Introducing Dahon Midtown Mini Folding Bikes
Dahon has added a new style of folding bike to their line up. These Midtown Mini folding bikes have the classic 20" wheels but with a more traditional diamond shaped (Dahon calls it dual arch) frame. This frame, which is made of standard shaped tubing rather than the oval cross section tubing Dahon folding bikes are know for, also incorporates the LockJaw hinges found on full-sized Dahon folding bikes. This dual arch frame design in tandem with the stronger lock-jaw hinges makes Midtown Mini folding bikes much stronger than their single tube cousins.
Midtown Mini folding bikes are built to tough enough to handle extra weight and heavy riding while at the same time folding smaller than larger Dahons with 26" and 24" wheels. But enough about this new style of Dahon folding bikes, let's talk about the folding bikes themselves!
The Smooth Hound Folding Bike
The Dahon Smooth Hound folding bike is one class act. Designed with a classic bicycle look in mind it gives off an air of sophistication and relaxation. This folding bike has a couple of features that stick out:
- The Dahon Smooth Hound has 16 gears in a wide enough range to satisfy anyone who isn't racing. For those who want specific numbers: the range is from 30 to 97 gear inches. If that means nothing to you, don't worry. This is pretty much what you would expect from a regular hybrid bicycle. it's plenty to get around town and enough for longer rides too. Road bikers will appreciate having those in-between gears.
- A Brooks leather saddle and mustache handlebars come standard on the Dahon Smooth Hound. With a name like Smooth Hound this had better be a good looking folding bike, and it is. Aside from the supple leather and brass touch of the Brooks B17 saddle the classic bike frame style of the midtown mini frame really adds to the overall sophistication of this folding bike.
- Even though it's larger it's still lightweight! How does the Smooth Hound folding bike manage to be lighter than the MuP8 yet with more gearing and fenders? It all comes down to that frame design. The P8 and Smooth Hound are actually made of the same quality aluminum but because the Smooth Hound has a neater hinge design and dual arch frame it uses less material without sacrificing strength and rigidity.
The Bull Head Folding Bike
Another great folding commuter bike from Dahon. The Bull Head folding bike is the other end of the Midtown Mini folding bike series. Its "shark skin" matte black finish is the perfect color for a folding commuter bicycle meant to be used hard and treated roughly. The Bull Head has been stripped to an essentially practical and unbreakable design similar to the Smooth Hound except for a few key differences:
- The Bull Head folding bike has a 7 speed Shimano Nexus internal hub. That means instead of the gears being exposed to the wear and tear of daily riding (especially in the city) they are all contained within the gear box. That means they will never be knocked out of alignment or get all dirtied up with dirt and dust from the street. A perfect setup for anyone who needs a bomb-proof folding bike for daily commuting. The gear range is a bit lower than the Smooth Hound and with a less fine-grain selection of gears in between.
- Schwalbe Big Apple tires cushion the ride of the Bull Head folding bike. These tough and puncture resistant tires are a bit more "balloony" than the Marathon Racers on the Smooth Hound which provides some low level suspension to smooth out pot holes and cracks in the street while at the same time giving you better grip on loose terrain like gravel and dirt.
- The Bull Head folding bike has a sturdy straight handle bar. The mountain bike style handlebar of the the Bull Head means you'll always have a firm grip on your folding bike. It affords you a bit more of an upright ride than the Smooth Hound's mustache bar. The adjustable stem can also be raised to give this folding commuter bike a more upright ride.
Unfortunately the Bull Head doesn't come with a Brooks leather saddle, but I think a Brooks B17 in black would complement this folding commuter bike nicely. Midtown Mini folding bikes are sure to be showing up more and more in the coming months as people catch on to the benefits of such great folding bike design. Be sure to check out the Dahon Smooth Hound folding bike and Dahon Bull Head folding bike in more detail. More on these great new folding bikes to come.