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Old 01-21-11, 03:17 PM   #1
bored117 
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Dahon Speed TR 2008 model 2000 mile impression.

Now that I just crossed over 2000 mile with my Dahon Speed TR I think I know this bicycle a little better now and decided to give my impression of bike out

Quick background: I haven't bicycled for 2 decade+ before getting this bicycle. It was out of necessity due to my commuting situation. At start it was very low mile a day (4-5 miles). Now I am doing 30 miles a day.

Handling: Very nimble. Could feel unsteady at times until getting used to it but once up to speed, it doesn't matter much.

Ride: Quite supple and steady with stock big apple tire. With marathon scorcher, it is more nimble and gets a little harsher (still tolerable). I've gone up to 39mph on it and it still was stable enough.

Fit: I am 5'11" 190 lbs. The telescoping of handlebar does good job. Ergon grip on it is just great. Seat is... well, good. I found it getting on my sensitive area after about 30 minutes. I've swapped it with Selle Italia and it has been great. I don't feel cramped, etc. I do put my handle bar far out in front and low though. My arm reach is rather long so I would assume people who are up to 6'1-2" can be accomodated.

Drive Train: Pretty happy with dual drive in general. Overtime, I've gotten stronger and not really using the top and bottom of hub other than while bombing down the hill or starting from stop. Being able to shift while stopped is very nice indeed.

Utility: The rack is working out great. Wish it was Traveller rack but still on fence on that one. Mudguard is definitely wonderful to have. Seatpost pump while I only had to use it once was nice. Front generator hub is working me a treat. The light it comes with however can't really be said as to see light as it is marginal at best beyond 10mph.

Some modification I've done on it over time:

Swap tire to Greenspeed Scorcher: It is peppier and less comfortable. I did gain a little speed here but more so than that, I think it is more puncture resistant than big apple. Was happy with Big apple anyways.

Swap Saddle to Selle Italia Flow SL: For me improvement in comfort over long time ride.

Swap original dyno light to SuperNova E3: Incomparable. I am comfy with this going at 20mph. Beyond that... well... fortunately, those area are lit rather well.

Powergrip Pedal Strap thing: While the original pedal looks to be of high quality... it just didn't have grip. I was sliding all over with it. I tried toeclip and moved to Powergrip. Both of them works good but just for selection of shoes I have powergrip is better.

Now to... not so happy or things I just noticed:
1) Chain lasted only about 1600 miles: It didn't break or anything but it was more than .75 and less than 1. I would think they would last a little longer. Easy enough to replace.
2) Chain ring guard: Bad Bad design. The plastic isn't that sturdy. Add to it, the places where it joins chain ring (yes chain ring), have no additional support and actually is thinner than other parts of guard. I have superglued one and used different washer AND nut, and I just have another one cracked up there. I am probably going to fabricate something a little more reliable up.
3) Seatpost pump stopped working on me: Thor (brakemeister) sent me replacement promptly though. Thank you!
4) Handlebar post plastic piece started cracking: Thor sent me replacement promptly. Thank you!
5) I am not sure if I had not so well lubed dual drive hub but around 1000 miles, it started making noise and wouldn't shift well. I actually disassembled it and relubed. It is working fine after that. I think it is just one off case.
6) Pedal: about 200 miles ago, it started making wierd noise. I just opened it up yesterday to find that bearing was lacking grease a little and foreign material got in from crankside of bearing (dustcap side was fine). I throughly cleaned and relubed and today morning it seemed to be fine. I gave it enough grease so contaminant can't get through that side next time...
7) Bottom bracket: about 100 miles ago, it started making noise. It was gritty and seems like bearing was both loose and gritty (sealed bearing). I've replaced it with Shimano UN54 and all is well.

So other than some maintenance I had to do, etc, it has been very reliable and enjoyable ride. Basically, I've been saving up and have enough to buy new bike that might suit me a little better but haven't pulled trigger as this fits my need extremely well
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Old 01-21-11, 08:57 PM   #2
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Thanks for the nice review.
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Old 01-22-11, 09:41 AM   #3
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Try lower the pressure in the Scorchers....you should see ~6mm of vertical drop in each tire when you sit static on the bike. That will give you the optimal balance of speed and comfort. If you find the Scorchers harsh you have them inflated too much.

Glad you are enjoying the Speed TR...it's the one Dahon I've tried that fits me pretty well at nearly 6'.

