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Old 06-10-09, 12:51 PM   #1
wilfreddrabble
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Dahon Speed TR - Opinions?

I have had two 3 speed hub gear folders (one an all-steel Dahon of 1990 vintage).

I haven't been that impressed with either one.

Recently I found pix/specs of the Dahon Speed TR on their website. Does anyone here have any experience with one of these?

I wouldn't be wanting to use it as a daily commuter but rather as a full-on touring bike that I could take on an airliner & use for cycle touring in Europe.

I'm not a camper and I can keep my luggage weight down to 15# or so. I'm a bit over the Dahon-imposed weight limit but not so much that I couldn't diet off the 20# or so I would need to to keep the whole rig below the figure Dahon recommends. (225#?)

I have done cycle touring before in Holland, using a bike I bought there used (the dealer bought it back after I was finished with it). The bike I bought was a Dutch one but had Shimano 7 speed hub gears. The rear wheel was very weak & I broke 4 spokes in 2 weeks. I used Dutch "grocery" floppy panniers with my own liner bags inside. This worked OK for me (I didn't look like a tourist) but even my light load overwhelmed the rear wheel of the bike I had.

John Alldredge
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Old 06-10-09, 01:14 PM   #2
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I have a 2008 TR. Basically I love everything about it. Absolutely no problems with the Dual Drive whatsoever. I'm a big fan of the Dual Drive.

The bike is steel and rides as such. Nice smooth ride. As far as hauling goes I have found that my Deuter Panniers just barely give me heel strike clearance. I believe the 2009 has a different rack that seems higher and set back a little more. At any rate my panniers do clear completely but it ain't by much.

I find the front rack useless. I don't haul up front so take that with a grain of salt. I see people all the time looking for the front Dahon rack and I've often thought about removing mine and selling it but I've decided to keep it and try it sometime.

Gear range is awesome. I can take on some pretty steep hills with it here in Okinawa.

The stock lights (on the 2008) leave something to be desired in my opinion but it does come with lights and a dynamo hub up front.

If you rotate the handlebars straight up or towards you, it won't fold. May or may not be an issue for you. My favorite spot on the handlebars is pretty much straight up but I can't get a good fold. An allen tool is needed to get the handlebar to lock in. Takes an extra 5 seconds or so to fold and you need a tool. This may not be a problem for you if you don't rotate the bar back as far as I do.

Right after those observations.......It's a workhorse. Very comfortable, but not a speed demon. I work on a second floor office and I'm aware of how heavy it is everytime I haul it up the stairs. But it's not TOO heavy but noticeably more so than some of my other folders.

Good solid bike in my opinion. Of course if you wanted to lighten it a lot you could throw a regular rim up front. The dynamo hubs are heavy.

Steel and Big Apple Tires ride like a dream.

John
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Old 06-10-09, 01:48 PM   #3
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I test rode a Speed TR at my LBS. I'm 6' with a 32-33" inseam and it fit me the best of any Dahon I've tried since it has quite a long effective TT. The ride with the Schwalbe Big Apples was quite nice as well. The DD worked well and gives a useful gear range for touring. Nice looking bike overall. I didn't get a chance to ride it loaded at all.
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Old 06-10-09, 08:18 PM   #4
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I've heard that the Speed TR has the same frame as the Speed P8. I have a P8 and honestly I don't care for the ride very much. I do use it tho, as it fills an important role. Note I have never loaded it with front panniers, so I don't know how it feels fully loaded.
Are you considering other folders, and if so, what's your budget?
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Old 06-11-09, 01:39 AM   #5
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This guy took a TR on a tour of Cameroon.... a country that I am very familiar with. It can be hard enough driving a 4x4 on those roads, so a bike has to be tough to survive.
http://www.mindless.ca/cameroon/dahon-tr-review.html
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Old 06-11-09, 03:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post
I test rode a Speed TR at my LBS. I'm 6' with a 32-33" inseam and it fit me the best of any Dahon I've tried since it has quite a long effective TT.
The 20" Dahons all have the very same frame geometry, TBOMK.

