Dahon Smooth Hound ..my pet is home!
First impressions of Smooth Hound are excellent. This bike zips around the street FAST and has no trouble keeping up with hybrids and some roadies. Ride is exactly like a full size bike (similar to my Trek fx 7.5). The Smooth Hound does make a number of compromises for this stable, quick and comfortable ride. The folding size is just enough to fit inside my BMW 328i (in the back or in the trunk) without difficulty. In my car I placed a small padded 'doggie bed' so I could slip the bike into the car without scratching the leather interior or car frame. I can barely walk 20 feet with the bike (I'm 5'2" female), but that's okay.
MAGNETIX ASSEMBLY IS A JOKE
Magnets are a joke, they separate with each step, knocking the back wheel into my knees. I did wrap a small padded, 1" wide old leather belt (cut and notched) around the rims to keep the spokes of the two wheels together. I DO NOT have to take off the handlebars, which is a big plus for quick bike installation into my car.
BROOKS SADDLE GORGEOUS BUT I WON'T RIDE ON IT.. YET
This saddle is gorgeous, but maybe as a hanging ornament in my office? I had to have it changed out, there is just so much I'll sacrifice for style. Think of it as wearing 5" spike heels on a bike tour! I will work on the saddle on my own and see what I can come up with (why isn't this thing padded with gel or soft like my Frye boots?) Maybe someone out there can give me some ideas.
Yes this bike turn heads, especially when I am unfolding it on the sidewalk. Once in motion, it looks and acts like any other bike on the road. The lockjaw hinge is quite good so far and I'm going to have it checked regularly, but I am knowledgeable to its maintenance requirements, which are minimal, but I stay focused during the fold and unfold. I have some angry red scratches and welts on my arms resulting from skin getting caught between the sharp lockjaws. This is a result of not having a kickstand. YOU MUST GET A KICKSTAND, or you will end up as a human kickstand underdeath a semi-folded Danon Smooth Hound that bites!
KEEP A SPARE ALLEN WRENCH HANDY
I picked up a few 5 and 6 mm allen wrenches with plastic handles from home depot so I can leave the "T" wrench that came with the bike at home.
DO NOT expect this bike to be portable enough to take into rapid transit system. Smooth Hound is for convenience when you are DRIVING and don't want to drag around a Saris Bones bike carrier wobbling around on the highway. You will not be scratching your car with this folder, as you would with a bike rack.
GOOD ALTERNATIVE FOR PETITE FEMALES
Girls, you won't be breaking your nails folding this baby. I just use the allen wrench (with a wide plastic holder) and turn it about 180 until I hear a distinct CLICK, and then I know its engaged. No handlebars, no seat changes, nothing.
COMFORT BIKE or ROAD BIKE RIDE
I like that you can change the handlebar angle pretty much into any configuration. I have about 8 different seat/handlebar configurations so far.
I need a lightweight kickstand, probably the Swiss one I saw at Thorusa.