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  1. #1
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    Dahon Speed p8 vs Montague Paratrooper??

    Hi All, this will be my very first bike. Like a legitimate one not a huffy from walmart that I had as a kid. I did a lot of research and my choices are limited to what is on the used market on ebay, Craigslist, wanted ads, etc.

    So far I have a choice between the Dahon Speed P8 (red) for about $450. Maybe $400. It is in almost brand new condition.
    The other choice is a Montague Paratrooper (regular not pro) for $700, but I will need to pay tax on this for a total of about $800 out the door. So almost double the price of the Dahon.

    There are a lot of fine choices out there for bikes and if I didn't have to choose folding, I could probably pick up a really really light carbon road bike or two bikes even. But my car is tiny, doesn't have any rack options other than a hitch mount which requires taking the bumper off, welding, fabricating, UGH too much work.

    My needs are: I use this to get around long distance walking due to a disability. So portability is a must. I need to be able to take my bike everywhere because it replaces walking for me, particularly at larger venues. It gives me legs and allows me to do things I can't. So both are folding and fit in my trunk. The Dahon being slightly smaller due to the smaller 20" wheels and slightly lighter about 1.5 lbs. Not much of a difference, let's say they are equal in portability.
    I need something that is EASY to pedal. Like stated before, I have a disability so ease of pedaling, ease of use, energy conservation is an almost must. For this reason I am even considering an electric bike but folding electrics are very very pricey. I need it to be easy to go up hills when they present itself and go longer distances, also need to be able to ride on grass and gravel, dirt (all seldom but does come up). I live in the suburb but also use this bike for city (good for folding) and rarely but sometimes go outdoors.

    The Dahon has 8 speeds while the Paratrooper has 24 speed. I am guessing this is a no brainer for "Ease" of pedaling? Or is that not necessarily true, will it just give me more OPTIONS?

    Any input appreciated.

  2. #2
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    So portability is a must.
    That right there gives the nod to the Dahon. It will fold much smaller than the Paratrooper,and it folds into a complete package(you have to carry the front wheel with the PT). Gearing can be changed on the Dahon by swapping the cassette and/or the chainring. With the right tires,it should handle anything beyond full-on dirt riding.

    Unless you're planning on fast performance riding,or actually playing in the dirt,I think you'd do better with the Dahon.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    That right there gives the nod to the Dahon. It will fold much smaller than the Paratrooper,and it folds into a complete package(you have to carry the front wheel with the PT). Gearing can be changed on the Dahon by swapping the cassette and/or the chainring. With the right tires,it should handle anything beyond full-on dirt riding.

    Unless you're planning on fast performance riding,or actually playing in the dirt,I think you'd do better with the Dahon.
    I didnt know you can swap the part of out of the folding bikes. Is regearing with new casette and chain ring pretty expensive? How much would i expect to pay to do that? I am opened to used parts.

    The Dahon doesn't seem to have suspensions so i cant jump off curbs and stuff with this bike right? I dont do rock climbing or anything but sometimes rarely if I see a step Ill just jump off of it or jump onto it instead of getting off the bike and picking it up.

  4. #4
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    I didnt know you can swap the part of out of the folding bikes. Is regearing with new casette and chain ring pretty expensive? How much would i expect to pay to do that? I am opened to used parts.
    8spd cassette are like $20-30,easy to swap out. Chainrings are usually like $40 or so,again,not a big deal to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    The Dahon doesn't seem to have suspensions so i cant jump off curbs and stuff with this bike right? I dont do rock climbing or anything but sometimes rarely if I see a step Ill just jump off of it or jump onto it instead of getting off the bike and picking it up.
    You shouldn't just jump curbs with any bike unless you know what you're doing. Technique is everything:

