Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
Kell
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Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 27 Oct 2010, 10:51am

I'm just coming to the end of my first year with this bike and I have to say that I find myself having to write a very mixed review.

I got it on the ride-to-work scheme, but the bike cost about £740 new. So I was expecting that the componentry would be fairly decent.

About 2 weeks after I got it, I noticed that there was a very disconcerting wobble coming from the back. Thinking it might be the rear hub working loose, I checked that, but it all seemed OK. I wondered if perhaps it was the QR being knocked loose. But that was OK too. It got worse until at one point it flet like the back of the bike was on ice. I stopped, and checked it properly to find that about 20 spokes were so loose that the entire rim had about 2" of play from left to right.

I carry a spoke key, so tightened them all up (not very true) and returned it to Evans to have them all done properly.

As I bought the bike in October 2009, the cold weather was fast approaching, and when it did I discovered something else pretty bad. I had a spoke go on the back wheel and put it down to bad luck. Before I could get it replaced, I had about 3 or 4 more go next to it. Figuring this was just bad luck rather than a fault, I took it to my LBS instead of Evans as it's a lot more convenient for me.

Then I had the same thing happen to my front wheel. And then my back wheel again. And then the front. I have to carry my bike up some stairs at one of the stations and I even heard one of the spokes ping while it was on my shoulder. I'm a heavy guy (almost 16 stone) but have been riding mountain bikes on and off road for well over 20 years and probably only snapped 3 or 4 spokes in all that time. On this bike I must have gone through 15 or so on the rear wheel and about 10-12 on the front.

I figured I'd probably shot myself in the foot by going to my LBS as I know Evans would just blame the snapping spokes on someone else's mechanic. SO had about 6 or seven wheel rebuilds. In hindsight, it would have been cheaper to buy new wheels.

Also, the dishing is way out on the rear wheel. I only noticed this in the deep winter of last year when I replaced the city tyres with full-on off road tyres to cope with the snow. One side of the tyre would then rub on the chain stay and I had to try and fit the wheel in at an angle to prevent this.

In the end, I replaced the wheels with those from another of my bikes, but I wonder if the bike is set up to cope with this weirldy offest rear wheel as it now feels like it's crabbing a little bit.

Elsewhere, the bike feels solid and I prefer the new lock-jaw system compared to the previous hinge in the old Dahon bikes. But it does now require me to carry an allen key at all times to unlock it.

I think the wheel problem is not limited to me either. I know of at least two other Dahons with the same problem. SO, if you buy one and it happens to you, take it back and get them looked at properly.

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Si
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Si » 27 Oct 2010, 11:28am

I considered a Dahon a few years back. On doing a bit of research it did seem that a number of people had had both wheel problems and problems witrh getting Dahon specific spare parts. I settled for a Birdy in the end (about seven yrs old and still going strong).

However, I've since read that the Dahons have been improving; but going from your tale of woe, perhaps still letting a few bad ones through?

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MuirSR
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby MuirSR » 27 Oct 2010, 6:15pm

I bought a Dahon Matrix in 2008 and had similar experiences to yours. See Matrix 2008: Creaking Frame and Loosy Spokes on the Dahon Rider Forum.

Having got over the initial teething troubles (which I did find quite traumatic), I've found the bike to be quite reliable and have covered thousands of miles on it. I've never fully fixed the creaking problem, though, and it's particularly evident when I'm putting some force on the bike on hills. I've found the worst of this can be addressed by making sure the adjoining frame sections are lubricated and the lockjaw is as tight as I can get it. I don't regularly fold and unfold my bike (I've never folded it "in earnest").
Stephen
Reading's Cycling Development Officer wrote:...become a TV presenter ... that is what I would like to do [source]

Kell
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 28 Oct 2010, 10:07am

I take mine on the train with me so it's folded and unfolded twice a day. ANd it does creak - though some days it's better than others.

Like you, I try to ensure the lockjaw is well lubed.

In essence, it's a good bike, but it seems let down by inferior kit. As it happens, my train company may be chaging the regulations and I may have to get a 'brompton' style bike with the smaller wheels.

Just as the ride-to-work scheme changes so you no longer own your bike once it's paid off. :?

byegad
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby byegad » 28 Oct 2010, 12:35pm

I got one in 2005 and have had none of the troubles mentioned.

I did have a number of unexplained blowouts near the valve of both tyres and replaced the wheels at the then importer's cost. The original wheels had no spoke troubles and I think the cause was the deep aero section of the original wheels. I found the bike fast and responsive.

The hinge needed adjusting after 1000 miles or so but that is easy and to be expected as things bed in. We have had 3 other Dahons and all the hinge mechanisms has needed a 1/6th turn on the adjuster every so often when new.

My Speed-Pro suffered broken rear spokes when new and this was caused poor building. The spoke holes in the 20" wheel were slightly angled to ease spoke angles and whoever built it up started with a hole pointing the wrong way. A rebuild paid for by the importer sorted it out and it has covered many thousand miles with no issues since.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

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Kell
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Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 5 Nov 2010, 10:58am

I've had to take mine in this morning for a new bottom bracket too. I do about 3,000 miles in a year and I've had it just over a year so about 3,500 miles.

