Five minutes with: folding bike brand Dahon

Having celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022, Dahon aims to increase its focus on e-folding bikes for 2023. BikeBiz hears from company founder Dr David Hon

This piece first appeared in the February edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here

Can you give us a little background on Dahon?
Dahon was born in the 1970s from my true passion for green mobility. As an early advocate in the fight against fossil fuels, I wanted to make folding bikes that are fun, compact and easy to use, with great performance.

Since launching in 1982, we’ve enhanced the lifestyles of all kinds of riders around the world. Today, the large demand for our bikes is facilitated by production factories in Romania, European-free-trade-zones, and China, 40+ regional distribution centres, and dealers who do an invaluable job in representing us.

After 40 years in the business, we remain at the forefront of innovation for our customers and the trade; we’re all in this together to help make the world a better place through encouraging better bicycle travel.

To date, Dahon has created more than 500 technical patents that are used widely in producing folding bikes worldwide, with nearly 10 million bikes out there including some kind of
patented Dahon technology.

What area of the market do you target?
We serve customers worldwide that need bicycles for commuting, multi-modal travel, urban rides, or for long leisurely trips outdoors. Our unique bikes match preferences from a wide spectrum of rider needs.

They’re equipped with wheels ranging from 14”- 27.5”, single all the way up to 11 speeds, and different folding capabilities for storage and transportation. Some come with our Deltec Cable, Disk Brakes, LockJaw hinge, or carbon components that all gift their own special powers for users.

Our rides are all different, but they all come with our globally renowned bike tech that gives users the convenience to get from A to B anywhere at anytime. For many years we’ve offered cutting edge e-bikes to help cyclists ride further, speedier and be more equipped to tackle hills. With their many benefits, e-bikes can persuade more users to reduce their car consumption, so this is an important sector for us.

What makes your products unique?
For 40 years we’ve been creating well-made products that deliver years of enjoyable value.
We feel that foldable bicycles can, and should, deliver riding performance as good as, or better than, a traditional bike.

We continuously strive to produce the best folding bicycles money can buy, that are super easy to use, with great speed, strength, compactibility, and portability, to uniquely suit as many people as possible.

In recent years we launched the HIT, a model that’s built to be inclusive of a broad budget and body type. We slashed our margins to bring ultra low pricing, and the bike includes our patented Deltec cable that ups its maximum rider weight to 300 lbs. Our patented tech features across our blockbuster line-up, including our newest e-bike CURL Ei4, which boasts 11 special components for users to enjoy.

Retailers can reap the benefits of being part of the Dahon family with the help of our supportive distribution network, as well as boosting their marketing efforts with all the tools to spread the word about Dahon to their audiences.

We are a household brand that’s been running for decades, our products speak for themselves and are famous throughout the world; retailers’ offerings will be boosted and diversified by having us on their books.

What feedback have you received?
Over the years we’ve received great praise, from winning Fortune’s Product of the Year, and awards at important events in the cycling calendar such as Eurobike and Taipei Cycle. Most recently at China Cycle, CURL Ei4 and our internal disc brake won Creative Design and Gold awards.

One of our top-sellers, Mariner D8, has wowed cycling and non-cycling press, featuring in best folding bikes lists from Rolling Stone, to the New York Times, Cycling Weekly, and Gear Patrol. It’s truly great to have received so much recognition for our team’s hard work.

Since the launch of our Sharing 360 strategy in 2019, we’ve supported numerous companies with the licensing of our winning technology and branding formula. It has generated excellent results, with many leading figures in the trade showing great support.

And most recently, we returned to Eurobike in our 40th anniversary year, where we showcased our latest electric and non-electric folders for our industry peers and cycling enthusiasts to meet and greet. It was also a strong platform for us to get in-person feedback and discuss with companies about how Sharing 360 can can aid their business growth.

What are your plans for 2023 and beyond?
We will keep bringing out new innovations and developing our existing products, we will continue to work hard in giving the industry and consumers the very best bike technology we can offer.

After the recent, successful launches of our electric drives Unio E20 and CURL Ei4, we will continue to focus the spotlight on our e-folders. Next in the pipeline will be a folding electric cargo bike. Another first for Dahon, and another example of us expanding our catalogue for more riders.

With our freshest line-up we’ll be attending Taipei Cycle, Eurobike, and the E-Bike Challenge event in the Netherlands. We look forward to meeting the new and familiar faces of riders, retailers, resellers and distributors. For any retailers wishing to stock our brand please get in touch with our team.

In other news...

What is PR and how can it help your business?

By Kate Allan, Compete PR This piece first appeared in the September edition of BikeBiz …