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DAHON folding bikes - good or Not???

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DAHON folding bikes - good or Not???

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Old 12-22-17, 08:19 AM
  #1  
Zajebisty
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DAHON folding bikes - good or Not???

i see a ton of mint condition, hardly used Dahon's for sale

are they decent folding bikes? it won't be my daily but for when I travel to other cities and want easy exploration tool
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Old 12-22-17, 08:47 AM
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Dahon make a lot of different models so the answer could be all over the place. I have 5 different Dahons in 2 models and they do everything they were made to do. If you are interested in a folder you will find a better bike by riding one than you will on the internet. I have 2 Dahon Boardwalks and like them but because I collect folders they are not the best folder I own. The best one is a Bike Friday but that is custom bike that was good enough to ride across the US. Currently the Boardwalks are the ones I ride most. I also own Raleighs, Bickertons (the worst), 3 classic (3s and Callifornias) Dahons and a bunch of others. Roger

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Old 12-22-17, 09:00 AM
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Support British engineering and buy a Brompton!
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Old 12-22-17, 10:14 AM
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i think the model is a D7 which I saw (lower end retails around $500)

a brompton would be amazing but the retail on those is like $2000... even used at over $1000 I don't know if I can justify it for occassional use lol

are the Bromptons really that good?
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Old 12-22-17, 10:33 AM
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If you buy a Dahon Boardwalk steel 7 speed folder you will get a good folding bike..For a bit more money you can buy a Dahon Speed P8 steel folder..Great folder...Personally I would stay away from aluminium Dahon folders ..although the Dahon Qix looks very interesting
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Old 12-22-17, 11:21 AM
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if you find a link to the used one and post it here we surely can help guide you in the right direction
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Old 12-22-17, 11:43 AM
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It's good if it meets your needs/requirements. For what you want to do;
you'll want a bike that's easy to pack and meets the airlines' size & weight
requirements. When you get to your destination; you'll want a bike that
takes up as little space as possible. Tight hotel room(Tokyo), cafe, museum,
shops, bus, train, etc.

Have tried different folding bikes over the years; Tobukaeru, Citizen Tokyo,
etc. Even borrowing or buying bikes at my destination. Using the Brompton
was the most expensive option. But also the most satisfying.
2013 Citizen Tokyo in a suitcase by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 12-22-17, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Zajebisty View Post
i think the model is a D7 which I saw (lower end retails around $500)

a brompton would be amazing but the retail on those is like $2000... even used at over $1000 I don't know if I can justify it for occassional use lol

are the Bromptons really that good?
Where are you located? Here in expensive New York City; you can get a brand new 6 speed Brompton for less than US$1,500: bfold.com

I got my "back-up" Brompton used from Craigslist; with fenders, rear rack and dyno hub/light - US$800.
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Old 12-22-17, 03:33 PM
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I had an upholstery shop build a cordura bag for my Dahon. I lined the bag with a cut up mattress topper (looks like an egg carton). I remove the derailleur and pedals---I hate folding pedals---and put the bike in the bag. I have taken it on 4 airline trips so far with no issue. It is oversize (no one has ever measured it) but under 30 pounds and I have never been charged oversize.---Someone on this forum suggested that.

I had straps added to two sides of the bag that are sewn in every 8 inches or so. I use regular cord and double X the bag to tighten it up and give the handlers even more to grab. I put cardboard in the middle of the fold to keep the bike from chewing on itself.

I have walked about a mile with it once balancing it on my suitcase. Yes it was work, I am going to have a handle put on it right next to the closure to make holding it on my roller bag easier---. I might add a way to bungi it to my regular bag.

