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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