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  1. #1
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    09 MU P8 Purchase and Review

    Reasons for switching from the Speed D7 to an MU P8:

    Rather than upgrading my Speed D7 (thanks to a suggestion on these forums) I purchased an 09 MU P8. While I was really happy with my D7 I wanted something better suited for the days when I commute to work (9 miles one way).

    The gear range on the D7 was fine for my commute which includes two pretty steep climbs. What I really wanted was a better set of wheels, tires, and brakes. After selling my D7 the cost to purchase a new MU P8 was about as much as upgrading wheels, tires, and brakes on the D7.

    Review/Riding impressions after 25 miles over the last 3 days:

    Wow what a difference. I expected an improvement with the better wheels, tires, and brakes but I had no idea the difference between the two bikes would be night and day (in favor of the MU P8). To be fair, there is a 3 year difference between theses bikes as my D7 was an '06 and the Mu P8 is an '09.

    At first look, I was very impressed with the quality of the Mu P8. It seems that Dahon has made a lot of improvements over the last three years from wheel to wheel. The Mu P8 feels and seems to be better built. All the little stuff like the clasps for the handle bars and seat mast have a better look, feel, and functionality to them. Even the magnet that keeps the bike together when folded is more robust.

    Obviously, component wise the Mu P8 is a big step up from the D7. However, I did not expect such a big jump between the two. Wheels and Tires are what I expected, but it was the additional goodies like the brakes, Ritchey handlebar, crankset, and the Neos 2.0 derailleur that have been the big surprises. The Neos 2.0 derailleur is so crisp, the shifts are almost instant. The Avid/Kinetix brakes are such an improvement over the D7 package, brake feel is firm/solid, controlled, and smooth. I feel as if I am in much better control of this bike rather than the D7. I don't notice much of a difference in gear range between the two.


    The ride of the Mu is so much smoother and it accelerates much faster. This is probably more attributed to the wheels and tires (which are huge improvements) more than anything else but could also be due to the frame. I feel more in control on descents as well.

    Overall, I am just blown away. Aesthetically, the bike looks great. Functionally, the Mu P8 performs just as good as it looks if not better. I was very happy with my D7 and am ecstatic about my Mu P8!

    On a side note, I really contemplated making the jump/stretch to an MU SL. I mostly chose the P8 due to the price point and the awesome deal I got on it (although the '08 SL closeouts were tempting). I do not regret my choice at all although, I'd love to ride an SL to see the differences between the two.

    My only gripes...Color, while I think the white "could" color looks great and is much better in person than in online photos I worry about scratches and dirt standing out. Also, while the telescoping handle post is solid I prefer the more stream lined look of the solid post.
    Last edited by djgonzo007; 04-06-10 at 10:50 AM.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    '06 Klein Q-Pro with Campy
    '09 Dahon Mu P8

  2. #2
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the new scoot. The Speed D7 is a great bike, so the Mu must be very good indeed.

    Now ve must haff der pix:

    (A couple of peeps on the Dahon forum have reported loose rear wheel spokes on the Mu's Kinetixes after riding them for a week or two - do check them)
    Last edited by snafu21; 04-06-10 at 11:20 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  3. #3
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    great review and congrats on your new bike. i have a MU XL (with 8 speed IGH) and love it. used to have boardwalk 7 speed and went to all the hassles of upgrading then finally decided to just get a better dahon bike. so i bought a mu xl. as what you have said the difference is night and day (compare to my boardwalk). YES - post PICs......

  4. #4
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    verey nice, glkad you like it. Yeah keep them wheels nicely true... after a couple weeks bring it to a shop and have them retrue the wheels .. and you are good to go for a long time.

    The difference betwen D models or Deluxe and P models or Premium is indeed worth the money in gold ....
    thor

  5. #5
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafu21 View Post
    Congratulations on the new scoot. The Speed D7 is a great bike, so the Mu must be very good indeed.

    Now ve must haff der pix:

    (A couple of peeps on the Dahon forum have reported loose rear wheel spokes on the Mu's Kinetixes after riding them for a week or two - do check them)

    Thanks for the heads up!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    '06 Klein Q-Pro with Campy
    '09 Dahon Mu P8

  6. #6
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    There's such a massive difference between the D and P level Dahon bikes, it's incredible, and for the few hundred extra the return is well worth it.

    Personally, I think the P level bikes represent the real sweet spot in the Dahon line. As for the Mu SL, they're great bikes and I love mine, but the bike also has another hidden cost:

    Those Kinetix Pro wheels don't have replacement rims available, and you have to buy the complete wheels when they wear down. Not too cheap.

