Dahon Vitesse P18 review

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£733.99

With its 18 gears, the Dahon Vitesse offers more pedal speed options than the other small-wheeled machines

BikeRadar verdict

80.0 out of 5 stars

"Shows that even folding bikes can have 18 gears"

Sunday, September 20, 2009 7.00am By

David Hon’s company have been making bikes for 27 years, and there is a bewildering variety of bikes in their range, from minimalist city bikes to the sub-19lb drop-barred Allegro. The Vitesse P18 fits somewhere in the middle, with a lightish weight, a wide range of gearing and a rear rack, showing its somewhat more adventurous inclinations.

  • Frame & fork: Butted aluminium frame and forks with a decent finish; the track pump seatpost is a neat idea (7/10)
  • Handling: Pretty solid handling, and the Vitesse’s wide range of gears make it good on the hills and fast on the flat (8/10)
  • Equipment: Eighteen gears, FSA chainset and Schwalbe Kojak tyres make for a decent setup (8/10)
  • Fold: Initially not that obvious, but folds down to a reasonable size and the folding pedals keep it pretty narrow too (7/10)

The fold is typical Dahon, with a locking hinge in the aluminium central beam. The bars fold down, the seatpost fits in the seat tube and the resulting fold is quick and neat.

The seatpost contains an integral pump, with a folding section that enables it to be used like a track pump. On our bike this didn’t seem to be fully thought through, as the tyres had Presta valves while the pump was designed for Schraders. Dahon assure us that a Presta adaptor is normally included with the bike.

Cycling Plus editor Rob wasn’t convinced by the Dahon’s ride, but other testers were much more enthusiastic about it. The 20in wheels give much more 'normal' handling than the 16in hoops found on many other folders.

They roll better over poorer road surfaces, offer more control when you’re steering and the extra gears mean you can push this bike harder and faster.

The Dahon may not score highly in any one area, but this is one of the most versatile folders we've tested; a more than decent all-rounder.

The fold is good enough for daily use, even if it doesn’t match up to the benchmark Brompton (and we couldn’t always get those little magnets to match up and keep it all snugly together).

But we’d be much more confident about sticking some panniers on the Vitesse and using it for some light touring. That four-inch increase in wheel diameter really does make a difference.

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Specification

Name:
Vitesse P18 (09)
Brand:
Dahon
Price:
£733.99

Available Sizes:
One Size
Bottom Bracket:
Sealed cartridge with steel cups, square taper spindle
Brakes:
Kinetix forged alloy Vs with Avid lever
Cranks:
FSA forged aluminum, Dahon Special Edition, 55/44 tooth chainrings
Fork:
Dahon SlipStream Puro U7 aluminum with patented Fusion technology, double butted tubing
Frame Material:
KA Series, 7005 butted aluminum alloy with custom-drawn Sonus tubing
Front Derailleur:
Microshift, forged aluminum
Front Hub:
Kinetix Neutron Hub
Front Wheel Weight:
855
Handlebar:
Radius V Telescope. Adjustable with patented Fusion and V-Clamp technologies. Forged aluminum
Headset Type:
Integrated ahead, sealed
Pedals:
Suntour folding, alloy body
Rear Derailleur:
Shimano Tiagra SS
Rear Hub:
Kinetix Comp Hub
Rear Wheel Weight:
1605
Rims:
Kinetix Comp Rim
Saddle:
BioLogic Aria
Seatpost:
BioLogic Zorin PostPump, 34 x 580 mm
Shifters:
Microshift Thumb tap, 18 speed
Stem:
Dahon telescopic alloy, quick release standard diameter bar clamp
Weight (kg):
11.56
Year:
2009
Weight (lb):
25.5

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