Fully Upgraded/Modified Dahon Launch D8

It was around April when I start having thoughts of buying my very first bike. The choice is rather small, we live in a condo so space is limited and my only option is folding bikes. I do not want to risk buying a road bike only to leave it on our condo bike racks. So the question is what folding bike would it be? I will be honest and say I really did not think about it for too long as the moment I saw the Dahon Launch D8, I knew that is what I will be wanting. I personally liked the look. I also wanted a 20″ bike as well. But the one thing that really made me choose it is the hinge mechanism which uses the new Dahon jaws hinge which in turn keeps the locking mechanism under the frame so no odd-looking locking mechanism on the side. I will be honest that there had been times when I have my doubts about the choice, after all, it is not really one of the most popular models on the local groups that I have seen. There are also times when I still see an inclination of rather having a Brompton (see how good they fold?!). Anyways, I really don’t have regrets about this model and I am glad with getting one. So before I go with the details of the upgrades and modifications, let’s look at the stock Dahon Launch D8:

Link: https://eu.dahon.com/bikes/launch-d8/

The new Dahon Launch D8 with the jaws hinge. This is the exact model and color I purchased.

Stock Specifications

  • Model Number: KBA083
  • Weight: 12.34 kg (27.2 Ibs)
  • Wheel Size: 20″
  • Folded Size: 64 x 38 x 82 cm
  • Frame: Dalloy Aluminum Sonus Tubeset, Lattice forged hinge, w/ new jaws hinge
  • Fork: Smooth riding and stable Hi-Ten steel blades and steerer
  • Handle post: Forged aluminum radius Telescope w/ Fusion technology, adjustable
  • Drivetrain: 8-Speed Shimano SL-M315 trigger shifter
  • Brakes: TEKTRO Mechanical Disc
  • Tires: Note – The site mentioned it is a Schwalbe Road Cruiser 20×1.75 but I actually got a CST 20×1.75

I got mine from our friends over HK Folding Bikes PH who imports authentic Dahon bikes to the Philippines. There are other options and even physical stores (like R.O.X) where you can check the bikes before purchasing. I think the biggest cons of not buying a bike from a physical store is that you can’t check, see, or test the bike first. Not only that, you may still have things to do with the bike before you can actually use it like what happened to me where I had to have it serviced to have the RD tuned. But of course, there are still pros with it, how about getting it for a cheaper price?

If there is one thing I would have preferred, it is that I wish there was a frame-only option for the Dahon Launch D8. The reason for this is because knowing myself, I will surely upgrade this. And upgrade I did. Now I have these stock parts that I may have to dispose of/sell away. Even before getting the bike, I already have a list of things I would get be replacing. I know, some or most of you will say that I should have used the stock parts until it’s really time to upgrade/replace them or at least give it a few months for me to be sure what I want and need. But come on, it’s not like there’s anything wrong with premature upgrades 🙂

Now for the upgrades, some of the easy fixes or bike accessories were all sourced online. Handlebars, seat post, saddle, and accessories like lights and bottle/cages are easy to install anyways. But there are parts that are best left to the professionals. Comes in DOMZ Bikes from Las Piñas City. A respected shop among local bike enthusiasts. They specialize in folding bikes so it is a plus, so a few messages with the owner (Brandom), I already have my bike being picked up for delivery to Domz’ shop. I ended up having my bike being serviced by them two times in a row. The first was with the installation of a new wheelset and crankset, and the second one was with the installation of the 10-speed groupset and a hydraulic brake set.

With the upgrades already rolling, there is actually another thing that I am really considering changing. The paint/color of the frame. While I like the orange color, I hate the decals and designs of the bike. And I have two options, live with it or have its paint stripped and give it a new color. Of course, I went to the latter. Domz was kind enough to recommend someone who does bike repaints and during my bike’s 2nd trip to Domz’ shop, he had it shipped to Handcrafted by Anchoriz who did the job 🙂

Now without further ado, here are some photos of the modified and upgraded Dahon Launch D8. For more photos, click here.

For the things that I have upgraded, you can refer to the list below. I also provided links to the product (or the purchase link if there is no product site/page). Full disclosure, this is not in any way an article to dictate what you should buy or an article to say these are the best parts you can put on your foldie. If you are interested or is in need to upgrade or replace any of your bike’s parts, always consult professionals. Always check compatibility, and always make sure that you are really OK with that item rather than you regretting that purchase.


