Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Bicycle.
Bicycles,  Folding Bicycles,  News,  Transportation

Dahon NuWave folding Bicycle that doesn’t actually fold

Dahon, recently introduced at the Beijing International Convention Center, a folding bicycle that doesn’t actually fold, called the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim.

 

Will The Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Folding Bicycle Revolutionize The Industry As Dr Hon Promises, Or Will It Be A Flop?

According to Dr David Hon, the founder of Dahon, the Dahon NuWave Ultra folding bicycle is going to revolutionize the folding bicycle industry. Or what Dr Hon prefers to call, “Green Mobility”.

 

 

Unlike traditional folding bicycles, the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle doesn’t use a hinge in the main frame to fold. Instead it uses an innovative folding mechanism on both the seat post and handlebars.

 

Supposedly, the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle is going to have a stiffer and sturdier frame, that will cost less to manufacture.

 

I agree that a frame that doesn’t fold, in theory, will always be sturdier and safer than a frame that folds. This was especially true a few decades ago when folding bicycles were heavy, and didn’t really get much smaller when folded. At any moment, these poorly made niche bicycles would become unfolded underneath you, throwing you onto the pavement. They were very unsafe, and uncomfortable to ride.

 

This has all changed dramatically over the last few decades. Folding bicycles are now manufactured using cutting edge materials and designs, and the hinges are just as safe and stiff as a regular bicycle. That’s, only if you buy from a trusted brand that meets certain strict safety standards.

 

What Concerns Do I Have With The Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Folding Bicycle?

 

The 14-inch, 16-inch electric, and 20-inch versions of the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bicycle.
The 14-inch, 16-inch electric, and 20-inch versions of the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bicycle.

 

I do have a few concerns, even though the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle comes in three different sizes, 14-inch, 16-inch, and 20-inch.

 

 

In the video, a couple is shown riding the 14-inch and 20-inch versions of the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle. They then throw them both into the back of a small hatchback. Then ride the subway and even shown going into a few places.

 

Those of you that ride a traditional folding bicycle know that it can be awkward to carry while folded. The handlebars tend to hang along the side, making it harder to carry. And avoiding getting grease from the drivetrain on your clothes is next to impossible.

 

A Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Bicycle Is No Wider Than It’s Seat While Folded, But How About The Length?

 

A Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bike sitting on back rack with mini wheels.
A Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bike sitting on back rack with mini wheels.

 

The Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle looks very easy to pull along. With the handlebars and seat folded down, the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle is no wider than it’s seat. Plus there’s no handlebars or frame joints to dig into you while pulling. Unfortunately, the length while folded concerns me. While rolling on it’s back rack, the front wheel sticks out.

 

This can be a huge problem while riding the bus or train. What if it accidentally rubs up against another passengers clothes during a commute?

 

Another concern I have is how well will it fit it into spaces that can’t accommodate long objects. I know that they have a 14-inch version. But what’s the benefit compared to a Brompton, that gets smaller in both height and length while folded?

 

And in the video, it looks like the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bicycle has a short wheelbase. How well would the stability and turning be during normal commutes?

 

How Well Does The Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Bicycle Compare To Others Such As The Tern Surge?

 

A beautiful Tern Surge!
A beautiful Tern Surge!

If I’m going to have a 20-inch wheel bicycle that doesn’t fold, why wouldn’t I go with something such as the Tern Surge? Or if that’s too expensive, the Tern Crest?

 

The more affordable Tern Crest.
The more affordable Tern Crest.

 

Not only do these bicycle have a stiff frame, they have 20-inch wheels. It’s a proven fact that 20-inch wheels are stronger than a traditional road bike. Plus they look darn good. The Tern surge has high quality components and carbon fiber deep dish rims. That’s enough to make any bicycle commuter fall in love.

 

Does The Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim Bicycle Solve A Problem That Other Folding Bicycle Haven’t Already?

Seeing that the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim bicycle is only available in the Beijing market, there’s no way for me to actually test it. According to Dr David Hon, it’s better than a traditional folding bicycle. Then again, he designed it so it’s only natural that he’d think it’s the best.

 

I’m not actually sure if the Dahon NuWave Ultra Slim folding bicycle solves a problem that traditional folding bikes haven’t already. Is this folding bicycle going to revolutionize the “Green Mobility” market. Or is it a design that’s only a fad, never to reach the American Market?

 

I’ll let you be the judge of that.

 

ALL PHOTOS ARE FROM DAHON AND TERN

 

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