DAHON FOR TOURING

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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horizon
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby horizon » 4 Dec 2017, 11:40am

malvandy wrote:Most certainly have to try one before anything else. Certainly over pretty much the same terrain where possible. I didn't think climbing would be much of a problem with the smaller wheels 20" but note taken about the decent, could be pretty scary.


The small wheels AIUI would be a problem on poor surfaces, not climbing. In fact, around town the small wheels IMV are a positive bonus. However whether the frame is up to heavy climbing might be another matter.

The main problem I have with my Dahon is fit: it simply isn't large enough and I'm only 5' 10". And of course the gears - 7 speed isn't enough for loaded touring IMV. For hopping around town it's fine.
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

PH
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby PH » 4 Dec 2017, 12:17pm

My experience is similar to geocycle's though on a cheaper model. I have no doubt it would be up to the task, but I'm equally sure I wouldn't enjoy it. I think it's as simple as that, whether you like riding one or not and the only way to know that is to try. Plenty of second hand ones about for not much money, buying one to try and selling it after a tour isn't going to cost much.

AMC
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby AMC » 4 Dec 2017, 1:08pm

I've toured on a Dahon which was ok but the components just wore out, including the folding mechanism hinges. I own a Brompton but wouldn't use it for touring unless it was a trip with more public transport than cycling.

My recommendation would be a Bike Friday with 20" wheels; I've toured in a number of countries around the world on my Pocket Llama, much off road or on pretty rough, rocky surfaces, including mountain ranges with big climbs & descents, with full camping gear. It's been fantastic, & handles absolutely as well as my tourers (better than some of them :lol: ) The only difficulty has been keeping the weight down for flying when taking it as normal hold luggage & packed into its hard case. The bike itself comes in just under the weight allowance of 23kg, but tools & a sturdy lock often tip it over the limit. However, you could obviate this by checking it in as a cycle & paying the fee. I've also toured with it in Asia with a soft bag, carrying the necessary padding, & using trains, buses & planes - this has been fine too although, as with all bikes, packing is important.

Mr AMC has a New World Tourist which he's used more on tarmac/gravel, but which has been a comfortable and well-handling load carrier too; I'm sure it would do pretty much anything you need it to. (The main advantage of the Pocket Llama is the clearance for fat tyres but you may not need this if you're not on very rough surfaces.)

The only disadvantage I can think of with 20" wheels is in countries with wet seasons and very deep mud, which would be best avoided. Agree with Simonhill though that carrying a folding bike separately to all the panniers etc can be hard. I've only done it on Eurostar as it required the bike to be bagged, & we had the bikes in specially made very lightweight bags over one shoulder & the panniers/bar bag etc in one of those big checked laundry bags. This was harder for me as I'm shorter than Mr AMC who found it less difficult lugging them about. It is easier if you can just wheel the bike around with the panniers on using lifts etc., so might be worth checking out the train company regs on this.

Good luck - I do recommend touring on a folder as it opens up a lot of transport options which can be very useful.

malvandy
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby malvandy » 4 Dec 2017, 4:50pm

Thanks for the details AMC. Very nice bike is the Pocket Llama. Well over my price range though. May be if I shifted some of my present collection I might consider it. In the mean time will try a small wheeled pocket rocket( hard to get hold of one here to borrow) to see how I get on. It is no use trying a real cheapo though, that goes for all bikes.

AMC
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby AMC » 5 Dec 2017, 12:54am

Well worth looking second hand for a Bike Friday, & I'm sure that the more commonly available New World Tourist would do what you need to (at the risk of sounding like a salesperson for them!)

malvandy
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby malvandy » 6 Dec 2017, 3:43pm

As a noob to folders who's recently asked a few question , what you've gotta wrap your head around is that as far as I can tell, test riding a folding bike is nigh-impossible. Most of them aren't sold anywhere near where you live and until you've ridden one, it's hard to understand that, say, 20" wheels are initially darty and unstable, but act like regular full size wheels the second you're up to speed, so they say.

AMC
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby AMC » 6 Dec 2017, 3:57pm

Less unstable at first than 16" wheels, but I find a bit of weight on the front never hurts :)

Sympathies with difficulties in trying them -I have no idea what they do in France apart from the popularity of electric motors I see when I'm there.

Personally I just started with a 70s Shopper bike (surprisingly ok but with steel wheels & therefore no effective brakes - not a good long term option), then a super cheap Chinese job (eventually the brake lever sheared off), then a second hand Dahon from a good burgher of this parish, which worked well until the hinges & components wore out. However, by then I knew what I really needed.

WilfForrow
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby WilfForrow » 6 Dec 2017, 8:32pm

Unfortunately you can't get them in the UK any more, but we've toured pretty extensively with our 2 Dahon Speed TR's. They're a pleasure to ride, and we've often done 30-40 miles a day fully loaded with camp gear. If you're carrying gear on any sort of hill, you need a really low gear, and the SRAM dual-drive is brilliant for that. They're a bit slower than a fast road bike, but you only notice it if you're riding in a group.

