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My first folder!

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My first folder!

Old 01-03-20, 06:41 AM
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EvergreenShadow
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My first folder!

So my father gave away my cheapie mountain bike (roadmaster mt fury) while I was away. I loved that bike and had it for many years but oh well. It reminded me that I had actually been wanting a folding bike that I can take with me next time anyhow. Two months digging, cringing at the prices (I reaaally want a bike friday) and I thought I'd found a winner with the Zizzo Urbano. Unfortunately at $380+$46 rack+$36 fenders it was just way out of budget. I wanted something that would at least last long enough for me to save for a bike friday (which will probably be around 2 years at this rate), but with a $200 budget my prospects were depressing- until yesterday!

used red Dahon Speed D8 with seat pump, great condition and a little less than an hour from me for $275. And I convinced my dear father to give me $100 to make up for giving away my other bike, so this baby falls within my budget now! Later I will find a way to scratch together the money to get a front and back rack.

I will be picking it up on Sunday. So excited!

Any tips for a newbie? I am 5'3" so the bike will fit me just fine (I noticed a lot of you are very big dudes so I don't think I will have nearly as many height/weight related issues with the bike). I will use the bike for pretty much everything while away (commuting, grocery shopping, vet visits for my kitten, recreational, exercise, etc on paved roads and dirt trails). I got a used samsonite (30"x20"x13"?) for packing it up. I plan to sew little protective felt sleeves and will get my hands on bubble wrap or styrofoam or something somehow.
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Old 01-03-20, 08:25 AM
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Nice find!! The Dahon Speed 8 is a super folder and one of Dahon's most popular models ever. The steel frame should give you years of service. Some of the models through the years came with Schwalbe Big Apple tires. If it has those, nice bonus, if not, probably worth getting as they smooth out the ride considerably .. Enjoy your new ride!
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Old 01-03-20, 10:09 AM
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My old speed tr had problems with the hinge gradually developing play. I keep sticking thicker pieces of old tire tubes in between. But eventually I had to weld the 2 halves permanently together.

Other people say their speed frame lasted a very long time. I guess I was unlucky.

It's best to check frequently if your hinge is properly tightened. It would help prevent the chance of it developing play.
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Old 01-03-20, 10:35 AM
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Pool noodles make great protectors - slice a gap and you can either tape them on or use a strap.

Good luck with taking the kitty on the bike - my son's cat HATES being on a bike (in a carrier of course). Ymmv.

Convince your Dad that keeping his "little girl" safe is important and get him to pop for a service check and tune up before you ride it. ;-)

And CONGRATS! Enjoy and ride safe.
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Old 01-03-20, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
Nice find!! The Dahon Speed 8 is a super folder and one of Dahon's most popular models ever. The steel frame should give you years of service. Some of the models through the years came with Schwalbe Big Apple tires. If it has those, nice bonus, if not, probably worth getting as they smooth out the ride considerably .. Enjoy your new ride!
thanks! I've heard of those tires but don't think tgis bike has them. I will see how it rides and hopefully will get a set of apple tires soon.
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Old 01-03-20, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
My old speed tr had problems with the hinge gradually developing play. I keep sticking thicker pieces of old tire tubes in between. But eventually I had to weld the 2 halves permanently together.

Other people say their speed frame lasted a very long time. I guess I was unlucky.

It's best to check frequently if your hinge is properly tightened. It would help prevent the chance of it developing play.
I am pretty sure the seller was overweight for his bike (he weighs 280lbs) but claims it held him just fine. i really hope he hasn't been riding it for long, as i don't see how damage could be avoided with that much weight otherwise. As long as he didn't, i doubt I'll have issues. The bike still looks new, but i will definitely regukarly check the hinge.
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Old 01-03-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Pool noodles make great protectors - slice a gap and you can either tape them on or use a strap.

Good luck with taking the kitty on the bike - my son's cat HATES being on a bike (in a carrier of course). Ymmv.

Convince your Dad that keeping his "little girl" safe is important and get him to pop for a service check and tune up before you ride it. ;-)

And CONGRATS! Enjoy and ride safe.
pool noodles, great idea!