I think that's pretty poor given that it's all on road riding.


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byegad
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby byegad » 5 Nov 2010, 1:05pm

If it's an external BB then 3500 would be about right. The Tiagra one on my Kettwiesel needed replacing at about that mileage and it is not only on road 99% of te time but up out of the front wheel spray and protected from the weather by a Fairing.
"I thought of that while riding my bike." -Albert Einstein, on the Theory of Relativity

2007 ICE QNT
2008 Hase Kettwiesel AL27
2011 Catrike Trail
1951 engine

Kell
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Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 8 Nov 2010, 8:20am

I find it unusual that's all. The one on my Orange P7 is still going strong after 10 years - and the first two years of its life were as a commuter.

In fact, I have another p7 from about 1992 and that's still got its original BB in too.


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Kell
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 16 Nov 2010, 1:41pm

Having the BB replaced seems to have resolved a lot of the creaking.

Must have been the movement in that that was causing a lot of it.

Kell
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 28 Jun 2011, 11:14am

Well, I'm definitely not happy now - the frame's just snapped this morning.

Currently trying to figure out if I'll get a replacement under any warranty. Need to get photos and proofs of purchase before I get a definite answer.

Edwards
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Edwards » 28 Jun 2011, 11:22am

Wow that is not good. I hope you can get an acceptable resolution.
Keith Edwards
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Kell
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby Kell » 26 Aug 2011, 10:08am

It's better than it could have been as it turns out it's the cam bolt that's snapped, not the frame.

However...

Hi Kell,

Re: Dahon Warranty Claims for model years up to 2009.

The Dahon brand is in the middle of an important transition phase which affects distribution, warranty and service. Normally, it would be the UK distributor’s responsibility to provide replacement parts for bikes from model year 2009 and previous, whether under warranty or not. However, due to the change in our distribution network, this is currently not possible.

Cyclemotion ceased to be the UK agent after nearly 30 years involvement with Dahon at the end of the 2011 model year.

This note is intended to be a thorough and professional instruction for customers to follow a new process to persue a potential warranty claim for Dahon branded bicycles supplied into the UK market prior to 1st Jan 2010 and/or not supplied through the 2010/11 UK distributor Zyro Ltd. The 2010/11 UK distributor Zyro has stated that with effect from 1st June 2011, it is only able to support bikes and parts that were actually supplied by them. If the bike is a 2010 or 2011 model and was supplied through a UK retailer, you should first report the problem to the supplying retailer to follow up with Zyro.

If you have been directed to Cyclemotion it may be because your bike or part was not supplied by Zyro. In these cases we would therefore suggest that:

• Either you check availability of spares at http://www.dahonspares.co.uk to purchase the parts that you need;

• Or you may pursue it as a warranty claim by forwarding it to Dahon China using the following e-mail contacts:
novelle@dahon.com.cn Novelle is the person who handles claims
eddie@dahon-ecosmo.com Eddie Eccleston is Sales Director of Dahon

If following the warranty claim route, I would suggest you supply the following details:

1. Retailer name, address, telephone and e-mail contact details
2. Retailer reference number and person in charge of this case
3. Customer name, address, telephone and e-mail contact details
4. Date and place of purchase (proof of purchase if possible)
5. Model and year of manufacture
6. Frame number (Digital Picture is possible)
7. Digital Pictures (clear and in focus) of compete bike as set up for riding from both sides
8. Digital Pictures of failed part
9. Any extra details/notes e.g.
•Rider height and weight.
•Type of riding, distance travelled.
•Flag priority level….e.g. Bike off road and needed daily for work top priority.
•Flag for special treatment….e.g. If there is an injury involved and/or a possible liability issue.

Should you have any difficulties, please feel free to contact me again for further advice, and I will gladly try to assist, however, please realise that I no longer act as any form of representative for Dahon.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Bickerton
Cyclemotion


What I'm going to do is buy the replacement kit anyway. It's £30 and as said above, my bike being off the road for a week will rack up more costs. Evans have agreed to fit it for free.

billynibbles
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby billynibbles » 15 Sep 2011, 9:48pm

I'm SO glad I've stumbled upon this post. I thought it was just me. Got my 2009 Matrix last year after the price dropped on the announcement of the new model and was quick to notice that all the rear spokes were loose. I guess I should have given the job to an LBS there and then - sending it back by post was hardly an option after I'd gotten rid of the carton. However, I decided to tighten them all up myself and made a fair job of it, or so I thought. At least the wheel didn't wobble or suffer from run-out (oval and/or eccentric) and they all 'twanged' nicely, at least to my unmusical ear.

Since then, I've had a constant stream of broken spokes, so much so that I've taken to marking the new ones to see if it's a duff batch of low quality spokes they've used in the initial build. Got the wheel realigned by an LBS about 200 miles ago, and b****r me, I noticed another broken one tonight. It's one of the originals, I'm relieved to say.

