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Reveiw: Dahon Eco 1

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Reveiw: Dahon Eco 1

Old 08-03-09, 03:03 AM
  #1  
Lewis Butler
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Reveiw: Dahon Eco 1

A cheap urban bike– The Dahon Eco 1 – a fold too far?
As I ride a folding bike on a daily basis (a Brompton) and have a white singlespeed that comes out on special occasions the Dahon Eco 1 was instantly appealing as it folds and is a white bike with just one gear.

I love the simplicity of one gear and the ability to fold and take inside rather than worrying about locks and security.

But the question is, at A$350, is it too cheap to perform as a half-decent folder and have the durability to take on day-in, day-out urban riding?

Steel is Real
This is pretty much an all-steel machine, and at the price this is to be expected. Aluminium alloy does, thankfully, make an appearance as a rim material to provide a better braking surface in the wet.

The Eco 1 has a back-pedal brake, which is better for slowing down than stopping. At the front the linear-pull cantilever brake would not stop squeaking, even when fully toed-in. Hopefully an upgraded set of brake blocks would cure this.

Ride On

Other than the noisy brakes this bike has handled what I've asked of it without issue. Sure there's been the odd occasion where I've been under-geared, but that's what you'd expect on a single speed machine. The 43/14 combo gives just over 57 gear inches which is low enough for the lugging of shopping (I tried strapping a box on the back of the supplied rack) and this ratio seems right for about town in Melbourne, low enough for our inclines & still OK on the flat.

Mudguards kept the water off, and on a bike of this price their presence is a bonus. Tyres are Kenda Kwest's, as fitted to many other cheap bikes, they seem a little too slick over manhole covers in the wet but other than that fine.

The Fold
Unlike the Brompton there's no definite 'click' to the fold so you can't be sure you're doing it right. Once I realised that the saddle had to be turned backwards as I put the seatpost down it all fell into place in my mind.

But, after weeks of testing, I can't be certain that I can fold it first time without at least one part clashing with another, meaning I have to unfold slightly and then try again.

It does however 'trolley' on it's front wheel when folded meaning that the package can be manoeuvred into small spaces.

Mixed-Mode
The Dahon's Vital (folding) Statistics are:
Length = 78cm
Height = 69cm
Depth = 26cm

This just fits within the allowed size to travel on Melbourne's trams & buses as well as V/Line coach services.

The guidelines state that the folded bike must be a maximum of 82cm long x 69cm high x 39cm deep and have “wheel rims of more than 51cm in diameter”, who knows if rims is being used in it's correct technical bike sense here or as a colloquial term to refer to the whole wheel plus tyre, but in any event the Dahon is compliant.

The bottom line is that if you are watching your bottom line this is a very good value for money package. The Eco 1 has it all, bar a helmet to get you riding. The Dahon would be perfect for apartment dwellers or those wishing to mix it up with PT as a durable week-in, week-out commuter.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:19 AM
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brakemeister
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you guys have white one speed eco's over there ?..... way cool
The US model is 7 speeds and comes in red

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Old 08-03-09, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewis Butler View Post
At the front the linear-pull cantilever brake would not stop squeaking, even when fully toed-in. Hopefully an upgraded set of brake blocks would cure this.
I thought linear pull brakes don’t need toe-in.

Assuming you are referring to these sorts of brakes:


Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch
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Old 08-04-09, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by havm66z View Post
I thought linear pull brakes don’t need toe-in.
Yep, I'm talking about 'V-brakes'. Most sets of pads come with conical washers that allow toe-in.
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Old 08-04-09, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
you guys have white one speed eco's over there ?..... way cool
The US model is 7 speeds and comes in red

Thor
It is way cool the one I was riding is a bit like this one, but with a rack.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lewis Butler View Post
[B]A cheap urban bike–But the question is, at A$350, is it too cheap to perform as a half-decent folder and have the durability to take on day-in, day-out urban riding?
Is that $350 AUD or USD?

Edward Wong III
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Old 08-05-09, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by edwong3 View Post
Is that $350 AUD or USD?
Aussie Dollars
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Old 08-07-09, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
Wait, the Eco is steel? I thought it was ''alloy"
It's steel for sure, no aluminium alloy mainframe here, I guess that's how they keep the cost down.
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Old 08-07-09, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Lewis Butler View Post
It's steel for sure, no aluminium alloy mainframe here, I guess that's how they keep the cost down.
Hmmm. The Dahon website states that the U.S. model has a "strong and light 7005 aluminum frame." See:
https://www.dahon.com/us/eco3.htm
Maybe someone from Dahon can clarify this.
Whatever, it appears to me that the ECO is destined to be the successor to the Boardwalk in the U.S. And, whether the frame is steel or aluminum, the ECO looks like a worthy successor to me.
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Old 08-07-09, 09:23 PM
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The Eco 3 is aluminum, but what about the Eco 1?

Edward Wong III
Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

Originally Posted by HGR3inOK View Post
Hmmm. The Dahon website states that the U.S. model has a "strong and light 7005 aluminum frame." See:
https://www.dahon.com/us/eco3.htm
Maybe someone from Dahon can clarify this.
Whatever, it appears to me that the ECO is destined to be the successor to the Boardwalk in the U.S. And, whether the frame is steel or aluminum, the ECO looks like a worthy successor to me.
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