Dec 5, 2011

Dahon Mu P8 review


In September this year, I decided to upgrade my ageing and cheap Pyramid 16 inch folding bike to a Dahon Mu P8.



The specs are available on the Dahon website, and they are specific for each country. In the UK we get Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 20 x 1.6 tyres, SKS mudguards, Ergon-like grips, the ArcLite pannier rack and a kickstand. The folding pedals are also supplied and I believe are made by Wellgo.

I fitted a set of Smart Lunar lights,


and an Altura landing strip to attach my Altura Dry-line rack bag.



I was pleased to find out that my enormous 56 litre Altura pannier bags do fit with minimal pedal interference:


What's it like to ride a 20 inch Dahon Mu P8?
Riding a Dahon Mu P8 does not feel any different to riding a more upright and smaller 26 inch hybrid.
It does though give the additional benefit of smaller wheels which help when negotiating stationary traffic.

The 20x1.6 Schwalbe Marathon Supreme are excellent tyres, which if inflated to the recommended 80 psi rear / 60 psi front, give very little rolling resistance and still provide cushioning from most pot holed road surfaces.

The shifting is very positive, the rear derailer is quick to engage cogs and ground clearance is enough that getting too close to kerbs is not going to be an issue.

I find that if I down shift to cog 3 when stopping at junctions, I get a very quick acceleration off the line and I can then quickly shift to cog 5 or 6 for normal cruising. The two additional cogs (7 and 8) are great when engaging in a bit of SCR or simply riding a tail wind or a gentle downhill.

Upgrades
Brakes could be better: I am planning to upgrade the pads to Shimano XT style pads which would improve performance and reduce noise considerably.

The stock saddle, a Biologic Aria, is tailored for comfort on short journeys.
To improve the handling, comfort and pedaling efficiency, I am planning to upgrade to a saddle more suited to me, such as the Selle Italia C2 currently fitted to my hybrid commuter.

I have also compiled a list of hints and tips for fellow owners and prospective buyers.

2 comments:

  1. I've been looking for a pannier option for my Dahon and thought you'd come up with a solution but I note from your photograph that you must pedal with your heels on the pedals or have tiny feet which don't hit the panniers as you pedal. I have size eleven feet and could never use your set up.

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    1. As I said in the review, there is minimal pedal interference, this might be subjective but I do not pedal with my heels on the pedals nor I have tiny feet, but I have size 10 feet. I do pedal with my feet slightly more central than normal. A smaller pannier will fit your needs I am sure.

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