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  1. #1
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    Convince me to buy a Brompton instead of a Dahon

    For the last seven years I've owned a Dahon Speed 7. This is the only folding bike I've ever owned and it has treated me well. I've used it as a backup bike and for traveling by car and by bus. I've put something like 2,000 miles on it. Now I'm getting the urge to buy a Brompton. Is the extra cost of a Brompton justified? Convince me.

  2. #2
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    What weakness does your Dahon have that you think will be solved with the Brompton?

    I ask out of curiosity since I am thinking about buying something like this too.....

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    What is it about your current bike that you don't like?
    The Brompton will have a more compact fold than your
    Dahon, but if that's not an issue save your money. I
    also like that you can clip a bag on the front of the frame,
    I didn't want to get the rack option.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt5Mz...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Your bike should be something that meets your needs adn makes you happy. If you have some reason to believe that the Brompton will make you happier than your Dahon, go for it. If you need a smaller fold, or just like the look of the Bromptom more, get it and enjoy it.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Door N. 3 .. Bike Friday Tikit is more customizable to your component choices
    + is made in more than one size , the hyper-fold feature is fast to operate
    you roll the folded bike by its front wheel,
    and because the seat hinges to fold rather than telescope into the frame

    like you must with both Brompton and Dahon, so with the Tikit,
    your saddle height remains un changed with every fold.

    Brompton rear wheel folds straight under , the other 2 the wheel folds along side..
    Brommy folds the front wheel, back then it covers the crank & some greasy drivetrain.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadbar View Post
    What weakness does your Dahon have that you think will be solved with the Brompton?

    I ask out of curiosity since I am thinking about buying something like this too.....
    Pros of the Dahon Speed 7:

    1. Costs half as much as a Brompton
    2. Adequately reliable

    Cons of the Dahon Speed 7:

    1. Fairly wobbly ride. I've gotten used to it, but I've come close to falling off a couple times when looking over my shoulder to check for traffic while riding on rough pavement. I heard one review that the Bromptons are more stable despite having only 16" wheels.
    2. No suitcase-style wheels for rolling short distances.
    3. The hinges have gradually become more and more finicky. After a few years I began needing to adjust the tension in both the frame hinge and the handlebar hinge every couple months.
    4. Locking to bike racks is a bit of a pain, as the triangular opening in the frame is quite small and low to the ground. The Brompton appears to be better in this respect.
    5. Folding time is 20 seconds with some practice. A bit awkward to fold up.

    I guess my two biggest questions are:

    1. Are Bromptons significantly more stable than Dahons? I mostly ride in city traffic.
    2. If you've owned both a Brompton and Dahon, what is your critique?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Door N. 3 .. Bike Friday Tikit is more customizable to your component choices
    + is made in more than one size , the hyper-fold feature is fast to operate
    you roll the folded bike by its front wheel,
    and because the seat hinges to fold rather than telescope into the frame

    like you must with both Brompton and Dahon, so with the Tikit,
    your saddle height remains un changed with every fold.

    Brompton rear wheel folds straight under , the other 2 the wheel folds along side..
    Brommy folds the front wheel, back then it covers the crank & some greasy drivetrain.
    Thanks fietsbob. The greasy exposed drivetrain is a bit of an issue with Dahon. My hands do get dirty sometimes. Also when loading into my car trunk I have to be wary of not damaging the derailleur, etc.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    When I have a Load in my big B touring bag , it mounted on the frame , the weight helps stability.

    The pannier rack on my Pocket Llama helps too.. weight mass in the panniers similar.

    Shouldering the single Brompton bag , then carrying the folded Brommy
    leaves a hand free for doors and elevator buttons.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-01-13 at 11:57 AM.

  9. #9
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I have a Brompton,and I've owned 3 Dahons;a Mu SL(sold),Speed Pro TT(still have),and a Novara FlyBy(rebadged Dahon,also sold).

    The Brommie has the best fold,hands down. But the Dahons ride and handle better. The Mu was easier to deal with as far as wheel removal,and the TT has a much wider gear range and better riding position. The Dahons were also more versatile as far as gearing;you could easily swap the cassette,or add a double crank/front der,or change them to 8/9/10/whatever speed. Bromptons can be modded,but this usually gets much more involved. I kept the Brommie strictly for the compact fold. The TT is a much better bike.

    If you're having stability issues with your Speed,you should check the setup. My Mu was more stable than my FlyBy,even though the frames were similar,because the Mu's bar was lower and put more weight over the front wheel. I could adjust the bar on the FlyBy the same way,but then had to reset it when I folded the bike(the FlyBy's bar was inside the fold,the Mu's was outside).

