Sunday, October 07, 2007

Dahon Curve D3 -- Folding and Luggage

I continue to be very pleased with my Dahon Curve D3. I've pretty much got the bike dialed in now. The pictures show how the bike folds and what I'm using for luggage. I also added bar-ends, lights and a bell to the bike and for better wet-weather braking, I upgraded the brakes with Koolstop Salmon brake pads.

The bike rides really well. Having the bag up front doesn't seem to bother the handling but like most folders, the D3 is not a bike I can ride no-handed. Single-handed riding is fine, however. The Schwalbe Big Apple tires are great, I've ridden them on rough roads and gravel paths and they are plenty comfy.

Speaking of comfy, the stock saddle is cushier than what I usually ride but it seems right for this bike. I'm quite upright on the bike but I've already logged some fifty mile days on the bike and I still like the saddle. The Dahon is such a kick to ride, I'll probably ride a century on it before too long.

I have done a few multi-modal trips with the Dahon, things like taking the bike on the bus from Seattle to Federal Way and then riding the last few miles to a corporate commute seminar. But some folks are doing really adventurous multi-modal trips, like this guy:


Kim @ Socius: Daejeon Central said...

Hi Kent-

I've been reading here for a while but I think it's the first time I've commented.

I'm looking to be engaging in some multi-modal touring over the next few years through Asia and into Europe. I have some serious bike lust for a Dahon Tournado, but it's unavailable to me here in S. Korea. Dahon also makes a traditional folding style tourer called the Speed TR that I'm considering instead.

While I don't think you ride either of those bikes, you do have a cousin there in the Curve, and you said you've logged some serious mileage on it (50 miles and planning a century!). You've obviously got some faith in the capabilities of a folder over distances.

I'm wondering if you have an comments on the bike that I'm considering given what you're riding and how far you've gone.

Sorry for clogging up the comments; I couldn't find an email address.

Vik said...


I'd be curious to hear what you think of the Speed TR if you've had a chance to see or ride one.

I'm thinking about one to take with me when I travel for work and for use on our local transit system which doesn't allow bikes during prime time.

Ush said...

Is there any way that regular panniers (I'm thinking specifically about Ortlieb Classic Rollers) would fit on the rear rack? It looks like they'd bang on your heels or maybe be a bit too low to the ground.

Are there other rear-rack options?

Kent Peterson said...

Regular panniers are pretty much a no-go because of the heel clearance issue. You can fit a good-sized bag up front and a tall, Moulton-style bag can fit in on the rear rack and be supported by the long seatpost. The balance is actually fine with this because the little wheels still mean that the load is fairly low.

As for the various models of Dahons, all I can say is that it looks like the quality of Dahons in general has gone up across the line. The best sources I've found for folder info are the Folding Society and "A to B" magazine, both out of the UK.

mb said...

Thanks for the insights! I read your blog and others before I decided on the Curve.

Nice Dahon Curve you got there. Love the bags and the red colour. This is my white one, with some enhancements:

Tony Licuanan said...

Speaking of folders... u wanna borrow my tiny one for April Fools? You should take pics, with panniers and gear, etc...

cmcanulty said...

Can you post procedures for getting the curve in an airline legal suitcase?

Kent Peterson said...

I'm the wrong guy to ask about airline travel as I tend to prefer more earthbound forms of travel. However, J. Gaerlan describes how to get a 20" wheeled Dahon into an airline-legal case here:

A 16" wheeled bike like the Curve should be even easier.

When I go on the train or the bus, I just cover the Curve with the slipcover and pack it right in as cargo.

KP said...

Hi Kent,

I've just bought a Curve D3 and I must say I like it. I read your blog (several times) and it (and the photos) really helped me make my mind up to get one.

I have just one problem though and was wandering if the same thing has happened to you? I found myself getting nearer the ground this morning as I was cycling along as the seatpost was dropping through. The lock on it is either too loose or it's so tight I cant lock it off. Any tips to get round this?

Thanks. Happy cycling!!

Kent Peterson said...

Hi kp,

It sounds like you need to fiddle with the knurled knob on the seatpost clamp on the opposite side of the quick release lever. That knob basically controls the preload on the quick release. You want the quick release to feel kind of tight when the lever is perpendicular to the frame and very snug when it's parallel to the frame.

John Shannon said...

Kent, where does one buy the "toe clips" used to secure the bag to the handlebar?

Kent Peterson said...


Almost any bike shop that still has folks that remember what toe clips are will have the toe straps.