Dahon Mu P27 folding bike

Dahon Mu P27

Drivetrain: SRAM Dual Drive

Brakes: in-house alloy

Wheels/tyres: 20in/Dahon ‘Vuelta’

www.raleigh.co.uk

The P27 is the latest addition to Dahon’s Mu range of 20in-wheeled folding bikes. It has the highest specification of the models built on the robust Mu frame. The bold colour scheme — dark grey with yellow forks and highlights ­— makes it stand out from similar models.

Fitted with a SRAM ‘Dual Drive’ transmission, which pairs a three- speed hub gear and nine-speed derailleur, there’s 27 gears in total. The extremely low first gear feels like it will climb stairs, while the biggest is superfast; it’s a gear range suited to mountains, so almost overkill in the city. In practice you can select the range suited to the type of road or your mood, with the option for a quick down-shift at traffic lights.

The aluminium frame is well tested on other Dahon models, and is rigid and folds easily. As well as the frame and steerer tube you must release and twist the bars, leaving them loose, to slip between the wheels. The extra gear levers make this a tighter squeeze than on other Mu models, but the pedals flip down giving only 36cm width to stow away. The locking action itself is very solid.

This bike delivers a top quality riding experience. Wider than usual 1.75in tyres and a strong frame offer stability and the confidence to throw this bike at London potholes where you might be timid on other folding bikes. At almost 13kg, without mudguards or rack, it is heavier than some. It’s possible to wheel it rather than carry when folded, once you learn to stow the handlebars correctly. When riding the multiple gear choice compensates for the weight and larger tyres.

This is a great bike for longer commutes where the carry does not involve many stairs and where there’s space for storage. The main downside we found was reassembly; it can be fiddly and slow as the locks tend to latch open, requiring two hands at the frame and steerer to get it back together. CL

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