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Old 08-20-09, 11:44 PM   #1
shinew
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Dahon D7HG or Downtube 8H for my first folder

Hi, I'm going to purchase my first folder. Both of these bikes are within my budget but I can't decide on which one to get, hope anyone who have used either(or better both!) bike can help me decide. I'm 5'5", 140lbs and fit.

My main need is to commute short distance(2-5miles, at most 10 miles), I would like to pick the bike that is better built, relatively maintenance free, and light weight enough and fold well to carry up/down stairs & public transportation.

The pros I like about the D7HG are:
- magnet to keep the bike better folded than the 8H
- built-in seat pump(I dont have a pump)
- I like the bike's color & style slightly better than the Downtube 8H

And the Pros for the 8H are:
- ~$200 saving
- easily upgradable parts(I'll probably swap out the front suspension to save more weight)
- easier/faster/cheaper to repair at local bike shop if it breaks since the parts are more readily available (?)

What I don't know and need help with the most is their durability and quality of workmanship, especially at the hinges, knobs other moving parts. As I'm not very heavy so there won't be much stress on the frame. It'll be a big plus if any of the 2 are weather proof.

thanks in advance for sharing your experience and advice!
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Old 08-21-09, 06:56 AM   #2
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Downtube weight specs are wildly optimistic. So the Dahon is probably lighter. On the other hand the Downtube is probably more durable due to pure and simple beefiness.

Although I haven't ridden that particular Dahon, I prefer the Downtube because if you take that $200 savings and invest it you'll be able to replace the bike if it's ever stolen.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:35 AM   #3
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Upgrade the Downtube wi8th the savings myself and sell off the old parts, but close call. My upgraded 8NS was great, but it lacks compactness of fold compaired to Dahon. Do not worry about magnetic clamps as this can be set up ,same as pump. Dahon have more upgrades and asserories however. You may be able to get a Dahon dealer to upgrade the Dahon for not much more money.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:18 AM   #4
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thanks, I didn't know the magnetic clamp & the seat pump can be added. Where would I go online to purchase those things?

the $200 saving is probably the most attractive aspect of getting a 8H. With that money I could get a nice handheld GPS or other accessories. hmm...

-----------
I'm putting in another bike into consideration, Dahon Speed D7 just because it's about in the similar price range as the 8H. But it is 1lbs heavier than the 8H and I would like to keep the bike weight down.

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Old 08-21-09, 12:04 PM   #5
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The Dahon has nicer hinges, a rear rack, a proper chainguard, looks nicer (up to you), a better fold (handlepost folds between frame, and held together by magnets), and a longer warranty.

The Downtube is cheaper, has a wider range 8 speed Sturmey 8w hub, is more customizable, and cheaper. Now, do watch Performance Bike for their 20% off coupons...the Dahon might end up costing about the same. Also check Brands Cycle: http://brandscycle.com/product/08-da...d7hg-10472.htm

2008 Dahon D7HG for $529 with shipping included.
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Old 08-21-09, 12:24 PM   #6
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The Dahon has nicer hinges, a rear rack, a proper chainguard, looks nicer (up to you), a better fold (handlepost folds between frame, and held together by magnets), and a longer warranty.
does that mean the Downtube's handlepost folds outside of wheels? that doesn't seem like a good fold...

I was looking into Performance Bike as well but I can't seem to find any coupon at the moment. Please share if anyone knows any! If there is a 20% coupon for the D7HG, I would purchase it. Brandscycle's price is already very attractive. Wiith the swapped front fork for the 8H + shipping, the prices are nearly the same. Has anyone bought from brandscle.com? How is it as a vendor?
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Old 08-21-09, 12:36 PM   #7
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Buying a dowtube does not guarantee you the new Sturmey Arche 8 W.

