Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike Review

Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike Orange 2015
Dahon Speed D7 in Orange

Our Rating

9 Build Quality

9 Design

9 Riding Experience

7 Mobility

9 Value for Money

A well engineered, fast, fun bike to ride whatever the weather. Highly recommended.

Similar to the Dahon Vybe C7A, the Dahon Speed D7 folding bike is sporty, good fun to ride and very responsive, helped in ways by its stiff, hand-welded 4130 ‘chromoly Sonus‘ frame (60% stronger than high tensile steel) and improved gear range (up 37% from previous model).

The Speed D7 also has a bigger ground clearance than most other bikes in its class which gives you a little more confidence on taking sharp corners at speed.

If you’re looking for a folding bike which ‘feels’ like you’re riding a bigger bike then the D7 is your answer.

RRP: $689.99 – view sale price

▼ Read our full review below ▼

Our Speed D7 Review

What’s the best folding bike? The Dahon Speed D7 is currently ranked #1 in our Top 10 Best Folding Bikes.

The Dahon Vybe C7A is perfect for the daily commuter as well as the casual rider. The bike folds up small (30 × 77 × 64 cm (11.8″ × 30.3″ × 25.2″)) and is light enough to carry around (13.3 kg (29.3 lbs)) so can be taken easily on trains, metro’s, cars etc perhaps even air travel. As with most bikes in the Dahon range, the Speed D7 is very well built and feels more solid than most others in its class when riding. For the heavier people out there, you’ll appreciate how sturdy the D7 feels.

You can compare weights and total folding size of all the folding bikes we’ve reviewed and sort them accordingly over on our Best Folding Bikes Table page.

Dahon Roulez tires

Dahon Roulez tires

If you’re on a bit of budget and looking for a cheap, but well-made folding bike that can be cycled up hills with ease then the Dahon Speed D7 is probably your bike. There are cheaper folding bicycles that offer 7 gears but few (if any) are as well built as the Dahon. You’ll not be disappointed with the D7 and thanks to its very comfortable seat, and fast-rolling Dahon Roulez tires (with Kevlar puncture protection), long journeys (hilly or not) are a pleasure to do.

New Gear Ratio + Chain Guard

New Gear Ratio + Chain Guard

In comparison to its earlier specs, the 2015 Speed D7 has opted for a 11-30T cassette (instead of the 14-28T freewheel used on previous years models) which results in a 37% increase in gear range which makes it a good all-rounder bike.

The bike comes well packaged upon delivery, almost fully assembled (you have to screw in the pedals) and literally takes 15 seconds to assemble. We didn’t identify any ‘give’ in the bike and is very well built. The old 2008 edition did have a recall due to a weak hinge on the handlebars but this has been rectified and improved upon in the 2015 model.

The brakes on the Speed D7 are very responsive as you would expect being a Dahon and the newly introduced Neos derailleur shifting system makes gear changes quick and effortless, more on that below in our test ride write-up.

Have a look at our other Dahon folding bike reviews in our Dahon Reviews section.

▼ Test Ride Results and Full Bike Specifications below ▼

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Dahon Speed Uno

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Price

The RRP for the Dahon Speed D7 is $689.99. We struggled to find it cheaper online. 🙂

Save $160.99 here on Amazon.com (Discounted Price: $529.00)

UK Price: ~ £389.99 (Check Prices Here on Amazon.co.uk)

Price Last Checked: 19th June, 2017: $529.00 (23% saving)

Receive instant email notifications when price falls below $529.00

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Past recorded prices (from amazon.com)
 12th Jun 2017 : $649.99
 5th Jun 2017 : $637.69
 29th May 2017 : $559.99
 *** 22nd May 2017 : $525.00 *** BEST PRICE
 15th May 2017 : $605.00
 8th May 2017 : $605.00
 [...]

The Dahon Speed D7 Test Ride

We originally took the Speed D7 out for a 20 minute spin but ended up being out for almost an hour (helped in part by the nice weather!), but still, we had excellent fun and the Dahon performed beautifully.

There are few folding bikes that can really handle cycling up hills but we’re pleased to say the Dahon wasn’t one of them. The D7 performed very well on both moderate and steep hills and thanks to its good gear range (34″-92″), when you’re on the flat you can really open her up and pick up a good amount of pace, made easy thanks to its low profile SRAM/Neos derailleur shifting system. Essential for those days when you’re running late for work and really want those few extra MPH’s.

