Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dahon Jack Review


Now for something a little different... a review of the Dahon Jack.

This is my third Dahon folder. My first was a Curve, the second a Mu, and now the Jack.

The reason I switched from the Curve to the Mu was that the Curve with it 16" wheels and 3 speed hub simply wasn't fast enough! The Mu was slightly lighter, had the same fold time, but with the 20" wheels and the 8 speeds it was faster and nicer to ride. Also the Mu had better equipment: better brakes, nicer saddle, comfyier grips. Same uber fast fold time.

But, at about 100Kg I am at the weight limit of the Mu, and the combination of this, the less than 100% robust steering and rather lumpy London roads meant that I was not very confident in the longevity of the Mu. Also I found the adjustment mechanism for the folder steering very hard to work correctly.

Looking around for another bike that was still super fast to fold, but didn't have the weaknesses of the Mu, first I looked at the Dahon Cadenza. Great looking bike, excellent equipment, but, you need a tool to be able to fold and unfold. As I need to take the bike on trains and the Tube, this was a show stopper. If I went back to hardly ever needing to travel with a bike, or, I wanted a bike to, say, take on holiday, the Cadenza would be ideal.

So I settled on the Jack. Its robust, acceptable light, has 7 gears and it is generally competent.

Likes:
  • as rigid as a regular bike
  • the stand under the bottom bracket makes parking it at work or on the train easy
  • easy to ride


Dislikes:
  • the equipment is a bit cheap - I was prepared to spend more on better equipment
  • the gearing is a little short for my taste - I am going to investigate getting a larger chainwheel
  • no mudguards - I have some on order
but these are fairly minor criticisms.

1 comment:

J Singer said...

I thought I would add this comment for the benefit of anyone looking at buying a Jack.

It is a good bike, when it is working. Sadly my frame broke in under a year. It cracked on the seat post just above the weld for the lower crossbar, and apparently this is quite a common problem. I am not a big guy either (70KG or 154lbs) and the bike was only ridden on tarmac and cycle paths.

I can accept the odd manufacturing fault but sadly the customer service from Dahon was terrible. It took over 3 months to get the replacement frame and they still tried to invoice the retailer for it !