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Comparing strengths of alternative hinges, Qix, Visc, Birdy, IVE, Spin

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Comparing strengths of alternative hinges, Qix, Visc, Birdy, IVE, Spin

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Old 12-20-17, 06:09 PM
  #26  
tomtomtom123
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I bought my Speed TR in Taiwan, and after 10 months the hinge no longer closed flat and would rock back and forth. The 2 sides are convex, curving away from each other. I did not do a deep inspection of the hinge until 10 months later when I started to notice the problem, so I don't know if the curved sides were like this when the bike was delivered, or if the hinge got damaged during travel and worn down. But the amount of curvature made me suspect a defect.

At about 9 months, I flew to Tasmania with it folded in an original Dahon box. But when I took the bike out of the box, the hinge latch was completely bent out of shape and would not close. I went to a Dahon dealer in Hobart who replaced the latch. But later, I noticed that the bike would flex at the hinge, and no matter how tight I made the latch, the 2 halves would still rock back and forth. I returned to the dealer and he tried to remove the left side pin but couldn't figure out how to get it out. His only solution was to add a piece of inner tube which dampen about 80% the movement. He said I would need warranty service from Dahon in Taiwan, but I wasn't going back there.

Several years later the movement in the hinge has gotten worse since Tasmania. Today, I did an inspection, and the latch has cracked and the components inside of it have bent due to the increased tension required to compress the piece of rubber tube, so I'm not going to ride it anymore.

I recorded the movement in a video here:





Bent latch from flight:



So that's why I'm interested in a new bike with an alternative hinge design. The Visc has the floating top tube that takes most of the compression off of the main hinge. But like the video that dahoneezz posted, if the top tube gets bent or misaligned, it no longer performs its function. And also like the standard hinge, if the left side pin starts to get bent out of shape, it will introduce play that can't be removed. With the Visc, if the top tube fails, then the hinge will experience worse stress because it's located closer to the BB than on standard Dahon bikes.



The Qix solves some of these issues with the left vs right side play, but if the horizontal pin starts to wear, you'll get vertical play in the bottom of the hinge.

The Qix is available shipped for 650 € but I still have to travel 6 hours to see a demo. It seems there are no more stock of Visc D/P18 in Europe. Some old listings have it for 700-900 €.

I think a better Dahon hinge would be, a compression top tube like on the Visc, combined with a vertical fold like on the Qix for symmetric loading on the pin, and a tension cable below. It would be stronger, but ugly.

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Old 12-20-17, 07:09 PM
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To avoid hinge problems, it is best to buy folding bikes with no hinge in the main frame. (Birdy, Tyrell IVE, Pacific Reach, Bike Friday). This results in bigger fold, and bigger hole (in wallet.) Alternatively, you can try to find the Dahon with the new cables. Instead of compression members at the top, you have tension cables at the bottom. Whether this cable thingy works, only time will tell.

Or another alternative is to buy a cheap Dahon clone from china (via alibaba express?) Then you can replace bike every three years. Also hole in wallet.
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Old 12-20-17, 08:23 PM
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I had a Dahon OEM bike with a little top tube like the Visc. It was a Yeah brand. I did a loaded tour with it, and commuted with it for quite a while, like a year or something, before selling it to a friend who also commuted with it before selling it again, still in great condition. That little top tube performed great. In all that time and work, the main hinge remained faultless.

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Old 12-22-17, 07:45 AM
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There is a similar one called Fnhon Monsoon YA1818. It also looks like the Dahon Presto. Has 18" 355 wheels. 9kg. Common configuration is 11-32T 9 speed cassette with double 53/39T chainring. Only available from Taobao. But needs a freight forwarder.



There are a series of detail photos here:
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=542287629178

Available also from here:
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=42865227153

http://fnhon.com/index.php/default/content/8.html




After further searching, the Visc doesn't seem to be available anywhere around here.

