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Old 02-14-05, 07:28 PM   #1
wheelin
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Dahon's equivalent to Rocket pocket

I'm looking for light and fast Dahon bike that could take on BF Rocket Pocket, or the Pro model. What is your reccommendation, and would it be wise to upgrade some items? Or should I settle for lesser BF bike that I can afford?
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Old 02-15-05, 08:07 AM   #2
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Perhaps a speed P8 might fill the bill .Check on the Dahon website in community forums people there would know better than I . I have a Dahon but it is a boardwalk 6 converted to 7.
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Old 02-15-05, 09:12 AM   #3
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Best to go to the Dahon site and look up their "Sport" bikes. The Speed Pro weighs about the same as the Rocket and has 21 gears (SRAM Dual Drive) but not drop handle bars. The Helios SL weighs about 4-6 lbs less than the rocket, but has 8 gears and again not drop handle bars.

I have the Speed 8. It is a great bike for what I do. I am not sure that I would consider it the equivalent to the Pocket Rocket as it is not custom made for my size and is heavier than the PR. Of course, it also costs less than half.

You might also check the Dahon Msg Board on their site under "Community" and see what modifications some Dahon owners have made to their bikes.

Regards,

Gary
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Old 02-15-05, 09:33 AM   #4
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Thanks for all replies. I was wondering if the Helios SL with the addition of aero bar, and drop bar ends would give PR a run for the money. I don't want to start a debate on which is better or which is better value.
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Old 02-15-05, 10:18 AM   #5
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I think you will find that no folding Dahon will keep up with the pocket rocket. The bike friday's frame is MUCH more ridgid and therefore more efficient. The stem arrangement is also a source of flex in the dahon that is not present with a bike friday. The 451 wheels will give lower rolling resistance, especially on mixed surfaces. I would avoid any hub gear arrangements if looking for all-out speed: they can consume up to 30 watts of your output.
I found that the new world tourist was 2-3mph faster than the speed pro on my daily commute (both had 3x8 arrangements). I would therefore suggest that you go for bike friday if speed is your main concern.
You may however find the lighter dahons are better climbers due to much reduced wheel weight.

The 2005 dahons are said to be stiffer in the frame and at the handlebar.
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Old 02-15-05, 07:37 PM   #6
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wow samb thats a lot of statements you makin. Some MIGHT be right some might be gospel.

check out the speed pro with some bar ends and a lower than usual handlebar position I think you will not miss the drop handlebar at all.... Its still very much cheaper than the friday and has some very nice features, like bulletproof light wheels for example ...

In any way its a lot of change for a bike. Best would be if you could actually try both bikes. Which I understand might be almost impossible but worth a try ...

Thorsten
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Old 02-15-05, 09:29 PM   #7
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Thanks again for the input. I've been able to try the airglide which was very sexy, but have no experience on Dahon. However, I wouldn't mind having something different than my friend's.
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Old 02-17-05, 07:34 PM   #8
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I would avoid any hub gear arrangements if looking for all-out speed: they can consume up to 30 watts of your output.


Where did get the 30 watts number for the hub gear?
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Old 02-17-05, 10:24 PM   #9
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I am interested to hear from anyone who has an 05 Dahon. They are claiming on their website that the handlebar and frame are 30 and 35 percent stiffer, respectively.
The Bike Fridays have a superb reputation, and the Pocket Rocket and RP Pro look like they are flyin' standing still. But the Helios SL is 16.7 pounds, I have a hard time believing it wouldn't be at least competitive with the BF's. You would think that you're getting a little to a lot more for the $1000-$2000 extra you spend on the BF. I guess it depends on what one-two grand are to you and if you think the extra performance I would assume you are getting with the BF is worth it.

Test ride the prospective bikes if at all possible. Old and standard advice, but it's still good advice.
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Old 02-18-05, 06:15 AM   #10
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The M5 recumbent research, its on their website I believe. Its got to be an approximate figure, some hub gears are a lot better than others.

Edit: Just checked the website - I was wrong; "A hub-gear gobbles up 60 Watts of power with no benefit to the rider whatsoever." I don't agree with the statement, but presumably the figure is the result of some calculation or other.

Last edited by Samb76; 02-18-05 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 02-18-05, 06:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony King
But the Helios SL is 16.7 pounds, I have a hard time believing it wouldn't be at least competitive with the BF's.
Whilst weight is important on climbs, I think the frame and handlebar stiffness are the most important factors. I found the steel '04 Dahons (speedPro) just to bendy/flexy to be really fast; and I'm only 160lbs. I found a lot of flex at the bottom bracket.
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Old 02-18-05, 10:27 AM   #12
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Thanks. I appreciate this tidbid of education.
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Old 02-18-05, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samb76
Whilst weight is important on climbs, I think the frame and handlebar stiffness are the most important factors. I found the steel '04 Dahons (speedPro) just to bendy/flexy to be really fast; and I'm only 160lbs. I found a lot of flex at the bottom bracket.
I agree. I guess it really depends if the Dahon has considerably stiffened up the frame and handlebars as they claim.

One thing I would add is that dropbars are a big plus, not only because you can get more aero, but they allow for the widest variety of hand positioning. Straight bars with end-extensions just aren't as comfortable to me, on longer rides and I find my wrists start to hurt.

I know Bike Friday is based in Oregon. I'm curious, are the bikes made there as well? And has anybody seen the foldable tandems they have on their site? They bike can be converted to a single if wanted. That is suh-weet.

Last edited by Anthony King; 02-18-05 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 02-18-05, 07:01 PM   #14
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Bike Friday manufactures their bikes in Eugene, Oregon.

And I have seen the tandem that converts to a single - I haven't ridden one, have never been on a tandem, but that bike seems like a great idea for tandem pairs who don't always want to ride the same distance.
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Old 02-19-05, 06:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samb76
The M5 recumbent research, its on their website I believe. Its got to be an approximate figure, some hub gears are a lot better than others.

Edit: Just checked the website - I was wrong; "A hub-gear gobbles up 60 Watts of power with no benefit to the rider whatsoever." I don't agree with the statement, but presumably the figure is the result of some calculation or other.
As noted - different hubs have different efficiencies so the blanket statement that all hubs gobble up 60 watts of power is inaccurate. The studies that I've seen show a clean derailleur system to be a few percentage points more efficient than a SRAM or Shimano hub gear.

But it's also important to realize that different gears in a hub have different efficiencies. On the DualDrive hub, 2nd gear is direct drive so there's really no extra loss at all when in second gear. 1st and 3rd gears would be somewhat less efficient. Subjectively speaking the SRAM DualDrive hub is the most efficient I've ridden and I've pretty much ridden them all, including SRAM, Sturmey-Archer, the various Shimano Nexus hubs and Rohloff.
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Old 02-19-05, 11:54 AM   #16
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I've got two very similar bikes (moultons). One has a 5-speed hub gear and one a derailleur arrangement. The derailleur bike is significantly faster, however I prefer the hub gear (easy adjustment, better shifting etc).
Dual drive hubs are excellent in traffic and stop start situations. However if I was trying to keep up with other people or generally touring, I would prefer a front derailleur just to save some weight and energy.
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Old 02-21-05, 08:55 PM   #17
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The Helios sl 04 has aluminum frame and fork. How much is it stiffer than the steel Speed Pro? I think it would be a while before the 05 models get to the dealer's floor, and the 04 model is being marked down.
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