The last couple of trips out to Vancouver, I’ve been renting a bike. This time, I decided to store a bike out here. Due to space constraints, it made sense to go for a folder. I got a Dahon Speed Uno. As noted elsewhere, it is a very simple one speed bike with a coaster brake and no cables, and the flat black paint gives it a distinctive look. I bought it from Cambie Cycles. I was more than happy to give them the business since I’ve known about them for years. They are probably still one of the premier bike shops for recumbents in Canada. They even make their own Tour Easy type bike, called the Recumboni.
I could have gotten a Mu Uno instead, but the Mu is $200 more. The Speed Uno is clearly built to a price, with a crank with integral chainring, and steel hubs, but for my purposes, I think that it will do just fine.
Here is a picture of the front hub, with one of the little caps that conceal the 15mm nuts removed. No quick releases on this bike.
It also has an unusual piece of grooved plastic that encloses the chain on three sides. I guess that this is to keep grease off your pants. You can see it here in this image, where the top of the chain is visible in the lower length of chain. It makes a weird whining noise when I pedal. If there is some associated drag, it’s not terribly noticeable.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the stiffness of the frame and the handlebar stem so far. I have a PBW folder, and I have owned an early Bike Friday, and I’d say that the stem is probably stiffer than either of those bikes.
The one thing I don’t like about the bike (and many folding bikes), is that I don’t like straight bars. My wrists are much happier when then are in the same position as on the hoods of drop bars. Therefore, I decided to switch to a bullhorn type bar.
I made sure that the new bar was shorter than the old one so that it would not interfere with the fold. On the original straight bar, you can see the ergo type grips, and two rubber donuts that keep the bar centered on the stem clamp.
Here is the bull horn with bar tape. I’m much happier now, since the curved sections also make the riding position a bit more stretched out. Also, it is much more pleasant to pull on the bar ends when I’m standing on the pedals up a hill. With the 64″ single gear, I’ll be doing that a lot in Vancouver.