Dahon

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Dahon Folding Bikes
Industry Bicycle
Founded 1982[1]
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people Dr. David Hon, founder and CEO
Products Folding bicycles
Website www.dahon.com

Dahon is the world's largest manufacturer of folding bicycles[2] with a two-thirds marketshare in 2006.[3] The company was founded by Dr. David T. Hon, a widely-referenced, former laser physicist,[4][5][6] in 1982 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with assembly factories in China, Macau and Bulgaria.[7] Dahon markets bicycles under its own name as well as other brand names, including Ridgeback, the affiliated Yeah and Biceco Brands, and Novara for REI in the U.S.[8] The company is a member of the Global Alliance for EcoMobility.[9] Dahon holds over 200 patents, some having become industry standards.[10]

Company[edit]

Dr. David T. Hon, founder and CEO of Dahon, receives and award from Jack Oortwijn, Editor in Chief of Bike Europe

History[edit]

Dahon was founded in 1982 on a vision of “green” mobility, a form of transportation that not only serves to keep people healthier, but also preserves the environment for the next generation. As a relentless innovator, Dr. Hon toiled in his garage for seven years to create the perfect folding bicycle that would uphold these ideals.[11][12] After presenting his invention to several established but uninterested companies,[13] Dr. Hon and his brother Henry Hon decided to establish their own company from scratch. The two gathered venture funding and established their headquarters in Southern California while Dr. Hon relocated to Taiwan to build Dahon's first factory. Two years later, in 1984, Dahon folding bicycles were rolling off the assembly line as the most compact folding bicycle on the market at that time.[14] Under the continued leadership of Dr. Hon, now recognized as the father of the modern folding bike, Dahon and its team of 70 engineers continue to set the pace with new technologies and innovations.

Production[edit]

2012 Dahon Jifo 16

Primary production takes place in the company’s factory in Shenzhen, China. Another facility, near Beijing, produces Dahon bikes for China, an increasingly profitable market for the U.S.-based company.[15] Beginning in 2012, all Dahon brand bikes destined for Europe have been made in Bulgaria.[16] In a strategic partnership with Maxcom Ltd., the company set up a full-scale production base at one of the most modern facilities on the continent. All of their bikes for the European market are made at the ISO 9001:2008-certified facility in Plovdiv, which specializes in the manufacturing of bicycles and features state-of-the-art machining technology and modern quality inspection equipment.[17]

Marketing[edit]

In 2012, Dahon launched its first-ever global advertising campaign, incorporating a two-tiered marketing campaign specifically designed for both b2b and b2c markets. The company’s new strategy reinforces its positioning as a technology-rich brand with a broad product portfolio while also communicating the brand’s emotional values in a more personal way. To further enhance the brand’s emotional appeal, Dahon introduced the new tagline, “freedom unfolds”. The new global campaign, themed “Express Your Personality” was launched at Eurobike 2011 in Friedrichshafen, Germany in a live-stage performance where several of the campaign’s leading characters lit up the runway with their personal pick out of the 2012 Dahon bicycle range.[18]

Folding bikes[edit]

Dahon Special Edition, 30th Anniversary, aluminum frame, folding bike with carbon parts

Most Dahon bicycles use a patented, single-hinge frame design where the handlebar folds down and the frame hinge swings to the left, leaving the handlebar inside, whereas models such as the Jifo and EEZZ take advantage of new, vertical folding technology.[19] Biggest sellers are those with 16 or 20 inch wheels, but models are available with wheels from 12 inches to 700C. In terms of gearing, bikes can feature derailleurs or hub gears, or both or none. For 2013 Dahon offers 30 models of folding or portable bicycles in wheel sizes ranging from 16-26” with aluminum alloy or steel frames.[20] One of the company's best selling bikes is the Boardwalk, an entry-level, steel-frame commuter bike.[21]

Special bikes[edit]

In 2008 to celebrate 25 years of production Dahon produced a special edition based on the Mµ series of bikes - the Mµ XXV. 250 of these machines were produced.

1980s (first generation) Dahon Classic III with Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub gear

In March 2009 they announced that they would produce 1,000 sets of a special edition bike based on its Curve D3 folding bike with the Spanish design firm Kukuxumusu.

[22] 2012 marked the company's 30th anniversary and Dahon produced 300 limited edition bikes to honor the occasion.[23] The bicycles are based on the popular Mµ frame and feature high-end carbon parts.

Awards[edit]

Dahon has achieved various industry awards and honors over the years, including the prestigious Eurobike award, given at the world's largest bike show.

