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Old 08-13-16, 05:29 PM   #1
edelay
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I love my Dahon Curve D3, but it came with such cheap components

I just had to have a D3 since I loved the look of it so much. The deep red colour and the simple look of the frame. I can see never getting rid of it. BUT... the components it comes stock with are so cheap. For example:

- the grips are rock hard plastic
- the chain ring welded to the crank
- the rims are low quality (rear rim blew apart a couple months after fitting a Sturmey archer in it. The front rim has a visible seam in it)
- the seat is an overstuffed vinyl one
- plastic folding pedals.
- chain looked like ones I remember on my kid bikes in the 80's
- fender are very thin plastic

I've upgraded the following parts already:
- installed Ergon grips
- Brooks B17 special saddle
- rear rim
- nickel plated chain
- 8 speed Sturmey Archer

Plan to get
- quick release metal pedals
- a new chain ring with separate cranks

Last edited by edelay; 08-14-16 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 08-13-16, 05:45 PM   #2
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Unless paying top dollar--and even then--i see complete bikes as a painted canvass to be erased and improved. My last build, a Dahon Dash Altena, has nothing but the frame, headset and fork from the original bike. I no longer really care so much about the components because I know beforehand that I will be more or less rebuilding the bike. See my 'Re-build: Bannard Tension R' thread. It ain't quick, it ain't cheap, but the resulting bike can be quite unique and personal. Life's too short for riding bum bikes. Crack that credit card open, and see it as an opportunity to make thebike truly your own. Cheers.


My last build. Tallied up, I spent some $1,600 building this rig. But it is exactly how i want it, it's got top-notch components, and it's one of a kind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edelay View Post
I just had to have a D3 since I loved the look of it so much. The deep red colour and the simple look of the frame. I can see never getting rid of it. BUT... the components it comes stock with are so cheap. For example:

- the grips are rock hard plastic
- the chain ring welded to the crank
- the rims are low quality (rear rim blew apart a couple months after fitting a Sturmey archer in it. The front rim has a visible seam in it)
- the seat is an overstuffed vinyl one
- plastic folding pedals.
- chain looked like ones I remember on my kid bikes in the 80's
- fender are very thin plastic

I've upgraded the following parts already:
- installed Ergon grips
- Brooks B17 special saddle
- rear rim
- nickel plated chain

Plan to get
- quick release metal pedals
- a new chain ring with separate cranks

Last edited by Abu Mahendra; 08-13-16 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 08-13-16, 06:05 PM   #3
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+1 Abu. the reward for a loooong ride is surfing the internet to find better prettier faster goodies for your bike. Ride fast and upgrade slow. Enjoy the process.
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Old 08-13-16, 09:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by edelay View Post
I just had to have a D3 since I loved the look of it so much. The deep red colour and the simple look of the frame. I can see never getting rid of it. BUT... the components it comes stock with are so cheap. ...
Where are you located?


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Old 08-13-16, 11:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edelay View Post
I just had to have a D3 since I loved the look of it so much. The deep red colour and the simple look of the frame. I can see never getting rid of it. BUT... the components it comes stock with are so cheap. For example:

- the grips are rock hard plastic
- the chain ring welded to the crank
- the rims are low quality (rear rim blew apart a couple months after fitting a Sturmey archer in it. The front rim has a visible seam in it)
- the seat is an overstuffed vinyl one
- plastic folding pedals.
- chain looked like ones I remember on my kid bikes in the 80's
- fender are very thin plastic

I've upgraded the following parts already:
- installed Ergon grips
- Brooks B17 special saddle
- rear rim
- nickel plated chain

Plan to get
- quick release metal pedals
- a new chain ring with separate cranks
I also own a red one, also liked it and "had to get one". I bought mine second hand (only ridden twice). Maybe I would have been disapointed if I had paid full price but I only paid $ 200,-

When I bought it I could hardly ride it to the subway (hilly area) becouse of the gearing. Fixed that as the first thing.

grips: Yes, i had forgotten that I bought the biologix ones with hex keys innside soon after getting the bike.

