Thursday, July 19, 2012

Buying My 2nd Foldie

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                               AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                             
BUYING MY 2ND FOLDIE
The Dahon Dash P18 Midnight Black
(Disclaimer - all prices mentioned are approximate prices and rounded up. For more accurate pricing please contact the relevant people. This blog is not a review, it's more on my adventure in purchasing my 2nd Foldie)

My first foldie was a basic - one with bare minimum gear-speeds and not to expensive; as I wasn't sure whether my foray into biking would last. Whether it would just mushroom up and fade away all too soon.

I started riding on my own, then joined my friend Sin for some group rides, getting to make new friends. We soon formed our own smaller group of 6. And I was really enjoying biking.


Just after 2 weeks from my first purchase and I was bitten by the biking bug!

But some of the rides (Like the Damansara Heights ride) were tough, going up steep roads and my basic 7-speed foldie just wasn't built for it. At some of the steeper and longer slopes I just couldn't make it to the top, humbly dismounting & pushing my bike up.

So what should I do? Up-grade! My biking buddies advised me. Upgrade!

Two week into biking and I was looking for a better lighter bike. Why? I must clear those slopes. NO MORE PUSHING!

I had met Well, the organizer of the Damansara Heights ride during that ride. She has her own shop Folding Bike Trading located at Emerald Plaza East, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. One can also view their FaceBook page at Folding Bike Malaysia, which informs member of coming rides and also update them on latest foldies and accessories. They sell only foldies, so one can expect a good range from them; from basics to alloy frames to carbon frames. From starter bikes at lower prices to top-end bikes costing RM10k & above. 


Folding Bike Trading
These are the bikes I saw at Well's place. She even let me have a short test-spin for some of the bikes.


Hummer (see specs)
The Hummer HM2000 is a beautiful, rugged looking bike - nicely color coordinated even with yellow cables and brake levers. I was tempted because of it looks but it was a basic with a 7-speed gear train. Price at around RM1,800 So I stayed on track and looked at the next one.


Dahon Dash P18 (see specs)
The Dahon Dash P18, an 18-speed bike with slim tires.Test riding it felt great. But I was concerned about the folding, as it needed allen keys to unlock for folding. And white wasn't my favorite color. Priced at RM2,800. On to the next one then.


Ori ECO C8 (see specs)
The Ori ECO C8, an entry level foldie from Ori Japan, looks classic with a solid mid-shaft frame. Frame is aluminium and it is a 8-speed bike and a light bike (10.8kg excluding pedals). It is unique that it folds at the wheels into a compact size and is yet roller-able. Almost to my liking, but not yet as a 8-speeder and color is white. Priced at RM2,800.


KHS F20-T3 (see specs)
The KHS F20-T3 is an American bike with a 27-speed gear train and weighs a light 11.6kg. It's 27-speed gives it a good riding age. Priced at RM2,950. Still not yet as didn't like the lime green color and wan't sure of a 27-speeder. Well mentioned bringing some KHS F20-T2 in a couple of wees, these at 18-speed at will be cheaper. So perhaps, I wait for them.

Still not having found something suitable, I went back home and searched the net for shops selling foldies nearby and found FoldingBike2u with their shop at nearby Centrepoint, Bandar Utama, Selangor, Malaysia. Well, that's for the next day's hunt.


FoldingBike2u
I called up FoldingBike2u and popped over to Centrepoint, Bandar Utama - please note that they are at the new wing. The address is for a Scuba Diving shop which I think they co-own. The folding bike shop is just opposite this diver's place.


Downtube Nova (see specs)
The Downtube Nova is an American brand, aluminium frame, 7-speed, and looks good in the strong orange color. Priced at RM1,500, it could attract beginners or those who are looking for a basic. Still a basic, so moving on to the next.


Ubike
This is a 7-speed Ubike Taiwan brand, good colors. But still a basic, so still not right. Priced at RM1700. Searching the net for this, I also found Taiwan Commuter Bike Rentals, an interesting public bike rental by the Taiwan government to encourage commuter biking.


16" Providence BP01
The BP01 by manufacturer Providence is a 16" rim bike with a 7-speed gear hub.


Providence BP01 folded
It folds into a very compact & neat package. However at 16" and 7-speed, it's still not the bike I was looking for.


HP Velotechnik Gekko FX Recumbent Tricycle
FoldingBike2u also sell recumbent cycles. Although not what I was looking for, they allowed me to try out the HP Velotchnik Gekko FX, a German bike. It was an interesting short trial ride. Surprisingly this is a foldie and folds fairly compact for it's size.

I was quite keen on a couple of the bikes above, but my limited knowledge made me uncertain of some of them. So I went to see my friend, Johnny (of My Bicyle Shop)  to seek some advice. While he was giving me some advise, out of the corner of my eyes I spotted the following.


