Dawes Ace review

Great all-round folding bike

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£699.00 RRP

Our review

Well specced all-rounder that represents good value
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The top machine in Dawes’ range of three folding bikes – well, the Ace naturally beats the Jack and Kingpin – comes with everything fitted as standard for day-to-day urban riding.

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This includes dynamo-powered front and rear lights, kickstand and a rear rack complete with built-in bungees. It’s just as well it scores well for practicality though, as its looks aren’t going to win any awards for elegance.

  • Frame & forks: Not the most elegant looking bike ever, to say the least, but we found it to be very tough, and we liked the integrated pump in the seatpost (7/10)
  • Handling: The ugly duckling didn’t quite turn into a swan but it coped with everything we threw at it (8/10)
  • Equipment: Dynamo lights, SRAM shifters and rear rack head up a pretty comprehensive kit list (8/10)
  • Fold: Not the smallest, but still a reasonably compact and stable folded package (7/10)

It’s fair to say we were a bit surprised by the Dawes, though maybe we shouldn’t have been, given its heritage.

Yep, if you’re thinking that the Ace resembles the bikes in Dahon’s range, well, you’d be right. It displays the British marque’s name, but is actually made by Dahon.

Still, if you’re going to get somebody to make your folding bikes for you, you might as well get one of the acknowledged masters.

Dawes have managed to get some good kit on what is a fairly competitively priced bike, with a SRAM rear mech, Sugino chainring and tough Schwalbe tyres.

Because of the extra costs involved in producing folding bikes, you’re never going to get the same amount of high quality kit on a £700 folder as you would on a road bike of the same price, but you still don’t want to see too many economies.

The eight gears and 20in wheels made for very reassuring urban riding. If you’ve only tried riding folding bikes in the past with 16in wheels and haven’t entirely enjoyed the experience, you might find a move to a bike like this gives you more confidence.

The bigger wheels handle better, absorb bumps better and they also mean that the stem-to-bars arrangement is shorter.

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The Dawes is certainly tough enough for urban riding. The Ace was put through its paces on the local BMX track – and it came up trumps. After that kind of action, the Ace will laugh scathingly at any kerbs and potholes that dare to stand in its way.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Ace (09)
Brand Dawes Cycles

Available Sizes One Size
Rear Derailleur SRAM X-Z alloy long cage
Weight (kg) 12.3
Stem Alloy telescopic with quick release standard diameter clamp
Shifters SRAM Gripshift 3.0
Seatpost Alloy with single bolt seat clamp, 31.9mm diameter, 590mm length
Saddle SDG Bel Air padded vinyl, steel rails
Rims Kinetix Comp machined alloy
Rear Wheel Weight 1835
Rear Tyre Marathon
Rear Hub Kinetix forged alloy
Headset Type Integrated sealed cartridge
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge with steel cups, steel square taper spindle
Handlebar Ritchey 6061 alloy, standard dia, 58cm
Front Wheel Weight 1739
Front Tyre Size 20x1.5
Front Tyre Marathon
Front Hub alloy dynamo front hub
Frame Material Tig welded shaped 7005 aluminium tubes with replaceable gear hanger.
Fork Hi-ten steel fork, 1 1/8in steerer, stamped dropouts
Cranks Sugino forged alloy square taper cotterless, 53T alloy ring, 170mm arms
Brakes Forged alloy Vs with Avid alloy levers
Weight (lb) 27.1