  • Groupset: Tiagra 10-speed / Deore Hydraulic Brakes
    • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Tiagra RD-4700-GS [link]
      • Medium Cage
      • 10-speed
      • Shimano HG-X Technology
    • Shifting Lever: Shimano Tiagra SL-4700 [link]
      • Shimano RapidFire Plus Technology
      • Shimano OT-SP41 Technology
      • Flat Bar Road
      • 2×10-speed
    • Cassette: Shimano Deore CS-HG50 [link]
      • 10-Speed
      • Shimano Hyperglide Technology
      • 11-36T MTB
    • Chain: Shimano X10 [link]
      • 10-speed
    • Crankset: Litepro Hollow Chainring and Integrated Crankset (black) [link]
      • 54T chainring
      • Hollow bottom bracket
    • Pedals: Litepro Butterfly Quick Release Pedal [link]
      • Quick Release
      • Sealed Bearings
    • Hydraulic Disc Brake Caliper: Shimano Deore BR-M6100 [link]
      • 2-Piston
    • Hydraulic Disc Brake Lever: Shimano Deore BL-M6100 [link]
      • I-SPEC EV
      • Servo Wave Action
    • Disc Brake Rotor: Shimano Deore SM-RT56 [link]
      • 6-Bolt
      • 160 mm
    • Miscellaneous/Add-Ons
      • Generic Bolts for Rotors (red)
      • Generic Valve Cover (red)
      • Generic RD Cable End (red)
      • Litepro Crank Cover (red)
      • Generic Cable Clips (black)
      • Generic Cable Protectors (black)
      • Generic Crank Arm Silicon Protector (black)
  • Wheelset: Litepro / Schwalbe
    • Wheelset: Litepro S42 AERO Wheelset [link]
      • 406mm rim
      • Disc Brake (6-bolt)
      • Compatible for 8-9-10-11 speed
      • 20-inch high-strength double-layer aluminum alloy rim
      • Hub: front 16H rear 20H, 4 sealed bearing, 100/135mm
      • Spokes: DT high strength spokes
    • Inner Tube: Kenda Inner Tube [link]
      • 20×1.75-2.35
      • Presta Valve
    • Tires: Schwalbe Road Cruiser [link]
      • 20×1.75
      • Green Compound
      • K Guard
    • Skewer: Litepro Quick Release Skewers [link]
      • Aluminum Alloy
      • 100/135mm
  • Others: Litepro
    • Seatpost: Litepro A65 Carbon Fiber Integrated Seatpost 33.9*580 (matte, red) [link]
    • Saddle: Selle Royal R.E.Med Memory Foam Bicycle Saddles (BMX style) [link]
    • Handlebar: Litepro Carbon Fiber Straight Handlebar 25.4*580MM (glossy) [link]
    • Handlebar Grips: Litepro Ultra Light Single-Sided Lock Sponge Cover Grip [link]
    • Headset: Litepro Folding Bike Headset 44MM [link]
    • Stand: Litepro Double Leg Stand [link]
    • Misc
      • Litepro Handlebar Fixed Ring (red) [link]
      • Litepro Handlebar Plug/End Cap (orange) [link]
      • iSingo Bicycle Seat Shock Absorber [link]
      • Dahon Logo Badge [link]
  • Computer and Sensors: Magene
    • Computer: Magene C406 (black) [link]
    • Sensors:
  • Misc Accessories
    • Front Light: West Biking IPX6 Waterproof Bicycle Light 1300 Lumens 4500 mAh [link]
    • Rear Light: Rockbros Smart Bicycle Brake Light [link]
    • Bell: Decathlon ELOPS (black) [link]
    • Bottle Cage 1:
      • Litepro Bottle Cage (v-type, oil slick) [link]
      • CATEYE 750ML Portable Bike Water Bottle [link]
      • GUB Bottle Cage Screws (red)
    • Bottle Cage 2:
      • ZTTO Water Bottle Cage [link]
      • GUB Ultralight Bicycle Water Bottle Cage Adapter [link]
      • SAHOO 750ml Bottle Storage Pod Cycling Bicycle Bike Tool Storage [link]
      • GUB Bottle Cage Screws (red)

Some more photos 🙂

So what’s next? I am actually waiting for two more items: a Thousand Heritage helmet and a Supacaz Ignite TI saddle. Aside from that, I am planning to replace my seat post with a titanium one, that is if I can find one that fits that bike without having to use shim adapters. Aside from those, I do not see myself upgrading anything from the bike honestly. 10-speed is well enough for me. Considering the price of the next tier components (since I am now on Tiagra, the next logical jump is a 105), I don’t think it justifies it to be on a folding bike.

I will work on my bike skills AKA upgrade myself for now. In time, I will have enough knowledge to actually work on building a bike from scratch. I am planning to get a road bike anyways. But that would have to wait for months if not years.

So thank you again to:
1. HK Folding Bikes PH
2. DOMZ Bikes for bike parts and services
3. Handcrafted by Anchoriz for bike repaint