I find it very attractive as well and would be tempted by it, if I didn't live in a tiny apartment with no storage locker. But when I was craving a bike again this spring (I haven't had one for about six years due to said apartment), I started investigating folding bikes and ended up buying this nifty little Dahon 7 speed number two months ago. I LOVE IT! It is super fast to fold up, rides very smooth, and goes much faster than I thought, given its small wheels. I have a 22km commute to work with a stretch that has some big hills and no dedicated bike lanes (the Europeans are so far ahead of us on bike-friendly city planning), but I fold up the bike and hop on the bus for that portion. The rest (about 14km) I can do via bike paths. I've christened him Charles Ryder after the character from Brideshead Revisited (another fantasy - bumping into Jeremy Irons riding a bicycle around Oxford). And best of all, this is what it looks like folded up:
The only drawback is its weight - about 26 pounds. Not a huge problem, but if I'm loaded down with a backpack with my laptop and - ahem - books, it feels very heavy. Still, I'm so delighted with it. If I'd had a bigger budget, I would totally have gone for their oh-so-European-looking Ciao model though! Isn't this a beauty?And I just need to rant for a moment about the idiotic policies of VIA Rail. Last month, I had to work 12 days in Ottawa, which has such wonderful bike paths all along its canal. It's an extemely bike-friendly city. So I was looking forward to bringing my bike along - but wouldn't you know it, VIA doesn't put a baggage car on its Toronto-Ottawa route and so you can't take bikes on the train. Never mind that it's our bloody nation's capital, has several universities, and its bike paths are a major tourist attraction! I can't tell you how frustrated I was with them, and how sad I was to have to leave the bike at home.