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Dahon vybe, first impressions.

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Dahon vybe, first impressions.

Old 11-18-23, 02:10 PM
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Dahon vybe, first impressions.

So it's new bike day today, I picked up my dahon vybe! My purpose for this bike is to be able to go downtown, without having to park near my destination. Downtown Savannah is very lovely, but sometimes I don't go to events because parking is a hassle. It's pretty bike friendly though. When I go for my walks I have a place I park, then I walk 4 or 5 miles.

So this will make it easier to cover more ground. I just rode it 5 miles around the neighborhood. I'm 5'4'', and I think I'm at the lower end of the limit, my little T-Rex arms are pretty straight. I suppose I could swap out handlebars but I swore I would not do that to this bike, I'm keeping it stock and simple. I have other bikes for other types of riding.

When I read reviews of folding bikes, some people thought the small wheels were a little twitchy and took some getting used to. Way back in the 70's I had a Peugeot road bike that was very tippy, I did more than one face plant trying to go in tight circles. This is not the case with the vybe, the handling is a pleasure!

Also, the shifting is very positive, I'm not crazy about grip shifters, as a matter of fact, I hated the ones that came on one of my bikes and replaced them with thumbies. The vybe ones aren't too bad, and my arthritic hands have no trouble shifting. The grips are not very comfortable but for my purposes they will suffice, maybe I'll wear gloves.

I haven't had practice folding, aside from bringing it home. At this point I'm not going to be doing a lot of that, like folks do when they use public transportation. I just need to get it in the car.

So that's it for now, I'll update as I use it in different circumstances but so far I'm pleasantly surprised. The positioning isn't the most comfortable, but it should be fine. I have the stem as high as it will go, but that's to compensate for it not being close enough.

I wasn't planning on riding it as far as I did on it's maiden voyage, but it was so dang fun!!! I have a feeling this isn't going to be my only folder.
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Old 11-18-23, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by margoC
So it's new bike day today, I picked up my dahon vybe! My purpose for this bike is to be able to go downtown, without having to park near my destination. Downtown Savannah is very lovely, but sometimes I don't go to events because parking is a hassle. It's pretty bike friendly though. When I go for my walks I have a place I park, then I walk 4 or 5 miles.

So this will make it easier to cover more ground. I just rode it 5 miles around the neighborhood. I'm 5'4'', and I think I'm at the lower end of the limit, my little T-Rex arms are pretty straight. I suppose I could swap out handlebars but I swore I would not do that to this bike, I'm keeping it stock and simple. I have other bikes for other types of riding.

When I read reviews of folding bikes, some people thought the small wheels were a little twitchy and took some getting used to. Way back in the 70's I had a Peugeot road bike that was very tippy, I did more than one face plant trying to go in tight circles. This is not the case with the vybe, the handling is a pleasure!

Also, the shifting is very positive, I'm not crazy about grip shifters, as a matter of fact, I hated the ones that came on one of my bikes and replaced them with thumbies. The vybe ones aren't too bad, and my arthritic hands have no trouble shifting. The grips are not very comfortable but for my purposes they will suffice, maybe I'll wear gloves.

I haven't had practice folding, aside from bringing it home. At this point I'm not going to be doing a lot of that, like folks do when they use public transportation. I just need to get it in the car.

So that's it for now, I'll update as I use it in different circumstances but so far I'm pleasantly surprised. The positioning isn't the most comfortable, but it should be fine. I have the stem as high as it will go, but that's to compensate for it not being close enough.

I wasn't planning on riding it as far as I did on it's maiden voyage, but it was so dang fun!!! I have a feeling this isn't going to be my only folder.
Check out those grips that extend towards the back, and are held in position with a screw. You can rest the heel of your hand on them. You might really enjoy them.
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Old 11-18-23, 09:18 PM
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I've had those on other bikes, now I have cushiony ones on those.

The biggest issue, if you want to call it that, are that they are too far away. If I replace them with something with a sweep it would be perfect.

