A young child no older than 10 pointed and said “It’s broken” while looking at my Dahon d7 Mariner, fully folded. While folding bikes may be new to some, those of us itching for a quality ride but lacking the space necessary for storage (aka apartment dwellers) are in for a treat. Folding bikes offer the convenience of a full size bike to get you around town while maintaining chic style suitable for both men and women. Before purchasing a folding bike, I was weary of the quality of a folding bike and how it would ride in relation to a full size bike.
I took a Dahon d7 Mariner out for a spin at a local bike shop. The bike’s wheels are 20″, but although smaller than the standard full size mountain bike I could barely tell the difference. The Dahon website lists specs of the d7 Mariner,
Weight: 11.8 kg (26 lb)
Folding Time: 15 sec
Folding Size: 29 x 80 x 66 cm (11.3″ x 31.2″ x 25.7″)
The seat and handlebars are fully adjustable adding to the convenience and comfort during the ride. The 7 speed Dahon I tried is called the “Mariner”, specifically because of it’s rust resistant chain and frame. Dahon claims it’s not rustproof but the Mariner is an excellent choice for anyone riding close to the ocean or hitting the occasional raincloud.
After riding for about 5 minutes, I felt the bike would be perfect for my needs. There is no suspension, so this isn’t a bike you’d take on the mountain. For the paved streets however, it’s a perfect match. I can’t comment on the quality of other models Dahon makes or other companies who provide bikes that fold, though I can tell you after two weeks and over 20 miles put on the Mariner, it’s a quality piece of work.
I purchased the Mariner at an authorized retailer for $515. I highly recommend avoiding an online purchase for a couple reasons:
1. An authorized retailer will offer tuneups free of charge. Usually 30, 60, and 90 day periods or as verbally agreed upon.
2 An authorized retailer will put together the bike for free in most cases and install additional accessories such as front and rear lights, a water bottle holder, basket etc.
*At the store, some bike shops offer deals on Yelp! For 10% off. If yours doesn’t, mention the bike shop down the street that does, and if they’ll match the price.
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