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Old 12-22-17, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
I bought my Speed TR in Taiwan, and after 10 months the hinge no longer closed flat and would rock back and forth. The 2 sides are convex, curving away from each other. (Snip)

I recorded the movement in a video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=choJcvBszMQ

I was looking at this video ... you can see the wear pattern on the Brompton hinge. It seems that the contact is only at the hinge pin and at two corners opposite the hinge pin. So by design, it minimizes the problem of see sawing/convexing (minimal contact area)... but then it does not have the "surround lip" that is to strengthen for torsion.
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Old 12-22-17, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
There is a similar one called Fnhon Monsoon YA1818. It also looks like the Dahon Presto. Has 18" 355 wheels. 9kg. Common configuration is 11-32T 9 speed cassette with double 53/39T chainring. Only available from Taobao. But needs a freight forwarder.



There are a series of detail photos here:
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=542287629178

Available also from here:
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=42865227153

Monsoon18 - 18 - fnhon??




After further searching, the Visc doesn't seem to be available anywhere around here.
Wow. This bike is beautiful . The problem is I don't understand chinese. Also if there is a feedback system to find out which dealers are reputable like Ebay. Or maybe they do sell this bike on Ebay. On thing for sure, there are a lot of chinese sellers on Ebay selling small items like knock off bells, mirrors etc., with 98% feedback rating.
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Old 12-23-17, 05:53 AM
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I assume that the hinge surfaces are similar between the Fnhon and the Visc.



The 9kg that they quoted is probably partly due to the lighter rims, tires, and a few minor components maybe 1kg. Visc is quoted as 11.3kg, but dahon usually under reports. Wonder how much of the difference between the 2 is due to the frame.

The problem with ordering from China is not knowing if the components have gone through quality control, and you can't resolve problems with the seller after you buy it. It's possible to order only the frame, but getting parts like 18" wheelsets is difficult, and would be expensive to build.

Shipping and import fees are expensive, so buying a Visc locally would actually be the same cost. Just have to find a shop that can get it.
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Old 12-23-17, 01:30 PM
  #33  
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This is a very interesting thread. There is no "one" answer.
Split Frame: The advantage is twofold. One is that it is much quicker and cleaner to pack and reassemble than removing the rear wheel and doing all the extra care of trying to fit in the available space. Two is the rear dropout/triangle is stronger, in my opinion, when the frame travels with the wheel in tact.

Removing wheels: does work and I can pack most Dahon's into a suitcase, including a trailer chasis. In terms of "turnkey" approaches on a 20" bike this works. On the Dahon's I find you don't have to remove the fork from the headset but on some other brands you may have to do so. It depends upon the geometry of the frame geometry folded and the available rectangle of the suitcase you are trying to fit into. It is for this reason that splitting the frame allows you to fit a suitcase with the rear wheel installed, while simply folding the frame will not allow it. The top of the headset sticks up to far. Removing the rear wheel SHOULD fix this, but it also depends upon the geometry of the case you have.

One of my complaints of this is i feel the wheel being in place does tend to protect other compoents more, such as derailleur hanger, dropout span, etc.

The important thing is being able to take your bike on a trip and being able to trust it.

Hinge: You are correct, you want to be cautious, in my experience, mostly with the Hinge Latch when you are packing it. This tends to be a point of "ramming" so it should be padded and this is the case with any folded bike during shipping as well.

The new Visc SL is a nice bike with a 9 speed Gear Set, and 16" (305) wheels. It can fit into suitcases without removing the rear wheel and without breaking the hinge. I find sometimes I need to remove the front wheel. That depends upon the suitcase. Removing the wheel generally allows the fork to be packed "in line" rather than "cross wise" so it does give some packing advantages always to remove the front wheel. I tend to plan on that and use a bridge tube with the skewer to brace the fork against damage while in transit.

The different variables you show are very interesting. I look forward to studying them more. I will find some of my better Suitcase packing images but I have the ability to get a full package 20" bike in a suitcase and have the suitcase become a trailer (Origami basis!). There are different ways to do it, but the important thing is being able to do it. Makes the world quite accessible!
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Old 12-23-17, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y7NfpC7xnLM

I was looking at this video ... you can see the wear pattern on the Brompton hinge. It seems that the contact is only at the hinge pin and at two corners opposite the hinge pin. So by design, it minimizes the problem of see sawing/convexing (minimal contact area)... but then it does not have the "surround lip" that is to strengthen for torsion.
I think it resists torsional forces both at the hinge and at the clamp which too keeps the parts from rotating.
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Old 12-23-17, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I think it resists torsional forces both at the hinge and at the clamp which too keeps the parts from rotating.
About the torsion bit, come to think of it, I dont think there is much torsion transmitted to the main hinge during riding. Major force is in plane bending probably.

