Sadly, the frame of my Mu P8 developed cracks in the hinge area. Basically, some aluminum pieces of the frame body fell. It is not the steel piece of the hinge itself (for which I could have hoped for a replacement part), but rather the frame extensions that are kept together by the hinge.
A bit of background. The bicycle has more than 18000 km mileage, used extensively in the last 4 years for urban commuting. There is a long list of parts that wore and had to be replaced:
- 2 cranksets and 3 pairs of pedals
- 2 handleposts (one was officially recalled but it broke while used)
- 1 fork (that is because I fell once on the bicycle)
- 1 bottom bracket
- 1 chain and 1 cassette
- 1 rear wheel rim (break wear) and 1 spoke
In terms of accidents, I had just about 3 where I fell of the bicycle in the early months of getting used to it. And only one last year when the fork was broken because I fell on the handlepost/bar. The main reason of the frame failure I suspect is the stress caused by urban riding. I'm not using streets (too crowded) but sidewalks. I was reasonable (that is my valuation) with how I negotiated the curbs. I slowly climbed small ones (like up to 5-6 cm) and slowly put the front wheel first then almost at zero speed fell with the rear wheel from slightly larger ones (up to 7-8 cm). Anyway, the sidewalks are of poorer quality than the roads, often with holes and various shock creating obstacles.
The Mu P8 is claimed to be the sturdiest of the Dahon models. But if the normal urban riding is enough to put it to sleep, then perhaps I should look for a fixed frame bicycle, not folding.
Okay, with these data, what do you think? Have you ever heard of replacing the entire frame of one Dahon (a 2007 model)? Do you consider this mileage the "normal expected lifetime" of a folding bicycle? For the record, if I would have known that I should not ride small curbs with Dahon, I would not have bought one.