1,100 Dahon shops in China. Flying with a Tern Verge X20 and Burley Travoy trailer

Couple of interesting numbers from Dahon: The folding bicycle company has sold “more than five million bikes” since 1982 and has “opened upwards of 1,100 exclusive Dahon shops in China.” (Bike Europe)

Dahon’s global production capability was reduced when a group of employees broke away to form Tern, a new competitor. But Dahon says its new factory in Bulgaria will produce 100,000 bikes by the end of 2012. (Bike Biz)

Tern competes with plenty of companies besides Dahon, of course. For instance, Bike Friday got its start with packable bicycles designed for easy transport by airline: Check the bike in its own suitcase before the flight and, after landing, pedal away from the airport, pulling the suitcase trailer-fashion. Now Jody Brooks is doing the same thing with a Tern Verge X20/Burley Travoy trailer combo. (Plan Bike)

I haven’t written about my Bike Friday tikit lately, and neither has another big fan of this folding bicycle made in Eugene Oregon. But we still have plenty of good things to say about it. (The Lazy Rando Blog)

Tejvan hasn’t bought a folding bicycle yet, but a Brompton seems to be on the short list of possibilities. Here’s a good overview of the machine in question. (Cycling Info)

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About 16incheswestofpeoria

Former bicycle mechanic, current peruser of books, feeder of birds.
This entry was posted in Bike Friday tikit, Brompton, Dahon, Tern Bicycles, Weekly Linker. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 1,100 Dahon shops in China. Flying with a Tern Verge X20 and Burley Travoy trailer

  1. thanks for link. I want to test some Dahon’s and compare to Brompton’s. As I definitely want a foldup.

    • Test rides of folding bicycles may be even more important than test rides of rigid-frame bicycles. Some folks are interested in the smallest possible fold, which is important if you also travel by airplane, train or bus. Some want the lightest weight possible for improved performance or, more simply, to carry up a flight of stairs. Be sure to fold and unfold the bike, try carrying it, or pulling it along, in its folded state. And if you ever get the time, let me know what you find out. Have fun.

      • Micheal Blue says:

        Well, I have a Dahon – Mu P24. Bought it 2 years ago. Put well over 6 000 km on it. Had some great times with it, but also some grief that would be more suitable for department store bikes. It started with a missing weld. BIke replaced. The replacement didn’t have the rear rim tape centered, resulting in several flats until I realized what was going on (at that time I had basically no experince with bikes). Then the handlepost had to be replaced (warranty) due to a broken piece in the hinge (handlepost wiggling). Lastly, in April the steerer tube snapped during a ride, sending me to the ditch. Fork replaced under warranty, but trust in the quality of these bikes dialed to zero. Will be replacing it with a BF Tikit or Brompton very soon. Very unfortunately, 20″-wheel Bike Fridays don’t fold well enough to carry them. Perhaps Pocket Rocket has the “best” fold of them, but even then you can get easily dirty from the wheels or drive train when you carry it. So that leaves only the 16″-wheel bikes…

      • Wow, that’s an impressive list of failures. Rim tape, that’s annoying, but the fork failure is very troubling. As far as keeping clean while hauling around a folding bicycle, how did you manage when using the Dahon? Unlike the tikit or the Brompton, the Dahon exposes the chain to the outside when folded. Did you bag the bike? If so, couldn’t you do the same thing with a 20-inch-wheeled bike?

        The 20-inch Bike Fridays started out as “packable” bikes, not so much folding bicycles. One outcome of that strategy was that Bike Friday didn’t seen any need to retain the handlebars to the frame in the folded position (except by the brake and derailleur cables). (The Bike Friday tikit, on the other hand, was envisioned as a true folder from the start.) However, the company introduced a folding stem as an option on several of the 20-inchers in 2010, eliminating the issue of loose handlebars in a quick-carry situation. If you haven’t seen the Kalloy stem, look it up on YouTube: you’ll find it if you Google “Bike Friday folding stem.”

        I like my tikit for the ride and the standard replacement parts; I liked the Brompton I test rode at Calhoun Cycle in Minneapolis for its folded size. I sat significantly more upright on the Brompton, which isn’t an issue on short urban rides, but not my first choice for windy days out on the prairie. (I’d still like to get a Brompton someday–it’s a true British success story in terms of business, marketing, manufacturing process and, remarkably enough, its continuing status as champion of the small fold in 16-inch-wheeled bikes.)