Dahon Dash P18 in Obsidian
It was a Dahon Dash P18 in matte black (actually the color is called obsidian in Dahon's site). It looked stunning with lime green stripes. But I was still apprehensive about the difficulty of folding. But Johnny showed me that it only takes one turn of the allen key for each of the two joints, and a couple of turns for the handle. One have to be careful when folding/unfolding though, the rear-gear cable can get caught and will fray.


The Dahon Dash P18 folded
The Dash does not fold as compactly as other foldies as it was designed as a bike to take rugged and fast rides. The body folds in half, but the handles can't be folded down like many other foldies, it can only be re-aligned to be parallel to the front wheel for more compact folding. At 10.6kg it is one of the lighter bikes.


My Dahon Dash P18
I got this as my 2nd Foldie, first to be able to conquer those steep slopes, and secondly for its good ride-ability  and sleek looks. Having ridden it a few time, I have learnt to enjoy biking even more. Next? To more challenging rides and also scenic leisure tours & maybe some overseas rides...... but first got to get a luggage bag that can fit the Dash.

Many thanks to my friend Sin and Nash for encouraging me; Johnny, Jimmy & Well for letting me learn a little bit more of bikes.

Cheerio then. Thanks for reading this old man's blog.

Postcript:
They are two stories behind the buying of my second foldable bike. This is the serious one, for the hilarious one read - Buying My 2nd Folding Bike

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Bikes & Accessories / Buying My 2nd Foldie
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
(comments most welcomed below. if you like this pls share via facebook or twitter)

30 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks,
      Still enjoying the Dash. Choice was difficult to make. But the pricing and color won out.

      Delete
  2. hi, u manage to get a black p18 without the new axis stem!
    some ppl prefer the old stem.
    i tot all 2012 stock comes with the new axis stem?...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi babi3,
      The one I got is the 2011 model. Yes, I prefer it without the axis stem too, easier to dismantle and re-align the handle. Also it does not look so bulky, the Dash suppose to be sleek and fast bike.
      Anyway, tomorrow will be riding the Merdeka Ride in KL with aout 60 riders.

      Where are you from?

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the info, i'm frm kl ,
      have a 2010 dashp18.

      Delete
    3. Cool..... another Dasher! Where do you ride? Are you in any riding group?

      Delete
    4. I chose the dash because of the frame design which is like a real bike. and also the speed range. I would go for the vitesse p18 if it is available here, but Lerun just won't import it, now Dahon have a new model which is the Visc P18 but the spec is 'watered down' compare to the Japan spec.

      I'm paranoid of riding in the city,because of the traffic n exhaust gas that u have to inhale. The traffic in KL compare to 20 years ago( when i started to cycle) is just crazy.

      I notice many cyclist like to go titi klawang genting sempah, i've never cycle there, but those days i remember those route on the weekends are used by mat rempits to 'leper' corners, superbikers riding like speed demons, and touge drifters ala tokyo drifs.

      Currently I didnt join any riding group.

      Delete
    5. Thanks babi3.You sure do know your bikes well. In our recent Genting Sempah ride we started earlier, surprisingly the traffic was quite light - I guess most use the Karak Highway these days. Din not meet any mat rempits, perhpas it was too early for them.

      I take it that although you don't join any groups, you probably are riding with a couple of friends. Not so safe to ride alone these days.

      Happy Riding!

      Delete
  3. hi jotaro,
    berapa harga Dahon Dash P18 ni? dah lama saya cari. if it's on my budget, i'll go to ur friend's shop (johnny) to buy it. hihi... really crazy about this sporty bike.

    zaini, putrajaya.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zaini,

      Thanks for your inquiry and interest in my blogs.

      Harga-nya bila saya beli list price rm2,550 tapi boleh bargain.
      Sekarang banyak susah dapat yang warna hitam, putih ada.
      Tetapi check dgn Johnny atas stock hitam bila boleh hantar dan harga nya.

      Sekarang, bang guna bisikal apa? Banyak pergi menunggang?

      Selamat Hari.

      Jotaro

      Delete
  4. hello
    I would be very interested in buying a dash p18 obsidian black size L.
    DO YOU KNOW WHERE CAN I BUY.
    iN ITALY DOES NOT EXIST.
    THANK YOU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Matias,
      Thanks for reading my blogs.
      Perhaps you could check out this site:

      http://dahon.com/mainnav/dahon-store-finder.html

      Seems like there is no dealers in Italy, the nearest seems to be in Switzerland, next will be Germany.
      Hope this will help.

      Regards,
      the AhPek Biker

      Delete
  5. So, how well does the Dash climb?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Dash climbs very well, taking on most slopes even the steeper ones much easily than with the Brompton.

