Customer Reviews: Dahon Jack 26-Inch Folding Mountain Bike
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on November 28, 2005
I use this bike to get around New York City. It's the first bike I've bought for myself brand new, and it's exactly what I was looking for. First off, it's very sturdy. The city is hard on bikes, but this thing can take it. I've flipped the thing (my fault, not the bike's), had it land in front of me, and it took barely a ding. Stayed unfolded. The fat tires are great for potholes, and the kevlar belting gives you a little piece of mind as you fly through a minefield of glass shards.

The folding feature was the main reason I bought the Jack, and it was mainly to avoid theft. First and foremost, I can keep it in my apartment. That's a huge plus. Second, the tires are right next to each other when the bike is folded, which allows you to throw a chain or cable through both tires, around the frame and even under the seat if you prefer a quick release (the bike comes with QR levers on both tires and the seatpost). I can get a kryptonite chain around the frame and through both tires when locking to a street sign. A word of warning: if you think you're getting a bike that will fold up small enough to take with you into the grocery store, get a bike with 20" wheels. The Jack is full size, so it's still a big bike when it's folded, and it's almost 30 lbs. If you're worried about the bike unfolding while you're on it, don't be. It doesn't happen.

The only thing I'm not crazy about on the bike are the handlebars - they're a little wider than I'd like, and I'd prefer bullhorn bars to the MTB/cruiser style, but that's a personal preference, and the standard oversize clamp leaves you room to customize.

I've formed a very strong connection with this bike. It's definitely not right for everyone, but if it's for you, I think you'd know from looking at it. If you think it's right for you, I say go for it. It's been good to me.
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on January 16, 2007
N. James's review is right on. This is a solid bike. I am a simple man, and I always hated looking at bicycles with my more knowledgeable friends, because they tend to go on at length about getting the best tires, the best handlebars, the best frame, etc. I just wanted to find something sturdy that rode comfortably, that I could fold up (a necessity for most of us in NYC), and that looked cool.

This is it. If you're a hardcore cyclist, this bike probably isn't for you -- but then, you probably know exactly what you need. If you're like me, just someone who wants a functional, dependable bike without a bunch of extras, do yourself a favor and take a look at one of these. (And don't be put off by the folding aspect! I'm pretty much technically brainless, and I was deeply doubtful about whether *I* could fold this bike in the "super-fast" five seconds mentioned in the product description. But it really is that easy. A monkey could do it without a hitch. Heck, my cat could do it, if she were taller and had thumbs.)
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on May 14, 2010
I bought this bike a year ago. It's one of two I have with the other bike being a K2 Attack 2.0 mountain bike (about 10 years old now). I ride about 1 1/2 hrs. a day for exercise. I ride mostly on pavement with an occasional brief bike trail detour. No stunts or jumps and no hard off-road riding. Bought the Jack because it has exactly what I need for urban riding & no more. I also hoped a folding bike would be easier to store & use with a car or carry on the bus. It's a no frills and very utilitarian bike. This function over form approach gives it a kind of cool look that gets an occasional compliment.

It rides well enough to be tolerable but tends to squeak, twist under strain & groan more than my mountain bike does. I'm sure the folding joint in the frame is the cause. The ability to fold the frame has only made a slight positive difference in the ease of storage and moving the bike around in the car. I had thought it would make more of a difference than it has.

A month ago, the heavy chrome bolt holding the seat on to the seat post broke inexplicably and without warning sending me flying into a drainage ditch. The seat wasn't loose or wobbly in advance of the break. I found the heavy steel bolt & it was snapped in half. The ridged saddle joint holding the seat on to the seat post was stripped as well. It has taken a month of emails and telephone calls to both Dahon and the retailer to get a replacement seat post sent to me under warranty. The retailer had much trouble remembering to return my phone calls & follow up on my request. Emails were usually, not always, ignored. With so much delay and avoidance from the retailer, I contacted Dahon, but they refused to even talk with me about the problem and responded with canned email messages referring me back to the non-responsive retailer. Very poor treatment by the manufacturer compared to the time my K2 frame broke in two. When the K2 frame broke after four years of use, one phone call resulted in a free replacement frame that was delivered within three days.

