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Need buying advice: Bare Mu vs. kitted-out Vigor

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Need buying advice: Bare Mu vs. kitted-out Vigor

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Old 05-23-18, 02:41 PM
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sjanzeir
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Need buying advice: Bare Mu vs. kitted-out Vigor

Hello everyone,

So, my local sporting goods shop is throwing a sale.

There's this Mu ("Mu" is all there is around the frame's finish; no "D8" or "P8" that I could see anywhere) that I've been eying for more than a year now. It's an eight-speed, with a SRAM X7 derailleur and matching twist shifter, which is identical to my Speed D8's mechs. The tires are Schwalbe Marathon Racer. Apart from the standard seatpost pump, it's a bare-bones bike, with no accessories whatsoever.

Then there's this Vigor D9, kitted out with not one, but two racks, front and rear, a pair of SKS fenders, and adjustable-reach handlebars with bullhorns. It's a nine-speed, with a SRAM X5 derailleur and a matching trigger shifter. Tires are Schwalbe Active Citizen. It also comes standard with a seatpost pump.

Even though the Mu is the older (they've had it around the shop since at least April 2017,) the fact that it's already equipped with a twist shifter is what's swaying me heavily towards it. I know for a fact that I'll hate the Vigor's trigger shifter, because I already abhor the ones that came standard on my Trek 7.6 FX - I hate those shifters so much that I've got the 7.6 up for sale. I'd spend the money on something else rather than mod the 7.6 with trigger shifters.

Having taken more than a cursory look at both bikes, it subjectively appears to me that the Mu is the higher-quality, better-built, sportier bike. The Vigor, while far from being the kind as bargain-basement as, say, a Vybe, doesn't appear to be quite at the same level in build quality and design.

With that being said, the seat tube angle of the Vigor is slightly more upright than the Mu (74 vs. the Mu's 73; according to an app on my phone,) which may or may not suggest that the Vigor might handle a little more aggressively than the Mu. Other than a couple of laps around the shop floor, there's little chance of me being able to test-ride either bike, which isn't nearly enough for me to tell how each one handles.

With the sale, the older, bare-bones Mu is the equivalent of US$700, while the later-model, kitted-out Vigor is about US$615.

What do you think?




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Old 05-23-18, 03:07 PM
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Vigor is a little over a pound heavier than the Mu, if that matters to you (not counting racks etc)
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Old 05-23-18, 04:10 PM
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I prefer the look of the Vigor. The angular edges of the tubes project a musculineness. Vigor suggest power and energy.

And the missing chainstay on the Mu realy bugs me.

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Old 05-23-18, 04:14 PM
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Get the Mu and put racks and fenders on it if you really want them. I always get the frame and drivetrain I want, then add accessories as I need them.
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Old 05-23-18, 05:02 PM
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Although the Vigor obviously seems to be better value in this particular case, my biggest concern about the Vigor is the trigger shifter. I just hate those. I hated them on my old 7.3 FX and I hate them on my 7.6, and I'm sure I am going to hate the one on this Vigor. I'm a twist shift guy through and through.

The Mu's missing chainstays - as opposed to the Vigor's full triangle - did catch my attention, but I can't say I'm too worried about that. My old Vybe (now sold) didn't have chainstays either, and yet it held up admirably to rough use in the 18 months or so that I've owned it.

The other priority is handling - specifically, which of the two handles as well as my Speed D8, the handling of which I would describe as "neutral," for the lack of a better term. If the angles of the seatpost and the handlepost are anything to go by, the Vigor's apparently slightly more aggressive geometry might suggest the kind of handling I've tried to describe as best I could.

As for weight, I can handle a pound's difference - I sure need to lose more than the nine pounds or so that I managed to lose over the past few weeks. With that being said, anything that's lighter than the Speed D8 is welcome.

P. S. In my OP, I mistakenly wrote that my 7.6 had twist shifters whereas I meant it has trigger shifters. I've corrected the error now.

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Old 05-23-18, 05:22 PM
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VIGOR!!! It's got EVERYTHING straight outta tha BOX!!! I LUV IT!!!
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Old 05-23-18, 05:35 PM
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Am I correct in remembering that folks have turned the Mu into a belt drive? Is that an option with the Vigor? And...is it something you might eventually wish to do?
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Old 05-23-18, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Am I correct in remembering that folks have turned the Mu into a belt drive? Is that an option with the Vigor? And...is it something you might eventually wish to do?
Belt drive is possible on the Mu, not Vigor. That extra bit of frame prevents it (without frame modification,...).
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Old 05-23-18, 05:46 PM
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My Mu UNO came with a belt. You wouldn't want to climb any monster hills on it, but for popping out of the car or bus and going for a trek around town one gear, a coaster brake (front caliper) and a clean quiet belt drive is tops. Twister or trigger? Neither!
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Old 05-23-18, 05:50 PM
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Funny - I was just thinking about this. I must say that it's highly unlikely that I would do a belt drive conversion - just don't see the point. The cost of having the necessary parts shipped over to Saudi Arabia would far outweigh any possible advantage, the novelty factor notwithstanding. Admittedly, though, it is tempting to have that kind of choice!

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Old 05-23-18, 08:48 PM
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I have a 2006 Mu XL, which became my designated "winter" bike when I got a Tern Verge S11i about 5 years ago. Before that it was my "all-year-'round" bike. It has over 12,000 miles on it.
The missing chain stays have never been an issue. Ironically, I ditched the twist-shift early in my ownership of this bike because it was hard to shift with heavy gloves on; I've been much happier with the trigger shifter. YMMV, of course!
Attached is an image of my Mu defrosting at work. :-)
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Old 05-24-18, 07:46 AM
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Of course its up to you and your needs and wants. If I had only ONE bike it would be the Vigor. Its an "all arounder".The first bike I need must be an all weather commuter, this bike is ready to go as is.

