Although Dahon has designed double triangle folding bikes in the past, they don’t have any in their current lineup. That will change with the introduction of their new Dahon Clinch folder for the 2015 model year.
The rendering provided by Dahon is a little bit funky — I can’t figure out what’s supposed to happen at the bottom bracket, and the rear brake is missing — but Dahon is improved the appearance over their previous double triangle designs.
Dahon’s standard design (and copied by most Asian manufactured knock-offs) combines the downtube and top tube into a single horizontal tube connecting the front fork with the seat post. This single tube folds down the middle. It’s a simple design that allows for fairly quick and easy folding, but this frame and hinge design reduces lateral rigidity.
As with the Clinch’s double-triangle forerunners such as the Dash P18, Dahon’s LockJaw hinge gives folding flexibility, a rigid frame and a stiffer steering system. I don’t know if the Clinch will require it, but so far using the LockJaw does require the use of a hex key to lock and unlock the hinge.
This bike is clearly meant for those who like to ride fast on their folders. Dahon hasn’t published weight, but they spec 10 speed SRAM Red rear derailleur and carbon fiber 451 (20 inch) wheels for this bike. I think the V brake bosses kind of ruin the sleekness of this design, but that’s just me.
The Clinch will be shown at the Taipei Cycle Show coming up March 5-8, 2014. Dahon will also show their other new folding bikes:
- The Curl is an 18 inch folder designed to fold smaller for stowing in tiny spaces.
- The Qix, a 20 inch folder designed for super quick folding so you can run from bike to train in a jiffy. This bike has caliper brakes!
- Ciao Electric combines a low step-through folding frame with a TransX electric assist battery, motor and control system. I don’t know the weight on this bike, but Dahon’s existing electric assist folders are pretty close to 50 lbs. I’m trying to picture the use case for this.