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    ... my choices are limited to what is on the used market on ebay, Craigslist, wanted ads, etc. ... I have a choice between the Dahon Speed P8 (red) ... The other choice is a Montague Paratrooper (regular not pro) ... let's say they are equal in portability.
    ... I have a disability so ease of pedaling, ease of use, energy conservation is an almost must. ... The Dahon has 8 speeds while the Paratrooper has 24 speed. I am guessing this is a no brainer for "Ease" of pedaling? ...
    You really need to test ride and test fold these bikes.
    The current Speed P8 has a gear range of 33"-97". I don't know the gear range of a Montague Paratrooper.
    Keep in mind that the specifications of most bikes may change from year to year. A red Dahon Speed P8 is most likely less than five years old.
    You mention "disability". The lower step-over of the Speed P8 may be an advantage.
    Generally speaking, small-wheel bikes spin up faster and are more maneuverable in crowds than large-wheel bikes.
    The Speed P8 has a recommended weight limit of ~230 pounds. I believe the Paratrooper has a recommended weight limit of ~250 pounds.
    Hope this helps.

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  6. #6
    Senior Member smallwheeler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    You shouldn't just jump curbs with any bike unless you know what you're doing. Technique is everything
    sometimes when i am riding in manhattan, i get that "in the zone" feeling where i am one with the machine. maybe i've just hopped a curb or quickly navigated a suddenly opening car door. the adrenalin is flowing and i feel very confident. then, of course, i wake up and dial it back before i kill myself.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    8spd cassette are like $20-30,easy to swap out. Chainrings are usually like $40 or so,again,not a big deal to change.



    You shouldn't just jump curbs with any bike unless you know what you're doing. Technique is everything:
    Psh hold my beer.


    Quote Originally Posted by smallwheeler View Post
    sometimes when i am riding in manhattan, i get that "in the zone" feeling where i am one with the machine. maybe i've just hopped a curb or quickly navigated a suddenly opening car door. the adrenalin is flowing and i feel very confident. then, of course, i wake up and dial it back before i kill myself.

    Yeah I know what you mean. It's definitely a very strange feeling when repetition of something over and over causes your neurological system to react faster than you can process. I've experienced in a variety of things in life and it feels AWESOME. But like you said, that's usually the feeling right before you're like "**** i need to dial it down a notch before i die".


    Quote Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
    You really need to test ride and test fold these bikes.
    The current Speed P8 has a gear range of 33"-97". I don't know the gear range of a Montague Paratrooper.
    Keep in mind that the specifications of most bikes may change from year to year. A red Dahon Speed P8 is most likely less than five years old.
    You mention "disability". The lower step-over of the Speed P8 may be an advantage.
    Generally speaking, small-wheel bikes spin up faster and are more maneuverable in crowds than large-wheel bikes.
    The Speed P8 has a recommended weight limit of ~230 pounds. I believe the Paratrooper has a recommended weight limit of ~250 pounds.
    Hope this helps.

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Thanks Hank. It did help. And thanks to everyone else who gave me their input. I actually went to another bike shop today that was 40 mins away just cause i was bored. I checked out their dahon but they only had 3 models. One was the uno, which is a single gear so that was ruled out. The other was the visfiness? or something like that. It had 7 gears but internal hub. It was okay, it was lighter than the last one, which was the Mu p8 I think. It had 8 gears, was black. I'm so glad I went to check it out because I found out something that made my decision very easy.
    The dahon, BARELY fit in my car's trunk! hahahah so I ruled the Montague right off the bat. I didn't want to and I kept trying to figure out a way to make it work but I took out the tape measure and was like "nope, not happening". I drive a 350z, and that stupid ass rear strut bar in the middle of the freakin trunk completely makes the trunk useless. The dahon fits perfectly if I remove the seat also, which isn't a big deal. (I also have a 10" subwoofer on the side but it only takes up a very small amount of space)
    The montague would fit in the passenger seat but that's not an option given that the Z is a two seater.

    The other option was to look into various bike racks. The ONLY viable options are a tow hitch or a Sea Sucker Talon. The sea sucker talon is used by a few 350z owners with success. It is the best one. The hitch is another option but you have to do all sorts of crap and modifying. Gotta remove your rear bumper, remove the metal bumper plates, weld it, attach the receiver, drill, blah. Way too much work and it looks ugly. Seasucker is cool but it doesn't have a way to keep the bike secure to the car. The seasucker and bike can be removed off the car in a matter of seconds. So, with all that, I went out and bought a brand new Dahon Speed p8. It's red and 2013. Amazon is selling it for $699 and I got it for $400.

