Sunday, May 19, 2013

Installing FNHON Handlepost for Dahon Bikes (T-shaped, 31.5cm, Silver)

What you see in the title is not a typo error. Yes there is a bicycle brand called "Fnhon", and it is no surprise that they produce parts similar to Dahon bikes. From the name, it is obvious that it is a knockoff brand, but the quality seems to be pretty decent. In fact, it is getting popular in China, where there is a really hot market for folding bikes, with countless brands of folding bikes popping up.

I got to know of this brand through reading bicycle forums based in China/Taiwan, such as Mobile01 or 77Bike. From other people's reviews, this brand seems to be one of the better knockoff brands that are similar to Dahon.

Of course, there are many many brands that attempt to copy Dahon, making frames that look so alike that the only difference seems to be the colour and graphics. However, what makes Fnhon stands out from the rest is that they actually take Dahon's designs and improve on it, adding features and specifications that Dahon does not have.

For example, mounting the FD on Dahon bikes have always been troublesome, especially if the frame does not come with the FD mounting bracket. For Fnhon, what they improved on is that all their frames come with the FD mounting bracket AND also the cable stopper for the FD outer casing. This makes installing the FD and the cabling a breeze, as easy as installing the RD system.
 
The outer casing stopper located on the rear of the Fnhon frame seat tube. 
Simple but useful addition!

Another Fnhon component which I am impressed with is the handlepost. Although Dahon was the first to come up with the ubiquitous Dahon handlepost design, what I feel is lacking in Dahon designs is the choices available for the end user. For example, their T-shaped handleposts (such as on Speed Pro TT, Vector X27) are all outward folding only, and of only one height.

Fnhon saw a chance and came into the market, offering different handlepost specifications. Just to list a few, Fnhon has 1 piece, inward folding handleposts of at least 3 different lengths. Besides the different lengths and different colours (silver and black), there are also various mounting methods for the handlebar. You can choose between the T-shaped type (where you need an additional LitePro Stem), the popular quick release type (same page as the LitePro Stem), and a new bolted type. To see more, check out this Taobao page.

Warning: Very poisonous page for bike upgrading!

For my Dahon Boardwalk and Vitesse bikes, the handleposts are both of the inward folding type. Due to the special folding method that I use to fold the bikes, inward folding handleposts give a more compact fold with bullhorn or drop bars. This method also ensures that all the vulnerable parts such as the RD and shifters are on one side of the bike, and you can lean the bike on the other side safely. This are the reasons why I only use inward folding handleposts on the Boardwalk and Vitesse.

However, inward folding handleposts from Dahon are rather limited in choice. Besides the 2 piece handlepost on the Vitesse (which can be flexy and creaky, and may rotate if not tightened properly), and the Mu Uno handlepost on my Boardwalk (which is rather long), there are no other options from Dahon.

Therefore, when I came across the Fnhon range of handleposts, it felt like Fnhon has exactly the type of handleposts that I need! 1 piece, inward folding handleposts that are light and stiff.

This handlepost is meant for the Dahon Vitesse, to upgrade from the stock 2 piece handlepost to this 1 piece handlepost. Let us first take a look at the new Fnhon handlepost, and then a comparison with the Dahon handlepost to see the differences.

Fnhon T-shaped handlepost, 31.5cm length (excluding height of bottom section), silver colour.

Closer look at the T-shaped top and the Fnhon logo

My first impression of the handlepost is that it is rather well built. From the feel of the surface treatment and the welded joints, it looks just as good as Dahon handleposts. The hinge is also solid with no signs of excessive play.

Next, I took out the stock 2 piece handlepost from the Vitesse and compared it with this new handlepost.

Fnhon handlepost with the old type of safety latch

Dahon handlepost with the automatic safety latch, better but at a higher cost.

 Fnhon handlepost with a simplified construction of the latch mechanism. Instead of using a bolt with opposite left and right hand threads for adjustment, it was simplified to a long bolt that can be adjusted from the outside.

