Budget bikes: Dahon dream
I posted a month ago looking for a budget folding bike, and ended up getting a Dahon dream (HT660), a 6 speed Chinese model, from ebay for $320. My other options were: Dahon Curve for $375 (after 15% off) but it was out of stock for months, Carryme for $425 but it felt unstable. I loved riding a $200 vintage Dahon from Mt Airy cycles, but it was heavy and I was afraid I would pinch my fingers folding it.
Here's the summary so far:
- It looks really nice.
- Easy to fold, though the hinge is a bit stiff. No worries about pinching my fingers.
- Easy to carry while unfolded, definitely improvement over my current full size that I've carried up and down 10 escalators/stairs per day until now for going to the subway.
- Comes with rack and fenders and kickstand, and fenders are very light. Rack holds the baskets I already have.
- Took exactly 1 month to arrive and coordinate delivery with USPS, so another month lugging my full size bike up and down subway stairs.
- 1 pedal was missing.
- Pedal was the cheap kind, not folding.
- It weighs 28 lbs, not 25 as claimed.
- The two year warranty is in Chinese.
- Lacks the standard Dahon built-in magnets, so falls open slightly while rolling.
- Rests on the plastic chain guard while folded if you don't put the seat down, so you need to lower the seat while folded to avoid damaging the chain guard.
In retrospect, the $200 bike a month ago would have been a much better decision. It's not much heavier and slightly less awkward while folded because of the little wheel underneath. I'm sure I will enjoy riding it once I get the folding pedals I've ordered online (I don't want to get a cheap pedal in the meantime because I have a hard time removing pedals by myself.) Or possibly just learning to ride a Carryme so that it felt stable.
It is slightly tempting to try to sell this on Craig's list and get another. Mostly I am just disappointed that it took a month to get this, and even after a month I can't even ride it and I'm about to leave town for half a month so won't get to enjoy it in the good weather.