Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Folding Bikes
Reload this Page >

A detailed Dahon Curl i8 review

Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

A detailed Dahon Curl i8 review

Reply

Old 01-31-18, 12:14 AM
  #26  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,787

Bikes: 2017 Bike Friday PakiT. (restored & sold: 2003 Bike Friday NWT, 1997 Trek 720, 1993 Trek 520)

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 671 Post(s)
It's purely a personal reaction but when I look at the Curl, I think of Quasimodo.
linberl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 03:26 AM
  #27  
tds101 
Grumpy old man,...
 
tds101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mastic Beach, NY
Posts: 2,490

Bikes: 7+,...

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 422 Post(s)
I still think the Curl is a smexy beast,...
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
tds101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 09:19 AM
  #28  
Joe Remi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,015

Bikes: Haibike Sduro Trekking SL, Rivendell Appaloosa, Concinnity singlespeed, KHS mini velo (Japan market), Trident Spike trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
I neither love nor hate it, but I'd like to try one. A Brompton-ish fold in a lighter bike with more cockpit adjustability sounds promising.
Joe Remi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 09:24 AM
  #29  
ThorUSA
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Olney Illinois USA
Posts: 1,047

Bikes: to many

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I neither love nor hate it, but I'd like to try one. A Brompton-ish fold in a lighter bike with more cockpit adjustability sounds promising.
Joe I bring one to Sea Otter you can ride :-)


thor
ThorUSA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 01:45 PM
  #30  
Joe Remi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,015

Bikes: Haibike Sduro Trekking SL, Rivendell Appaloosa, Concinnity singlespeed, KHS mini velo (Japan market), Trident Spike trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Originally Posted by ThorUSA View Post
Joe I bring one to Sea Otter you can ride :-)


thor
I might just do that!
Joe Remi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 04:38 PM
  #31  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,236

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM7, 1987 Dahon Classic III, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
Are we getting all the rubbish frames in Europe or something...Maybe the wheels are weaker and downgraded compared to elsewhere.
Occam's Razor would suggest a spec miss-entry.
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 05:00 PM
  #32  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 5,236

Bikes: 1980 Mike Melton, 1982 Stumpjumper, 1982 Santana, 1984 Alex Moulton AM7, 1987 Dahon Classic III, 2007 Cannondale Capo, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i3

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
I've read the Curl is an uncomfortable bike which you really feel the impact of potholes with and if you are feeling them you can be sure the frame is too.
And now in the first person rather than hearsay: I've been riding mine since September and curiously haven't noticed this supposed ride discomfort. I compared the Curl to my BikeFriday tikit on a couple of back-to-back rides before I unloaded the tikit. Ride comfort over bumps/potholes was similar, despite the Curl feeling far more planted and secure. I guess computer designed hydroformed frame tubes can deliver that magic.
tcs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 06:08 PM
  #33  
tds101 
Grumpy old man,...
 
tds101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mastic Beach, NY
Posts: 2,490

Bikes: 7+,...

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 422 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
And now in the first person rather than hearsay: I've been riding mine since September and curiously haven't noticed this supposed ride discomfort. I compared the Curl to my BikeFriday tikit on a couple of back-to-back rides before I unloaded the tikit. Ride comfort over bumps/potholes was similar, despite the Curl feeling far more planted and secure. I guess computer designed hydroformed frame tubes can deliver that magic.
Grrr,...stop all this positivity towards the Curl!!! I'm feeling folder envy right now,...

