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Need folding bike, looking at Dahon but unsure what to get

Old 04-07-20, 01:38 PM
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DadBiker
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Need folding bike, looking at Dahon but unsure what to get

I live in a small house with no space, it's essentially an apartment. Was going to get a folding bike for light use to keep either folded up in my house or folded up in the trunk of my car. I don't need it folded to carry around with me so size/weight is not too big of an issue for me other than it needs to fold after every time I use it so it needs to be easy to fold.

I was looking at the Terns, specifically the Tern Node C8 since it has 24" wheels, however I am seeing negative things about tern.

I was looking up Dahon's (the Mariner D8 for example) and noticed that Dahon was having a summer sale on their website for a few models. I have no idea what is supposed to be better than what, so I could use some help. The models on sale for 20% off are;
(Sale price listed)
Speed D8 - $559
MU D9 - $599
Vigor D9 - $639
Vitesse i7 Obsidian - $639
Visc D18 Tour P - $719
Visc D18 Disc - $799

Should I be taking advantage of any of these bikes on sale. How do they compare to the mariner d8 which is $670 I believe? Thanks for any and all advice. I'm 6"1 so that's why I was originally looking into the 24" wheeled bikes but there don't seem to be many made with wheels that big.

Or, I could just go with the Tern Node C8 since that is more in line with what I was looking for? or should I stay away from terns

Last edited by DadBiker; 04-07-20 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 04-07-20, 06:56 PM
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The Dahon Boardwalk is a great bike for what you want to do. For that matter, the Mariner is another good one. I have a Boardwalk 2016 model and love it. At 6’1”, I can’t be sure of a good fit for you though.
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Old 04-07-20, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
The Dahon Boardwalk is a great bike for what you want to do. For that matter, the Mariner is another good one. I have a Boardwalk 2016 model and love it. At 6í1Ē, I canít be sure of a good fit for you though.
thanks, will look into it
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Old 04-08-20, 02:27 AM
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I'm 6'1" too. Height is one factor and so is inseam length. I have a Dahon Speed D8 but with my inseam length of 35.5" (yep, I'm a bit of a long legged stork), the standard 580mm seat post is about an inch too short for me. I solved that problem with a Tern extendable seatpost. I also swapped out the fixed length handlepost for an adjustable handlepost for the extra height. Now the bike fits quite well.

Since you're 6'1", I suggest getting a bike with an extendable handlepost for the extra handelbar height (that requirement alone will limit your options I suspect), and if your inseam is about 34" or less, the standard 580mm seatpost should work for you. Otherwise, you'll need to consider other seatpost options as well.
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Old 04-08-20, 05:28 AM
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The OP mentioned light use. I beat on my Dahon Vybe and also use my Mariner to pull the pet trailer. I'm just under 6'3" and have no issues with the fit. I do have Ergon 3's on the Vybe and ride with a wide grip but never feel cramped while riding on a lot of different surfaces. I have the telescoping handlebars and love that you can adjust them to the type of ride you want...think lower on a windy day. I think any of the Dahons will fit the bill, so don't sweat it.
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Old 04-08-20, 05:40 AM
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dahon mu is lightest.
even if op now states wheight isnt an issue now, it will become an issue for all folding bike owners soon or later.
go for lightest one
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Old 04-08-20, 06:13 AM
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I agree that all the options will do the job well, although a couple of practical comments.

There is no need to get bigger wheels to fit a taller person, as the frame is designed to put the main touch points in about the same place as a full size wheel bike. In this case it sounds like you want to keep the folded size down and our old Dahon Vitesse with 20" wheels folds a lot smaller than our Tern with 24" wheels and our Dahon Espresso with 26" wheels.

Also consider one of the models with a hub gear. The derailleur can be vulnerable if you are often lifting into a car / into the house. I see the Vitesse Obsidian has a chain guard too which will reduce the chance of oily marks on your car and clothes.
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Old 04-08-20, 06:37 AM
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I don't know Dahon from Dijon, but, there is a used one for cheap, $95 Buy it Now, at Shopgoodwill.com.... Used, of course.

Edit: it is in Newark, Ohio... pickup only....
You could ask if a member could pick up and post (at your cost, ofc).

