Dahon mariner D7 review
Attractive and Affordable Folding Bike
Dahon made the Mariner D7 folding bike as an answer for those recreational boaters who discovered that a bike was a better option than walking when they docked at a spot where safe driving taxis did not exist – or where they would enjoy the option of a leisurely ride exploring the area.
Features and Specs
KM Series, ViseGrip technology
7005 Aluminum alloy: Aluminum
FM32-7 3/8 x 14 G x 28 H x 130 x 170 mm
FM31-F 3/8 x 14 G x 20 H x 74 x 110 mm
Tires & Brakes
Weight & Height
Rider’s height (Suggested)
26 lbs (11.8 kg)
85" - 37"
less than 230 lbs
4’8″ – 6’4″
Pros of Dahon Mariner D7
- One of the lightest folding bikes at 26 lbs
- Folded size is small enough to fit in small space on any boat (11 x 26 x31)
- Made of Brushed Aluminum not painted surface
- Handles well on gravel roads and fields as well as pavement
- Optional carry bag with shoulder strap
- Great for daily use for commuting to and from work in urban areas
- Great for tourist locations where public transportation is iffy at best
- Fits perfectly under a standard desk
- Comfortable ride
- Easy fold and unfold
- Goes up and down moderate inclines easily
- Great to take on international trips that may require air, train and bus travel to reach destination
- Comes ready to ride with very minor assembly
- Good instructions
- Excellent customer support
- Very stable at lower speeds and easy to steer
- Excellent for multi-mode commuters – such as subway, bus, train or plane plus bike
- Comes with rear-package rack for small packages
- Smooth shifting
- Weather and rust resistant
Cons of Dahon Mariner D7
- Not good for cross-country or long distance travel
- Rolls around when collapsed if not secured
- Slightly heavy to carry for long distances for those who are older or not used to carrying this amount of weight
- Tires require topping off air weekly if used daily
- Too slow on the high end for steady cruising speeds
- Handlebars tend to sink when used on a regular basis so expect to adjust periodically
- Not rust-proof so needs to be washed down and towel dried after use near salt water
I had occasion to ride this bike when my best friend and I took a cruise ship weekend break to the Bahamas – she won it in some kind of contest at work, so don’t get excited. I knew she had a folding bike but hadn’t seen it until we got on board.
By this time, I had tested two folding bikes – the ones owned by my neighbors – and was accustomed to a small front wheel with a normal back wheel or two large wheels.
The Dahon Mariner has two small wheels and at first, I thought I must look like a grown-up riding a kid’s bike. Some of our fellow passengers engaged in teasing me about it.
Let me tell you, when I came across them walking back to the ship, looking worn out and sluggish from all the walking, I didn’t hesitate to dish some back.
My friend said that she had to get used to the teasing at work until it suddenly dawned on her that those who were teasing her were riding regular bikes that were locked up in racks on the street.
She decided that she would rather look clownish than have to replace a stolen bike – which some of the teasers had to do.
She keeps her folding bike right beside her desk where it is under her watchful eye.
A Few Things to Know
The seat post and pedals do need to be attached when it arrives. Neither are difficult to do but the pedals appear very nearly identical so be sure to look for the “L” and “R” to make sure they go on the correct side… otherwise they fall off when riding. I only know this because my friend put them on backwards and had to correct them on the side of the street. Not fun.
Be sure to inflate the tires to the recommended PSI or you will get a flat tire when they run over a sharp pebble.
Something that is not mentioned in the instructions or on the box is when putting the front wheel on the fork, the washers have to go on the outside of the fork arm – contrary to normal assumption.
The Dahon Mariner is a great bike to take on trains and planes but if you are using Amtrak, find out in advance which trains will let you carry your bike on board because not all do. Also, if you are planning to take your bike on a flight, make sure you have the carry bag or it will be sent to the holding pen at the airport.
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