Or maybe you are pootling along, then the itty bitty front wheel falls and wedges itself into the grating slit of a drain (who the hell aligns grating slit in line with the road!!! ). Before you have the chance to say "what the f...", you slowly tumble to the side while still stuck to your Brooks flyer causing the bike to twist like a pretzel. Hence torsion.

farm4.static.flickr.com/3073/3000698016_a5dd9d021d.jpg

Or perhaps the torsion bit comes when in folded position, bike is thrown by baggage handler down the tarmac. Impact torsion. Oh boy!

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Old 12-23-17, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
About the torsion bit, come to think of it, I dont think there is much torsion transmitted to the main hinge during riding. Major force is in plane bending probably.
I think there is torsion. It is probably maximum when you are standing on one pedal mainly as in standing going up hill or less when just taking off from a stop. The force of the load applied at pedal produces torsion.
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Old 12-23-17, 10:17 PM
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I will say, I have been using the same Visc D18 for 2 years now. I can pack it in my suitcase. Now my suitcase can be used as a trailer but it does not have to be used that way.

I have had a Visc SL now for about 9 months.

Between the two bikes I have been able to ride in about 5 other cities taking a bike with me. Always checked the suitcase as normal (not over sized) baggage. The only damage I had was a bent chainwheel which I ended up replacing.

I think the evaluation of the Visc hinge with the compression member is very good. I find it to be very stable. I do pack both ends of the compression ring into padded "juice cans' actually just for extra protection and they have traveled fine.

Regarding extra Hinge Bracing I do have methods I have considered for that as well. It would be interesting to do a Gravel Trip with the big wheel/big tire Visc.

I wonder if you couldn't tighten that loose hinge, perhaps just with some Epoxy and Saran Wrap. Generally you can tighten the hinge clamp. My believe is that it is the clamp which is the weakest link in the chain. If your frame is loose, definitely you want to tighten it up. (Too tight though you might break a Hinge Clamp bolt).

I do believe the Visc has been an overlooked frame. It does have advantages in both the 20" and the 16" frame size. A small piece too, is the low step through is really nice when you have a lot of bags on the back. When packing to a suitcase it tends to pack a bit smaller than the MU frame as well. I am sure that is happen chance but valuable anyway when you want to travel with your bike.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:57 PM
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Dahon actually had a discontinued model like the Fnhon FA1818, but in 20" and Chromoly, instead of 18"and aluminum. Dahon called it Impulse. Last model year seems to be 2007/2008. There was even a TR version with racks and a Dual Drive.


I found a guy in a small auto repair shop who welded my Speed TR frame, permanently, so it will no longer fold. I'll put it back together tomorrow and see if it works, then I can still get around while I look around for a new bike when businesses start opening up after the holidays. I removed the paint around the edges of the hinge with a Dremel-like tool so he didn't have to do anything else but to weld for a few minutes. I just forgot to wait longer for the weld to cool down, and burned my hand. Hurt for a couple hours!

There are a lot of Dahon Vigor available near here, and it appears to be the same frame as a Vector, which shares the same hinge as the Mu, but the Vigor / Vector has a larger cross section in the main beam. The hinge has a long vertical clamp on the right side, so it would seem to be more stable than the very thin lever on the Chromoly Speed (same flimsy lever pictured on the Impulse above). Anyone have experience comparing the Vector / Mu hinge to the Visc with the top tube?

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Old 12-27-17, 10:42 PM
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Ouch on burning your hand after the weld TomTomTom... That must have hurt.

The hinge in the Mu/Vigor/Vector is good. So is the one in the Visc D18, current Mariner and Vitesse models. One advantage to the Mu one is that when open the latch is not crossing it so the latch is perhaps less exposed to damage.

From a purely technical view the Mu version can be spoiled a little bit by misuse. The Latch needs to line up vertically yet it can spin and damage slightly the latch "catch" aspects of the frame that the latch engages. There is the ability to tighten the joint if needed.

On the Visc, from my view, the weakest part of the system is the connection bolt on the Latch pull. If there were to be a failure in this element it is an easy replacement. The bolt/screw can be adjusted to tigthen the bolt. Concievably it could be over tigthened to make the screw fail. I do not know if Torque settings are specified for this. Seems unlikely as the tension is only applied when the latch is closed.