If it weren't for the broken bolt (should never happen, given the danger)and poor manufacturer support I would have given the bike a four or five. Also, the broken heavy bolt and striped steel on the bicycle seat joint makes me worry about the basic quality of the materials used in the manufacturing of the bike. These aren't moving parts and should not break.

6/28/11 Update: The WTB brand saddle broke at the 2 year 1 month point. The aluminum rail under the seat snapped. The saddle is only covered for 24 months from the date of purchase.

11/16/12 Update: No additional problems with this bike. Easy to clean & easy to maintain. Other than the OEM WTB brand saddle breaking, nothing else has needed replacing. I ride this bike every day for about 1 1/2 hrs. Considering the abuse it's holding up really well.

1/23/14 Update: Gone through multiple tires and brake pads at this point. Had to replace the brake cables six months ago. No other major malfunctions or design problems since the broken seat bolt. It's proving to be more durable than I thought it would given the saddle and saddle bolt problems I had right out of the gate.
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on July 9, 2007
Pros :
Excellent build quality.
Pretty light 26lbs ( for a foldable ).
Fantastic ride.

Cons :
In high demand. I had to wait over a month for mine.
Lowest gear could be easier. I live in San Francisco so very steep hills are a little bit harder than they should be but it's not bad and should not dissuade you from buying this bike.
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on August 27, 2008
I got this bike a month ago because I needed a bike that I could easily take on the bus if I wasn't able to score a rack on the front (in Denver there are only two racks to a bus). I haven't ever had a problem with a driver not letting me on, because when folded this bike is basically the size of a stroller. And it seriously unfolds and folds in seconds. The bike gets lots of attention: people are always taking photos of it on the bus (I'm a little jealous). And it rides like a dream. It's very sturdy and is exactly what I need to get me from place to place. I can trust the beefy tires to take a beating and I haven't had any trouble getting up some pretty steep hills.
And the pump is actually built into the seat post! To pump up your tires, you take the seat and post out, flip out the little foot on the bottom, pull out and attach the tube and nozzle to the tire, and then pump using the seat as a handle. Such clever engineering!
The only drawback I found was the manual that comes with it. They give you a manual for a totally different bike, so the instructions are a little unclear. And the strap that they provide to tie the wheels together when it is folded is pretty cheap--just velcro with unfinished ends. I'll probably rig up something better when it wears out. No biggie.
But even so, this is the most awesome bike I have ever owned. Like those before me said, if you're looking for a simple bike to get you around, that you can take on the bus and store in your tiny apartment, then the Dahon Jack could be right for you. I'm loving mine more and more every day!
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on June 17, 2009
This is my second folding bike from Dahon. I previously had the Prestolite which took such a beating from the NYC streets that the costs to repair exceeded the price of a new bike (the parts are basically discontinued and cost a fortune to custom build). It's a shame 'cause I had it for about 4 years and rode it rain or shine and really liked the functionality.

So I decided to go for the Dahon Jack and sacrifice weight for comfort. To my surprise, it rode like a normal hard tail mountain bike and was quicker than I expected. It handles nicely and rides over bumps without making you feel like you're going to fall (smaller wheels can be a lot harsher over bumps). It also has a built in pump and seven speeds. But the handlebar does not fold down so if you want to break it down as tightly as possible, you'll have to remove the handlebar with a hex wrench and slip it between the frame (not really a big deal but slower than the other folders).

Although I really enjoyed the bike and its benefits, I couldn't give it five stars because it's a little too big and heavy to bring on a bus or train and much more cumbersome to open and close than other Dahon bikes. However, if you live in an apartment with limited space and want to ride a normal size bike, this bike is for you. It rides great and can break down to fit in your office, cubicle or trunk. Ride on!!!
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on May 31, 2012
I've had my 27" Dahon folding hybrid bike now for 7 years. From the day I took it out of the box, it has blown away my expectations. I would ride this bike in 30+ mile events with no problems on any road surface. Of course it's a lot heavier than the professional road bikes which will increase fatigue, still it was great showing off to the other boys and girls the folding mechanism - that garnered a lot of attention and fascination! And for those that live in the metro NYC area, because it folds, you can take it on the metro-north trains - as long as you have the lifetime bike pass ($5) and keep it folded. If you live in a small apartment, this is the bike for you. It does feature 21 speeds which is very handy - especially on some steep hills! For the money, versatility and durability, you cannot go wrong with this bike - I hope you will enjoy as much as I have!
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