Thursday, June 18, 2015

Journey of the Boardwalk: Part 40 - From Touring Mode to Race Mode

It has been a few months since I last upgraded the handlepost on my Dahon Boardwalk, from a Fnhon handlepost to a Tern Physis handlepost. In the meantime, I have been modifying my other bikes, especially the Avanti Inc 3 commuting bike. Now, it is time to come back to this Dahon folding bike.

I have noticed that my usage of this Dahon Boardwalk folding bike has evolved over the years, since I first bought it in year 2010. From my one and only leisure bike, to a speedy bullhorn bike, to a overseas touring road bike, and finally as a commuting bike, this bike has served many different purposes over these years. Ever since I got a few other bikes that serves specific purposes, this do-it-all Dahon Boardwalk has had a chance to be repurposed for other uses.

Avanti Inc 3: For daily commuting purposes and also for riding in/after rain.
Merida Scultura 5000: For faster and sportier rides. Occasionally used for commuting too.
Dahon MuEX: Mainly used when compact folding is required, such as when taking the MRT to other places for rides. Currently used on the Minoura bike trainer on normal days.

The Dahon Boardwalk was recently decommissioned as a touring bike, when I removed the rear rack from it to reduce the weight of the bike. I still use the Dahon Boardwalk as a commuting bike, but on regular rotation with the Avanti and the Merida. For commuting, I use the Shimano Unzen cycling bag, and so there is no use for a rear rack. Also, there are other accessories on the Dahon Boardwalk that are no longer required, and so I will be removing them from the bike.

Bike as seen previously, with the Biologic Arclite rear rack removed.

My plan for this bike is to convert it into a more race orientated setup. Another way to look at it would be to use it as a folding road bike, with minimal non-essential accessories. This means removing the Pletscher double kickstand and the SKS fenders from the Dahon Boardwalk.

Weight of the Pletscher double kickstand, 553 grams!

Weight of the set of SKS fenders (excluding mounting bolts), 248 grams!

By removing the double kickstand and the fenders, I have been able to cut 800 grams from the bike! Adding the 700 grams that was already removed previously, this brings the total weight savings to 1.5kg, which is a massive amount. This will make it much easier to carry and move the bike around, regardless of whether it is folded or not.

After removing the front fender

After the rear fender is removed. There is actually a large gap between the tire and the long arm Tektro R559 caliper brakes!

After removing the fenders, the rear wheel of the bike is no longer covered.

Now the bike looks much sportier with no fenders and kickstand on it

Overall view of the bike without rear rack, fenders and kickstand!

After removing all the under-utilized accessories, the Dahon Boardwalk has been converted from touring mode to race mode. Another area that I wanted to clean up was the handlebar area. I had previously rearranged the accessories at the handlebar area to try to tidy them up, but it still looks rather messy.

During that rearrangement, I managed to mount the Shimano Sport Camera sideways on the handlepost itself, as shown below. The Shimano Sport Camera has an angle-free feature that allows it to auto rotate the video to the right way up, when viewed on Quicktime player. However, when viewing in VLC player or DashWare, it will not display properly as those software cannot detect and rotate the MOV video automatically.

I have tried to use software to rotate the video, but they don't work well and will result in loss of video quality. My conclusion is that although the angle-free feature is there, many video software cannot rotate the video properly. After some experimentation, I found that the solution is to position the camera such that it is the right way up, or upside down. Mounting the camera 90 degrees to the side is not advisable.

Previous mount setup for the Shimano Sport Camera. Although it is space saving, the video will not be auto rotated to the right way up properly.

Previous setup with the Lezyne Super Drive XL front light on top, and the Moon Comet front light mounted on the handlepost.

This time, I will rearrange the accessories on the handlebar again. Besides finding a suitable place to mount the Shimano Sport Camera properly, I also need to make space for the Garmin Edge 510 cycle computer. I have already mounted the new Garmin ANT+ speed sensor on the rear hub, and of course I will need to mount the Garmin computer unit on the bike to make use of the speed sensor.

New setup with the Garmin Edge 510 mounted in front, and the Shimano Sport Camera mounted upside down, under the Garmin.

View from the front

View from the side. The arrangement looks similar to the K-Edge Aero Garmin & Camera combo mount that I am using on the Merida Scultura 5000.

Making this change means removing the Lezyne front light, as it is too big to mount anywhere on the handlebar neatly. The only front light will then be the Moon Comet front light. I have always tried to mount at least 2 front lights and 2 rear lights on every bike for redundancy and backup, as I have encountered situations where one of the lights ran out of battery.

In this case, I decided to mount a D-Light USB Rechargeable front light onto the front fork of the Dahon Boardwalk. One thing I like about the D-Light lights is that the mounting is very versatile, helped by the fact that the lights itself are very lightweight and small sized.

Mounting the D-Light front light onto the side of the front fork.

Lastly, I realised that without a kickstand on the bike, it can sometimes get really inconvenient when I need to park the bike somewhere at home. The Minoura Bike Tower 10 is mainly used for the Dahon MuEX and the Merida road bike, while the Feedback Sports RAKK Bike Stand is used for the Avanti Inc 3. Depending on which bikes are at home, the Dahon Boardwalk may not have a space to park, and will need its own kickstand.

For convenience's sake, I decided to add a lightweight kickstand to the Dahon Boardwalk. It is similar to the stock kickstand found on almost all Dahon/Tern bikes with kickstand.

Lightweight kickstand, at only 157 grams.

Seen as mounted on the bike. I had to cut the kickstand by about 1 cm as it was too long for the bike to balance properly.

Finally, I have converted the Dahon Boardwalk from a touring/commuting orientated setup to a race oriented setup that is more lightweight. By removing the fenders and double kickstand, a lot of weight has been removed. In the end I still added a simple kickstand, but it is much lighter than the double kickstand.

The handlebar area has also been tidied up, by removing the Lezyne front light and adding the Garmin Edge 510. A small secondary front light has been added to the front fork, in addition to the main front light on the handlepost.

I do like this new setup as it is more lightweight, and also looks much neater and sportier without the double kickstand and fenders. As the bike's purpose evolves, I will modify it to better suit my usage and preferences.


  1. For race , why not upgrade the crank set to 55.42t since wheels are not very big in diameter ?
    Dura-Ace 9000 Double 55.42t.

    1. It would increase the gear ratio, but I have no use for it as my riding style is more of high cadence type than high gear mashing type. Besides, I don't go fast enough to require such a high gear ratio.

  2. If i wanna upgrade my bike. This configuration is ok? Mr. Steve

  3. Hi Steve, I just gotten a near mint condition Dahon Speed.. looking at the spec it’s almost the same as your boardwalk just without the front mounting.

    Speed D7:
    Boardwalk D7:

    May I ask you if my Crankset and BB is able to replace to 105 hollowtech?.. because from what I see it’s a older type BB.

    Hope to get your email reply thanks!

    1. It can be changed to the Hollowtech bottom bracket and crankset, as long as the frame is the standard 68 mm wide hanger.


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