Adjust the tightness of the Fnhon clamp using an M4 Allen key from the outside

Dahon handlepost with the special oppositely threaded bolt, requires a wrench for adjustment.

Closer look at the Fnhon latch mechanism. Simple and elegant mechanism.

 The original Dahon latch mechanism. Ingenious, but comes at a higher cost than the improved Fnhon mechanism.

The base of the handlepost looks similar

Of course, a weight comparison. 521 grams for this Fnhon handlepost.

The stock 2 piece Dahon handlepost, 752 grams.

The most significant difference of all is the weight. The Fnhon handlepost is about 230 grams lighter, which is 30% lighter than the Dahon 2 piece handlepost. This dramatic reduction in weight is due to the absence of clamps on the top and in the middle of the handlepost, and the 1 piece construction.

Placing the handleposts side by side. Almost similar in length when the 2 piece handlepost is at its shortest.

Of course, the Fnhon handlepost is not perfect. There are some blemishes which can be seen, such as this.

Big burrs on the inside of the handlepost, at the T-shaped area. Does not affect function though.

Installing the handlepost is quite straightforward. Due to the open clamp design of the Dahon handlepost, the current bullhorn bar can be easily removed from the handlepost. Also, since the bullhorn bar already has the LitePro stem on it, it can be easily fixed onto the T-shaped end of the Fnhon handlepost. This is the reason why I chose the T-shaped handlepost for the Vitesse.

Bullhorn bar still on Dahon handlepost. The quick release lever limits the possible positions of the handlebar.

Remove the quick release clamp, and the handlebar can be removed easily!

Place the bullhorn bar to the side for now, and proceed to remove the handlepost from the bike. For more detailed instructions you can refer to the step by step guide here.

Next, we can install the new Fnhon handlepost. It goes on exactly the same way as the Dahon handlepost. No problems here.

Looking sleek!

 The surface of the handlepost looks really good. Can't tell if it is sandblasted and then anodised or painted.

After fixing the new Fnhon handlepost onto the bike, the handlepost is now ready to accept the handlebar!

Loosen the LitePro stem further, and remove the connecting tube in the middle. It is no longer required. Space out the clamps so that it can go onto the T-shaped handlepost.

Dab some Fiber Grip onto the contact surface with the stem to prevent unwanted rotation.

Place the LitePro stem over the handlepost, move them inwards onto the handlepost, tighten them and you are done!

Adjusting the angle of the LitePro stem. 

In this case, the stem is rotated behind the handlepost, as putting the stem at the front will make the reach too far, while putting it vertically up will set the bullhorn bar too high up. Since a bullhorn bar is used, the overall reach is still in front of the handlepost, which ensures the stability of the bike steering. It is not recommended to set the stem behind the handlepost when using a flat handlebar, as the resulting short reach will make the bike steering feel weird.

Bullhorn bar mounted on the T-shaped handlepost with a LitePro Stem

 Overall view of the Dahon Vitesse X20-TT with the new Fnhon handlepost

The Fnhon handlepost feels really stiff due to the 1 piece construction, and the removal of the height adjustment joint also means one less source of creaking. Bike fitting is maintained as the height is similar to what was used previously.

After these headset and handlepost upgrades, the Vitesse has also been thoroughly upgraded, with the only stock parts being the frame, fork, frame clamp and seat post clamp. It is almost at the level of the Dahon Boardwalk, where only the frame is stock!

I also have a handlepost upgrade for the Dahon Boardwalk...coming soon!

40 comments:

  1. Hi! This model is suitable for telescopic steering wheel for Dahon Vitesse D7 2011?
    For earlier thanks . Andrey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup it should fit. It will replace the stock height adjustable handlepost.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heya.

    I've a stock Boardwalk 7speed, purchased in 2011 - I'm wanting to upgrade my handlebars to a bullhorn configuration.

