Dahon Jack: An Inexpensive Folding Commuter Bike

I’ve been testing a folding commuter bike, the Dahon Jack. This is a good quality bike that feels solid when riding. I like the ergonomic grips on the handlebars and the full-size 26 inch wheels. I get a lot of flats, so the bike’s Schwalbe Big Apple tires were a welcome inclusion. Dahon says that these tires, which include Kevlar anti-puncture lining, offer lower rolling resistance than thinner tires.

The Dahon Jack fairly light at 13.6 kg (30 lbs.), and fold down easily to 38 x 69 x 91 cm (14″ x 27″ x 36″).

This bike cost me $450. I’m planning on converting it to an electric bike at some point, using anAmped Bike kit.

Dahon offers some other full-sized commuter bikes like the Cadenza Solo and the Espresso.

Comments

  1. Obiwan says

    First off – I’m a bike commuter. Have been for the last 12 years full time and in fair weather since 1987. But I just don’t see the utility of a folder for commuting (or running errands). I guess if I had to include some form of heavy rail (e.g. Chicago’s Metra) in my commute, I might find it handy. But where ever I’ve lived, you could roll onto the subway and the busses had racks. I can’t see getting a 30 lb. bike plus commuting bags onto a bus in Seattle, even if the racks are full.

    What do you like about the folding aspect?

    • diana says

      well, we like it but unlike where you live the bus driver wouldnt even open the doors for you in london if you had a bike. sometimes they won’t let two buggies in to the bus! : )

  2. Johnk says

    This is a better looking folding bike than most. As a daily bike commuter (on a non-folding bike), I’m still unclear as to the appeal of bike commuting. Is it mainly for apartment dwellers? I just lock mine up outside and have never come across a situation where folding it up would be required. Thanks.

    • diana says

      if yu leave your bike locked outside in london for more that 3 hours, you are likley to come back to cut chaines laying around and .. no bike!

  3. cephoe says

    Obiwan and Johnk,

    In the DC area, you can only take folding bikes on the metro and light rail.

    And yes, I think many people find folding bike useful because they are also easy to stow in offices, apartments, cars, planes, etc.

    Justin

    Justin

  4. Tanya says

    Justin~
    Thanks for your thoughts on the Dahon your riding. I want to further defend folding bikes – they are great! My girlfriend and I live in the San Fran Bay area and during commuting hours they only allow folding bikes on the BART train. I ride an Espresso and she has a Speed. Although they can be a bit bulky for carrying a greater distance than up and down the train stairs – they make our commutes much faster and are perfect for our small 1bedroom apartment.

  5. Crosius says

    My folder fits under my (cubicle) desk at work which is good, because the building has no facilities for locking up bikes.

    Until recently, my apartment also had no bike-specific storage either.

    Folders are great when there won’t be a bike rack at your destination.

  6. xander says

    I used to commute almost every day on a dahon speed d7. To be honest I didn’t fold it up all that much, but I absolutely loved how responsive it handled in traffic. It was by far the best bike for dealing with pedestrians and traffic. It was terrifically mobile (especially at low speeds) and accelerated real quick. I recently bought a carbon racing bike foe fitness that I’m never riding. I regret getting rid of the folder.

  7. chad says

    i like folders because i drive a semi truck for a living and i just fold the bike and put it in the seet next to me i love it

  8. Todd Walker says

    I’m looking to sell two of my foldies. I have a Dahon Jack and a red Curve. I just need to get rid of some bikes

  9. says

    Folders are great if you live in an area like NYC where bike stealing is an Olympic sport. The thieves there are crafty, getting past even the most massive locks by freezing them with liquid nitrogen so they can be shattered with a hammer. I also like how keeping the bike inside makes the components and seat last longer since they are not in the punishing weather.

    Also, if you have a car of questionable reliability it is a great backup to have in your trunk.

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