Oh yes, and my frame creaks too, but the occasional application of grease to the jaws of the hinges keeps it at bay for several weeks.

In retrospect, I'm not finding a full-sized folding bike that useful to be honest and use my Brompton wherever public transport is involved. I hardly ever fold the Dahon which in turn makes it a pretty expensive so-so spec ordinary bike.

I also had a puzzling fault with the front Continental Sport Contact tyre with one puncture after another. I couldn't find a damned thing wrong with it but always ended up with a tiny pin-hole in the tube. Also, they're difficult to get seated on the rims without several attempts to inflate them. The Schwalbe City Jets I've put on now fit properly first time and I haven't punctured since.

FOOTNOTE: I've replaced the wheels now, and immediately noticed that the old ones had 32 spokes compared to the 36 of the new ones. Given that the quality of the old spokes may have been suspect, giving them a greater proportion of my 15 stone to carry can't have helped!
National Standard Cycling Instructor. Brompton 16" folder, Dahon Matrix 26" folder, Ridgeback 700C Hybrid, Moulton De-Luxe 'doer-upper' project

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happywillo
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby happywillo » 14 Nov 2011, 11:26pm

Well well well

I bought a 2009 Dahon Matrix last year (2010) at a marked down price.

First year was fine with no problems (+/- 6 miles per day each way)
Ride didn't seem very balanced -when riding no hands the front steering would suddenly develop an incredible speed wobble after about 20 metres?

Second year (+/- 8.5 miles per day each way) I too was replacing spokes at 2-3 every 2 weeks or so for over 5 months (I think I must have replaced all of them by now) luckily I have worked as a cycle mechanic as a youngster and was able to perform these repairs myself (including truing and tensioning).
Unexplainable queaking started -thought it was the saddle (how wrong I was -read on)

Last week the saddle seemed to be wobbling front to back -couldn't understand it, tried tightening seat clamp with no luck.
Looked at the frame and noticed that it had cracked through between where the top tube and seat stays join the seat tube.
Currently trying to get it replaced under warranty (am told that as the agents have changed, will have to do it direct with the factory in China -which could take a few months -bummer)

Anyway the crack explains the squeaking -I wouldn't blame Dahon altogether for this though as it is the 3rd alluminium frame I've owned that has cracked in this general region. I think Alluminium (especially 7005 series) is particularly brittle and prone to this type of cracking (especially with taller riders like myself (when the seat post is extended close to it's maximum and putting a lot of lateral force on the seat tube).

In the meantime I am buying a replacement Dahon Frame off the internet -should have it later this week (and it only cost me 100 squids incl. postage -from a reputable dealer I might add -the 2008 model though)

Ill see if history repeats itself (both with the warranty replacement and the one I have bought)...
Current: Raleigh TI (1980 Reynolds 753 -Shimano 105), GIANT CFR1 (1995 Carbon -Shimano 600), Giant Terrago (2002 Allu. -Shimano Deore) Dahon Matrix (2009 Allu.).
Best bike ever owned: Tommasini Diamante (Custom tubing with Campag. Super Record)

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happywillo
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Re: Dahon Matrix - 2009 model

Postby happywillo » 18 Nov 2011, 10:30am

Well here's the update:

New frame arrived Wednesday...

What a nightmare converting Dahon Parts between model years even though the frame size is the same (it's not only the geometry that changed between 2008 and 2009)!

The new (2008) frame seat tube is medium sized wherass the old (2009) was large size diameter (forgive me for not giving measurements as I cant remember them off the top of my head). So I needed new seat post clamp, shims to hold front derailer to frame, guide for front derailer cable to run under the bottom bracket as the cable guide routes are different.

The headset diameter and steerer height is different between frames so I needed new headset bearings seals and cups (to match the new headset size), new spacers to make up about 85mm difference on steerer.

My pannier rack (only used for commuter weight luggage not touring -(I use my old TI Raleigh for touring) had to have new "P" clamps to the seat stays as the fixings for pannier racks on the 2008 frame are now situated below the rear disk brake mounts? (someone obviously didn't think things through at the factory/ design department).

The other interesting design anomaly of the 2008 frame is that you can either have a bottle and cage or a front fender (not both) as the bottle cage mount is now under the down tube and snags the fender. I still have to go back to the bike shop to organise a set of handlebar cage mounts (I think this will be my 5th trip to the shop so far).

And then there was the usual issue of replacing frayed gear and brake cables. I reckon I must have shelled out at least another 80 squids on all these sundry parts just to get riding again.

Anyway I am back riding again , but still need to adjust the gears properly (just couldn't be buttocked at the moment after all the to and fro-ing to the bike shop).
Current: Raleigh TI (1980 Reynolds 753 -Shimano 105), GIANT CFR1 (1995 Carbon -Shimano 600), Giant Terrago (2002 Allu. -Shimano Deore) Dahon Matrix (2009 Allu.).
Best bike ever owned: Tommasini Diamante (Custom tubing with Campag. Super Record)