KTHSullivan
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby KTHSullivan » 6 Dec 2017, 10:04pm

Between SWMBO and myself we have both a Dahon speed TR and a Tern link PH24.

The Tern's frame and forks are constructed out of monkey metal (sorry aluminium) subsequently due to the small by necessity frame triangles and small wheels it produces a teeth rattling ride on anything but the most pristine tarmac. The rear carrier is really only suitable for carrying small panniers due to heel strike and when touring we have found it advantageous to use a rack top bag and front paniers, but this obviously precludes self sufficient travel (camping). Also despite my best efforts I cannot get the three speed Sturmey Archer gears on the dual drive hub to work correctly, bearing in mind I have been a mechanical engineer all of my working life (over 40 years) and a fairly steady cyclist on a variety of self maintained machines for longer.

The Dahon is a completely different kettle of fish, so to speak. It rides like a full size touring machine once one gets used to the lack of top tube. Due to its steel construction and wider balloon tyres it produces a far more compliant ride, the pannier racks both front and rear take standard size bags without any problems and in time I have owned it the gears have not missed a beat. My only gripe is it is only possible to mount 1 water bottle cage, but then again this also applies to the Tern PH24.

I do however have to agree with some of the previous comments by others concerning the degree of "multi-modal" touring you are likely to encounter both machines are quite hefty; juggling them folded or otherwise with panniers and or bags even on German trains is a PITA.
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

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horizon
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby horizon » 6 Dec 2017, 10:45pm

KTHSullivan wrote:Betwe

The Dahon is a completely different kettle of fish


Well, it's a pretty good spec:

https://dahon.com/bikes/speed-tr/

(although it brings it up to 15 kg). I think you have to compare like with like and price. Folders differ enormously - what they have in common is a fold and a pair small wheels. A good folder isn't cheap (or light) but you do get a pretty good idea of what they are like from a cheap second-hand one. That would be my advice to the OP: make your decsion based on all the usual factors (gears, price, configuration, brakes etc) and then make the best of it. I don't think it will be brilliant (no-one AFAIK chooses to ride a folder) but it will most likely be much better than expectations. And it will work (camping included).
When the pestilence strikes from the East, go far and breathe the cold air deeply. Ignore the sage, stay not indoors. Ho Ri Zon 12th Century Chinese philosopher

KTHSullivan
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby KTHSullivan » 7 Dec 2017, 9:06am

Agreeing with Horizon, one should base any purchase decision on the initial specifications and suitability for ones needs. Subsequently the Tern was purchased specifically due to its comparatively lower mass (-1.5kg) than the Dahon, enabling SHMBO to make the best use of it during her sometimes multi-modal commute. One has to however take care with much of the manufacturers hyperbole associated with said purchases and indeed reviews from those that may have a vested interest in providing such in a favourable manner in order to maintain continuity of income.

eg " Whether you are heading out for a three-week ride in the Australian Outback or a picnic at the top of Ventoux you have a steady companion in the Link P24h."

Think this should in fact read "nipping up to the local shop for a packet of fags"

Again agreeing with Horizon you effectively get what you pay for but if my memory serves me correctly the Dahon and the Tern were similar in price taking into account inflation and other factors and both were promoted as touring machines. However based upon my personnel experience, third party reviews and manufacturers overstatements aside; the Dahon does, the Tern doesn't.

KTHS
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

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Si
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby Si » 7 Dec 2017, 12:58pm

Ive a tern p24 link. My experience is a bit different....i find it pretty comfie, having changed the saddle to something a little wider. Maybe mine has fatter tyres than yours? I do find it a bit slow though.

WRT luggage, i think the trick is not to go for conventionsl panniers on small wheeled bikes, rather go for, say, a 70l+ rucksack sat on the rear rack with the top attached to the back of the saddle. Plus a brommie style bag attached to the head tube.

buryman
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby buryman » 7 Dec 2017, 1:08pm

What would be the low gear in inches for a Speed TR?

KTHSullivan
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby KTHSullivan » 7 Dec 2017, 2:21pm

Think the lowest gear on a Speed TR is about 21", this is obviously a combination of the Sram hub and the cluster,would have preferred to have something a tadge lower for cycle camping. From memory I think the largest sprocket on the rear cluster is 32T. The rear derailleur is "dual drive" specific, subsequently I am not sure if it would take a 34 sprocket. Lowest position on internal hub relates to 0.73% middle position 1:1, high gives 1.36% . If one is to use the formula:

Gear(inch value) = Number of teeth(front) / Number of teeth (rear) x diameter of wheels

Transposing in favour of Number of teeth (front) and multiplying through by the reciprocal of the lowest % rate allowing for the tyres I get a front chain ring of about 44 teeth, (never counted them) may be some wriggle room here for gear reduction if you could get hold of a smaller chain ring with the appropriate PCD, sorry believe the current nomenclature is BCD.

If I can be of further help please PM me.

KTHS
Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed. :lol:

buryman
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Re: DAHON FOR TOURING

Postby buryman » 7 Dec 2017, 2:27pm

Think the lowest gear on a Speed TR is about 21"

Thanks. That's a decent bottom if your not camping.