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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 05-02-07, 01:24 AM   #1
makeinu
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Dahon Mako

Are there any reviews on this bike?:
Dahon Mako

The light weight and the thin long (albeit wide) and quick fold could make it very convenient for many applications. Seems like you could probably fold and bag it as fast as you could fold any other dahon and, once in the bag, I imagine you might handle it as you would a couple of suit/garment bags. That being said, it might be a good alternative for people looking for a road bike that can be taken into an office building or on a train (what office building security guard could object to a suit bag?).

However, at 8kg I wonder if it might be a bit too heavy to be handled like a garment bag. I also wonder how the ride stacks up to a regular road bike. Does anyone have answers to these questions?

IMO, what Dahon really needs to do is make it in titanium to get the weight under 15 pounds and add breakaway couplers. Then, it would be everything a road biking businessman would need to mix work with pleasure (if it rides like a high quality road bike, that is).

Last edited by makeinu; 05-02-07 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 05-02-07, 03:01 AM   #2
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IMO, what Dahon really needs to do is make it in titanium to get the weight under 15 pounds and add breakaway couplers. Then, it would be everything a road biking businessman would need to mix work with pleasure (if it rides like a high quality road bike, that is).
The Mako is made from 7005 double-butted Aluminium and as such you will not be able to shave off nearly 3lbs by simply making a Titanium model. A lot of weight-weenieing would also have to take place.

I also doubt they would shift a lot of units (although Japan would be a potential market) – particularly as the price tag would have to be $2500 +. IMO, you might as well just add couplers to a 700c Ti bike as you’re only saving a few inches in length and you can get a custom built frame. The Mako is only available in two sizes with a 6' 2" height limit…That said, I suspect a Ti model from Dahon in 2008 or 2009…
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Old 05-02-07, 08:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makeinu
Are there any reviews on this bike?:
Dahon Mako
Too new, methinks.


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The light weight and the thin long (albeit wide) and quick fold could make it very convenient for many applications.
It doesn't fold, it's a mini-bike.

I think you can pop off the front tire and maybe turn the bars, but it's quite different.


Quote:
Seems like you could probably fold and bag it as fast as you could fold any other dahon and, once in the bag, I imagine you might handle it as you would a couple of suit/garment bags.
The photo isn't very good, but I suspect the bag is xbox-huge.

It'd be pretty good for stowing in an apartment or car trunk, though.


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However, at 8kg I wonder if it might be a bit too heavy to be handled like a garment bag. I also wonder how the ride stacks up to a regular road bike. Does anyone have answers to these questions?
At 17 lbs, it's lighter than many road bikes (assuming Dahon isn't exaggerating with the weights, which seems to be the case sometimes).

There's no way the ride can be as smooth as 700c. There's lots of aluminum there, no suspension, Stelvio high-pressure tires, although the CF handlebar is a smart touch. But I suspect that on good pavement it would be good enough for most roadies up to, I dunno, 40-50 miles? Maybe 60? Good enough for most uses I guess.


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IMO, what Dahon really needs to do is make it in titanium to get the weight under 15 pounds and add breakaway couplers. Then, it would be everything a road biking businessman would need to mix work with pleasure (if it rides like a high quality road bike, that is).
...except they already did a separatable road bike (the Allegro), and apparently shifted to a touring model -- which IMO makes much more sense.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Fear&Trembling
I also doubt they would shift a lot of units (although Japan would be a potential market) – particularly as the price tag would have to be $2500 +. IMO, you might as well just add couplers to a 700c Ti bike as you’re only saving a few inches in length and you can get a custom built frame.
$2500+ isn't unreasonable for a good roadbike (depending on how this one rides). Also, most of the space savings on folders seems to come from the smaller wheels and compact frame design. The actual fold really just makes the package more square, which for many purposes isn't really a more helpful shape.

One thing I realized from the stick folder designs is that, except for luggage racks and car boots, there is more space higher off the ground in most places because people are taller than 2-3 feet. A 700c road bike would be difficult to take on a train or elevator, but a bagged 20 with the handlebars folded should be almost as unobtrusive as a regular folder. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any serious 20" road bikes except, perhaps, this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
It doesn't fold, it's a mini-bike.

I think you can pop off the front tire and maybe turn the bars, but it's quite different.

The photo isn't very good, but I suspect the bag is xbox-huge.

It'd be pretty good for stowing in an apartment or car trunk, though.

