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  1. #1
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    From Speed Uno to Downtube Nova

    I currently own a Dahon Speed Uno. I find that there are a lot of good qualities to the bike but I feel for me, it is lacking in the department of where I feel the rear wheel doesn't stay spinning for very long for the amount you have to pedal, it's like a constant thing you have to do.

    I'm used to BMX bikes from my youth where 3 - 4 full revolutions of the crank would send you forward coasting for quite some distance, those bikes had hand brakes and I believe the term would be "freewheel" ? (Please let me know if this is correct).

    Basically what I want is to be able to coast and not always have to pedal. I am currently looking towards the Downtube Nova, because it looks like for the price, it's going to allow me to do everything that I will need it to in the long run and correct me if I am wrong, but lets say the bike starts having issues with the gearing, is it possible for me to put an automatic internal gear hub on this bike and to keep the rear hand brake on so I can freewheel?

    I guess you could say I am fairly out of shape (lacking muscle) and I haven't rode a Bicycle hardcore for about a good 8 years. I am 5'7 and roughly 130 pounds.

    Is the Downtube Nova the bike for me? Thanks for your time.


    Edit: I wanted to add in that I am also looking to do somewhat long distance riding. I want this to be a near all purpose bike. Maybe not offroad type stuff but I guess to the extent of touring 10-20 miles.
    Last edited by ukoro; 03-25-12 at 07:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukoro View Post
    I currently own a Dahon Speed Uno. I find that there are a lot of good qualities to the bike but I feel for me, it is lacking in the department of where I feel the rear wheel doesn't stay spinning for very long for the amount you have to pedal, it's like a constant thing you have to do.

    I'm used to BMX bikes from my youth where 3 - 4 full revolutions of the crank would send you forward coasting for quite some distance, those bikes had hand brakes and I believe the term would be "freewheel" ? (Please let me know if this is correct).

    Basically what I want is to be able to coast and not always have to pedal. I am currently looking towards the Downtube Nova, because it looks like for the price, it's going to allow me to do everything that I will need it to in the long run and correct me if I am wrong, but lets say the bike starts having issues with the gearing, is it possible for me to put an automatic internal gear hub on this bike and to keep the rear hand brake on so I can freewheel?

    I guess you could say I am fairly out of shape (lacking muscle) and I haven't rode a Bicycle hardcore for about a good 8 years. I am 5'7 and roughly 130 pounds.

    Is the Downtube Nova the bike for me? Thanks for your time.


    Edit: I wanted to add in that I am also looking to do somewhat long distance riding. I want this to be a near all purpose bike. Maybe not offroad type stuff but I guess to the extent of touring 10-20 miles.
    Where did you buy your Speed Uno from? That's not normal for the coaster hub to drag, though it does a bit. Your Dahon dealer can fix this problem. Mine was fixed under warranty and it is working great!

    If you are looking to tour, the Speed UNO is not the bike for you, unless you are a really really strong rider. One Paris Brest Paris rider rode a single speed and came in one of the fastest riders of the bunch! A single speed bike could make you a stronger rider, but to be practical, you definitely need a multi-speed bike. Tern and Dahon both make great touring bikes and so are Bromptons. The Tern Link P24h is a good bike, priced well and have great components. I know a person who used to own a Downtube Nova and killed it after 1 long tour, but I know a few people who are happy with theirs as well.

    Hope this helps.
    Trek 5000 carbon road bike
    Masi Speciale CX touring bike
    Dahon Mu SL (performance hybrid road bike)
    Dahon Speed Duo (slow poker shopper or coffee getter bike)

  3. #3
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    Coaster brakes can be adjusted with the wheel on the bike. As it's the only brake on the bike it's wise to have it checked over by a dealer if you're not sure about how to do it. You can first check if the brake is binding by turning the bike upside down and spinning the rear wheel. It should revolve freely with the brake off. If it doesn't, and you don't know what you are doing, take it to a dealer. You should be able to freewheel with a properly adjusted coaster brake.

    Single speed single brake bikes are very limited in their scope (flame-war 1 on the way) but work ok in reasonably flat terrain. A single brake on the rear wheel is Neanderthal in terms of arresting bicycle motion. They're banned in the UK and Australia as the only brake on a bike because they frequently skid people under trucks.

