Dahon Boardwalk - need help with upgrades!
I recently purchased a Boardwalk single speed and am looking to make some modifications. I'm a complete newbie to biking so was wondering if anyone might be able to help.
Mainly, I'd like to add some suspension. What is the difference in terms of getting a spring saddle and getting a suspension seatpost? Can you combine the two? Can I buy a suspension seatpost and use the saddle the Boardwalk came with? How would I attach it? I was thinking about getting the Biologic Seat Suspension Post - would this work with the Boardwalk? Any suggestions for brands of seatposts/saddles?
Secondly, the handlebars are a bit high for me and while I know the Boardwalk is meant to be ridden in more of an upright position, I was wondering if there's anyway to change to an adjustable height stem? (I doubt it). Or, as an alternative, I was thinking of somehow adding/clipping on drop handlebars so that I can grip something lower. Is that a possibility??
Thanks in advance for everyone's help!
Hello laugen, and Welcome to this Forum:
Originally Posted by laugen
I was a newbie too when I started on my first folding bike-a 2003 Boardwalk single speed just like yours is. I extensively remodeled mine to include a Sturmey-Archer AW 3 speed (one of the last English made ones), a rear single pivot Tekro rear hand brake (to replace the back pedal brake), kept the sprung saddle that came with it, plus other added features more covered in my own Website. I am happy with the suspension that came with the bike (sprung saddle), but there are some other options that others have done to theirs that you might think about. The Big Apple tires for one (but you must take off the fenders/mudguards to use them I think). Some exchanged their handlebars style & adjustable stem for different lengths, widths, or style as desired by the user. I did not go that direction as I am happy with my own bike's handlebars and stem (I prefer a upright position anyway). Don't be afraid to explore, but unless you are planning to work on the bike yourself, it could add more money to the cost of the bike (I doubled the purchase price of my own bike with the add-ons). Then again you will be a proud owner of a custom bike. It depends on you in the end.
I have a 2005 Boardwalk single-speed, which has the then stock vertically adjustable handle bars. So can't help you much there.
In the seat post department, I have tried both the Biologic suspension seat post (on my first folder a Boardwalk D7) and the Thudbuster LT (on both my Boardwalk single-speed and my Bike Friday NWT). My wife has also used both.
Our verdict: The Biologic offers minimal shock absorbing properties compared to the Thudbuster. The Biologic has an internal spring that you can "pre-load", while the Thudbuster has 5 or 6 different elastomers that you combine in a group of two depending on your weight. We use the color combo that is one level above the one prescribed for our individual weights because it just feels right (not too much bounce).
On both the Dahon and the BF's we are using the stock saddles that came on the bikes (wife's Crusoe has a bit of an upgraded one, though). They attach just like they would to a standard seat post.
The Boardwalk single-speed was a rough riding bike until I installed foam hand grips, the Thudbuster seat post and Tioga Pool Comp 1.75" tires.
ADD (after reading FF's post [post #2]): I also added a set of mini bar ends and upgraded the stock plastic brake handle with an Avid metal one. No flex with the new one.
The picture below shows the S1 before the brake handle upgrade.
Last edited by Foldable Two; 11-02-09 at 08:56 PM.
Thanks for the quick reply! I think I'll start with a few modifications and either work my way up from there. Have you had any problems with the seatpost slipping even after clamping tightly?? That's the only flaw I've encountered so far (though I've only ridden it three times so far!)
Thanks for the info. Only wish the Thudbuster were a bit cheaper! But, seems like from your experience it's worth it. Do you think a spring saddle would do the same as a suspension seatpost or not so much? How easy is it to add mini bar ends? Do they add a lot of width to the handlebars? Are there things that I can add similar to the bar ends that have more curvature/drop?
I've never had an problem with the seat post slipping on my S1. The Quick Release lever should start to engage at 90 degrees from its final resting position. You might need to tighten the adjustment nut a bit (done when it's open).
Yes, the Thudbuster is pricey - that was the wife's 2nd complaint when I said I'd ordered her Bike Friday Crusoe with one on it. (Her first complaint was that I had ordered her a custom built Bike Friday.) After having ridden the bike for two years, you couldn't get it away from her today, and YES, she likes that seat post, too.
We are lucky to be retired and have a few extra $ to play around with bikes a bit. I figure riding a bike every day will ultimately cost less than the medical bills if we don't.
I have never ridden a sprung seat on anything other than my cruiser. It squeaks...lol
I have tried the Dahon suspension seat post and the Brooks Champion Fly (sprung saddle) on my Dahon bikes. The Dahon suspension seat post is OK but if you can afford the Thudbuster go for it. The Dahon unit tends to bottom out easily but it does work in many of the smaller road ruts and bumps.
Originally Posted by laugen
The Brooks Champion Flyer was a revelation! I like the springs even though they make noise at times. The saddle tends to be hard when you feel it but the springs are hard enough so they won't bottom out like the Dahon unit. As a result, you don't lose performance like you would with a suspension seat post.
Dahon Steve, which one do you like more, Thudbuster or the sprung Brooks?
I like the Brooks Chamption flyer for longer rides. The Dahon suspension seat post is fine and it will improve the Dahon saddle overall. There are a lot of people that don't like the Brooks saddle and they will fair better with the Dahon suspension seat post.
Originally Posted by kamtsa
I vote for the Flyer if you have the money.
Who wouldn't like a Flyer? Weird..
Approximate Prices - Online:
BioLogic Suspension Seat Post = $50. X 2 People
Brooks Flyer Saddle = $100. X 2
Thudbuster LT Seat Post = $125. X 2
so, i'd love to get the flyer saddle one day (i'm reading so much good stuff about it and might go for it at some point, so thanks for the good advice!) but has anyone tried out a sprung/suspension saddle that's a bit lower in price? e.g. a planet bike one?