Detailed Dahon K-One Hub Motor Review by Ben Coles

Ben Coles - Camping with the Coles
Ben Coles - Camping with the Coles

Are you familiar with the YouTube channel Camping with the Coles? Ben & Cheryl Coles have been documenting their family camping trips as they visit and review Ontario’s Provincial Parks.

Along the course of these reviews, Dahon presented the Coles with the opportunity to review a Dahon K-One folding e-bike. While Ben admitted up front his lack of familiarity with folding bikes he did put together an excellent review of the Dahon K-One from a camper’s perspective.

This folding e-bike review is for the Dahon K-One with a rear hub motor. Dahon also produces this model with a 250W mid-drive motor. In addition, Dahon has recently launched their Unio E20 folding e-bike also with a mid-drive motor which is five pounds less than the K-One lineup.

Whether traveling across the country or around town this Dahon K-One review will provide you with everything you need to know about the Dahon K-One rear hub motor folding e-bike.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor Review

Adapted from Ben Coles – Camping with the Coles

This is the Dahon K-One hub drive e-bike. Is this the best camping bike for me? And more importantly, is this the best camping bike for you?

Hi, I’m Ben Coles from Camping with the Coles, and today we’re going to be looking into whether or not a folding bike is the right type of bike for you and the way you do your camping adventures.

Dahon, is a company that’s been around since 1982 and they are the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bicycles. I’ll be completely upfront here, Dahon has given me this bicycle to test out and to do a review on. Now, they’re not paying me for it. They’re not making me say good things about it. I can say whatever I want about it. I’m not getting any commission sales on it or anything. So this is my honest opinion on this bike and folding bikes in general.

Now, in many of our travels, we’ve seen a lot of people riding folding bikes. I’ve never really considered it myself because I have a mountain bike. Cheryl has an e-bike mountain bike, and we have a bike rack on the front of our trailer that we just put the bikes on so we can take them with us.

A couple of friends of ours came camping with us at Bonnechere and Lake Saint Peter. They have a couple of folding bikes and it is an ideal thing for them. They have a very small Trillium trailer that they travel with and they tow it with a sport utility vehicle. There’s no bike rack at all, so they can easily fold up these bikes and put them in the back of their sport utility.

The bikes that they have are from MEC, which is Mountain Equipment Co-op. As I looked into it, I found out that the MEC bikes are actually Dahon bikes with MEC badging. So when Dahon contacted us about testing out one of these bikes, I thought, hmm, I’m not really sure if it’s exactly what we’re looking for in a bike, but I know it is something that a lot of people are looking for. So we thought, you know what, let’s try this thing out, see how we feel about it. So that’s what we’re doing today.

As Cheryl and I discussed having a folding bike, a few things came up. Number one, we only have a two-bike bike rack. And if one of our kids comes with us, in the past, we’ve taken their bike and brought it in the trailer. I really don’t like having a bike in the trailer, though. It could move around and cause some damage. Or what we’ve also done is tried to put a bike in the back of the truck.

Dahon K-One Folded for Truck

A full-size bicycle in the back of the truck takes up a lot of room. It’s awkward to get in with the cap on. If you just have a tonneau cover, you would have to lay the bike sideways which would take up most of the box of the truck. But we have a cap. It’s a little awkward to get in and to get out of. But with a folding bike, we fold it right up, we put it in. It fits easily under a tonneau cover or our cap.

A folding bike hardly takes up any space at all. It’s really nice. Plus, sometimes we get to a campground and we want to drive over to a place where we can go bicycling. For example, we might want to drive into a nearby town and ride around the town. Well, if that’s the case, we have to figure out some way to put our bikes in the truck to take them with us since our bike rack is attached to our trailer. So having a folding bike or two would be ideal to just throw them in the back of the truck or even in the backseat.

Now I’m no bike expert so I’m not going to go a deep dove into the specs, however, I will tell you a little bit about what the Dahon K-One offers.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor: Features

The Dahon K-One is an aluminum alloy bike. It has seven speeds that you change with a grip shifter.

Dahon K-One Grip Shifter

This is a folding e-bike with a hub drive motor with pedal assist to give you a boost for riding further and faster on flat, even terrain. It’s perfect for RVers and urban commuters who don’t have space to store standard e-bike.

When it’s folded up the e-bike is 25 and a half inches long, 15 inches wide by 32, and 5/16 inches tall. The Dahon K-One recommended rider height is 4’9″ to 6’3″. The weight capacity is 230 lbs. The wheel size is 20-inch diameter by 2 inches wide. It weighs 42 lbs (including battery). The motor is a Bafang with an output of 250 watts. The battery is a Samsung with a voltage of 36 volts and a capacity of 8.7 amp hours. This Dahon comes with a limited five-year warranty.

Dahon K-One 250W Rear Hub Motor

The battery is stored in the removable seat post. If you want to take the battery inside to keep it warm during the off-season, you can just bring the seat post into the house with you. Or you know what, it’s a small bike when it’s all folded up, you can bring the whole bike into the house with you.

Dahon K-One Seat Post Battery

Some e-bikes have a throttle that you just simply press and the e-bike will take off. You don’t even have to pedal at all. This isn’t like that. There’s no throttle on the Dahon K-One.

The Dahon K-One is a pedal-assist e-bike. With pedal assist, there are two types of sensors. You have a cadence sensor or you can have a torque sensor. The Dahon K-One is equipped with a torque sensor. Cheryl’s e-bike (Junction Powertrail) has a cadence sensor.

With the cadence sensor at whatever power level of assist, you have it at as you’re pedaling. When you do the motion of the pedals it engages the motor and the motor comes in full on. When you stop pedaling, the motor stops. Start pedaling and the motor comes on again.