But I went downtown tonight and rode around. I decided to not put the basket on because I didn't want anything stolen the first day. I put things in a pack and wore that while pedaling, which was pretty uncomfortable. The basket doesn't come off that easily, I'll be putting the pack in that the next time.
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Old 12-08-23, 10:56 AM
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Update:

I told myself I was going to keep it stock. And while it was fun zipping around the neighborhood, the bars were a tad too far away for mt T-Rex arms and the straight bars hurt my wrist more than I thought they would.

So I ordered some new bars, like the ones on my other bikes. The ones they sent me were different though, and at first I was going to send them back. But once I got them on and tweaked the adjustments they are acceptable. The way they are shaped enables me to fold the bike completely, although not as quickly but that's ok.

They were hideous looking but I wrapped them with cork tape, I'm able to have more hand positions with these bars and the cork makes them comfortable.



The positioning is rather upright, but for the purpose I got this bike I works well. I finally put that brooks saddle on a bike! I love riding this thing, I rode 9 miles yesterday, 2.5 months out of total knee replacement.
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Old 12-08-23, 05:51 PM
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I am late to this party, but another option to decrease reach while keeping the handle bar and grip area perpendicular to the main axis of the bike, unlike your current setup where they are rather parallel to it, is to use a mid- or high-rise handlebar that you tilt backwards towards you. You've got a teleskopic handlepost which would make adjustments with a riser bar even easier.


Tilt that mutha' back.

It's hard to tell from the images provided, but that handlepost also seems to have a forwards tilt, further aggravating the problem of overly long reach. A handlepost that essentially stands perpendicular to the ground would have been another possible option.


Note the angle of the handlepost in relation to the ground, more or less perpendicular to it.

​​Another potential drawback of your current setup is that during slow-speed turns or turns while pedaling out of the saddle/standing (think, slow speed over rough terrain when you need to stand up to maintain better balance) is that the handlebar will strike your legs.

On a separate note, I stopped using Brooks saddles with springs because the springs are 1. non-adjustable for rider weight (sag and compression) and 2. have a spring rate for much heavier riders than my 71kg (156lbs.) frame. They simply don't compress over any terrain at all at my weight. I wasn't willing to pay the weight premium of the springs when they provided no effective functionality.


Tern Luggage Truss permanently mounted on bike, ready to take a rack or bag as the need arises.

The bike has a front-block. Have you considered a Tern Kanga Rack on a Tern Luggage Truss?



Or a Hold'em basket perhaps?




​​​I've never been a fan of those unsightly, typically heavy stock rear racks on folders. But that's me.
​​

Last edited by Ron Damon; 12-10-23 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 12-08-23, 08:06 PM
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I saw those things to mount something on the front on Facebook, I plan on getting one.

The handlebar stem does slant forward. I'm not totally satisfied with those bars but they will do for now. If the ends were a couple inches shorter that would be an improvement as well, and it would be a simple matter to shorten them. I may try that before I swap them. Like I said, that's not what I actually ordered, but I was so excited it put them on before I noticed the difference.

I got the brooks years ago, I feel compelled to use it.

I don't have any problem with handling though, and I can't say I'm uncomfortable, so I'm going to just ride it for awhile.

Last edited by margoC; 12-08-23 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Eta:
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Old 12-14-23, 09:29 PM
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Changed handlebars - again

I tried taking a little off the ends of the ones pictured, and overdid it. I decided on soma sparrows, I just got them today. They are perfect! I'll post pics tomorrow.
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Old 12-18-23, 06:15 PM
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Soma sparrows

I think I'm finally happy. I removed the brooks saddle and put this spare one I had on. I've had brooks in the past but this latest one is like a board.






Eta - I've already removed that saddle and put the OEM one back on.

Last edited by margoC; 12-19-23 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 12-28-23, 05:44 PM
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Most recent configuration

Different saddle. Better shot showing bars. I am able to fold it almost all the way, the magnets don't touch but it's compact enough to get in the car, I suppose I can use a bungee to keep it tight enough to lift in and out without flopping. I have to remove the mirror but that's quick and easy. Obviously the basket as well, also quick and easy.

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