Posts Tagged ‘Dahon D7HG’

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Dahon Rear Rack

Saturday May 1, 2010

Dahon D7HG - New RackHaving recently invested in some panniers and a rack bag for my ‘epic’ ride across Britain, I thought that I should really maximise the use out of them (as they weren’t cheap!).

I’ve already fitted a Topeak Super Tourist DX Rear Rack to the Trek so I knew the quality of the product, and it was back to Wiggle’s website to order a second one, this time for the Dahon D7HG.

Removal of the Dahon rack was pretty straight-forward with the use of a 4mm allen key and a Philips head screwdriver to remove the mudguard attachment.

Once removed, holding the Topeak rack in place I realised the extent of the size difference.  The Dahon rack is obviously designed for the bike, whereas the Topeak rack is designed for larger wheel bikes and therefore sits quite high off the Dahon’s wheel – the underneath of the rack is about 4.5″ from the top of the tyre.  Due to this, the rear mudguard fixings wouldn’t reach the new rack and therefore could not be secured.  As a result I had to remove the mudguard completely.  To remove the bottom allen bolt from the mudguard, I had to deflate the rear tyre to enable the allen key space to engage with the bold – a far quicker (and easier) method than having to remove the entire rear wheel to gain access.

Dahon D7HG - ClearanceFitting the rack was quick and simple.  All the necessary fixtures are included with the rack and the only tool required is a 5mm allen key.  The rack uses the same fixing points as the original Dahon rack but I did select the lower fixing points on the back of the frame (near the wheel axle) to lower the rack slightly, if only by <1″.

The only thing left to do now is buy some new bolts so that I can fit my Cateye rear light fixture onto the rack.

I think the bike looks pretty good now.  Removal of the rear mudguard has improved the appearance of the bike – but the addition of the new rack should still provide some spray protection as it has a solid base plate.  The rack provides a good grab ‘handle’ to carry the bike when folded, which I think is a slight improvement on the Dahon rack.  The only slight negative to the rack is (perhaps) a slight increase in the weight of the bike – but it’s still not too bad.

A good modification to a great bike!

Click here to view larger photos on Flickr, or click on the individual images within this post.

Dahon - Folded

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Dahon D7HG – FOR SALE (not mine!)

Saturday March 6, 2010

A regular Dave On Dahon reader, commenter and friend is (unfortunately) selling his Dahon Vitesse D7HG.

Sad news but I’m sure that there’s a good home out there for it!

The photo below is the bike and it’s being sold on eBay, starting bid is £100.  Grab a bargain and nip over to eBay to place your bid.  This is a great bike and you definitely won’t regret the purchase.

He’s working out how he can pack and ship the bike if an International buyer wants to bid.

Good luck!

eBay Auction Link

“Dahon Vitesse D7HG Folding Bike in excellent condition complete with Ergon Grips, Rackpack and Schwalbe Stelvio tyres”

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Rochester Castle – Wall Collapses

Saturday March 6, 2010

Took the Dahon into town this morning for what was its first outing this year.  This fact was pretty obvious when I unfolded the bike and found that the tyres were almost completely flat.  It was a nice ride but it was very cold out.

One thing I did notice on the ride into town was the building work going on around Rochester Castle.  A quick Google search this afternoon reveals that part of the bailey wall had collapsed during the week as a result of heavy rain.  Repair work is under way although it’s not affecting the castle itself nor entry to the castle grounds.

BBC News story (inc. video) is available via this link.

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The Pampered Dahon

Sunday November 29, 2009

Pampered DahonI do like my Dahon but I don’t really go over the top with its care – honestly!

It’s not relaxing after a hard ride, it’s drying off in the bath after cycling home in the rain last Thursday night.  I suppose that’s one of the downsides for keeping the bike inside the house: if the bike gets dirty, what do you do with it?

A funny sight though for visitors to my house when they pop into the bathroom.

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Rochester – Night And Day

Saturday November 28, 2009

I decided to head out on the Dahon on Thursday night with my tripod strapped to the back.  I wanted to test out my camera’s night capability and the Dahon was the best method of transport for the job.