    I must admit I'm a noob at this, thus any advice you'd be willing to share, i'd be most willing to accept. Most importantly, is where do i begin? I've read through your posts and im still kinda confused. Im open to actually just bringing the bike to a shop to get it done, but im not sure where to go.

    Ty.

    Stephen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So have you bought the components already? Are you just waiting to install, or are you not sure what you need. What are you looking for in this upgrade?

      Delete
  4. Hi...would you share where I can get FNhon handlepost? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have Boardwalk 7speed looking to upgrade.
    Do you have a LBS to recommend to upgrade.
    I have not yet got any components yet.

    Target to reduce the weight to on/about 11kg.
    thinking changing cranksets and wheelsets and up to 9 speed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can try Mybikeshop. Best way to reduce weight is from the crankset, wheelset and tires.

      Delete
    2. You can try Mybikeshop. The most effective way to reduce weight is to upgrade the crankset, wheelset and tires.

      Delete
  6. Hello
    I have a Dahon Eco and I would like to upgrade some components, starting with the handlepost, which I don't like much. I would like to know where can I buy this FNHON handlepost or other similar, I have tried in the web but I haven't been lucky.
    I'm from Chile in South America and I would like to know if the store where you got your handlepost, ships worldwide.
    I really like your bike, it's very amazing.
    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Dahon Eco bikes are not really friendly for modification, as the components used are different from the higher end models. There is no suitable replacement for the Eco handlepost.

      My suggestion is to just ride the Eco as it is, and if you wish to upgrade, get at least a Dahon Speed or Vitesse and it would be much easier to upgrade.

      I got the handlepost from Taobao.com, which is a China website.

      Delete
  7. Hi , is this shorter handle post with the bull horn setup going to cause any issue when you fold the bike? i am planning for a similar setup, but not sure if a inner fold or outer fold is more suitable with the bull horn and shorter handle post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://handsonbike.blogspot.sg/2011/07/new-way-of-folding-your-dahon-bike.html

      You should fold it this way, such that the bullhorn is on the outside of the bike. You can't fit it in the middle of the bike anyway.

      No problem with the height of the handlepost since it is folded outside anyway.

      Delete
    2. http://handsonbike.blogspot.sg/2011/10/rolling-dahon-boardwalk-tt-around-with.html

      More pictures for your reference

      Delete
  8. this is my bike - vitesse d7.

    i'm so glad i found your blog as i'm interested in using this bike as my learning guinea pig.

    i have a question though. i feel like my bike is super slow. i mean, homeless people on rickety bikes carrying trailers have passed me. and they barely seem to be peddling.

    i'm in good shape - run marathons. is there anything i can do to make my bike a little faster?

    thx.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well if you run marathons I guess you have a basic fitness there. Perhaps your saddle height is wrong or the bike is not adjusted properly. I think the first thing you need is a speedometer, so that we have numbers to work with. Slow is a relative term, so it is hard to say what is wrong.

      On flat roads, you should be able to cruise easily at 20km/h.

      Delete
  9. Hi Tylsteve,

    I have a Dahon Vittese D7 HG, bought in Perú 1 year ago, my handlepost hinge begins to sound like crack , then I supposed that it could be because the friction between steel parts, and adjustment on my handlepost. I had the great idea to put a thinner rubber on the joint press.

    Now, I am feeling some movements in my handlepost pivot point (please see your 6th photo).
    Could it be normal? I dont remember that, because after the rubber, I feel totally silence in my bike.


    Regards
    Nicolás

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not a good idea to put a rubber shim between the 2 halves of the handlepost. Although they will close nicely, the rubber is soft and will deform when under load. This will cause play in the handlepost.

      The creaking can also be caused by the top half of the handlepost, with the height adjustment. It can also be caused by the compression bolt at the bottom. I would suggest loosening all the bolts, lifting out the handlepost, regreasing the threads and reinstalling it.