Eventually I just might have to give in,...especially with the 280lb weight limit.
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
tds101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-18, 08:25 PM
  #34  
MJBikes99
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia
Posts: 37

Bikes: Trek Domane, Dahon EEZZ, Brompton

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
The Curl looks more modern, strong and gives me more technology feel, while the Brompton looks more simple and elegant. Curl is more masculine (like a Puma) while Brompton is more feminine. that's the expression I had when I saw the above comparison pics.
MJBikes99 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 02:19 AM
  #35  
berlinonaut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Originally Posted by MJBikes99 View Post
The Curl looks more modern, strong and gives me more technology feel, while the Brompton looks more simple and elegant. Curl is more masculine (like a Puma) while Brompton is more feminine. that's the expression I had when I saw the above comparison pics.
My Feelings are quite different: In the sideview the curl looks like it has crashed into something (especially when compared to the Brommi). The Brompton looks classic and sleek and a bit British. The Curl looks like something from the movie Transformers or a comic-strip and regarding the design like some modern Japanese Cars like i.e. the Honda Civic Type R:



Far too many shapes pressed into too little space for no obvious reason. Maybe modern but an unaesthetic design for my taste. The sideview clearly does not charm the Curl.
berlinonaut is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 02:29 AM
  #36  
Joe Remi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,015

Bikes: Haibike Sduro Trekking SL, Rivendell Appaloosa, Concinnity singlespeed, KHS mini velo (Japan market), Trident Spike trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
I think the Brompton looks more elegant, but I'm sure a good deal of that is borne of having looked at them for a couple decades and the shape seeming "right" in my brain. Outside of our little world of People Who Dig Folders they both look ridiculous.
Joe Remi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 02:44 AM
  #37  
gataddhin
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
To me

Curl looks more like a thin Ducati Monster

Brompton looks more like a thin Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster



gataddhin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 02:59 AM
  #38  
berlinonaut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I think the Brompton looks more elegant, but I'm sure a good deal of that is borne of having looked at them for a couple decades and the shape seeming "right" in my brain. Outside of our little world of People Who Dig Folders they both look ridiculous.
True. And in direct comparison side by side the curl cries loudly "I am a cheap copy, made by someone w/o sense for aesthetics or understanding of the original who was happy that he finally somehow managed to bolt this thing together" Like a drawing by a 3-year old: Roughly the shape but not very good. This does not say something about the quality of the bike at all but perceptionwise the curl is a very embarissing bike - the more as it is an expensive top of the line bike they made for their 35th anniversary in a year-long process, demonstrating all their abilities. And then it is a direct copy of a bike from their much smaller competitor...
berlinonaut is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 08:31 AM
  #39  
Revoltingest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Revoltistan (in SE MI)
Posts: 80

Bikes: Dahon Helios, Dahon P8, Bike Friday tandem, Ingo, Trek, Columbia, Helix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
If I ever get the chance to ride both bikes,
then I'll know which looks more fetching.
Revoltingest is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-18, 08:52 PM
  #40  
cb400bill
Administrator
 
cb400bill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Posts: 15,229

Bikes: Fuji SL 2.1, Pinarello Stelvio, Legnano Pista

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 922 Post(s)
This thread is about the Dahon Curl. Please do not post about the status of any forum member's account.
cb400bill is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-18, 04:25 PM
  #41  
Winfried
Senior Member
 
Winfried's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 1,622
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dahonleslie View Post
Stay tuned , we have something new to launch this year!
Problem is, Dahon is very badly distributed in Europe.

To get one, you really have to look hard, and often order from the Net.
Winfried is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-18, 05:59 AM
  #42  
Bonzo Banana
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Merry Old England
Posts: 583

Bikes: Muddyfox Evolve 200, Bicycles4u Paris Explorer, Raleigh Twenty Stowaway, Bickerton California, Saracen Xile, Kona Hoss Deluxe, Vertigo Carnaby, Exodus Havoc, Kona Lanai, Revolution Cuillin Sport, Dawes Kingpin, Bickerton, NSU & Elswick Cosmopolitan

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 214 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
And now in the first person rather than hearsay: I've been riding mine since September and curiously haven't noticed this supposed ride discomfort. I compared the Curl to my BikeFriday tikit on a couple of back-to-back rides before I unloaded the tikit. Ride comfort over bumps/potholes was similar, despite the Curl feeling far more planted and secure. I guess computer designed hydroformed frame tubes can deliver that magic.
To be honest I've never ridden one and only seen comments by others on the Curl but your review may have some bias as you own the bike. Not saying you have such bias but we all can be a bit biased sometimes especially if we have spent money on something. I guess we will just have to wait to see the build up of reviews on places like Amazon to get a fair idea of ride quality. Where is the vibration/shock of hitting a pot hole going? If they really have dropped from 150kg rider capacity to 105kg perhaps they have allowed more flexing in the frame.