Rim: Yes, one rim I can feel when braking. The joint is off, I have tryed to sand it down to not wear the brake blocks down. I guess at one point I`ll replace it.

Pedals yes, but I would not expect to get good quality pedals on a bike in this price range. I kept mine since the bike is a spare/loaner bike.

Seat: Same as for pedals. It is ok for riding around and locking up where I do not want to risk my Brompton. If we take the bike on a longer trip I may replace it. My seat may be different from yours.

Gripshift broke just after I got the bike. The band/clamp innside was horribly flimsy and slim. It is a SA part. In the end I managed to make a new band but bought a new shifter this spring. Where I live you can not buy a SA gripshift in the shops or online so has to be online from abroad. That means $15 shipping plus tax and a fee for calculating the tax so a new gripshift is not a cheap part.

Paint. Paint may be ok but the quick release on the stem is chewing on the paint on the rear end of the bike when folded. I should have put Helicopter tape on it when I got the bike.

I do not like the luggagetruss in the front so I just modifyed a Brompton front block. Not super happy with the result (would not trust it for heavy loads) so I am hoping for a Dahon Brompton block to be available soon: http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...l#post18917713

Loaned this bike to friends on a ride this summer. I kept an eye on it (and rode it myself ) on the ride. It was first down the hills and first up no matter who rode it (3 speed SA hub). I think it is a great bike but I would expect better rims and a better shifter from tha factory. The rest I can live with. Love the BA tyres.
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Old 08-14-16, 07:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
i see complete bikes as a painted canvass to be erased and improved. My last build, a Dahon Dash Altena, has nothing but the frame, headset and fork from the original bike. It ain't quick, it ain't cheap, but the resulting bike can be quite unique and personal.
Tallied up, I spent some $1,600 building this rig. But it is exactly how i want it, it's got top-notch components, and it's one of a kind.
That's a really nice build. $1600 isn't outrageous for a bike you love and something that will encourage you to be fit. Well done.

I had bought the D3 knowing it would be upgraded to 8 gears from the get go, but aside from the frame, forks, handle post and bars which are high quality the rest appears to have been made to be diposable.

The good thing is that I had bought it mint 2nd hand for less than half price. With the upgrades I have done it is a better bike for less than what I would have paid new in a shop.

I would like to do this with Brompton as well... By used and upgrade it to better than I could buy new.
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Old 08-14-16, 07:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
Where are you located?


-HANK RYAN-
Norman, Oklahoma USA
Hi Hank.

Lovely raincouver I mean Vancouver.
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Old 08-14-16, 08:28 AM   #8
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Of Course The OEM component pick was part of the attractive, bottom line low price, it sold for.
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Old 08-14-16, 09:28 AM   #9
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>>I also own a red one, also liked it and "had to get one". I bought mine second hand (only ridden twice). Maybe I would have been disapointed if I had paid full price but I only paid $ 200,-

Mine was only $350US. Mint as well. Tried to not look excited when I was viewing it.

>>When I bought it I could hardly ride it to the subway (hilly area) because of the gearing. Fixed that as the first thing.

The upgrade to 8 gears was my first mod as well

>>I kept mine since the bike is a spare/loaner bike. Seat: Same as for pedals. It is ok for riding around and locking up where I do not want to risk my Brompton. If we take the bike on a longer trip I may replace it. My seat may be different from yours.

The Curve is my main bike and I use it for all all weather commuting but if I will be locking a bike up outside when going to restaurant or bar, I take my old beater folder.


>>Love the BA tyres

Yeah, they are pretty good. I lost one when my rim disintegrated and tore the tired and tube apart. The guy at the bike shop had a really cheap old (but unused) Schwalbe City Jet. Heavy and wide tire, but run on a narrow ridge, is really fast. Reminds me of the City Slicker tires from the 80's.

