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.