Last summer commuting bike maker Dahon showed us teaser images of their newest ultra-compact Curl folding bike. The double folding design based on the original Diblasi concept, was developed to offer a commuter that packed down even smaller than before, but the bike had yet to make it into production. Even though Dahon is the worldwide leader in the production of folding bikes, they’re turning to Kickstarter for the first time to produce the Curl project in a special edition as part of their 35th anniversary…
The idea for the Kickstarter was less about crowdfunding the bike’s development as that has already been sorted out, but rather a way for Dahon to offer a 35th anniversary edition of the new bike at a lower price as a result of the effective bulk preorder. The more direct nature of Kickstarter also means that “in a first for Dahon, anyone in any location around the world can place an order for this exclusive bike.”
Discounts vary, but early bird backers should be able to get 20% off of the retail price through the crowdfunding campaign.
The Curl features a hydroformed aluminum frame that gets oversized, rectangular shaped tubing. The curved main/toptube and split downtube let the rear wheel tuck in tight for a compact flip-fold, while still adding a bit of triangulation in the front end for improved rigidity. A V-shaped coupler out back makes the bike rigid once unfolded.
The complete bike adds in quick release pedals and rollers on the rear rack for easy moving around when folded. An internal 3 speed hub gives improved gearing while keeping it simple externally. The
18″ (looks like it is now a) 16″ wheeled Curl gets a telescoping handlebar post and seatpost to ergonomically fit riders from 150-190cm tall.
While consumers can hop onto the Kickstarter now for this 35th edition, Dahon says that distributors & dealers can place preorders directly as well. The crowdfunding continues through May 6, and assuming that Dahon hits their 250 bike goal, regular production bikes will be available from June 2017 for the typical costs.
The Curl Kickstarter has several funding levels. $1580 gets a Curl + a new hard travel case, packed down to just 63 x 31 x 57cm, making it one of the most compact available.