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  1. #1
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    Dahon Mu frame squeaking noise

    My Mu P8 makes a (sort of) metallic squeaking noise which I think is coming from the frame hinge. The noise happens even when I'm just walking the bike so it has no load on it. I've adjusted the frame latch so it's not loose but I do notice some bare metal showing where paint has worn off on the contact points of the frame-ends.

    Is there anything I can adjust or is the frame latch worn or faulty? The bike is less than 2 years old and has done less than 1000 commuting miles.

  2. #2
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    if you already adjusted the clamp with no measurable results its time to look for a dealer who can help

    thor

  3. #3
    rhm
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    Yeah, my Downtube Mini does that; both the frame hinge and the stem hinge develop play after a while. I have glued small pieces of leather into the hinges, which cushions the gap between the metal pieces and helps a lot. Doesn't last for ever, though; plan on replacing it a couple times a year.

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there can be several spots that cause squeaking. In addition to all of the hinges, make sure the seatpost is adjusted properly and has enough grease.

  5. #5
    PDR
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    I owned 2 Dahon MUSLís and both developed squeaking and creaking noises from the frame. The seat post clamp is one area to check. The small grub (set) screw can become loose... I took off the clamp and applied some grease on the frame tube and then replaced and tighten the small screw. This helped for a while but then the embarrassing noises would come back again.....

    Another area could be the frame hinges..... both my MU SL's developed serious wear in the hinges within 6 months so where sent back to the dealer....

    Iíve not experienced any squeaking, creaking or rattling since I upgraded to a titanium Brompton... no signs of any wear and a far better build quality

    Iím beginning to think that aluminium simply isnít durable enough for bikes with frames that fold in half like the Dahon et al.

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    Thanks for your responses everyone.

    @Bacciagalupe: by greasing the seatpost I take it you mean greasing the inside of the seatpost clamp collar before putting it back on to the frame and fixing it in place with the grubscrew? I don't think greasing the actual seatpost is a good idea.

    I didn't think to check the grub screw for the seat post clamp collar so I'll do that.

    My bike is out of warranty now (it's 2 years old) so I don't know what the dealer would be able to do about it if anything.

    If I was to buy a folder now, I think I'd go for a Xootr Swift as it doesn't use a folding frame.
    I've tried a Brompton but for my height and weight I found it much too skittish compared with the 20 inch wheels of the Dahon and the Swift. Also, my commute to work is over 10 miles each way and whilst the Dahon seems to cope fine with that, I'd say the Brommie would be hard going at that distance.

    Johno

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    Quote Originally Posted by giskard View Post
    Thanks for your responses everyone.

    @Bacciagalupe: by greasing the seatpost I take it you mean greasing the inside of the seatpost clamp collar before putting it back on to the frame and fixing it in place with the grubscrew? I don't think greasing the actual seatpost is a good idea.

    I didn't think to check the grub screw for the seat post clamp collar so I'll do that.



    Johno
    While you have the collar off, remove the seatpost shim (if fitted)and grease the outside of that and slip it back in, then grease the inside of the collar/clamp and put a little lube on the quick release mechanism.. don't grease the seatpost itself, just clean it.. hope it works out... after a few hundred miles, my Mu Uno is still silent after I lubed everything up initially..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    Iím beginning to think that aluminium simply isnít durable enough for bikes with frames that fold in half like the Dahon et al.
    PDR, you are mixing some facts. First, there are thousands of Dahons out and running without squeaky frames (including my Mu). So quite likely the issues have been specific to your Dahons (probably the dealer who did not know how to setup the hinge?). Second, the bikes that need toughest frames, mountainbikes, are almost all from aluminum (more and more are Carbon now). And in fact this is more stable per weight if you use larger diameter tubes accordingly. This has nothing to to with your Titanium Brompton, which is a very fine bike and I would really like to test ride it.

  9. #9
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    I believe the Mu has a 5-year frame warranty. I think my 2007 does.

  10. #10
    PDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    PDR, you are mixing some facts. First, there are thousands of Dahons out and running without squeaky frames (including my Mu). So quite likely the issues have been specific to your Dahons (probably the dealer who did not know how to setup the hinge?). Second, the bikes that need toughest frames, mountainbikes, are almost all from aluminum (more and more are Carbon now). And in fact this is more stable per weight if you use larger diameter tubes accordingly. This has nothing to to with your Titanium Brompton, which is a very fine bike and I would really like to test ride it.
    I do agree with you and I know most mountain bike frames are made from aluminium.

    I was specifically thinking about hinge mating surfaces and the increased possibility of wear when using aluminium as opposed to harder steel.

    I know that that Dahons and several other brands that use quick release frame clamps (lever) and that these do need regular adjustments as the tension becomes less.... in this regard I think the Bromptonís and T-model Bike Friday Tikit are a much better design due to the fact that the clamp is adjusted to the perfect tension each and every time you use it.

    My opinion of Dahon bikes is tainted through a run of bad luck....... but I do know there are lots of happy owners out there.

  11. #11
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    PDR, I agree to your point in general. Hinges in the main frame are a critical point. And aluminum does need large contact surface to keep up with high forces. There are, for example, the (aluminum) hinges from Pacific Reach. While I think their "Swivelhead" design is too complicated, I like their wide contact surface hinge which seems to be rather strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDR View Post
    ...in this regard I think the Bromptonís and T-model Bike Friday Tikit are a much better design due to the fact that the clamp is adjusted to the perfect tension each and every time you use it.
    This is highly speculative. In fact it could be the other way round and some arguments are pointing towads that:

    * it is the Dahon quick release that always closes with the very same tension not the "V-Clamp with screw" of BF/Brompton
    * Dahon intentionally choose to use this quick release hinges instead of the simpler, well known but not as elegant mechanisms on other folders.
    * mass production potentially can achieve higher quality (per price).
    * Dahon is the reference regarding hinges, right?

    I have not tested Bike Friday or Brompton hinges enough to rate their quality in comparison to Dahon, only I know for sure is than my Dahons can handle stress surprisingly well. In my cases no adjustment of the hinge was needed. Never. No squeak. No play. No grease. Just works fine from day one. And opens/closes in a blink.

  12. #12
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    Same exact issue with a 2008 Jack. No issues with hinge tension (it was within spec and never loosened). There are many similar complaints out there. Dahon tried to quickly say that this was a rider fault for not keeping hinge adjusted.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all your responses guys.

    I lubed the frame hinge with some 3-in-1 oil and the squeaking seemed to disappear though I heard a little bit this morning, so perhaps regular lubing is all that's needed?

    Someone mentioned a grubscrew used to fix the seatpost clamp/collar in place - my bike doesn't have one (there a hole for one in the collar though) nor is there a hole in the seat-tube to accomodate such a screw so I'm wondering if my 2007 Mu P8 actually needs one or was originally fitted with one?

    Can any MuP8 owners out there tell me if their bike uses a grub-screw to hold the seatpost clamp in place?

    TIA

  14. #14
    PDR
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    It sounds as though the small screw has fallen out. The screw just tightens against the surface of frame tube. Using a stainless steel screw in an aluminium (threaded) collar is always going to be a weak spot. I noticed mine began to loosen after a while and the threads began to wear so in the end I used locktite on the screw.

    I take it this is the collar you have? 2/3 the way down this page:
    http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/accessories/seatpost.htm

  15. #15
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    Yep, that's the one.
    I must admit I haven't noticed that the collar is loose is loose when the seat post is unclamped, so I'm wondering if I need to replace the grubscrew?

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