Dahon Folding Bikes
Dahon was founded in 1982 on a vision of “green” mobility, a form of transportation that not only serves to keep people healthier, but also preserves the environment for the next generation. As a relentless innovator, Dr. Hon toiled in his garage for seven years to create the perfect folding bicycle that would uphold these ideals. After presenting his invention to several established but uninterested companies, Dr. Hon and his brother Henry decided establish their own company from scratch. The two gathered venture funding and established their headquarters in Southern California while Dr. Hon went to Taiwan to build Dahon's first factory. Two years later, in 1984, Dahon folding bicycles were rolling off the assembly line as the most compact folding bicycle on the market at that time. Under the continued leadership of Dr. Hon, now recognized as the father of the modern folding bike, Dahon and its team of 70 engineers continue to set the pace with new technologies and innovations.
Primary production takes place in the company’s main factory in Shenzhen, China. Another facility, near Beijing, produces Dahon bikes for the Chinese market, which continues to grow strongly for the U.S.-based company. Beginning in 2012, all Dahon brand bikes destined for Europe will be made in Bulgaria. In a strategic partnership with Maxcom Ltd., the company is setting up a full-scale production base at one of the most modern facilities on the continent. All of the bikes for the European market will be made at the ISO 9001:2008-certified facility in Plovdiv, which specializes in the manufacturing of bicycles and features state-of-the-art machining technology and modern quality inspection equipment.
Most Dahon bicycles use a patented single hinge frame design, whereby the handlebar folds down and the frame hinge swings to the left, leaving the handlebar inside. Biggest sellers are the models with 16 or 20 inch wheels, but models are available with wheels from 12 inches to 700C. Models are available with derailleur or hub gear shifter, or both or none.
For 2012 Dahon offers 28 models of folding or portable bicycles in wheel sizes ranging from 16-26” with aluminum alloy or steel frames. Most of the 2012 offerings are true folding bicycles with some, like the Tarazed mountain bike, using Dahon "Flat Pak" technology. One of the company's best selling bikes is the Boardwalk D7, an entry-level, steel-frame commuter bike.