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Old 03-20-17, 07:18 AM   #1
tcs
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Dahon Curl: never born, refuses to die

Making an on-stage cameo @ the Dahon China Distributor Conference two weeks ago:

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 8.12.02 AM.jpg

Appearing on Kickstarter...today?

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 8.13.30 AM.jpg

Shown @ Taipei Cycle Show this weekend?

Last edited by tcs; 03-20-17 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 03-20-17, 09:26 AM   #2
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Is that the one listed here?

DAHON Curl i3 18" - DAHON



SPECIFICATIONS

Model Number : CUA874
Color(s) : YS 728 anthracite
Frame weight : 12,8 kg/28 lbs
Frame : new Dahon "flip over alloy frame
Fork : Dahon custom oversized alloy fork
Handlepost : Dahon custom oversized alloy fork
Rims : 18” alloy double wall, black w/ machined sides, wear indicator
Front Hub : DAHON Custom, alloy width 74mm
Rear Hub : SRAM, aluminum, 3 speed FW
Spokes : Stainless steel, black
Tires : City profile w reflex line (R88) 18” x 1.75
Mud guards : plastic w secuclip system
Cranks / chain cover : forged alloy arm, 46 teeth, chainring single guard
Bottom Bracket : Sealed bearing
Chain : KMC rust buster
Cassette : 16 teeth
Front Derailleur : n/a
Rear Derailleur : n/a
Shifters : 3 speed twist shifter
Handlebar : Dahon city style black alloy
Handle bar clamp w safety closing : handle bar quick release, M6x48mm, RED
Grips : double density , ergo shape
Headset : integrated
Brakes : DAHON Dual Pivot alloy caliper F&R
Brake Levers : 3 finger aluminum lever
Saddle : Ergo comfort city style, black
Seatpost : DAHON 6061 aluminum 30 x 350 mm, black
Pedals : one side foldable, alloy body
Kickstand : on carrier
Carrier : alloy w 4 wheels black
Other : (Deutsch) Verfügbar mit Nabendynamo und Licht
Rider size range : 145-190 cm
Rider max. weight : 105 kg
Category : Urban
Disclaimer : Bicycle specifications may be modified without notice and at any time.
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Old 03-20-17, 10:33 AM   #3
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Mostly.

Background, for those just joining us: This bike has been kicking around in various iterations for ~10 years, and has been announced as a new product over a half-dozen times in different markets without ever being actually offered for sale.

The picture and specs you've listed are close to versions floated in the last two years or so. Of course SRAM is no longer in the IGH business, and the slick parallelogram seatpost & subsequent side-folding seatpost have disappeared from the recent sightings. The company data has stated 18" wheels for many years, although every picture has shown the bike to be shod with ISO349 16" tires.
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Old 03-20-17, 05:28 PM   #4
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And the question remains: After all those years, why the heck is a company the size of Dahon unable to manufacture a Brompton-like urban bike?

If copyright is the issue, just make the frame look different enough so they can't be confused, and voilà. Birdy and Mezzo/Oribikes come to mind.


https://www.faltradxxs.de/dahon-curl...heit-2017.html
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Old 03-20-17, 09:09 PM   #5
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Hey @tcs,

Where'd you see the Kickstarter announcement?
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Old 03-21-17, 02:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winfried View Post
And the question remains: After all those years, why the heck is a company the size of Dahon unable to manufacture a Brompton-like urban bike?

If copyright is the issue, just make the frame look different enough so they can't be confused, and voilà. Birdy and Mezzo/Oribikes come to mind.


https://www.faltradxxs.de/dahon-curl...heit-2017.html
Yes that is the golden question.

Speaking of copyright issue, I suppose these Flamingo and MIT V8 bikes never encountered any copyright problems. I am not 100% sure though.





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Old 03-21-17, 03:32 AM   #7
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We'll find out at Taipei from tomorrow onwards if Dahon "announces" it yet again.

The annual bike show starts tomorrow.

As for Flamingo, they ran into a lot of litigation issues with Brompton some years ago. How was it settled, I'm not sure.

But in any case, the Brompton patent expired sometime late last year, so we are already seeing clones appearing out of China actually. And there are few on the roads already.
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Old 03-21-17, 04:15 AM   #8
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I'll believe it when I see it,...
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If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
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Old 03-21-17, 06:18 AM   #9
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The Kickstarter announcement is from Dahon's Facebook page.

I'm always amused at suggestions from those who believe the Brompton is the ne plus ultra folding bike, Dahon must be - must be! - desperate to offer their own version, and if they don't they must therefore be unable to. Dahon has been growing @12~15% a year, and it's hard for a manufacturing company to grow faster and still assure quality and provide adequate new employee training. The primary driver for Dahon to put the Curl into production is if it has a higher profit margin than their current offerings.

That said, why Dahon has repeatedly announced the product only to not offer it started out odd and has become a running joke in the folding bike world. I didn't find it on Kickstarter yesterday - why am I not surprised?

FYI, Brompton's basic patent was granted in 1979 and expired before the end of the millennium. I've seen Brompton-esque bikes built by someone other than Brompton under the brand names of Beiou, Burke, Chedech, Crosshead, Flamingo, MIT, Neo, Oyama, Pico and Sanye.

I can't imagine that Dahon is worried about Brompton's Dutch 'copyright'. Brompton used the Dahon patented folding handlepost design during the entire life of that patent without paying any royalties. Wanna go to court? Okey-dokey.

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Old 03-21-17, 08:29 AM   #10
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That said, why Dahon has repeatedly announced the product only to not offer it started out odd and has become a running joke in the folding bike world. I didn't find it on Kickstarter yesterday - why am I not surprised?
Aaaaaand this morning the Kickstarter teaser vanished from Dahon's Facebook page!

