The Dahon D7. An interim review after 2 months of commuting.

It’s now more than 2 months that I commute 1 km with the Dahon D7 from home to the train station and on arrival in London another 6 km to work (and return). It’s been easier than I thought: my fellow passengers on those busy commuter trains seem to be ok with me and the folded Dahon. I always make sure to enter the train last, after the initial rush, just to avoid any irate travellers with chain oil on their trousers/skirts. The actual bike ride continues to be a joy, and the bike seems to be taking it well.

Apart from a slight reduction in break power due to a natural decline of the break pads everything is working spiffingly. A change of shirts and a wash on arrival at work reduces any complaints of body odour (I am still not fit enough to arrive at work semi-drenched) and so far the weather has been kind. 

I am sure there will be rain drenched morning where I will be refusing to take the bike, but so far there was no reason not to take the bike in the morning. Even my two favourite local Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant have been kind enough to just accept me wih bike and let me place the folded Dahon behind my seat.

I have gained an considerable amount of shape to certain regions of my physique and the best girlfriend ever has been very complimentary about the overall effects. 

Would I recommend it? Heck yes. Those daily kilometers on the bike don’t only increase my fitness, but they also add a considerable amount of fun to my commute, reduce my carbon foot print, keep my budget healthy and shrink my weight and bloodpressure. 

What’s not to like?

Dahon Speed D7

Behold, my mighty new folding bike.

As I have recently moved to South East England and restarted to work in London, I decided to finally do something for my ever expanding waistline and save some serious money.

A win-win situation? You bet!

So, how was I able to accomplish this amazing feat? I bought a Dahon Speed D7 folding bike. Before making the acquisition, I checked out the numerous cycling forums (of which there are literally thousands), compared prices (from 100 pounds to 2000 pounds) and models (and if you think that nerds could be easily drawn into fisticuffs discussing Windows, OpenBSD and Linux then you should see the level of passion that users of Bromptons, Dahons and Birdies can get themselves into). Have a look at the folding society’s homepage, and you know what I mean.

With other words, it’s not easy being a first time folding bike buyer.

After pondering the issue for 2 months I decided on the Dahon Speed D7. The bike offered the best mixture of price, compactness, weight, quality and accessories. I will not bore you with any meaningless technical specifications that I don’t understand either, but the most interesting bits are:

  • Weight 11.7kg
  • Folded size 33 x 64 x 81 cm
  • 7 Gears

According to the manufacturer it’s the most popular folding bike in the world according to their sales numbers, and who am I to doubt them. So, how is the ride? Well, it’s exhilarating. I haven’t had as much fun going to work since living next to a penguin colony in New Zealand. Due to its tiny wheels (tire size is a meagre 20″ x 1.5″) its very, very easy to manoeuvre, thanks to its seven gears it hums along at a decent speed. With me having to cycle to the train and cycle from the destination station to work, I manage a daily round trip of 13 km. According to my calculations this will set me back 2000 calories a week, which should result in a weightloss of 1 kg in a month. That’s not bad at all, and it’s incredible fun.

And, because I don’t have to take the tube for the last 5 km, I save a cool 6 pounds every day, meaning the bike has already paid for itself after 2 1/2 months.

So, thumbs up for the Dahon Speed D7. If enough of us would ride these babies, London would be a more pleasant, cleaner and healthier place.