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The Hon brothers started the revolution of their day with the world’s first folding bicycle small enough to fit under a train seat. 220+ patents and over 35 years of quiet evolution and ingenious technologies later, DAHON is the leader in folding bike technology, changing the way people around the world get from “A” to “B”. Read all about it below.
Dr. David T. Hon has always been a tinkerer and cyclist. His urge to fold up “Man’s most ingenious invention” came about when commuting to and from UCLA in the 70s to earn his PhD in physics: every day, he had to remove the wheel of his bike to stuff it into his car parked far away on campus. Years later, after pioneering laser technology with great success at Hughes Research Center, Hon gave up his budding career to finally focus on his vision for “folding green transportation”.
Together with his brother Henry, an industrial engineer with a computer sciences degree, Hon began developing his vision – and received the first seven patents for his idea.
At design competitions around the world, their unique folding bike model won award after award. After registering the first seven patents, David set out to find a bicycle company interested in licensing or producing his distinctive vehicle. Despite the overwhelming success in the design world, however, no manufacturer was interested in taking the dare on such a “niche” product.
Henry, then in his late twenties with a wife and three small children, reached into his own savings collected from his lucrative computer programming days and put up the first $60,000. That and more from 35 other visionary followers were enough to accumulate $2 million – and set up production of the first bikes in Taiwan. Of these, the Hon brothers sold the first 6,000 folders in only six months!
Pioneering the development of convenient, environmentally friendly transport has remained David and Henry’s passion. Fostering the way millions of savvy people everywhere get from point “A” to “B” today, DAHON is constantly developing, redeveloping and optimizing the “perfect fold”.
The technologies behind Dr. David Hon’s patents for frame and wheel configurations, metal alloys and folding mechanisms have delivered the mechanical basis for 98% of today’s folding bicycles. With more than five million DAHON folding bikes in motion, they are incontestably the global leader in folding bicycles – now a firm element of lifestyle in over 40 countries.
Headquartered in Illinois, DAHON now produces their distinctive folding bikes in their own factories and production lines in China, and most recently Bulgaria – where all production for Europe takes place. DAHON’s superior parts and component technology continue to be sourced from the world’s best manufacturers.