Dahon Speed TR First Impressions (was: Folder Ordered)


Steven M. Scharf

[Not Responding] wrote:
>I've ordered my Christmas pressie (from my wife); a Dahon Speed TR.

Here are my first impressions of the Speed TR (received today). Maybe
some of this will help you, or someone else. I've only ridden it a bit
around the car park at work so far.

1. The Dual Drive was not intuitive to assemble, and there were no
instructions included. I was totally unfamiliar with Dual Drive. However
DaHon and SRAM support provided good assistance. According to DaHon,
SRAM recommends shipping the Dual Drive click box not attached, and this
makes sense, since it could be easily damaged. The problem I was having
was embarrassing, but the SRAM guy figured it out in two seconds, so it
must be common--the cable housing on the handlebars wasn’t seated all
the way in. DaHon is sending me the missing instructions that were
supposed to be included.

2. The rear rack was a bit defective. The threads for the set screws
that secure the beam that attaches to the rack and to the seat post were
not tapped all the way through. I needed to carefully tap threads into
these holes, without stripping the heads of the set screws. Use a high
quality Allen wrench not a soft bit, and back the screws in from the top
side rather than trying to drive them through from the bottom.

3. There was something wrong with the steering; the front wheel couldn’t
turn very far in either direction. I finally just used some force and it
broke free, but there was something inside the headset that was not
quite right.

4. The folding pedals are junky. I need to order some detachable road
pedals that will take toe clips and straps from Harris Cyclery. Dahon
also sells a version of these, but I like the ones from Sheldon’s shop
("http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/pedals.html#folding"). I hate
riding without toe clips. Argh, another $60.

5. I injured one finger switching the elastomers in the seat post.

Accessory Issues

1. Computer wiring is a problem due to the very long space between the
handlebars and the wheel. Also, the wiring is not practical for folding.
I am going to wire in a connector down near the speed sensor, for a
quick-disconnect. A wireless computer would also work.

2. There are no water bottle braze-ons. I guess that since a bottle cage
would interfere with folding, they decided not to provide this, but for
so-called touring folder, this omission was unappreciated. I solved this
problem with a Minoura bottle cage holder on the handlebar stem.

Accessories I added so far:

1. Ding bell. Useful on some of the multi-use path short cuts I use. $4.

2. CatEye TL-LD1000 tail light (this is one of the only good LED
flashers on the market, and it ain’t cheap!). It replaces the rear
reflector on the rear rack. $24.

3. CatEye Mity 8 CycloComputer (soft spot for CatEye computers, ever
since the CatEye Solar). $15

4. Minoura bottle cage holder, and Profile Design Cage. This cage is
good for vacuum bottles (see http://bicyclecoffeesystems.com). $3+$3.

5. TwoFish CycloBlock. $8. This will be used for a rechargeable
Lithium-Ion light, the Streamlight Strion.

This system is good for a folder as it is easily removable for folding.

I may look at installing a Union/Marwi bottle dynamo, but it doesn't
look practical. A bottom bracked dynamo may work, and I have an old one
at home that I may try. A front wheel with a dynamo hub would cost me at
least $300, and this isn't going to happen!

Dahon U.S. was out of fenders until next year, so those will have to
wait unfortunately.

It’s a bike that is close to the Bike Friday NWT Touring DualDrive at
significantly lower cost. This bike has a street price of $700 in the
U.S. (MSRP of $780).