Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dahon Boardwalk 6-Speed - An Opportune Purchase

Adding a Dahon Boardwalk to my bicycle quiver.
A folding bicycle has been on my radar for sometime, not because I need one, but because I've long admired their simplicity, lightness, and of course their utility. I'm the last person who could benefit from owning a folder: I fly infrequently, have ample workplace parking, sport bike racks on both our vehicles or otherwise have a specific need for folder, but I've been intrigued by the design. And, I freely admit, I think folding bicycles are cute!

When two multi-speed Dahons were advertised on Craigslist for 75.00 each, I followed up, test rode one of the 6 speeds, impressed with their impeccable condition, despite their 15 year old age, and bought it. My only prerequisites for a folder were multiple gears, 20" wheels, a reputable brand, and inexpensive cost. That the Boardwalk model came with fenders and a rack, a clean drive-train, and came with Dahon canvas bag and documentation, was like cream in my coffee! How could I pass up this opportunity? Interestingly, after talking with the owners, I'd seen their bikes before (scroll to end of post).

Of course, when my husband saw what I'd done, he rolled his eyes!

There are worse habits I countered...and he followed up with wondering if it would fit inside his Miata's trunk...

I test rode the bike on a Queen City Bicycle Club ride, a perfect low key stroll around the city. I'm impressed at the comfortable ride, low enough gearing, and frankly, how well the wheels roll!

What happens next?

Longterm, I'm unsure how this bicycle will fit in my life, though I'm  currently dreaming of taking it on Amtrak for an overnight, or pedal around New York City, or Montreal, etc. Then there's hauling gear, which poses it's own set of challenges, which when I think about it, why not pay the extra baggage fee to bring a normal sized bike?

For now, it's an unforeseen but welcome addition to our varied fleet and takes up little space in our garage. If the novelty wears off, I can easily sell it.

11 comments:

  1. Could not help but smile, folders have always held a fascination here too and perhaps when yours was new I made an impulse purchase of a seven speed and it has often found it's way into the van on our travels from Germany and Denmark in the north to the South of France and even spent a whole week with friends in France just riding the Dahon. My only problem in all that time has been one of the pedals developing a click through wear and I may end up paying more for a really good demountable or folding replacement pair than you paid for your whole bike. A bargain and a keeper, just fold it up and husband will not even know it is still there.

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    1. Coline, so nice to know there are other bikeaholics! I'm happy to know you've found a way to use your folder. I didn't make a mistake - I know that - but the Dahon's future may remain a mystery for a while.

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  2. You are acquiring quite the quiver Annie! Will there be a full zoot carbon fiber racer in you future :-) I kid, I have thought if say a brompton fell in my lap or someone was giving away a Raleigh 20 I would be intrigued but I am trying to downsize, I even turned down 3 bikes from a friend this week! Have fun with your Dahon. I seem to recall Kent of blog fame having one

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    1. Gosh, i get the downsizing bit. I'd liek to down size other parts of my life, but definitely not bicycles! Okay, maybe one: the Miyata.

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  3. I'm with you. You could have worse "vices". I don't smoke, rarely drink more than one beer, don't gamble (not even lottery ticket), and stay away from loose crowds. So having a penchant for bicycles (I agree, folding are darn enticing), is not a bad habit compared to many that could be pursued in this world.

    Having ridden Amtrak many times up an down the NE corridor between Boston, Providence, NYC and DC, I can see that a folding bike would be easier to manage boarding and alighting. Does Amtrak handle the full size bike for the fee, or must you handle it yourself - along with your luggage or backpack?

    Enjoy your purchase and give us some reports after you gain some experiences.

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  4. I, too, have long had a fascination with folding bikes. Maybe one day I'll buy another. I certainly see the value of them; I just haven't found one that's "just right"--and not too expensive!--for me.

    But you certainly got a good buy.

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  5. I have always had a soft spot for Dahon Folders.... Indeed two of us used them when we cycled from Lands End to John O' Groats for no other reason than because we could.... Enjoy your folder it's another source of fun.

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    1. Exactly Trevor, "another source of fun".

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  6. Interestingly I have the itch to get a full sized wheel bike! I have had and been riding my folding Bike Friday for many years and love the bike. But over the past year or so I have been tinkering with the idea of a full size. Been researching only a bit, and now need to get our there and test ride some and make my decision about the right one!

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  7. Sounds like a fascinating addition to your fleet of bicycles (where did "quiver" come from?). Even should you decide it is less useful even than your post suggests, I think you'll be able to sell it for at least what you paid for it. I've often been tempted by the notion of a Brompton; ideal for taking on the bus ride into Aberdeen, Washington. So far, however, the bike rack on the bus has never been too full so there's no advantage over a full-size bike.

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  8. Very nice!!! And sounds like a good price. I think you just bought the "+1" of the "n + 1" bike theory (also applies to sewing machines). I must admit a folder is one I wouldn't mind adding to my stable. Brenda at https://cyclinginthesixthdecade.wordpress.com/ has a Dahon and uses it a lot.

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