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My 1986 Dahon

Old 06-11-19, 11:59 PM
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jackbombay
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My 1986 Dahon

Hello!

I've had this bike for about 12 years or so, I've ridden it over much of the US, and will soon be working in NYC for a bit and will have this bike with me for transportation!

I did just disassemble clean and oil the 3 speed hub, pulled the cranks and removed the BB and cleaned all the dry old grease out and repacked with clean fresh grease.

The bike is riding pretty nice right now!

One piece that would be nice to replace is the plastic grommet that is at the top of the stem that the folding diagonal brace attaches to, its is a bit loose and over rough surfaces it certainly rattles a fair bit, does dahon sell these? heh....

At any rate here is a pic of my bike, I do have new tires coming for it which I'll instal before I leave for the big city...

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Old 06-12-19, 07:13 AM
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I’d wait until you come to NYC before investing any money in this. The Citibike bike share program has very good coverage and you may find yourself using your dahon much less than you thought. Member ship is only ~$180 a year or so, so about the cost of a tune up or some repairs. Also the bikes are heavy tanks so they are great for challenging excercise!

Also, are those 16” wheels? There are potholes here that will literally eat that bike. I do see lots of people on small wheeled bikes like bromptons but in my opinion 20” is the smallest you should go.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:11 AM
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I like to build memories with my bikes, I been so many places with this bike, it makes it special to me, it gives the bike soul, that I have so many memories with it. This is my Dahon, there aren't many like it, but this one is mine :-)

I've biked around NYC a fair bit a few years back, 1000 miles in a couple of months, so I know what I'm getting into, plus I'm an old BMX rat so I can bunny hop this bike as needed to deal with potholes.

They are 16" wheels, with 165mm cranks to boot, cue the circus music!

This bike does weigh in at ~27 pounds so it's a fair bit of exercise too!
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Old 06-12-19, 08:23 AM
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Fair enough, with regards to parts, many on this forum recommend calling ThorUSA (online dealer based in California). If you wait until you get to NYC, there are a lot of bike shops that service Dahons, although Franks bikes shop might be the best since there were probably the only one in business in 1986. The place is a bit of a mess and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they had a bike similiar to yours buried somewhere. Spokesmen cycles has several locations and also services Dahons. I use them as I live near one and found the are usually pretty good, with reasonable prices for the nieborhood.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:38 AM
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You Sir, have a classic! +1 to bike memories. Good luck with the move to NYC. Let us know how you and the Dahon are doing.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 2bridges1bike View Post
Franks bikes shop might be the best since there were probably the only one in business in 1986. The place is a bit of a mess and it honestly wouldn’t surprise me if they had a bike similiar to yours buried somewhere.
Sounds like my kind of bike shop!

Originally Posted by 2bridges1bike View Post
Spokesmen cycles has several locations and also services Dahons. I use them as I live near one and found the are usually pretty good, with reasonable prices for the nieborhood.
Awesome, I'll call when I get out there.

Thanks for the info:-)

Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
You Sir, have a classic! +1 to bike memories. Good luck with the move to NYC. Let us know how you and the Dahon are doing.
I'll just be out there working, not moving there, but I plan on putting down some decent rides on the Dahon while I am out there, I'll post some pics up when I do!
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Old 06-12-19, 01:15 PM
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IIRC Dahon said they no longer have spares for these 33 y.o. bikes, but you could always check with He-who-must-not-be-named-on-this-forum (ThorUSA).

That said there's a huge worldwide following for these bikes - check the Dahon owner's Facebook page (that's 'Dahon' - the official company Facebook page is 'Dahon Folding Bikes'). Owners are always showing off restored or hot-rodded Classics. Someone might have a stash of parts, or could be 3D printing replacements.

Top recommended mod: aluminum rims and Marathon tires.


Last edited by tcs; 06-12-19 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-12-19, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
IIRC Dahon said they no longer have spares for these 33 y.o. bikes, but you could always check with He-who-must-not-be-named-on-this-forum (ThorUSA).
Cool, it's not too bad right now, but it would be nice to address the issue.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
That said there's a huge worldwide following for these bikes - check the Dahon owner's Facebook page (that's 'Dahon' - the official company Facebook page is 'Dahon Folding Bikes'). Owners are always showing off restored or hot-rodded Classics. Someone might have a stash of parts, or could be 3D printing replacements.
Cool, will do.

I have made some cool functional mods to mine that I'll post up when I get a bit more time.

Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Top recommended mod: aluminum rims and Marathon tires.
I have some high pressure tires on there and I did score an aluminum front rim for cheap from a bike shop about 8 years ago, nice to lose a bit of weight and get much better braking, especially in the wet.

Do you guys buy 16" rims and the appropriate shorter spokes and just relace the existing 28 hole hub? I've built plenty of wheels over the years so its not an issue, but it seems like it would get a bit spendy, does anyone sell a kit for this? A rim with the appropriate spokes?

Originally Posted by tcs View Post


Is that your ride?!?!

Nice one either way!


I got mine without the rear fender unfortunately, but I can add some plastic to the rack to keep water off me, but I suppose I should search Ebay to see whats out there too.
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Old 06-12-19, 04:23 PM
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It looks like the marathons are rated to 70 PSI, but as so much of the riders weight is right over the rear axle on these bikes I like to run the rear pretty hard so the bike rolls decently, I've found that 85-90 PSI seems to still be comfy, but I can cover ground decently.

