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Old 01-15-12, 05:38 AM   #1
Winfried
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[Dahon] So many models, so little time...

Hello

At this point, I'm still not sure whether to get a Dahon or a cheaper knock-off (with gear hub or derailleur) as a folding bike for the occasional week-end getaway on easy terrains.

26" wheels are a bit big to stick on the train, and I guess 16" wheels are probably too slow to ride 40-60km/day.

Between the "Urban Utility Bikes" section and the "Urban Performance Bikes" section, Dahon offers more than twenty models.

How do all those models differ, so that I make an informed choice?

Thank you.
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Old 01-15-12, 07:34 AM   #2
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the curve series folds slightly more compact due to their 16" wheels.
Mu series is the 20" version of the curve.
the number at the end indicates how many speeds.

gear hub will usually be slightly more expensive than derailer models.

otherwise, there are some minor difference in quality of parts
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Old 01-15-12, 12:16 PM   #3
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Since you will be carrying it on and off a train, weight might be a factor. So, checkout Steel vs. Aluminum frames and Derailleur vs. Internal Geared Hub (aka: IGH).

Also, gear range and "spacing" (hills?) could be important...and, if you are tall, like I am (6'3"), how the bike fits is also a factor.

From our experience, the lower end Dahon's and the cheaper folders did not meet our needs in the latter two categories.

Have fun.

Lou

Last edited by Foldable Two; 01-15-12 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 01-15-12, 04:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the infos.

BTW, does someone know if it's OK for Dahons to multiple Gear Inches by 0.08 to get metres of development? Wikipedia says that "some bicycles incorporate internally geared hubs, or other components that change the gear ratio, and these other components must be taken into account when calculating gearing".
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Old 01-15-12, 04:56 PM   #5
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try this: http://www.gear-calculator.com/#
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Old 01-15-12, 05:00 PM   #6
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I second the warning about weight. I owned a (steel) Speed TR fully kitted with racks, fenders, and a dynohub. I wouldn't have enjoyed lugging it around on trains.
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Old 01-15-12, 06:56 PM   #7
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There are many other non folding bikes that are not 'cheaper Dahon knock off'. Do you consider them as well? Take Brompton for example, very compact fold (16" wheels), good ridablility (40-60km should not be a problem), heavy but rolls nicely when folded, has rear suspension, available with wide gear range (300%) and has a great long term support and part availability.

There are many options, it depends on your budget.

The new Dahon site is here http://dahonbikes.com/index.php/bike..._bicycles.html
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Old 01-15-12, 07:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
There are many options, it depends on your budget.
Based upon price range OP said he/she was looking at, I figured they had a modest budget.

Most of us didn't start out at the top of the folding bike price range.

Lou
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Old 01-16-12, 06:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by AEO View Post
Thanks for the excellent link. However, while I could use 26-36-48 for Chainwheels, for the Cogs parameter, I didn't find the 7/14-28 that is apparently used by the non-folding bike I use daily.

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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
There are many other non folding bikes that are not 'cheaper Dahon knock off'. Do you consider them as well? Take Brompton for example
I guess you meant "There are many other folding bikes". Although I have the money to buy a Brompton, I'm not sure I want to spend so much on a folding bike that I'll only use once in a while on week-ends outside the city. Besides, how fast can 16" wheelers go on flat land?

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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
Thanks. Does someone know who owns dahon.com at this point, after mother + son moved to ternbicycles.com? When comparing dahon.com and dahonbikes.com, I notice the latter offers less models. I guess it's a consequence of the split.

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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I second the warning about weight. I owned a (steel) Speed TR fully kitted with racks, fenders, and a dynohub. I wouldn't have enjoyed lugging it around on trains.
Thanks for the tip. I'll look at the aluminum-built bikes.

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Originally Posted by Foldable Two View Post
Based upon price range OP said he/she was looking at, I figured they had a modest budget.
Money is not a problem, but it's just that I don't like spending a lot for stuff I don't use often.

Last edited by Winfried; 01-16-12 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 01-16-12, 07:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
I guess you meant "There are many other folding bikes". Although I have the money to buy a Brompton, I'm not sure I want to spend so much on a folding bike that I'll only use once in a while on week-ends outside the city. Besides, how fast can 16" wheelers go on flat land?.
If you think that 16" bikes must be 'slow', try a 6sp Brompton S, you will be surprised.

As for lower cost folders, there are good alternative such as Downtube and Citizen. Another alternative is craigslist, you can find good deals there, including Dahons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
Thanks. Does someone know who owns dahon.com at this point, after mother + son moved to ternbicycles.com? When comparing dahon.com and dahonbikes.com, I notice the latter offers less models. I guess it's a consequence of the split.
The bottom page of dahon.com says that it is controlled by "Dahon Taiwan". That's the mother + son.
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Old 01-16-12, 07:59 PM   #11
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Money is not a problem, but it's just that I don't like spending a lot for stuff I don't use often.
If you end up using a folder more than you think - maybe in the city, too - you will likely want a better (read: "more expensive") model. A better folder, such as a Brompton, is a known, quality product, so there is demand for used ones and hence, better resale value, too.

Lou
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Old 01-17-12, 06:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kamtsa View Post
If you think that 16" bikes must be 'slow', try a 6sp Brompton S, you will be surprised.
You mean that with the right gearing (eg. 52T + 8-speed 11/30), a 16" can go as fast as a regular bike?
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Old 01-17-12, 10:47 AM   #13
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You mean that with the right gearing (eg. 52T + 8-speed 11/30), a 16" can go as fast as a regular bike?
Yes. Or an internal gear hub. The Brompton 6sp with the +8% option gets to 107 gear inch.

((794 * 1.08) / 2.54) / 3.14 = 107.51793

http://www.brompton.co.uk/page.asp?p=3069

I am using the -12% option. It gets only to 87 GI but gives extra low range for steep hills.

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Old 01-17-12, 02:48 PM   #14
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You mean that with the right gearing (eg. 52T + 8-speed 11/30), a 16" can go as fast as a regular bike?
Of course! Do you expect a car with small wheels to be slower than one with big wheels? It is all about gearing and engine (plus a lot of other minor details). Speed records have been set on small wheel bikes. One guy rode the Paris Brest Paris on a Brompton in 2011.
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Old 01-17-12, 07:54 PM   #15
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Thanks for the infos.
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