Friday, May 10, 2013

First impression: Dr Hon Mu P27

30 years and beyond... 

Dr Hon Bicycles, soon, to revert back to the Dahon Bicycles trademark, is an endearing brand which is here to stay.
They've come a long way and this year, we will see a few new models on the shelves. 
I picked up my first review bike of the year:  the Dr Hon Mu P27, an improved version of the Dahon Mu P24 (24-speed drivetrain with the NEOS trinity drive - a marriage of cassette and hub gear driven by a single chainring).

An all-rounder: the Mu P27
A decent upgrade...

We've seen a small quantity of the Dahon Mu P24 in the market. 
And frankly, it didn't really caught up as it should be.
The apparent issue was the constant slipping of the gear when you use the internal hub.
And technically-speaking, the NEOS trinity drive is actually a Sturmey-Archer hub gear. 
In the latest rendition of the 27-speed Mu, Dr Hon had incorporated the SRAM Dual Drive III trekking drivetrain.
And with SRAM, you can really trust its quality.
This is the same drivetrain on the Dahon Jetstream EX.
I've used the SRAM Dual Drive II without any issues. And I can see the same performance delivered by the Mu P27.

The ride...

I took this bike out for a spin, it was pretty responsive.
Shifting the gears was a breeze, there were no skipping as the DD3 internal hub gear delivers the torque which is needed for taking on undulating terrain.
If you are adventurous, you can add on some luggage racks and take the Mu P27 for touring rides.

Decent stuff: the SRAM X-7 rear derailleur

Dr Hon's 30th Annivesary emblem on the bike's stem
Some visible weaknesses..

This bike is manufactured in China.
Fit, finish and quality is pretty decent.
But, there are some small issues regarding component quality that you will need to observe.
First, the stock-standard tires are virtually a brand which is unheard of.
And since the groupset is entirely SRAM, that's the saving grace on this bike
To get the most out of it, you might have to ditch the lousy Wellgo pedals. 
I broke one sometime back and frankly, it will only be better if you fit them with an MKS EZY quick release pedal.
I don't know what kind of brakes were used on this bike, it certainly is below par as the rear brake squeaks like hell. 
Spare the pedals and brakes, if properly re-fitted with better quality components, you will get a decent bike that will last for years... 
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