Dahon Folding Bike Review: Which One is For Me?

If you’ve done some folding bike research already, then one name you have most likely come across is Dahon. That’s not a surprise to us as they are one of the most well-known manufacturers of the foldable bike and have a huge range. Our Dahon folding bike review is here to help you find the right Dahon folding bike for you!

With a history of innovation, including patenting the first folding bicycle that was small enough to fit underneath a train seat, Dahon has been making these machines for over 30 years. And notably, they are one of the leaders in the industry today. Their headquarters are in California, with manufacturing plants in China and Bulgaria. The company has a commitment to energy conservation through their ‘folding green mobility philosophy’.

The trouble is, with such a vast range of different bikes, it’s difficult to know which one to go for. That’s where we can help. We’ve picked out seven of their top sellers across a range of prices and features. We are sure that there is a model to suit anybody here, no matter what you’re looking for.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick overview at our selection of bikes with a list of all their specs and features for easy comparison.

 

Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike

Dahon Boardwalk Folding Bike New 2015 Dahon Speed D7 20” 7 Speed Folding Bicycle Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike Obsidian with Fenders Dahon Vitesse i7 20” 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Frame material Dalloy aluminum Chromoly Chromoly Chromoly Dalloy aluminum Dalloy aluminum Aluminum
Stand-over height (approx.) 23” 20” 22” 20” 23” 24” 22”
Folded size 25.6” x 12.6” x 31.1” (65 x 32 x 79cm) 12.2″ x 30.7″ x 25.6″(31 x 78 x 65 cm) 11.8in X 30.3in X 25.2in (30 X 77 X 64 cm) 11.4″ x 33.1″ x 25.2 (29 x 84 x 64 cm) 26.4” x 13.4” x 32.7” (67 x 34 x 83cm) 23.6″ x 12.6″ x 31.1″ (60 x 32 x 79)

14” x 33” x 25”

(35 x 83 x 63 cm)

Folded latching system Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic Magnetic
Weight 26lbs (11.8kg) 27.3lbs (12.4 kg) 27.6lbs (12.5kg) 24.0lbs (10.8 kg) 26.2lbs (11.9kg) 29lbs (13.2kg) 30lbs (13.1 kg)
Adjustable seat height Yes – aluminum seat post Yes – aluminum seat post Yes – alloy seat post Yes – aluminum seat post Yes – alloy seat post Yes – alloy seat post Yes – aluminum seat post
Adjustable handlebar height Yes – aluminum handle post No – aluminum handle post Yes – forged alloy handle post No – aluminum handle post Yes – forged aluminum handle post No – forged aluminum handle post

Yes – aluminum
handle post

Rider height 4’9″-6’3″ (145-190cm) 4’8″ – 6’4″ (142 – 193 cm) 4’8″ – 6’4″ (142 – 193 cm) 4’8″ – 6’4″ (142 – 193 cm) 4’9″-6’3″ (145-190cm) 4’9″-6’3″ (145-190cm) 4’8″ – 6’4″ (142 – 193 cm)
Max rider weight 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg) 231 lbs (105 kg)
Color Brushed aluminum Obsidian (black) Obsidian (black) Shadow (Gray/Black) Obsidian (black) Coffee Black
Gears 7 speed Shimano Tourney Single speed 7-speed Dahon Neos Single speed 7-speed Shimano FT35 7-speed Shimano Nexus 7-speed Shimano
Gear Shift Shimano Twist grip n/a Dahon twist grip n/a Microshift Twist Shifter Shimano Revo twist Twist grip
Chain guard Chainring only Chainring only Chainring only None Chainring only Full length Full length
Wheel rims 20” Aluminum 20” Aluminum 20” Alloy 20” Alloy 20” Aluminum 20” Alloy 20” Alloy
Tires Smooth rolling urban tires Smooth rolling street tires Smooth rolling street tires Smooth rolling street tires Smooth rolling street tires Smooth rolling street tires Smooth rolling street tires
Brakes Linear – alloy Front Linear – Aluminum

Rear – coaster

Linear – alloy Rear coaster only Linear – alloy Linear – alloy Linear – alloy
Kickstand Yes – aluminum Yes – aluminum Yes – aluminum Yes – aluminum Yes – aluminum Yes – aluminum Yes
Folding pedals Both Both Both Both Both Both Both
Fenders Front and back full size Front and back full size None None Front and back full size Front and back full size Front and back full size
Rear rack Aluminum – bolt on Steel – bolt on None None None Aluminum – bolt on Steel – bolt on
Warranty

5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components

5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components 5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components 5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components 5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components 5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components 5 years on frame, forks and handle post. 2 years all other non-wear components

You may have all the details you need right there to make your choice, but just in case you want a little more information on each model, check out all of our short reviews below.