    The Downtube Nova has derailléur gears and two decent brakes. It's a recipe at least a hundred years old, and works well. You said:

    'lets say the bike starts having issues with the gearing, is it possible for me to put an automatic internal gear hub on this bike and to keep the rear hand brake on so I can freewheel?'

    The bike won't have any issues with the gearing, only with lack of maintenance. It will have normal wear over time, and all parts can be replaced or adjusted by any bike shop. You'll be able to freewheel, just like a normal, happy cyclist. All the brake parts can be replaced in minutes, without a PhD in rocket surgery.

    Replacing a perfectly designed and serviceable, lightweight drivetrain with a heavier automatic gear hub would not be rational. (Flame-war No.2 on the way). If you must have that, get a bike with it fitted in the first place. If you're afraid of gears and brakes, get the bus.

    Gears make life easier in hilly areas, for carrying luggage, or easing up on effort as you tire. (NB not 'tyre'). Single speed bikes suit the muscular and testosterone-ridden, and those who wish to be seen upon them evangelise about their 'purity' but single speed coaster-brake bikes are idiotically compromised as versatile bikes, and Dahon are pandering to the fashionably nerdy by selling them. (flame-war 3)

    The Speed Uno is as much a fashion statement as it is a (compromised) bicycle. (flame-war 4)

    Any of the folders with 20" wheels can be used for touring, including the Downtube Nova. There is nothing to fear with having two brakes, and seven gears or more on the back, other than fear itself.

    A 20 mile tour is really not very far, the general requirements for touring being: a) some gears, b) some brakes, c) somewhere to put the beer cooler so it's not hanging off your back, and d); some comfort.

    A bike with a rear rack, front and rear brakes, and seven or more gears may be the answer. Try the Downtube Nova, or any of the Terns, Dahons, Oyamas, Citizens and so on. Rear racks can be added to almost anything.

    Put the Speed Uno on Ebay. A hundred beefy chaps will be queuing up to buy it.

    Coaster brakes and no gears (you read it here first) are for kids, even grown-up ones. As bicycles, they are not versatile. If you want a bike that doesn't go, doesn't stop, doesn't do hills, and can't be used for touring; get a unicycle.

    Flame-war No 5 will be along in a minute to utterly confuse the issue for you.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by snafu21; 03-26-12 at 02:10 AM.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

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    Haha, snafu is in a bellicose mood.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukoro View Post
    I wanted to add in that I am also looking to do somewhat long distance riding. I want this to be a near all purpose bike. Maybe not offroad type stuff but I guess to the extent of touring 10-20 miles.

    10 - 20 miles isn't touring, it's pootling, even if you do 10-20 miles a day for several days, it's still only pootling, for which you don't need a special kind of bike, just something that rides comfortably, goes round corners, stops, and has enough gears to make it pleasurable over different terrain. I would say take you pick of Downtube, mid-level Dahon or the lower level Terns

    5'-7" and roughly 130 pounds = fairly out of shape ?
    Jetstream P11 ; iXi

  6. #6
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    you guys cracking me up
    but somewhat true on many points

    I love singlespeeds cause of their "uncluttered right to business" style ... somewhat perfect for a folding bike.

    But if you live in hilly areas or plan trips and explore other locales than a geared bike is the way to go.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    for 10-20 miles you can do it on any bike as long as it's comfortable, heck I went 60km's on my strida as long as it's setup for comfort you can go a loooong way! (was pootling around the city at 20km/hr so not racing!) But as for gears if you aren't a strong rider don't go for single speeds right away because you'll probably end up hating biking. For my bike I can't even power mash it up there cause the belt skips. Since I have toe cages I learned to use some finesse and spin my way up to keep the momentum going, helping out with the lifting foot as well as pushing down. Works everytime up to 5% grades and a little more if it's a short one.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by pacificcyclist View Post
    Where did you buy your Speed Uno from? That's not normal for the coaster hub to drag, though it does a bit. Your Dahon dealer can fix this problem. Mine was fixed under warranty and it is working great!
    I purchased my Speed Uno from eBay seller: safetycycle1

    I took the bike to a Retail store outlet nearby that does sell a few (3) Dahon bicycles. I let them check out mine to see if perhaps the coaster brake was rubbing a little or if there was perhaps something wrong with the rear hub but the guy said that it looked fine to him. He didn't try to take off disable/adjust the coaster brake momentarily. I think the guy was more interested in selling me accessories or a whole new bike than the issue at hand.