Last edited by edelay; 08-15-16 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 08-15-16, 06:25 AM   #10
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It seems crappy components is a trend with folding bikes. With a special mention to brakes and pedals. I replaced both in my Mu P27 long ago with Magura HS11 in the braking department and Shimano M324 for the pedals.

It seems like it doesn't matter how expensive the bike is. Even bromptons have crappy pedals and plasticky shifters.
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Old 08-15-16, 09:52 AM   #11
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I don't think it makes sense for bike producers to spend money on pedals since many people nowadays ride clipped in. The owner is going to buy whichever model they are most comfortable with so it is frequently an immediate replacement item. Same with saddles. Now the crappy shifters are a different matter....it would be nice if one was allowed to select from different levels of drivetrain at purchase (bike friday does this on all but their basic models).
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Old 10-29-17, 03:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edelay View Post
I just had to have a D3 since I loved the look of it so much. The deep red colour and the simple look of the frame. I can see never getting rid of it. BUT... the components it comes stock with are so cheap. For example:

- the grips are rock hard plastic
- the chain ring welded to the crank
- the rims are low quality (rear rim blew apart a couple months after fitting a Sturmey archer in it. The front rim has a visible seam in it)
- the seat is an overstuffed vinyl one
- plastic folding pedals.
- chain looked like ones I remember on my kid bikes in the 80's
- fender are very thin plastic

I've upgraded the following parts already:
- installed Ergon grips
- Brooks B17 special saddle
- rear rim
- nickel plated chain
- 8 speed Sturmey Archer

Plan to get
- quick release metal pedals
- a new chain ring with separate cranks
For posterity just adding some other annoying things about my beloved Curve

- front hub: failed after 1 year of commuting with a clicking sound. Was loose bearings and I guess dirty water got in there. Hub bearing race was pitted so replaced with sealed one.
- front rim: also after replacing the hub and building the wheel again, I was never able to true the rim. Tried 4 times myself and the local bike shop tried once, but after a km of two of riding it would go out of true. Also could never clean that rim since it had a rough finish
- bottom bracket: wasn't sealed, bearings with an axle. Quite odd for this new of a bike. Replaced this with a sealed cartridge because I thought it was creaking.
- seatpost: always had a grimy/scuffed look (I am second owner) that I could never clean.
- handlepost would twist a bit and eventually developed a creak. This was replaced with a Jetstream handlepost

Last edited by edelay; 10-29-17 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 10-29-17, 06:25 PM   #13
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My experience is that if you are getting a Dahon with quick release skewers you are also getting double wall rims, sealed bottom bracket and a good to better derailleur system.

The Curve is a nice bike in terms of its geometry for riding. I enjoyed mine but didn't keep it long. I am assuming you have the 16" version with big apple tires. 8 Speed seems a nice upgrade.

I've got a Visc SL 16"(305mm wheels) with fast tires and a Shimano Capreo 9 Speed Derailleur. Capreo Rear hub and (I understand) Dahon sealed hub in the front. Very rare bike but very nice. It seems it weighs in around 23 lbs. Great Grips, Seat, MKS Pedals. By comparison though it is considerably more expensive than the Curve was.

I will see if I can put Big Apples on the Visc SL. Seems I could. I love that I can put it into most Suitcases with no dissassembly. I was not able to do this with the Curve that I had earlier.

MKS Ezy Pedals are great quick release pedals. I tend to put them on all of my folders if you are looking. There are a few versions within that range.
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Old 10-29-17, 07:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by L Arnold View Post
My experience is that if you are getting a Dahon with quick release skewers you are also getting double wall rims, sealed bottom bracket and a good to better derailleur system.

The Curve is a nice bike in terms of its geometry for riding. I enjoyed mine but didn't keep it long. I am assuming you have the 16" version with big apple tires. 8 Speed seems a nice upgrade.