      Delete
  10. hi, I don't ride a dahon (I ride a Java Fit.) Would be experimenting with changing the handlepost to fixed height (and later to bullhorns). Anything to take note of?

    I'm a bit of a weight weenie too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure about the model of your Java Fit, but it seems that it comes with a fixed height handlepost.

      Delete
  11. Where can I buy this handle post & what's the approx price? Is it possible to install FnHon handle post on Tern Link P9? Will it affect the folding? My P9 handle post safety pin got unlocked and almost folding once when riding...dun give me confidence when passing by any uneven pavement/road :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is from Taobao.com. Price is about 300 RMB. If installing on Tern Link P9, will need to cut short the fork steerer tube and install a top cover onto the headset. Not advised as the Tern handlepost is stiffer than the Dahon/Fnhon design. There are inward and outward folding types of handlepost.

      The safety pin is not an integral part of the handlepost. Even without the safety pin, it should not fold by itself. The handlepost lever should be tight, that should be enough. I suspect that the handlepost lever was not tight, that is why the safety pin ended up bearing the load (which it was never designed to). Get the handlepost checked at the bike shop.

      Once again, it is not the design of the handlepost that is at fault, it is the adjustment that needs to be done.

      Delete
  12. Hi, I have a Flamingo HS-F1. Will this upgrade work? I am looking to improve my riding position and I find the existing handle post too upright/straight. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't use the Fnhon handlepost, as the headset and handlepost fixing construction is different.

      Delete
    2. You are right! Upon further investigation, I realise that it will be more complicated than I initially thought. I have decided to go for a stem upgrade instead. My existing stem is around 60mm. Will you recommend I upgrade to an 100mm adjustable stem? Any recommendations?

      Delete
    3. Yes a longer stem would enable you to stretch out more, make the riding posture less upright and more sporty. Just give it a try, taking note that the stem clamp size must fit the handlebar size.

      Delete
  13. Hi. Could I use the tern andros stem with either the litepro t-handlepost or fnhon t-handlepost?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would really prefer to be able to adjust my reach on the fly w/o any tools. Is using t-handlepost with the andros stem better than using a quick release handlepost with the litepro stem extender? What's your take on this?

      Delete
    2. I prefer a rigid and fixed handlepost and handlebar position for more stable riding. The adjustment of the handlebar position is just for initial setup, after you have fixed it, you will not need to adjust it anymore. T-type handlepost with stem is best.

      Delete
    3. I see. Another quick question. I have heard my fair share that the stem will slip from its intended position over time. How effective will the carbon grip be? Will it totally eliminate the problem i mentioned?

      Delete
    4. Using a quick release clamp with a drop bar or bullhorn bar will make it more likely to slip, due to the extra leverage. Applying some carbon paste will increase the friction, and together with the proper clamping torque, it will prevent slippage.

      If you are using flat handlebar, it is not likely to slip if the clamp is tightened sufficiently.

      Delete
  14. Hi. Firstly, great blog! Very informative. I know you do most of the assembly work yourself but do you know of any reliable LBS that can put the bike together at a reasonable price if I supplied all the parts and frame?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can go to online forums such as LovecyclingSG on Facebook and ask around, there would be some recommendations.

      Delete
  15. Hi tylsteve. Is there any difference between a crius frame and fnhon frame? Could you kindly enlightened me? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Fnhon frames are no longer in production, has been combined with Crius or something. They are similar I think.

      Delete
  16. hi I just got a fnhon handlepost 37cm on my new fnhon Blast ka2018...creaking sound coming from the handlist. I loosen the bolt the sound stop but the handlepost seems shaking if I brake try to move it on station position. ..please help thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to tighten the bolts, as loose bolts are dangerous. Add some grease to the contact surfaces between the top and bottom of the clamp, and other contact surfaces.

      Delete
  17. Hi, I just bought my Dahon Vybe City Bike early this year.
    A few months ago my handle bar quick release clamp was stolen, do you by any chance know where to buy the replacement? Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete