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Central Park and the Dahon Vector X10

It's April in New York and I can finally say with confidencethat it looks like it won't snow again. I remember that 70-degree week we had at the beginning of March, and how Icleaned off my bike and rode around in a T-shirt, oblivious tothe weeks of snow flurries that would follow. Well it's overnow. I'm declaring Summer 2011 today, and five months ofbeautiful bike riding weather to follow.

So today I left my gloves at home and decided to do my firstloop of Central Park for the year. My bike of choice? The Dahon Vector X10 folding bike. I was a big fanof the Dahon Mu SL, their super light folding bike, and Irecently had the chance to ride the Vector X20 and the Vector X27h, albeit in not-so-great ridingconditions. It was time to put this bike to the test withoutworrying about ice or rock salt.

Riding a Super Fast Folding Bike

The Vector X10 weighs about 20 lbs. Comparedto the standard commuter bike, the Dahon Mu P8, this is five poundslighter! The tires are Schwalbe Durano slicks, so it canreally fly when it builds up speed. I was a little unsureabout the handling and traction on the way to Central Parkthough. After maneuvering around a few taxis and ridingthrough a virtual construction site, my doubts were laid torest. The Vector X10 could definitely be acommuter bike.

Unlike the other Vector foldingbikes, the X10 doesn't have gear overkill. There are 10speeds on a SRAM double shifter. Click one to shift up, theother to shift down. Riding around the loop in Central Park, Ifound myself using 8 out of the 10 gears. On the Vector X20and X27h, I felt about half of the gears were unnecessary. Notso on this bike. For New York City, the Vector X10 is ideal.

The Vector X10 Can Climb Hills

One of the most frequent questions I get asked here at theshop is, "Can it handle the hill in Central Park?" Well forthe Dahon Vector X10, that answer is a resounding YES! In 3rdor 4th gear, I powered up that stretch without even breaking asweat. For kicks, I even shifted down to first and second, butthose gears were not even necessary unless I planned to takethe bike up a mountain.

Going downhill, the ninth and tenth gears were awesome. I sawa few roadies training in front of me, so I got up to speedand followed them for a while in the top gear. The X10 canreally hold its own among full-size road bikes.

All in all, the Vector X10 is probably the most practical NewYork City folding bike out of the whole Vector line. Itdoesn't go overboard on the components like the X20 and theX27h, but is much lighter and faster than the MuP8. It has thesame folding dimensions as most other 20" Dahon bikes, andbecause the handlebars sit on the outside of the fold,actually takes less time to break down.

The Vector X10 folding bike is one of ourfeatured bikes here at NYCeWheels, so come in and check itout!

Buy the Dahon Vector X10 Folding Bike