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Thread: Dahon Espresso?

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    Does Anyone Have A Dahon Espresso?

    Hi all,

    Can someone review the Dahon Espresso? I've an appointment soon with a craiglist seller who says she's had her espresso for about a year and I'd like to know what to look for. She's selling it for $200 which is a pretty good difference from the new price but I want to know if it'll be worth that. I just missed out on a Dahon Helios P8 for the same price or I would have gotten that T__T New Dahon folders are out of my range, except for maybe the Boardwalk but I want more than 1 gear.

    Around this forum, people have mentioned the Espresso in passing, either recommending them to others who ultimately pass them on for the Jack (usually) or some other bike, or just saying they own an Espresso. There was one thread that said the Espresso was made of cheap parts and some reviews elsewhere say that the Espresso falls apart after about 9-12 months. But how common is that and are the parts easily replaced/repaired? Also can some Espresso owners describe their ownership experiences?

    I'm a complete beginner at biking but I've been lurking around the folding bike forum for a couple of months on and off and I've my mind set on buying a folder. I'm a student in NYC so price is a huge issue. I won't be commuting on this bike, just taking it up and down the west side bike path or similar environments, and space isn't really that big of an issue for me. I'm around 165 lb and 5'2" and the bike is supposedly a 16" frame, which the specs on dahon's (and other) website say should fit me.

    Thanks for all your help!
    Last edited by negiron; 09-06-10 at 09:11 PM.

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    I know there are Espresso owners out there in the ether because they've posted eons ago and because the Espresso is sold out on ThorUSA. Where are all of you hiding? or are you just having too much fun riding around?

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    I have ridden a Montague folding 26" folding bike and found it was a larger fold and harder to deal with in the car and at home because of the size. Mulleady has the Cadenza and enjoys his. The Baltic is nice looking and well out fitted for the money.
    Speed Uno
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    Hm, thanks for posting, even if you didn't exactly answer my questions. It's good to have similar (as in full-sized folders) to compare experiences with.

    I got the Espresso today and alternately rode and walked it across and down Manhattan from W112th St to E14th St. It fit me perfectly size-wise, except maybe for the fact that the handlebars are a teensy bit far for my short arms. It went over bumps and potholes very well but did creak a little and was definitely much slower than other bikes, though I think the fault lies with me for that because I really wasn't trying to overtake any one and also because of my inexperience, I was a little scared of going too fast and being unable to stop and then crashing. The gears were a little wonky but I was prepared for that because I'd read it somewhere around the net but the shifting mechanism was easy to figure out and use, which is a feat for me since I've never had a geared bike before, and let me tell you, it is hard to make your fingers uncurl enough to use the brakes much less the gear shifter when you feel like if you don't hold on for dear life then the bike is going to twist like a bronco and turn on you. I suppose this is what I get for being a late learner.
    Anyway, back ot the bike. The middle folding mechanism is super easy to use but also kind of stiff, which has been mentioned before on the net. The folded bike is definitely more awkward to maneuver than how I imagine a smaller folder would but it is a huge improvement over an unfolded bike. It fits in the space behind my door and has less or about equal a footprint as my standard-uni-supplied dorm chair.

    I did get unsolicited compliments about the looks of the Espresso, so yay! Also, I saw a significant number of folders on my ride down from Harlem - most were Dahons but I also saw two Stridas. I've also seen Citizens being ridden around Union Square lately, along with a Brompton tucked surreptitiously against a farmer's stall's wall. I also saw a recumbent bike, not sure if it was a folder. That was the strangest one.

    Here's a picture of the Espresso folded: IMG_3910..jpg

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    Congrats on the Expresso. Thor has a part called the aber hallo that allows you to bring the handlebars closer. http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/aberhallo.htm
    Speed Uno
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    congrats, between the Expresso and the Jack, I've lost the bid on Ebay and two steps too late on Craigslist 4 times total when I was shopping for a used folder.

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    Thanks for your congratulations, the both of you, for your assistance Dynocoaster, and for your sympathy soundtweakers.

  8. #8
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    keep in mind that the new baltic expressos are WAY nicer than the sand ones from the past .... the stem is nicer much cleaner, tires are big apples and WAY nicer and on its goes ....

    thor

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    Speed Uno
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

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    Yes I got that, but they're also more than twice as expensive as my used Espresso. Sometimes financial concerns will out over the desire for a nicer bike *shrug*
    There is of course always next time.

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    I just had a quintessential NYC moment. I was walking home from my favorite Italian deli thinking about, what else, folders. I had been specifically thinking about the Jack and Espresso, and had already decided to head down to Zen Bikes to check out what they have in stock. As I passed a LBS that refuses to carry folders, what do you suppose I see? A couple with their folders, he o a Jack and she on an Espresso. They both raved about them so I headed back here to do further research. Now here;s where I get a bit disappointed i these two beauties. You have to remove the pedals to fold the bike properly. Where does one put these items once removed from the bike, I wonder. And the handlebar has to be unscrewed with an Allen wrench, then just sort of dangles there by the shifter cables. Seems a little unsteady IMO.

    Now, mind you , I was considering these two models b/c for the same price as a 7 speed twenty I can get a 21 speed (in the case of the Espresso) full size folder. But the dismantling thing is a real turn off. So now what to do? Anyone out there who owns either of these bikes please clue me in on how you deal with these and any other issues.

  12. #12
    jur
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    Just check the new Espresso has a different handlebar stem, I'm not sure, perhaps it folds? Allan key might still be required, it is hard to say.

    As for the pedals, I don't know - perhaps these people had fitted MKS removable pedals. I don't see how they MUST be removable instead of folding. The original pedals are folding ones.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    I have the older version of the Espresso and I just keep it folded in half with the handlebars and seat pretty much all the way down but still on. The pedals fold too and I suppose they could come off but they don't really take up that much space in relation to the spatial cost of the bike overall.

    It appears that the handlebars on the new Espresso still come off instead of folding, though I don't know whether an Allen key is necessary. You can see a picture here: http://bklynbikes.com/product/featur...5334-1-605.htm

  14. #14
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    yes they need an allen key to take off and yes than they are somewhat dangling around.... BUT in most cases you wont need to take them off at all anyhow .... like when you put the bike in the back of the car ...or under the table in the cubicle ..or or ...the advantage is that you have a rock solid regular parts cockpit...

    pedals fold and sont need to be taken off....

    If super small folding is the higher concern than look for 16 or 20 inch bikes ....

    thor

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    No, compactness isn't as much a concern as it was originally. I've done some calculating and realize I can fit a full size folder in my space. Actually, there's room for two of them.

    Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, has anyone ever modified a non folder so that the handlebars turn 90 degrees, making them parallel to the frame and reducing the overall footprint of the bike?

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