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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-13-11, 03:13 PM   #1
jenna1224
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Dahon Smooth Hound ..my pet is home!

First impressions of Smooth Hound are excellent. This bike zips around the street FAST and has no trouble keeping up with hybrids and some roadies. Ride is exactly like a full size bike (similar to my Trek fx 7.5). The Smooth Hound does make a number of compromises for this stable, quick and comfortable ride. The folding size is just enough to fit inside my BMW 328i (in the back or in the trunk) without difficulty. In my car I placed a small padded 'doggie bed' so I could slip the bike into the car without scratching the leather interior or car frame. I can barely walk 20 feet with the bike (I'm 5'2" female), but that's okay.


MAGNETIX ASSEMBLY IS A JOKE

Magnets are a joke, they separate with each step, knocking the back wheel into my knees. I did wrap a small padded, 1" wide old leather belt (cut and notched) around the rims to keep the spokes of the two wheels together. I DO NOT have to take off the handlebars, which is a big plus for quick bike installation into my car.

BROOKS SADDLE GORGEOUS BUT I WON'T RIDE ON IT.. YET

This saddle is gorgeous, but maybe as a hanging ornament in my office? I had to have it changed out, there is just so much I'll sacrifice for style. Think of it as wearing 5" spike heels on a bike tour! I will work on the saddle on my own and see what I can come up with (why isn't this thing padded with gel or soft like my Frye boots?) Maybe someone out there can give me some ideas.



TURNING HEADS

Yes this bike turn heads, especially when I am unfolding it on the sidewalk. Once in motion, it looks and acts like any other bike on the road. The lockjaw hinge is quite good so far and I'm going to have it checked regularly, but I am knowledgeable to its maintenance requirements, which are minimal, but I stay focused during the fold and unfold. I have some angry red scratches and welts on my arms resulting from skin getting caught between the sharp lockjaws. This is a result of not having a kickstand. YOU MUST GET A KICKSTAND, or you will end up as a human kickstand underdeath a semi-folded Danon Smooth Hound that bites!

KEEP A SPARE ALLEN WRENCH HANDY

I picked up a few 5 and 6 mm allen wrenches with plastic handles from home depot so I can leave the "T" wrench that came with the bike at home.

DO NOT expect this bike to be portable enough to take into rapid transit system. Smooth Hound is for convenience when you are DRIVING and don't want to drag around a Saris Bones bike carrier wobbling around on the highway. You will not be scratching your car with this folder, as you would with a bike rack.

GOOD ALTERNATIVE FOR PETITE FEMALES

Girls, you won't be breaking your nails folding this baby. I just use the allen wrench (with a wide plastic holder) and turn it about 180 until I hear a distinct CLICK, and then I know its engaged. No handlebars, no seat changes, nothing.

COMFORT BIKE or ROAD BIKE RIDE

I like that you can change the handlebar angle pretty much into any configuration. I have about 8 different seat/handlebar configurations so far.

POTENTIAL UPGRADES
I need a lightweight kickstand, probably the Swiss one I saw at Thorusa.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sporty ride close up.jpg (95.4 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg comfort dahon.jpg (98.5 KB, 64 views)
File Type: jpg Smooth Hound Folded.jpg (96.6 KB, 82 views)
File Type: jpg sporty ride.jpg (97.8 KB, 94 views)
File Type: jpg moustache handlebar (infinite adjustments).jpg (93.6 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg magnets don't stay aligned.jpg (89.6 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg hound as comfort bike.jpg (94.1 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg room for kickstand.jpg (94.7 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg brooks ornament.jpg (98.3 KB, 45 views)

Last edited by jenna1224; 08-13-11 at 05:50 PM. Reason: clarity, spelling
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Old 08-13-11, 04:56 PM   #2
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Nice bike. It take about 100 miles for a Brooks saddle to break in.
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Old 08-13-11, 05:20 PM   #3
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The magnets are adjustable. I think the double kickstand is the way to go.
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Old 08-13-11, 10:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenna1224 View Post
BROOKS SADDLE GORGEOUS BUT I WON'T RIDE ON IT.. YET

This saddle is gorgeous, but maybe as a hanging ornament in my office? I had to have it changed out, there is just so much I'll sacrifice for style. Think of it as wearing 5" spike heels on a bike tour! ... Maybe someone out there can give me some ideas.
Here's an idea: send that Brooks you hate to me.
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Old 08-14-11, 01:08 AM   #5
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Great looking bike !

Anyone know what the folded dimensions are ?

I have to keep my bike in the bottom of a cupboard / wardrobe, in a 38" x 28" x 25" enclosure, always looking for ideas for hot bikes that will fit there, and in the boot of a mid-life crisis sports car.
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Old 08-14-11, 12:23 PM   #6
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Just after buying a Brooks, I realised they are not for everyone. Luckily they are ok for me.

Jenna, can you adjust the Brooks so the weight is on your sitbones? If you can't get the weight off your ... um ... soft tissues, then the saddle is not for you. If you can sit on it so all your weight is on your sitbones, then it's just a matter of you and the saddle breaking each other in. I'm about 90% through breaking in my saddle: 30km I could ride to work in bike shorts (26km). 300km later, and I could ride to work in running tights. Haven't tried further than that in one go yet.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:01 PM   #7
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The magnets are adjustable. I think the double kickstand is the way to go.
Thanks.. I will be ordering the double kickstand. I am now adjusting the magnets. I would have ordered the bike with the kickstand, but it wasn't offered at Amazon. Rode about 20 miles today without a hitch, and would have gone a bit longer, but the South Florida sun was particularly ferocious today. . I might use the Brooks on my hybrid, not sure. It won't go to waste, its just too pretty.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:11 PM   #8
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Great looking bike !

