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Old 05-09-09, 03:22 PM   #1
duke_of_hazard
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do I need a road bike?

I commute with my Dahon D7 everywhere. I put thousands of miles on it since 2007. My only problem with it is that strong headwinds of greater than 20 mph really slow me down. I'm thinking a bike with a more aggressive posture may be faster.

If my top speed on the Dahon on a flat road with no wind is 25 mph, how fast can I go on a decent road bike?
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Old 05-09-09, 03:28 PM   #2
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I commute with my Dahon D7 everywhere. I put thousands of miles on it since 2007. My only problem with it is that strong headwinds of greater than 20 mph really slow me down. I'm thinking a bike with a more aggressive posture may be faster.

If my top speed on the Dahon on a flat road with no wind is 25 mph, how fast can I go on a decent road bike?
1) 20 mph headwind will slow anyone down, so don't think drop bars are a panacea. You'll still suffer.
2) With a good road bike, you'll probably average 2 or 3 mph faster over your Dahon D7, at least that's my experience.
3) Your top speed will be much better with higher gearing on a road bike.
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Old 05-09-09, 03:36 PM   #3
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1) 20 mph headwind will slow anyone down, so don't think drop bars are a panacea. You'll still suffer.
2) With a good road bike, you'll probably average 2 or 3 mph faster over your Dahon D7, at least that's my experience.
3) Your top speed will be much better with higher gearing on a road bike.
are you sure that gearing will make that much of a difference? On my Dahon D7 I hit 25 mph on gear six. I almost never have enough power to use gear seven. The exception is going downhill of course.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:01 PM   #4
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10% improvement is probably the most that you could hope for.
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Old 05-09-09, 04:36 PM   #5
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are you sure that gearing will make that much of a difference? On my Dahon D7 I hit 25 mph on gear six. I almost never have enough power to use gear seven. The exception is going downhill of course.
If you feel you don't have the leg strength to use gear 7 on your Dahon, then you're certainly right, getting better gearing with a road bike is not going to help at all. In that case, maybe getting drop bar-ends to put on your Dahon may be sufficient to help you reduce wind resistance.

I have a set of these:
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.a...S&currency=USD They'll fit easily on your Dahon bars.
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Old 05-09-09, 10:10 PM   #6
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I have a set of these:
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.a...S&currency=USD They'll fit easily on your Dahon bars.
thanks, that does look quite interesting. Are they easy to attach and take off? I probably only need them one day every two weeks. Can they be put on top of the existing rubber grip handle bars?
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Old 05-10-09, 12:46 AM   #7
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To the OP......simple anwser...YES, you need a full size roadie.

Folders are slow, heavy and uncomfortable. They can't climb, tour or go anything but SLOW, no matter what anybody here says..........

JOKING They're a blast and can do all types of cycling quite well.

Last edited by stevegor; 05-10-09 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Add
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Old 05-10-09, 05:49 AM   #8
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If my top speed on the Dahon on a flat road with no wind is 25 mph, how fast can I go on a decent road bike?
You mean, folding road bicycle, right?
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Old 05-10-09, 06:06 AM   #9
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I don't know what speed you can do or could do, but when it comes to headwinds, getting your body down to lower the front you present to the wind will make a world of difference in your ability to ride into it when you have to. But you have to be able to do it... that is, it won't happen unless if you have too much abdominal fat, and unless you have or develop the needed flexibility. It does take some adaptation.

It is also influence by your position on the bike. To ride low in the drops, you might need to be able to sit a little more forward on the saddle, and the saddle needs to be high enough that your knees aren't coming up as high.

