DAHON Welcomes the Future of Mobility with Open Arms
35 years ago DAHON was among the first to exhibit at the Taipei Cycle Show. Today we can safely say that the bicycle industry has changed a lot and so have DAHON and TCS. At Taipei Cycle we talked with Dr. David Hon, Founder and CEO of DAHON, about DAHON’s goals, new features and trends that shape the bicycle industry today and in the future.
‘’Taipei Cycle Show is still a good brand’’
It cannot go unseen: Taipei Cycle Show has undergone some changes – these could be seen as a reflection of the changes currently happening in the bicycle industry. What stood out most was the low attendance this year due to a mixed up schedule. It will go back to its regular schedule in March, starting next year. Many visitors have opted to go to that one.
It also seems that everybody suffers from smaller visitor numbers. Nevertheless, according to Dr. Hon exhibitors were still able to ‘’meet a lot of customers and display the newest products. Just as 35 years ago, they do a good job and people are still happy with Taipei Cycle Show as a brand.’’
Folding bikes are hot
DAHON was among the first to establish modern folding bikes. According to Dr. Hon 10% of the total bike production is currently folding bike. To grow this market, folding bike manufacturers should look at the latest developments in the cycling industry and the development of big urban areas. The biggest challenges now are how to still be able to carry a folding bike with the coming of ‘e’ and how to fit them in spaces that becomes smaller and tighter.
For that, DAHON invented a new technology called Nuwave – applicable to wheels of all sizes. The first presentation of the Nuwave series was at China Cycle Show in May and was also there at TCS this time. They fold quickly into in a narrow package that you can pull or push. For small wheels the tripod principle is employed for the handlebar and the seat post to achieve a strong frame. The geometry of a small wheeler is made in such a way that it’s very convenient to carry around in the city – on public transit, in car trunks, and in elevators; and hang on the wall behind the door. It’s a model purely designed to use in the city, which could be a game changer.
Future of bicycles and folding bikes
Dr. Hon expects that ‘’bikes and e-bikes will always stay as a means of transport, for recreational purposes, or as a kid’s toy. Some call it the greatest invention of all time. It is simple, functional and fairly cheap.’’ With the coming of electric it makes bikes even more useful. According to Dr. Hon it will be even more important in the future, including being a part of multi-model transportations – to help solve global crises.
E-bikes are going to be very much in. Dr. Hon states that consumers and scholars are pushing e-bikes higher up the agenda of manufacturers and policymakers. He also sees a bright future for e-folding bikes, which will be going to be part of the scene, perhaps more than 10%. ‘’People want better, cheaper and lighter bikes, and folding bikes fill the bill in many applications.’’
Dahon is doing more than two-wheelers
Mobility is changing and evolving all the time. Dr. Hon believes that the electric car is a natural development. DAHON is not just into two wheelers, but also into three- and four wheelers. As a physicist Dr. Hon has insights into a lot of other relevant or interesting developments. What is interesting to see is that DAHON makes an effort in making this vision reality. Together with players in the automotive, DAHON works on a narrow vehicle. It has four wheels and can carry three people in a tandem position. It’s electric and should go on the freeway.
‘’It will take some time before it goes to market. For this project, we work with both the automotive as well as the bicycle industry. We are the representatives of the latter. The reason why we combine forces is because together we can accomplish way more than when working separately.’’
‘‘We have come a long way, babe!’ But the future of mobility is greener and wonderful, assuming global warming doesn’t get to us first!’’