The Dahon folding bike company is based in Los Angeles, California but the bikes are assembled in Taiwan, Macau, the Czech Republic and China with many of the parts being sourced elsewhere from around The World. Dahon’s company goal is to convince more people to use environmentally sustainable forms of transport. To achieve this they create innovative folding bikes that are reasonably priced. The company prides itself on the fact that the majority of their 700+ staff travel to work by bike, public transport or a combination of both. Their first folding bike was built in 1982 and they have now sold over 2 million bikes. Dahon are now the worldwide leader in folding bikes. Their bikes are quite interesting in that they are distinctly different models unlike the Brompton folding bikes which are all variations on one frame.
Dahon split their range into 4 categories: Urban Utility Bikes, Urban Performance Bikes, Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes. One of the most popular bikes in the Urban Utility range is the Dahon Espresso which I must admit is a great looking bike and if you look ’round carefully on the ‘net can be bought pretty cheaply. This is a 21 speed bike which can be folded in 20 seconds.
Dahon bikes don’t fold quite as small as the UK built Bromptons do, but are certainly good value for money and well worth considering. In looking at various reviews of the Dahon bikes it seems that your typical Dahon owner is someone who likes to have their bike in the boot of their car, rather than someone who takes it on the train to go to work. Some Dahons have 26 inch wheels and are still quite large once folded, this just about gets around the new ‘no bikes on trains’ rules and still takes up quite a lot of room.