Model Year Award
EEZZ 2012 Eurobike Award[24]
EEZZ (Prototype name Metro) 2012 Taipei Cycle Design & Innovation Award.[25]
Glide P7/P8 2006 Eurobike Award[26]
Ciao! 2006 Fiets RAI Bike of the Year[27]
Ciao! 2005 Eurobike Award[28]
Flo 2004 Fortune Product of the Year[29]

David Hon, the company's CEO and Founder was nominated in 2013 for the U.C. Berkeley Excellence in Achievement Award.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

Beginning in 2011, Dahon North America Inc. was in litigation with the son and wife of the company's founder. Specifically, the lawsuit charged that Joshua Hon and Florence Hon breached their fiduciary duties as officers of Dahon and unlawfully appropriated company assets, resources, and intellectual property to start the competing companies Mobility Holdings and Tern.[30] As of March 2013 a settlement was reached on mutually acceptable and confidential terms and the matter is closed.[31]

Events[edit]

Smithfield Nocturne Folding Bike Race[edit]

The 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 winners of the Smithfield Nocturne folding bike race, held in the market district of Smithfield, London, rode Dahon folding bikes. The 2012 winner Jeroen Janssen pedaled to victory on the 30th Anniversary limited edition bike.[32][33] Dahon also sponsored the annual event from 2007 to 2010.[34][35]

References[edit]

A Dahon bike from c. 1987, in the collection of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
  1. ^ "About". Dahon corporate website. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  2. ^ Guinness World Records 2000 Millennium Edition, 2000, p. 301
  3. ^ "A Commuter's Secret Weapon". Business Week. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  4. ^ "United States Patent 4,344,042: Self-regenerative laser oscillator-amplifier". USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  5. ^ "United States Patent 4,178,561: Scanning arrangements for optical frequency converters". USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  6. ^ "United States Patent 4,019,159: Optical frequency doubler using electro-optic crystal with improved feedback control of crystal phase match". USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  7. ^ "About". Dahon corporate website. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  8. ^ "Novara FlyBy Shuttle Foldable Bike". REI. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  9. ^ "Businesses". Global Alliance for EcoMobility. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  10. ^ "Dahon Inks Patent License Agreement with National/Panasonic". Bike Europe. 2000-02-10. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  11. ^ "USPO listing, Foldable and Portable Vehicle, 1982". Patft.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  12. ^ "USPO listing, Folding bicycle with releasable brace assembly, 1983". Patft.uspto.gov. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  13. ^ "''Livestrong.com'', The History of Dahon Bicycles, 2011-01-08". Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  14. ^ "A Commuter's Solution: Bicycle That Folds Up". The New York Times. 1988-05-26. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  15. ^ "Dahon offers distribution to Western brands in China". Bicycle Retailer. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  16. ^ "Dahon Enhances Global Manufacturing, Adds Key Management". Bicycle Newswire. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  17. ^ "Dahon to move some bike production to Europe". Bikeradar. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  18. ^ "Dahon launches New Global Campaign". Bike Europe. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  19. ^ "Dahon Launches New Line-Up at Taipei Cycle". Bike Europe. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  20. ^ "All Folding Bikes". Dahon Coroporate Website. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  21. ^ "Boardwalk D8". Dahon Coroporate Website. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  22. ^ Sutton, Mark (2009-03-18). "Kukuxumusu and Dahon team up for limited folder". Bike Biz. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  23. ^ "Anniversary Campaign Dahon". Bike Europe. 2012-05-29. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  24. ^ "iF Online Exhibition - EEZZ". iF Design. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  25. ^ "iF Online Exhibition - Metro". iF Design. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  26. ^ "iF Online Exhibition - Glide P7/P8". iF Design. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  27. ^ "Dahon Ciao Crowned Bike of the Year". Bike Europe. 2006-03-22. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  28. ^ "iF Online Exhibition - Ciao!". iF Design. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  29. ^ "The 25 Best Products of the Year". Fortune Magazine. 2004-12-13. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  30. ^ "Dahon Files Lawsuit Against former Officers Joshua Hon and Florence Hon". Bike Europe. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  31. ^ "Dahon and Tern settle legal dispute". Bike Biz. 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  32. ^ "Dahon notches up Nocturne win". Bike Biz. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  33. ^ "Raleigh-GAC rider wins folding bike race on a limited edition carbon Dahon". Raleigh News. 2012-06-11. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  34. ^ "Dahon sponsors Smithfield Nocturne's folder race". Bike Biz. 2007-05-30. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  35. ^ "Dahon and Fiat to sponsor Smithfield Nocturne". Bike Biz. 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Guinness World Records 2000 Millennium Edition. New York: Guinness Publishing Ltd./Bantam Books. 2000. ISBN 0-553-58268-2. 

External links[edit]