Vector X20, super fast Dahon folding bike

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Dahon Vector X20 Folding Bike

Dahon Vector X20 Folding Bike

Move over Pinarello, there’s been a new fast bike in my garage these last few days – the new, not-yet-released Dahon Vector X20.

Peter and Mark had first dibs on the Vector X20 over the weekend, but I finally got my chance Wednesday. Come 6 o’clock, I left my trusty commuter at the shop and sped off on the eye-catching red and black bike.

‘Sped off’ is exactly right. Hopping on the Dahon Vector you realize something immediately: this thing is fast. Real fast. The gearing of 55/42T up front and 10sp 11-28 in back, combined with the super-stiff aluminum frame and all top shelf components (hollow carbon cranks, low-spoke count wheels) means the Vector X20 packs plenty of giddy-up.

Of course a traffic-choked 2nd Avenue wasn’t the place to push it. I could definitely appreciate this folding bike’s quickness – anytime a cab pulled to the curb in front of me, for instance – but it wasn’t until I got over the 59th Street Bridge into Queens that I could really put it to the test.

Heading up Vernon Blvd toward Astoria at last I found what I wanted: open road, straight-aways, not a red light in sight. I found the double-tap shifters combined with the SRAM Red rear derailleur absolutely as advertised: smooth, quick, responsive – and dropping into the fast gears, the bike took off.

I got to Astoria Park and on a whim turned east, following the bike lanes along 20th Avenue to Ditmars Blvd. Skirting LaGuardia airport, I rode all the way through Jackson Heights to Flushing. The miles went fast. I found myself wishing I’d mounted a cycle computer to know just how fast, but I can say it took catching my reflection in the darkened shop windows to remember that I wasn’t riding on 700s.

I reached Flushing Meadow Park, did the requisite victory lap around the World’s Fair globe, then finally it was time to head home. Having gone a little over 10 miles in my work clothes, here came another test: the ride home, somewhat tired, facing something of a headwind. But here too the Vector X20 got straight A’s. Dropping down onto the smaller chain ring I settled into a comfortable spin and got home with nothing to complain about except slight pangs of hunger, it being past dinner time.

I must say I’ll be sad when we return this folding bike to the good folks at Dahon. The Dahon Vector X20 is speced like a serious performance bike, and so I’d like the chance to ride it like one, spandex and all – hit the park in the early AM, or if we keep getting these not-so-cold sunny days, take it on a longer ride. A jaunt up to Nyack and back might even be in order. Hey, if I get too tired for the ride home, I can always fold it up and catch a train. I can’t do that with my Pinarello.

Check out the product page with specifications for the Dahon Vector x20.