I had the bike kitted out with all my lights including the NiteRider MiNewt and I headed off into the darkness.  I managed to cycle 5 miles during the few hours I was out and got home just as the weather turned.  The last mile of cycling was in the rain but I was happy that I had a good ride and should have captured some good images.

Saturday afternoon I headed out again, this time without the bike but the camera attached in its pouch on my belt.  I was heading to Rochester Castle again, but this time I was going to go inside!  I’ve lived in the area for around twelve years and have spent a lot of time relaxing in the castle’s grounds but I’ve never done the ‘tourist thing’ and gone inside.

There’s nothing much inside, it’s basically a shell but it was worth paying the £5 entrance fee for the view from the top.

It was a very windy day and standing on top of the ancient building was breathtaking in more ways than one.  The sun stayed out long enough for me to take a few photographs and to look down on where I usually sit.

There’s been a castle here since 1066 so it’s got a significant history.  The first stone castle was built around 1087 by the same person that was responsible for the cathedral next door and also the Tower Of London.  For more info, click here.

More photos from my Night and Day trips can be found here, on Flickr.

M2 Motorway At Night (2)

Dahon, Gate and Tripod

Rochester Castle In November

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Bread And Milk

Saturday August 1, 2009

The rain started to fall so I left the riverbank and got back on the Dahon.  By the time I’d reached Rochester Bridge the rain was coming at me horizontal!  It was only a shower, fairly heavy, and by the time I’d reached the high street it had stopped.

The Castle grounds are always a welcoming place for me and I sat there for a while and watched people milling around.

The bread and milk strapped to the back of the Dahon were getting a little squashed under the straps so I didn’t hang around too long before I headed home.

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NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

Saturday July 11, 2009

So, I gave in and bought myself a NiteRider front light.  I’ve had my eye on one for a long time as they’ve always had great reviews, fit easily to the bike and produce a lot of light from a small package.

Having two bikes I was looking for a bright light which could be easily transferred between both bikes.  The NiteRider lights don’t require mounting brackets so they’re ideal for this  scenario.

NiteRider lights are not cheap, the MiNewt Mini-USB is the cheapest in their ‘LED range’ and mine set me back £72 at Wiggle.  There’s also a Mini-USB Plus model which includes a helmet-mount and extension cable.

The light itself is small, earning its ‘Mini’ title, at only 2″ long and less than 1 and a 1/4″ wide.  It has an integral mounting foot and it’s secured to the handlebar with a rubber o-ring (3 sizes included).  There’s a single cable (~10″) coming out of the bottom of the light which plugs securely into the supplied battery pack.

The Lithium Ion battery pack attaches to your bike with a velcro strap (not pictured below), there’s a rubber pad on the rear of the battery pack which ensures that the pack doesn’t move once in place.  The pack is a little over 3″ long by 1.5″ wide, and around 1 and 1/4″ deep so can fit neatly on the stem without much hassle.  There isn’t much to the battery pack, it has the socket for the light cable, the on/off switch and the mini-USB connector.  The latter is protected by a rubber flap which keeps if free from dust and water.

The MiNewt Mini-USB is supplied with a mains charger and a USB cable for charging from your computer’s USB port.  This is a great idea, especially if you’re going to use the light on your daily commute.  Keeping the USB cable in work will allow you to top up the battery’s charge  ready for the journey home.  Charge time (from empty) is 4.5 hours.

Build quality is excellent, from the lens to the cable and battery, it all looks great.  The brightness of the light is excellent and it completely washes out the beam from my Cateye HL-EL450.  The Cateye’s output has a slight bluish tint whereas the NiteRider is a brighter, cleaner, white light.  I haven’t been out cycling with the NiteRider yet, but I’ve performed the ‘in-the-house-in-the-dark‘ test and the ‘stare-into-the-light‘ (!!!) test.  It passed both tests well.  The NiteRider’s beam is wide with a centrally focused ‘hot spot’ – it’s significantly brighter than the Cateye, ensuring that you can see and be seen more.

Unlike the Cateye though, there’s only one mode on the NiteRider.  It’s either on or off – no high/low mode and no flashing mode.