The tires I have coming are rated to 100 PSI, the KENDA KWEST 16X1.5 K193-2 black bike 100 PSI, here is a link, https://www.ebay.com/itm/372586676997
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Old 06-12-19, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Do you guys buy 16" rims and the appropriate shorter spokes and just relace the existing 28 hole hub? I've built plenty of wheels over the years so its not an issue, but it seems like it would get a bit spendy, does anyone sell a kit for this? A rim with the appropriate spokes?
I bought some inexpensive single wall aluminum rims with the same number of spoke holes, laid them on top of the old factory wheel and just 'moved up' the old spokes & nipples from one rim to the other. A little touch of true and I was good to go.

Is that your ride?
It was. I gave it to my cycling nephew when I got a new Curl.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I bought some inexpensive single wall aluminum rims with the same number of spoke holes, laid them on top of the old factory wheel and just 'moved up' the old spokes & nipples from one rim to the other. A little touch of true and I was good to go.
Huh, I haven't seen ERD specs on many of the 16" rims so I figured I would have to buy one, measure it, then buy the appropriate spokes, but single wall rims take a lot of the variability of ERD out of the equation. I'll have to give it a shot!
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Old 06-14-19, 01:15 AM
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Ok, spent a while on my folding bike, first off the seat tube angle is super bad, measures at 70* AND the BB is on the front side of the seat tube so the "actual" is even worse, so I moved the seat WAY forward, now the "actual" seat tube angle is 73*, sweet.

I also replaced the rear brake cable and housing, the shift cable and housing, and put a new shifter on, well, its old, but in very good condition, and I put some new rubber on, rated to 100 PSI, the thing does seem to roll somewhat better with 95 PSI in the rear, but I don't expect too much out of the 16" wheels in that regard. The front brake was actually kinda FUBAR'd but I had parts I robbed from another caliper brake in a parts box to get it tip top, put some kool-stop pads in it too, much better braking now, also new pads in the rear.


I also pulled the 165mm steel cranks off and replaced them with 175mm MTB cranks, the bad seat angle plus the short cranks was a really bad combo, I'm stoked to get both of those sorted! But I needed a longer BB spindle to make that work, and I had several to choose from, I have great chain line now, and I lost nearly a pound off the bike with the crank swap, BUT I will have to pull the drive side pedal when I fold the bike now as the original crank did fold to deal with the pedal, but that crank was also bent slightly so going to the MTB cranks got rid of that slight bend as well :-) I might pick up some folding pedals at some point.

I did go back to a 46 tooth ring and I think that will work well all in all, it's also in notably better shape than the 48 I had on there for yesterday's ride...



I'll get some better pics soon.
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Old 06-14-19, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
The front brake was actually kinda FUBAR'd...
I put a Tektro R559 front brake on mine.

...I will have to pull the drive side pedal when I fold the bike now...
I put some MKS EZY pedals on mine.
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Old 06-14-19, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I put a Tektro R559 front brake on mine.



I put some MKS EZY pedals on mine.
Ohhhh yea, thanks for the tips, those pedals in particular look great!
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Old 06-14-19, 10:04 AM
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Upgrades worthwhile? These little guys are heavy, but 30+ years on still one of the smallest folds available.

Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Ohhhh yea, thanks for the tips, those pedals in particular look great!
MKs offers many styles. The 'EZY' and 'EZY Superior' ranges are not cross compatible.

Folding, I'd take the RH pedal off and secure it under the rack's springbar.

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Old 06-14-19, 12:20 PM
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Make your own, use shoe goo

Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Hello!
One piece that would be nice to replace is the plastic grommet that is at the top of the stem that the folding diagonal brace attaches to, its is a bit loose and over rough surfaces it certainly rattles a fair bit, does dahon sell these? heh....
Make your own, use shoe goo
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Old 06-14-19, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by zebede View Post
Make your own, use shoe goo
Hmmm, I have much gnarlier stuff along the lines of shoe goo, 3m 5200 fast cure permanent marine adhesive, I'll give it a whirl, I figure if I wrap the peg with cling wrap then it will still disengage once the 5200 has cured.
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Old 06-14-19, 11:52 PM
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I made a box from 1/4" plywood to hold my backpack on the rack so I can stay a little cooler while riding around NYC.







Just one screw to hold it to the rack with a piece of plywood glued and nailed to the bottom of the box to keep it from moving. I did weld a fender washer to the back of the rack for this to work, works great, I'm looking forward to a non sweaty back while biking to and from work!

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Old 06-15-19, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jackbombay View Post
Hmmm, I have much gnarlier stuff along the lines of shoe goo, 3m 5200 fast cure permanent marine adhesive, I'll give it a whirl, I figure if I wrap the peg with cling wrap then it will still disengage once the 5200 has cured.
An aquitance in Philly has 50+ of the stainless steel dahons. I have sent him parts several times. I have had and restored a number of the non-stainless.

I asked him about this one time and it his procedure is to over apply shoe goo than drill it out.

I did it once and it worked well. Shoe goo when dry is tough stiff rubbery. I think those are the properties you want.
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Old 06-15-19, 06:53 AM
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Ahh, that should work great, thanks for the info!
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Old 06-16-19, 10:22 AM
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I've seen so many for sale near me for cheap. But I'd agree they are heavy
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Old 06-16-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by VeloG View Post
I've seen so many for sale near me for cheap.
Some of them look like they went on that journey with Audie Murphy, but occasionally one will turn up that probably hasn't been ridden 20 mi/30 km.

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Old 06-16-19, 06:54 PM
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Oh man, my bike commute for the next few weeks is going to be great, almost all of it is on the "south county trailway, a paved rails to trails pathway, no cars, totally shaded by trees, and this path goes very far north too, lots of pedalling to mess around with!
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Old 06-16-19, 07:53 PM
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Pics of the pathway,



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