Anyone know what the folded dimensions are ?

I have to keep my bike in the bottom of a cupboard / wardrobe, in a 38" x 28" x 25" enclosure, always looking for ideas for hot bikes that will fit there, and in the boot of a mid-life crisis sports car.
I hear you! I'm lucky I didn't pick up the Z4.

Folding Size:
35 x 79 x 88 cm (13.7" x 31.1" x 34.6") I don't detach the handlebar and my seat is only about 4 inches off the stem. If you detach the handlebar (it dangles by the cables that way), lower the seat, and snap up the pedals, you'd probably get your dimensions.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:15 PM   #9
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Folding Size:
35 x 79 x 88 cm (13.7" x 31.1" x 34.6") I don't detach the handlebar and my seat is only about 4 inches off the stem. If you detach the handlebar (it dangles by the cables that way), lower the seat, and snap up the pedals, you'd probably get your dimensions.
Hey, thanks for that, I'll have to find one and have a closer look, put it only my list along with the Airnimal Joey and the Moulton separable TSR.
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Old 08-14-11, 03:28 PM   #10
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The right Brooks for the bike you're riding is a thing of beauty, both to look at and ride on. They are easy to adjust and maintain so long as you pay little attention to forum posts that are contrary to Brooks' own instructions.
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Old 08-14-11, 04:21 PM   #11
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The right Brooks for the bike you're riding is a thing of beauty, both to look at and ride on. They are easy to adjust and maintain so long as you pay little attention to forum posts that are contrary to Brooks' own instructions.
Will do. I am ordering either the 25gr Tin or the 40gr Tin. Is the "bigger" size needed? I am now looking forward to taming this saddle.
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Old 08-15-11, 12:52 AM   #12
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What made you pick the smooth out of all the bikes in the world? I'm also in south fl... soon we might have a folding club going
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Old 08-15-11, 06:08 AM   #13
jenna1224
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What made you pick the smooth out of all the bikes in the world? I'm also in south fl... soon we might have a folding club going
On a recent trip to NYC, I tested the Brompton, Dahon Mu P8 and the Dahon Bullhead Folding Bikes. Brompton was fine, albeit very expensive (would have been my third bike), Brompton had a great fold for me. The Mu P8 had an uncomfortable reach and not as many riding positions. The BullHead was perfect, but I wasn't thrilled about the color. When I saw the Smooth Hound was not only available, but also at a $200 discount at Amazon, I "chatted" with customer service. I was given assurances I could return the bike within 30 days and just pay insurance costs (about $18-30) and no restocking fees. The ride is fun. And, yes, I can DRIVE to Ft. Lauderdale or Hollywood Beach and just grab the bike from the back seat. If we had a rapid or public transport in South Florida, I would not have chosen the Smooth Hound, but ultimately my intent was a ride as similar to a full size bike as possible. Compact fold was not my first concern.

I'm a bit concerned about the TERN/DAHON problems, but my LBS assured me that they knew the LockJaw Hinge and would "maintain" it for me.

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Old 08-15-11, 06:28 AM   #14
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I'm a bit concerned about the TERN/DAHON problems, but my LBS assured me that they knew the LockJaw Hinge and would "maintain" it for me.
That's excellent that you found a good LBS.
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Old 08-25-11, 03:30 AM   #15
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Tensioned Leather Saddle

I have B-17's on all 3 of the bikes I use for long rides. Nothing feels more comfortable, especially after breaking in. I gave my wife a women's version for her touring bike about 6 years ago. She rode it for 600 miles and the pain never lessened. She finally gave up and went back to her old Selle Italia. People either love or hate tensioned leather saddles - there's no in between. If you are one of the latter you can only do what you have done - replace it with something less classy and more functional.
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Old 08-25-11, 08:50 PM   #16
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It's probably a good idea to measure one's sit bone separation distance before buying a saddle. The B-17 might be okay for most, but might be too narrow for those with a wider sit bone separation. The B-68, for example, is wider than the B-17.
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Old 08-25-11, 10:49 PM   #17
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fixed

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Nice bike. It take about 1,000 miles for a Brooks saddle to break in.
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Old 08-29-11, 03:57 PM   #18
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Regarding break in distance - The proper Brooks should be nearly immediately tolerable and comfortable after less than 100 miles - extended distance will increase the comfort until it fits our rear like a glove. Handlebar height/position typically dictates the type of Brooks - narrow/unsprung for road bikes with drop bars and wider/sprung for cruisers and hybreds with higher bars - I have an unsprung Brooks Swallow clone (Gyes) on my Gary Fisher MTB - very hard and narrow and a sprung B72 on my Citizen folder - love them both and quickly acclimated to both. I am a heavier rider at 225lbs and not sure if that accelerated the break in but leather saddles are definitely the way to go. As per prev post you may want to try a wider saddle - B72 is wider and has springs - classy as he'll and looks great IMHO.
FYI - do not over do the proof hide conditioner as if the leather softens too much, the saddle will continue to stretch and can be ruined - soaking rains are not your friend either - stick with it, worth
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