Dahon bicycles from America, needs no introduction in the world of folding bicycles. They are by far the biggest folding bicycle company in the world, and are now keen on capturing the burgeoning Indian market. The product that we reviewed was the entry level Dahon SUV D6 2016. We took it through the streets of Chennai to give you a glimpse of this unique specialty bicycle.
Let's face it, folding bicycles are not going to exactly get heads turning for it's aesthetic appeal, but it will draw attention for it's quirky and unique design. The long seat post and handlebar extension leaves a small frame to work on. The colour scheme was a nice blue with red and white decals. Overall the fit and finish was good for a folding bicycle. The foldable design is quite cool, once you have removed the hinges to get it into a compact block.
The gearing on the Dahon SUV D6 is entry level and is best used only for relaxed commuting. The Shimano rear derailleur shifted well while moving up on the gears, but it had the tendency to skip gears on the way down. The shifters used on this bicycle was a big let down for us as the archaic Shimano Index shifters had both the up and down shift levers positioned above the handlebar. Almost all bicycles have one lever above and one below. The shifting on the Dahon SUV D6 is a little tedious and uncomfortable, and it may take a while getting used to.
The wheel size of the Dahon SUV D6 is 20, and it comes with a broad, hybrid tire that is purpose built for city riding. The tire design is more towards assisting agile, city riding and comes with a flat tread design. The tires are fitted on to 20'Aluminum rims that are strong, and are capable of taking on a full sized adult, on bad roads that common on urban landscapes. ¾The compact front and rear hub have a smooth and consistent roll that aides the ride experience.
The SUV D6 is comfortable enough for basic city commuting. The steel frame and the hinges at the center, does result in a bouncy ride that is evident once you start riding. You do get a bit of the vibrations from potholes, inspite of the wide and soft saddle that is employed on this bicycle. The roll on the Dahon SUV D6 and its wheel set were very impressive. It translated pedal power to forward motion, quite smoothly and quickly.
The Dahon SUV D6 (2016) priced at Rs.23,200 is a good start for anyone who is getting into the world of folding bicycles. It comes with a well built, sturdy frame that has been engineered by the best in the folding business. So to sum up, what you do get as a package is a functional, convenient folding bicycle that could be your answer to tackling your last mile connectivity issues in your city. The folding option means that is can be used to transit to and from metros, thrown in the boot of your car to ride wherever you want, and most of all it does not require large storage space in your urban apartment.