You may also click on a link in the box below to take you straight to the Dahon folding bike review of the model you are looking for.

Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike

The Mariner D7 is one of the most popular foldables on several well know online bike stores. Thanks to its good looks and extra rust proofing that makes it suitable for use in a marine environment. As suggested by the name, the Mariner is ideal as a stowaway bike to keep handy on a boat.

This model has a patented alloy frame which is a type of aluminum that is 20% stronger than traditional 6061 aluminum. With the subtle brushed finish, it is rust resistant as well as very light. The use of lightweight aluminum, helps keep this bike light. At just 26lbs, this is very light for one loaded with this many features.

The use of additional rust proofing in the construction including an anti-rust chain not only makes this even more attractive for ocean lovers but also means it’s very durable for those of us on dry land as well!

Features such as 7-speed Shimano gears, height adjustable handlebars and seat post plus a good sized rear rack are just some of the standard set up on this bike plus it gets some great reviews online. Folding is also simple and quick on this model with a time of around 15 seconds being widely reported and it stays folded thanks to a magnetic latching system which works very well.

Overall this is one of our top picks in our Dahon folding bike review. Particularly for a quality folding bike, this one is pretty good value. It is more expensive than some of our other picks, but the Mariner D7 comes with all the features you need. A good set of gears looks great and is very rust resistant as well!

Dahon Boardwalk Single Speed Folding Bike

Next up is the classic looking Boardwalk which is one of Dahon’s most popular bikes of all time according to the manufacturer. That’s all down to the lightweight frame and ease of use thanks to this being a single geared bike. No prizes for guessing that this comes in at the budget end of the scale and in fact is the cheapest folding bike in our review.

The frame on this model is made from chromoly. This is a type of tough but lightweight steel. It is finished in a stylish gloss black color called obsidian. With the aluminum wheels, seat post and handle post, the Boardwalk is only a bit heavier than the more expensive Mariner at just 27.3lbs. This is very good for a bike at the lower end of the range.

That weight is important not only for when carrying it around but also when cycling. With just the one gear, a heavy bike can make things much harder.

You get everything you need on this bike. Full sized fenders for protection against mud and splashes and a good sized rack, to name a few. The folding mechanism is again very easy to use. You should be able to fold it up in under 15 seconds, which is very quick. The magnetic latch will also help to keep the bike folded when carrying it up the stairs or onto the train.

One thing you might need to note is that the rear brake on this model is the coaster type. You have to pedal backward to brake with it. If you’re not used to using a pedal brake, it just takes a little getting use to. The front brake is the standard linear pull type.

There are few problems reported with the Dahon Boardwalk, however. But if you’re looking for a lightweight model that will not break the bank, this one may just be the bike for you. It has everything you need and is a real value for your money in a folding bike, so a good one to shortlist.

Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike

The Dahon Speed D7 (new for 2015 model) is a sporty looking number that you could almost mistake for a stylish BMX bike! This model comes in obsidian black with red detailing and it will certainly turn heads when you’re out for a ride.

It’s one of the more expensive models in our review but it does have some nice features. The Dahon Neos 7-speed gears, specially designed for the small wheels, are very smooth to operate via the twist grip.

The frame is the same chromoly used in several other models and together with alloy wheels plus seat and handle posts Dahon has managed to keep the weight down to 27.6lbs which is on the light side of average for a foldable.

It’s worth noting that there are no fenders or a rear rack on this model as it’s built for speed and to keep the weight down so that could be a deciding factor if they are important to you. You can adjust the height of both the seat and the handlebar though which means you can set it up just how you want it to match your height and frame.

This bike is great if you want something that looks fun and is more responsive than you would usually find in a folding type and it also has a slightly higher ground clearance than normal which helps when taking corners at speed. The build quality is the usual high Dahon standard so if this ticks your boxes, then it will be one to think about for sure.

Dahon Speed Uno Single Speed Folding Bike

The next model in our lineup is another single speed bike and you could think of this as the smaller brother of the Speed D7 above. It looks quite similar and again, is a bike built more for handling and responsiveness than anything else. However, you can get this model for a lot less money than the D7 so it might be just what you’re looking for.

It’s also the lightest of our bikes here weighing just 24lbs which it manages by cutting down on all the non-essential features. There’s no rear rack, no fenders, no chainguard, not even a front brake!

The SuperLite 4130 chromoly frame and aluminum components also help to keep the weight right down and with no cables to get in the way, folding the Uno takes around just 10 seconds. The Dahon magnetic latching system will make sure it stays folded when you need to carry it around.

