Dahon is the most popular brand for foldable bikes in the US for a good reason: quality products at bargain prices. The Espresso is the entry level full-size (26" wheels) model in the line-up. It comes in three different frame sizes: 20", 18" & 16". Since my wife and I need to share this bike, I pick the middle one as a compromise.
There are other compromises in our decision. My wife wants a comfortable (i.e. high handle-bar) riding position. I need a foldable model to pack into the trunk of the car occasionally. We both want a bike with a good range of gears to negotiate the local hills. I also want quality all-aluminum construction for light weight and rust resistance. Finally, we don't want to pay a lot. In the end, the Dahon Espresso is the only bike that fits the bill.
What a beautiful bike it is! I get inquiries from strangers all the time, especially after they see how I unpack from the trunk and unfold it in 10 seconds.
In regular use, it looks and handles like a premium bike, yet costs hundreds of dollars less. Both the front and rear derailleurs are name-brand components that prove convenient and reliable. The rim brakes are so strong that the rider must be careful not to engage the front brake alone or he risks flipping over in a hurry. The folding and unfolding operations are straightforward. The seat is easily detachable, although the front wheel is not. The wheel rims are aluminum. The spokes are stainless steel with brass nipples. It is hard to find a regular bike with this set of specs at this price level, not to mention another foldable one.
Of course, a $400 bike cannot possibly be perfect, so let me put on the nitpicker's hat and list some possible complaints.Read more ›
I have had this bike for over a year. It works just like any other bike, except it has the nice feature of being able to fold. It's nice looking, rides well, and when it folds, it folds down to the size of a folded regular wheelchair (almost the exact same size). So if you are wondering about putting it in your trunk, use that size to compare. It's easy to fold/unfold and I would recommend it. the hinge in the middle of the bike seems strong. Although it's designed in Italy (I believe), it's made in China. I was not aware when purchasing it that it needs to be assembled, but that's not a major task. If I remember correctly, I had some problems installing the pedals. I would like to see it lighter, but it is average for a full size (regular bike). As with any folding bike, always be sure to check that all parts are properly tightened so that it's safe to use.