  7. #7
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    You weren't kidding about the Kinetix wheels. I checked the spokes the other day while cleaning the bike and found one of the front wheel spokes was very loose! Needless to say I was surprised to find the spoke so loose and on a brand new bike to boot!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    '06 Klein Q-Pro with Campy
    '09 Dahon Mu P8

  8. #8
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Yeah, once tweaked, they go on forever, but they do need the owner to keep an eye on them weekly. They 'settle' in shipping, someone on the Dahon forum said, like cornflakes.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  9. #9
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    Picked up the bike from the bike shop yesterday, not the shop I purchased from which is in LA but a shop near me in San Diego, the mechanic says he thinks the front wheel is defective since he can't get the wheel to true all the way. The problem he feels is somewhere around the seam of the rim, that is where he is having the problems truing the wheel. While he was able to tighten the loose spoke he suggested I get a new front wheel.

    Anyone have any experience getting a defective wheel replaced through Dahon under warranty?

    The mechanic also mentioned that when he took the front wheel off, the fork opened up quite a bit. I tried this myself and noticed as I unloosed the quick release skewer the fork opens to the width of the skewer. While I understand this is to be expected, the fork opens up very noticeably, much more so than on other bikes I've owned. I never noticed this on my D7 because I never had to remove the front wheel. The mechanic thought this may be due to an error in the manufacturing process of the fork.

    The mechanic wasn't very familiar with Dahon's so I'm posting these questions here for feedback on your experiences.

    Thanks!
    DJ
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    '06 Klein Q-Pro with Campy
    '09 Dahon Mu P8

  10. #10
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    did you buy it new at the bike store ? you should be able to contact the store and let them know the issues ? else send an email or contact dahon.

  11. #11
    jur
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    Ask the bike mech how untrue the wheel is - if a mm or so, I would be OK with that. 2mm and that would be iffy.

    On loose spokes on Dahons, please note that it is a Dahon policy that bikes be given a tune before delivery and that includes checking all spokes; the wheels come directly off wheel-building machines which aren't the best for spoke tensioning. Unfortunately there may be some bike shops who didn't read the small print or ignore it.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djgonzo007 View Post
    The mechanic also mentioned that when he took the front wheel off, the fork opened up quite a bit. I tried this myself and noticed as I unloosed the quick release skewer the fork opens to the width of the skewer. While I understand this is to be expected, the fork opens up very noticeably, much more so than on other bikes I've owned.
    My Dahon is a 2009 Mu P8. I just popped the front wheel off and the fork spread to 78 mm between the inner faces. I believe the Dahon front hubs have an OLD of 74 mm so that is a spread of 4 mm. Since you do not give numeric figures on how much your fork spreads you will have to do the comparison yourself!

    I believe that Dahon policy on repairs is to have the local dealer make the initial call and ask for replacement parts if they feel the repair should be covered under warranty. So you will have to contact a local Dahon dealer to get the process started, if I understand it right.

    There are quite a few complaints about loose and broken spokes on the Dahon forum. If you buy a Dahon you should take it back to the dealer after 100-200 miles and have the spokes gone over. I have no idea what Dahon does that makes their product so commonly in need of this work, they aren't saying. As far as I can tell the product is great if you have that work done.

    Ken

  13. #13
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    spokes .... Dahons have pretty good truing machines and they are actually pretty darn good in comparison with other bigger bike companies. ( there are only a handfull of different spoke machines around .... therefore I know the difference between most of them )
    In any case ... the bikes get shipped unloaded unpacked and what else not ...
    At that time the wheels are still in most cases and I am above 95 % here.. pretty good indeed, the dealer can do nothing about a good wheel ...Than however the bike actually gets ridden ..lol
    the spokes get stretched and "work" themselves into the hub ... that little bend on the top of the spoke slightly bends and seats .. same at the nipple side, the nipple seats in the rim ... ... Now no problem so far... in some cases there are folks on Dahon bikes which are a little on the heavy side ... also no problem ... but the spokes now perfectly seated and being worked in are a little bit too loose to handle curbs and all the other small obstacles which get thrown at them in daily life ...

    NOW its time to go to the ealer and have him/her re true the wheels ..... before they get too loose and break or get real stressed ... If you do that one service at about the right time you will find out that Dahon wheels ( and all others by that matter ) are truly spectacular...

    ( of course you hear more Dahon spoke stories cause there are more than all others combined times two around ... )

    thor

    to the above poster .. The rim connection should be almost smooth, a little very small pump in the brakelever is ok but a real nasty one should indeed be replaced by your friendly local Dahon dealer

  14. #14
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    It's not just Dahons, the Brompton folder forums have about the same amount of grumbles on loose spokes. Wheels need a check after the first 100 miles, regardless of the manufacturer, problems arise if spoke nipples are left loose. It's iin the service manual which comes with every new bike. Back in the day, nobody went very far without a spoke nipple key, now we think bikes are self-repairing. :-)

    My neighbor was ranting about his Smart car the other day, blew an engine after 20,000 miles. No oil. Did he check the oil? No, it had a '12000 mile service interval'. He hadn't checked it for 10,000 miles.

