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Old 05-01-13, 10:16 AM   #1
ttakata73
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Dahon Dove BYA412 Custom weight weenie 6-7Kg

Hey guys, new project.

I like my Dahon Mantis, but it was designed as a multispeed so it can never be truly light.
I have to carry my folder through some long subway stations so weight is a real pain.
You can buy an entire new 9-10Kg Dove for $2/300 if you are in China.
I bought every piece of this project as parts off eBay and Taobao.
So it was very expensive but far less than any other new 7Kg bike.

I shaved 50g off the frame by removing the hinge safety, the reflector tab, and some seat tube. I also drilled a few holes in the frame bigger and lightened the hinge handle.
I drilled out the rims since they should be plenty strong for road use.
There are a lot of titanium bolts to shave weight too.
I had to reverse the spider to better align the chain.

In lightweight mode the bike is 6.04Kg.
The small Kendas are really ~12.75"x1.3 when inflated.
It's not too harsh to ride but I am afraid of dropping into potholes with such small tires.

In "moonlander" mode the bike weighs 6.97Kg.
Inflated, these tires are really 14.5" tall x 1.9" wide.
I like the fenders because Bangkok always has puddles of goo and water even in the dry season.

Future plans to get under 6Kg are aluminum nipples, nylon ring spacers, carbon chainring, and titanium axle bolts.
I'm not sure if I want to go with a carbon saddle as I know the post I have might ruin the rails.
I forgot to weigh a few things in the build list so total weight is incorrect.

The Dove is a few inches shorter than the Mantis and folds narrower so this is good for trains.
My Mantis will go back to multispeed for travel to hilly areas.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dove build.jpg (98.2 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg weights.jpg (92.1 KB, 136 views)
File Type: jpg comparo.jpg (73.1 KB, 233 views)
File Type: jpg 20130501_191555.jpg (79.2 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg 20130501_191219.jpg (98.1 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg 20130501_191034.jpg (96.0 KB, 108 views)
File Type: jpg 20130501_134401.jpg (46.8 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg 20130316_145352.jpg (77.1 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg P3233833 (Medium).jpg (94.2 KB, 147 views)

Last edited by ttakata73; 05-01-13 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:48 PM   #2
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Nicely done!
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Old 05-01-13, 03:36 PM   #3
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Good work! Do the sellers from Taobao ship to addresses outside of China?
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Old 05-01-13, 05:11 PM   #4
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Wow.

I am interested in that crankset.
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Old 05-01-13, 10:49 PM   #5
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You need to use a Taobao agent hut they ship anywhere.
I use Taobaofocus.com but they like most Chinese have no customer service.
I paid extra for alloy spoke nipples but the seller sent brass and Taobaofocus won't help or refund me.
They pretend to help but no resolution occurs.
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Old 05-03-13, 05:52 AM   #6
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Very inspiring mod, thanks for sharing.

I have done some customisations on my Dahon Mu, singlespeeded it and lightened it up a bit, see this thread.

Some questions:

What is your gear ratio? 47T in the front, 10T rear (?), would mean: 47/10*12.75 (kendas)=59.9 gear inches. Is that correct? Sounds a little low to me.

My configuration is: 49/13*19 (Kojak)= 71,6 GI which suits me perfectly for city cruising.

Does the 40cm handlepost fold under the axle? In that case it should result in a very neat/thin package. From the pics I could not clearly see that. Might be 1cm too short?
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Old 05-03-13, 10:10 AM   #7
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The Dove's stock and aftermarket wheels all have 9t rear cogs.
I don't know the formula for GRatio but 47t/9t*12.75=66.58
Yeah it could be faster so I may try a bigger chainring later.
My chainring is offset outward ~2-3mm .
Some guy in 77bike posted a big chainring, it must be 55t, possibly 56t.
I'm guessing his is further offset to clear the hinge.
It's a poor oversight they put the hinge handle on the right side of the frame.
My Mantis has the bulk of the hinge on the other side which is why it has a 60T chainring.