...except they already did a separatable road bike (the Allegro), and apparently shifted to a touring model -- which IMO makes much more sense.
Yeah, yeah. The handlebars detach and the pedals fold. So its a detachable/folder and
at 7.9"x39.4"x55.1"=17150 cubic inches it's not much bigger in volume than a folded xootr swift (probably the same if you added drops to the swift).

Sure, you can add folding pedals to any bike and you can probably add quick release handlebars to many, but, as with most folders, the majority of the space savings comes from the small wheels.

A couple of garment bags are huge too, but they aren't too obtrusive because they are flat and relatively light. Of course the large size would be undoubtably problematic, which is why a bike with full sized wheels is at a disadvantage. If you ask me, separability of the Allegro in itself just isn't useful enough, but when combined with the weight and space savings of small wheels...

Of course you're probably going to say, "then why not just go all the way for a full folder?". Well, it seems that the single tube design and the addition of hinges require further compromises which may not be worth it.

Last edited by makeinu; 05-02-07 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 05-03-07, 04:37 AM   #5
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$2500+ isn't unreasonable for a good roadbike (depending on how this one rides).
It certainly isn't, but the problem is one of perception. Many people would happily part with £2500 for a shiny new Specialized or Trek, but how many would consider a similarly specced bike with small wheels, that is shorter in length? Not many I think.

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Also, most of the space savings on folders seems to come from the smaller wheels and compact frame design
And many have a main-frame hinge that effectively halves the horizontal folded size and/or have front and rear pivot points.

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A 700c road bike would be difficult to take on a train or elevator, but a bagged 20 with the handlebars folded should be almost as unobtrusive as a regular folder. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any serious 20" road bikes except, perhaps, this one.
I think you are underestimating the size of the Dahon Mako - I have seen Dahon mini-bikes and I would not want to carry them around, even with the handlebars folded. It would be obtrusive and awkward, but yes, less of a hassle than a 700c bike. They are really targeted at people who have limited sq. ft in their flats (that's why mini-bikes have a strong following in the Far East), but I struggle to see how a bagged Mako would cut it for businessmen...

Moulton make serious bikes with 20" wheels - you just have to pay $10k for the privilege...

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Old 05-03-07, 09:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear&Trembling
And many have a main-frame hinge that effectively halves the horizontal folded size and/or have front and rear pivot points.
Halves the length, but doubles the width. I think the convenience of stick folder designs in people-friendly spaces (ie not car trunks or luggage racks) shows that footprint is, in such scenarios, more important than other measures of size. If stood on end (front of the bike pointing up), the minibike has a smaller footprint than a bike folded by a hinged frame or fork pivots. In people sized spaces, it isn't like someone is going to be standing on top of your bike. On an elevator, for example, you will most likely be standing next to your folded bike and the space directly over the bike will be empty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear&Trembling
I think you are underestimating the size of the Dahon Mako - I have seen Dahon mini-bikes and I would not want to carry them around, even with the handlebars folded. It would be obtrusive and awkward, but yes, less of a hassle than a 700c bike. They are really targeted at people who have limited sq. ft in their flats (that's why mini-bikes have a strong following in the Far East), but I struggle to see how a bagged Mako would cut it for businessmen...
I don't know. The biggest problems I have with carrying my BMX bike are:
1. The handlebars and front wheel flopping around and getting snagged everywhere.
2. The pedals getting snagged everywhere.
3. The weight of the bike.
4. An unsuitable way to carry it so I can get a good grip at different orientations and don't have to worry about what it touches.

Obviously, all things being equal, a smaller overall package is better. But you probably don't want to carry around your small package folder either and all things aren't equal. I'm just suggesting that perhaps giving up some size for a lighter, better riding bike with a smaller footprint might be a good trade off. Maybe not. That's what I'm trying to find out from people who have tried the Mako.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear&Trembling
Moulton make serious bikes with 20" wheels - you just have to pay $10k for the privilege...
Don't they weigh a lot though? As in, twice as much as a $10k road bike with 700c wheels? If you're trading off wheel size for weight and you're getting a heavier bike then you aren't trading anything at all. I guess you still get the small bike/footprint, but that doesn't seem like enough.

