I have a Melon Slice which I've been riding a couple months and I really like riding it, but there are some small frustrations that make it less-than-perfect for me. I bought it new (though it's one of the older models with SRAM & Shimano components) and, while it has some small scratches and grease marks from use this summer, I feel I can probably not take too much of a loss selling it.
I'm going to look at a used Dahon Speed tonight and need to decide whether I want to buy it and try getting rid of the Melon. The Dahon is priced fairly low, and I'm virtually certain I could sell the Melon for what I'd spend on the Dahon, making the transaction a wash if I decide to do that. So it's not a super high-risk transaction but I'm trying to think it through in advance and any advice you can give would be great.
What I like about the Melon: it's light and easy to carry up the stairs in my apartment; I like the handling characteristics of the 20" wheels -- they are nimble and quick off the line; I like the upright positioning. I very much enjoy riding it.
What I don't like so much: The rear fender coverage is paltry, so I get a skunk stripe when it's wet unless I have the seatpost rack attached, which provides some additional coverage, but the seatpost rack needs an allen wrench to come off, and it interferes with the fold. As well, the fold on the Melon is a bit more work than the Dahon-style fold (I borrowed a friend's for a month and loved it) so between these two things I basically never fold the bike. I don't love the stem & handlebars of the Melon and will probably swap one or both of them out for something a little taller if I keep it.
My feeling is that the Speed will likely have all of the positives of the Melon but will spare me some of the negatives: the rack does not interfere with the fold; there is fuller fender coverage on the rear wheel; the fold is easier in general (if this bike folds like my friend's did); and the stem is adjustable.
I think the Dahon Speed I'm looking at has a 7 gear derailleur rather than the Melon's 8. In photos, it looks clean and decently maintained, but I won't know until tonight. I have no idea how old it is.
So my question is: what am I not considering? What should I look for tonight? Does anybody on this forum own both bikes or at least know enough to make a comparison?
hmm...what can I say ...
Its YOUR bike You only can decide ultimately ... :-)
The Dpeed d 7 is a good bike in the Dahon stable, but after you like the melon and use it regurlary and enjoying it. I would jump one step up and get a MU P8 or Speed P 8 .... small things like carriers and or fenders ( even long mudflapps ) are easy to add to the bike later.
And you would have MUCH better components, lighter weight, etc etc if you go with the P models ( P = Premium, D = deluxe )
You probably can find a good used one too... save some money and maybe get a set of super light sexy wheels ( Pro ) and you have a real stunner ...
Thank you for responding: You raise a good point about saving up for a better bike later; that is definitely in the mix. The Melon doesn't have mounting points for a rack, and I'm unable to find anybody that's hacked together a solution for mounting one other than on the seatpost like I have, so I'm not sure that's as easy an aftermarket mod as one might think. Without the rack, the bike is unsuitable for commuting in wet weather, and I'm also not able to find a rack which will easily come on and off.
These are admittedly minor details, and I'm ultimately pretty happy with the Melon, but I'm feeling like the Dahon Speed might be just a little bit better and worth the trade-off as my entry-level, save-for-a-better bike for now, assuming I can make the trade pay.