake caliper in the process), held onto the cog with a chain whip, slapped on the Shimano freewheel removal tool, applied the 17mm wrench and pulled the old cog off. Put on the new 14T cog, re-assembled, put on the chain tensioner, 18mm cone wrench to tension the tensioner springs, tightened the lock pivot bolt. Went for a ride.

The new combo gives 72 gear inches and is totally sweet, fast, do about 30 km/h good cruising and can speed up to 40 km/h if needed. Depending on your strength, cardio-vascular ability and riding terrain, there is a sweet gear inch range that feels good. At 72 GI, I feel like a god with each stride of the leg (actually each rotation of the crank) producing a corresponding road speed that is satisyfing.

Man oh man - this is now such a sweet ride - I'm luvin' it!

Last edited by puppypilgrim; 05-10-09 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 05-11-09, 10:27 AM   #8
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Here's the pic:

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Old 05-11-09, 04:17 PM   #9
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I would be interested in how you stick the bullhorns through the spokes when folded. Could you upload a pic?
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Old 05-11-09, 04:27 PM   #10
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Only if you pay me ;D

I'll see what I can do....thanks Peter - you're a brick (meaning you're a solid guy).
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Old 05-11-09, 04:36 PM   #11
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I have my brake levers slightly conflicting with the rear frame. Your setup must be an exact positioning. True? Looking forward for your pics... always inspiring.

Best,

Peter
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Old 05-11-09, 04:38 PM   #12
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Sweet ride!
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Old 05-11-09, 11:48 PM   #13
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Folded pictures

Here are the folded pictures.

ACROSS-THE-FRAME FOLD




BETWEEN-THE-FRAME FOLD




I would not classify either of these folds as precision folds. In both these folds, you have to rotate the left pedal into the 6 o'clock position in order to make room for the main tube hinge to fold.

The Across-The-Frame fold has the advantage of locking the fold together and you can just carry it as a tube. It's a little slower to get perfectly right as the seat needs to contact the handlepost to lock it in place.

The Between-The-Frame fold is more elegant and folds more compactly. It needs a strap between the two wheels to hold the fold in place.
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Old 05-12-09, 12:34 AM   #14
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Thx.
Now I see how you do it.
Regarding the inside fold: does the brake lever touch the rear frame? No scratching?
Before I thought you would stick bars though the spokes to avoid rotating the handlebar and still get a flat fold. But the left brake lever seem to conflict.
Probably levers on the horn ends would allow this type of fold?
The low spokes count wheels on the SL Versions (Mu & Helios) might help.
Or fixed gear without right brake lever.
BTW, I never rotate the bar for folding, but this does not allow to cut it, as you did.
And there is a 4th folding option: rotate the front wheel 180 and fold the handlepost to the other side.

Last edited by pibach; 05-12-09 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 05-12-09, 01:09 AM   #15
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nice job on the bars, I may try something similar with my D7 if possible. what was the width of the bar you used?
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Old 05-12-09, 11:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pibach View Post
Thx.
Now I see how you do it.
Regarding the inside fold: does the brake lever touch the rear frame? No scratching?
Before I thought you would stick bars though the spokes to avoid rotating the handlebar and still get a flat fold. But the left brake lever seem to conflict.
Probably levers on the horn ends would allow this type of fold?
The low spokes count wheels on the SL Versions (Mu & Helios) might help.
Or fixed gear without right brake lever.
BTW, I never rotate the bar for folding, but this does not allow to cut it, as you did.
And there is a 4th folding option: rotate the front wheel 180 and fold the handlepost to the other side.

No scratching that I am aware of.

Previously, one of the horns would stick into rear triangle and get into the spokes. Had to be very precise with that kind of fold.

I haven't tried your 4th way of folding it yet. For my needs (throwing the bike into the trunk of the car), the between the frame fold pretty well as the narrow folded width of 13" is compact.
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Old 05-12-09, 11:47 AM   #17
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nice job on the bars, I may try something similar with my D7 if possible. what was the width of the bar you used?
Thanks. I went out in a 20 mph wind last night. Half the ride was against the wind and half was with the wind. The bull horns worked very well riding into the wind. I was able to crouch, lower my head and keep pushing into the wind.

The drop bars I chopped and flopped measured 39cm from center to center (C-T-C). The key is in sizing the drop bars to your shoulder width and size of your hands. Experiment by riding with your straight bars or handle bars and putting your hands closer together until you feel comfortable. Mark that position with some tape and ride it some more over a few days to be sure that is what you want.

