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Ryka 10-23-12 09:42 PM

Dahon Speed P8 (minor car accident) fix/salvage/sell? What to buy next?
Hello Bike Forums,

About two years ago I visited this site to get some reviews on folding bikes. I didn't know much about bikes then and I know just as little now. I bought a Dahon Speed P8 because it was recommended here, dahon was the only brand available for me to try in person, and the bike was on sale at my shop. Well I just moved to Arizona and was hit by a car on my way to work. The car was accelerating from a stopped position when it hit me so it was a very slow low impact collision, however the fork and front wheel were ruined in the crash and possibly the handlepost.

My experience with the bike has been terrific. It had enough speed, enough gears, and was a comfortable size. I don't have much to compare it to but it road as smooth and folded as easy as I'd expect any folding bike should. I bought the bike for commuting purposes, but also as an effort to learn more about bicycles. Unfortunately during college I never found the time between work and class, or the resources, to learn anything about bikes. As a result I have a broken bike and need outside advice (again) regarding: the bike's estimated value as is/parting it out, how much it would cost to buy parts to fix, or what bike I should buy to replace it?
(I could take photos if this would help?)

Coincidentally, a week before the accident I visited a local bike co-op and was going to attempt to learn how to tune and properly take car of my bike, or even learn about potential upgrades that would make it more enjoyable. Post accident I visited the co-op again, a guy at the co-op mentioned that some bike companies offer "crash frames". He said you can contact a dahon authorized dealer and see if dahon offers its customers "crash frames", or what he described as "frames at cost" to customers whose bikes were ruined in accidents. I was wondering if such a thing exists? and if so, would it also cover my front tire? or other components that may have been damaged on the bike besides the frame?

If it is true that the cost to repair the bike is too much to really be worth investing in vs. spending a little more for a brand new bike, is buying a Dahon Speed P8 still the best move for $700? Comparably I was looking at Downtube Novas with 1 less gear but weighing 3-4lb's less and costing half as much, $329. Or Tern folding bikes with 8-9 gears that cost about the same as a Speed P8. In retrospect I'm trying to determine what I actually paid so much for with the Dahon vs a bike like the Downtube Nova which seems similarly built and spec'd? If I was to buy a new bike now what are the most competitive bikes in the Speed P8 price range and what are you paying more for vs. a Downtube Nova. I.e. are the tern 8 speeds better than dahon, better than downtube? Would I then be better off cost wise to buy a Downtube Nova and separately some better components found in the more expensive bikes and upgrade the bike myself as too match/beat the quality of the more expensive competitors? (especially with my interest in learning/exploring bikes and now that I have a little time, since I graduated, to act).

Thanks for any advice you can offer!

keke 10-24-12 02:08 AM

Hi there, thorusa has some good deals on Tern bicycles within your price range.
I believe the downtube has a loyal following, when the forum wakes up you'll be flooded with good advice.

smallwheeler 10-24-12 04:14 AM

if you want to learn about bikes and maintenance keep the p8 and fix it.

front fork:

(high quality) front wheel with tube and tire:

ttakata73 10-24-12 05:06 AM

Get a "crash frame" if the price is right.

Otherwise I'd go with a Tern Link D8 due to its rigid single piece handlepost.
Go test ride one, you can feel how rigid it is compared to a 2 piece handlepost found on most Dahons and the Downtube.

ratdog 10-24-12 08:36 AM

By all means, check with Thor at ThorUSA, but I highly doubt if you will be able to find parts easily enough to fix your Dahon. You may be looking at a brand new bike by the time you do all your research. As far as Downtube or Tern, either one should suit your purposes. I suggest looking on your local Craigslist if you are not in a rush to find something.

brakemeister 10-24-12 08:47 AM

Ok .. couple things
Dahon has warranty frames and forks, just in case somebody needs one.... due to a ( legit) warranty problem. Dahon does not sell frames or forks alone, ( nor does Tern ). Yes I have heard that some bike companies do this crash replacement bit through their dealers... usually with a hefty price tag for the swap ... and its not as common as it once was either.

Now... in a crash were the fork, wheel... was bend. It is almost a given that the handlepost needs to be replaced as well, and what about the head tube / downtube integrity ? I am certainly not an expert in metalurgie and dont have the means to check for stress cracks and and and .... I would never let my girlfriend ride a frame like that .... nor a customer of mine ....

Buying some warranty parts from Istanbul Turkey ..... wonder how they get them ??? and than globber the old bike back together is a questionable effort.

