Dahon has been talking up their new smallest ever folder – the 18″ wheeled Curl – for quite some time, but announced recently that is has gone into production and will be being test marketed this spring and summer. Dahon openly says that the new Curl starts off based on some of the best flip-folders on the market – specifically the designs of Diblasi and Brompton (all legally they say) – but evolves those designs for what they think is the best riding and most compact folding bike the industry has seen.
Also earlier this year Dahon introduced a new style of vertically folding bike that they call a Jiffold folder that aims to making packing down one of their bikes even easier and faster for regular commuters. Now they’ve taken that design from some of their tiniest-wheeled bikes and brought it up to 20″ wheels for a fast rolling city bike with the Qix D8 and its 5-second fold-down. Get a closer look at both below the fold…
Dahon Curl 18″
As Dahon tells it, Diblasi was the first to introduce the rear wheel “flip-fold” bike back in the 1970s, and really forms the basis for their new Curl. By adding on a series of technical innovations, they say the new bike improves on the classic folding designs and certainly results in a smaller package. Like the Brompton the bike splits in the downtube and behind the seat cluster, but the Curl’s curved frame produces a more triangulated middle section improving stiffness and folding smaller.
Behind the seat cluster a new V-coupling provides a more reliable and secure joint that eliminates any pedal-induced bobbing effect from play in this connection. Dahon’s new square-to-round tapered ‘handlepost’ (extended steerer+stem) combined with an oversized headtube and massive fork crown greatly improve front-end stiffness. Lastly, a new folding pedal gets a new and improved design that is stronger, longer lasting and actually folds flatter.
Dahon Qix D8
Dahon wanted to build a bike that was as reliable as their other folders, but just as easy to operate whether you were wearing a business suit or jeans and a t-shirt. To do that, their new vertical folding mechanism gets rid of any need to lift the bike. To make it work, just flip a couple of latches, and the bike folds right up with the handlebar neatly tucked off to the side.
The 11.9kg/26.2lb bike uses a flush Vertical Hinge in the alloy Qix frame, paired with an alloy fork, and adds in a neatly placed inline skate wheel on the bike’s integrated rack to make it a breeze to wheel around on the train or into your office. For $1000 the Qix D8 comes built with a 8 speed SRAM X5 rear derailleur and grip shift drivetrain, 20/28 spoke 20” aluminum wheels, and folds down to 81cm x 31cm x 82cm.