I've got a Visc SL 16"(305mm wheels) with fast tires and a Shimano Capreo 9 Speed Derailleur. Capreo Rear hub and (I understand) Dahon sealed hub in the front. Very rare bike but very nice. It seems it weighs in around 23 lbs. Great Grips, Seat, MKS Pedals. By comparison though it is considerably more expensive than the Curve was.

I will see if I can put Big Apples on the Visc SL. Seems I could. I love that I can put it into most Suitcases with no dissassembly. I was not able to do this with the Curve that I had earlier.

MKS Ezy Pedals are great quick release pedals. I tend to put them on all of my folders if you are looking. There are a few versions within that range.
The bike came with Big Apples. I have a Schwalbe City Jet on the back currently because of the original Dahon rim failing took the tire out with it. Still have a Big Apple on the front.

I'm using non quick release MEC City Lights currently.

23lbs! Mine (before my recent upgrade) was 27lbs, but that is with the almost 4lb Sturmey Archer X-RF8
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Old 10-29-17, 08:53 PM   #15
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I think a Big Apple in the front can be overkill. It's great in the back, but I always save a little weight by putting something lighter and narrower in front.
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Old 10-30-17, 03:25 AM   #16
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Here in the UK and possibly the whole of Europe Dahon bikes can actually be lower spec than the US models but at higher prices. This might be related to more expensive assembly/manufacture by max.com bikes.

I also think the frames are some of the weakest, not Tern weak but they have lower weight limits than many competitors without achieving a lower weight bike at the end. This might be because of the lower end components Dahon use. I remember comparing a Carrera folding bike in Halfords to a Dahon they also stocked. The Dahon was about 50% more expensive. I think the Carrera was 320 and the Dahon 450. It just about everyway the Carrera was superior including what looked like a stronger frame.

Looks like the price difference is less now. It was definitely the same Carrera bike but not sure about which Dahon model but its pretty much the same issue, low end freewheel based Shimano gearing on the Dahon. One of the reviews criticises quite a lot about the Dahon, including poor shifting, possibly the wheel going out of true and a seat post that won't stay up.

Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike

Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - Re...

The Carrera bikes while maybe not as stylish as Dahon or Tern just work. The use of a higher end derailleur (marginally) and stronger cassette/freehub based drivetrain reaps rewards in how the bike performs and its long term reliability. The same is true of other components which seem well chosen.

I guess my point is many bikes are fit for purpose pretty much straight out of the shop and don't rely on upgrades. However I accept its an unfair comparison in a way. The Carrera bikes are Halfords own brand and its pretty much straight from factory to shop with only 2 companies requiring a profit margin. Dahon seem to outsource much of their manufacturing and you have the factories, Dahon, wholesalers and retailers all needing a margin plus Dahon would have significant marketing and R&D costs as they tend to refresh their range quite often. For Dahon to sell the Carrera bike under their brand it would probably end up being 800 to feature the same components.
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Old 10-30-17, 05:29 AM   #17
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My Curve too is not exactely high end. Here it is not a "main bike", more kept like a spare. The really crappy part on it was the SA twist grip shifter. The band holding it to the handlebar just broke. Looked like it was made from a tin can. At that time there was no bikes with SA in the shops here so getting hold of one was not easy. Mail order of course but the shops want as much for shipping one as the price of the item and then there are the import dutys. You could get a cheap second hand folder for less. Think i found one on Ebay at a fair shipping price. Rim problems yes, did not look at the BB so cant remember. I keep it for when we ride with friends (I refuse to haul peopels big bikes around in my car) and for when I do not want to risk my Brompton.

Maybe they did not think we would look at themm as "real bikes" and use them like same.

