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Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike, Baltic

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
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  • Lightweight 4130 chromoly steel frame
  • Dahon Roulez tires for speed and durability
  • Arc rack for toting groceries or touring gear
  • Chrome plastic mudguards for stain protection
  • 27-Pound carrying weight
Need help buying the perfect bike? Visit our Bike Buying Guide with complete information on bike types, best uses, and how to measure for the right bike size and fit.

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Riding a bike has never been this fun. The Speed combines sporty performance with unbelievable value. The frame is hand-welded from custom-drawn 4130 chromoly Sonus tubing and incorporates six different patented technologies, resulting in what is probably our stiffest frame. It features the Dahon Neos rear derailleur, a revolutionary new design that has an ultra short cage for improved ground clearance and super fast shifting. We've paired the Neos with an 11-30T cassette, which, when compared with the previous 14-28T freewheel, represents a 37% increase in gear range. Sleek, simple and excellent value - just what most people want in a folding bike.

Like its sporty cousin, the Speed D8, the Speed D7 offers features like a Work Hardened 4130 chromoly steel frame (which is 60% stronger than high tensile steel), but this version is more utilitarian for the urban rider. Its deluxe component package includes WeatherBeater Chromeplastic mudguards should you find yourself caught in a storm, fast rolling Dahon Roulez tires for dodging potholes, cars or aimless pedestrians, and an Arc Rack for toting your groceries or your touring gear. The D7 is a stylish, well-made, no hassle bike that fits your life and your budget. And it's very portable too...the D7 has a 13- by 25- by 32-inch folded size and weight of 27.1 pounds. Not the lightest bike that Dahon makes, but versatile enough for your jaunts to the store, work or the park.

Assembly of the Bike:
This bike comes mostly assembled. Minor assembly is required before the bike can be used.

About Dahon
The Dahon story begins in 1975. At the time, Dr. David Hon, founder of the company, was a physicist at Hughes Aircraft Corporation in California, working on highly classified government research projects. Considered a leading expert in solid-state laser technology, Dr. Hon had already been awarded numerous U.S. patents for advancements in laser technology. Breakthrough laser technology that he and his team developed would later be used on NASA space shuttles, US missile guidance systems, and laser-guided anti-aircraft guns. Despite his success, Dr. Hon eventually found the work unfulfilling, because his energies were devoted to instruments of war, rather than for the betterment of society. Then, in 1975 came the oil and gas crisis and the seed for Dahon was sown.

One afternoon, in his third week of waiting in hour-long lines to buy gasoline for his car, Dr. Hon was struck by the magnitude of the world's dependence on oil, a non-renewable resource that would likely be depleted within the lifetime of his grandchildren. Brainstorming for solutions to weaken the world's dependence on oil, Dr. Hon ended up going back to his primary mode of transportation in college--the bicycle. Totally clean, and just as important, cheap enough for people around the world to access, Dr. Hon considered the bicycle to be a good candidate as a solution. While the bicycle was perfect for short trips, it was not practical for longer trips, for example, if you lived 30 miles from work. The bicycle needed to be improved and transformed, to make it more broadly functional and needed to integrate more readily with other forms of environmentally-sustainable transport, like trains and subways. Dr. Hon's solution: a portable folding bicycle. Working evenings and weekends in his garage over the next seven years, Dr. Hon built dozens and dozens of prototypes, trying to perfect a folding bicycle that would maintain the riding performance of a regular bicycle but would fold quickly and to a compact size. Bicycle Buying Guide
Finding the Right Bike
To really enjoy cycling, it's important to find a bicycle that works for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when you're in the market for a new bike:

The Right Ride
In general, bikes are broken down into three major categories:

  • Road and Racing Bikes--As a general rule, road and racing are built for speed and longer distances on paved surfaces. Thinner tires, lightweight 29-inch (700c) wheels and drop bars that allow for a more aerodynamic position are the norm. Most road bikes, regardless of price, offer many gears for tackling both hilly and flat terrain.
  • Mountain Bikes--With their larger tires, hill-friendly gearing and upright position, mountain bikes are very popular for all types of riding, both on pavement and off. Mountain bikes that are designed specifically for rugged trail use typically feature a suspension fork. Some may have rear suspension, as well. A quick change of the tires on any mountain bike--even one that you use regularly on trails--adds to its versatility and makes it a worthy street machine.
  • Comfort/Cruiser Bikes--For tooling around on bike paths, light trails, or for cruising a quiet beach-side lane, comfort/cruiser bikes are the ticket. With a super-relaxed riding position, padded seats, and limited or no gearing, these bikes are made for enjoying the scenery and having fun with the family.