I will mention here that we did have a little issue shifting down into the last gear (no.7) wish wasn’t as fluid or quick as the previous 6 gears (which were perfect), after it did engage there was an annoying little click which persisted. Having read past reviews of others online, I found only one other person complaining of this. We managed to minimize the noise with some tweaking but still found it present. We’re not sure if this is a common issue with all bikes or whether it was just our unit.

The 1.75″ Dahon Rotolo tires handle most terrain with ease, we couldn’t test in the wet but can’t foresee there being any issues.

Highly Recommended Upgrades

With a couple of low-cost upgrades you can convert the Dahon Speed D7 into a great folding bicycle and enjoy a much nicer riding experience. My personal essential upgrades:

Disclaimer: As a product reviewer for Folding Bike 365, I am providing my unbiased opinion of any bikes or products featured on this site; reviewed bikes have either been purchased, borrowed or provided to us by bicycle manufacturers. I do not posses any type of relationship with the manufacturer’s company or parent companies. Companies that send in their goods to be reviewed do not compensate me any way.

This page also links out to bikes which can be purchased on Amazon.com, to which I am affiliate. The website earns a small commission on any sales which are generated from this site. All reviews remain unbiased.

Conclusion


Pros

  • The Neos derailleur system makes gear changes fast and easy
  • Nice range of gears, fast on the flat, easy up hills
  • Rack and SKS fenders included
  • Stainless steel spokes and alloy seat-post
  • Fully adjustable including micro-adjustable seat-post
  • Responsive brakes
  • Great value
  • Super quick folding (under 15 seconds)
  • Build quality as a whole
Cons

  • No chain-guard
  • Lacking good setup instructions / manuals
  • Warranty only activated after bike has been certified as correctly setup by expert. Could be an additional cost.
  • Issues with last gear (no. 7)
  • Could be a little lighter

I would highly recommend the Dahon Speed D7 to anyone looking for a quality folding bike. For the price you pay, you really get everything you need from a folding bike at a good standard. The bike is solid, feels like a bigger bike, folds up fast and small and has a comfortable seat and is fully adjustable. For the price you pay, I wouldn’t expect it to be any better. That being said, having to get the bike ‘certified’ by an expert before warranty is valid is a bit of a joke, especially as the only setup you have to do is screw in the pedals and pump up the tires. This could be an unexpected, additional cost and came as a bit of a surprise to me. – Paul Thomson


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Basic Specs

Download the Dahon Speed D7 Owners Manual.

Dahon Speed D7 Folded Front View

Dahon Speed D7 Folded Front View

  • Weight: 13.3 kg (29.3 lbs)
  • Suggested Rider Height: 142 – 193 cm (4’8″ – 6’4″)
  • Max. Rider Weight: 105 kg (230 lbs)
  • Gears: 7 Speed, Twist Shifters
  • Brakes: Alloy, V-Brake, 110 mm
  • Steel frame – K Series- Superlite – 4130 Chromology
  • 20″ Wheels
  • ** Full Specifications and FAQ Below **

Pannier Photo Gallery

Common Questions / FAQ

  • Country of Manufacture: China
  • Bike rack included: Yes
  • Front and Back Fenders Included: Yes
  • Handle Bar Adjustment: Yes
  • Do the Pedals Fold: Yes
  • Got a Question? Ask me here (I aim to respond within 15-20 minutes)

Detailed Bike Specifications

Color: Tangerine Orange, Baltic Blue and Obsidian Black.
Wheel size:  20 inches
Folded size: 30 × 77 × 64 cm (11.8″ × 30.3″ × 25.2″)
Product Weight: 13.3 kg (29.3 lbs)
Frame: Steel frame – K Series- Superlite – 4130 Chromology
Crankset: Forged Alloy 6061 Arms, Single Alloy Chainguard, 52t
Handlepost: Radius Telescope adjustable handle-post.
Forks: Steel
Brakes: Alloy, V-Brake, 110 mm
Brake Levers: 3 Finger, Nylon Bracket, Alloy Lever
Grips: Two Colour, Ergonomic
Seatpost: Forged Alloy
Pedals: Folding
Kickstand: Yes
Gears:
7
Suggested Rider Height: 142 – 193 cm (4’8″ – 6’4″)
Max. Rider Weight: 105 kg (230 lbs)
Shipping Weight: 38.7 lbs
Box Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 30 inches

Buy Now / More Info

More info on the Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike can be found on the Amazon pages below, along with past customer reviews of the product and a tonne of questions and answers from the community.