Drop bars come in different sizes of widths CTC and different depths of drops. Some drops are semi-circular and some are anatomic. Choose your drop bars carefully to suit your needs. Then search how to actually do the cutting of the drop bars.

With the Bontrager gel tape, I would rate the mod. 100% satisfaction for me.
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Old 06-14-09, 03:02 AM   #18
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I dont get why people opt for bullhorns without going for racing sytle levers shifters like STI,other than the cost. Surely the movement to the central braking get iratating,more dangerous. I can either rest on the hoods or go on the droped section with my set up. Am I missing the point?

can we see a photo of it folded please?
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Old 06-14-09, 05:45 AM   #19
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Ive got special brake levers that have L shaped blades so I can reach them from bar ends. Think there just cantilever compatable.

I did see in MTB magazines that there was a clip on brake lever extension. Think it was Dr Dew.

So if you had them, you could reach the brakes from any position on the bars

Last edited by griftereck; 06-14-09 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 06-14-09, 05:49 AM   #20
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If he used normal road levers would they pull enough cable for V brakes?
And would they make it more difficult to fold the bike, in the between the frame picture, the bars look very close to the wheel
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Old 06-14-09, 08:02 AM   #21
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If he used normal road levers would they pull enough cable for V brakes?
My Downtube worked fine with racing STI lever connected to V brakes. They have to be fairly close to the rim to allow full braking pressure before the lever hit the bars. But they worked very well indeed.

I think the other way round is the problem?

My calliper equipped Mezzo has Shimano Acera levers intended for V brakes, and the brakes are not as good as with the standard (non |V brake) levers.
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Old 06-15-09, 12:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
I dont get why people opt for bullhorns without going for racing sytle levers shifters like STI,other than the cost. Surely the movement to the central braking get iratating,more dangerous. I can either rest on the hoods or go on the droped section with my set up. Am I missing the point?
STI levers are all wrong on bullhorns IMHO. The proper levers to use with them are TT bar end mounted levers, which have the wrong pull for V brakes without travel agents.

Most bullhorns when not used on TT bikes are also mounted on single speed bikes, fixed or not, like the bike in the OP. No point using STI levers there. TT bikes obviously have bar-end shifters on the end of aero bars.

FWIW, my bullhorn equipped non-folding full size bike use TT levers and downtube (gasp!) shifters.
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Old 06-15-09, 01:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
My Downtube worked fine with racing STI lever connected to V brakes. They have to be fairly close to the rim to allow full braking pressure before the lever hit the bars. But they worked very well indeed.

I think the other way round is the problem?

My calliper equipped Mezzo has Shimano Acera levers intended for V brakes, and the brakes are not as good as with the standard (non |V brake) levers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by griftereck View Post
If he used normal road levers would they pull enough cable for V brakes?
And would they make it more difficult to fold the bike, in the between the frame picture, the bars look very close to the wheel
no, don't mix road levers with V-brakes, especially if the levers have shorter reach.
you don't really want to mix V-brake levers with road calipers or cantis either, unless you can crush apples with your bare hand.

you can reduce the brake pad clearance, but if your wheel goes out of true enough, it'll rub and it won't give enough power in the rear due to the long cable distance. front might be acceptable, but the rear will be sloppy.

either use travel agents, V-drops or canti brakes to do the job right.
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Old 06-15-09, 02:48 AM   #24
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no, don't mix road levers with V-brakes, especially if the levers have shorter reach.
you don't really want to mix V-brake levers with road calipers or cantis either, unless you can crush apples with your bare hand.

you can reduce the brake pad clearance, but if your wheel goes out of true enough, it'll rub and it won't give enough power in the rear due to the long cable distance. front might be acceptable, but the rear will be sloppy.

either use travel agents, V-drops or canti brakes to do the job right.
As I said yes V levers result in problems when used with calipers.

However I was talking about using Racing drops with V brakes being ok is carefully setup.
I agree they are not ment to go together, with out the adjunts, but my experience of racing STI with V brakes or calipers ( not cantis) resulted in no problems without using them.
Proof of the pudding?
Are they racing STI drops intended for V brakes?
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Old 06-15-09, 05:23 AM   #25
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I have no experience with drop bars and V-brakes, but many people say it's a problem, including Alex Wetmore, who I would trust on the subject.

http://www.phred.org/~alex/bikes/brakes.html

There are of course drop bar brake levers now that are made for V-Brakes, but I'm pretty sure the STI levers aren't one of them
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