The FN Hon handlepost drops below the axle.
It isn't too long that it keeps the bike from sitting on the ground.
Stock width bars might touch the ground, mine are chopped as narrow as possible.
My Mantis used to fold narrower with the stock 2 piece handlepost (bar ended below axle) but it looks wider in the comparison photo because it has a 1 piece post that gets in the way.

Sorry for the bad pics, it's night now and my apartment has crap lighting so the hiviz reflective tape is going crazy.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20130503_224709.jpg (82.1 KB, 70 views)
File Type: jpg 20130503_224823.jpg (90.8 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg 55t.jpg (56.8 KB, 95 views)
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Old 05-03-13, 11:00 AM   #8
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brilliant!
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Old 05-07-13, 02:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
The FN Hon handlepost drops below the axle.
...
My Mantis used to fold narrower with the stock 2 piece handlepost (bar ended below axle) but it looks wider in the comparison photo because it has a 1 piece post that gets in the way.
Yes, the 16" folders probably all get into this handlebar/axle confict when folded:

However here it looks ok for under-the-axle fold:

Maybe a sligtly longer handlepost then?
Using the telescoping handlepost for each and every fold isn't a good option, anyway a single piece handlepost is much stiffer.
It could have been solved easily be adjusting the folding angle a bit, but Dahon does not utilize that.
So either you go for 14" wheels, as the Dove, or 20" wheels, where you have over-the-axle fold.
I asume the Dove's rear width (OLD) is 110mm, right? Quite narrow, which I welcome. Unfortunately most other folder frames have 130mm OLD.
The Dove might be a little short for taller people (I am 185cm),
I very much like this frame, don't know the name, maybe Archer:

But you cant get it with horizontal dropout, I guess.
Here is a comparison pic:

Last edited by pibach; 05-07-13 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 05-07-13, 12:44 PM   #10
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My Dove's rear dropouts are only 87mm apart.
I'm guessing it is supposed to be 90mm but my frame was welded up by a drunk person from the looks of it.
The rear drops and the front fork are tweaked.

I suspect Dahon might sell off their reject frames to the Chinese aftermarket because my Mantis, Silvertip, and old Curves were pretty straight but I bought them as complete new bikes.
I bought this Dove frameset from China for $150, so I'm OK with it being a little off.

I think the bike can fit a taller person.
I'm 175cm and the bike's seat is only ~2cm higher than the flat bars.
There's still 50mm of safe seatpost (600mm) left in the frame and my knees are always 12cm away from the bars.
With some riser bars, a taller person could make this bike work.

Yes, that is an Archer, codename KAA672.
Your top pic is supposed to be really light, it is a Presto SL (PSL), they were advertised to be 8.2kg stock.
I wish I knew about them before I bought my Dahon Mantis which is pretty heavy, but cool looking nonetheless.

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Old 05-07-13, 12:58 PM   #11
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man, thats a bummer. i was contemplating ordering as fnhon dove frameset.. now im having second thoughts..
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Old 05-08-13, 03:53 AM   #12
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I wish I knew about them before I bought my Dahon Mantis ....
16" Bikes are quite difficult for singlespeed conversion due to appropriate gear ratio. 11T is the smallest possible on regular cassette hub, but they come in 130mm OLD, not narrow. Or you go with a BMX hub, but there aren't really light ones. The Novatec hub you got is pretty much the only option. Or SRAM Automatic (see pic above), which adds some weight again. Or fixed gear.

Edit:
BTW, could you post a nice pic of your Dove, ideally at daylight/outdoors with the Kenda tire configuration? Also a pic when folded that better shows how compact (and narrow) it gets. Would make it more impressive to show it off to others.

Last edited by pibach; 05-08-13 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 09-15-13, 12:23 PM   #13
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There's still 50mm of safe seatpost (600mm) left in the frame...
Due to the specs it is 580mm long. Could you please measure the post? Since that would be crucial for my size (185cm).

There is abother wheelset deemed to be ligher, weighting 760g in total from Mialo: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...p160042079723b
Can that be possible?
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Old 09-15-13, 01:05 PM   #14
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Due to the specs it is 580mm long. Could you please measure the post? Since that would be crucial for my size (185cm).

