Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2009 Speed P8 - An update...

After scrapping my Raleigh road bike, well, back in late '97 - I began researching about effective ways to get around.
One of the methods was having a folding bike.
Back in the days, internet was slow. We had to share terminals at the office and I remember talking to my co-workers about it.
Fast-forward to 2006, I made a trip to Melbourne, Australia with my wife.
During the holiday, we made a trip to St Kilda's pier, a recreational area.
There was a bike shop there and the first thing I saw, was  a selection of Dahon Folding Bikes.
That's where the love affair began.
Back in mid-2009, I was window-shopping in Taipan USJ and came across an Obsidian Black Dahon Speed P8.
I don't have a clue what big chainrings, multiple cogwheels meant.
What drew me to the bike, was its colour, frame design and simplicity.
So, with that said, my journey to the world of folding bikes began...

Three years and still running: Samo's 2009 Dahon Speed P8
Got it right the first time...
I am not a competitive person.
Don't see the need in modifications to make the bike 'faster'.
Not interested in track races or smoking other bicyclists on the road.
The Dahon Speed P8 helped me to appreciate my journey.
In short, it was an experience.
From a simple 'bare-minimal' frame and the fittings, I added a pair of SKS fenders.
Later, an Arclite rack (now serving my 2009 Curve SL), and following that, a set of front and rear traveler's rack.
These became essential on my tours to parts of the country.
Initially, I'd outfitted my bike and Michelle's Speed TR with a set of Topeak panniers.
These were crappy, so, I got them replaced with a set of Ortlieb front and backrollers including a rackpack.
For night-riding, a Cateye Reflex rear light was added.
And for the long-haul, I changed the Biologic saddle to a Selle Royal Ergo Gel insert seat.
Other bells and whistles on the Speed P8 included a Cateye Commuter Cyclometer, a Garmin EDGE800 basic bundle GPS including a GSC Speed and Cadence sensor.
In short, after slowly building the bike, its now touring-ready...

The bike's cockpit
Long-term upgrades
I don't see a need for parts and components upgrade as everything is working fine.
Maybe a tire change as the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 wheels are superb in terms of puncture protection.
To date, the Speed P8 has clocked-in more than 3,000km and is one of my highly used folding bike.
I see more adventures with the Speed in the adventures to come.
This bike would be even better if I can replace its stem with a VRO stem. But whether it impairs folding or not remains to be seen.
Till something better comes along, the Dahon Speed P8 will see a lot of action.

The happy tourer: This is one of the best bikes from Dahon

All-round visibility: The Cateye rear mirrors are a life-saver!
It couldn't get any better!
Hahah! Yes, its true.
Of all the four versions of the Speed - D7, P8, TR and Pro TT (replaced by the Vector X27h), the Speed P8 is one of the best Dahon has ever produced.
I really dig the Chromoly steel frame (now, mostly aluminium on the present models) that can take so much punishment.
When fully rigged, the bike continued to haul and with an extra 30kg load, speed is no longer an issue.
I did express my interest in the past to add a Rholoff-14 internal hub gear. But this is reserved for my Bike Friday Pocket Llama project.
Right now, I am happy with what I have and I don't think I would want to change anything on this awesome bike till its parts begin to breakdown...
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