18 Mar Maintenance Tips for your Dahon
We have a whole playlist of official maintenance videos for your DAHON that include hinge adjustment, removing wheels, fitting fenders and more. For more general maintenance tips and advice, read on.
Your manual has a section about this for more complete advice. With folding bikes, there is a tendency to set the seatpost a little on the low side. This is not at all necessary; your bike is marked with a min and max insertion level so be sure never to exceed these, but do make sure you have your seat high enough so there is only a tiny bend at the knee when your foot is on the pedal at its lowest point. Make sure your hips do not rock side to side from overstretching on an over-high seatpost either. For folding bikes where the brake levers tuck away for a neater fold, make sure they are level and easy to grasp again on unfolding.
Every bicycle needs cleaning and your Dahon is no different. There are endless resources online telling you how best to approach cleaning and doing so will significantly increase the lifespan of your bike. So take the time, kit yourself out with some brushes, some hot, soapy water and the following guide.
After cleaning, make sure all those moving parts are protected and working as efficiently as possible with a proper lubing. This can include your chain, derailleur, brakes, cables and more. The above guide includes lubrication but there are plenty of other articles and videos out there.
Don’t forget to take a good look at your bike every now and again, you might just spot something small before it becomes a big problem. Things to look out for include cracks (of course) but also discoloration, deep scratches and wrinkling paint. These tend to occur around joints and stems and are signs of stress and fatigue on the frame. You should also check your brake pads to see they are properly aligned, have nothing embedded in them and are not over-worn. Brakes should make contact with the rim before the lever is pulled back more than one third of its travel. If you have squeaky brakes they may be incorrectly ‘toed in’ – read all about it here. For wheels, try squeezing each pair of spokes. They should all feel the same and not be rusted, bent, etc. Check your grips, cables and tires. If anything is looking worn, frayed, cracked or loose you should think about replacing it. See your manual for more checks.
The distinguishing feature of any folding bike is of course the hinge, or hinges (or latch). They are also the most complex part so take care to read the manual and always use and secure the hinges in the correct way. We have a few different types of hinge and you should always see your dealer if you have any doubt about the condition. There should be no play, rattling, clicking or free swinging of the frame. Equally the latch should not be so tight that it takes a lot of effort to close. As a guide, the frame should open and close with a force of 39-88N. Check frequently that the hinge is free from dirt, debris, warping and discoloration. Riding with an improperly secured or even an over-tightened hinge can seriously damage the bike and is a risk to your safety. For stem/handlepost latches, always ensure the latch is fully open, with the stem in its full, upright, unfolded position, before securing.
When your Dahon is brand new, it is highly advisable to go for a tuneup after the first few weeks of riding. All bicycles experience a ‘breaking in’ period so you may find that some components or the hinge need a little readjustment. If you bought your bike online it is absolutely vital to have it assembled and checked by a dealer before riding. This is not only for warranty purposes but for your safety. The above advice is not exhaustive but may help you get more miles and a better performance out of your folding bike. Happy riding!