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Opinions on Dahon Bikes?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 10th 04, 04:25 PM
Elisa Francesca Roselli
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

I'm beginning to get that "third bike itch". Myrtille and Behemoth are
both city bikes and have my everyday riding needs pretty much wrapped up
between them.

I have started to dream of longer runs, bike touring in beautiful
holiday places. But this almost always seems to mean renting an
unfamiliar bike locally and getting used to its idiosynchracies.
Behemoth is way too heavy to cart around. And there are many kinds of
terrain for which she has let me know she is unsuitable.

Dahon makes a folding bike called the Speed TR which has a rack for
luggage and a Sram DualDrive shifter. I am tempted by the possibility of
a bike that I could take with me on trains, and travel with on tours. I
know a very intrepid Russian lady in Cambridge who has a Dahon Speed
Pro, a related model, that she swears by. She has ridden it all over
France. She says it is a dream. She can take it anywhere and it then
takes her anywhere. But she is light and wiry with her steel-colored
hair and her Imperial accent, and I would never be so bold as to place
myself in the same lofty cycling category as her.

On the other hand, I've spoken to dealers here in Paris who claim they
have stopped keeping Dahon in stock because they had too many problems
with these bikes. One told me he had a customer nearly kill herself when
her Dahon came apart at the folding join in full traffic. These dealers
swear by Brompton for folding bikes, but I am not that sold on Brommies.
I'm not keen on the 16" wheels and find them very heavy and clunky. They
are famous for their elegant folding system but I'm not looking for
something to take on the metro. I cannot tell if the dealers were
knocking Dahon to promote Brompton or whether they really did have a
good reason.

Also there is a concern for the wieght limit on the Dahon models I'm
looking at. I am very near it. With luggage, I would be over it. I don't
know how important this is - would it prejudice the folding system and
void any guarantees?

The Speed TR costs over 600 so it's not an anodine purchase. I'd be
grateful for your experiences/opinions.

EFR
Ile de France





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  #2  
Old August 10th 04, 04:54 PM
Peter Clinch
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:

On the other hand, I've spoken to dealers here in Paris who claim they
have stopped keeping Dahon in stock because they had too many problems
with these bikes.


My primary supplier of bikes is a Dahon dealer and he's reported no=20
great problems with them. He also sells Bromptons, and Birdys too.=20
Dahon have (AFAICT) a good reputation for all their machines, from value =

for money basic bikes up to fairly serious sports models.

swear by Brompton for folding bikes, but I am not that sold on Brommies=

=2E
I'm not keen on the 16" wheels and find them very heavy and clunky. The=

y
are famous for their elegant folding system but I'm not looking for
something to take on the metro.=20


While I would agree that a Brom is not the bike for the job you have, I=20
would point out that while not light they're not /that/ heavy, are in no =

way "clunky", and the 16" wheels are fine for the jobs the bike is for.=20
I've overtaken road bikes and been MTBing on my "heavy and clunky"=20
Brompton, so less of the rudeness! ;-)

Also there is a concern for the weight limit on the Dahon models I'm
looking at. I am very near it. With luggage, I would be over it. I don'=

t
know how important this is - would it prejudice the folding system and
void any guarantees?


I would guess it has a fairly good safe working tolerance, but you might =

be better looking around the field more. If you want something light=20
and strong that can travel well perhaps look at Moultons. They don't=20
fold, but they do disassemble for easy transport, they take luggage=20
/very/ well (the racks are effectively an extension of the spaceframe)=20
and the spacefarme construction means they're very strong as well as=20
reasonably light. More expensive than the Dahon (the Pashley built ones =

range up to about =A31000) , but you'll get a stronger bike and that seem=
s=20
to be one of your concerns. Bike Fridays would be another place to=20
look, again not cheap but with an enviable reputation.

Pete.
--=20
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #3  
Old August 10th 04, 05:29 PM
Tony Raven
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:

I'm beginning to get that "third bike itch". Myrtille and Behemoth are
both city bikes and have my everyday riding needs pretty much wrapped up
between them.

I have started to dream of longer runs, bike touring in beautiful
holiday places. But this almost always seems to mean renting an
unfamiliar bike locally and getting used to its idiosynchracies.
Behemoth is way too heavy to cart around. And there are many kinds of
terrain for which she has let me know she is unsuitable.


I'd suggest having a read of the Foldsoc website
(http://www.foldsoc.co.uk) which compares and contrasts different
folding bikes. For what you want to do the Brompton is probably not the
answer as you've found although some swear they are suitable for long
distances. The options to look at are the Dahons, the new Trek and
Specialized folders, the Birdy Red and the Giant Halfway. The Airnimal,
Bike Friday and Moultons are better riding bikes but much less
convenient folded/disassembled and are a fair bit higher price than you
are looking at. Given what you've said I'd stretch that little bit
further to a Birdy Red which will be good for touring but can also be
folded up for use around Paris should you wish. The Dahon's are not
nearly so neat folded but then they are primarily designed to fold up to
store in small Far Eastern apartments rather than in the car, on the
train or taking inside for security

I know its not Paris but if you get the chance to go to Bath Railway
Station, Avon Valley Cyclery are just out the back and have all the
different models that you can try and compare before buying:
http://www.foldingbikes.co.uk

Tony
  #4  
Old August 10th 04, 05:35 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

in message , Elisa Francesca
Roselli ') wrote:

I'm beginning to get that "third bike itch". Myrtille and Behemoth are
both city bikes and have my everyday riding needs pretty much wrapped
up between them.

