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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 03-24-13, 07:54 AM   #1
wheelinthai
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Up grading Dahon Helios SL

I have a Dahon Helios that I let it gather dust very soon after I got it. The thing that threw me off most was the stability. I felt it had very sensitive handling, a quirk you may say. I'm more used to drop bar of road race bike. Would a change to drop bar help improve stability? What about Bullhorn Handlebar? I'd be very grateful for advices from those who have improved handling on similar Dahon.
BTW any one installed FD and double chain wheels crank on his Dahon?
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Old 03-24-13, 08:49 AM   #2
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Folding bikes, in general, has a short wheelbase. This is what mostly accounts for its quirky handling and not much to do with handle bar type used, IMO. Your brain should adopt quickly to this, and get it stable while in motion.

My folder, even with drop bars, still feels unstable after I ride my full size bike for awhile.


Last edited by DVC45; 12-06-13 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 03-24-13, 01:00 PM   #3
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I have a Helios SL and a bunch of other folders. Can't say the Helios is any twitchier than the others. Small wheels and a short wheelbase often lead to, um, more responsive handling.

As far as FD/double chainring on a Dahon: My Helios has a Nexus 8-sp hub with plenty wide gearing. I believe the Nexus 7 was also offered on this model. If the gearing were narrower, I could see how a FD/dual chainring would help, but otherwise, I'm just fine with stock gearing.
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Old 03-24-13, 01:29 PM   #4
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A longer stem and/or wider handlebar.
Both of these mean the same distanced travelled by the hand results in less of a turn of the front wheel.
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Old 03-24-13, 01:36 PM   #5
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Bigger tyres increase the amount of trail.
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Old 03-24-13, 01:55 PM   #6
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[QUOTE]Folding bikes, in general, has a short wheelbase.This is what mostly accounts for its quirky handling[/QUOTE]

got data to back that up?

I have a Bike Friday and a 26" wheel Koga trekking bike they are both right around a Meter in wheel base ..

what does yours measure?


The shorter Trail is just Front end geometry, .. wheel base is between wheel contact patches.


I throw a bunch of stuff in the bags on the front end of the Bi Fri (& likewise the Brommie)
and the twitchiness is reduced a lot..

Now the mass of a smaller lighter wheel, With a reduced contact patch, and lower trail,
acts more responsively to steering Input, so feels twitchy.. that is a bit closer to the situation..

Bikes with a bigger tire Can have a larger trail, but if the offset of the fork, is larger
it can have the same trail.

Porteur Bikes designs, shoot for less trail to work better with a heavy weight ,
those bundles of Newspapers they were made to speedily deliver ..
on the fork mounted rack.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-24-13 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 03-26-13, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
Folding bikes, in general, has a short wheelbase. This is what mostly accounts for its quirky handling and not much to do with handle bar type used, IMO. Your brain should adopt quickly to this, and get it stable while in motion.

My folder, even with drop bars, still feels unstable after I ride my full size bike for awhile.

darn.... you've got a NICE downtube in there, buddy. i like your drop bar.

to OP - i think one of the stability issue of your helios is due to it's locking frame.
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Old 03-26-13, 01:46 PM   #8
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would love to see pics of your Helios SL also...post some..
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Old 03-27-13, 10:48 PM   #9
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darn.... you've got a NICE downtube in there, buddy. i like your drop bar.

to OP - i think one of the stability issue of your helios is due to it's locking frame.
Thanks!
I miss the neat fold, so it is back to flat bar with bar ends now.
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Old 03-29-13, 08:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
Thanks!
I miss the neat fold, so it is back to flat bar with bar ends now.

You might want to consider changing to bullbars made from cut down drops turned upside down and fit brifers. I prfer this to bougyt bullbars as I can use the Hood postion. I have got a mezzo to fold only 3inches wider using shorter bull bars. My Brompton fold as compact as a standard Brompton despite full length drop equivalent using a dahon adores stem (pic 3). It does add another folding stage to the Brompton however

My Downube NS8 was much more compact with bull bars on than drops.picture 9
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMAG0464.jpg (97.4 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg mezzzo folded1 (2).jpg (101.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg mezzzo folded1.jpg (101.2 KB, 13 views)

Last edited by bhkyte; 03-29-13 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 03-29-13, 09:14 AM   #11
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Will try that someday.

Thanks!
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Old 04-01-13, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
You might want to consider changing to bullbars made from cut down drops turned upside down and fit brifers. I prfer this to bougyt bullbars as I can use the Hood postion. I have got a mezzo to fold only 3inches wider using shorter bull bars. My Brompton fold as compact as a standard Brompton despite full length drop equivalent using a dahon adores stem (pic 3). It does add another folding stage to the Brompton however

My Downube NS8 was much more compact with bull bars on than drops.picture 9
Thanks for the photo album. Now I've got to go and get my Helios cleaned and oiled by the LBS.
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Old 12-05-13, 05:54 PM   #13
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Out of curiosity, is it possible to replace the original chairing with a double chainring?

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/huqdog/e/9ea87...61343720a915b6
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