I mean how do you make a bike more comfortable to ride and deal with potholes. Normally the answers are suspension, large saddle, thick profile tyres and more springy frame and forks.

What goes against comfort are small wheels, rigid non flexing frame and forks, low profile tyres, small hard saddle.

I'm sure there are many other factors too like the seat post, handlebar grips etc.

There are no dark arts or magic involved its purely down to engineering. There is no surprise that aluminium frames are designed to flex less normally due to no endurance limit and fatigue.


This is Dahon's own comments on their steel frames.

Steel Frame

Steel may not have the same weight advantages as aluminum but not only does it enable us to bring you some great price-point bikes, it holds its own in strength, durability, softer riding feel and even allows for neater welds. If youíre a steel lover, have a look at our Boardwalk, Speed P8 and Vybe C7S.
https://dahon.com/news-story/whats-in-a-frame/

It's not like I'm writing anything that conflicts with normal reality. It will be some amazing feat of engineering if the Curl is somehow as comfortable as folding bikes that feature suspension, steel frames etc because looking at the bike at face value rider comfort has not played a part in its design. It looks more like riding efficiency and overall strength has played a greater role in design.
Bonzo Banana is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-18, 12:38 PM
  #43  
Joe Remi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,015

Bikes: Haibike Sduro Trekking SL, Rivendell Appaloosa, Concinnity singlespeed, KHS mini velo (Japan market), Trident Spike trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 417 Post(s)
Please don't come here and tell us an owner review of a bicycle is biased because they own the bike. It's insulting.
Joe Remi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-18, 01:25 PM
  #44  
tds101 
Grumpy old man,...
 
tds101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Mastic Beach, NY
Posts: 2,490

Bikes: 7+,...

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 422 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Bonzo Banana View Post
I guess we will just have to wait to see the build up of reviews on places like Amazon to get a fair idea of ride quality.
Wait a doggone minute,...doesn't that mean the people who review the bike on Amazon are biased, as they've bought the bike? You often times bring up some great points, but your logic is definitely not correct. A bike owner is EXACTLY who should be reviewing the Curl. You funny,...
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
tds101 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-18, 07:39 PM
  #45  
Winfried
Senior Member
 
Winfried's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 1,622
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyer%27s_remorse
Winfried is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-18, 08:40 PM
  #46  
Kft888
Newbie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Referring back to my previous comments, I compared the Jetstream I previously owned because itís a premium model within the dahon range, premium v premium (brompton.)
On the Curl, itís not light at 13kg plus itís made of aluminium so I expected it to be lighter than steel. However as for ride quality I canít comment but I note it does have larger rims than a brompton.
Dahon needs to produce a better looking bike, more unique to move into the premium range price bracket.
Btw, 11 patents is meaningless.
Also, getting spares for a dahon is tough same with colour options. No demo bikes to try before you buy. No free 100 mile/ 3mths free service check.

Last edited by Kft888; 02-04-18 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Additional
Kft888 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-18, 09:23 AM
  #47  
L Arnold 
**thusi*st
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 200

Bikes: Specialized Touring Expedition '1984, Volagi Liscio, Dahon Visc D18, Dahon Visc SL, Schwinn Moab

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
I don't understand all the negativity. That said I did like the comparison with a Ducati and a Norton here though.

