Dahon is bringing back a few well received models for 2014 and introducing a clever folding bike rental locker system.
Across the 2014 line, graphics and anodization will get more matching bits and pieces to help them pop. Their Performance line, which are the bikes with higher end spec, all get a new solid (non-height adjustable) steerer so it’s stiffer. The Vitesse, Mu and Vectors will all get internal cable routing for a much sleeker appearance, too, shown further down in this post.
Above, the 24″ wheeled IOS S9 is one of their quickest bikes and one of the few that gets down-spec’d for 2014. It will drop the hydraulic disc brakes shown, and the price will drop all the way down to $999. With a hydroformed frame, large wheels and a still-compact-for-its-size fold down, it’s the speed demon of the bunch.
Read on to unfold the rest of the story…
Mechanical stoppers will replace the hydro units shown here, but the big wheels and sharp paint scheme will stick around.
The new Mu SL comes back into the line, and the new version is their first 22″ wheeled bike. The frame is the lightest in their lineup, and it’s spec’d with fairly light components, making the entire thing come in at 23lbs complete. Retail is $1,600.
Conti, Primo and Schwalbe make tires, so even though 22″ (451) isn’t a terribly common wheel size for bikes these days, there are options.
The Vector P20 is a new model that takes the top spot in the Vector line. It upgrades to a hydroformed frame, 20″ wheels with Continental tires, linear pull brakes and 20-speed drivetrain with SRAM X5 shifters and rear derailleur with Apex front mech. Retail is $1,900.
The new Dahon Kids Bike is a transformable scoot bike and standard 12″ bicycle. The crank arms quickly unbolt using an included tool (or standard allen wrench) to make it a balance bike, then bolt them back in when your tot is ready to pedal. The rear hub has a coaster brake, and there’s a standard front brake a lever sized for small fingers.
Front and rear fenders are stock, as are training wheels, and the seatpost is longer than what’s usually found on balance bikes. Altogether, it makes for a great little bicycle that kids can grow with for a while. Retail is $249.95, and it comes in gender neutral red, white, blue and yellow paint on the alloy frame. One of our neighbors’ kids just went from balance bike to pedaling a real bike at 2-1/2 years old, so something this small can carry them through for a bit.
This locker rental project is just shaping up with planned tests a couple universities, but it looks promising. Bike share schemes are popping up in more cities, and this one takes up a much smaller footprint per bike. Plans include a smartphone app that lets you reserve, unlock and return bikes. The app would have video instructions showing how to fold and unfold the bike, and printed instructions would be on the inside of each door.