Every sane dealer should evaluate your bike and call it a total loss, the insurance of the driver should pay for a replacement bike. I think that right now there are only black ones available no red ...
Garage sale Link P 9 which is a deal .......

my suggesteion is to have the Insurance carrier pay 700 bucks for the speed P8 and than add 100 bucks and get the LinkP9
you will never look back


Ryka 10-24-12 11:39 AM

So I intend to bring my bike to an authorized Dahon dealer later this afternoon. I would like to mention again that the car hit me going like 5mph basically pushing me more than hitting me, from a stopped position pulling out of a driveway. The damage on the bike was mostly caused by the friction of pavement and weight of the bike and the car pushing the bike forward but the bike resisting and dragging. I can post pictures if the Dahon dealer doesn't describe the bike as a total loss. It is hard for me to imagine the frame was greatly damaged in this collision as there was hardly any impact, however the fork was bent easily enough so who knows.

Likely, as Thor described, I will at the very least have to replace the front tire, fork, and handlepost which seems like it will cost about at least $300. Additionally, I will have to buy some tools and materials and spend a descent amount of time learning and fixing the bike. So fixing the bike even if possible doesn't seem worth the cost. Then, do to the nature of the bike being foldable and all that, it is not recommended that I fix it (even if all appears well) as there could be stress cracks or hidden damages that could cause me later injury? Although I'm eager to learn about bike repair and maintenance, it's probably better to wait and practice on a new functional bike?

If I was to scrap the bike what could I sell that people would buy? Is there a market for parts like this and what could I get for the whole package? I'm not a wasteful person and would be reluctant to have a damaged bike just laying around the house doing no good.

Buying a new bike seems like it will likely be the safest and best solution. If I had to buy another Dahon Speed P8 I'd definitely upgrade to a Tern Link P9 (although I like the straighter frame look of the Dahon better) for the upgraded folding style vs Dahon's seemingly outdated style, the additional gear, and better what is said to be better construction? However, I'm still wondering what I'm paying for? Is it reasonable to buy a more expensive bike like Bike Friday bikes? What are you getting for your money? And what about downtube? What are you giving up with downtube vs and Dahon Speed P8 or Tern Link P9. I ride my bike daily, and now that my commute is getting longer I just want something that is going to be a smooth easy ride, durable, variable speeds, nice and simple design. Just curious if it's wiser to spend more on a better bike vs less on bikes that later I'll replace or will need maintenance? I do really enjoy the look of the Bike Friday bikes.

HGR3inOK 10-24-12 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by ttakata73 (Post 14874332)
... go with a Tern Link D8 due to its rigid single piece handlepost.
Go test ride one, you can feel how rigid it is compared to a 2 piece handlepost found on most Dahons ...

I strongly recommend test rides. We have had some customers who need a handlepost that is higher than the Tern Link D8 to be comfortable.

Norman, Oklahoma USA

Foldable Two 10-24-12 05:53 PM

What's the scoop on the drivers insurance??? Assuming from your description, he/she is responsible. Have you filed an accident report? Did you get driver's license and Ins info? This is not a whole lot different than two automobiles colliding.


Ryka 10-24-12 05:57 PM

Well I dropped my dahon off at the local dealer. They're going to check it extensively and give me estimates and reports by Friday. They also said they would look into options regarding crash frames. I road the new 2012 dahon p8 model just for fun and was happy with the ride. It didn't feel much different from my dahon however I really appreciated handle bar grips that don't rotate on you while you ride. I will definitely have to buy new grips if I fix my old bike. Coincidentally there were two folding bike dealers about a block a way from each other so I walked over to the adjacent dealer. I was inquiring about differences in costs and value of components in various brands of bikes. I pretty much found out I probably wouldn't be happy with a Bike Friday for commuting or anything that folds larger than a dahon because I find on busy days it's difficult to even get a dahon on a packed bus. I still like the dahon p8 look a lot better than the tern p9, however, i like the p9 n-folding slightly more compact look. Also the fold is easier and less time consuming. Like I said though, the terns I find less aesthetically appealing with the slight curved back half of the frame and the large handlepost clamp. They just generally look thicker to me and more unwieldy, which is weird because the dahon folded is actually slightly more unwieldy. So it's a toss up if I go this route if I want a better less attractive bike or a worse more attractive bike for around the same amount of money.