Worth it? *shrug*

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Old 04-08-20, 08:30 AM
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Boardwalk is steel and all other, I believe, alu. Steel is more resilient over time but yields a tad heavier bikes. Some people feel that the weight needs to be of prime importance for a folder, while others value the resilience for a folder that gets more banged up than a regular bike.
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Old 04-08-20, 09:17 AM
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I own the Mariner D8. For what I bought it for (a travel bike - one I can take with me on trips when my big bike is too big/inconvenient to bring along) it is great. I like it so much I ride it as a regular bike at times. It does get used quite a bit from time to time. I did a ~60 mile day trip with it earlier this season, for example, and it handled well. There are some pictures in my thread linked below:
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...out-today.html

There are two main attractions to the Mariner D8 to me:
1. Gearing. It has 8 gears stock.
2. Rack

The gear range is adequate for me. On the high end I don't go fast enough on the bike pedaling to spin out in high gear. That is getting going faster than I am comfortable riding on the bike so that doesn't bother me.

On the low end - the bike could use a couple extra low-end gears for climbing hills.

The gear-inch range on the bike is 30" on the low end to 90" on the top end. So with that and the above having been said getting down to the lower to mid 20" range would be great.

As for size - I am 178cm tall with a PBH of 80cm (5'10" tall, 31.5" pbh). I still have room in the seat post for adjustment on the Mariner.

The Visc D18 Disk looks interesting. Something that may be a bigger consideration for you is rim wear with rim brakes. Even around 300 miles on my Mariner I can see evidence of rim wear (not to be concerned with at this time, but just noting it is occurring). After prolonged use that will become a problem. Disk brakes will take care of that entirely.

It looks like the gear-inch range on the Visc is 23-90". So that is right in line with what I was thinking - you get the lower end gearing in it (2 chain rings and a 9 speed cassette).

The Visc does not have a rack, however. You should certainly be able to add one - Dahon Arclite for 20" wheel. Triple check to see if the frame has the threaded inserts/braze-ons on the back stays behind the seat post. I can't imagine they would be built without them, the ones I have looked at online all appear to have them but ya never know.

By the way, the panniers on my bike in the link above are on the stock Arclite rack on the Mariner. The panniers are the large/rears of my Ortleib Packer Plus series. I have the latches set as far back as they will go and was able to ride with minimal heel strike. It was cold and rainy that day so I was wearing boots with a home-made set of SPD adapter plates = much bulkier shoes than normal riding shoes. My regular riding shoes would offer a lot more clearance.
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Old 04-08-20, 02:58 PM
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If the Visc 18 Disc has disc brakes, it would save you the headache of replacing worn rims that use rim brakes. The 20" rims wear out much faster than larger wheels since you're doing more revolutions for the same distance.

It has a braze on if it has a double chainring, which saves you the trouble of trying to get third party braze on adapters to work. The only problem with the braze on that's already attached is that if you decide to use very small chainrings, like 44 or 46T, the braze on might not allow the FD to drop low enough. But you'll have to experiment.
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Old 04-08-20, 04:10 PM
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Wow thanks for all the advice. Iím kinda going bonkers because the bikes all have different things at different prices. I agree with someone above that the ones with the gear hub look nice but they are on very few bikes and can get pretty pricey. I also agree on the disk brakes as well but again not many have them and it starts to get pricey.

the tern link d7i and the Dahon vitesse i7 look kinda similar, they both have the rack and gear hub, however the Dahon is on sale and the tern is a few hundred more expensive.

was also looking at the tern link d8 also. Even the C8. Itís really hard to decipher between all these bikes, and with all the stores closed right now itís impossible to go see them in the shop.

ive read the terns are a bit easier to fold , is that true.

Last edited by DadBiker; 04-08-20 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 04-08-20, 05:12 PM
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I have 2 Boardwalks made in the early 2000s. Those had chromemoly steel frames. They came with 6 speed drive trains but were worn out so I replaced them with a 7 speed drive trains. I am 6 feet and about 175 and they are comfortable for me to ride. Roger

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Old 04-09-20, 12:02 AM
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Stay away from Tern please. They're still having frame failures, and most here don't have faith in the brand. I own a Tern,... I'm speaking as an owner.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Stay away from Tern please. They're still having frame failures, and most here don't have faith in the brand. I own a Tern,... I'm speaking as an owner.
Got my bag of popcorn ready. I wonder if our character will weigh in on this one too....