Another independent review of this light can be found over on the Women In Training blog – I found this review useful as I made up my mind on whether or not to buy the NiteRider.

The Box

In The Box

Contents (battery velcro not shown)

Light and Battery (£1 coin for scale)

Cateye HL-EL450 vs NiteRider MiNewt Mini-USB

MiNewt Mini-USB Fitted To Dahon D7HG

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Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres – Dahon D7HG

Sunday May 24, 2009

As posted yesterday, I collected my Big Apples from the Post Office and my plan was to fit them this weekend.  The plan has been successfully completed and the Schwalbe Big Apples are now fitted to the Dahon D7HG.

I purchased the tyres from online store Dotbike and they arrived ‘next day’ – although I was out so the Post Office held on to them until the weekend when I could get over to collect them.  It was the first time I’d used Dotbike and it was a smooth and speedy transaction so I’ll be using them again in the future.

Schwalbe Big Apple - BIG AppleThe Big Apples (BA) are known as ‘balloon tyres’ which offer a softer, smoother ride and effectively absorb more of the road imperfections.

The BAs are replacing the factory-fitted Kenda Kwest tyres on my D7HG.  Compared to the now fitted BAs, the Kwests look very narrow – the Kwests are 20 x 1.5″ and the BAs are 20 x 2.0″.  The BAs are far chunkier and really to enhance the look of the D7HG making the wheels look far more substantial.  Based on looks alone, the BAs are definitely worth the cash!

Like the Kwests, the BAs have a 3M reflective strip on the sidewall which makes you stand out at night.  The BAs also have ‘Kevlar Guard’ which is designed to provide additional puncture resistance.

Fitting the tyres was relatively easy.  The front wheel was the easiest to remove: unhook the brake cable, loosen the two axle nuts (with my new spanner) and pull the wheel off.  Then, using the Crankbrothers Speedlever, I removed the Kwest tyre.  After a quick visual check of the existing rim tape, I pushed the BA tyre onto the rim followed by the new Schwalbe inner tube.  Before pushing the tyre completely onto the rim, I pumped the tube up slightly to enable it to gain its shape – this was to minimise the risk of nipping the tube as I pushed the tyre on.  I didn’t use any tools to fit the new tyre, resorting to thumbs and fingers so as to not damage the new inner tube.  Once fitted I inflated to 60PSI and refitted the wheel to the bike.

The removal of the rear wheel was going to be a little more complex and it was to be the first time I’d removed a wheel with a hub gear system. With this in mind I checked out the Dahon forum and other sites and collated the following information:

Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted on the DahonAll proved to be useful.  One thing that I noted was that I didn’t remove the chain from the pedal cog prior to trying to remove the wheel – if I had done, after loosening the axle bolts, then I’m sure that I would have removed the wheel quicker and ended up with less oil and grease on my hands.

Having refitted both wheels, minor adjustments were required to prevent the new, fatter, tyres from rubbing on the Dahon’s mudguards.  The front adjustments involved a couple of screws and the rear mudguard was adjusted with a little bending and brute force.

After all that it was time for a quick ride around outside to check that all was in order.  They definitely do make the ride more comfortable and they do change the handling of the bike, in a positive way.  I didn’t ride far so I haven’t really tested the tyres, that will be (hopefully) tomorrow’s task.

So, tyres fitted.  They look great and really do improve the look of the bike.

More photos on my Flickr account.

Schwalbe Big Apple - Fitted

Dahon D7HG and Schwalbe Big Apples

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Early Saturday

Saturday March 14, 2009

Another early Saturday morning ride, this time to get some parcels from the Post Office.  The Dahon was the chosen vehicle for this and I slowly cycled into town.

I’ve had a bad neck this week, I must of pulled a muscle somehow, so the ride was slow and looking either side or behind proved to be painful.

Took a couple of snaps on my mobile phone camera of the Castle and the Cathedral on the way back.  These photos show the buildings from different angles compared to my previous photos.

(The camera on my Nokia E51 is not very good!).

Click on the images to view larger copies or pop over to my Out on the Bike set at Flickr.

Rochester Castle

Rochester Cathedral

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