Well i usually have to take her to the vet in a public car (noisy and smelly) or motorcycle taxi (terrifying and noisy) so i think a peaceful bike ride will be a big step up for her 😂

I will make sure to get it tuned, thank you 🌼
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Old 01-03-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by EvergreenShadow View Post
I am pretty sure the seller was overweight for his bike (he weighs 280lbs) but claims it held him just fine. i really hope he hasn't been riding it for long, as i don't see how damage could be avoided with that much weight otherwise. As long as he didn't, i doubt I'll have issues. The bike still looks new, but i will definitely regukarly check the hinge.
Well, you could always put one hand under the gap of the hinge, and use the other hand to press down on the frame at the hinge (while the hinge is locked), and feel how much flex there is in the hinge. There is usually none, to a tiny bit of flex. But a larger amount of flex could indicate wearing of the hinge. The steel Speed frame is different from the aluminum frames. There are 3 main types of hinges that Dahon has. The D camp for the steel, like the speed, and the vise grip and V-clamp for aluminum frames. I think the D clamp and vise grip will be a little bit stiffer because the 2 sides of the hinge probably contact each other at the very top and bottom of the open edge (right side). But the V-clamp on my Vigor frame only contacts at the center of the open edge, so I think it produces a little bit of flex.

Here are videos showing the 3 different main types of hinges. Also, the guy showing you how to adjust the hinge is doing it wrong at the last step. He's not properly using the locknut or lock screw to prevent the adjustment nut from loosening itself.

Also, the lever should be adjusted so that it is tight enough, but not too tight. They don't explain how to tell how tight is too tight. And some people do different things. I tighten it to the point where I can just barely close it with one hand. If you have to use 2 hands to close it, then it might be too tight, which might damage the hinge and the camming parts of the lever. But if it's too loose, you'll get some flex that will wear your hinge.

The last video with the V-clamp is completely wrong. He's just turning the locking nut. He's not even turning the adjustment screw. Well anyway, in all the videos, he appears to be able to close the lever too easily, so it's probably too loose.




Here is the Dahon manual, but it is still missing the instruction about tightening the locking screw (on the Speed D-clamp) to prevent the nut thingy from loosening itself.
https://usa.dahon.com/wp-content/upl...structions.pdf

For the tires, the 2.00" Big Apple is ok, but they don't have the Greenguard puncture protection strip that other models from Schwable have. It's ok to not have them, but I got punctures with the Big Apple maybe 1 time every 3-4 months. The Marathon 1.75" and the Big Ben Plus 2.15" both have the Greenguard strip, and I didn't get any punctures in the first 1-2 years of their use. After 2 years, I sometimes get punctures with other models that had the Greenguard strip. The Marathon Plus has an even thicker strip, but it doesn't roll as efficiently as the regular Marathon.

I don't know if the Speed frame can take 2.15" wide tires though. But 2.00" is definitely ok.

Marathon, Big Ben Plus, Big Apple, they're all between $12-20 for each tire, depending on where you buy them from.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 01-03-20 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 01-03-20, 01:26 PM
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Thanks Tom! This is exactly the kind of info I'd have trouble figuring out on my own; I appreciate the advice.
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Old 01-03-20, 06:19 PM
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Hey Evergreen!

Great choice for your first folder! I hear the Speed models are a hoot. I have a 2003 Dahon Mariner D6 and love it a lot. It was great from the get go after picking it up on CL. These folders are great to modify if you want to.

The places you you will go on yours...

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Old 01-04-20, 08:18 PM
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If I had a Dahon it would be the steel Speed. I would think the main hinge would be the most durable. When I get a used bike I want to keep I repack wheel and headset bearings. Grease and ball bearings are cheap. If you don't know already how to fix a flat, its a good thing to know. Some folks find small wheels harder to get tires on and off. Might be worthwhile to practice that and It's good to be comfortable with unhooking the brakes and getting the rear wheel out and back in again before you get a flat in cold dark and windy conditions. Having said all that, my Brompton is the bike I'd keep if I could only have one. Lots of fun to ride and very useful as well.
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Old 01-04-20, 09:06 PM
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Congrats and welcome to the world of folding bikes.

Be sure to look around at the other folding bike threads like below;

'First Official Folding Bike Thread!! Name your Bike!'

And the 'Folders in the Wild'

Again congrats.
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Old 01-05-20, 01:16 PM
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Just picked it up! It is fast, shifts smooth, hinges are sturdy and in perfect condition (besides a few scratches). I took it for a quick test ride and love it. The smaller wheels actually fit me better than any bike I've had before, lol. Slightly squirrely when i stand up to pedal fast, but i got used to it after a few seconds.

