Exotic frame materials aren't just for top end race bikes, check out what's claimed to be the world's lightest production folder Dahon's magnesium Mu XXV. Launched at Eurobike, only 250 individually Mu XXVs will be built to mark the company's 25th anniversary in 2008.
The frame is made from Puro M7 magnesium and is built up with custom components from FSA, Shimano, Syntace, Schwalbe, Kinetix and Kore. Dahon say that Puro M7 magnesium is 30 per cent lighter than aluminium and has similar corrosion resisting properties. Just to be sure there are still plenty turning a wheel when Dahon's 50th rolls around all the frames are given an additional corrosion resisting coating.
Probably the most eye-catching component is the white FSA K-Force crankset, especially produced in white to colour coordinate with the rest of the frame, bearings are ceramic - no word from Dahon on their colour though. As you would expect the rest of the drivetrain is Shimano Dura Ace.
The complete bikes weigh a claimed 7.5kg (16.61lb) which, says Dahon makes it the lightest folding bike on the market. Folded dimensions are 36x64.81cm.
The expected retail price in Europe is €2500, US and UK prices have yet to be confirmed. The 25th Anniversary bike will be available in January.
Smooth Hound 6.0
Another Dahon to catch the eye was this demountable mini-bike featuring some stylish retro touches courtesy of a Brooks Champion saddle and complementary bar tape on the BioLogic handlebars. Dahon's conception of the mini bike is a traditional diamond framed bike with smaller wheels, in this case 20in, the idea is that you get the handling characteristics of a 'normal' bike allied to the acceleration of a small wheeler, and being smaller it is easy to store and takes up less space - something Dahon see as being particularly relevant to urban cyclists.
In many ways the Smooth Hound is aiming for similar ground as Cannnondale's Hooligan - also making its debut at Eurobike. However, while Dahon see the Smooth Hound primarily as an urban bike, given the accent on comfort in the frame geometry and spec, they are also keen to stress its touring potential.
Dahon have taken a mix and match approach to the component spec, rear mech is Shimano Tiagra but mated to Ultegra bar end shifters, brakes are of the V variety and should give more than adequate stopping power. One neat touch is the seat post also doubles as a pump.
While it's not a folder Dahaon say it can be packed flat in seconds either to carry around in a shoulder bag or stored at home. If you are travelling further afield it can be taken apart courtesy of the Ritchey Breakaway coupling and packed into its own suitcase in a claimed 15 minutes.
Complete weight is a claimed 10.7kg ( 23.54lb) without pedals, the bike packs flat to 19x97x141cm and the bike comes with its own case.
The Smooth Hound 6.0 will be available in January 2008. In Europe it will sell for €799 UK and US prices to be confirmed.
The latest version of Dahon's urban mountain bike gets a radical makeover for 2008, gone are the rear mech, V-brakes, and, most importantly, the frame to be replaced by a Shimano Alfine 8 speed rear hub, Shimano disc brakes, and a new 7005 aluminium frame featuring a gusseted top tube and curved downtube. Oh, the wheels are different too and they are now shod with Schwalbe's smooth-rolling, wide profile Big Apple tyres. On thing that doesn't change from last year is that it still comes with mudguards, possibly. The bike on Dahon's stand did have them, the one pictured in the press pack didn't. Our guess is that Dahon will leave it to national distributors to take local conditions into account when speccing the bike.
The accent here seems to be on combining strength and durability with comfort. The frame certainly looks more than capable of dealing with anything the urban environment can throw at it and 7005 is a tried and tested material. The hub gears and disc brakes should make for a low maintenance machine with little wear on the wheels. The extra weapon in its armoury is that it folds too, using Dahon's LockJaw folding hinge, Dahon reckon it's completely foldable in 10 seconds.
Complete weight is a claimed 12.6kg ( 27.72lb) and folded it measures 39x81x94cm.
The eight speed version will sell for €799, US and UK prices to be confirmed and these should be in the shops from January, there will also be 16-speed and singlespeed versions.
Not much changes on Dahon's lugged steel Tournado for 2008, it still breaks apart using Ritchey's Breakaway system and sports a Shimano Ultegra 9-speed drivetrain, Brooks saddle and matching leather bar tape, and as far as we could see all the rest of the componentry is the same as 2007 too, but it's such a good looking bike we couldn't resist taking some pics anyway.