You may be wondering how you bring the bike to a stop as there are no visible brakes, but fear not, there is a coaster brake on the rear wheel, the same as is used on the Boardwalk above. Once you get the hang of it then it becomes second nature and is very effective.

As it’s so popular there are a lot of reviews available online for the Uno and we did come across a problem mentioned a few times that we think is worth being aware of. There seems to be a weak spot in the lightweight aluminum crank where the pedal screws in and if you are not careful to get this exactly right (you will need to install them when it arrives) then it can strip the thread and cause the pedal to break or fall out eventually. If you are careful then it should be fine.

Apart from that, there are very few complaints about the Dahon Speed Uno so if you’re on the lookout for an ultra-light folding bike that is simple to use, then this model could well be the one for you.

Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike

The Vybe is the folding bike one of the Corporate VPs of Dahon uses every day according to their website and it certainly has a lot going for it. Lightweight aluminum frame, Shimano gears and a telescopic handle post are just some of the features on this model which comes in nicely toward the lower mid-price range as well.

The frame is made from the same Dalloy aluminum used on the Mariner we looked at earlier but on this model, it’s painted in the popular obsidian black color. The other aluminum and alloy components used mean that the bike weighs just 26.2lbs which is very light for a bike at this price point. The build quality is no different either to more expensive Dahon models so this is definitely a good bike to consider.

The 7-speed Shimano gears are their FT35 range. These are solid performers and they’re coupled with a Microshift Twist Shifter for smooth gear changes. Folding is just as good as other models. It has a 15 second average time and magnetic latch to hold it in place.

The only thing really missing on this bike is that there is no rear rack fitted. It does come with front and rear fenders from the 2016 model onwards.

Overall this is another great bike from Dahon. If you want something that is lightweight but has all the features apart from a rear rack, then the Vybe D7 is a great value folding bike.

Dahon Vitesse i7 20” 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

This is the top model of our selection and the most expensive. It pretty much has everything you need plus a very nice feature that accounts in part for its high price tag.

Despite having the Dalloy aluminum frame components, the Vitesse i7 is actually one of the heaviest here at 29lbs. This is partly due to having full fenders front and back plus a full-length chain guard. These features are designed specifically to help keep chain oil, mud and water off you. It also has a good-sized rack on the rear of the bike as well.

However, we suspect some of the extra weight is in the gearing system. Which on this model is the maintenance free 7-speed Shimano Nexus internal gear hub. That means there is no external derailleur or cassette, which looks to the untrained eye like a single speed. It really is a neat piece of kit. Together with the Shimano Revo twist gear shifter, it makes for very smooth, trouble-free gear changes.

There are other benefits to this gear system which are too detailed to go into here. We think, however, this piece of Japanese engineering is a great system and are confident you will too.

If you want a top quality folding bicycle, this is one you need to check out. It has all the features you need and an innovative gearing system. Even though it’s the most expensive in our Dahon folding bike review, there are plenty of other brands out there that cost a lot more. So this model is worth putting on your shortlist if you have the budget for it.

Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Our final bike is one of the models that resulted from the hookup between Dahon and Ford recently. The idea of this was to design and produce bikes inspired by both contemporary and classic Ford cars. This one is named after the classic Ford Mustang Convertible.

This model has been fully loaded with every feature you can think of on a folding bike. From adjustable seat and handle posts and alloy linear brakes to full fenders and a rear rack. It does lack a full-length chain guard, however. The folding mechanism is as usual very quick and easy to use. It has the Dahon magnetic latching system to keep it closed when folded

Even with all the features, it still only weighs 30lbs. This is only slightly more than average for a bike in this class. The finish on the Ford by Dahon deserves a special mention with the stylish Ford branding and special paint job. It has three layers plus a clear top coat to resist chips and scratches Not to mention, it makes it easy to clean.

The 7-speed gearing system is provided by Shimano. Although there is no type listed, reviews suggest that these are of good quality and work well.

Price wise this bike comes in at the lower end of the budget. With all the features, nice styling, and good build quality, the Convertible is another Dahon bike that might fit.

Dahon Folding Bike Review Conclusion

Hopefully you’ve found something that works for you in our selection of  bikes in our Dahon folding bike review. With the information we’ve provided, you should be able to make an informed choice when purchasing your new bicycle.

If you already have a model in mind, then check out the best prices on Amazon below. Most models also qualify for free shipping as well. We have reviewed lots of other folding bikes on our website. So, if you didn’t find the right model in this review, maybe a Schwinn would suit you better. Click here to check some others out.

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