        Sounds like you’d be a good customer for a 20-inch-wheeled Bike Friday tikit, a bicycle that unfortunately doesn’t exist. Yet. In any case, if you have the time and inclination, I’d appreciate hearing what bicycle you finally end up with—and how it compares to the Dahon it succeeds.

  2. Micheal Blue says:

    How did I manage (well, still do) to keep my clothes and body clean when handling the folded Dahon? Not very well, truth be told. Well, it can be wheeled along reasonably well; Most of the time I handle it from the non-drive-train side to stay away from the chain. When carrying it up the two flight of stairs to my office, I have to pick it up on the side of the drive train, because it’s the heavier side. In that case I try to keep it away from my body – not a pleasant hauling, but fortunately short one. Acutally, one of the worst sources of sticky dirt is the seat post. Basically every time it’s lowered (to the folded position) and then raised, it acquires dirt that’s impossible to get off the clothes, and tough to get off the skin. I usually carry the bike unfolded up to my 2nd-floor aparment, and if the seat post is not rubbed clean beforehand…you should see how my cycling jacket looks where the seat post rests against the side of the body when I carry the bike (black smudges). (Well, one byproduct of cleaning the seat post is that the cleaning grip and motion is very reminding of a motion used in pleasure-inducing actions; something that Bike Friday owners miss.) BTW, this seat post dirt is one thing that is a minus in my eyes about Brompton (but perhaps Bromptons don’t suffer from this despite the moveable seat post).

    I watched that Youtube video with the folding stem. It was a BF Poket Rocket, if I remember correctly. The folded size was quite large, but the worst thing was that it couldn’t be wheeled along (my interpretation) and that the way the lady picked it up would be impossible with a normally used (read dirty) bike – you’d have dirt all over your hands and clothes.
    I have a carry bag that I bought with the Dahon (but it’s not a Dahon one… perhaps BF). I use it sometimes, but it’s not very quick nor convenient to put the bike in it.

    I like the Tikit a lot, though I like the elegance and look of the tube joints of Brompton. Another dilemma of mine is whether the T-bag + a backpack on the rear rack vs. full-size panniers on the Tikit’s foldable rack. Do you have any experience with the Tikit’s foldable rack? It looks good on paper, but it is quite high and I wonder if it can reliable support full-size panniers. The tall stays have to handle the panniers trying to swing from side to side… Thanks.

    • I never thought about the no-dirt/grease benefit of the tikit’s fold-down seatmast. Interesting.

      I always carry normal bicycles with the drivetrain away from my body. It’s not impossible to come into contact with the chain on a tikit or Brompton, but the fact that the chain ends up in the middle of the folded package makes it a bit more unlikely.

      All the bicycles we’ve discussed have carrying bag options, but some bike bags are a big harder to load/unload than others.

      Both my Dahon Bullhead and the Tern Link P7i I am riding on loan have Biologic FreeDrive Chain Covers, basically a full-length plastic cover that travels around the cogs with the chain. Of course both bicycles also have internally geared rear hubs; the chain cover wouldn’t work with derailleurs.

      I haven’t had any experience with the tikit’s folding rear rack. You might research the archives on Bike Friday’s “Yak” list. The URL is:

      http://mx.bikefriday.com/mailman/listinfo/yak.

      I didn’t see anything about the rear rack on the tikit Wiki, but you may find other information of interest there:

      http://cs.gmu.edu/~sean/stuff/tikit/wiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HomePage

  3. Micheal blue says:

    Thanks for the answers.
    I’ve seen the chain cover on Tern bikes at our LBS. To be honest, they look gimmicky. They probably work very well with a new chain on a clean bike, but after lubing the chain… They must be a pain in the butt to take off and put back on, which will have to be done every time the owner wants to lube the chain. Once you dirty the outside of the cover with oil (after the first lubing most likely), that’s it. The cover will also keep the dirt in, especially in winter. Also, the chain will have a hard time to dry, so unless it’s perfectly lubed, rust will have a riot.
    I’d vote for full chain cover, such as on Dutch bikes…if it could be practically deployed to folding bikes 🙂

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