There is abother wheelset deemed to be ligher, weighting 760g in total from Mialo: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...p160042079723b
Can that be possible?
hmm. good find on those wheels, pibach. the problem i've encountered is finding quality tires. in other words, what's the point of getting these ultra light wheel builds if the only tires available are kenda kids bike tires? seems to make more sense to upgrade to a 16" 305 wheelset. many more high-end tire options then.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:12 PM   #15
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hmm. good find on those wheels, pibach. the problem i've encountered is finding quality tires. in other words, what's the point of getting these ultra light wheel builds if the only tires available are kenda kids bike tires? seems to make more sense to upgrade to a 16" 305 wheelset. many more high-end tire options then.
True, but the 16" wheels won't fit the Dove (brakes are the problem). And there's no other frame in that weight range, Dove is by far the lightest. Also under the axle fold, tight rear, and horizontal dropout.
The Kendas might not be too bad, however. Aren't they?
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Old 09-15-13, 01:28 PM   #16
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True, but the 16" wheels won't fit the Dove (brakes are the problem). And there's no other frame in that weight range, Dove is by far the lightest. Also under the axle fold, tight rear, and horizontal dropout.
The Kendas might not be too bad, however. Aren't they?
i dont have it readily available, but i know i've seen a dove with 16" wheels. the rear brake problem being solved with a litepro™ brand v-brake extender or v-brake with 4.5cm adjustable shoes. i think i saw that conversion on the thaimtb.com forum. i've also seen a 1.2" kenda tire. if i recall correctly it was buried deep within the russian language taobao website. i'll look again...
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Old 09-15-13, 01:35 PM   #17
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i dont have it readily available, but i know i've seen a dove with 16" wheels. the rear brake problem being solved with a litepro™ brand v-brake extender or v-brake with 4.5cm adjustable shoes. i think i saw that conversion on the thaimtb.com forum. i've also seen a 1.2" kenda tire. if i recall correctly it was buried deep within the russian language taobao website. i'll look again...
Still, there's no wheel set for Dove rear axle width, 84mm. Only choice is either Novatec oder Mialo (or fixed, if you go that route). Don't know if those wheels are available in 16"? I doubt.
Also bottom bracket will be 1" higher. And a bit wider fold. I am planing to use it as a carry on luggage for flying, so every mm counts.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:37 PM   #18
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if the only tires available are kenda kids bike tires?
What about these tires: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...p16032033ee391
180g each.
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Old 09-15-13, 01:38 PM   #19
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There's also a 5,81kg Dove listed on taobao: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=...id=16688577259
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Old 09-15-13, 01:42 PM   #20
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aha! i just saw those too. they look decent. regarding the spacing, novatec makes the hub and there are many 16" 305 rims. litepro makes one.

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Old 09-15-13, 01:47 PM   #21
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16" -

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Old 09-15-13, 02:16 PM   #22
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I'm glad this thread has been revived!

This is a question for ttakata73, the OP.

I noticed that you have AEST brake calipers. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on them? Quality? Flex? Stopping power etc. Where did you buy them? Ebay? Taobao? I can't find a decent review anywhere. There is plenty of talk about their levers but not the calipers.

If you wouldn't mind sharing your thoughts/experience, I sure would appreciate it.

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-13, 02:26 PM   #23
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here's a dove with 16" wheelset, 5 speed sturmey hub and caliper brakes.

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Old 09-15-13, 06:48 PM   #24
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i think this might be the best tire available in the 14" size:

kenda k177 14 x 1.2 85 psi

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Old 09-15-13, 09:03 PM   #25
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I bought the AEST brake system off ebay.
The levers are flexy and with enough force you can see the brake arms flex.
These brakes would not be good for a real bike that goes fast or downhill a lot but for a slow folder I think they are fine.
The actual finishing is quite good, no rough edges or anything binding.
I think they are a great design, just wouldn't trust my life to them on an MTB.
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