A Co-motion tandem passes my Dahon Bullhead on the Katy Trail between Page Bridge and Weldon Spring on Saturday.
I added a Blackburn rack to the Bullhead. Yesterday, I was carrying a small pair of Eclipse panniers around Forest Park in St. Louis. The Bullhead’s chainstays were long enough to keep the bags away from my heels. At least they were once I realized the bags were left- and right-handed.
The Bullhead is a mini velo: a small-wheeled bicycle with a more-or-less traditional double-diamond frame. Once you give a half turn to two 6mm bolts, the frame folds in half, and the forks are connected to the rear stays by magnets. Rotate and lower the handlebars using a 5mm Allen wrench, and you’re done.
With Schwalbe Big Apple tires and a Shimano Nexus hub, it’s a delight to ride. And the adjustable stem lets me get the handlebars to a comfortable height, which means I’m as comfortable on this bike as any other.
But is the Bullhead an outstanding folding bicycle? Not really. When folded, the bike takes up less space than a full-size machine, but compared to monotube folders, it still exerts a sizeable presence. You also have to dig out the Allen wrenches to fold it; most other folders ask only that you flip a couple of levers.
So it takes more time to fold; it’s a bit of an awkward package when folded; and I certainly wouldn’t want to fold it two or three times a day, but if it fits into a car that doesn’t have space for a full-size bike, and you want a nice-riding bike when you get to your destination, it’s an interesting choice.
Finally, if you enjoy the rarified winds of exclusivity, the Dahon Bullhead should definitely be on your consideration list: it’s no longer made.
But it’s still fun to ride. One of these years, I might even convert it to drop bars.