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Autokat 04-16-07 01:46 AM

Newbie folder question
Hi all I'm about to go car free ( again ) and would like other folder riders opinions on using a dahon ( not sure which model yet ) as my main transport . Thanks

oilfreeandhappy 04-16-07 04:44 AM

They make some great bikes. I picked up a used Piccolo, but I can't imagine riding it for more than 5 miles. Some of their other bikes are much better suited for longer rides.

caotropheus 04-16-07 05:03 AM

We need more elements to help you. Elements like, what are the distances you want to travel per day, how often do you need to fold the bicycle per day, intermodal transportation, weight carrying, flat terrain or hilly terrain, etc, etc.

pm124 04-16-07 11:40 AM


Originally Posted by caotropheus
We need more elements to help you. Elements like, what are the distances you want to travel per day, how often do you need to fold the bicycle per day, intermodal transportation, weight carrying, flat terrain or hilly terrain, etc, etc.

I second that. Folding bikes range from ultra-portable to road bike-like, so we'll need to know exactly what you are doing with it. Also important is whether you need to get it past security to get into your workplace. Some bikes meet all of these standards, but only at a very high price.

Apnu 04-16-07 12:14 PM

I ride a 2006 Dahon Jack ( I enjoy it because, to me, its like the old WWII jeep of bikes; the simplicity and endurance of the bike appeals to me.

I choose it for several reasons:

1) it folded (security is an issue with me, and I use it to commute)
2) it was simple (7 speed), tough and easy to service
3) designed for urban riding (I live and ride in Chicago)
4) 26" wheel -- I can take it touring if I like, or longer rides. (Looking forward to Bike the Drive this year).
5) normal sized frame. I had no trouble finding and installing a rear rack for the bike. Smaller folders require you to get specialized accessories.

I like Dahons. They have simple and quick folding mechanisms, are sturdy, and offer a large selection of bikes in a wide range of prices that can fit just about any budget. If I was going to have problems getting my Jack (had some trouble with Kozy's ordering it, and got my money back, went to Rapid Transit and they kicked ass), my fall back bike was a 20" wheel. Sometimes I wish I had gotten the 20" wheel as the full size folder can get in the way -- going in and out of doors with it, and revolving doors are not an option. But otherwise I love it.

Dahon makes a nice bag to put your bike in if building (home or workplace) security gives you a hassle about dragging a dirty, oily, gunky bike inside. The new bags they have now seem much better than the old ones (I have one of the old ones) and they are defiantly worth the $60 bucks.

Also, if you get a U lock, you'll have some fun trying to find a place on the bike to store it when riding that doesn't interfere with riding or folding. In the end, I strap mine to my rack. Plus parts of some of the Dahons (Jack, Espresso, Marineer -- just about any 26" wheel size) have some fat tubing for the frame, so you need a lock with a longer U to work with it. Granted I hardly ever use the lock, cuz I can fold it, but sometimes I use it (Like the Chicago Bike Show this past weekend)

Hope this helps. Ask me any questions you like.

Donkey Hodie 04-16-07 12:45 PM

I just picked up a 2006 Dahon Jack myself, and I am loving it. I got a great deal from my lbs and I traded in three old steel road bikes that did not fit me for the Jack. I love it and I highly recommend it if the larger fold size is not an issue for you. It rides and feels like a normal 26" bike, with no noticeable flex in the downtube(not that I can notice anyway). You can upgrade most standard parts on the jack(except for the headset), it comes with big apples, and it is a cool looking matte black. you can find the 2006 model on ebay and at some online retailers for around 360.00 shipped.

keithnyc 04-16-07 12:51 PM

Auto, you may also want to go to the public forum on the Dahon's actually quite good and very freindly (just like this forum) ;)

I for one wanted an inexpensive folder for quick commutes in the City alone, and also for those emergency situations (subway stike, power outages etc.) and I ended up buying the bare-knuckles Dahon Speed D7 (the '06model). My choice was primarily based on the Dahon name (great bikes, great company), the inexpensiveness of this model (only $290 which included delivery and tax), the ability to fold and store in my closet (20" wheel base) and the fact that I gave it a test ride a few months back and really liked it.
For me, this has been the perfect choice for those two or three times a week I need to get around town.

Autokat 04-17-07 01:51 AM

I suppose I should have been more specific , the furthest I need to ride is only about 8 miles ( most shops are within 4 miles round trip ), some hills but nothing steep , it will live inside but I don't have a lot of room indoors also has to have gears due to a motorcycle accident I had a couple of years ago to make hills easier , I will be carrying some groceries but not a lot ( I already have a trailer ) I also want to be able to take it on holidays when we go away in the missus car .

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