26 Sep Dahon – How It’s Made
The story of your folding bike, from frame to carton
If you’ve ever wondered about the process that brought your folding bike into your life, read on.
Raw Materials – The first stage in production of a Dahon folding bike (after design of course) is the delivery of raw materials to our factory. This means custom drawn steel and aluminum tubing. All of our frames are specialist parts, made by Dahon from scratch. The tubing is cut and molded into shape using specially developed techniques, welding, heating and cooling, and for frames like the EEZZ, hydroforming. At this stage, the frame is allocated its serial number which is stamped into the bottom bracket or headset.
Painting – The frame parts then head for their paint job. Dahon has recently adopted a new method which takes 30% less time, saving energy and cost, and also using non-methylbenzene paint, with an outstanding 80% less pollution than the traditional method.
Frame Assembly – Following painting, the front fork, frame halves and the stem can be built, making what is essentially the skeleton of the complete bike. These are carried to different parts of the production facility by novel ceiling-hook conveyor belts.
Wheel Building – A bike won’t get far without wheels. Although we do offer a few full-sized models, most folding bikes take advantage of the smaller size and weight that come with smaller wheels. These require special spoke lacing, with precisely calculated angles and widths for optimum strength.
Components – The bike is then ready for the rest of its fixtures to be attached, slotted in, screwed on and secured. Many of our components such as our compact derailleurs and SKS fenders are custom made, other bikes have features like top brand shifting systems and disk brakes.
QC – Finally, each bike is checked for quality control, running over every detail to ensure safety and performance, before the bike is carefully packed and ready for shipping. Just remember, Dahon bikes are packed almost fully assembled, but like any bike, they are not ready-to-ride out of the box and will require set up and tuning by a Dahon dealer.