Actually, even the weight and the footprint don't seem like enough, which is why I suggested Dahon also make it breakaway. Then the smaller size kills two birds with one stone by making it better for packing than a fullsized breakaway.
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Old 05-03-07, 10:05 AM   #7
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Halves the length, but doubles the width. I think the convenience of stick folder designs in people-friendly spaces (ie not car trunks or luggage racks) shows that footprint is, in such scenarios, more important than other measures of size. If stood on end (front of the bike pointing up), the minibike has a smaller footprint than a bike folded by a hinged frame or fork pivots. In people sized spaces, it isn't like someone is going to be standing on top of your bike. On an elevator, for example, you will most likely be standing next to your folded bike and the space directly over the bike will be empty.
I guess it depends on the environment, but in people friendly places (which I think of as "folder unfriendly") I tend to put a conventional folder between my legs, so I subsume part of the folded package. I know what you're saying about "longitudinal displacement" (if I can call it that), but I can't see myself comfortably transporting a Mako in lifts, escalators etc, even with its narrow/long footprint. People are generally not keen on their shins getting bumped by regular folders and I guess they would be even less keen on a wheel to nose collision.

You should ask Datako on the Dahon forum about his Hammerhead - he usually has something interesting to say.

Quote:
Don't they weigh a lot though? As in, twice as much as a $10k road bike with 700c wheels? If you're trading off wheel size for weight and you're getting a heavier bike then you aren't trading anything at all. I guess you still get the small bike/footprint, but that doesn't seem like enough
I'm not sure of the weight of the double pylon, but I think it would be heavy when compared to an ultra-lite racer. Maybe someone has the figures, but depending on the components, I'm guessing about 21/2lbs?
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Old 05-03-07, 12:36 PM   #8
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I, personally, see the smaller wheels as an advantage. There's also this, not a folder, though:
http://www.dahon.com/us/smoothhound.htm
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Old 05-04-07, 02:05 AM   #9
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I, personally, see the smaller wheels as an advantage. There's also this, not a folder, though:
http://www.dahon.com/us/smoothhound.htm
Surely smaller wheels are both an advantage and disadvantage depending on the circumstances...
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Old 08-03-07, 07:22 AM   #10
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My Dahon SmoothHound

The Mako is an international model. Think it's only available in Asia. I bought the American minibike, the Smooth Hound, 2 months ago. It is an amazing bike. It feels like a real bike compared to the other Dahons I have owned. I liked my Dahon Speed Pro but the otherwise excellent internal hub gear made flats a night mare.

The Smooth Hound disappears beneath you. It looks a bit funny but it feels like a regular bike. It has tons of hand positions thanks to the moustache bars, which easily remove and strap flat to the frame. Take off the seat post and the front wheel and you have a very compact, flat package.

It's considered a touring bike and has braze-ons for a water bottle cage, racks and fenders. I love the bar-end shifters and they are very handy for touring since they can be manually adjusted if they break, unlike STI shifters.

This is the most exciting bike I have ever had. I have owned Bike Fridays (ridiculously over-priced and over-rated), 6 different recent Dahons, and a Down Tube. Rigid bikes I have owned include a custom Bilenky touring bike, a Santana tandem, ti Airbornes and a Trek Pilot 5.2. The Smooth Hound is the best bike of the lot. If I could get my hands on a Mako I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 08-04-07, 09:59 AM   #11
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How big is the Smooth Hound when it is folded up? I am serious contemplating getting one but I'd need to be able to take it into my office building without looking like I am lugging around a huge bicycle.
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Old 08-04-07, 11:25 AM   #12
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The 'hound doesn't fold.

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Old 08-05-07, 07:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HomeExchanger View Post
The Mako is an international model. Think it's only available in Asia. I bought the American minibike, the Smooth Hound, 2 months ago. It is an amazing bike. It feels like a real bike compared to the other Dahons I have owned. I liked my Dahon Speed Pro but the otherwise excellent internal hub gear made flats a night mare.

The Smooth Hound disappears beneath you. It looks a bit funny but it feels like a regular bike. It has tons of hand positions thanks to the moustache bars, which easily remove and strap flat to the frame. Take off the seat post and the front wheel and you have a very compact, flat package.

It's considered a touring bike and has braze-ons for a water bottle cage, racks and fenders. I love the bar-end shifters and they are very handy for touring since they can be manually adjusted if they break, unlike STI shifters.

This is the most exciting bike I have ever had. I have owned Bike Fridays (ridiculously over-priced and over-rated), 6 different recent Dahons, and a Down Tube. Rigid bikes I have owned include a custom Bilenky touring bike, a Santana tandem, ti Airbornes and a Trek Pilot 5.2. The Smooth Hound is the best bike of the lot. If I could get my hands on a Mako I wouldn't hesitate.
I am thinking of Smooth Hound too.
How it behaves on off-road places ? Like forest tracks or so ?
Can you give us some more info about this bike ? Maybe pros & cons ?
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Old 08-05-07, 07:50 AM   #14
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I think that would depend on what kind of tires you put on it.
Otherwise it's just a bike with 20" wheels - the only thing unique is the suspension fork.
It's not a folder, so you shouldn't have any flex etc.

