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Part 1: Choosing the best Folding Bike for you

Part 1:   There are quite a few choices we offer in Dahon Folding bikes.  We offer the widest range of Dahon Folding bikes and we know the bikes well.  In general the decision tree wants to look at the following subjects.

  • How do you want to use the bike?
  • How far do you want to ride?
  • How much gear do you want to carry with you? 
  • How do you want to travel with your bike?
  • Do you need your bike be to be easy to carry?
  • How much money do you want to spend?

It is a pretty simple set of choices and we can always "want it all" for the "least cost" and in some ways, this is possible.  The Dahon's we sell are all functional and nice riding bikes.  We do not sell, at present, the "entry level models" which are the Boardwalk and SUV which are fine bikes for simple usage.  

Our lineup of Dahon Bikes has functionally 4 Categories:

  • Functional Multi Purpose Bikes:  Speed Uno, Vybe D7, Speed D7, Mariner D8 and Briza D8,
  • Vertical Fold Urban and Travel Bikes:  Jifo,  EEZZ D3 and QIX D8
  • Multi Speed - Internal Hub Bikes:  Vitesse D3, Vitesse I7,  Ciao I7 and Mu N360
  • Touring and High Performance Line Bikes:  Mu D10,  Visc D18, Visc D18 Disc, IOS D9, Formula S18,  Mu SL 10/11, Mu LT 10/11, Mu Rohloff, Visc SL and Jetstream.

For expanded discussion of the variables to be considered follow this link to:  Part 2: Variables in choosing the best folding bike for you.

I am always happy to discuss.  We do have our favorites but every decision is a balancing act.  Please use the "contact me " button or drop me a line if you want to go into more details.

  • Landis Arnold
  • Nomadic Inc.,  Bouilder CO USA
  • office:  303-444-2336

 Contact Me:

This is a cursory view below of a few of the bikes.  Many more around the corner.

IMG 4709 compressed

 

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Part 2: Variables in choosing the best folding bike for you

This is a continuation from the Post:  Choosing the best folding bike for you

There are several variables in choosing the best folding bike for your needs.

As intoduced in the previous post these are:

Our lineup of Dahon Bikes has functionally 4 Categories:

  • Functional Multi Purpose Bikes: 
  • Vertical Fold Urban and Travel Bikes: 
  • Multi Speed - Internal Hub Bikes:
  • Touring and High Performance Line Bikes: 

To parse these categories consider the following variables

  • Price is a real variable.  Bikes in the "Functional" set  typically sell for $400 to $600.  Bikes in the Touring and High Performance category will run $900 to $1500 and a few of them even more.
  • A second variable is "how small" a bike may fold to out of the box.  Generally the 16" wheel bikes (Jifo, Eezz and Visc SL) fold smaller than the 20" and 24" bikes  (Briza D8 and IOS D9).  
  • Unobvious variables have to do with internal components.  Hubs,  Bottom Brackets and Transmission sets effect your bikes efficiency and capability in dusty and dirty situations.  Generally Dahon Bikes that have quick release hubs tend to have higher end hub races and sealed bottom brackets.  Bottom Brackets are the bearing structure that your cranks operate around and can have a major impact on your bikes efficiency and performance.
  • Transmission systems are a complicated matrix.  Internal Gear systems will run from 3 Speed, 5 Speed, 7 Speed,  8 Speed and some outliers that are 14 Speed (Rohloff) and Continuously Variable (NuVinci).  Derailleur geared systems run from 3 speed up to 18 Speed and sometimes more.  (Dahon's"Anniversary Replica actually combines a 3 Speed Rear Hub with a 10 Speed Derailleur which makes the bike a remarkable 30 Speed unit).
  • Tradeoffs in transmissions are weight (derailleurs weigh less), durability (internal transmissions are less prone to needing adjustment and damage).  Levels of a system do kick in generally as prices increase.  Shimano Tiagra systems on Dahon bikes are crisp and precise while Shimano Alivio systems in the functional line work well with some  level less in "crispness" and range.
  • Nearly all Dahon Bikes can be outfitted with fenders and racks.  The Jiffo and Ezz are the only two that cannot easily be outfitted with a rack.  The Jetstream needs a creative application of a rack.  Dahon Arclite, Traveller and/or Ultimate racks can be fit to all of the other bikes.  We also have a method to put front racks on most of the Dahon Folding Bikes which can be helpful for extended touring and also simply to keep your gear visible to you while you are riding.
  • Wheel Rims, Hub Connections and Hinge Systems enter in.  Double wall rims are normally tougher and less prone to becoming warped.  Quick Release Hubs are easier to service but are perhaps more prone to being stolen.  Certain Hinge systems can be modified easier than others to make "take a part" fromes which make a generally "larger bike" be able to fit still in a Airline Checkable (as a suitcase) bike.  The Mariner D8 and Visc bikes specifically we can modify this way.  We generally cannot do this with the Mu Series frames though we do have ways to fit Mu Framed bikes also into Suitcase Legal size cases.
  • Tires are not such a critical element.  They can be easily changed and upgraded on nearly all of the range of Dahon bikes.  Still, your choice of which tires to ride on a day to day basis can change your expereince quite significantly.  I do like Tires that run 1.75 to 2.25 inches when I can make them fit to the bike.
  • Trailers available and Suitcases available can enter into some considerations.  Our single wheel touring capable Topeak Journey trailer fits well with most of our Quick Release capable bikes.  Our Burley Travois trailer (as well as the Burley Cargo and Nomad) can fit to most of the Dahon Bikes.  Suitcase systems sometimes require a "in strore test" but we will be bringing systems out that have precise working realms.  Travel with your bike, whether on its wheels, or in a Multi-Modal way are incredibly rewarding and our bikes give you a way to travel that is really unrivaled.

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Visc D18: The ultimate cycling travel mod is available now

This has been a fun and functional project for me.  Below you can see The Visc D18 Bike in front of the specially reinforced Normal Checkin Size: 31" Spinner Suitcase.  I have modified the bike to be able compress down to nearly 2/3 of its "folded shipping size" and fit in the suitcase.  Adventures will follow for me and for you!

Suitcase packable 20" bikes are available from Nomadic Inc. by special order.  Models we can update include the Visc D18 and Mariner D8.  Additional bikes can also be suitcase legal sizing packed via different methods but the system below provides the best application to the most standard suitcase sizing.

Visc Suitcase on Wood small

There are a few tricks to the process, but one of the great ones is the fact that the bike fits with the Rear Wheel still on the chainline and attached to the rear frame section.  This means it is working as a unit and much easier to setup at the other end of your travels.

Functional elements:

Quick Release Hinge Pin:

Seen directly below.  This Hinge Pin is a style which allows easy insertion and alignment of the hinge from top or bottom.

Quick Release Pedals:

Also seen below (inserted).  QR pedals make for the most compact package.  We like the well machined and functional MKS pedals.

Cable System stays intact w/ Rear section:

Only one "quick release" is required for the frame and one for the front brake cable, making the system very quick to both take-a-part and to build.

Visc TAP Pin Small

Find out more and and consider ordering the Visc + Suitcase here.

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