Would you spend more than $5,000 on a foldable bike? That’s twice the price of the next most expensive foldable bike I saw on the market.
Not many would drop the cash. But the top of the line Mu Rohloff from Dahon offers some tantalizing features.
This is stuff never before seen in the foldable market. The bike folds up in the time it takes the bus to come to a stop, pedals as efficiently as most non-folding bikes, and it requires virtually no maintenance.
A highlight of the build is the bike’s internally-geared rear hub, the Rohloff Speedhub. Purchased alone, this German masterpiece costs $1,500.
The hub has 14 evenly spaced gears, is unbreakable (they reportedly have never had one fail), is sealed from the elements, and it shifts without pedaling. Rohloff hubs have been on our radar for a while as a premium product with a great reputation for quality, but here in the foldable bike realm, they have found an especially welcome home.
Foldable bikes get crammed into trunks, busses and trains in a hurry. Eliminating breakable derailleurs, as well as the chain and gnarly grease that coats it, is a huge upgrade.
No grease? Right, on this bike the Rohloff is powered by a Gates Carbon Drive belt instead of a chain.
The rest of the bike is well designed. The Mu is stiff and responsive, born of a lineage of foldable bike history — Dahon has been selling folders for more than 30 years and it sells more than any other company.
Getting the bike into your truck or a bus is two folds away, the first at the base of the steerer tube, the second in the middle of the bike, halfway between the wheels. I often then used the seatpost to lift the bike, but using the quick-release lever to collapse it may be needed to fully collapse the bike into a small space.
The list of impressive parts is long, as we have not yet covered the ingenious quick-release pedals (they are awesome), the powerful Magura disc brakes, Ergon grips, or the premium 20” wheels.
The bottom line is that this bike does not have the compromises that normally come in the genre.
But at this price, it had better not — its retail price is $5,500! You could buy a normal bike, a bus pass, a cheap car and still have money left over for gas at the purchase price of this little guy.
—Tom Puzak is a contributing editor and our resident “bike junkie.”