Dahon K-One Torque Sensor

With the torque sensor, like this one, it senses when you’re applying pressure to the pedals. So as you apply pressure to the pedals, it applies some power. The harder you push on the pedals, the more power it provides. So as you get to a hill and start digging in to go up that hill, the motor provides you with more power. With the torque sensor, you get a much more natural ride. You don’t feel the motor starting and stopping. It’s just giving you assistance.

The torque sensor is usually found on higher-end pedal-assist electric bikes whereas the cadence sensor is usually found on lower-end models.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor: Display

Dahon K-One LCD Display

To turn on the main power hold down the M button for 3 seconds. Power comes on. At the very top of the display, it shows how much torque is being applied to the pedal. The display also shows the battery strength.

The bottom of the display shows the level of assistance. It’s at one right now. You can go up to five levels of assist with the up and down arrows. The display also shows your speed. I have it set to kilometers per hour, but you can set it to miles per hour.

The display has an odometer, trip meter, and voltage display. There’s the current time and the time that the bike has been powered on.

If you hold down the plus button at the top, it will turn on the front headlight and illuminates the LCD screen. Hold it down to turn off the front headlight.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor: Folding and Ride

Dahon K-One Folded

There are four adjustments to folding this bike: handlebars, seat post, middle brace, and pedals. Here’s how it’s done.

Watch the easy folding demonstration at the 7:30 minute mark in video below.

Cheryl and I have both been riding this bike around this campground, along the campground roads, and along the old railway bike trail. I’ve gotten a real appreciation for it.

Ben Coles Scenic Ride / Camping with the Coles

I was really concerned with the small tires, the high stem for the handlebars, and the high seat post that this bike might feel a little flimsy. That it might have a little bit of flex in it, but no, nothing like that. It felt very stable. It’s even okay if you ride on small roots and small rocks and things like that.

This folding bike is not meant to be a mountain bike. It would not do well as that at all. But if you’re taking it around the campground or you’re going on regular cycling trails, there’s no problem with it at all. The Dahon K-One holds up really well. And where I really love this bike is when I did my first uphill. Was that ever nice! The e-bike motor kicked in and just gave me the assistance to make it uphill a lot easier than normal.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor: Conclusion

So if you’re limited on space, when you go camping, a folding bike might be the one for you. Might not be this exact one. This is an e-bike. This retails for around $1899 U.S., which I think is about $2600 Canadian.

Dahon has many other models of bikes that are not e-bikes. They generally range from about $499 to about $1,500 for non-electric bikes. But they’re all folding bikes.

The size of this when it’s folded down I could squeeze it into the front compartment in my travel trailer, but I wouldn’t do that. It would be just too tight. But if you have a fifth wheel, something like that, with bigger compartments, this would fit in easily. If you don’t have a trailer and you just have a car, this fits in trunks. It fits in the back of a hatchback or in the back of sport utility vehicles. It’s a pretty small little package and it’ll fit in many places.

Dahon K-One Folded in Hatchback

So if you’re limited on space or you have no way of putting a bike rack on your vehicle, then a folding bike is an excellent solution. For now, I think what I’m going to be doing is on trips that I know we’re just going be riding around the campgrounds and doing some easy bicycle trails. I’ll probably be bringing this bike because this is a really nice ride. I can go a lot further on it because I don’t get as tired, but I still do get exercise with it. So this is the bike for that.

If I’m going somewhere where I know there’s going to be some mountain biking trails or other rough trails that I want to go on, I’ll probably be bringing my old mountain bike for that. And if one of our kids is coming with us, then this bike is definitely coming with us. Because for a third bike, we’ll just put this in the back of the truck and it’ll be nice and easy. I’m really going to like that.

I hope we gave you something to think about, about folding bikes, e-bikes, and more importantly about folding e-bikes. So you have to ask yourself is this the kind of bike that is going to make my camping adventure even better? Well, that’s it and I hope I gave you something to think about.

Have fun on your next camping trip and follow the Coles camping adventures.

Dahon K-One Hub Motor: Video Review

Dahon K-One Hub Motor Folding Electric Bike: Pricing and Specs

The Dahon K-One Hub Motor folding e-bike is currently priced at just $1,899 USD, plus shipping (unless you can locate a local Dahon dealer). Currently, it appears that ordering online is your only option in North America.

The Dahon K-One Hub Motor folding e-bike comes 98% assembled. You will need your own tools to install the seat and pedals. Dahon does offer a 7-day return policy. Please review all company warranties before purchasing.

The main features are as follows:

Frame: FEA 20″ aluminum foldable
Fork: 20″ Iron
Motor: 36V / 250W Bafang rear hub motor with torque sensor
Seat Post Battery: 36V8.7AH Samsung cell.
Range: 30+ miles
Display: LCD Display
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of pedal assistance
Throttle: None
Brakes: Disc Brakes
Drivetrain: SRAM RD X5 9S
Gearing: DAHON Custom 7-Speed with Trigger Shifter
Grips: Ergonomic
Handlebar: XH-G51 125mm/125mm L+R Black/Gray
Stem: Foldable and length adjustable
Tires: 20″*2.0″ 30TPI
Saddle: DAHON Ergo Comfort
Seatpost Clamp: Quick release
Kickstand: Alloy adjustable rear-mounted
Pedals: VP-F55 CPSC BK L+R Foldable
Light: Front – battery powered
Fenders/Rear Rack: Available
Folded Dimensions: 32.3″ H x 15″ W x 25.5″ L
Weight: 42 lbs

Photos Courtesy: Camping with the Coles