I have started to dream of longer runs, bike touring in beautiful
holiday places. But this almost always seems to mean renting an
unfamiliar bike locally and getting used to its idiosynchracies.
Behemoth is way too heavy to cart around. And there are many kinds of
terrain for which she has let me know she is unsuitable.


I know nothing about Dahons either for or against, but have you
considered an Airnimal URL:http://www.airnimal.com/Chameleon.php?
This seems closer to what you want than a commuter folder, and has a
very good reputation. I don't know about weight limits; you'd have to
ask them.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

Morning had broken, and there was nothing we could do but wait
patiently for the RAC to arrive.
  #5  
Old August 10th 04, 06:06 PM
NC
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:
I'm beginning to get that "third bike itch". Myrtille and Behemoth are
both city bikes and have my everyday riding needs pretty much wrapped
up between them.

I have started to dream of longer runs, bike touring in beautiful
holiday places. But this almost always seems to mean renting an
unfamiliar bike locally and getting used to its idiosynchracies.
Behemoth is way too heavy to cart around. And there are many kinds of
terrain for which she has let me know she is unsuitable.

Dahon makes a folding bike called the Speed TR which ..........



In addition to the folding society website mentioned by Tony Raven, if
you've specific questions, you could send them to the folding society
web-master.

He's usually ridden most things, so should be able to answer specific
questions.

I get the impression that Dahon make some excellent machines, though in the
past their output was perhaps "lower price, and lower quality". They cannot
be the world's largest folding bike maker for nothing.



- Nigel


--
NC - Webmaster for http://www.2mm.org.uk/
Replies to newsgroup postings to the newsgroup please.


  #6  
Old August 10th 04, 06:22 PM
Zoot Katz
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

Tue, 10 Aug 2004 17:25:09 +0200,
, Elisa Francesca Roselli
wrote:

I have started to dream of longer runs, bike touring in beautiful
holiday places. But this almost always seems to mean renting an
unfamiliar bike locally and getting used to its idiosynchracies.


Since you aren't seeking the instant foldability of a true folding
bike, have a look at the Bike Friday line. They come with their own
travel case that converts to a trailer for your luggage.
--
zk
  #7  
Old August 10th 04, 06:40 PM
Robert J. Matter
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

Several people in the Chicagoland Folding Bike Society have Dahons, both
lower end commuter bikes and higher end bikes suitable for touring, and
have had good luck with them.

The problem with Dahon and all other "off the shelf" folder
manufacturers is their failure to produce a man-sized bike. They all
have weight limits of around 230 lbs. which of course is too light for a
man (or larger woman) who might be traveling with perhaps a 50 lb. pack.
In the winter a rider might have 10 lbs. worth of clothes and boots on
as well. Take the weight guidlines seriously, especially for aluminum
bikes! You might be able to fudge a few pounds over the limit, but not
25-50 lbs.

Bike Friday will custom manufacture folders with stronger tubes to
support heavier weights (even as high as 350 lbs. AFAIK) but I don't
know how much more they cost than their other bikes which typically
support about 200-230 lbs.

-Bob Matter
Chicagoland Folding Bike Society
Dedicated to the promotion of folding bicycles
and enhancement of the folding bike experience.
http://www.geocities.com/rjmatter/

  #8  
Old August 10th 04, 06:48 PM
Ambrose Nankivell
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

"Robert J. Matter" writes:
The problem with Dahon and all other "off the shelf" folder
manufacturers is their failure to produce a man-sized bike. They all
have weight limits of around 230 lbs. which of course is too light for
a man (or larger woman) who might be traveling with perhaps a 50
lb. pack. In the winter a rider might have 10 lbs. worth of clothes
and boots on as well.


How embarassing. There was I thinking I was a man when all along I'm
not. Why didn't anyone tell me you had to weigh at least 80kg before
you were one. Someone should have stopped me going into the toilets,
and at least a girlfriend should have told me.

To think my whole life's an illusion.

A
  #9  
Old August 10th 04, 06:50 PM
Colin Blackburn
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?

On 10 Aug 2004 18:48:06 +0100, Ambrose Nankivell
wrote:

"Robert J. Matter" writes:
The problem with Dahon and all other "off the shelf" folder
manufacturers is their failure to produce a man-sized bike. They all
have weight limits of around 230 lbs. which of course is too light for
a man (or larger woman) who might be traveling with perhaps a 50
lb. pack. In the winter a rider might have 10 lbs. worth of clothes
and boots on as well.


How embarassing. There was I thinking I was a man when all along I'm
not. Why didn't anyone tell me you had to weigh at least 80kg before
you were one. Someone should have stopped me going into the toilets,
and at least a girlfriend should have told me.


Remember to take the 50lb pack off before getting on the scales!

Do people really cycle with 50lb packs?

Colin
  #10  
Old August 10th 04, 07:07 PM
Paul Rudin
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Default Opinions on Dahon Bikes?


Elisa Francesca Roselli writes:

[About Dahon bikes]

I don't know about the Dahon, but if you're looking for a
touring-folder type thingy then you could go for a birdy. I have a
Blue, but if I were buying today I'd go for a Grey... assuming I could
muster the requisite number of beer tokens.
 




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