The Right Price
A bike's price boils down to three essentials: frame materials, bike weight, and component quality and durability.

  • Entry-level--You'll find a wide range of comfort and cruiser bikes in this category, as well as some lower-end mountain bikes and road bikes. Most will have steel frames and components that are designed to last for several years with frequent use.
  • Mid-range--Bikes in this range may feature a lighter aluminum frame with mid-range components that keep performing after miles of use. If you're looking for a quality bike that is relatively lightweight and will stand up to abuse, this is the "sweet spot." Most serious commuter and touring bikes fall into this category, as do mid-range mountain bikes with a decent front suspension.
  • High-end--Racers and serious enthusiasts who expect lightweight, high-performance components will want to stick to this category. For road bikes, exotic frame materials (carbon fiber, titanium) and ultra-lightweight components can add thousands to the price tag. Mountain bikes in this class often feature advanced front and rear suspension technology, as well as components designed to handle lots of rugged trail action.

The Right Size
Fit is crucial for comfort, control, and proper power and endurance on a bike. Here are some basic bike fit tips:

  • Stand-over Height--To find out if a bike's overall height fits your body, measure your inseam. Next, determine how much clearance you'll need between your crotch and the top tube of the bike. For a mountain bike, you'll want three to five inches of clearance. A road bike should offer between one and two inches of clearance, while a commuter bike should have two to four inches. Compare the stand-over height for a given bike to your measurements (inseam + clearance) to determine the right bike height.
  • Top Tube Length--You can measure your torso to get a good estimate of proper top tube length. First, make a fist and extend your arm. Measure from the center of your fist to the end of your collarbone (the part that intersects your shoulder). Next, measure your torso by placing a book against your crotch with the spine facing up. Measure from the spine to the bottom of your throat (the spot between your collarbones). Finally, add the two measurements (arm length + torso length), divide the number in half and subtract six inches. This is your approximate top tube length. Compare this number to a bike's posted top tube length. You can allow for about two inches longer or shorter, as most bikes can be adjusted via stem length/height and saddle fore/aft position to make fine adjustments to the fit.
  • Bikes for Women--Proportionally, women tend to have a shorter torso and longer legs than men. Bike makers design women's bikes that offer a shorter top tube and many comfort/cruiser bikes built for women may also provide more stand-over clearance.

The Right Accessories
When you make a bike purchase, don't forget these crucial add-ons:

  • Helmet (this is a must!)
  • Seat pack
  • Lock
  • Hydration pack, or water bottles and bottle cages
  • Spare tubes
  • Portable bike pump
  • Gloves

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 37 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000ET5VZG
  • Item model number: KC072
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,605 in Sports & Outdoors (See Top 100 in Sports & Outdoors)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. C. Nguyen on June 14, 2006
Delivery: the package comes in about one week, which exceeds my expectation. Everything is well-packaged.
The bike: it's pre-assembled, mostly. And very easy to do the rest. I don't need the manual to complete the bike, except for the magnetic latch that hold to folded frame together (actually it only needs a strong yank to unlock the latch). The complete bike loooks exactly like the one on the image.
The ride: This is my first 20" bicycle. First this thing is much nimbler and faster than my 26" cruiser bike I am using. The smaller wheel still gives a smooth ride, surprisingly. The brake is responsive. The saddle is OK for a one-hour-ride, but for longer ride, it feels uncomfortable.
The only minor defect is the fifth, sixth and sometimes the seventh gear keeps slipping to the lower gear.
The folding: it takes me about 10 seconds to fold this thing, probably because I am still new at it.
In general this is a good buy, and I recommend it.
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I've had a Dahon Speed D7 for about half a year. It works nicely. I use it all the time for most travel and errands (the included back rack is quite helpful). The folding mechanism and the latches feel solid and haven't given me any trouble. I was surprised by how stable the bike felt when I first rode it (I'd recommend trying it for yourself, of course).

