With the ‘Espresso’ what you see is what you get and you get what you pay for. This folding bike does its job as it should. Just as you wouldn’t expect a scooter to turn into a lightning fast Japanese street motorcycle over night don’t expect too much and it might meet and even beat your expectations.
This folding bicycle is good value for money. It’s a relatively inexpensive, full size folder whose frame folds in half quickly and easily with the added bonus of removable, hanging handlebars and folding pedals. The folded version fits conveniently into your car trunk and in doing so eliminates a bike rack yet possesses a sturdy frame with a wide, ergonomically friendly seat. It’s nice to have a top of the line folding mechanism on a standard, full size folding bike as opposed to many of what I call the circus folders on the market with their tiny wheels more suited for big top clowns than serious commuters. This bike is surprisingly fast and the brakes are highly effective and deliver immediate-response, stopping capability.
This is an effective yet inexpensive folding bike that contains ‘stock’ rather than ‘custom’ parts; keep that in mind and remember how little you paid for it and you’ll stay satisfied. The major complaints from users are:
1) the gear shifting system is described by one rider as ‘iffy’ due to its tendency to skip gears and shift unexpectedly; clearly the 21 gears and the mechanism in its entirety could be of higher quality. 2) the ‘low end’ tires could be smoother and more responsive and it’s not uncommon for owners to replace the ‘stock’ versions with better quality ones; it’s no wonder then that the ride has been described as ‘unstable’ and ‘bouncy’ by users. 3) the frame while not delivering the most stable ride is of sturdy construction and although new frame sizes compensate for short seat posts at 35 lbs this is still a heavy bike.
Minor irritants are: poor seat composition (comes apart from the base of the saddle), cheap pedals, a handlebar removal lever getting stuck, quickly deteriorating bike rest (to prop up bike in folded position), and a flimsy chain rail cover (seemingly minor yet essential for protecting work pants).
Yes, don’t expect a premium quality folding bike at low end prices and you won’t be disappointed. This bike delivers fast and tidy folding, the ride of a standard bike in a compact package, and a low sticker price. The Dahon Espres does the job and then some.