The other aspect of the Visc hinge is that the current ones use 8mm Hinge pins. Older versions of the Visc in the P18 series actually had the Mu Hinge in them. Current versions of the Mariner and Vitesse (USA Models) also use this hinge and latch system and have 8mm Hinge Pins. I have found that older versions of the Vitesse used 7mm Hinge Pins. In my "split" system for putting bike halves into suitcases I found this 7mm complicated things. In the USA anyway, QR pins are only available in 6mm and 8mm diameters. I was able to adapt a 6mm pin using a 6mm/7mm bushing set. I did find however that smaller hinge pins are weaker pins and I did bend one accidentally
(T-handle and slow leveraged hinging).. It was not catastrophic, just made the Hinge not function as desired. My takeaway though was that 8mm hinge Pins are the size I want to have in my take a part systems and generally in the bikes. 7mm pins are nearly as strong as 8mm, but once down to 6mm the strength change can become significant.

This same issue leads me to think that Rack Bolts should move to 6mm from 5mm. We see the same process in Axle bolts moving, in some bikes, mountain and fat bikes specifically, from 10mm to 12mm.

I do have ways to reinforce a hinge, essentially locking it down, no matter what the hinge. I have not brought myself to making it but if I was setting off for Kazakhstan on a tour from Munich I might well do so.

All good. Thinking your welded Speed Pro will serve you well. When you get a new bike I'm betting it will serve you very well. Hang onto that Dual Drive. I just got a Dahon Anniversary Replica (30 speed) with the same (though mine is for sale rather than for me). Cool stuff.
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Old 12-29-17, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by L Arnold View Post
The hinge in the Mu/Vigor/Vector is good. <snip>

From a purely technical view the Mu version can be spoiled a little bit by misuse. The Latch needs to line up vertically yet it can spin and damage slightly the latch "catch" aspects of the frame that the latch engages. There is the ability to tighten the joint if needed.
Interesting to read this. Could you elaborate a bit? Do marred "catch aspects" of the frame affect the frame's integrity/strength?
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Old 12-29-17, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
Interesting to read this. Could you elaborate a bit? Do marred "catch aspects" of the frame affect the frame's integrity/strength?
I don't believe so. You just need to line uo the katch closure so that you can close the latch on the Mu Latch. If you dont you may press or potentially flake a small part of the horn. Not a structural thing but aesthetic perhaps. More akin to pulling your fingers on chalk board. Just don't.

Those are fantastic latches and, U am sure, not easy or cheap to build.
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Old 12-29-17, 06:45 PM
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The Chinese Dahon website has some interesting models:

Dove SRA683
Dahon link
On Amazon: https://www.amazon.cn/dp/B0756VS6L8


Visc D10 YRA605, similar to Visc SL
Dahon link


Visc D6 YRA661
Dahon link


Visc 8 AAA083 with the Mu hinge
http://www.dahon.com.cn/pro_show.php?id=151
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Old 12-30-17, 02:41 PM
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As a Chartered Engineer with 35 years behind me, I chose the Mezzo D9 as my folder since it does not have a hinge in the middle of the main strut /beam / tube.

It is my first folder but after reading the reviews I was convinced it would be good and I am not disappointed . My engineering work colleagues are also impressed with it.

Now ORI Bikes are the supplier of these ... http://www.oribikes.com/product_detail.php?cID=1&Key=18
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Old 12-30-17, 03:56 PM
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The problem with the Ori Bikes is that it's difficult to find a dealer outside of Taiwan.

One consideration about traveling with a folding bike is the durability of the components when folded. For example, I've traveled a few times on "speed" boats and small motor boats to get between islands, with the bike folded and loaded into the back, surrounded by luggage from other passengers. They're all tossed around by the waves, bumping into each other. Also, had the bike stowed in the cargo hold under buses and stuff is sliding around.