      Delete
  6. Yes. I agree dash climb and on the road very well But cycling my dash (2013 model) going down slope or cycling too fast will fell very hard to balance and stable the handlebar. Did you face as these happened ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,
      No, I do not face this problem. If you go fast or downhill, lean forward a bit.
      And if braking apply the back brakes first before applying the front.
      For my bikes, the left brake lever controls the back brake as the right side is use for changing gears more often.
      Hope these tips help.

      Delete
    2. My dash handlebar will rotate n become misaligned from the front wheel when i shift my body weight n press into the handle bar,eg. Lift my butt off the saddle. Why

      Delete
    3. Dear Wee,
      There could be a couple of things that could cause this to happen.
      Firstly, when you put back your handle after folding, make sure that the nut that screws onto the handle vertical shaft is tight. If it is not, the the front wheel may misalign. This has happened to me before but fortunately, I was not cycling at that time as the misalignment happened after I folded the bike.
      Secondly, if after tightening that handle bar nut this still happens, then the screw on top of the vertical shaft may have to be tightened. For this it is best to seek the help of a bicycle shop.
      Hope this helps you.

      Regards.

      Delete
  7. I live in Adelaide and folding bike is rare. Most ride road bike. I have a mountain bike and a hybrid bike. I didn't join any riding group as they are too fast for me. I used to ride on my own pace and enjoying the scenery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI, William!
      It's great to ride and as you aptly put it "enjoy the scenery". Often, we missed out interesting places when we drive zooming past them.
      Many of us use folding bikes as they are easy to put into the car boot. Some of my friends have their bikes always in there car, and take them out to ride when they feel like it or the location is just too tempting. After a while cycling around the neighbourhood becomes routine; so on weekends we drive to smaller villages, and ride around there. And sometimes there is the bonus of a beautiful lake or waterfall nearby.
      I was in Sydney recently, and I find the place so bicycle friendly, it was great cycling there. I would think Adelaide would be lovely to cycle in too.

      Till then, Ride Well Ride Safe

      Cheers Mate!

      Delete
  8. Hi do you know where I can find the dash p18 in obsidian ? In Singapore or jb? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI,
      My Dash P18 is a 2011 model. And I find it a rugged and useful work horse.
      The newer post 2013 models are slightly different with disc brakes, etc.
      Are you looking for a new Dash or a used one?
      Perhaps you could try Rodalink in Singapore they have several branches in Singapore.
      Check out this link for their locations:
      http://www.baikbike.com/bicycle-shops/

      Regards,
      AhPek Biker

      Delete
  9. Dear AhPek rider,

    Just got my new Dahon Dash P18 on Friday. Been riding around my neighborhood. Watched some YouTube to learn about shifting gears which is basically avoiding Large Large or Small Small. Can you provide me some basic tips on the gears? A bit confuse on the gears as I've never use a geared bike before. Thanks.

    Regards,
    Kuan from Penang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kuan,
      Great of you to write to me here.
      For me, I usually ride with the Large Front gear. Only when I go up steep slopes do I change to the Small Front gear.
      Other than that I stick to the Large Front gear and play with the rear gears accordingly to the the flatness of the road.
      On real flat roads, it's the Large Front Gear and the smallest Rear Gear and the Dash can really dash about. But do be careful when riding fast, be alert at all times.
      I would advise you practice using the gears riding in an area with less traffic, perhaps the cycling lanes from Tesco to Queensbay.

      Should you have any further questions do feel free to ask me.

      Regards,
      the AhPek Biker

      Delete
  10. Dear Jotaro,

    Thanks for the reply. Large Front is High or Low gear? Right side gears are numeric 1 - 9. Need more specific for Newbie like me. Kamsiah.

    Regards,
    Kuan from Penang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Kuan,
      The Large gear in front is high gear, the small is low gear.
      For the back, it's the other way round. The largest is lowest gear and the smallest one is highest.

      Here's hoping you have more adventures soon. Do ride safe.

      Delete
  11. Dear Sir,
    Dash P18 suitable for 180cm n 98kg person like me or not.....wanna bought it too....tq in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Mr.. Pager,
      The Dash L-size should be able to fit you.
      It can fit a max rider height of 188cm and take a maximum weight of 105kg.
      For more details please go to the following site and click the specification tab:
      http://dahon.com/mainnav/folding-bikes/single-view/bike/dash_p18-1.html

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      the AhPek Biker

      Delete
  12. Hi, the The Dahon Dash P18 Midnight Black looks stunning. Where can I get it in Klang Valley? And it be upgraded to 10/11 speed ? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi!
      The Dash can be obtained from many cycling shops including Rodalink.
      You could also contact Johnny of My Bicycle Shop in Bandar Utama. He could still be holding some stock.
      Contact him via his Facebook page:
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Bicycle-Shop/190359582326

      Delete