    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,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  10. #10
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    My two favorite bikes in my stable are a Brommie and a Bike Friday NWT. IMHO the BF NWT is by far the better of the two when it comes to spirited riding or comfortably covering long distances. However since most of my riding is commuting to work and running errands around town (and taking it indoors) the Brommie gets more use mainly for it's ability to fold so small, not to disparage it's ride quality which is also remarkable. There's just something about it that makes it a lot of fun to ride and it handles really well... it's stable at speed and is easy to bunny-hop over pot-holes and railroad crossings. I have the new model and the quality of craftsmanship is outstanding... this is a bike I'll own for the rest of my life.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  11. #11
    Cue
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    I've tried the brompton and I bought the dahon curve d3 instead, both fold to similar size, with the brompton being more compact, but not by much. I liked the folding style on the dahon much more than the brompton, I'm not down with twirling those two screws on the brompton monotube and headtube whereas dahon just has a clamp on the monotube and headtube. And dahon was half the price of the brompton. If I had a 20" dahon I would consider the brompton, but I have something so similar I wouldn't bother.

    As for the poster suggesting a bike friday tikit, as much as I like bike friday's line up and the speed of tikit's fold, it folds bigger than brompton and 16" dahons. The purpose of a compact folding bike to me is the size, and the tikit is bigger than I like it to be.

  12. #12
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
    For the last seven years I've owned a Dahon Speed 7. This is the only folding bike I've ever owned and it has treated me well. I've used it as a backup bike and for traveling by car and by bus. I've put something like 2,000 miles on it. Now I'm getting the urge to buy a Brompton. Is the extra cost of a Brompton justified? Convince me.
    Have you test driven a Brompton? This would be my first step. It will help you deciding if you like it or not. You also want to try both M and the S Brompton configurations, (different riding positions, I liked one much more than the other).

    BTW, Brompton has better post sales spare part availability, stable design, and upgrade paths, so expect longer useful product lifetime.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Not sure about last comment about brompton having better upgrade paths. Much more options fit 20" dahon wheels,greater range of hubs, v brake mounts ,draillers easier to fit, more seatpost options,more fork options,cranks............

    Dahon androes stem fits either bike if you need more forward reach, dahon stems can be a tad flexy , that will be wobble culprit.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  14. #14
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I don't have a Brompton...yet, but have ridden a few. I can adapt to just about any bike's riding style in a matter of minutes. My single biggest peeve with Dahon is the lack of repair parts a few years down the road. I liked the Brompton for the quick compact fold and the ride was good for me. Only reason I don't have one at the moment is price and no real need.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  15. #15
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I don't have a Brompton...yet, but have ridden a few. I can adapt to just about any bike's riding style in a matter of minutes. My single biggest peeve with Dahon is the lack of repair parts a few years down the road. I liked the Brompton for the quick compact fold and the ride was good for me. Only reason I don't have one at the moment is price and no real need.

    Aaron
    From my experience, finding spare parts for the Brompton is much simpler than for Dahon.

    Detailed diagram and part numbers
    http://support.brompton.com/attachme...=data_full.pdf

    Part ordering
    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/brompton-shopbrompton_pg1/ (with shipping to the US, also available from US dealers)

    However, if the budget is a stretch and you don't really need it now, I would just wait. Anticipation is just as fun. ;-)
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    You stated that the brommie had a better upgrade path than the Dahon. This was what I felt was inaccurate. I was not disputing that spefic brommie parts are easier to get that dahon parts. Generally a dahon with 20" wheels has far more options avilable from other manufactures. Its a simple job to upgrade a dahon, (or downtube), with used quality generic parts.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  17. #17
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Agreed. For example,converting a Speed or Mu to a double crank w/front der is much easier than a Brompton. All you need are the new parts and the adapter off Thor's site.

    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,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  18. #18
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    There were two reasons I selected the Brompton. The first was its ease of taking it shopping. The second was the neat package it made in order to fit under my desk at work. That's all.

  19. #19
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    You stated that the brommie had a better upgrade path than the Dahon. This was what I felt was inaccurate. I was not disputing that spefic brommie parts are easier to get that dahon parts. Generally a dahon with 20" wheels has far more options avilable from other manufactures. Its a simple job to upgrade a dahon, (or downtube), with used quality generic parts.
    I was referring to upgrade to the current model, not to modifications. For example, when Brompton comes with a new crank or new brake lever or a new pedal or a new handlebar or a new shifter, you can get them for your old model. More or less, you buy it once and keep it current if you wish. I had two Dahons so I know the difference from personal experience.
    Happier than a camel on wednesday.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
    For the last seven years I've owned a Dahon Speed 7. [...] Now I'm getting the urge to buy a Brompton.
    In a big city like DC, there must be a way to rent a Brompton for a day so you can make an informed decision....