One issue I have with the Bike Fridays and the Ori Bikes is that the ends of the stays or forks are exposed when folded, which could be easily damaged by shifting luggage.
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Old 01-01-18, 03:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
One issue I have with the Bike Fridays and the Ori Bikes is that the ends of the stays or forks are exposed when folded, which could be easily damaged by shifting luggage.
Good point so I would take great care if shipping this unattended. It is possible to put a dummy axle into the forks to strengthen them and help stop one being bent.
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Old 01-01-18, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by dahoneezz View Post
To avoid hinge problems, it is best to buy folding bikes with no hinge in the main frame. (Birdy, Tyrell IVE, Pacific Reach, Bike Friday).
Airnimal, Bernds, Big Fish, Ori...

Yep, avoiding main frame hinges would avoid main frame hinge issues. Of course the BikeFriday tikit suffered through two recalls for structural failures that injured riders, but neither involved the hinge-less main frame!
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Old 01-01-18, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
I think a better Dahon hinge would be, a compression top tube like on the Visc, combined with a vertical fold like on the Qix for symmetric loading on the pin, and a tension cable below. It would be stronger, but ugly.
What if the compression and tension members were widely separated, deepening the section and triangulating the load? Like:

dahon clinch.png
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Old 01-06-18, 09:44 PM
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I saw the old Dahon Helios in another thread which seems to have been discontinued from around 2007. But brought back in Japan this year with slightly different hinge. It looks very similar to the FnHon YA1818 in Alu, or the old Dahon Impulse in Chromoly, or Presto in Alu.
Dahon Helios worth buying?
?? : ??????? DAHON Helios 22 Shimano 105????Blog? - livedoor Blog?????

In all 3 of these designs, the floating top compression tube is much higher than the Visc, but has a higher risk of getting damaged or misaligned. I wonder why Dahon went away from this type of frame.



Dahon Japan also has the Curve D7 cassette (not gear hub). I don't see this in the EU or Americas sites.

?? : 2018 DAHON Curve D7 ???Blog? - livedoor Blog?????


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Old 01-08-18, 02:58 PM
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Bikes: Specialized Touring Expedition '1984, Volagi Liscio, Dahon Visc D18, Dahon Visc SL, Schwinn Moab

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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
I saw the old Dahon Helios in another thread which seems to have been discontinued from around 2007. But brought back in Japan this year with slightly different hinge. It looks very similar to the FnHon YA1818 in Alu, or the old Dahon Impulse in Chromoly, or Presto in Alu.

In all 3 of these designs, the floating top compression tube is much higher than the Visc, but has a higher risk of getting damaged or misaligned. I wonder why Dahon went away from this type of frame.

Dahon Japan also has the Curve D7 cassette (not gear hub). I don't see this in the EU or Americas sites.

Different markets have different sets of bikes in their selection sets. Japan distributors often go "upscale" while other distributors sometimes go "downscale". Getting special bikes like the Helios or the Visc SL for that matter requires certain MOQ requirements. I believe the Helios was sold in the US in the past and I believe it has been on sale either continuously or at least for a several years recently in Japan.

The Curve D7 is a variation on the Curve model that has sold in the US as the Curve D3(I3) in the past. In function it is quite similar to the Mu Frame but is generally sold on a 16"/305 wheel set, while the Mu is 20" (406 and 451) wheel sets. I have seen 20" Curves as well.

One Japan distributor also sells a Vitesse D8 Model which is really cool in that it is less than 10 kg. The Vitesse and Mariner are functionally the same frame. Mu LT10 / LT11 have weights down to around 20 lb even, but do so using carbon in various components.
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Old 02-20-18, 09:41 PM
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tomtomtom123
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Dahon in EU seems to have stopped importing models with double chainrings. They've since removed all of the older models from their website. I was just about to order the Visc D18 for 700 but the last one sold out last week in all of the bordering countries. I found 2 units remaining of the 2014-2016 Vector P20 in different online shops for 1000 , and was thinking about traveling a couple hours to one of the shops to look at it. I wanted to bring components to swap out while I'm there though, if I decide to buy it and try to get a discount for leaving some of the parts there.

Does anyone know if the Vector P20 has a 130mm or 135mm rear dropout?
I want to avoid ordering the wrong size crankset.

Not sure what the 300 difference is between the Vector and Visc. Possibly a newer frame design? The 10 speed components would only cost about 50 more than the 9 speed components. The Vigor D9 appears to have almost exactly the same frame as the Vector and it goes for 700 . Changing this to 20 speed might be an extra 150.
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