A few concerns:
- For me, the whole range of gear ratios could be shifted lower. The lowest gear could be even lower, and I don't know if I've ever used the top gear.

- It's nice that the included pedals fold down, but they are dangerously slippery in the rain, or when the bottoms of my shoes are wet.

- There's a bit of front-back flex in the handlebars/head tube. It usually doesn't bother me, but I try not to pull or push hard along that front-back direction.

- The handlebar grip next to the grip-shifter gets gradually pushed off as I ride and shift gears.

- The clearance between the pedals and the ground is small, so the inner pedal must be raised during sharp turns.

--Addition (August 30, 2010)--
- A couple of times one of the long cables to the rear derailleur or brake has caught on a pedal, hard. I tied the cables down at another point along the frame, and haven't had trouble since.

- Maybe I've just misadjusted something, but the chain has dropped off the front chain ring several times during forceful pedaling. Perhaps eventually I'll try a smaller front chain ring, both to lower the gear ratios and to reduce the strain on the chain at lower gears.

- I took the bike on the commuter rail. It wasn't too bad. I wasn't traveling during rush hour, so I just put the bike on the seat next to me in its carry bag. Carrying it through the narrow space between seats was a little awkward, but if I had given myself ample time to get to and from my seat, it probably wouldn't have been as much of a problem.
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By ToolBear on September 11, 2008
I picked up the Dahon Speed 7 this spring to test the folding concept. I migrate from my condo in SoCal to my boat in the NorthWet, with lots of camping both ways. About to leave for Moab and try the folder there - but not on anything too mountain bikie.

I have been riding the bike all summer and I am a Happy Camper. It does what I need for an urban utility bike.

I have the same shifting issue as the previous review (4:5 or 5:6), but aside from that (and I expect to cure that this fall when the bike gets a tune up), I have had not issues - and at 215#, I am a big bear for this bike.

It's fun to ride. It's really handy. No bike racks! I fold it up and stick it in my van in lieu of one tote. When van camping, it sits behind the front seat at night. It has fit in well to our style of operations and really opened up the country. I can now explore my surroundings at 5-10 mph vs. on foot. Love it.

On the boat, it rides athwartship in the forecastle foyer and lets me get around the ports to explore, exercise and get the groceries.

I could have even used it on the job last year. We kept having to go to remote subpanels (1000' away) to turn power off and on as we worked. Unfold bike, pedal off and do it. One of the crew had a skate board, so he got that job.

The major drawback is that with 7 gears, it does not climb steep hills. The NorthWet has steep hills. Thus, I am researching 26" folding mountain bikes (wanted: Jeep that folds) for next season. Front suspension, 21 gears, 3'x3'x1' footprint.

For this, I am looking at the Dahon Matrix and Montague Paratrooper.
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I bought my D7 in January. I had the fortune to buy mine at a bike shop that had several folders so I get to try a few models. I like the style of the D7 so I ordered one. I have no regrets getting it. I live about a 1/2 mile from my office so I started to ride to work for exercise. And unlike a regular bike which you have to attach to a bike rack to your car. I just fold the thing into my truck and carry around the city. If I want to unwind on a ride, it is there. It is the perfect urban bike for Houston. You only need a few gears to ride around town so the seven gears are just about right. Any longer or hilly trips I suggest a full bike. I must point out since the front tire is smaller than a regular bike the steering is a lot more sensitive than a regular bike so you need to get use to that. I get a lot of compliments while riding it so it is great for the Sunday ride in the park. It is my first folder so I am not really impartial over all brands in general. But it has not failed me yet and well made so I plan to stick to Dahon bikes. The new 2008 model is $200 more so if you can get last years model I say it is a good investment. If this one is ever stolen I probably get the new one if I cannot get the 2007 D7.
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