The components and accessories quite satisfactory for my needs. I do like the grips and trigger shifter.

While I appreciate the lightweight high quality and simplicity of the MU, to me its the second bike I would own because it would be primarily a "fair weather" bike, with a limited range due to lack of racks. I do not like twist shifters at all.

The VIGOR looks like a great value at that price. You can always take off and store the rather nice racks and put a twist shifter to your liking.
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Old 05-24-18, 11:40 AM
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Hehe, buy both. Turn the Mu into a belt drive. Keep the Vigor as specced. Best of both.
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Old 05-29-18, 08:44 PM
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Thanks to everyone for the input. I ended up picking the Mu.

A guy I was friendly with at another branch had moved over to this one. I asked him if I could test ride the bikes around the floor, which had plenty of open spaces among the racks, shelves, and treadmills. He said to knock myself out.

I can't be sure if it's due to the extra weight of the racks, but the Vigor felt awkward and deliberate in comparison to the nimble, crisp Mu. The Vigor was the trusty old pickup truck to the Mu's German sedan. The Vigor's feel was closer to that of the old Vybe D7, albeit with far more solid build quality and fewer compromises in choice of components.

Apart from the ridiculously dubbed "Dalloy" frame, the Mu felt very much like my steel Speed D8 - in fact, I expected the Mu's aluminum frame to feel more brittle than the Speed's chromoly frame, but the ride quality turned out to be just as plush and compliant.

The geometries of the Mu and the Speed are more or less identical - dare I say, basically two renderings of the same basic design. I made some measurements using a physical tape measure, a straight edge level, and an Android protractor app.) The angles, distances, and lengths of the two bikes were pretty much on par or within fractions of a unit from each other, which might explain why the two handle so similarly.

The Mu and the Speed have identical drivetrains: the 53T chainrings with 175mm cranks are the same; cartridge bottom brackets, and identical Sunrace eight-speed 32-11 cassettes, Sram X7 medium-cage rear derailleurs, and Sram 3.0 Comp twist shifters. What little difference in gear inches is down to the tires: The Mu's 40-406/20x1.5 Marathon Racers vs. the Speed's 42-406/20x1.6 Marathon Supremes.

All in all, I'm just as enamored with the Mu now as I always have been with the Speed. Is there any Vigor - so to speak - in my future? That remains to be seen, but if I could only have the Speed or the Mu, I'd be wanting for little else.


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Old 05-29-18, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Am I correct in remembering that folks have turned the Mu into a belt drive? Is that an option with the Vigor? And...is it something you might eventually wish to do?
I have no idea why someone would take off an excellent, adjustable, wide range derailleur/chain drivetrain and replace it with a virtually impossible to get parts for without waiting for weeks to months belt drive with a heavier narrower range internal hub. ----Grin-----
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Old 05-29-18, 11:01 PM
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Old 05-29-18, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
I have no idea why someone would take off an excellent, adjustable, wide range derailleur/chain drivetrain and replace it with a virtually impossible to get parts for without waiting for weeks to months belt drive with a heavier narrower range internal hub. ----Grin-----
Actually I don't know why, seriously. Or rather, once I found out how clean and easy dry wax lube is. There is ZERO dirt, grease, sludge, from my chain. The versatility of a chain drive > belt, cost of a chain drive > belt. But - if you are packing it to travel, not having a rear der is kinda nice.
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Old 05-30-18, 09:58 PM
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Having owned several Speeds and currently a Mu Uno Belt, I have to agree with the OP that they feel like basically the same bike. Aside from the theoretical benefit of being rust-free (might help on a boat, otherwise nobody is suffering from rusted out Speed frames), the only real advantage Mu has over Speed is being swoopy looking.
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Old 05-31-18, 07:43 PM
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Give me an internal geared hub and I'm happy,...preferably 8 speed,...
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Old 06-12-18, 06:37 AM
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hello guys i was about to show you my 1 year old upgraded Dahon Vigor D9 but too bad I need 10 post before I'm able to do that but anyway here's my bike
https : // i.imgur. com/cWXcdSy. jpg

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Old 06-12-18, 08:48 AM
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Hey quick question for people who own both Speed and Mu. Does the reach dimension feel different?
The Dahon spec shows one to be significantly much more reach.
I was really worried I would have to get one of those doohickey to adjust the reach, because I can't lean forward too much.




Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
Having owned several Speeds and currently a Mu Uno Belt, I have to agree with the OP that they feel like basically the same bike. Aside from the theoretical benefit of being rust-free (might help on a boat, otherwise nobody is suffering from rusted out Speed frames), the only real advantage Mu has over Speed is being swoopy looking.
Originally Posted by sjanzeir View Post

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Old 06-12-18, 10:26 AM
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Both bikes feel about the same to me - they basically have the same, handling-oriented geometry.

With that being said, the original Dahon seatposts on both bikes wouldn't allow me to set the saddles far enough forward for my short-ish arms. Tern's Biologic suspension seatposts allowed me to set the saddles far enough forward for the comfort of both my arms and my derriere, as well as place me a little closer to the middle of the wheelbase, further improving handling. If you know cars, you how much better a car that handles neutrally is compared to one that tends to understeer.



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