    I also got a chance to try out the Mu P8 while I was there, it seemed like a somewhat okay ride, better than what I had but the shifter on it seemed a little cheap in feeling.

    Diode100: 10 - 20 miles isn't touring, it's pootling, even if you do 10-20 miles a day for several days, it's still only pootling, for which you don't need a special kind of bike, just something that rides comfortably, goes round corners, stops, and has enough gears to make it pleasurable over different terrain. I would say take you pick of Downtube, mid-level Dahon or the lower level Terns

    5'-7" and roughly 130 pounds = fairly out of shape ?
    while it may only be 10 - 20 miles, when you haven't done much physical exercise or well just not that much in general for years (even if you're skinny) muscle breaks down and what not and you can still get out of shape really quickly. So, at this moment 10 - 20 miles seems like a lot to me. I'm sure at a later point in time I will be laughing at myself for thinking it's a lot.

    snafu21: you're hilarious, but true. You get a popsicle.

    Globe1: Thanks for the link to that Tern model, I completely overlooked that one and may even consider getting it!

  10. #10
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    After comparison of the Downtube Nova and the Tern Link C7, Tern won. ordered through Thor and was sold on the warranty and some of the minor feature and frame differences that Tern has.

    Will take pictures when it arrives. =]

    Edit: Also wanted to add, that I will probably be giving local bikeforums members an early shot at the Speed Uno before I post it on eBay and other local places. I really wanna try and stay away from mailing this thing out so, if you live in my neck of the woods (Florida Pinellas County) I am asking $300

    Will post this later in the for For Sale section.

  11. #11
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    Thanks Ukoro
    we are checkin your bike right now and will get it shipped tomorrow .....
    You should have no problems selling the SPeed Uno as they are almost everywhere out of stock ( I have one !!! left )
    300 dlr seems to be a good deal ...

    thor

  12. #12
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    Thanks Ukoro
    we are checkin your bike right now and will get it shipped tomorrow .....
    You should have no problems selling the SPeed Uno as they are almost everywhere out of stock ( I have one !!! left )
    300 dlr seems to be a good deal ...

    thor
    Awesome! Thanks for the update on the order status. I'm excited =]

    Posting the Speed Uno in a few minutes in the FS section.

    Edit: It looks as though I lack sufficient privileges to post in the Folding Marketplace section. I was trying to steer away from Craigslist considering the amount of no shows and a lack of response if one cannot make it. I know that this isn't the proper section to be offering and I apologize in advance if this is a huge fail,

    But, if you live in the state and don't mind traveling to check out the Bike feel free to PM me and I will send you a few pictures I took today of it. In about 5 days time I will be adding it to eBay.
    Last edited by ukoro; 03-26-12 at 06:04 PM.

  13. #13
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    Congrats on the Tern.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  14. #14
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Congrats on the Tern.
    Thanks Dynocoaster and to Thor for getting this out the door so quickly!

    The bike arrived today Via Fedex all in good shape. I have to say that I really like the folding functionality much more on this bike than the Speed Uno.It may have a step or two more, but that's fine with me.

    I took it for a short ride around the block and it feels much nicer than the Speed Uno for obvious reasons.

    The only real complaint I have so far is this sticker that was on the center of the bike frame, it was a piece of coated paper that had a warning on it. When you remove this paper, it leaves an annoying residue on the frame which takes some time to get it off fully. I hate that kinda stuff.

    But as promised here are some pictures!


    DSC00001.jpgDSC00003.jpgDSC00004.jpg


    Edit: Also wanted to add that it's not pictured on Tern Bicycles or Thor, but the bike does come with front, rear and wheel reflectors.
    Last edited by ukoro; 03-30-12 at 09:17 PM.

  15. #15
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    The Tern is great looking folder in black. Try GooGone on the glue residue.
    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  16. #16
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    Change those pedals, quick !
    Jetstream P11 ; iXi

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