Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike Review
Is This the Ultimate Commuter Bicycle?
The Dahon Speed Uno folding back is a new and upgraded incarnation of the extremely popular Mu Uno folding bike. The reason the Mu Uno was so well received by urban commuters is because of its simple one speed design and lightweight build. The Speed Uno improves upon it by being even smaller, more lightweight, and easier to use.
According to Dahon, the Speed Uno is the lightest bike they’ve ever created, weighing in at 24 pounds. A major feature of the bike is the rear coaster brake, which means you have to pedal backwards to stop the bike. Another major feature is the magnetic latching system which helps keep the bike folded. That makes the bicycle much easier to carry in its folded mode.
Is the Speed Uno right for you? Read on for a detailed review where we cover every aspect of the bicycle and its performance, usability, and feel.
Features and Specs
K series, SuperLite 4130 , forged lattice hinge, patented ViseGrip technology, forged dropouts
Shimano coaster, 1 speed
Dahon Mini, aluminum, sealed
Tires & Brakes
Dahon Rotolo, 20" x 1.75", high-pressure 65 psi
Weight & Height
Rider’s height (Suggested)
24.2 lbs (11 kg)
less than 230 lbs
4’8″ – 6’4″
At 400$, the Speed Uno is reasonably priced for a one speed folding bike. While this is more expensive than traditional bicycles, it’s important to keep in mind that the folding mechanism is quite complex and drives the price up. The Speed Uno is a single speed bicycle with no fixed gear. This means that the bicycle can coast without you having to constantly pedal.
At 24.2 pounds, the bike is very lightweight and you can easily carry it. The folding mechanism is excellent, with a folding time of 10 seconds. That’s a much better folding time than many of the other folding bicycles out there. The bicycle has a weight limit of 230 pounds, and can accommodate riders from the height of 4”8 to 6”4. The frame is a lightweight chromoly frame. Chromoly is a reliable and lightweight steel alloy that’s used in many bicycles and is regarded as an excellent material. The magnetic latching system allows you to carry the bicycle in its folded mode without having to worry about it unfolding while you’re climbing up stairs.
For a full list of features and specifications check out their Amazon page. This bicycle is built with high quality materials and there's been a lot of research and care put into the the product.
What are the Positives of the Dahon Speed Uno?
I tested out the bicycle myself and was very impressed. Here’s why.
- The biggest advantage of the Speed Uno is that it’s an excellent commuter bicycle. The ability to fold the bike allows you to take your bicycle onto the subway or bus very easily. The lightweight structure makes it easy to carry in your hands. If you’re at all interested in using your bike to commute, you should strongly consider the Dahon Speed Uno.
- The bike is 11.7 by 30 by 25 inches when folded, which is pretty small. Since it’s lightweight as well you can easily carry in into your office and keep it by your desk. This is incredibly convenient and definitely helps with peace of mind.
- The bicycle is also a pleasure to ride because it’s so light. Riding the bike almost feels like biking on air because of how incredibly light it is. The bicycle handles potholes well, and is more than capable of handling your typical city pavements and roads.
- The magnetic latching system is also a huge plus, as a major complaint I hear from owners of folding bikes is that they tend to unfold if held the wrong way. This can obviously be frustrating when climbing up a busy flight of stairs during rush hour. The Speed Uno doesn't have this issue and stays completely folded no matter what the situation.
- Another major advantage is the high quality of the materials used. That combined with the fact that it’s a single speed bike makes it very unlikely the bicycle will break down anytime soon. Single speed bikes are known for their reliability and they typically break down far less than multi-speed bicycles.
- Lastly, the bicycle looks great. The “Shadow” color definitely grabs its fair share of attention. It’s a beautiful and sleek machine, and anyone would be proud to be seen riding it.
What are the Drawbacks and Flaws?
The Speed Uno does have a few drawbacks that may be deal breakers for some of us.
- The bicycle is more expensive than your traditional non-folding single speed bicycle. You pay extra for the folding feature. If you’re not a commuter in a busy city, it may make more sense to do without the folding feature and find a cheaper bicycle.
- Since this is a single speed bicycle steep uphills can be challenging. If you’re in a very hilly area and don’t want to develop thunder thighs you may want to consider a different bicycle.
- The rear coaster brakes may be a deal-breaker for some bicyclists. Some people love them, and some people hate them. They’re effective but may take some time to get used to. I personally found that pedaling backwards to stop the bicycle was intuitive and made complete sense.
- People will constantly ask you about the bike since most people haven’t seen a folded bike before. This could be a negative or a positive depending on how you look at it. I personally am not the biggest fan of conversations with strangers so I think it’s a slight bit of a negative. With this bike you’re on the leading edge of biking technology, so people will naturally be interested in finding out more
- Read more : Dahon Mariner D7 Review