Because I’ve never met a pun that I did not like, Dahoney (n): girl about town on a folding bike.

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I visited Nashville this weekend for our friend Erin’s bachelorette party and Trisha had the Dahon ready and waiting for me. Our friend Wanda from San Diego also took it for a spin. This funny alien bike has always tripped me out and I have a hard time wrapping my brain around how it works. But it does. The spindly creature provides a shockingly quick and comfortable ride that feels oddly similar to a regular bike. Granted, no one will take little D on endurance rides or racing (although an all-folding-bike race would be adorable), but it’s a sensible choice for shorter utilitarian rides. A major benefit is fitting a wide range of riders, going from me (5’7) to Trisha in the few seconds it took to adjust the seat. The only issue I had was the slight squirrely feeling down hill and even more so up hill, but nothing extreme. I also felt more vulnerable next to cars and trucks, but that’s mostly in my head, since I’m used to big weighty bikes.

And now I want a folding bike. Such is the danger of riding new bikes. What a neat trinket to carry around on plane and train trips, so that I’d always have a bike with me. You never know when you’ll need a bike! It’s not cheap, though, so it will remain a twinkle in the fairy’s eye for now.

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25 thoughts on “Dahoney

  1. 2whls3spds says:

    “Granted, no one will take little D on endurance rides or racing (although an all-folding-bike race would be adorable),”

    Ask and ye shall receive!

    Folders are definitely an interesting bike. I love the one I have and wish I could afford something like a Bike Friday. They really shine if you have to travel for a living (like I do) or for multi modal commuting.


    PS…Great Pun!

  2. ulugeyik says:

    Folder’s world is a whole new world. From very high end (Bike Friday etc) to high end (Brompton etc) to lower end (Downtube etc) to junkers, they all seem to offer interesting possibilities. I owned a Downtube for ~1 year and loved it, sold it to get a larger bike since I decided to commute the full-distance rather than going multi-modal. Right now, I am looking for excuses (and money!) to get two bromptons, one for me, one for my wife.

  3. ksteinhoff says:

    My buddy brought his folder along on a Full Moon ride a couple of months ago and I thought I was going to have to perform a buttectomy on him by the end of the ride.

    Our Full Moon rides always have something new. This weekend we got to see The Frog Dance under The Full Moon.

  4. sarah says:

    i’ve got a Bike Friday and love it. i don’t think of it as “squirrely” but agile. i bike and take the Metra every day and keep the bike under my desk. yeah it’s expensive but it works beautifully, i ride it every day and take it EVERYWHERE. it’s the perfect Chicago bike.

  5. dottie says:

    That Brompton race video is awesome. A buttectomy sounds serious, so I’m glad everything worked out with your friend :) I’d love to try a Bike Friday and Bromptom and feel the difference in the handling.

  6. sarah says:

    I’ve never ridden a Brompton and was always curious if I was missing out on an indefinably elegant, British ride. :) But there’s more than the ride to consider when choosing a foldie. One big advantage of the Bike Friday is that it’s made in America with all standard parts. The Brompton is make in the UK and uses many Brompton specific components that if they break or you want to switch them out requires special ordering.

  7. Mel says:

    I have a 2007 Dahon Glide (http://www.dahon.com/archive/2007/us/glidep8.htm) that I’ve tweaked to give more of and English 3-speed/Dutch bike look.

    Nigel has a new black Brooks B-17 saddle, Soma Sparrow handle bars and soon a big old wicker front basket!

    There is deep bikey love!

  8. 2whls3spds says:

    FWIW I have been heavily researching the BF and the Brommie. Right now for my needs the BF Season Tikit with some serious customizing fills the bill. The Brompton has the smallest fold of any bike in it’s class, which can be a huge plus. BF Tikit has different advantages.


  9. anna says:

    That’s the only bad thing about folding bikes – they are quite expensive. I would not use it much, but still cost 2-3 times as much as a “normal” bike. But I thought about buying a very simple single-speed folding bike..

  10. Charlotte says:

    My favorite Brompton quote:
    “Ce n’est pas un petit vélo, c’est un vélo qui sait se faire petit.”

  11. E A says:

    You may want to consider the Abio — much more affordable!


  12. The folders I’ve ridden had distinctly vague road manners. They do get you from A to B in a pinch but you you can’t really forget that you’re on a midget bike. Instead of the admiring glances I get on my Rivendell I got the occasional hard look–focused on the oily chain (in an office elevator).

  13. miss sarah says:

    Hee hee, my dahon was an impulse buy:) I have room for it and actually keep it in the trunk of my car. It’s hilarious to ride and everybody gets so thrilled by it! Only downside is after riding my other (better) bikes… it’s just not as awesome for me. I distinctly remember this one really windy day… it was A LOT of work.