All in all, if you're satisfied with the folder you have, the simplest and certainly cheapest solution might be to just get bar-ends... not the little stubby straight ones that mountain bikers might use, but the longer ones that have a bit of a curve towards the end. Install them fairly close to horizontal, so that you can stretch yourself out forward. To lower your aerodynamic profile, it's almost just as effective to stretch out forward as it is to drop down low into drop bars. With bar-ends, your hands are still close to your brakes, whereas that isn't the case with the add-on drops.
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Old 05-10-09, 07:09 AM   #10
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I used to get a painful neck from riding dropped, and in general never found it confortable at all. I'd try and get hold of one for a day or so, and take it our to see how you fare (I'm assuming you've not ridden dropped before, if I'm wrong, disregard the above).
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Old 05-10-09, 11:23 AM   #11
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Use chopped and flopped drop bars to make mini-bullhorns. Works very well.
Dahon Helios with short bullhorns

I tested drop bars on my Dahon but realized that I mainly used the straight part and the hoods of the bar. This can be duplicated by bullhorns which preserves the compactness of the fold. Road bars won't allow the same fold.
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Old 05-10-09, 03:56 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the information. Will something like this do the trick:

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...1&category=344

It says just 150 grams per pair. Will this interfere with the fold? I only fold my bike once in a while, so can I just remove them for those occasions? If I remove them, can I stll ride the bike or will the handlebar grip be all messed up?
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Old 05-10-09, 09:27 PM   #13
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Origin 8 make a DROPS bar end which you could use without changing your shifters or brakes, that way you could get more aero-dynamic into the wind.

Last edited by stevegor; 05-10-09 at 09:30 PM. Reason: Add
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Old 05-10-09, 09:34 PM   #14
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Origin 8 make a DROPS bar end which you could use without changing your shifters or brakes, that way you could get more aero-dynamic into the wind.
would these be the ones:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Areo-Drop-End-Ba...QQcmdZViewItem

How unsafe is it to not have the brake levers close by?also can I remove these easily when I have to fold the bike up?
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Old 05-10-09, 11:22 PM   #15
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It is doubtful that you will use the Origin 8 drop bar extensions during the majority of your normal riding requirements. This because the position isn't very comfortable to maintain unless your first priority is speed at the expense of comfort.

In all likelihood, I think you will get a wider range of benefit using either the Titec L-shaped bar end which will allow you to stretch out and aid when climbing up a hill or use bullhorns which will allow you to do the same thing. Short bullhorns like mine will not interfere too much with the fold. L bar ends and drop bar extensions will interfere unless you can rotate them sufficiently.

It would be an inconvenience to mount and unmount the drop bar extensions each time you want to use them.
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Old 05-11-09, 01:12 AM   #16
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would these be the ones:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Areo-Drop-End-Ba...QQcmdZViewItem

How unsafe is it to not have the brake levers close by?also can I remove these easily when I have to fold the bike up?
That's them, If you want to do it properly remove your existing shifters and brake levers and install STI shifters on the Origin 8's, you will probably have to use travel agents if you've got V-brakes.


[QUOTE=puppypilgrim;8893965]It is doubtful that you will use the Origin 8 drop bar extensions during the majority of your normal riding requirements.This because the position isn't very comfortable to maintain unless your first priority is speed at the expense of comfort.

In all likelihood, I think you will get a wider range of benefit using either the Titec L-shaped bar end which will allow you to stretch out and aid when climbing up a hill or use bullhorns which will allow you to do the same thing. Short bullhorns like mine will not interfere too much with the fold. L bar ends and drop bar extensions will interfere unless you can rotate them sufficiently.

It would be an inconvenience to mount and unmount the drop bar extensions each time you want to use them.[/QUOTE]

That depends on what sort of riding he/she does. I'm a roadie...riding with drops is normal and very comfortable to me
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Old 05-12-09, 04:10 PM   #17
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In all likelihood, I think you will get a wider range of benefit using either the Titec L-shaped bar end which will allow you to stretch out and aid when climbing up a hill or use bullhorns which will allow you to do the same thing. Short bullhorns like mine will not interfere too much with the fold. L bar ends and drop bar extensions will interfere unless you can rotate them sufficiently.
I have ordered the Titec bar-ends, a little pricey at $38 for everything, hope they are worth it ! If it can give me an extra 3 mph in 20 mph headwinds, I will be satisfied!
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