Keep rolling along and smiling
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Old 01-22-11, 11:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the detailed review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
Front generator hub is working me a treat. The light it comes with however can't really be said as to see light as it is marginal at best beyond 10mph.
Does the light dim above 10mph or do you need more light in higher speeds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
I am not sure if I had not so well lubed dual drive hub but around 1000 miles, it started making noise and wouldn't shift well. I actually disassembled it and relubed. It is working fine after that. I think it is just one off case.
How difficult was it? Do you have prior experience with IGH? Did you have to take apart all the small parts?
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Old 01-22-11, 03:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vik View Post
Try lower the pressure in the Scorchers...
Keep rolling along and smiling
Comparitively speaking scorchers do feel harsher than big apples. I've tried variants of pressure on my tires and settled where I feel comfy without dragging me down. It seems to be around 65 front and 80 rear. I do tend to have a lot of weight at back with pannier for commuting, etc. 70-75 feels better when I am not as loaded which is... almost never until I ride beyond commuting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
Does the light dim above 10mph or do you need more light in higher speeds?
Just not enough light at higher speed. I think it pretty much got to max brightness around 6-8 mph. (it has been a while now)

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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
How difficult was it? Do you have prior experience with IGH? Did you have to take apart all the small parts?
Disassembling hub and reassembling wasn't that hard for me. I didn't have prior experience with IGH. I did take it apart all.
I happened to be very apt at disassembling and assembling things in general. Add to that, if you look at service manual that is available and internet resources abound... it was more than doable. It probably helped that the hub didn't have any loose bearings... it was caged and sealed bearing in there.
That would be me though. I was doing cad drawing for chain guard so I can laser cut acrylic piece to replace the chain ring today morning...
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Old 01-22-11, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
Disassembling hub and reassembling wasn't that hard for me. I didn't have prior experience with IGH. I did take it apart all.
Found this diagram in the DD manual (see image below).

Is the disassembly/assembly straight forward or are there any tricks or surprises (e.g. parts jumping, tricky assmebly, parts that can fit in multiple ways, etc)?

Also, what grease did you use? Did you clean all the parts before reapplying the grease?

Thanks,

Kam
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Old 01-23-11, 12:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
Is the disassembly/assembly straight forward or are there any tricks or surprises (e.g. parts jumping, tricky assmebly, parts that can fit in multiple ways, etc)?
Straight forward. Just make sure you have right sized cone wrenches handy. The spring can push some parts but they are heavy enough and not much loose part to really jump off. Lot of parts can fit multiple ways actually in the thing (and even assembled...) so be careful in direciton.
One thing that was bothersome was small prawl sometimes would flip over and not easily be accessible. Need jewelers screwdriver to get it back to where it should be. (and only part that could jump off really and get lost)
Quote:
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Also, what grease did you use? Did you clean all the parts before reapplying the grease?
Pretty much all the parts. I used ultrasonic cleaner to really clean it off. Bit redundant since I didn't see any contaminant but... I do get carried away on things. I used shimano IGH grease as I couldn't find SRAM IGH grease on line. IGH grease by shimano seems thinner and stickier than typical bicycle grease. As for oil, I just used the triflow stuff.
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Old 01-23-11, 04:56 AM   #8
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while we are talking about speed tr,
please excuse me for hijacking, by asking this question:

some yearsback I thought I saw a dahon sos, a white version of speed tr(?)
only available for relieve organisation.
anyone have it?
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Old 01-23-11, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bored117 View Post
Comparitively speaking scorchers do feel harsher than big apples.
Vik's suggestion is good, but absolutely, scorchers will be harsher than big apples: they're 1.5 versus the big apple's 2.0 or 2.15 wide. They are also almost half the weight, and thus accelerate much faster!

The reason you see scorchers pushed so much on this board is because they're fast, very sticky, and comfortable (and can be made more comfortable by lowering the pressure without much loss in efficiency, it seems). That combination is a big deal for 349 bike owners, at least for those bikes with the foresight to allow slightly oversized tires. In 349 they're the best option I think, except in winter. But in 406 you've got lots more options, and the Big Apple has a BIG advantage in one category (even comfier) if your needs discount the others.
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Old 01-23-11, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedi k wardhana View Post
while we are talking about speed tr,
please excuse me for hijacking, by asking this question:

some yearsback I thought I saw a dahon sos, a white version of speed tr(?)
only available for relieve organisation.
anyone have it?
is this the Dahon SOS you're talking about ?

http://radishbo-ya.jugem.jp/?eid=3
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Old 01-24-11, 09:05 AM   #11
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I didn't know that the speed TR came with an IGH. You did say that you can "shift while stopping." (?)

Thanks for the review.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:31 AM   #12
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I didn't know that the speed TR came with an IGH. You did say that you can "shift while stopping." (?)

Thanks for the review.
well you can shift the can while stopping.... although its much nicer and smoother if you pedal .... but the outside gears of course you need to pedal....
the dual drive works best if you keep the can in the middle ( 2nd gear ) for most of your riding around.... if you go downhill you shift the can to third and can get big speeds.... if it goes uphuill you can shift in 1 and climb a wall ....

most people like theirs
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Old 02-01-11, 02:59 AM   #13
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I'm seriously considering a Speed TR as my first folding bike. Your 2000-mile review and replies here have helped me lean stronger toward that purchase. Though I still also have my sights on a Dahon Flo X20 as a full size travel bike - would be my (dream-on) subsequent purchase after the TR.
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