    It's dark out so I didn't get to test ride it when I got home but it did fit nicely in the trunk and is accessible anywhere I go, which was the point of the bike. It helps me get places. At 27-29lbs (I forgot the actual number) it's fairly light. My ezip trailz was 70 lbs so yeah, it's light as a feather. But maybe there could be some way to shed some pounds so I can get into the low 20s?


    A couple questions:
    The bike only has 8 speeds, all in the rear. The man at the bike shop said that it's not possible to add a front derailleur and I'm better of trying to just CHANGE the front chainring (is that the right terminology? The gear in the front.) to raise or lower the range, but I won't be able to WIDEN the range. Does anyone know the answer to this? Is it possible to add a second or even third chainring in the front with a derailleur so I can get 14, 21 speeds? I'm not sure how important this is and I can't say until I have ridden the bike a while but based on my 30 second test drive, I feel like the lowest gear could be a bit lower. No problem on flats or downhill obviously, but uphill .. possibly difficult due to my situation.

  8. #8
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    A couple questions:
    The bike only has 8 speeds, all in the rear. The man at the bike shop said that it's not possible to add a front derailleur and I'm better of trying to just CHANGE the front chainring (is that the right terminology? The gear in the front.) to raise or lower the range, but I won't be able to WIDEN the range. Does anyone know the answer to this? Is it possible to add a second or even third chainring in the front with a derailleur so I can get 14, 21 speeds? I'm not sure how important this is and I can't say until I have ridden the bike a while but based on my 30 second test drive, I feel like the lowest gear could be a bit lower. No problem on flats or downhill obviously, but uphill .. possibly difficult due to my situation.
    I'm not sure why you couldn't put a front derailleur on the bike:

    I can see why you might have an issue with how high you could mount the derailleur and that might limit the size of the big chainring, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't get something to work (I think you want a low clamp front derailleur).

    If the bike is geared too high, then yes, you can just replace the front chainring with a smaller ring and this will lower the gears on both ends. If it were me, I'd try the front derailleur and a double.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    ... The bike only has 8 speeds, all in the rear. The man at the bike shop said that it's not possible to add a front derailleur and I'm better of trying to just CHANGE the front chainring (is that the right terminology? The gear in the front.) to raise or lower the range, but I won't be able to WIDEN the range. Does anyone know the answer to this? Is it possible to add a second or even third chainring in the front with a derailleur so I can get 14, 21 speeds? ...
    See: http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/special.htm
    Scroll down to "DAHON SPEED / ALL TERN FRONT DERAILLEUR HANGER". Note that the pictures are of a Dahon Speed P8.

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in an independent bike shop that is an authorized dealer for Raleigh, Dahon, Tern & Brompton.

  10. #10
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridiqls View Post
    Psh hold my beer.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Nailed it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
    See: http://www.thorusa.com/accessories/special.htm
    Scroll down to "DAHON SPEED / ALL TERN FRONT DERAILLEUR HANGER". Note that the pictures are of a Dahon Speed P8.

    -HANK RYAN-
    Norman, Oklahoma USA
    Sweet, so it is possible. Thanks. I'm going to have to study up on the bike mechanics to attempt to do this. I dont know squat about bikes, didn't find out how gears work or how to use them until 2 days ago.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I would say... ride the bike as is for a while until you figure what (if anything) you actually need to change.

    Congrats on the new bike!

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    So if i want to add a gear or change the gear in the front, can I just change the gear or do I have to change something called the "crankset"? I'm not sure exactly. The Front derailleur is not too expensive but a crankset is, not sure if i need both. I need lower gears particularly for the hills near my house. The lowest one is not low enough. I actually put it on the lowest one when I am riding on flats and maybe gear 2 when gaining speed. I'm not looking for max speed I actually use the bike to cruise.

  15. #15
    Senior Member sail's Avatar
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    If your only using the lower gears then just a smaller chainring, advised by the bike shop, should do it. Enjoy your new bike!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sail View Post
    If your only using the lower gears then just a smaller chainring, advised by the bike shop, should do it. Enjoy your new bike!
    Gotcha, that would save me some money. Thanks, I'll start looking at a smaller chainring and what size I will need.

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