I'm planning to buy an 8 speed Dahon Mariner D8 folding bike (2018 version). I'm going add some bike bags to it and do little bit touring so I need good climbing performance. It's a bit difficult to climp steep hills especially with the bags.

I believe it has 52T crankset and 11-32T casette. So I was thinking what if I buy the Shimano Nexus FC-C6000 38T crankset and replace the 52T one with it. Do you think it would be compatible?



  • 1
    Could you clarify what you're asking? Your title says one thing but the only actual question in your post is something quite different. Mar 28, 2018 at 13:06
  • 3
    Is there a reason you are set on a folding bike for touring? Doesn't sound ideal.
    – Nate W
    Mar 28, 2018 at 15:05
  • Your other option is to simply get off and walk if the grade is too steep for your gearing. That would be preferable to losing the high gears.
    – Criggie
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:19
  • 1
    To focus on your question directly, to make a good climber out of a folding bike, replace it with something that has larger wheels and a longer wheelbase. (comment cos not really an answer)
    – Criggie
    Mar 29, 2018 at 0:21
  • @Criggie Honestly, I think it is the answer. I don't understand why the asker wants to buy a new bike that's very badly suited for the task he has in mind -- if you're buying a new bike, buy one that's appropriate to what you want to do. Mar 29, 2018 at 7:49

4 Answers 4


I've done something similar with a 6 speed bike (42 tooth chainring, and 14-28 rear.

Its now a 48/38/28 with an 8 speed 11-32 cassette, so the lowest climbing gear is 15.4 gear-inches.

A folding bike is kinda bad for touring for multiple reasons

  • Small wheels make everything harder. Mine's got 20" wheels, some are 16" and some might be as large as 24" Small wheels make the chainstay shorter than full sized bikes, so you can't use rear panniers. Also, if I have a load on my rear carrier I get heel-strike. There's little space on the front forks for panniers, and anything you did fit would interfere with folding the bike.

  • Weight balance is dreadful on a climb. Mine's got a super-long seatpost, so when on a decent climb you have to be out of the saddle, else it gets very lifty.

  • Weight balance is bad then too - I've had the rear wheel simply loose traction on climbs, mostly when I've put a bit of extra push on it to get up and over a lip, or a bit of loose gravel.

  • Pedals - if your folder has folding pedals with plastic, either change them for normal pedals or get some high quality MKS folding/clipout ones. Mine had plastic shells and a plastic tang on the locking mechanism, so the only way they held load was when pressure was put on the stubby bit right by the crank/thread.

  • Gearing - if you shrink the single chainring, then you have lost top-end gears. It is a horrid feeling when riding in the highest gear you have, and you're still spinning out and bouncing in the saddle.

SOLUTION: Fit at least a compact double chainring. Or do what I did and fit a spare triple chainring from some old MTB. The main downside is there's nowhere on my frame to attach any kind of front derailleur, so changing is a finger-dirtying shift with your right hand. Also, big/big gives a bad chainline which can cause the chain to drop to the middle chainring on bounces.

You could also explore a new BB like a schlumph mountain drive, which is a 2 speed IGH in the front chainring. Downside, it will be expensive.

  • From my limited folding bike experience, just being out of the saddle at all is a shaky, unbalanced experience.
    – Brad
    Mar 28, 2018 at 15:57

Could you fit an 11-34 cassette? The Altus/MegaRange RD-M310 derailleur on the 2017 model appears to support it. I've switched from an 8-speed 11--32 to an 8-speed 11--34 with a very similar (Acera RD-M360) on my hybrid and despite being within spec it needed quite a lot of fiddling.

This may combine well with an chainring somewhere between what you've got and what you're looking at, so you don't lose so much at the top end of your gearing, somethign like a 42 perhaps.

In the extreme case you might be able to fit a double crankset but no front derailleur, and change between chainrings by hand (when stopped, you're not Sheldon Brown). Going more expensive there are apparently quick-change chainrings but I've never seen one in real life.


I believe the Dahon has a square taper bottom bracket, and the Nexus crank is compatible with that.

I have to ask though, won't a 38 tooth chainring make the bike grossly under-geared? There are other square taper single ring cranks with standard bolt patterns available that can take a ring between 40 and 50 teeth.

  • Well, I can take a look at them if you give me links. By the way i don't think the chainring on the dahon is removable. So I have to replace the whole crankset if I want to make it under geared. And DC-C6000 is the only crankset I could find that is single, 1x7-8 speed compatible and below 50T. Mar 28, 2018 at 12:18
  • I didn't give a link as product recommendations are off topic here (see help/on-topic), but an example of a currently available product would be the FSA Vero 1x crank. Mar 28, 2018 at 12:22
  • Btw, I found this: dogabisiklet.com/urun/thun-aynakol-46t-gumus-sag It's 46T. Excuse the language, I'm from Turkey. Do you think this'll do fine? Mar 28, 2018 at 12:33
  • No-name brand, ring seems to be integral and can't be swapped out. There are many reasons to not recommend it. BTW, if you want a discussion on cranks and recommendations, this is not the place. You want the chat room associated with this site Mar 28, 2018 at 13:02

I have a 24 spd Dahon Speed TR & it uses SCRAM Dual drive (on the rear wheel) with a multi spd free wheel.

The Dual Drive is really a 3 spd (low, med, high) hub that is shifted with a paddle shifter.The bike is very good for riding in very hilly territory.Site wold not let me mdse the pix property, sorry.

Green bike is the dahon. Blue bike is a Full Campy, Columbus DB tubes, Cinnelli lugs, silk tubulars. Not good on extreme hills, but a great, fast street bike esp centuries.. Dahon Speed TR [![enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here



  • Do you mean SRAM not SCRAM ? What does the blue bike add to the answer about getting a folding bike to climb better ? (admittedly it is a very nice bike.) Welcome to the site - do please have a browse of the tour to see how it works. This is a Q&A format, so the answers should answer the question. Did you modify the folder to climb better? That would make the answer much more relevant to the question.
    – Criggie
    Mar 29, 2018 at 9:17

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