The Dahon Smooth Hound folding bike may just take the cake for the classiest looking Dahon folding bike yet. The Dahon Smooth Hound is built around the Midtown Mini folding bike frame style and fits in that space between compact folding bikes and full sized folding bikes. There are a few things about this folding bike that really catch my eye and a few things I didn't expect from Dahon.
Lets talk about this folding bike frame first. Midtown Mini folding bikes are a new line of larger sized folding bikes from Dahon which are a sort of fusion between the traditional diamond frame bicycle and the smaller single hinge Dahon 20" wheel folding bicycle. Because the frame has two frame tubes it is more rigid that the mono tube design of smaller Dahon folding bikes. It also incorporates Dahon's patented lock jaw hinges.
These lock jaw hinges provide a stronger connection and can withstand much more twisting and flexing than already excellent traditional Dahon hinge. This is one of the aspects of the Dahon Smooth Hound and other Midtown Mini folding bikes that I think will cause it to be very popular.
Another great thing about the Dahon Smooth Hound is that it retains the classic 20" wheels Dahon folding bikes are known for. These smaller wheels have faster acceleration and decreased aerodynamic drag, making for a very quick and responsive ride. Even though the Smooth Hound folding bike has small wheels it feels more like a full sized bike due to its higher gearing and long wheelbase.
I'm 6' 2" tall. So you know that when I say this bike will be more comfortable for taller riders I know what I'm talking about. The Smooth Hound folding bike is larger than it's single frame tube cousins and coupled with the added stiffness and weight capacity this folding bike is much better suited to taller and heavier riders. It's great that Dahon has a folding bike for this purpose that doesn't compromise compactness and weight for strength. But the Smooth Hound folding bike has another appeal which many folding bikes generally lack. It looks amazing!
This is probably the number one thing I think about when I consider the Smooth Hound folding bike. Aside from it's excellent frame and great folding design, aside from it's strong hinges and great gearing, the Smooth Hound folding bike has the look of sophistication that I really go for in a bicycle. This is no clunker or poorly finished generic folding bike, it has class and style.
The Smooth Hound's metallic blue and cream paint job remind me of board walks, beaches, river side greenways, and all other amazing places to ride a folding bike. It's very cool mustache handlebars that remind me of riding through the East Village on a Sunday afternoon, stopping to get a latte, and then heading to Washington Square park to take in the scene. And topping all of this off is a gorgeous Brooks saddle.
The Brooks B17 Special on the Smooth Hound folding bike really what caps off the style of this amazing bicycle. It has been said that the saddle sums up the bicycle and in the case of the Smooth Hound folding bike this is definitely true. No other saddle would be appropriate for such a beautiful folding bike and I am glad Dahon went with Brooks on this one.
If you want a beautiful folding bike that combines style and function you should check out the Smooth Hound folding bike.