Dahon Makes Folding Bikes that Are Actually Cool

Some of the best folding bicycles used by commuters, students, and others are made by Dahon.

Dahon makes some of the best folding bikes

The bicycle is one of the greatest inventions of all time.  It is, for example, the most efficient form of transportation ever devised, in terms of distance and/or speed achieved versus energy expended. 

So maybe you should take advantage of it when you’re commuting.

A person on a bike is 5 times more efficient than a person walking. 

The current speed record for a bike with a male rider on level ground is over 82 mph; the motor-paced record for a bike is a phenomenal 166 mph.  Bikes are also fun to ride, a symbol of the passage from toddler-hood to kid-hood, a great form of exercise, and a major source of sport and athletics throughout the world.

Of course, bikes weren’t all that efficient when first invented, but a lot of progress has been made in the intervening 200+ years.  Just as with many technologies, bicycles continue to improve inPenny_Farthing_Bicycle design, materials, and functionality, while prices for models incorporating the latest advances continue to drop. 

Bicycle companies are often among the first manufacturers to incorporate space-age materials and engineering innovations into their designs.  When you look at the bicycle marketplace these days, it’s hard to believe, for instance, that the development of the commercial mountain bike didn’t occur until the 1970’s.   

There are now at least 6 categories of bicycles — perhaps more, if you count sub-specialties.  Go down to your friendly neighborhood bike store and you’ll find find BMX racers, triathlon bikes, cruisers, cyclocross bikes, touring bikes, recumbent bikes, and single-speed racers, not to mention “flat-foot” bikes, trials bikes, and hybrid bikes. 

Here we’re going to cover a bike in the commuter sub-category:  the folding bike.  Specifically, an example of one of the current best-in-class,  the Dahon Cadenza 8.

Save on Gas and Parking Costs with a Folding Bike

As urban dwellers become more motivated to commute to work via bicycle rather than car — whether to save on gas and parking costs, to get more exercise, to help lessen air pollution, or all of the above, many are finding that riding to work can be inconvenient due to having no good place to lock their bike during the day. 

Even in cases where you might have a fence or pole to lock your bike to, leaving your bike outside all day increases the chances of theft, as well as the wear and tear from weather.  However, there is often not enough room to easily store your bike in your office or cubicle throughout the day, not to mention wheeling it through lobbies and taking it in elevators.  Solution?  A folding bike.

Dahon Cadenza8 folded

When folded, a Dahon bike takes up little room (click to see different Dahon models)

 The best source?  Check with Dahon when you’re shopping for a folding bike

Dahon has been making folding bikes for over 25 years.  And they are now offering folders that look like “real” bikes, as opposed to the small-wheeled, long-seat-tubed versions that eccentric university professors gravitate to.  Many folks don’t particularly like the handling characteristics of small-wheeled folding bikes, particularly during demanding commutes, and so a bike like the Cadenza 8 is a welcome development.

National Geographic Adventure magazine endorsed this bike, writing, among other things:  “…the rare folding bike that doesn’t make you look like a tool, thanks to full-size Schwalbe Big Apple tires and Shimano Alfine drivetrain.  In 30 seconds, it bends in half so you can discreetly stash it…”

Dahon uses top-of-the-line components for the Cadenza 8, including LockJaw™ hinges, which make it almost impossible to spot that this is a folding bike.  It stands up to the rigors of daily commuting in all sorts of weather.  Features include 8 smooth-shifting gears driven by the Shimano Alfine system, a burly 7005 aluminum frame, Shimano disk brakes, a tire pump in the seatpost, and the innovative and convenient Dahon F.I.T. system that offers 50 mm of vertical adjustment to the handlebar height.  It comes in 3 frames sizes:  Small (fits rider height 5’2″ – 5’6″), Medium (fits 5’6″ – 6′), and Large (fits 6′ – 6’4″). 

This is a top view of the Dahon Cadenza 8 folded up.  You can see an inventory of current Dahon bikes at REI by clicking here.

Click to see current Dahon Bikes at REI

Weight:  33.1 pounds

Folded size:  13.3″ x 38.6″ x 33.9″

Fork:  Dahon SlipStream™ Puro U7 aluminum

Shifter:  Shimano Alfine RapidFire Plus

Tires:  26″ Schwalbe Big Apple with RaceGuard puncture protection

Folding time:  30 seconds

 

The frame also features Dahon’s patented Magnetix™ latching technology, which uses magnets to hold the bike neatly together when folded.  This means when the bike is folded and you must lift or carry it (such as onto a bus), it stays in one compact package. 

In addition to its utility and convenience as a commuter bike that’s stashable in your cubicle, you can also easily take a folding bike on vacation in your RV or carry it in your airplane for use in your destination city.

Dahon makes real bikes with impressive performance.  As one satisfied reviewer wrote:  “Bought this [bike] about 125 miles ago and it is so fun to ride.  The shifting is effortless, the ride is smooth, and the bike looks wonderful.  It is also pretty fast — I can cruise around town at 17-18 mph on flatland pretty easily, and the fastest I have gone is about 40 mph downhill.  I’m sure others can go faster as I am a novice biker with somewhat weak legs and also usually have gear strapped onto the bike rack on the back that I installed.  I would definitely recommend this bike to anyone.”

So if you’ve been thinking that you’d like to commute by bicycle but the “locking-up” aspect has been a problem, a folding bike is the solution. 

And check out JensonUSA for other great cycling equipment, bikes, components, and great deals…

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