It has finally happened. After years of waiting, on November 1st the first well-made (sorry Hobby Bike, you don’t count) convertible 12″ bike will finally be available for purchase. Beating out the elusive KinderBike Morph, the Dahon kids bike will be available at local Dahon dealers across the country. In October, we had a chance to get a sneak peek at the bike at Interbike. Bright and bold, the little Dahon was certainly ready to be seen. Complete with a hand brake, training wheels, air tires and easily removable pedals.
Upon taking a closer look at the Dahon, the quality of the bike was evident, but so was its weight. Weighing 15 lb. as a pedal bike and about 13 lbs. as a balance bike, the Dahon is certainly not a bike for the smallest toddlers. However, with a minimum seat height of 14″ and a maximum of 19.5″, preschoolers who are tall enough to fit the bike will most likely be strong enough to handle 13 lbs. On the other hand, while heavy as a balance bike, at 15 lbs. the Dahon is a fly weight in the world of pedal bikes. We rarely recommend 12″ bikes due to their heavy builds and poor geometry (See Why You Should Never Buy a 12″ Bike), but the Dahon may be an exception. At 15 lbs. as a 12″ pedal bike, the Dahon weights about 5 to 10 lbs. less than the standard cheap 12″ bikes and is about 2 lbs. lighter than the Specialized 12″ Hotrock. While we were not able to see the bike in action, lighter-weight bikes are much easier for kids to handle and more pleasing for kids to ride. Regarding the geometry of the bike, like the Specialized Hotrock, the bottom bracket of the Dahon is also slightly pushed forward which allow for easier pedaling (see Why You Should Never Buy a 12″ Bike for an explanation).
How the Dahon’s bike converts to a balance bike, however, is truly unique. By simply removing the pedals and leaving the chain on the bike, Dahon was able to create a simple, yet effective method for converting the bike. With one allen wrench, the pedals can quickly be removed by a parent in under 5 minutes.
A great buy for parents of a preschooler who are hesitant to buy a balance bike over a pedal bike. Well-made and uniquely designed, Dahon’s kid’s bike will be sure to please parents and kids alike. For toddlers, however, the Dahon is simply too big and heavy and is not recommended.
Where to Purchase
The Dahon Uno is available at Dahon dealers. The bike will retail for $225, will not be available online and must be ordered through a dealer. Not all dealers will have a floor model on hand, so be sure to call ahead before visiting a shop.