Dahon Ciao D5 – First Look Review

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If you’re looking to get into cycling, but have felt comfortable swinging your leg over the seat of a bike, the Dahon Ciao D5 might be the perfect bike for you. It has all the portability and functionality of a Dahon folding bike, but with a unique frame design that makes getting on the bike a lot easier, and a whole lot more comfortable.

Dahon Ciao folding bicycle

Dahon Ciao folding bicycle

To start, the Dahon Ciao D5 is built around sturdy 20” wheels, which keeps the bike nice and low to the ground, but also gives a smooth and comfortable ride compared to similar folding bikes with smaller wheels.

Ciao D5 has a reliable Sturmey Archer hub

For climbing hills and zipping around town, the Dahon Ciao D5 has a lightweight 5 speed Sturmey-Archer internal hub, which makes the shifting system virtually maintenance free. The range of gearing is large enough to get you up most any hill during your commute, or when you’re just out riding on the board walk or bike paths through the park.

The comfort you feel when riding a Dahon Ciao D5 is the same as you would expect form any other Dahon folding bike. You get a rock solid aluminum frame, just like other models, and even with the the low-hinge design, this bike can handle city streets and cracked pavement with ease. You’ll feel very comfortable on this bike with the BioLogic Ergo grips and BioLogic Como saddle.

Dahon Ciao is fully loaded

The Dahon Ciao D5 comes with lots of extras, as well. An included rear rack is perfect for hauling a small bag of groceries from the corner market, or a small stack of books from the library. The front and rear fenders will keep you dry if you happen to get caught in a rain shower or splash through some puddles. The chain guard will keep your pant legs clean, and the Dahon Double stand kickstand makes for easy parking when you arrive at your destination.

When you’re doing riding, you can fold the Dahon Ciao D5 in less than 20 seconds. With the bike fully folded, it is a compact 13.3 inches deep, 28.9 inches tall, and 25.7 inches wide. At that size you’ll be able to stow it in your back seat or trunk with ease, or just pick it up and take it on the subway, train or bus with hardly any fuss at all.

Ciao folding bike perfect for leisure

In all, the Dahon Ciao D5 is the perfect folding bike if you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort when riding along the boardwalk, the bike paths and leisurely trips to the market. With the equipped rear rack and fenders you’ve got a bike that is made for everyday riding, and with the low, step-through design of the frame, this is a great folding bike that you’ll be comfortable riding for years to come.

Ready for the ride of your dreams, then check out this awesome folding bike: the Ciao D5!

The Dahon Ciao! D5, a folding bike for commuting or for fun

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The Dahon Ciao! D5, Dahon folding bike in many ways is designed with the city commuter in mind; this all-purpose folding bike features fenders, a chain guard (no grease on your work clothes!), rear battery lights, a luggage rack perfect for strapping down a briefcase or computer bag, and fat tires for the occasional stretch of cobblestone or rough road. There are no breakable components left exposed on the Dahon Ciao! D5 either. With the 5-speed Sturmey Archer internal hub gearing and practical twist-grip shifting, this folding bike could be put through the trials of a daily commute without worrying about damage to a fragile derailleur.

But the Dahon Ciao! D5 folding bike is also meant for relaxation and fun. Its step- through frame design brings to mind the old cruiser bikes, although with plenty of improvements. So when Bert asked me to take the Ciao! D5 out for a test ride, the West Side greenway immediately came to mind as the perfect proving ground for this laid-back folding bike. With the evening temperature a balmy 30-something degrees F (it felt balmy anyway, after the last few days of arctic cold) I rode cross town after work, doing a quick half loop in the park before picking up the greenway at 72nd Street.

The Ciao! D5 sits pretty on a west side pier

The first thing I noticed about the Ciao! D5 was the gearing. Wow, having 5 speeds on an internal hub really makes a world of difference. There are none of those abrupt jumps common with a 3-speed hub. With two extra intermediate gears, the Ciao! D5 has a range of gearing options for almost any rider and any terrain: two lower gears for hills and climbing, a middle gear for level ground cruising, and two higher gears for downhills and the acceleration bursts necessary from time-to-time.

Cruising down the greenway past the pleasure boats docked at the marina just felt right on the Ciao! D5. This folding bike would be perfect on a boat or in an RV. The step- through frame ensures the Ciao! D5 will work for riders of all sizes and abilities, so it could be fun for the whole family.

I had the chance to test the fold on the Ciao! D5 at the end of my ride, when I arrived to the West Village for dinner with friends. All folded up the Ciao! stowed nicely next to the table while we ate. After dinner, hopping on the subway with my girlfriend, the Ciao! D5 was no problem on a packed E train either. Lighter and more portable than its predecessor cousin – the Ciao! P8 – the Ciao! D5 would be great for a split commute, part train ride, part bike ride.

And so we come full circle: whether you’re looking for a practical commuter, a recreational bike, or both, the Dahon Ciao! D5 may be the folding bike for you.

Also check out the Ciao D5 Video