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I've seen the term Dahonesque used to refer to some folding bikes, what does it mean? What is the connection between "Dahonesque" bikes and the Dahon company?

  • THis might be something for the glossary. – Batman Jan 10 '17 at 20:53
  • Thought about that, but it was kind of brand specific and didn't want to make the glossary too long. – RoboKaren Jan 10 '17 at 21:12
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    The suffix "-esque", in English, can be added to a "NOUN" to produce a word meaning "NOUN-like". So it basically means "Dahon-like". No magic, nothing special. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 11 '17 at 1:02
  • Would one ever hear "bromptonesque", "bromptesque", "ternesque", or "moltonesque" ? – Criggie Jan 11 '17 at 2:39
  • I don't think so as those bike manufacturers are either too new (Tern) or better about protecting their IP (Brompton). There was a Taiwanese Brompton for a very short while but they're now extinct. – RoboKaren Jan 11 '17 at 3:35
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Dahon is an American bicycle company founded in 1982 by David T. Hon (Da Hon). They are famous for their folding bikes, which are manufactured overseas.

Dahon officially markets under its own brand name as well as through affiliated brand names such as Yeah, Biceco, and Novara.

But in the years after the Dahon came out, people noticed that very similar-to-identical folding bikes were being sold under other (often unknown or house) labels. These were often not the newest models, but a generation older and with some changes such as different grips, locking mechanisms, or gearing.

It's unclear whether Dahon officially licenses their older designs to other companies to market under their own names; whether these are "excess" but official frames that have been repurposed or made during a "ghost shift"; total rip-off designs using the original plans; or, simply "inspired" by the Dahon design. Given the variety from perfect-clones to off-copies, most probably all of the above.

Because of the family connection and resemblance to Dahons, these folding bicycles that appear to use the original Dahon designs are called Dahonesque.

Note 1: some people also use the term Dahon-clone to refer to exact copies.

Note 2: The Tern Company was founded by the wife and son of David Hon (the Dahon founder). The first Terns were definitely Dahonesque, but recent models show considerable genetic drift, perhaps enough to make them their own species.


Finally, let's play, Spot the Real Dahon!

Dublin Explorer Dahon Curve Fnhon VG2018 Dahon Vigor D9

From top to bottom: Dublin Explorer (a £99 copy); the real Dahon Curve; the Fnhon VG2018 - an unlicensed clone; the real Dahon D9.

  • The image pair I used (Dublin Explorer versus Dahon Curve) may not be the best examples since the Dublin is a near-copy rather than an exact-copy. Feel free to suggest others. – RoboKaren Jan 10 '17 at 20:52
  • Added the Fnhon VG2018, which is about as close to an illegal clone copy as you can get. See the link to bikeforums for the story - "FNHON's CEO Mr Feng is a formal DAHON sales manager.He and his team left DAHON and created new brand FNHON and FSIR. in their early stage they provided DAHON clone and modifying parts mainly for DIYer market.now they also provide original design folders and frames." – RoboKaren Jan 10 '17 at 21:11

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