Since joining the NYCeWheels team, I have slowly worked my way through our diverse array of folding bikes, riding each for anywhere from 20 minutes through the park to 20 miles through industrial zones in Brooklyn and Queens. I have lugged high-performance folding racers to the top floor of Bed-Sty apartment buildings and hurriedly rolled half-folded Bromptons between the 6 and the L trains at Union Square. Somehow, the last bike I tried in our shop was also one of the most affordable and most popular--the Dahon Mariner D7.
I think the first thing that customers are drawn to in the Mariner is its attractive silver and grey paint job. The colors are subtle to avoid any kind of sparkly glam-rock feel, but unique enough to give this entry level commuter a charming, understated flair. The frame is sleek but practical, with Dahon's trademark adjustable stem allowing the Mariner to conform to almost anyone's ideal bike geometry.
I was pleasantly surprised by the bike's performance. The 7 speeds allow for a climbing gear low enough that I never needed to use it while biking around relatively flat New York City, and the Mariner's high gear allowed me to cruise at top speeds quite comfortably. As someone who loves biking as fast as possible, I greatly enjoyed lowering the handlebars to as much of a racing posture as I could, popping the Mariner D7 into its highest gear, and flying down the East River bike path with ease. Just for comparison's sake, I followed this exercise by raising the handlebars to their topmost position and found that this folding bike can also allow for a cruiser-like, upright riding posture.
Of course the cornerstone of the Mariner's design is its corrosion-resistant treatment that makes this folding bike ideal for sailors and coast-dwellers alike. The rust protection certainly is a nice feature for anyone looking to travel with their folding bike a lot, and sets the Mariner apart from other bikes in its price bracket. Add to this the fact that it folds to such a manageable size, such that the Mariner D7 can be stowed easily below deck or in a small closet when not in use, and that it comes fully equipped with a rack and fenders--well it's safe to say that the Dahon Mariner is a value packed folding bike.