Big fun in small packages.

Look what arrived at my doorstep today!

As bike commuters we sometimes have to go multi-modal. Buses often have limited bike space on their racks and some commuter trains restrict the use of full size bikes. This is where the convenience of the folding bike comes in!

I use to own an orange Bike Friday New World Tourist, but sold it last year to (ironically) go on tour. At the time, I wasn’t doing a lot of multi-modal travel so I didn’t really have too much reason to fold it. Now, I find that I’m using the train a lot more and have been booted off due to lack of room for a full size bike!

I contacted Dahon to see if they would send me a Speed TR to put it through its paces. I’m planning a few mini bike tours where I’ll be combining bus, train and bike to get to my locations. Look for impressions of it soon as I take it to bike Mecca, Portland, next week!


11 Comments

  1. Mike Myers July 16, 2008 3:38 pm 

    Dahon seems like a pretty cool company. They make folders, but they also have made semi-minivelos in the past. I remember one that came specced with a Brooks and fenders.

    If I had any need for a folding bike and money was no option, I’d have a Bike Friday New World Tourist. But a Dahon is a bit more my budget.

  2. Justin July 16, 2008 4:06 pm 

    Russ — too funny, I just picked up a ten-year old New World Tourist from Craigslist today. We’re thinking of some trips for the future with them, including the Gila National forest area in SW New Mexico.

    Per Mike’s comment, I would check craigslist if you really want to hold out for a BF — I was ready to suck it up and buy one but then happened to come across a couple angels willing to sell me the tourist and the case/trailer setup for only $700, and the sizing is right. Granted, such a deal will not likely come around too often…

    – Justin

  3. 2whls3spds July 16, 2008 4:21 pm 

    I have one MAJOR issue with Dahon…they leave out the taller rider. FWIW I have test ridden every Dahon I could get my hands on and none of them fit to where I could be comfortable riding for more than a couple of miles. My criteria are fairly simple for a folder…16″ wheels for compact fold, IGH for simplicity, fenders, racks and generator hub. My pedal to saddle dimension is around 35.5″…Dahon can’t do it. BF and Brompton are the only ones that can.

    Aaron

  4. Chris July 16, 2008 5:43 pm 

    Bike Friday pricing, perhaps, depends on the model and what you are comparing to. We got a Triple Traveler, which my kids and I use on a regular basis. I’m 6 feet, and my wife and kids range from 3′ 6″ (or so) to 5′ 1″. We can re-arrange the captain and stoker seats to put almost any of us anywhere on the bike. I probably won’t fit in the middle, and my youngest, with his crank shorteners, won’t fit up front. But that’s about the only limitation. The triple itself easily costs as much as three very nice single bikes, but it gets my kids onto the same vehicle for our Saturday morning basketball trips (9 or 10 miles each way). It’s also much cheaper than any other triples I’ve seen. And my kids love it.
    Thanks for the Dahon tip. I’ve been looking at getting a single folder, and the BF single models are indeed pricier. But if the Dahon bikes won’t readily accommodate someone taller, I’ll just have to wait until I can get a BF.

  5. Dave July 16, 2008 6:44 pm 

    Coming to portland? Hope the biking lives up to your expectations. The weather is great here (pdx) right now…perfect for riding.

  6. Dominic Dougherty July 16, 2008 7:09 pm 

    Russ-“Wanna take it for a spin?”
    Duh! Who doesn’t want to take a new shiny bike for a spin… problem is the seatpost won’t adjust high enough… I’m not a freak. My inseam is only 30″. Still, at the max height of the post, I still wanted to stretch out a bit.
    I don’t like that you can’t adjust the handlebar height or reach… or put any kind of stem on it.
    I was at first really impressed by the MKS EZY pedals, but then got to thinking about what a bummer it would be to lose one on the bus or train.

  7. Marrock July 17, 2008 12:50 pm 

    I have an old Lespo Soltar folder that I got off craigslist a few months ago.

    That’s doing time as a convenience store runner and lives in the van in case it finally gets it into it’s head to hand grenade the tranny I wont be left walking.

    And yeah, I never heard of Lespo either or anything called a Soltar till I got this thing, it’s not exactly light but it’s a solid ride and I needed something to replace the gf’s kid’s bike that got stolen, this fit the bill at the time.

  8. Mike July 17, 2008 1:56 pm 

    It just isn’t a Brompton, the most elegant folder design. I have a BF, and I’d buy another. However, if your commute requirement includes keeping the bike under your desk and a quick, complete folding at the front door, with real street bike performance, Brompton is your choice. It is intimately small, has no weird projecting tubes, and mounts incredible luggage capacity. I’ve had mine for seven years and ride it everywhere. When I drive somewhere, it’s behind the seat in my Tacoma p/u. So, everywhere I go I have a first class bike.

  9. Russ Roca July 17, 2008 3:19 pm 

    Wow…didn’t know we had so many folder users (and nice folders too!) I’ll be posting a more in-depth review soon…

  10. 2whls3spds July 17, 2008 5:45 pm 

    I had a NWT years ago and would recommend them as an excellent travel bike, but not as a quick fold commuter. I borrowed a Brommie for a quick spin a while back, and it was adjustable enough for my above average height self. FWIW I typically ride road frames in the 65cm range. The Brompton has a well deserved rep, the Dahon is a decent bike for a large portion of the general public, but not for us genetic freaks. LOL

    Aaron

    Aaron

  11. jack July 1, 2015 5:45 am 

    Good reviews.Learnt a lot about expensive folders

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