The RRP for the Dahon Speed D7 Folding Bike is $689.99.

Save $160.99 here on Amazon.com (Discounted Price: $529.00)

UK Price: ~ £389.99 (Check Prices Here on Amazon.co.uk)

Price Last Checked: 19th June, 2017: $529.00 (23% saving)
Past recorded prices (from amazon.com)
 12th Jun 2017 : $649.99
 5th Jun 2017 : $637.69
 29th May 2017 : $559.99
 *** 22nd May 2017 : $525.00 *** BEST PRICE
 15th May 2017 : $605.00
 8th May 2017 : $605.00
 [...]

Additional Resources


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5 Comments

  • Jon Abbot says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the comprehensive review, I was wondering whether you could clarify a couple of questions I have about the D7.

    Firstly, what’s the purpose of the little shiny disk located on the front wheel of the bike?

    Secondly, I notice in some versions of the bike (perhaps different years models) that they have a chain guard/protector around the chain, can you tell me whether it is removeable and how much additional noise it makes when pedalling as I see that it’s wrapped around the chain itself.

    and lastly, how do I go about attaching a pannier to the front of the bike? Do you have to buy specific parts to connect to the handle-bar stem?

    Thanks in advance for all your help and congratulations on building such a great website, I’ve found it very useful.

    Kind Regards,
    Jon

  • Zach says:

    Hi Paul,

    Great review, thanks.

    I’m trying to decide between the Vybe C7A and the Speed D7… the Vybe looks to be much better value and also a couple of pounds lighter but the Speed D7 has a more expensive list price which seems to indicate that it’s ‘better’ in some way?

    Does it have better quality components or a stronger frame or something? The only additional ‘extra’ I can see on the Speed D7 is the fact that it comes with a rear bike rack and carry bag… not worth an additional $150 though. :-s

    My initial research shows that the frame of the Speed D7 is slightly stronger than the Vybe but not sure how much and whether the additional strength will be noticeable or even needed in my bike? I’m not overly heavy and will be using it for commuting on relatively flat roads.

    Any advice you can offer would help greatly,

    Thanks,
    Zach

    • The Dahon Speed D7 vs the C7A Vybe

      THE FRAME

      One of the main differences between the two bike is their frame. The Speed D7 has a steel cro-mo frame, as you correctly pointed out, is slightly lighter and also stronger than that of the Vybe C7A.

      Generally speaking, the stronger the frame the better as it can stand up to more abuse and sudden shocks like riding through pot-holes.

      The Vybe C7A has an aluminium frame.

      Differences between steel and aluminium frames: https://www.missionbicycle.com/blog/oversimplified-steel-vs-aluminum

      THE RIDING POSITION

      The Speed D7 is adjustable in terms of riding position, what Dahon call “flex-adjust”. It allows for a more aggressive and sporty riding position for easier cycling at speed, as well as the option for a neutral riding setup for a more casual ride. This is all thanks to its adjustable telescoping handlebar post/stem.

      The C7A has a fixed neutral riding position which means that it’s a little harder to cycle at higher speeds but perfect for casual riding.

      GEARS

      Both the Vybe C7A and the Speed D7 have 7 gears, the Speed D7 has a 11-30T cassette which has an increased gear range over the C7a which may make be a better option for you but it depends on where you will be using it.

      If your commute is flat then likely both bikes will be suitable.

      EXTRAS

      The latest models of both bikes have fenders and rear rack included. The Speed D7 comes with it’s own bag.

      WEIGHT

      I personally think this is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a folding bike.

      Dahon Speed D7 – 13.3kg (29.3lbs)
      Dahon Vybe C7A – 11.5kg (25.3lbs)

      At almost 2kg/5lbs the difference is definitely noticeable, especially if using every day and if you need to fold your bike up regularly or carry it on subways and/or trains for part of your commute.

      PERSONAL THOUGHTS

      Personally I would go for the Speed D7, even though its heavier, it has a better frame and telescopic handlebar stem so you can adjust your riding position to suit, good when you’re in a rush.

      Either bike you decide to go with you will no be disappointed.

      ###

      I hope this is of some help, if you have any other questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.

      Thanks,
      Paul

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