    I always intended Dahon to be a good road trippin’ and camping bike. Something super portable:) And, it DOES get people excited about bikes! I might not use it as an every day bike, but if somebody else wanted to, I’d be all for it:)

    I really want a brompton!

  14. daniel says:

    Go get a Dahon! You will not regret it. I had the cheapest model and love it so much. Yes, it attracts a lot of attention. Surprising, I never had problems overtaking larger bikes on the road. Occasionally, I ride about 25km to and fro work, no problems. The best thing, I actually store it under my desk at work and no one even notice it! http://www.flickr.com/photos/76096235@N00/3332870914/

  15. sarah says:

    My 2 cents on the endless BF vs Brommy debate.

    Killer features of the Bike Friday Hyperfold Tikit:

    1) Fast, precise fold. 3 seconds, boom it’s folded into a small package, albeit not as small as the Brompton. The Brompton involves playing with twiddlies and lowering the seat post so that when you want to unfold it you need to adjust your seat back to where it was before and twiddle the stem back into place. The BF is a 3-5 second gliding motion tat releases the tension on the cable stay and folds up without you have to adjust and of your personal settings, everything stays the way you have it set.

    2) Standard components. You can put on any bars you want, from flat to drops. I have H bars which I consider a nice compromise and give me a couple different hand positions. Because the bars fold to the outside you can fit on whatever you want. You can upgrade however you like with standard components (i have a Shimano 105 derailleur and toe clips on standard pedals).

    3) Size. Yes it’s not as small a fold as a Brompton. And if a small package is your #1 critical factor the Brompton would jump to the top of your list. But how small do you need it really? I can fit my Tikit between the wall and my seat on the Metra train so I don’t take up any extra seating area, I’ve never had a problem in a restaurant or theater (stage not movie) finding a place to tuck it away. And I’ve never had a problem fitting it in the trunk of a friend’s car, including the rather tiny trunk of my friend’s Scion xA. Plus I’ve taken it on vacation by fitting it into a standard size Samsonite hard shell suitcase. Nothing like riding your own bike around on a trip. So I’ve always found the Tikit to be small enough for my needs.

    4) The Ride. Yeah it’s not a big wheeled bike (16″ wheels) but the well designed frame geometry give it a stiff, true ride. Yeah if I’m going to be doing more than say, 20 miles in the saddle at any one point I’d prefer a big wheeled bike. Or a touring folder/packable bike. The Tikit is a commuter/city bike and it’s killer at that.

    5) Walking When Folded. The bike has a built in handle that allows you to easily roll the bike around on it’s front wheel when folding which make getting through the office hallways or navigating to your seat on the train or in a restaurant an easy and natural looking affair. Most people, out of the corner of their eye, think you’re pushing a folded up wheelchair.

    And to specifically address Gordon, the drivetrain on the Tikit is in the middle of the folded envelope between the two wheels so there’s no way you can get chain grease on anyone. And an option accessory is the ‘shower cap’ that you can pull over the bike so you don’t look like a dirty hippy lugging your gunked up bike everywhere. :)

    Gotta say, if I lived in the UK I’d get a Brommy, but if you live in the US you should absolutely get a Bike Friday Tikit.

    If I could do it over again today I’d get the Seasons Tikit (internal hub gearing) but it wasn’t available when I got my bike last year. If you’ve got the money and you commuting/city riding it’s well worth the investment!

    • Dottie says:

      Wow, thanks for all the info!! That’s fantastic. If I’m ever in a life situation where buying a folder would be a reasonable investment, the Bike Friday would be my first choice.

  16. 2whls3spds says:

    sarah…you forgot the fact that the BF can be custom built to your specifications ;-) I take a hellish large bike (63-65cm) Brompton and BF are the only two that will work. FWIW the BF is leading the list due to the Season Tikit and their willingness to equip it as I see fit.


  17. Charlie says:

    Hey Trish, remember these bikes we have at the track? A few people at work have managed to get ahold of them, but they aren’t sold in the US.


  18. Charmaine says:

    I have both a Bike Friday Pocket Pilot, and a Tikit, and enjoy both of them. :) I take the Pocket Pilot of bike tours – it has a great range of gears to handle anything I want to ride. I bought the Tikit with just the 8 gears, to ride shorter rides and put on the bus/train to go places. Both are great bikes. I donated my car a year and a half ago and have been fine with mostly using my bikes, with an occasional use of Zipcar (car sharing program).

  19. HSG says:

    Dahon is a good brand, easy packed to fly and travelling arround. Just like Bike Friday.

  20. Astrid Honeybee says:

    I got a folding bike, it’s great.

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