Bizarre, but still well short of the strangeness the level of September, 2015, when Dahon showed a Curl at Eurobike - complete with marketing literature, and simultaneously showed a completely different design Curl in Japan - complete with marketing literature for that version.

Anyway, today Dahon is offering this picture with the caption "Coming soon."

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 9.15.28 AM.jpg
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Old 03-21-17, 08:39 AM   #11
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I'm pretty sure I saw a steel Crius branded B clone at a bike show recently, but can't find any info on it online. I'd like to see a full carbon clone that is half the weight of a B, but maybe that side hinge is too much stress for carbon to bond to.
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Old 03-21-17, 10:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldingdroid View Post
Speaking of copyright issue, I suppose these Flamingo and MIT V8 bikes never encountered any copyright problems. I am not 100% sure though.
Are they sold outside China? I've never seen those in any store in Europe.

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I'm always amused at suggestions from those who believe the Brompton is the ne plus ultra folding bike, Dahon must be - must be! - desperate to offer their own version, and if they don't they must therefore be unable to. Dahon has been growing @12~15% a year, and it's hard for a manufacturing company to grow faster and still assure quality and provide adequate new employee training.
Then why does Dahon keep churning out totally different bikes without supporting them more than a few years? Just look at all the different 16" wheelers it currently builds:

Folding Bikes by DAHON 2017 DAHON EEZZ D3
Folding Bikes by DAHON 2017 DAHON Uno
Folding Bikes by DAHON 2017 DAHON Curve i3 16"
Folding Bikes by DAHON 2017 DAHON Visc SL

Quote:
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I can't imagine that Dahon is worried about Brompton's Dutch 'copyright'.
Why would copyright be limited to the Netherlands? If anyone makes a bike that is just a Brompton copycat and tries to sell it in N.A./Europe, it's likely Brompton would go to court, and win.
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Old 03-21-17, 12:27 PM   #13
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Then why does Dahon keep churning out totally different bikes without supporting them more than a few years?
Like the Mu and Curve, that Dahon has offered for eleven years? Or the Ciao they've offered for twelve? The Jetstream they've sold for thirteen? The Speed they've had on the market for sixteen years? Or the Boardwalk that's now in its seventeenth model year?

Man, Dahon just can't catch a break on this forum: criticized for an ever churning lineup and never offering anything new!

Quote:
If anyone makes a bike that is just a Brompton copycat and tries to sell it in N.A./Europe, it's likely Brompton would go to court, and win.
Ay, there's the rub: the definition of 'copycat'. Would you say this folding bike, with its fold under tailpiece, rear rack configuration, arched top tube and U-bars was close enough to Brompton's appearance to warrant a court case?

Brompton copy?.jpg

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Old 03-21-17, 12:40 PM   #14
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Or how about this one?

Brompton copy?.jpg
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Old 03-21-17, 08:51 PM   #15
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The judge will decide. It's interesting to note that none of those Chinese copycats are available in Europe (and apparently in N.A.).

What's the point of manufacturing four different 16 inch wheelers?
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Old 03-22-17, 06:21 AM   #16
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Well, looks like Dahon has made the Curl its front-centerpiece at Taipei this year.
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Old 03-22-17, 06:41 AM   #17
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The judge will decide. It's interesting to note that none of those Chinese copycats are available in Europe (and apparently in N.A.).
This first bike I pictured is the Oyama Space Genie, sold in the EU since 2002 and N.A. since 2007 - and Brompton did nothing. The second is actually an Italian DiBlasi Avia, sold in the EU since 1974 - five years before the Brompton patent.

On the basis of that history, I'd say any bike that wasn't a dimensional copy and/or sold with deceptive/confusing marketing is probably okay.

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Old 03-22-17, 06:48 AM   #18
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Well, looks like Dahon has made the Curl its front-centerpiece at Taipei this year.
And seems to be the Dahon 35th Anniversary Special at the Dahon International Distributors Conference. Quickie slide show on Dahon's Facebook page.
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Old 03-22-17, 08:29 AM   #19
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From the photos, does the Curl look to be shorter in length than the Brompton?

Edit: According to Kickstarter specs, the Curl's wheelbase length is 1040mm. The Brompton's 1045, right? So not much difference then. Guess this one isn't going to fit me either, unless I swap out the handlebar.

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Old 03-22-17, 10:31 AM   #20
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Kickstarter.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:57 AM   #21
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Hmmm...don't think I see a luggage truss mount.
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Old 03-22-17, 11:31 AM   #22
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Hmmm...don't think I see a luggage truss mount.
wouldn't work with the brake line :-(
of course one could put a caddy on the handlepost instead
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Old 03-22-17, 11:45 AM   #23
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Thor, as an authorized dealer, have you gotten any additional info? Will you get one?
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Old 03-22-17, 11:47 AM   #24
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https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...?ref=user_menu

Its on, Brand X, beware!
https://ksr-video.imgix.net/projects...-h264_high.mp4
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Old 03-22-17, 11:55 AM   #25
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I see Dr Hon has decided to use the catastrophically bad hinge latch design for the main tube hinge no less. One can only hope they did a proper design review to eliminate the design flaws of the original. Still, I wouldn't TOUCH it.

The other severe problem I have with the general design, is the stempost slopes backwards leaving the rider with no option to have a more ergonomic stretched out posture, even while it is claimed to have been designed for "pros and giants!"

The KS campaign is CLEARLY just used for its free publicity aspect. Nothing is being kick-started here. It is directly aimed at trying to look better than a Brompton. I can only find negative points.
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