Performancebike had a 20% off coupon a few weeks ago. Not sure when they will offer it again.
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Old 08-21-09, 12:49 PM   #8
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I have an DT 8FS and the fold is kinda clunky. I would imagine that all the DTs are similar in this respect. I have test ridden that Dahon and it does have a solid feel. Dahon folds are pretty good. For the Dahons, it is a little on the heavy side, but manageable if you don't do that many hills. Something like a Dahon speed could shave off some pounds vs. the D7HG.
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Old 08-21-09, 02:23 PM   #9
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Just to let you know that the D7HG is a relatively heavy folder. My wife wanted to get the D7HG just for the look. Well, we went to a local bike shop and she changed her mind immediately after she had such a hard time picking it up the floor. It's just so much heavier than the Speed P8 that we just bought from thorusa.com
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Old 08-21-09, 02:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hsj View Post
Just to let you know that the D7HG is a relatively heavy folder. My wife wanted to get the D7HG just for the look. Well, we went to a local bike shop and she changed her mind immediately after she had such a hard time picking it up the floor. It's just so much heavier than the Speed P8 that we just bought from thorusa.com
really?? According the Dahon's website, D7HG is 1.6lbs lighter than the Speed P8 @ 26.2lbs vs 27.8lbs.
D7HG: http://www.dahon.com/us/vitessed7hg.htm
Speed P8: http://www.dahon.com/us/speedp8.htm

And P8 doesn't even have the added weight of the rack & fenders. Am I missing something here?
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Old 08-21-09, 03:07 PM   #11
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Maybe she lifted the bike while unfolded. The d7hg might be heavier on the back due to the integrated gear hub and rack, hence she really noticed the difference since the P8 does not have a rack and the cassette hub combination is lighter. Just a thought.
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Old 08-21-09, 03:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinew View Post
1) I didn't know the magnetic clamp
2) the seat pump can be added. Where would I go online to purchase those things?
DIY solutions can be made for the clamps, or the bike can be locked together using the seat turned 90 degrees locking down the handle bar clamp so I hear. or a bungee ect

Pump can be added in several placers on the bike. You may find a thin pump than can fit the internal diameters of the seat post on the downtube.
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Old 08-21-09, 03:56 PM   #13
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Personally, I prefer the Dahon. My experience with their Speed series has been consistently good, and their service and warranty is pretty decent. The Vitesse and Mariner are essentially the same bicycle as the speed, with the exception that they are aluminum instead of stee. I have no grudges against Downtube either, except that you can't ride one before purchase. My opinion on riding and inspecting one was that I preferred the build of the Dahons, but that the Downtube had a practical build for the price.

Regarding your desire to have a bicycle that is easily repairable, I fail to see how the 8H would be better. The parts for a Dahon are easily sourced by a shop who has a Dahon relationship, and regarding the components on the D7HG, the derailleur system is not proprietary like it is on the Dahon Neos equipped bikes. Neither the D7HG's Nexus nor the 8H's Sturmey Archer are going to be easily serviced by most bike shops, it'll be a case of needing to find one that will service them.

Honestly, I would consider a folder with a basic derailleur drivetrain for your needs. It will end up slightly lighter, be more easily serviced / repaired, and can be personally adjusted quite easily. The level of maintenance on a rear derailleur only folding bicycle is quite low.

The Dahon Mu P8 could be a good pick. It has good quality components, has an aluminum frame that would meet your desires for a more weather resistant bike, is fairly light, in budget, and I believe that the P8 both has a derailleur hanger available, and will take the front derailleur adapter from ThorUSA if you wanted to do any drivetrain changes.
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Old 08-21-09, 06:33 PM   #14
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really?? According the Dahon's website, D7HG is 1.6lbs lighter than the Speed P8 @ 26.2lbs vs 27.8lbs.
D7HG: http://www.dahon.com/us/vitessed7hg.htm
Speed P8: http://www.dahon.com/us/speedp8.htm

And P8 doesn't even have the added weight of the rack & fenders. Am I missing something here?


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Maybe she lifted the bike while unfolded. The d7hg might be heavier on the back due to the integrated gear hub and rack, hence she really noticed the difference since the P8 does not have a rack and the cassette hub combination is lighter. Just a thought.
I lifted both bikes myself with both hands and the D7HG is defintely heavier. My suggestion is not to just go by what Dahon lists on its sites. Go to a local shop and see for yourself, I am sure you will agree with my observation.
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Old 08-21-09, 07:12 PM   #15
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my understanding is that the internal hub requires less maintenance, that's one of the reason I'm leaning toward D7HG & 8H. Mu P8 may be a nice bike, but I don't like it in white

I have no where to test out the models I'm interested in, so for now I'm going to trust the specification Dahon gives out in terms of the weight.