The Curl is a remarkable frame design structuraly, esthetically and functionally. Is it better than other bikes? Certainly. Does it replace other bikes? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

I do agree that price is complicating. It's not the bikes fault. Mostly instead the market's inconsistancy. In many categories it would not be a high price, but in folding bikes it unfortunately is. Perhaps the market will change. There are indeed many aspects in the design that set it apart from a $600 bike.
L Arnold is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-18, 11:01 AM
  #48  
berlinonaut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 455
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 206 Post(s)
Originally Posted by dahonleslie View Post
We are proud that we have invented so many patents and technologies for folding bikes, and we never jeer at our competitor make the same frame bike for decades.
Maybe you should watch the video from the Curl-Kickstarter-campaign again. Very embarrassing. Btw.: Many people consider it a strength that Bromton sticks to it's design for so long, not a weakness. They did something fundamentally right in the beginning and enhanced it over time, caring for backwards compatibility and long term support and consider this to be part of the product-experience. The fact that you do not seem to recognize that is maybe typical for Dahon and a point were the brand simply constantly takes the wrong turn.

Dahon develops a gazillion of different models and designs with not too much care for the details in some aspects, with some of them having only small and unclear differences and models with the same names even differenting between countries. They drop a reasonable amount of the designs again after a short while and some of them pop up again years later or in certain markets. The model range is so confusing that even Dahon's own homepage does not list correct or at least stringent data of what exists or is available, let alone technical data.
Part of why the Brompton is so good is that it has matured for bascially 40 years now. If you change your lineup every couple of years you simply cannot reach that level of maturity.

Customer service for Dahon - at least in Europe - is close to non-existent as is the availablity of spares. Customer service, longterm support (or for that matter: support at all) and spares seem not to be part of the product - the relationship with Dahon obviously ends once the bike has been bought and Dahon could not care less afterwards. At least in Europe. Therefor over here Dahons are often considered to be cheap throw-away bikes, not a longterm investment. And for a throw-away bike Dahons are too expensive, though sometimes having very cheap componentery and design flaws. This is why many dealers and customers in Europe turned away from Dahon. So even if the bikes and the designs were good the product experience would still be miserable and this is what the perception of the brand is, based on the experience of the past with Dahon.

And now comes the Curl, with Dahon arrogantly mocking at Brompton while at the same time not only cloning the design (instead to develop one on their own or develop one of their 50 existing ones further) but once more presenting a nightmarish customer experience in combination with questionable quality and unclear technical data as we could read in this very forum. Dahon claims to be "better" but seems not even to have understood what a Brompton is and what makes it a great bike. And this is even before the aesthetics of the bike come in.

I would instantly admit that Dahon has some interesting designs - not for me, but still interesting. There are people who love their Dahons, probably for a reason. Even here in Germany there are people that are happy with their Dahons - but even those tend to say that a relevant part of this is due to the price, with the bike not being brilliant but sufficent and kind of ok for the price, nothing more, and that they hope never to need spare-parts, service or warranty as they know that then they will be lost.

How would anyone in this situation buy a Dahon that looks like an aesthectically doubtable Brompton-clone for a price that is not only more of a fraction of what a Brompton costs but close to the price of the original? And if he intends to do that and ends up at a Dealer, that has no Demo-bike and no interest in or knowledge about folders: Will he still want one? These are the differences between Dahon and Brompton - the metal part is only part of the story...

That said: the perception of Dahon as a brand seems to be at least partly different in the US, may it be due to better support or different customer behaviour and expectations - cannot judge on that.

Last edited by berlinonaut; 02-05-18 at 11:18 AM.
berlinonaut is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-18, 11:13 AM
  #49  
mtb_addict
Senior Member
 
mtb_addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,686
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1824 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
What's this? I was assured by some Brompton fanboys that the bikes are created by old world craftsmen at a handful of village smithies scattered about rural England.

Attachment 594790
I thought Brompton are hand brazed frame, like the good old days.
mtb_addict is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-18, 11:16 AM
  #50  
mtb_addict
Senior Member
 
mtb_addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2,686
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1824 Post(s)
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
It's purely a personal reaction but when I look at the Curl, I think of Quasimodo.
Exactly waht I was thinking.

Is there an engineering reason why the back bone is so hunched?

I can overlook that if there is a good mechanical reason for it.
Perhaps it allows for smaller fold?
Or easier to carry?
But if it's purely athestic...then it failed for me.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 02-05-18 at 11:21 AM.
mtb_addict is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service