    Duh. Repair cost 3K.
    Last edited by snafu21; 04-15-10 at 03:45 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  15. #15
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    Ouch! 3000 Pounds that must have Smarted.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  16. #16
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Ouch! 3000 Pounds that must have Smarted.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  17. #17
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    spokes .... Dahons have pretty good truing machines and they are actually pretty darn good in comparison with other bigger bike companies. ( there are only a handfull of different spoke machines around .... therefore I know the difference between most of them )
    In any case ... the bikes get shipped unloaded unpacked and what else not ...
    At that time the wheels are still in most cases and I am above 95 % here.. pretty good indeed, the dealer can do nothing about a good wheel ...Than however the bike actually gets ridden ..lol
    the spokes get stretched and "work" themselves into the hub ... that little bend on the top of the spoke slightly bends and seats .. same at the nipple side, the nipple seats in the rim ... ... Now no problem so far... in some cases there are folks on Dahon bikes which are a little on the heavy side ... also no problem ... but the spokes now perfectly seated and being worked in are a little bit too loose to handle curbs and all the other small obstacles which get thrown at them in daily life ...
    Well you have more experience than I of course, however, a few things to mention...

    Spokes don't stretch, that would require them to be pulled beyond their elastic limit. They don't get pulled any more in use than they were originally tensioned so any loosening would be from settling and/or nipples unscrewing. The latter is the most important mechanism as a properly tensioned and de-stressed spoke does not settle that much at all unless the holes were not deburred. And I don't know if Loctite is used which is quite essential in a long-lasting wheel to prevent nipples unscrewing.

    Dahon wheel building machines may be better but there is still nothing to compare against handbuilding of course. None of the wheels I have built have required any revisiting at all over the years, and I am certainly not an expert wheelbuilder.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  18. #18
    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    I don't know that the spokes on a Dahon wheel are more troublesome than those on other brands of 20" folders. They may not be. Owners seem to feel that they are more troublesome than the spokes on full sized wheels. Again, this may or may not be true though I tend to think that owner's impressions are valid when available in sufficient numbers. Anyway my purpose was not to bash Dahon, I am extremely well pleased with my Mu P8 and the average member of the Dahon forum seems just as well pleased with his/her Dahon(s). My reading on the Dahon forum suggests that it is a good idea to have the spokes checked after the first couple hundred miles on a new Dahon. After that is done I don't think they need any more attention in this respect than any other bike. So far I would have to rate my Mu as one of the best products I have purchased, ever. It is a delight to own and ride and the freedom it gives me to continue commuting via train after my employer canceled the company shuttle bus service between the train station and the work campus is priceless. The need to have the spokes checked after a couple hundred miles does not detract from the experience of owning a Dahon at all. It's just something you should do to guarantee freedom from spoke issues in the future and I would imagine that most people could learn how to do it themselves adequately if returning the bike to an LBS is an issue.

    Ken

  19. #19
    Sprint the hills! djgonzo007's Avatar
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    So to wrap this all up...I took the wheel to a "preferred" Dahon dealer. He actually knows the mechanic that looked at my wheel and said there is nothing wrong with the wheel. He made some slight adjustments and said the other mechanic was just being paranoid. The bike is riding smooth and I am pleased to not have to go through the warranty process.

    Most of your comments have mentioned having the bike tuned after 100 or so miles. My MuP8 had no more than 35 miles on it when I noticed the spoke being so loose that it felt and sounded like a loose guitar string. As mentioned earlier this surprised and disappointed me quite a bit. Perhaps this was the error of the bike shop that sold me the bike? As an avid road cyclist I have dealt with more than a dozen bike shops in Southern California (many of them carrying bikes that cost more than 10 times the amount I paid for my MuP8) and I would be surprised if any of them check the tension of spokes (when building up bikes) beyond running their fingers over them or flexing the spokes by hand. This may have been done by the shop that sold me the MuP8 but I have no way of knowing since I was not there during the build process.

    Either way, I am very pleased with the MUP8. I've been stopped by half a dozen people asking me about the bike and commenting on its cool/unique design. It is a great bike and kudos to Dahon for making a great product. As this is my second Dahon, it certainly won't be my last.

    Thanks for all the input! Your comments were most reassuring!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    '06 Klein Q-Pro with Campy
    '09 Dahon Mu P8

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