Over the last twenty-five years, the engineers behind Dahon folding bikes have perfected their design, making their bikes some of the most popular folding bicycles in the world. With over thirty bikes to choose from, and new models coming out every year, it's no surprise that Dahon utilizes different types of hinges, frames, and locking mechanisms for each model. Many of their unique designs are patented, and upon first glance it can be hard to discern what each trademarked hinge actually does.
To make life easier for the average folding bike rider, we've set to work breaking down all of these unique Dahon Technologies in an ongoing article series. After reading these, you'll be an expert in the mechanics of a Dahon folding bicycle.
The most important aspect of a folding bicycle is the folding hinge. Without a strong hinge, the bike will collapse under pressure. In a place like New York City, the rough streets and potholes mean there is a lot of extra stress on this part of the bike, so we pick our folding bikes with extra attention on the hinges.
The best hinge manufactured by Dahon was released in 2007 and is referred to as the LockJaw hinge. Used on some of their strongest frames, this bolt is barely visible, protruding through the inside of the aluminum frame for the strongest hold out of all the Dahon folding bikes. It's also the least noticeable out of all folding hinges, so it barely looks like you're riding a folding bike!
The LockJaw hinge can only be opened using a 6 mm allen wrench. Give it a half turn to open it, and a half turn to close it. This tool is included with the purchase of every bike with this hinge, and on some of the newer models like the Dahon Dash P18 Folding bike, you can store the tool inside the handlebar grip. Sweet!