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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

New User, New Folder

Old 06-26-15, 04:40 PM
  #1  
pope_face
Mr. Grenade who likes pie
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Terminal City, Canada
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Bikes: Dahon Speed P8

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New User, New Folder

Hello fellow bike peeps!

First off, I blame all of you enablers. I wanted to get a folding bike for an upcoming move across the country, so I started doing some research. Obviously, the big names came up... Dahon, Tern, Brompton. Unfortunately, these are a little bit above my budget. I'm expecting light commuting duty after the move (only a couple km each way), and the occasional ride out to a shop, so I didn't need much. I started off looking at the Schwinn Loop, but the 40 lbs of steel was not particularly comfortable to fold, let alone manhandling or carrying it around. A Dahon Boardwalk was next on the list... a little bit more expensive, but much ligher and more compact. However, the single speed and coaster brake were not working for me.

Then, I found a Tekcoup Safari. It had a good ride, with comparable weight and fold (I think) to the Dahon, but much cheaper ($299 for a seven speed, with free shipping). I emailed the company to ask about picking the bike up in person (they're local to me) in order to save a few bucks on shipping. I told them I really liked the bike, and I thought the price was pretty good for what they were offering.

I'd emailed them on Sunday, so I wasn't expecting a response right away, but two days later I still hadn't heard anything. I went on their website to make sure I got the email correct, and lo and behold they'd increased their price on the bike to $349. New and improved nothing, now with 17% higher price tag. I emailed them again to comment on this, and they still haven't gotten back to me. Either way, that threw me off the company, so back to Craigslist to see what was available used.

Next was a Giant Halfway; I'd planned on trying a couple over the weekend, but after doing some reading I realized that upgrades were a no-go on these. I can't leave well enough alone when it comes to mechanics, so that one fell by the wayside. At this point, I was seriously considering a Chinese off-brand (Hachiko or Kalaq or something) and upgrading it, but then I came across a series by Hands On Bike that compared a cheap folder to a "premium" one (the Dahon Mu P8); it made me realize that upgrading a cheap bike would basically get me an expensive cheap bike, and it'd cost more to "build" a bike with the same components as the Dahon than it would to just buy a Dahon in the first place. After a bit more research (mostly on here), I was sold on the Dahon... I just hoped I could find one in my price range.

Fortunately, that's when I noticed a Dahon Speed P8 on CL for <gasp> $400! The next cheapest Dahons were $480 and up; moreover, this one had 8 speeds and a proper rear brake for (basically) the same cost as a new Boardwalk. After talking it over with my better half, I got the green light to give it a ride. 30 minutes of riding and $360 later, I was loading the bike into the back of the car. I don't have any pictures of it right now, but here's the image from the ad:



So, I am now the proud owner of a 2011 (ish) Dahon Speed P8... I'll have to see if I can figure out the exact date based on the serial number, but that's what I get from the Dahon website. I'm the third owner, but it doesn't look like it's seen too much use... The frame/seatpost/handlebar have some wear on them, but nothing crazy. It came with front and rear fenders, a removable basket for the front, and a tool pouch under the seat. Plus, it's got the seatpost pump (I believe some of the new ones don't have that). However, the brakes need to be changed... There's little bits of metal embedded in the pads, and the rear brakes are terrible. I'm planning on going with a set of Kool Stops (the Tectonics look nice, but I may just go with the V-type), but I also want to swap out all the cables and housings, so I'm considering just upgrading the entire brake system. I also can't get it to go into 8th gear... I think the cable is adjusted incorrectly, so I'd do that at the same time. Otherwise, I'm hoping to track down a local retailer of MKS pedals (I want a set of the Ezy Superior pedals), and maybe install a rear rack. I may also go to a pair of Schwalbe Marathon tires once the Big Apples wear out, but I'm undecided as of yet.

Anyway, I apologize for the long post. I just wanted to say hi and express the brief (albeit intense) journey I've taken to finally get to this bike... If not for this forum, I'm sure I'd be happily cruising around on a Schwinn Loop, being none the wiser.
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Old 06-26-15, 09:09 PM
  #2  
HGR3inOK 
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Oklahoma, U.S.A.
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Bikes: Brompton H6L-X, Dahon Curve D3

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Originally Posted by pope_face View Post
... So, I am now the proud owner of a 2011 (ish) Dahon Speed P8...
As was stated to me several years ago, "It's hard to go wrong with a Speed P8." I've had two of them as my personal bikes --- a 2004 and a 2008. Both were great.

-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
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DISCLOSURE: I have an ownership interest in a company that is an authorized dealer for Brompton.
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Old 06-30-15, 09:05 AM
  #3  
pope_face
Mr. Grenade who likes pie
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Terminal City, Canada
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Bikes: Dahon Speed P8

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Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
As was stated to me several years ago, "It's hard to go wrong with a Speed P8." I've had two of them as my personal bikes --- a 2004 and a 2008. Both were great.

-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
Hey Hank, I appreciate the kind words.

I haven't had a chance to ride this one again since picking it up as the cables were too short to get a good fit, and the rear brakes were terrible. However, I've replaced all the cables and housings, and swapped out the brakes to Kool Stop Tectonics. I'm also realizing that this bike has way too many quick release bits to lock up outside, so I'm looking for replacement bits; I'm thinking the Pitlocks are the way to go. Sunlite's Lock N Roll skewers aren't all that cheap (from what I've seen), and the Pitlocks are only $16 more than Pinheads ($30 if I need shipping for the former). Given what I've read about the all these systems, the Pitlocks seem the way to go.

Anyway, I plan on getting the bike properly fit to me and taking it for a ride out to the beach today... Hopefully I'll remember to take a couple pictures.
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