I love cycling, and have just moved into a city, so it is time to check out the options for folding commuter bikes. I have only ever borrowed folding bikes for the odd trip into town. I really enjoy the flexibility of arriving in town, and getting straight out of the station and not having to queue for taxis. I have noticed that I am much healthier riding as well, as I am straight on the road without a traditional latte stop!
Dahon Speed Uno Review in Full:
If you are new to Folding bikes then the Speed Uno is a great bike to start with, its really similar its more expensive stable mate the Mu Uno, but with a few weight and cost saving measures. As a result the Speed Uno is priced at $419.99 vs the Mu Uno at about $700.
When considering choosing a commuting bike there are many considerations, how far will you be riding, what format of transport will also be used. On balance the Dahon Speed Uno is a great all rounder – for the price.
The 20″ wheel
The 20″ wheel determines how big the bike will end up when folded. To small and the you loose stability on the bike. Too Big and it will never fold down small enough. With the Dahon you end up with a nice feeling stiff frame. Its responsive through the traffic and accelerates well off the lights.
Despite having only a single gear, the ratio is spot on for riding at a good clip, and its not to bad when it comes to the hills! I have seen no reported issues with this set up, and it does keep maintenance to a minimum as there are no gears or a derailleur.
If you are facing some big hills you may want to consider the Speed P8 as an alternative.
The Speed Uno weighs in at a reasonable 24 lb, which is a manageable weight to carry for short distances, and not to bad for tackling the hills. My mountain bike (Trek Fuel EX8 2012) weighs in at 30lbs, and that is a whippet up the slopes!
No Brake Levers
Dahon have dispensed with the common calliper brakes found on other brands. Instead they use a traditional braking system of back peddling, or coaster brakes. To stop or slow the bike all you do is start pedalling gently in reverse, this will ease the bike to a stop.
If you like to free wheel, this is fine, there is a free wheel built in to the hub! It’s only back pedalling that will slow the bike.
So what is the advantage to you for this? Well its two fold, one there is less weight on the bike. Second, as there are no cables to get in the way, when the bike is folded there is less to catch (and break) when its being carried.
Ease of Folding
When you are running for that train the last thing you want to be doing is standing on the platform trying to pack your bike to a size that will let you on the train, only to see the last train home leave without you.
Dahon is designed to fold down in under 20 seconds. I’m sure with practice this could drop to about 10.
They can make it so quick and easy with some great engineering features. It’s really well constructed and all the leavers work well, there are even little magnets to hold it all together when folded.
As you can see when the bike is folded it forms a neat tripod shape, so it can free stand without falling over.
One of the main reasons why people choose folding bikes is to take them on public transport such as trains busses and even planes.
Generally there are restrictions on the size of your bags, and on a packed commuter train the other passengers won’t appreciate sharing a carriage with a bulky (possibly oily) bike.
The Dahon actually folds down well, its packed size is 11.7” x 30” x 25” while this is a little large for overhead luggage on a plane its fine for taking onto a train or storing under your desk at the office.
There are another couple of nice touches worth pointing out. There is a good quality integrated kick stand, great if you have to pop into a shop quickly, and don’t want to fold the whole thing up.
The chain is covered in a special housing that prevents the oil coming off onto your clothes, this does add a little noise, but better that than greasy pants.
Features and Specs
- Single Speed
- Folding size: 11.7″ x 30″ x 25″
- Weight: 24.2 pounds
- Rider is recommended to be around 4′ 8″ to 6′ 4″ tall.
- The maximum weight of rider is 230 pounds
- Folding time is less than 15 seconds
- Pedals are Suntour folding and non-slip
- Aluminum kickstand
- Color: Shadow
- It takes less than 15 seconds to completely fold or unfold the bike.
- Super compact and lightweight.
- Beautiful minimal design
- Perfect for riding in the city
- Durability of parts
- It takes practice to get used to the pedal brakes and control the bike.
- Plastic pedals could be broken easier.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
The 2016 Dahon Speed Uno is available on the Dahon website for $419 but its such a popular bike that at the moment there are not discounts to be had. The cheapest we have seen it is on Amazon who consistently sell this bike for a shade under RSP, and will deliver for Free. Sears have it for $419 plus postage, as do a number of other online bike shops.
Does it include a Warranty?
There is a basic 1 year warranty, which can be upgraded to 3 or 5 years.
What Others reviews Are Saying:
This bike has received rave reviews from most consumers on the net with an average of 4 5 out of 5 from nearly 90 reviewers.
Here are some of the comments to date:
“Overall it feels very well constructed and thought out”
“This is the perfect bike; it’s well-made, safe, cool and it folds up and can fit in my trunk no problem”
“This is just like my little stingray bike with the banana seat from the 1960’s but at half the weight and with a grown up seat.”
I found very few complaints for this bike on consumer sites around the internet. One consumer did express concern that the pedals were a little loose and did not always stay folded away.
I really like this bike, there is something nice about the cut down simplicity of the ride. The clean looks and the matte paint finish makes this really look the part. If you want more features then there are more expensive options, but for price, quality and value then the Dahon Speed Uno is hard to beat.