I'm surprised people are still posting
on this old thread. Cool.
I did end up buying
that Dahon Jetstream EX, plus one classic (i.e. clunky) Dahon foldup.
The Jetstream is brilliant. I had no idea that it is possible to design a fold-up bike which rides like a good road bike, but here you are. This bike has a full suspension which more than makes up for the small (20") wheels, in terms of ride comfort. The ergonomics are fantastic -- actually better than my full sized non-folding bike (a gradually bastardized, that is, road bike-ized MBX which I keep at my country house). It has a Shimano seven speed hub in the rear wheel
which eliminates the rear derailleur, plus a three speed derailleur on the front chainwheel, for 21 gears. The gear
range is not quite right for me -- two or three uselessly big gears (considering the high speed instability), and lacking two or three really granny gears which would be especially useful when pulling a trailer, so I might play with the chainwheels.
It does not have the disk brakes and the brakes are not that great, but that's not all that important -- because the one really big difference from a regular full size bike is that it is not stable at speeds over about 20mph.
I knocked off about 50 miles riding all around the Isle of Wight from Yarmouth the first day I tried it out without really breaking a sweat. Without cleats
. Now I have my cleats
on board and am looking forward to trying the bike with them. I might even get in a little better shape, if I have more time to spend on this thing
So I think this is a terrific thing for exploring on land while cruising, getting groceries (need a trailer for that). I can't really express how amazed I was at the way this thing rides -- stiff, light, responsive, like a really good road bike from the 1980's. I road all over Germany
and Yugoslavia on a $3000 road bike in 1980-81 which I built myself; I swear this little foldup bike is every bit as good and actually has better ergonomics.
The only problem is storage
At the moment, the bikes are taking up one of my sleeping cabins, which obviously is not a long term solution. Everything of course becomes 3x bulkier when you bring it on board
I guess I'm going to have to go through the lazarette again, throw some more things out, and make some room for them there. Or maybe hang them in the engine
room somehow -- I think I have the volume, just nothing to stand them on. Argh
on board, you have the problem of getting them on and off shore. Even with my large (3.4 meter) dinghy
, I think I would have to make two trips, to take both bikes on shore.