I have the Mu D10 (among other bikes) that I travel with. I would not buy a Dahon below the 8 speed Speed frame. (no Boardwalks for me---grin) I have stated this many times but with small wheels I want to use a standard 8, or 9, or 10 speed
cassette with an 11 tooth sprocket and I prefer a 52-56 front sprocket. The main thing I have against freewheels is the smallest cog generally is a 13 which gives you too low of gearing in my opinion. If you like to getiton at all you will not be happy with a 13-42 or 13-46 which are common on the 7 speed bikes.
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Old 12-22-17, 03:42 PM
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On my last trip I was talking to the pilot who has a Brompton. He doesn't even put it in a bag, he folds it and puts it in the overhead bin. Not sure if a customer can do that but it works well for him.
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Old 12-22-17, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Zajebisty View Post
i see a ton of mint condition, hardly used Dahon's for sale

are they decent folding bikes? it won't be my daily but for when I travel to other cities and want easy exploration tool
I use a Dahon Curve "D8" as my all weather commuter for about 5,000 km's per year. Yup, they are plenty good enough. Dahon seems to be the largest seller of folding bikes in the North American market, so it the often the top bike brand on the used market as well. It is small enough that I have taken it in (free) checked luggage to Europe as well.
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Old 12-23-17, 05:29 AM
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I'm probably known for not being the greatest fan of Dahon bikes as they often seem very overpriced to me for the quality you are getting but secondhand is a completely different thing with different rules to buying new. Just look at the bike for what you are actually getting rather than its original purchase price. Any recent 7 speed folding bike has a strong chance of being a basic freewheel drivetrain which is entry level.

Here in the UK we get 500 Dahon bikes that really should retail no more than 250 compared to its competitors however Europe gets a worse deal than the US with regard Dahon pricing and spec.

The big issue for me is many big brands produce truly awful entry level bikes. They clearly want to compete at the lower end of pricing and have to make huge sacrifices in quality to do so because of their increased costs and more complicated logistics. It's one thing to see people buy a cheap bike of poor quality for $150 but something much worse when they spend $500 on a similar quality bike just to get the so called right brand.

For me the best way to buy a Dahon is secondhand especially an entry level model which is often very disappointing to the customer hence the quick secondhand sale and a much reduced price. A few choice upgrades can transform it into a much better bike at a price still massively below a new Dahon bike.
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Old 12-23-17, 08:27 AM
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Bonzo

You are right. Folding bikes are a fairly small niche in the US. Dahon has made a commitment internationally to use the bicycle dealer network. So Dahon sells the bikes to local Distributors (In the US this is a Dahon Company) and they stock the bikes and put their margin on the bikes (usually 30-35%). Then the dealers buy the bikes from the distributor. Then the dealers assemble the bikes and mark them up 30-50%. Whereas the mail order bikes the distributor is also the retailer and may mark the bikes up 30-50% but there is one less step. Used bikes are often a great deal if you are knowledgeable. For the total bike newbie----not so much.
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Old 12-23-17, 08:40 AM
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I think Dahon is a great company. Some of their bikes are excellent, such as the Speed 8, some are not so wonderful.

I think you may want to focus your question on a specific model to see the pros and cons.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 12-23-17, 09:21 AM
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Wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Downtube..Dahon Speed 8 is a top folding bike..I have seen some Speed 8s with a front derailleur braze on as standard so could easily be made a 16 speed or even 18 or 20 with money spent on it..Good strong frame ,excellent ride..
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Old 12-23-17, 11:52 AM
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Agree with the "go high" sentiment. I really love the Visc and Mu series bikes. Speed D8/P8 and above are all good. Generally quick releases are a way to identify these. Same with double walled rims on the wheels.

If you go down range a bit it is not that difficult to upgrade the bikes. Dahon Frames and geometries are generally all very good. I have upgraded several Dahon's with good success.

Bikes are not expensive so get a good one. Multiple speeds - 7,8,14,16, 18 are all very nice when you get in hills but also want to travel distance. Internal hubs are nice if you are frequently packing them, bouncing into walls and the like. 16" and 20" have different merits as well.

Not sure why all the "Brompton" talk gets put on top of a question about Dahons. Bromptons are fine bikes. They are different bikes. So are Moultons. So are Terns. So are Birdy's. I want to learn more of Downtube and Origami. Great value for the money there I am sure. That all said, a Dahon will serve you very well and I have been very happy with mine. (I sell them now, I like them so much)
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Old 12-23-17, 02:01 PM
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I have an '05 Speed P8 - good bike, served me well, no real complaints.