  21. #21
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    ...I bought the dahon curve d3 ... If I had a 20" dahon I would consider the brompton, but I have something so similar I wouldn't bother...
    What's so similar? Sure both the D3 and the ML3 have three speeds and about the same gearing (supposedly, according to Dahon's site quoting 43"-81" and the Brompton's standard option being 44"-79") but that's it.
    Last edited by BassNotBass; 11-07-13 at 05:33 PM.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  22. #22
    Cue
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    What's so similar? Sure both the D3 and the ML3 have three speeds but that's it.
    They fold to similar size (yes, the brompton fold a wee bit smaller), have similar size wheel (305 erd vs 349 erd). Personally, I liked the folding mechanism better on the Dahon. Nothing against the brompton, I might get a custom one with 5 speed SA hub for the heck of it but I like the Dahon more when I tested both bikes out.

  23. #23
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    They fold to similar size (yes, the brompton fold a wee bit smaller), have similar size wheel (305 erd vs 349 erd). Personally, I liked the folding mechanism better on the Dahon. Nothing against the brompton, I might get a custom one with 5 speed SA hub for the heck of it but I like the Dahon more when I tested both bikes out.
    Honestly I was just wondering why you felt this way. In my eyes they have far more differences, each with their pros and cons, than commonalities that IMHO could "break the deal" either way. From what I see they differ in:
    • choice of frame metal
    • fold design
    • the D3 has height adjustable handlebars where as an M, P or H type Brommie allows for fore/aft adjustment
    • folding pedal design
    • the Brommie's frame incorporates a suspension rear
    • brake design (V vs double pivot caliper)
    • as you pointed out, wheel size (a concern when needing replacement tubes or tires... the 349 being not as readily available at all bike shops if you should need them NOW)


    I'm sure there are plenty more but I think the differences I listed are enough points to ponder for the cyclist in the market to purchase either of the two (or of either ilk). And the fact that you chose the D3 over a Brompton and I chose a Brompton over a mid-hinge aluminum folder attests to the weight of these differences.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  24. #24
    Cue
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    Honestly I was just wondering why you felt this way. In my eyes they have far more differences, each with their pros and cons, than commonalities that IMHO could "break the deal" either way. From what I see they differ in:
    • choice of frame metal
    • fold design
    • the D3 has height adjustable handlebars where as an M, P or H type Brommie allows for fore/aft adjustment
    • folding pedal design
    • the Brommie's frame incorporates a suspension rear
    • brake design (V vs double pivot caliper)
    • as you pointed out, wheel size (a concern when needing replacement tubes or tires... the 349 being not as readily available at all bike shops if you should need them NOW)


    I'm sure there are plenty more but I think the differences I listed are enough points to ponder for the cyclist in the market to purchase either of the two (or of either ilk). And the fact that you chose the D3 over a Brompton and I chose a Brompton over a mid-hinge aluminum folder attests to the weight of these differences.
    Frame metal is not relevant to me, I never fold the pedals so that's also not relevant, same with the rear suspension, so I could swing either way on both bikes, but I do like V brakes more, and the folding design of the Dahon more. Never really thought about the tire and tube availability but that's a valid point, I will make sure to order some so I don't have to get it at the lbs.

  25. #25
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    Frame metal is not relevant to me, I never fold the pedals so that's also not relevant, same with the rear suspension, so I could swing either way on both bikes, but I do like V brakes more, and the folding design of the Dahon more. Never really thought about the tire and tube availability but that's a valid point, I will make sure to order some so I don't have to get it at the lbs.
    I've seen enough mid-hinge (fold in half) aluminum frame hinges fail (or wear to the point of futility) after extended use that I will never consider buying one again. In my experience even the old low budget steel fold in half bikes from the 60's that I've seen with similar mid-point hinges still function as intended. IMHO an aluminum frame with a steel hinge pin that doesn't incorporate something as simple and rudimentary as a self-lubricating bronze bushing (as with most aluminum framed folding bikes I've seen) will fail much quicker than a steel framed hinge with a steel hinge pin.

    Also those folding pedals on the D3, as used by Dahon and most other manufacturers with the narrow inner to outer bearing spacing, wear out relatively quickly for me so they're also a no go. The Brompton's fold design necessitates only one folding pedal and that singular folding pedal's unique large thrust bearing is a pretty awesome design alternative to the aforementioned common folding pedals.

    I also am a fan of V-brakes but I've found the Brompton's dual pivot calipers to be of very high quality rivaling v-brakes with regard to effectiveness... we'll see how they fare in terms of longevity.

    I'm normally not a fan of any sort of suspension but since the fold design of the Brommie incorporates the benefit of a little bit of suspension that doesn't effect pedaling efficiency, I see that as a bonus considering that this is a small wheeled bike with relatively narrow tires... a freebie with the wonderfully engineered Brompton fold design.

    As for 349 tubes here's a tip for Bromptonites... if in a pinch and you need a replacement tube but your LBS doesn't have the required 16" X 1 3/8" tube a Brommie wheel requires, a slightly more common decimal 18" (18" X 1.5") which is about 6mm larger in diameter, will work. Don't ask me how I know.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

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