The Dahon Speed P8 folding bicycle rocks!

I’ll never forget the day I saw a folding bicycle for the first time im my life. There it was with it’s tiny sixteen inch wheels and long seatpost and stem. Never before had I seen such an unusual looking contraption that was suppose to represent some form of transportation. Immediately I had to call my dad up and tell him all bout it seeing that he’s a real hardcore bicycle nut. It’s the only topic he ever wants to talk about. Of course when I told him all about this odd little bicycle he thought I’d finally lost my mind and needed some serious help. It wasn’t until he actually saw it himself that he started to believe me.

Everyday for the next couple months I’d go to Harts Local Grocers and drop a card in the Honest Tea contest box hoping that I’d have a chance to win this amazing folding machine. It seemed like they were never going to end the contest and eventually I started thinking that my chances to win it were next to none. That’s when I got the most surprising phone call I’ve ever had in my life. A guy from Harts Local Grocers with the same first name called my cell phone letting me know that I won and can pick the bicycle up anytime I wanted. This was the first time winning anything, especially something this cool.

Dahon was highly recommended by everyone

Everywhere I went people would ask similar questions about the tiny folding bicycle. How does it ride? Is it hard climbing hills? In all truthfulness it rode no different than the full sized hybrid that I had at the time with twenty four gears except that it had six gears and the wheels were much smaller.

Close up view of rear of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Close up view of rear of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Seat on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Seat on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

The more I rode it the more I liked it and this led me to start researching folding bikes online. What I discovered was that there were many reviews and opinions online as to what was the best folding bikes but the one brand that kept coming up as having a rock solid reputation was Dahon.

Front view of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Front view of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

After extensive research I discovered Nyewheels in New York City and their statement about how Dahon folding bikes ride like regular bikes that just happen to fold was what really got me interested in this amazing company. This was when I just had to find a place that sold them so I could test ride some for myself. Me and dad had been discussing visiting this shop in Henrietta, New York for some time to get an idea if we’d like the Dahon brand or not and finally we were about to find out.

Handlebar rotation quick release on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Handlebar rotation quick release on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

At the time I had already bought a sixteen inch wheeled folding bicycle from Nycewheels with only two gears that rode very well but if I was going to go over the usual two and a half miles I ride to work I’d have to choose something more versatile with more gears. The Dahons would definitely be my first choice. When we took the Dahons out for a test ride we were so impressed with how they rode that dad bought one right there and then. If I didn’t have too many bicycles in the house at the time I would have bought one myself.

Gear selector on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Gear selector on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Riding the Dahon Speed P8 was awesome

The first thing that I noticed about the Dahon Speed P8 folding bicycle was the attention to detail. I was especially impressed with the high quality welds and paint job that looked flawless on the Chromoly 4130 steel frame and the dalloy aluminum fork. The forged alloy crankset on this folding bicycle is equally impressive along with the custom Neos 8 speed rear derailleur.

Quick release on front wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Quick release on front wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Magnet used for folding on rear wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Magnet used for folding on rear wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Magnet used for folding on front wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Magnet used for folding on front wheel of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

What was even more enjoyable was the ride. Me and dad was riding through the old Historic High Falls area in downtown Rochester, New York and that’s when I got the urge to really see what this beautiful peice of machinery could do on the road.  We traded folding bicycles for a awhile and immediately I could tell that this was one sturdy bicycle. The chromoly frame was rock solid with no flex to it but absorbed the bumps in the road offering a real smooth ride. Those fancy hinges that quickly lock the frame in place were also very firm and didn’t wobble or jiggle one bit.

Frame latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Frame latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Folding latch on handlebars of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Folding latch on handlebars of Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Frame hinge open on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Frame hinge open on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Open handlebar latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Open handlebar latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Of course the handlebars needed to be adjusted down because I like to sit more forward and lower than my dad does but thats no problem because the Dahon allows you to adjust the handlebar height to fit different riding styles.  The seat was also very comfortable and that can also be adjusted seeing that they have marks on the seatpost. I love this feature because most folding bicycles including mine doesn’t have that.

Crankshaft on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Crankshaft on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

 

Landing gear on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Landing gear on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Picking up speed on the Dahon Speed P8 didn’t take very long because the forged crankset didn’t flex at all giving me maximum pedaling efficiency,  and even though I’m usually not a fan of twist shifters, they worked with crisp precision. This is one bad awesome performing bicycle that thinks it’s a regular non-folding bicycle.  Looking at this bicycle and riding it you would think that it costs twice as much as it does.

handlebar quick release latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

handlebar quick release latch on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

There are other folding bicycles on the market that are either cheaper or more expensive but for the money the Dahon brand can’t be beat. They offer the most bicycle for the money and I don’t think any other brand can give the same quality for the same price. Dahon also offers bicycles that range from sixteen inch wheels to full size but their twenty inch wheeled bicycles are unmatched by any company in the market. The reason why I say this is because most of Dahons folding bicycles have twenty inch wheels and for what they charge it’s amazing how much quality and superb workmanship they put into them.

front brake on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

front brake on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Handlebars folded down on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Handlebars folded down on Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Dahon is all about the customer service

Another thing that I’d like to mention is the great customer service that Dahon offers to their customers. My dad ordered a part called the Landing Gear from the bike shop where he bought the Dahon Speed P8 so that he could roll it easily while folded. It seemed to be taking a lot longer than he expected so he decided to call the Dahon headquarters in California himself. A gentleman answered the phone and immediately found out what was going on with the order and made sure that the part was in Henrietta, New York at the bike shop within two days. He went out of his way to make sure that my dad was completely happy with the service and said that if he had any problems just call back and he’ll personally take care of it himself.

Side view of folded Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

Side view of folded Dahon Speed P8 folding bike.

If you’re looking for the best folding bicycle for the money that actually rides like a full sized bicycle the Dahon brand of folding bicycles can’t be beat. They offer a lot of bike for the money and put a lot of effort into the quality and attention to detail. As Nycewheels would say Dahon bicycles are built to last and after riding one myself I’d have to totally agree. And if you ever have any problems with your Dahon folding bicycle or need to buy parts you can be guaranteed that they will offer their full support to make sure that you’re completely happy with your purchase.

Thank you for enjoying this review of Dahon folding bikes and if anybody wants to buy me a Christmas gift I’ll just take a Dahon Mariner please. Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.


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