Dahon brand of folding bikes is no more of a stranger in Singapore. The togoparts review team, having previously reviewed the D7 and Speedmatrix, was again presented with the opportunity to put our legs over another horse in the Dahon stable: the Cadenza.
Our test ride came in 18” medium size, the default Obsidian paintwork gracing the 7005 series Al frame. A patented Lock jaw hinges on the top and down tube forms the basis of the bike’s folding mechanism and is clamped in place by 6mm allen screws. When folded, the magnetic catches on the left fork leg and chain stay secures the frame in position. Designed by Joe Murray, it takes a mere 5 seconds to unfold the frame and another 20 odd to tighten the screws using the triple allen key provided. A mini-stand attached to the BB shell provides support during the folding/unfolding and can be removed if desired. When fully folded, it fits into any car boot with plenty of space to spare. The frame is also built with option for various setups. The eccentric bottom bracket fits either multiple ring cranksets or a singlespeed setup. The frame comes with V-brake posts and IS disc mounts; caliper brakes are also an option.
The Cadenza looks like just like your plain Jane next door, but what was been installed reflects the speed and mobility theme. Shimano Flat bar triggers controls the Tiagra RD and a Microshift FD. The 16 speed setup is powered by a 50/36T FSA Vero compact crankset over an 8 speed 11-28T cassette. Using WTB DX23 rims, the front wheel is radially laced with formula Al shell hub while the rear wheel is 3 crossed laced to a Kinetix Al hub. Stopping duties are performed by a pair of Kinetix V brakes with Avid’s FR5 levers. Continental’s Sportcontact Slicks (my favourite) in 26” x 1.3” sizing keeps the bike gripping on the road. In stock form, the Cadenza is no featherweight, having tipped the scales at just over 12kg.
Getting the bike ready for the test ride was a breeze. The unique NVO stem allows for quick and accurate adjustment of handlebar height (via a knob), very much like quill stems of the past but without the hassle of threaded headsets that comes with them. The stock WTB saddle was a bit stiff for my liking and was swapped out for a Fizik Gobi I was running on my bike. A de-facto quick-release seat clamp allows for a quick adjustment of saddle height. A few minor tweaks on the derailleurs, brakes, lever angle was done and the bike was ready to go.
On The Road
The Cadenza provides a stiff and efficient ride that is comparable with most hardtails, despite being a folding bike. Acceleration out of the saddle is impressive with little frame flex noted. The long top tube and wheelbase brings stable handling without being overly sluggish, rolling quickly and confidently over most urban road debris, thanks to the bullet proof and lightning fast Conti tires. High marks also awarded for comfort, especially the Ergon Grips with its wider outer platform, eliminating numb palms and fingertips that many are familiar with. Unless the previous experience on the D7, the bike steered with little hesitation, thanks to the smooth bearings of the sealed cartridge headset. The weight of the bike does slows it down a bit in the handling department, but the benefit is greater stability at the high speeds which one is likely to find riding this bike at.
Given its bulk and weight, the cadenza is unlikely to be as successful or as popular a bike for integrated city travels on public transport like the D7 previous did. What we feel however, the Cadenza was designed with the bike tourer in mind. The flexibility of the folding concept allows for compact travels. The various attachments at the front and rear dropouts plus at the rear seatstays allows for the fitment of bicycle panniers and should offer generous luggage carrying capacity.
The Cadenza offers a package with functional componentry and its inherent design flexibility caters to a wide audience, from a leisure rider looking to minimize storage space in today’s shrinking accommodation to a traveling biker need the convenience of a foldable bike.
FRAME SIZES S (16″), M (18″), L (20″)
GEAR INCHES 33″ – 118″
FOLDED SIZE 39 x 81 x 94 cm (15.4″ x 31.9″ x 37″)
WEIGHT 12.4 kg (27.3 lbs.)
FOLDING TIME 30 seconds
SUGGESTED RIDER HEIGHT S Frame (157 cm – 167 cm/5’2″ – 5’6″); M Frame (167 cm – 183 cm/5’6″ – 6′); L Frame (183 cm – 193 cm/6′ – 6’4″)
MAX RIDER WEIGHT 105 kg. (230 lbs.)
FRAME OA Series, 7005 aluminum, patented LockJaw hinges, replaceable derailleur hanger, integrated head tube
FORK Straight, chromoly, integrated design
HANDLEBAR Ritchey, 6061-T6 aluminum, straight
STEM NVO, patented InfiniteAdjust technology, 6061-T6 aluminum
HEADSET Dahon Fusion, Zero stack, cartridge, sealed, conical spacer
SADDLE SDG BelAir RL
SEAT POST BioLogic™ PostPump, 31.6mm
BRAKES Kinetix SpeedStop V brakes, mini brake bolts, stainless link and anchor bolt, “SilentGrip” ceramic brake pads
BRAKE LEVER Avid FR5
CABLES AND HOUSING Dahon LiveWire, SIS housing, slick cable
FRONT HUB Formula, aluminum, QR
REAR HUB Kinetix, Labyrinth water seal, 8spd. cassette, aluminum, QR
SPOKES 14G stainless steel, brass nipples
RIMS WTB, DX23, Black anodized, brushed sidewalls
TIRES Continental Sport Contact 26” x 1.3”, 85 psi, 240 tpi, Kevlar anti-puncture protection
SHIFTERS Shimano flat bar, trigger
FRONT DERAILLEUR Microshift, forged aluminum, for flat bar road
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Tiagra SS
CRANKSET FSA Vero Compact, 50-36T
CASSETTE 8 speed, 11-28T
CHAIN KMC Z82
BOTTOM BRACKET Cartridge, sealed bearings
PEDAL Aluminum cage VP-992A, double-sided tread