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Interbike 2009 – Dahon Midtown Mini, Boost E-Bike and IOS Folding Bicycles

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INTERBIKE 2009Dahon released their sick little Midtown Mini folding bikes, with four models to suit anyone’s commuting needs.  What’s really cool is their normal double-triangle frame design that still folds down into a manageable size.

In the foreground is the Hammerhead, the racy version of the Midtown Mini, complete with twin spoke wheels, Schwalbe Kojak tires, carbon handlebar, Kore seatpost, FSA cranks and SRAM DoubleTap X.9 shifters and rear derailleur.  It’s pretty light for a folding bicycle, we weighed it (pic after the break) along with their new Boost electric folding bike.

Check them all out, and the new IOS decked out with their BioLogic electronics, USB Reecharge charger and iPhone handlebar mount after the break…


The Hammerhead Midtown Mini comes in at 20lbs 15oz.



The Smooth Hound Midtown Mini has a Brooks leather saddle and mustache handlebar, fenders and classy paint job.  An adjustable stem (on all models) helps adjust the fit to a wider range of riders.


The Smooth Hound has an 8-speed cassette with Shimano Ultegra bar end shifters and a Tiagra rear derailleur, FSA crankset and a bunch of Dahon / BioLogic components.  MSRP is $1,099 US and it has a claimed weight of 24 lbs.


The Bull Head has a Shimano Nexus internally geared rear hub (7-speed) and is the heaviest of the bunch at about 28 lbs.  It’s got a cushy (but sporty) saddle and ergonomic grips and rubberized flat pedlas and fenders, making it a good option for the casual commuter. MSRP is $899, making it the least expensive, too.


The Silver Tip is the last of the four Midtown Mini models. MSRP is $999 and you get flat bars with ergo grips and an 18 speed drivetrain.  This is what they look like folded up, and even the pedals fold in for a slim profile.


The Midtown Minis use Dahon’s “Lockjaw” folding mechanism. on the top and down tubes.

dahon-midtown-mini-interbike09-09 dahon-midtown-mini-interbike09-10

You loosen the silver bolt on the bottom of the tube to unlock the grooved teeth, then swivel the frame in half. (click to enlarge the photos for detail).

The Midtown Mini bicycles come in two sizes, 15″ and 17″, and all have aluminum frames.  They were originally part of Dahon’s foreign portfolio, but for 2010, they expanded the line and will be bringing them to the U.S.



The Dahon Boost is their electric pedal assist bicycle.  It retails for $2,500 US and will hit speeds of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) under power.  Because it’s a pedal assist system only (it won’t power the motor unless you’re pedaling), any faster than 15.5 mph and you’ll be doing the extra work.


Not that it really matters since you have a motor on board, but we thought it’d be fun to weigh it.  Poor guy, we had to keep shooting until the glare was off the scale display.  Result?  One tired marketing rep and a 40 lb 15oz weight.


The folding mech on the Boost is much simpler.  Just quick release the hinge lock and fold in half.  Then pray you don’t have to go very far carrying it.  This is one bike where an integrated handle would be, uh, handy so you could pull the folded bicycle along with you rather than carry it.  The battery pack is behind the seat tube, and it’s easily removeable for charging.  There is no regenerative charging when you’re pedaling or coasting. The motor helps drive the cranks (it’s in front of the BB), which in turn drives a 3-speed SRAM iMotion rear hub.


This is one of the coolest integrations we’ve seen: The brake lever mini bell.  Solid.  The black thing with buttons is your speed assist control, which also has the on/off button for the integrated head and tail lights.  Dahon says the battery is good for 30 – 40 miles per charge, and there are three assist levels: Economy, Medium Boost and Full Boost.  It has 20″ wheels with Schwalbe Big Apple tires.  The Boost is expected to ship in Spring 2010.



The Dahon IOS gets a swoopy, hydroformed  frame with larger 24″ wheels, but it folds down as small as a 20″ wheeled bike.  The shiny black model you see here is the XL ($1,599) and is the creme de la creme of Dahon’s folders.  Avid hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano Alfine rear hub and Schwalbe Kojak tires.


The IOS’ chain is covered with what is essentially plastic wire tubing, but giving the pedals a spin, it’s fairly quiet as it rotates with the chain.  Kind of a cool way to avoid a full chainguard while keeping greasy bits away from clothes as you’re carrying it.  Honestly, I can’t imagine it stays all that clean, but a nifty concept nonetheless.


This is what the IOS looks like folded down. Cool how the kickstand still holds it up.  This is the P7 ($1,099) and it ships with racks and Shimano Nexus hub and v-brakes.


Dahon used the IOS to showcase all the new BioLogic electronics.  The gray piece strapped to the steerer tube near the stem is the ReeCharge.  It’s powered by a dynamo front hub and converts the power into useable energy for recharging pretty much anything that’ll charge up through a USB cable.  Also cool, note the headlight built into the stem.

Here’s a closeup of the stem headlamp from their site I found while researching a few bits of info I didn’t get in my notes from the show.  What I also found that no one from Dahon bothered to mention was the integrated seatpost floor pump.  Didn’t someone else think of this already


The new BioLogic iPhone case securely holds your way-too-expensive toy firmly in place, Carlton Reid types to tweet directly from their ride about all the people driving while talking on their mobiles (pronounced “moe-byle”). (kidding, Carlton…good to meet you at the way-too-expensive buffet at TI before Interbike).


Here’s the mount.  It’ll swivel 360º and has a weatherproof membrane to protect the phone from moisture.  Ships in January.

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Eric Mah
14 years ago

Nice reporting of our bikes. I would like to point out though that the Boost does have a nice handle on the rear rack from which you can conveniently pick up the folded bike. This handle is placed right over the center of gravity of the folded bike so you can pick up the bike without straining to keep it from tilting forward or backwards which makes carrying it all that much easier.

Don DiCostanzo
14 years ago

Please consider a review of our 16″ folding electric “Umbrella Bike”. It is $1,100 less than the Dahon and is available now. www,pedegoelecticbikes.com
Thank you for your consideration.

david morgan
david morgan
14 years ago

any comparison of the hammerhead ride quality and frame weight of the 09 (BAB technology) compared to the 10 (hinged) version? I might be able (FINALLY!!!) to get a 09 Hhead from Japan; also, is there going to be a road bike version of the hammerhead? as in SRAM Rival, or Ultegra, or Athena equipped?

13 years ago

I’d rather get a belt on the Ios XL. Does the bike have have the right chain stay length? I’m getting this bike and not having a belt is the only reserve I have.

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