Dahon Espresso Folding Bike Reviewed

With ‘Espresso’ what you see is what you get and you get what you pay for. This folding bike does its job as it should. Just as you wouldn’t expect a scooter to turn into a speedy Japanese street bike overnight, don’t expect too much and it might meet and even exceed your expectations.

Strengths:

This folding bike is good value for money. It’s a relatively inexpensive full-size binder whose frame folds in half quickly and easily with the added benefit of removable hanging handles and folding pedals. The folded version fits conveniently in the trunk of your car, and in doing so eliminates a bike rack, yet features a sturdy frame with a roomy, ergonomic seat. It’s nice to have a top-of-the-line folding mechanism on a standard full-size folding bike compared to many of what I call circus folding bikes on the market with their tiny wheels better suited to big clowns than serious commuters. This bike is surprisingly fast and the brakes are very effective, providing responsive stopping power.

Weaknesses:

This is an effective yet inexpensive folding bike that contains ‘stock’ rather than ‘custom’ parts; keep that in mind and remember how little you paid for it and you will be satisfied. The main user complaints are:

1) a cyclist describes the shifting system as ‘dodgy’ due to its tendency to skip gears and shift unexpectedly; clearly the 21 gears and the mechanism as a whole could be of higher quality. 2) the ‘low-end’ tires could be softer and more responsive and it’s not uncommon for owners to replace the ‘standard’ versions with better quality ones; it’s no wonder then that users have described the ride as “shaky” and “bouncy”. 3) the frame, while not offering the most stable ride, is stoutly built and while the new frame sizes compensate for the short 35-pound seatposts, it’s still a heavy bike.

Minor irritants are: poor seat composition (separates from the saddle base), cheap pedals, a handlebar removal lever that gets stuck, a rapidly deteriorating bike stand (to hold the bike in the folded position), and a flimsy chain rail cover (apparently minor but essential for protecting work pants).

Recommended:

Yes, don’t expect a premium folding bike at low prices and you won’t be disappointed. This bike offers a quick and neat fold, the ride of a standard bike in a compact package, and a low sticker price. The Dahon Espres does the job and then some.

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