Here are my measurements for my Mu XL:
Effective TT is 54cm (while my MTB has 60cm. I did measure this distance at the hight of my MTB's TT. But substract the distance due to handlepost angle)
saddle to bar distance: 64 cm (due to handlepost angle), my MTB has 74cm for comparison (13cm ahead stem length)
models with Syntace Vro (such as the Speed TR) can provide a 4 cm additional reach.
Wheelbase: 103 cm (my MTB has 107cm, typical for road bikes in size Large is 102cm)
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Old 06-11-09, 04:00 AM   #7
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I wonder if the TR has a beefed up frame...? Not good for mass production but still...
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Old 06-11-09, 04:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bokes View Post
I've heard that the Speed TR has the same frame as the Speed P8. I have a P8 and honestly I don't care for the ride very much.
What don't you like about the ride?
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Old 06-11-09, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pibach View Post
The 20" Dahons all have the very same frame geometry, TBOMK.

Here are my measurements for my Mu XL:
Effective TT is 54cm (while my MTB has 60cm. I did measure this distance at the hight of my MTB's TT. But substract the distance due to handlepost angle)
saddle to bar distance: 64 cm (due to handlepost angle), my MTB has 74cm for comparison (13cm ahead stem length)
models with Syntace Vro (such as the Speed TR) can provide a 4 cm additional reach.
Wheelbase: 103 cm (my MTB has 107cm, typical for road bikes in size Large is 102cm)
The frame fork may be the same [I'm not sure about this, but don't have a way to compare], but the stem/bars are different resulting in a much longer effective TT - ideal for a taller rider.
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Old 06-11-09, 05:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
The frame fork may be the same [I'm not sure about this, but don't have a way to compare], but the stem/bars are different resulting in a much longer effective TT - ideal for a taller rider.
Frame is same, yes, forks I think are both steel (not sure, Mu has aluminium fork though), handlepost on the TR is the non-telescoping with VRO stem, this adds 4cm reach (and is stiffer). Anyway you can easily convert the telescoping handlepost with ahead stem (with reducer) to get more reach. This does not change effective TT which is exactly the same on all 20" Dahons (54cm, the Tikit, for comparison, has: 50 cm (small), 55 cm (medium), and 60 cm (large)).

Last edited by pibach; 06-11-09 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 06-15-09, 07:06 AM   #11
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Hi! I have been in a bike shop last Friday and I had the opportunity to make some pictures to a Speed TR. I was pretty much impressed with the quality of the bike and the S-Ram DualDrive hub. If I would have the budget, I wouldn't hesitate in buying it.

I hope will help you somehow. Here they are:
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 20090612-134211_1_1.jpg (95.7 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 20090612-134220_1_1.jpg (87.4 KB, 31 views)
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Old 06-15-09, 07:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post

I find the front rack useless. I don't haul up front so take that with a grain of salt. I see people all the time looking for the front Dahon rack and I've often thought about removing mine and selling it but I've decided to keep it and try it sometime.
Hi, TrekJapan, this is very helpful, I am thinking of a TR too. Can I ask, did you try with panniers on the front, or what?
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Old 06-23-09, 01:48 AM   #13
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there's a great pic of a loaded TR, front panniers and all here that I came across google imaging the speed tr http://www.flickr.com/photos/59771403@N00/265805228
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Old 06-23-09, 03:57 AM   #14
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there's a great pic of a loaded TR, front panniers and all here that I came across google imaging the speed tr http://www.flickr.com/photos/59771403@N00/265805228
Except that the picture was then ruined by photoshopping the background and foreground to be out of focus. It almost hurts my eyes to look at.
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Old 06-23-09, 05:24 AM   #15
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Except that the picture was then ruined by photoshopping the background and foreground to be out of focus. It almost hurts my eyes to look at.
hoho I thought it was because I was looking at the pic without my specs on . Someone thinks you can load front panniers on a tr though, though I note its a seatpost rack rather than a later model with a fitted rear rack...
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Old 06-23-09, 07:24 AM   #16
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great bike for what you intended to use it...
just one tip... buy it and use it here at home.... put some miles on it and than bring it to a good dealer and have the wheels re trued ......
the original dealer tune up usually doesnt involve a whole lot of wheel truing as it is nonsense to retrue them without putting some miles on it ...
and I have seen folks who bought a brand new bike , loaded it up and went cycling in Vietnam ( or other exotic places) than came back and were dissapointed that the wheels gave them problems and they couldnt find a dealer who could true them ( this is not specific Dahon or TR but happens to all bikes no matter what )

In other words when you out to do an " expedition" you want to plan ahead and test all your gear beforehand.... of course that is self explanatory .. just that I want to throw that into the discussion

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Old 06-23-09, 10:16 AM   #17
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I don't know the margin for error built into Dahon's weight limits, but it seems to me that spending over $1,000 on a bike that you can only ride if you lose 20lbs from your current weight is kind of a risky investment.
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