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Old 07-06-11, 07:07 AM   #1
Geeeyejo
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Tokyo Riding Impressions

Well, been about a week since I upgraded my Tokyo with 100psi Kenda Kwest tires and an 11T freewheel. I have used her a few times since to commute and wanted to share my riding impressions.
The upgrades were definately noticeable and substantial. The tires definately roll smoother and appear to handle better. The freewheel upgrade however was SO worth it. The gearing on the bike now feels like a full sized bike. Top speed has definately increased - I hooked up a cycle computer/speedo unit and I am hitting 21mph+ on flat ground - The 6th 11T high gear offers a good deal of resistance and I believe that 5th is even higher than the original 14T 6th gear. Very rideable and versatile now for a bike with 16" tires!
The brooks saddle also improved the comfort and rideability of the bike significantly.
The upgrades equated to approximately $80 (not including the saddle) This puts the total cost of the bike at approximately $310 including shipping - still a great value and I believe comparable to the Dahon C6
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Old 07-06-11, 07:37 AM   #2
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that's some good upgrades you did, all that's left stock is the frame and wheels. most of the upgrades you did where the ones that would affect ride quality the most. Next is neon green cable lines!
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Old 07-06-11, 07:41 AM   #3
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Actually - the Tokyo came equipped with darker blue cables that match the sky blue paint quite nicely, lol... I also put steel MTB pedals to replace the plastic folding units as I thought they would be sturdier - might go for some nice alloy folding pedals down the road as well... I have had my eye on a real nice dark blue Brooks B17 that would match the bike perfectly - kinda hard to justify the $100+ to the wife at this time though...
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Old 07-06-11, 08:11 AM   #4
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i'd be careful of coloured brooks saddles especially if you wear light colour pants going to work! some have said it stained their pants while some have said it never (those are with the honey colour which is as close to natural as you can get i think).
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Old 07-06-11, 09:44 AM   #5
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11t freewheel

Is your 11T freewheel the "dnp epoch" (aka "long yih")?

I was looking at that freewheel, and almost bought it, but the ebay vendor wasn't being responsive, so I put it on hold. That gave me some time to do more research on it, and there seems to be quite a few people complaining about the quality and longevity of the freewheel.

Unfortunately, this appears to be the only 11t freewheel currently available on the market.

What are your initial thoughts about the shifting and coasting of the unit?
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Old 07-06-11, 11:33 AM   #6
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Is your 11T freewheel the "dnp epoch" (aka "long yih")?

I was looking at that freewheel, and almost bought it, but the ebay vendor wasn't being responsive, so I put it on hold. That gave me some time to do more research on it, and there seems to be quite a few people complaining about the quality and longevity of the freewheel.

Unfortunately, this appears to be the only 11t freewheel currently available on the market.

What are your initial thoughts about the shifting and coasting of the unit?
Yes it is a "long yih" - upon initial inspection, I observed some irregularities in the machining of the gear teeth - but it appears to shift and coast fine - at least for now!
It does seems that the 6 speed shifter is not exactly matched to the 7 speed freewheel - makes sense really as I would not expect the dentents in the shifter to exactly line up with the larger freewheel. I do have it adjusted however so it is functional enough - just doesn't hit the lowest (and useless IMHO) gear.
If I develop problems, I will likely put back on the original Shimano freewheel and go the larger (and more expensive) chainring/crank/bottom bracket replacement route. Another member did this on his Tokyo and it looks pretty sweet.
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Old 07-06-11, 11:36 AM   #7
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i'd be careful of coloured brooks saddles especially if you wear light colour pants going to work! some have said it stained their pants while some have said it never (those are with the honey colour which is as close to natural as you can get i think).
Thanks for the heads up - should not be an issue as I always change into my work clothes and commute in darker color cargo shorts. My current Brooks is very old (probably close to 40 yesrs) - hence the excess dye has long since worked it's way out of the saddle...
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Old 07-07-11, 01:17 PM   #8
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It does seems that the 6 speed shifter is not exactly matched to the 7 speed freewheel - makes sense really as I would not expect the dentents in the shifter to exactly line up with the larger freewheel. I do have it adjusted however so it is functional enough - just doesn't hit the lowest (and useless IMHO) gear.
I'm glad that I changed the shifter to a 7 speed shifter when I upgraded the gears on my Tokyo. It was only a few dollars, and I have full use of all gears. Not that I use the low gear much - at that point I'm so slow that I might as well walk it up the hill.
You were smart to change the pedals - one of mine shattered when I stood to climb a small hump. I replaced them with some cheap but sturdy non-folding pedals, but will probably replace again with folding or detachable - unless I just replace the whole bike. The Tokyo is great for the price, but I'm ready for something better - if only my wallet was ready too.

Last edited by JCFlack; 07-07-11 at 01:30 PM. Reason: forgot to mention the pedals
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Old 07-07-11, 01:56 PM   #9
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I'm glad that I changed the shifter to a 7 speed shifter when I upgraded the gears on my Tokyo. It was only a few dollars, and I have full use of all gears. Not that I use the low gear much - at that point I'm so slow that I might as well walk it up the hill.
You were smart to change the pedals - one of mine shattered when I stood to climb a small hump. I replaced them with some cheap but sturdy non-folding pedals, but will probably replace again with folding or detachable - unless I just replace the whole bike. The Tokyo is great for the price, but I'm ready for something better - if only my wallet was ready too.
Just curious - would you go for another 16" folder or a 20" model? I opted for the Tokyo due to the smaller size (and price as well) but am thinking a 20" folder would have been portable enough and likely a better rider... Don't get me wrong - really loving this little bike
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Old 07-10-11, 05:53 PM   #10
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I would have liked to have one of the 16" Dahon Curve SLs that ThorUSA had, but last time I heard, he only had one left. I'm saving for folder number two, but I don't think I'm going to have enough before that last one is gone. I would prefer the smaller size - ideal would be to pack it in a suitcase without disassembling. So a Brompton would be my dream bike, but one of those would be even more expensive than the Curve. I wish Dahon (or Tern?) would resume production of something like the Curve - 16" wheels, IGH, lower price than a Brompton.
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Old 07-10-11, 06:07 PM   #11
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I thought you were gonna tell us about riding IN Tokyo.. a travelogue.
Instead, its just another incomprehensible techno-geek infomercial.

Darned! I was so hoping for pictures, too....
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Old 07-11-11, 11:26 AM   #12
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I thought you were gonna tell us about riding IN Tokyo.. a travelogue.
Instead, its just another incomprehensible techno-geek infomercial.

Darned! I was so hoping for pictures, too....
Darned! - when I saw your posting name I thought you might elighten us about "A small single-story building of simple or crude construction, serving as a poor, rough, or temporary house or shelter during the day" - oh, sorry that would be "Day-Hut" - nevermind....
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Old 07-11-11, 02:31 PM   #13
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... nevermind....
Exactly.
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