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RelapseBike 04-08-08 06:04 PM

80's Babies: HON 3 Speed. That Unpopular?
I've never posted anything in a forum anywhere before, so pardon the long message.

I just got a HON 3 speed (16 inch rims), claimed to be 80's vintage, and made in England, before the company changed identities to DaHon because of intellectual property issues. I paid $103.74 shipped. It appears to be in okay shape. It's rusty in a few spots, is missing the rear brakes entirely, doesn't have fenders, and needs tires. Did I get ripped off? Does anyone know anything about this bike? It's nearly impossible to find any threads (or I'm not searching properly) or info on the internet. My vision is a tiny sleeper that I can mainly commute on, but make a fast, long getaway if necessary. Is there another current model from which I can select parts? Dahon told me that they don't make anything anymore. What about a kid's front suspension fork? I'd like to make it lighter, faster, and the ride little more supple. Pipe dream? Discuss.

nekohime 04-08-08 06:23 PM

I dunno if you were ripped off or not, but I've seen the 80's HON bikes sold on the Los Angeles craigslist for as low as $60. I checked the $60 one out and it was ok--needed a lot of adjusting brakes and gears-wise, the rear tire went kaput, and generally uncared for, but no rust or missing parts (lots of dust though). The guy actually tried to give it to me for $30, since the rear tire blew up during the test ride. I also see a guy riding a mint-condition HON on the subways sometimes. They're rather common in SoCal, I think.

edit: there's a mint condition one going for $150 in the LA I guess $103.74 including shipping isn't bad.

4cmd3 04-08-08 07:10 PM

If you buy a current model for parts, I suspect you would be better off just riding that current model.

jakub.ner 04-08-08 07:50 PM


Are you certain it's missing the rear brakes? If it's a 3 speed it may be a coaster brake hub. Try back pedaling the pedals and see if they stop freewheeling after a bit :).

You should be able to get tires easily enough. Can't comment on fenders since I don't know what will fit on a Hon.

jakub.ner 04-08-08 07:55 PM

You can buy fenders for 16" wheeled DaHons on their site:

... but I don't know if the Hon has the eyelets for fenders.

doco 04-08-08 09:23 PM

No, you weren't ripped off. That Hon is a great way to get an intro into folder, see if you like them or not. I predict you will like them.

I was in your situation back in January, and some guy had a Hon 3speed for 25.00 on Craigs..I had been reading the folder forum since November, and wanted to try one out, so I jumped on it

It was a revelation, and the most quality fun I have had on a bike, bar none for a long time.

So I rode the hell out of it, and then last month a swift dropped into my lap

and riding the Swift is like going from a Volkswagen to a Porsche... it is all I ride anymore except for a rob roy cross(when I need groceries)

I am now in the process of getting rid of some of track and road bikes and get 1 more folder I am lusting after :)

so FWIW enjoy your new find, and have some fun riding it and start looking for you next n+1 folder

you are now on a slippery slope :) smooth riding on your new vintage Hon

hey I also tried to find out about the bike and tried to contact dahon people for info...wouldn't give me the time of day no more dahons

mrbrown 04-09-08 03:46 AM

My friend Ryan bought a Dahon Classic III for S$70 (US$51) from Thieves Market (it's like a street market where people sell used stuff) and ended up shelling out almost S$500 (US$362) on restoring it with a mix of new original parts and a mint-in-box 1975 Sturmey Archer 3-speed hub.

But he loves his new old bike and rides it often now. And he's been totally hooked on foldies since then.

For him, I suspect the restoration process was at least half the fun of riding it.

badmother 04-09-08 07:15 AM

I`we got one like this also, a blue one. Not so fond of it. Think it is heavy, difficult to fold and a bit wobbely to ride. Guess some parts could be changed, but I did not start on that road..

Put alu rims on mine, alu handlebars, alu cranks from an old roadbike and new seat. Now that my old polish folder is almost finished (ridable at least) that means we`ve got two folders to put innside the car and take on a bus or a train, but to go on a plain could be a bit on the heavy side.

brakemeister 04-09-08 08:26 AM

Its a difficult question ..... but if you look and compare with old cars it makes all sense..... if you buy it to sell it and make a profit. you can forget it.... If you buy it to retore it and use it you have a winner.... yes they do not ride as well as todayss folders, they are heavier and wobblier and whatelse not.... even a perfect restored musxlecar or triumph from the 70s doesnt perform as " tight" as a new car.... but tsill the owners LOVE them ....

If I would really looking for one I would concentrate on the stainless versions , they are probably the first ones which get goobles up from collectors

Have fun with your bike
I do have tires by the way and also 16 inch fenders ( they are newer ones... but should fit )


RelapseBike 04-09-08 03:18 PM

Yeah, I wasn't sure. I actually had a Raleigh Twenty before I new what it was. I loaded it with lowrider bicycle parts, and a Schwinn springer front end. The springer bent the threads at the fold joint, and that was that. I guess a few tweaks, and this one will work.

doco 04-09-08 03:26 PM

looks like you got a deal
Vintage 70's Dahon Folding Bicycle Bike V(5)Cycle - eBay (item 130212772940 end time Apr-14-08 07:10:43 PDT)

this is like the one I have

RelapseBike 04-12-08 08:13 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll take the resto nice and slow.

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