I'm actually also considering the new Downtube Nova in dark blue, it looks nice, it's light and cheap. I'm just not sure about the built quality compare to Dahon. If it starts to slowly fall apart after 6-12 months of casual riding, I would much prefer spend more and get the D7HG.

At the moment I'm leaning toward D7HG. But keep your opionions coming, they have been helpful! thanks.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:14 PM   #16
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I was looking into Performance Bike as well but I can't seem to find any coupon at the moment. Please share if anyone knows any! If there is a 20% coupon for the D7HG, I would purchase it.
Try this:
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...=folding+bikes

You get the discount once you put the bike in the cart. The D7 is 20%. The D7HG is only 10% off.
I just called Performance though. They don't have them in stock, and you have to pay extra shipping(~$25?), even shipped to the store. Then there's CA tax, so it would come to about $430ish for me. I just sold a bike for $425 a couple of weeks ago, so I'm considering it.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:27 PM   #17
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thanks for the heads up. I checked that out already. If i were to buy a D7, it could end up being cheaper than the Downtube and I won't need to pay tax on it. But it's getting heavy at 27.6lbs and I don't like the color on it.

So I'm going to keep my choice in the aluminum frame, very dark color or silver for the outer finish.
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Old 08-21-09, 09:50 PM   #18
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It seems that the D7HG is the best bike for you. All you need now is to find the best place to get it.

Brands Cycle is an excellent store, and one of the best Dahon dealers in the country. I wouldn't hesitate to order from them, but in my situation I would go out there because they are local enough for me.
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Old 08-21-09, 11:46 PM   #19
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It seems that the D7HG is the best bike for you. All you need now is to find the best place to get it.
Brands Cycle is an excellent store, and one of the best Dahon dealers in the country. I wouldn't hesitate to order from them, but in my situation I would go out there because they are local enough for me.
At the moment i'm SERIOUSLY considering getting the Mu Uno. It seems to have all the important features I'm looking for: excellent construction, light weight(only 22lbs), nice fold(I can actually roll it instead of carrying it), weather proof, and i love the design! I don't think the single speed will bother me much since I don't ride steep hills and for gradual slopes, i think i can handle. The only thing is that I've never used the pedal brake before, and I know that I tend to ride fast and brake quickly at the intersections...

I don't seem to find much review for the bike. Anyone has experience with it? Currently the D7HG is still high on my list. Brands Cycle is little far for me(I'm in CT) but I go to the city often, so maybe I'll make a trip to check it out.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:07 AM   #20
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Brands is out in Long Island, not in the city. If you want to go there from CT, you can take Metro North into the city, get yourself from Grand Central to Penn Station, and take the Long Island Railroad out to Wantagh.
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Old 08-22-09, 05:27 AM   #21
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Mu Uno. The only thing is that I've never used the pedal brake before, and I know that I tend to ride fast and brake quickly at the intersections...
t.
You will probably use the front brake for heavy braking more often than the back, but even so you will get used to it. Use the back to augment the front as pedalling is not possible whilst rear braking. I rarely use my rear caliper brake. Another good thing about back pedals is the hands can be free whilst braking.
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Old 08-22-09, 10:23 AM   #22
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thanks for your suggestions & advices, they have been very helpful! I'll place an order for either the Mu Uno or D7HG next week, most likely Mu Uno.

Brand cycle is little inconvenient for me to go, I think I'll just order online without trying.
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Old 08-22-09, 01:29 PM   #23
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http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/muuno.htm
Looks like a Mu Uno is $579 delivered to your front door (or the front door of your building).
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Old 08-23-09, 09:47 PM   #24
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I have a Vitesse 2008. The guy weighed it at the LBS and it was 29 pounds as delivered (with rack, fenders, pedals, chainguard).
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Old 08-23-09, 09:59 PM   #25
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I have a Vitesse 2008. The guy weighed it at the LBS and it was 29 pounds as delivered (with rack, fenders, pedals, chainguard).
wow, that's quite off from their specs. Is that the weight including shipping materials(box, padding, etc...) or just the bike itself.

btw I'm pretty much set on getting the Mu Uno.
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