Photos to come!
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Old 01-05-20, 04:46 PM
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I'm not a big person, either, and folders fit me well. You'll get used to the handling, but a front load also helps (front rack/bag). Enjoy!
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Old 01-05-20, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 12boy View Post
If I had a Dahon it would be the steel Speed. I would think the main hinge would be the most durable. When I get a used bike I want to keep I repack wheel and headset bearings. Grease and ball bearings are cheap. If you don't know already how to fix a flat, its a good thing to know. Some folks find small wheels harder to get tires on and off. Might be worthwhile to practice that and It's good to be comfortable with unhooking the brakes and getting the rear wheel out and back in again before you get a flat in cold dark and windy conditions. Having said all that, my Brompton is the bike I'd keep if I could only have one. Lots of fun to ride and very useful as well.
Hopefully i won't have to deal with flats anytime soon. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-14-20, 07:20 AM
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Update:
I. Love. This. Bike!
After removing the wheels, I was able to get my Dahon packed into a samsonite for my flight to the Dominican Republic. It arrived intact thankfully and I put it back together the next day, even refilling the tires with the seat pump. The roads are hellish and the sidewalks are broken and have awful speed bumps (I guess to deter motorcyclists from riding on the sidewalk???)
I realized later that my bike actually did come with the big apple tires BruceMetras and have been handling the poorly maintained roads and curbs like a champ!

I usually ride it at least once a day for grocery shopping, running errands, visiting friends, or exploring the neighborhood. It's really fast and breaks excellently (highly essential because people drive like morons here). It is much faster than walking and less stressful than driving. Unfortunately the rack and front basket I bought don't fit it, but this bike is still honestly one of the best investments I've made in a while.

And the gearing is perfect both for speed when driving next to vehicles and for climbing hills- there are a lot of hills and mountains where I live, some pretty steep.

My friends (and some bold neighbors) between 7-50 years old like to take turns on the bike. It adjusts perfectly.
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Old 02-14-20, 09:10 AM
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EvergreenShadow

That is great to read! I would love to take one of my folders on a flight somewhere one day. Till then I tag along with friend/family when they go out of town to other cities around here. I fold the Dahon for easy storage in their trunk and get to explore the while they do business or visit their friends. I’m looking forward to some possible overnight camping trips this way during warmer weather.
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Old 02-15-20, 11:23 AM
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You will gain much experience as you ride.Three things I learned and want to pass on;

One, higher pressure tires will roll easier. I've settled on the Kenda Kwest 193 100psi. But you will need steel spoons to change a flat.

Two, get familiar with your gear inches, put your numbers in the Sheldon Brown Gear Calculator. So, if you need to "gear up", look into increasing the size of the chainring. Not a big deal.

Three, Using zip ties, try out different cheap plastic or woven baskets on your racks. Can increase functionality exponentially.

Good luck, have fun, Godspeed.
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Old 02-15-20, 04:20 PM
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If you have the screw holes in front on the Speed grab a Brompton block adapter and you can add a quick release bag to really transform the bikes capabilities.
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Old 02-15-20, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
If you have the screw holes in front on the Speed grab a Brompton block adapter and you can add a quick release bag to really transform the bikes capabilities.
Putting weight on the frame in the front is one of the best things about the Brompton. It improves handling and smooths out the ride on bumpy services. I've put a lot of weight in mine and the front bag thing turns it into a little cargo beast. It is a little off putting to turn the bars and see the bag not move but you get used to it pretty quick. Welcome to the fun world of small wheel bikes.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:10 PM
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It unfortunately doesn't have screw holes if it did, I'd have gotten the adapter. I'm wondering if perhaps I can drill holes myself ...
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Old 02-17-20, 01:50 PM
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Everyone- including the cat- was impressed by the new bike

Bought it looking brand new! Unfortunately I've already gotten it quite scratched up from my little adventures...
Finally qualified to upload photos on this forum, lol.
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Old 02-17-20, 05:42 PM
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A speed Dahon, painted red. How appropriate! I have a rack on the back of my Boardwalk. I’m waiting for Thor to come out with the new panniers to fit them. I too don’t have the block on my Dahon but sure wish I did!
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Old 02-17-20, 06:31 PM
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It would be possible to drill a couple of holes and grind a nut so it would fit perfectly on the inside of the head tube, and JB weld it in place. You could possibly add a curved washer to spread the stress over a wider area. Thre may be a local guy that would add a couple of brazeons for a more permanent solution but a nut and washer with JB weld might actually be stronger. I am pretty sure Thor would know if Dahon makes a block and if it is available. You can also buy one from a Brompton dealer. However, it would be good to know if the curve on the inside of the block will fit rhe curve of the head tube.i think it is worth the effort to check it out as if you cam make it work it will really make the bike a better cargo carrier. BROMPTON also sells bare frames that snap onto the block that are easy to attach a bag to and the frame makes it very easy to unsnap the bag from the bike.
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