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Dahon Speed D7 Review

Baddabing - 26th Apr 2006
Product Courtesy of SpeedmatrixAvailibility: NowSRP: SDG 679

Dahon D7Biking to work has always been a popular mode of transport for many in the workforce, but such journeys are usually restricted in distance, as provisions for proper shower facilities and bike storage at workplaces are far and few between. The former is necessary for fellow colleagues' nasal welfare, and the latter to avoid the heartache of losing one's beloved to some unscrupulous souls out there. A growing alternative in recent years is to integrate biking into our public transport system. Indeed, bringing bike and train (and even public buses) together has been demonstrated as a viable tool of transportation elsewhere, however this system many of us yearned for has yet to materialize, reasons ranging from our social prejudice against bicycles as a poor man's tool, inadequate civic mindedness (just look at the number of abandoned bicycles at train station bike parking lots), to draconian rulings by our train operators that bicycles soil our world class trains and are a nuisance to other passengers. While a handful of exceptions have been demonstrated previously, it is a sheer waste of time trying to convince the train stationmaster to let you in with your typical bike, especially during peak hour madness. That sets us thinking: If we cannot get on the trains with our full sized bikes, why not get something smaller or even better still, a foldable bike that will reduce its footprint by half. Here we present one bike that is touted to fit the bill: The Dahon D7.

At the first glance, the specs adorning the chromoly frame of the D7 are nothing to brag about: SRAM entry line gripshift, Dahon in-house rear derailleur and a brand-less crankset fill up the 7-speed drivetrain department. Wheels are a pair of Formula hubs. Braking is handled by Promax V-brakes, while the brake levers and remaining parts are mostly Dahon OEM. However, a closer look enabled us to pick out the nifty features that is built into this bike.

The D7 is only slightly larger than your mountain bike wheel when folded; this compact dimension is achieved by the system of hinged pivots which allows the frame and stem to fold over themselves, secured by quick release latch levers and the 20'' wheels this bike was build around. The ultra long seatpost gives sufficient allowance to fit riders from 1.50 to 1.90 metres in height and retracts sufficiently to maintain the minimal footprint. There is also a pump built into the seatpost that provides capacity equivalent to what you get from a floor pump: this makes fixing flats a breeze. Reflectors are also installed in keeping with the commuting theme of this bike. A magnetic catch secures the folded frame at the front and rear dropouts. The pedals fold out of harm's way, and the chainring guard means less calf tattoos.  With practice, one can fold up the bike in 15 seconds.