Dahon or Bike Friday?
This is my first day on this fantastic forum.
I am down to buying either a Dahon Speed Pro or a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. I travel to Europe a lot and want a bike that I can get around town on and still easily carry to my hotel room or back onto the ship. I believe that the two bikes would provide the ride I need, but any input would be appreciated.
I like the BFs, but I don't know if they are worth twice the price of the Speed Pro.
Thanks in advance for any input.
Hellow Skywarrior and Welcome!
Originally Posted by Skywarrior
I too had trouble choosing between the many makes and models available in the folding bike world. I chose to go simple for the first time with my modified Dahon Boardwalk. I added a Brompton and another Dahon later. The Bike Friday has one feature that is far more travel friendly than Dahon's are-they are made to disassembly with ease to stash in a suitcase and checked in without incurring additional fees. The Dahons also can be taken apart but not as easy as the Bike Fridays. So if you are going to Europe or somewhere else much of the time, choose folders that are made to do just that-go with you with ease.
I vote for the Dahon! I went down to BFs before I bought my new Dahon Speed TR and I wasn't all that happy with the customer service I got standing in their factory showroom. I live only 125 miles from Eugene, Oregon. They refused to break a bike down to put it in a airline case while I was there. They did email me a movie link though.
So I bought two Dahons with the airline cases and been very happy with it. And yes I'd do it again even if the Dahon were twice the price of BFs.
Oh yes, you don't need to disassemble the bike for travel. You simply fold it taking only some 15 seconds and lay it in their airline case and strap it down inside with the straps that are attached in the case. Viola! You're ready to fly!
Last edited by tim24k; 11-04-07 at 07:47 PM.
Small wheels ARE better!
I have no success packing my Speed Pro into a regular case eg Samsonite F/Lite unless I take apart the handle bar stem.
Can you show us some pics of how you manage to simply fold a Dahon TR, and plonk it into your case please? I can put my Speed 8 into the case, but it is pretty much stripped out
I know Timothy is very happy with the Speed TR's he and his wife have, and I cannot speak to the bad customer service he feels he received at the BF showroom/factory.
There are, however, some factors that might make the best choice more apparent. If you are very tall (6'3"+, heavy (225 lbs+) or very small (like 5'0"), the Dahon may not be suited to you. If you want some handle bar choices like drop bars or vertical adjustment height adjustment the Fridays will give you that.
I rode a Dahon Boardwalk D7 for 2+ yrs and I still have a 2005 Boardwalk single-speed (the 2005 S1 has vertically adjustable handle bar height - YEA!). Both Dahon models stock seat posts were a hair short for me. I am 6'3" with a 6'6" arm span, and my BF NWT, built for my height and riding style preference, is more comfortable.
Ease of changing the chain ring on the Speed Pro might also be a factor if you wanted to change the gearing. On the Boardwalk it was possible, but not easy - not sure about the Speed Pro. (Many Dahon parts are proprietary and sometimes not easy or possible to swap out.)
The Dahon's fold quicker and easier than a Friday - no doubt about it, but putting them into a suitcase might be another story. The Fridays seem to do it well enough that a lot of folks do it on a very regular basis - that says something for the product..
Bottom line: Dahons come as they come - no choices, except there are two Speed Pro models now. If that works for you, you can definitely save some money buying a Speed Pro.......and, based upon my experience with Dahon products, they are a solid bike.
Last edited by Foldable Two; 11-04-07 at 09:24 PM.
If you can, try and ride samples of both. I was enamored with the Speed Pro for a while and tried one out at a bike shop. No amount of adjusting made it feel right. That's just me. It could work perfectly for you, but it's the key thing to find out before you buy.
For Bike Friday's you might check out their local clubs. You might find someone willing to give you a whirl on their bike.
Last edited by Speedo; 11-05-07 at 07:03 AM.
Small wheels ARE better!
Thks Tim. The Airporter fits but it may not be airline "legal" in size... that's the problem I face. But it is a very good case!
Acording to some Airporter users, they never had problems with their "ilegal" sized volume. I would love to have such a nice luggage for a 20" wheeled bike. The problem is...what if you CAN'T border with that?
My wife and I have flown a lot with this with no problems or ever a extra luggage charge. Each of us have a Speed TR. At 73.25” its close for some, but like US Airways had 80" size limit at the time we used them in July, that may have changed now. I think the thing to do is keep it under the 50 lb. check in luggage limit, that's more of their concern then size.
Anyway, I've flown American, Delta, and Alaska without issue. Interesting thing I heard China Air you can fly with your full size DF not broken down with never a extra charge. So I guess it varies from airline to airline.
Originally Posted by OldiesONfoldies
Small wheels ARE better!