Hope everyone else is finding some ways to entertain themselves through the current times too...
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Old 04-09-20, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
Got my bag of popcorn ready. I wonder if our character will weigh in on this one too....

Hope everyone else is finding some ways to entertain themselves through the current times too...
Well, you DO REMEMBER all the fantastic information said poster provided,... I can't wait for my "grumpiness" to show.
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Old 04-09-20, 12:14 PM
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Doing?... riding my zippy Mercier mini velo while I wait for the adapter for my Boardwalk!
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Old 04-09-20, 01:08 PM
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If you want more gears and disc brakes but are on a budget you might try one of these: https://live4bikes.com/products/camp...-bike-16-speed

If it doesn't work out you could likely flip it for a fair price.
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Old 04-09-20, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by unikid View Post
If you want more gears and disc brakes but are on a budget you might try one of these: https://live4bikes.com/products/camp...-bike-16-speed

If it doesn't work out you could likely flip it for a fair price.
Ok,...this is a darn fantastic deal!!! I wish I had a few $$$ laying around. It also looks to be nicely upgradeable.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
Ok,...this is a darn fantastic deal!!! I wish I had a few $$$ laying around. It also looks to be nicely upgradeable.
That appears to have and do everything my Mariner has and does - with the addition of a 2nd chain ring and disk brakes. The mast telescopes, has rack and fenders, and appears to fold the same way.

I would be curious to hear how it holds up. That is less than 1/2 what I paid for the Mariner. Now, if it lasts 300 miles and breaks in half it would be a bad deal.
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Old 04-09-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
That appears to have and do everything my Mariner has and does - with the addition of a 2nd chain ring and disk brakes. The mast telescopes, has rack and fenders, and appears to fold the same way.

I would be curious to hear how it holds up. That is less than 1/2 what I paid for the Mariner. Now, if it lasts 300 miles and breaks in half it would be a bad deal.
I will say I don't see a magnet to help keep it folded, so a bungee cord would be a necessity. For some people that makes or breaks the deal. I say try it, and get a bungee cord. LoL!!!
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Old 04-09-20, 07:01 PM
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It apparently does have magnets. The reviews on Amazon appear to be generally positive: https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B013D87T1S

However here is a very detailed review by a very picky person that might help somebody who is considering the bike: https://amosbbatto.wordpress.com/201...-folding-bike/
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Old 04-09-20, 07:29 PM
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DadBiker,

It will be difficult to find the perfect folding bike from the internet. And when you do get one be prepared to join one of the threads here as to how to customize it to your needs; Whether it's gear inches, racks or seat height.

Depending on where you live and how much you want to invest, go on Craigslist, local ebay, facebook marketplace. Go for a test ride or talk to locals who have folding bikes.

May be good to get a 'starter' folder to find what you want. Some of those 20 year old Boardwalks are still good riding bikes.

BTW, many of us on this site have numerous bikes in our stables.

Also, going new, I like the Downtube products. And do not buy a Vilano Urbana.

Good luck and welcome to the club.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:40 PM
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You might consider a Mercier Nano, which doesn't fold but has easily pulled wheels and a short wheelbase, and should fit in a trunk or apartment fairly easily. There is a long lasting post about them right here in Bikeforums folding. Sturdy and not expensive. I have a Brompton and Xootr Swift, and it isn't as nice but not that far away either. It seems most folders fail at the hinge but that's not a concern with this bike..
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Old 04-10-20, 05:54 AM
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Having used the Change Bike (650B) for a year now, I do think its a very good option if one values road/gravel bike like capability.
The downside will be the fold size, but at least the folding is easy and rather fast.

I'd take a look at the 24" and 26" Tern/Dahon options as well.

What the larger wheeled bikes offer over smaller wheeled ones will be better rolling over poorer terrain, usually some wider tire options and perhaps easier sourcing of wheels/tires (depending on where you live) .
There is ultimately a speed difference between smaller vs larger wheels too.

Max gearing (for larger wheels ) and rotational/frictional losses (for smaller wheels) all add up if riding with folks on road bikes is part of the riding that you do.
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