Then I got myself into trouble and tried a brompton. In fact I forgot to test drive the tern completely after test driving a few bromptons. I have to say up until riding them and seeing them in person I generally liked the look of the 20" wheels better, but in both look and performance the brompton surpassed my expectations. Looks wise the frame is pretty ideal, while something straighter and simpler like a tikit frame or the dahon is generally more appealing to me, the brompton still has this sense of simplicity and some aura of genius. It has some weird clash of modern/retro look and feel to me, and it comes in an variety of colors to accent a more loud or mellow tone. I didn't feel like I looked much different on the bike either. I thought the dahon 20" wheels gave me a nice youthful carefree look and I thought the brompton 16" wheels would make me look to fancy all big on a tiny scooter, however I felt just as cool. The test ride itself was awesome. It felt smoother, quieter, stealthier, turning felt more accurate and acute, and surprisingly it felt faster (i tested a 6sp). Lastly, the bike folds up soooo compact. You can roll it, it stands on itself, you can pull it by the packs that attach to the front. It sounds super ideal for those packed bus days and it takes less time to fold.

The only concerns I have are price of course, but also which bar is most appropriate for my height of 6' 1" and which addons are more necessary. The price seems to be about $1400 with no addons which is most fair to compare since the dahon also has no addons, but it is still twice the cost of the dahon. Atleast, unlike comparing a downtube to a dahon I see an immediate difference in engineering and quality but I'm not sure if it is worth another 700. I tested 3 different bars the m, h, and p. I felt the M was the best, the H felt too high no room to ever really allow me to lean over and pedal hard, the p offers different positions but i found that i didn't like the look. So my question is what about the s bar? would it be too low for a rider my size or most similar to the position i ride on a dahon p8? I usually have my seat height at 11-12 and my handle bars at set at the height just before the mark that says you have the handle bar too high. I like the look of the s straight bar, and I feel like I tend to enjoy riding more forward with a little lean than strictly upright, but enjoy having the option to sit upright i get tired. I don't know if the s bar will be too low for this? Lastly do you find any of the addons strictly neccessary? I want to get the easy wheels for sure and the lights, but am undecided about the rear rack and fenders. There isn't alot of rain in arizona, but there is alot of gravel and sand and grit so would the fenders help in this situation? I find the mudguard flaps unappealing, is it fine to take those off the fenders without comprising the purpose of the fenders?

Oi. Well i feel like I wrote a book by now. Just excited, anxious, and nervous is all. Thanks for the help so far! While I wait to hear back about the damage and repairs to my Dahon I'm undecided. If I can fix my dahon relatively painlessly I'll probably decide to do that. It's my first folder and I'm partial to it. I would like to see it live again if possible, and I think there will be a rewarding to ride and honor my revived bicycle. However if it can't be fixed or is a safety hazard I'm seriously considering a brompton. Is the brompton worth it? Has anyone had a similar experience trying out a brompton and never desiring to ride anything else? Anyone know if used bromptons for sale in arizona area, didn't find any on craigslist.

Ryka 10-24-12 05:59 PM

The claim was settled and I did get an amount of money to purchase a new bike but budget is still a factor.

Ryka 10-24-12 06:03 PM

Also smallwheeler I did get your private message and I appreciate what you said, but apparently I can't respond to you via private message until I have 50 posts in the forums? So if you'd like to we could exchange emails? Thanks

badmother 10-25-12 01:12 AM

OP said: "Is the brompton worth it?"


Looks like you live in Arizona so snow is not an option. I feel snow (a lot of it) and sand is the Bromptons only enemys, wheels feel to small and I would go for 20" wheels if part of your life.

We used the B`s this summer visiting a small island with softish dustroads. We decided to use our 20" folders next year. My opinion is that if you need it for commuting nothing beats the B :thumb:.

brakemeister 10-25-12 08:43 AM

I think I should say that you shouldnt just look at "superficial" bits and pieces .... If I read this a few comments about what you like and what you not like are in stark contrast what other people say, who owned or extensively testrode the various bikes.
This is no critique about you, dont missunderstand. In the end you need to buy the bike only YOU like and what fits YOUR bikelifestyle.
For example about the Terns....
" the large handlepost clamp. They just generally look thicker to me "
and than .... you didnt even ride that bike ....

Its a lot of money, so do yourself the favour, sleep over it.... go back to the dealer, and ride the Tern ( and everything else ) use the brakes, shift thriough the gears, stand up on the pedals, and and and .....make sure that the tire pressure is correct ( underinflated tires make the bike feel awkward, heavy, and slow )

Because I think that you disregarded the Tern for all the wrong reasons, actually the biggest strength of the Tern is the riding and the solid feel the bike has. Besides a few other things, but they are not that big of a deal right now.


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