Adventures on a Dahon: Dirt Roads, Double Centuries, and the Duomo
Posted by Susan on July 26, 2010
Well, here’s a first review of a couple of vehicles I really like: the Dahon Speed P8 and the Dahon Mu P8.
They fold fairly compactly and are light enough to put in the overhead bin of the Northeast Regional. They can also fit into a Samsonite legal size suitcase, after some disassembly, for flights to Italy.
They come stock with 8 speeds, a gear inch range from 30 to 83 inches, and can go anywhere that a “real” bike can with nearly the same expenditure of energy.
Don’t believe me? Take a look, the Speed P8, the red bike in the pictures, has performed dependably and beautifully on a few epic adventures:
- Florence to Bologna over the Appenines
- Steep climbs into the Florentine hills, gravel roads, and cobblestones
- STP(Seattle to Portland) in one day
- 200k Berkshire Brevet
The Mu P8, the white bike in the pictures, carried me on a recent excursion over the Delaware Canal Towpath from Trenton, NJ all the way to the end of the Delaware and Lehigh Trail in Allentown — 65 Miles all on dirt (Yet, all flat as a giant tilted pancake) and to my joy – almost entirely on a path closed to cars!
The first half to Frenchtown was fairly smooth, and the Dahon felt fast on the hard pack. The last half was rather bumpy, but the Mu P8′s 40mm Schwalbe Racers were enough, although I would have been more comfortable on 50mm tires. The trip was immensely enjoyable, despite riding 20 inch wheels, straight bars, on a stiff aluminum frame that was manufactured in China. (I’m accustomed to riding drop bars on hand-built steel frames ). Really, isn’t pleasure all in the mind anyway?
Now, if you’re curious about folding bikes, and you’re wondering what the difference is between a Dahon and a Brompton, here’s a little info:
Brompton is a superior, more compact fold, on a superior quality frame. It’s a favorite of the Harris crew. (Yes, Harris Cyclery sells them!) Gearing and handlebar options are somewhat limited, but this does not reduce their versatility significantly. I have my own reservations about riding 16 inch wheels over rough dirt roads, but as a commuter, it’s by far the best folder on the market, very well thought out design, exceptional quality. Way better for frequent folding than the Dahon. I lust after one.
Dahon: They have many different models for all purposes. In general, I find their 20 inch wheeled “urban performance” models to have features sufficient for epic rides, while remaining easy enough to fold for train hopping. They also happen to be available through Harris Cyclery.
This entry was posted on July 26, 2010 at 20:28 and is filed under Uncategorized. Tagged: Berkshire Brevets, bikes on trains, Brompton, Cycling, cyclists, Dahon, flying with bikes, Folding bikes, Harris Cyclery, Paul Thumbies, product reviews, schwalbe tires, Seattle to Portland, STP, Travelling bikes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.