Dahon Matrix vs. Montague Swissbike?


New Member
Jul 22, 2010

I'm considering buying a full-size folding bike and am torn between the Dahon Matrix and the Montague Swissbike X50 (or the older MX Mountain), based on the specs. Can anyone recommend one of these above the other?

What I'll use it for:
* daily commuting (2.5 miles each way) plus everyday errands and trips around the SF Bay area, involving hills and some serious potholes
* occasional recreational trail/light(ish) off-road riding

What it needs to carry:
* me (5'5", 130lbs or thereabouts)
* occasional groceries/shopping :)

Why a folder:
* so that if I want to go home on the BART, or get a lift from a friend, I can take my bike more easily
* I have tentative plans to do a 2-3 month tour of the USA/Canada before heading back to the UK, so something that's relatively easy to take on planes, trains and buses would be good

Why 26" wheels:
* I feel like it'd stand up better to rougher riding
* I don't need it to be compact most of the time

Why these two models:
* front suspension seems like a good idea
* lots of gears - I seem to need at least 8 just for my commute (which is relatively flat)

Why the indecision (i.e. what I'd like help with :) ):
* I like that the Matrix folds up without the wheel having to be taken off, but worry that the broken frame could be a point of weakness over time, and perhaps the Swissbike would be sturdier.
* I wonder if the Matrix is better suited for in-town (faster) riding (which is really the more important for me); the Swissbike seems to be more "mountainy"?

I haven't tried either yet, as I wanted to check first if I could rule one out and save a trip - and to see if there are alternatives I've not considered!

Many thanks,

Hi Kate, I'm work for Montague and a bit biased here so I'll limit my input to some examples. :D

- I use my Montague SwissBike daily to ride to the train on the seacoast area of NH, fold up the bike and take the train to Boston where I ride the bike to our offices. I have semi-slick tires to make the ride a little smoother but also have enough grip that I use the bike for light trails on the weekend.

- The bike would also work for your USA/Canada tour. One of our customers just finished a 1,600 mile ride along the Iron Curtain Trail (BIKING BORDERS). More of our customers have shared their trips with us on our Facebook page (Montague Bikes, SwissBike | Facebook) if you want more examples or feedback.

Let me know if there are any questions I can answer and no matter which one you choose have a great USA/Canada tour and safe travels!
Hi Kate,
I posted the same question in Google and that is how I ended here. I see you asked your question a couple of years ago. What did you do at the end? Please tell us what happened, which bicycle you ended buying and if you are happy with your decision. I hope to buy one of these two models next week.
Hello! Wow, I'd forgotten I'd posted this... I actually decided not to get any folding bike while I was in the States, as my little second hand hybrid was doing just fine and I figured that I probably wouldn't take it travelling with me in any case and shipping would be a hassle. However, since returning to London at the beginning of the year, I got myself a Dahon Cadenza P18, which I love to bits :) It's not overly practical for taking on public transport (I find it easier to carry unfolded), but it fits nicely in the corner of my apartment! The hinged frame feels pretty sturdy (I'm not sure if it's the same mechanism as the Matrix; it needs a key to lock/unlock it) and it looks just like a "normal" bike when not folded, which I hope makes it stand out less. I actually tend to just lock it up when I'm out on it and only fold it for storage. Anyway, that's probably not much help to you :) Good luck with your decision - I'm sure you'll be happy with whichever you choose! Kate
Thank you for your extremely fast answer Kate!
Actually I didn't know the Dahon Cadenza P18 so now it is on my list too