Also prices tend to be more "sober" when there are competition. Some years ago there was much less to choose from in the folder department so they could ask diffferent prices I guess.
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Old 10-30-17, 12:06 PM   #18
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My Curve too is not exactely high end. Here it is not a "main bike", more kept like a spare. The really crappy part on it was the SA twist grip shifter. The band holding it to the handlebar just broke. Looked like it was made from a tin can. At that time there was no bikes with SA in the shops here so getting hold of one was not easy. Mail order of course but the shops want as much for shipping one as the price of the item and then there are the import dutys. You could get a cheap second hand folder for less. Think i found one on Ebay at a fair shipping price. Rim problems yes, did not look at the BB so cant remember. I keep it for when we ride with friends (I refuse to haul peopels big bikes around in my car) and for when I do not want to risk my Brompton.

Maybe they did not think we would look at themm as "real bikes" and use them like same.

Also prices tend to be more "sober" when there are competition. Some years ago there was much less to choose from in the folder department so they could ask diffferent prices I guess.
It is funny over the last 2 years, I've upgraded almost every part on my Curve except for the frame and the fork. These two are the high quality parts of the bike. After doing this, my Curve has gone from decent, to deluxe.
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Old 10-30-17, 12:27 PM   #19
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I think a Big Apple in the front can be overkill. It's great in the back, but I always save a little weight by putting something lighter and narrower in front.
I hear ya, but the difference between a Big Apple and a Kojak is 130 grams. The weight of a half a cup of coffee. :-)

Have the say I like the symmetry of having two similar wheels.
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Old 10-30-17, 12:30 PM   #20
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Here in the UK and possibly the whole of Europe Dahon bikes can actually be lower spec than the US models but at higher prices. This might be related to more expensive assembly/manufacture by max.com bikes.

I also think the frames are some of the weakest, not Tern weak but they have lower weight limits than many competitors without achieving a lower weight bike at the end. This might be because of the lower end components Dahon use. I remember comparing a Carrera folding bike in Halfords to a Dahon they also stocked. The Dahon was about 50% more expensive. I think the Carrera was 320 and the Dahon 450. It just about everyway the Carrera was superior including what looked like a stronger frame.
It is funny that I've now replaced pretty much everything on the Dahon Curve except for the frame and fork. Looks and feels decided deluxe now. I think I should weight it to see how far below 27lbs I've fallen.
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Old 10-30-17, 01:00 PM   #21
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It is funny over the last 2 years, I've upgraded almost every part on my Curve except for the frame and the fork. These two are the high quality parts of the bike. After doing this, my Curve has gone from decent, to deluxe.
So we should be happy they spent the money on the frame and made it possible to uppgrade and get a decent bike instead of spreading the money on frame and components
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Old 10-30-17, 01:18 PM   #22
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So we should be happy they spent the money on the frame and made it possible to uppgrade and get a decent bike instead of spreading the money on frame and components
I agree. The bike has "good bones". Really beefy frame and frame hinge.
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Old 10-30-17, 02:02 PM   #23
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So we should be happy they spent the money on the frame and made it possible to uppgrade and get a decent bike instead of spreading the money on frame and components
+1
And they do have some great frame designs.
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Old 11-18-17, 04:55 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by edelay View Post
It is funny that I've now replaced pretty much everything on the Dahon Curve except for the frame and fork. Looks and feels decided deluxe now. I think I should weight it to see how far below 27lbs I've fallen.
In fairness I suspect the Dahon frame will be lighter and therefore capable of being a lighter/faster bike with the right components. The Carrera Intercity is more of a workhorse with much heavier rider capacity. You really never hear of Carrera frame issues and they often feature reinforcing in key areas you don't see on rival bikes but this would have a cost to weight. Their Subway model is renowned for strength and reliability in their hybrid range but uses the stronger 27.5" wheels rather than the more common/popular 700c. I think that is their design approach.
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Old 11-18-17, 02:51 PM   #25
edelay
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Bikes: Dahon Curve D8 (Sturmey Archer X-RF8), Crius Smart 3.0 5 speed
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Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
In fairness I suspect the Dahon frame will be lighter and therefore capable of being a lighter/faster bike with the right components.
And I guess part of the fun is planning for and doing upgrades.
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