Time flies on the Flyby

Following up on our Flyby podcast, Novara got us their new Dahon-engineered folding bike for a long-term test and I rode it on Alki last night.


I think it’s the combination of the swooping frame, graphics, and little wheels that gets the attention – for me it was the Nexus 8-speed shifting and the ability to actually climb hills on it. Shot the photo with my iPhone.


Sweet! Can’t wait to see the full report. I get a fair bit of attention on my Dahon, but it’s mostly of the “who’s that nut?” variety. I have been seeing more and more folders on the road though, just passed a guy yesterday who does year round commuting on his Dahon Speed.

Looks like they’re using the same seatpost/handlebar post/hinge latch setup I’ve got on my bike. Interesting to see how the other refinements they’ve made change the ride.

this is made by dahon for Novara, no?

I rode it last night.  The thing is sweet.  I really liked the Nexus hub and it was really comfortable for getting around town - even climbing.  I’m not sure I’d do an hour ride on it, but for some easy mobility on the road it seems perfect.

There’s a [definite dork factor](http://bikehugger.com/2007/04/folding_bike_freestyle.htm), but that’s part of it. I heard that Bicycling Magazine just reviewed a Dahon, but couldn’t find it online. This bike is a noticeable upgrade from the Breezer I took to Beijing.


Yes it’s engineered by Dahon for Novara. Novara’s touches include the paint, graphics, Nexus, and it comes with the tote bag. It’s similar to the Mu line with Nexus 8.

To Andrew’s point and Nexus 8, it’s very rideable—you can climb and “motor” with the 8 gear spread. Like riding the [Bettie](/tag/bettie), I just learned to slow down and not be in a hurry and the bike will take you most anywhere.

For a club ride, I’ll bring out the race bike sure, but I’ve ridden all over [lots of places](/tag/beijing/) (with more into the Fall) on a folding bike.

One thing I do struggle with is the foot positioning. The Dahon geometry forces your foot flat on the pedal, v, pedaling with the ball of your foot like you’d do with road shoes. I’ll adjust the seat height several times to get it right and not have achy knees.

I’m not well-versed in the history of Nexus or Nexus v. others, but I do know it works exceptionally well - it’s that Shimano blend of light-action + solid shifting (yes, do recall, when that mix wasn’t right, back in the day).  I mean, all this engineering work on air-drive, an electronic shifting, Nuvinci, I’d go for an internal racing hub, if they’d make it.

Dammit, you made me drool all over my keyboard!

I’ll be first in line at my local REI, come January.  This solves my dilemma of not wanting to leave my bike at the light rail station.  Thanks for the por-…..I mean pictures.


That’s what it’s for, well besides drooling, and it comes with the tote bag to put it in after you fold it. Folding takes about 42 seconds.

Thanks JLJ.

Very cool video from REI. I think that was shot in Chicago.

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