I think the Smoothhound discussion is all very well and interesting, but it maybe doesn't belong in a Mako thread? I think the only reason it fits in here, is that there is so little information about the Mako that there's not much to talk about otherwise. The Mako and the Smoothhound do not share the same frame (the suspension fork I mentioned) so it's somewhat of a stretch to compare them directly. Being mini-bikes however they are at least in the same ballpark, so I guess we carry on...

The best model to compare the Mako with, would be the Wobbegong. The only immediate frame difference in that case seems to be the steel fork of the Wobbegong vs. the alu fork on the Mako.

I'd also like to note my interest in the Mako in North America. I would happy if they offered just the frameset also. I would also be interested in a custom-order program, e.g. "We know you make in Asia, now ship it to us for a reasonable surcharge". It's a little frustrating when they make it, and you want it and the two sides can't get together.
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Old 08-05-07, 08:08 AM   #15
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I think you could look for reviews also of the Dahon 'Hammerhead' as this was the model they started their foray into non-folding minibikes with last year - it came in two models, a more hybrid flatbarred commuter model in orangey-yellow and a TT barred road model which is clearly the DNA from which this year's wider line inc the Maku and Smoothhound are derived from, and though geometry and components may not be identical, there are likely to be more reviews about to glean info from.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:23 PM   #16
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Mini Bikes Off Road

I take my Smooth Hound on smooth dirt or crushed gravel paths. The fat tires and front shock make this pretty comfy. I would not take any 20" wheeled bike off road on single track or technical terrain as smaller wheels tend to get caught in ruts and other imperfections.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:25 PM   #17
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Hammerhead

I rode the Hammerhead before ordering my Smooth Hound. I found it to be a great ride. Got the Smooth Hound instead because it's more functional -- fender & rack braze-ons, wider gearing, flat moustache bars w/lots of hand positions, etc. It's much nicer looking as well.

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Old 08-06-07, 06:30 PM   #18
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"Folding" the Minibike

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Originally Posted by thened;
How big is the Smooth Hound when it is folded up? I am serious contemplating getting one but I'd need to be able to take it into my office building without looking like I am lugging around a huge bicycle.
It isn't as big as listed on the Dahon website when "folded". Take off the front wheel, pop off the pedals (made to easily remove w/o tools), turn one allen head bolt to remove the flat handlebars & stem and remove the quick release seat post and you have a package that I measured today as only 28 by 38 at the widest/longest points (it is not a square package, so it is narrower/shorter at other points).

After the 30-second procedure above, the Smooth Hound easily fits in the 33 gallon trash bag I fold up into my seat bag. It is unobtrusive to bring into buildings, supermarkets, etc. It doesn't really fold but it is much narrower than a folding Dahon (or other folder). I find it easier to handle because it is less bulky. It also rides much better. It makes even the Speed Pro feel like a toy.
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Old 08-06-07, 06:33 PM   #19
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Mako vs Smooth Hound

The Mako is listed at 17lbs vs 23+ for the Smooth Hound. However, the Smooth Hound has a super-heavy Brooks leather saddle. Pop that sucker off and put on something light and your bike just lost 3lbs.
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Old 08-06-07, 09:06 PM   #20
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... I have owned Bike Fridays (ridiculously over-priced and over-rated)...
Over-priced I agree with, but what, in your opinion, is overrated?

(By the way, I still think the Hammerhead is THE best looking mini-bike out there that I've seen, even better than any of the other Japanese models. I just don't need one.)
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Old 08-16-07, 02:02 PM   #21
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Bike Fridays are crummy

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Over-priced I agree with, but what, in your opinion, is overrated?

)
The fold is terrible. You end up with grease from the stem and post all over you. The shifting and/or brakes get subtly messed up after every fold. The QR's used to close the joints can't be tightened enough to stop the significant frame flex.

From my (former) intensive touring experience w/Bike Fridays I think they are garbage.I got rid of the 3 that my family owned and moved on to better folders.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:25 PM   #22
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I wouldnt call them garbadge .... doin so you are going to piss of a few owners who think that their bike is the best ...
there are lots of other bikes out there which are indeed garbabdge ( one look at ebay will show that )

Like anything, taste is different and Fridays are made for one special purpose ( traveling bikes ) which I think they do pretty well

Anyhow
peace everybody ... too much conflict going around

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