Originally Posted by Zajebisty View Post
...are the Bromptons really that good?
Yeah, for me they are. Not just my favorite bike, but an all-time favorite possession. If I had to limit all my worldly possessions into what would fit inside a MINI Cooper, my Brompton is certain to make it in.
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Old 12-23-17, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Imby View Post
Bonzo

You are right. Folding bikes are a fairly small niche in the US. Dahon has made a commitment internationally to use the bicycle dealer network. So Dahon sells the bikes to local Distributors (In the US this is a Dahon Company) and they stock the bikes and put their margin on the bikes (usually 30-35%). Then the dealers buy the bikes from the distributor. Then the dealers assemble the bikes and mark them up 30-50%. Whereas the mail order bikes the distributor is also the retailer and may mark the bikes up 30-50% but there is one less step. Used bikes are often a great deal if you are knowledgeable. For the total bike newbie----not so much.
Also manufacturing itself may involve many more parties. In Europe Dahon bikes are mainly manufactured/assembled by maxcom in Bulgaria so they will need their cut. It's clear when Tern was created due to the management split at Dahon they used a wide range of manufacturers to source frames and assembly of their bikes as that information came out in the paperwork for the Tern recalls. Surely likely a similar arrangement at Dahon and the Dahon factory in China doesn't look like it is manufacturing the aluminium frames although I could be wrong about this but the factory basically looks a bit low tech, more focused on assembly and steel frames in-house, there's no robot welding and you never see anyone handle a hydro-formed tube, it just looks a very basic welding operation.

On the video below you can see sparks as the frame is cut and on frame parts being grinded indicating steel. Many bicycle factories in China buy in aluminium frames from some of the big high quality manufacturers like fuji-ta even if they design the frame and also manufacture steel frames themselves in-house just because I guess manufacturing and certifying frames is more complicated with aluminium and can often be more cost-effective to buy in a bare manufactured frame. Not that I think Dahon would be doing this because they don't have the resources to certify they clearly do some testing I think it would just be more cost effective for them to buy in aluminium frames. Happy to be proved wrong but it certainly looks that way to me.

Just making the point that not just the distribution logistics but the manufacturing logistics may add significant costs especially as Dahon goes for such a wide range of models and frequent updates to their models. Lots of logistic issues there in constantly changing designs and providing spares to such a wide range of models. Aluminium frame manufacture would certainly be better done by one of the big OEM frame suppliers in this instance who are used to rapid prototyping and manufacture. It wouldn't surprise me if their in-house steel frames aren't as frequently changed or at least stay broadly similar to past models.

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Old 12-23-17, 06:07 PM
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Only Dahon makes the so-called 'Shark' bikes

...folding bikes with a classic diamond-shape geometry and LockJaw hinges. And they are solid and affordable.









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Old 12-23-17, 07:48 PM
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Nice looking bikes there.
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Old 12-24-17, 04:57 AM
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Those are what Thor needs to bring to the USA, the diamond dahons.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
Those are what Thor needs to bring to the USA, the diamond dahons.
The 2017 Dahon Dash Altena is even nicer with its curved seatstays.

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Old 12-24-17, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
Those are what Thor needs to bring to the USA, the diamond dahons.
He's had a Bullhead at a good price in his garage sale section. It was one I was really thinking about before I went with the Airnimal. I think what held me back at the time is it has the smaller frame and I am tall.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:18 PM
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I sell Dahon bikes and I myself ride a Dahon EEZZ, I would say they are great bikes. I also own a Brompton and it is also good but considering its price , I would go Dahon.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:25 PM
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when comes to Brompton, you guys would say Brompton was hand made in London so it is worth 2000USD+, but for Dahon you claim Dahon has no robot welding !! Hah, Is it really fair enough?
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