Folding Bikes - Loaded Touring on 20" Wheels
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01-02-07, 11:39 AM
OK, kind of a quick question. I've done two light tours on folding bikes, 1st on a Dahon and then on a Swift.
With the Dahon, I used rear panniers and a small bag on the rack. It rode fine, but the rack was kind of low, so the bottom of the panniers got kind of torn. But it handled almost the same as unloaded, maybe a little slower when accelerating.
I did a hillier tour with my Swift with a standard rack and panniers, but no rear bag. The clearances were good, but the handling was not great.
In addition to handling issues, I am planning to do some basic camping on my next few outings. So that means adding a tent, sleeping bag, pad, and some basic cooking supplies. So:
• Any feedback on handling with 20" wheels with both front and rear bags?
• Any recommendations on front rack and front panniers?
• Can I get away with just adding a handlebar bag (or, more likely, a small bag that attaches to the handlebar post) and toss ~10 - 15 lbs into it?
01-02-07, 11:33 PM
I wrote up some comments on my experiences with racks in the Swift thread, and there's a summary with some pictures on my blog (below).
I have a handlebar bag with klickfix mounting - it's very convenient, but you feel the weight up there much more than in panniers down low. I use it mostly to hold a map, valuables, maybe a snack and a rain top.
The front rack I have is a Nashbar front rack, when I got it it was on sale for $10 :) I also ended up getting some Nashbar waterproof front panniers, on sale for around $40 at the time. All in all, I'm very pleased with both. I bike commute every day, rain or shine, so they've seen a lot of use. The reason I got the Nashbar front rack, rather than say the Dahon or Bike Friday front racks, is that I wanted a load platform on top of the rack. The other two look very good, but will only accept panniers.
Before I got my panniers, I had 20 lb of shopping strapped to the top of the rack (more than it's rated for..) - the handling was ok. A little harder to start off, and the steering is a little heavier.
01-03-07, 04:58 AM
I just fınıshed a two week tour ın Turkey on my DT mını wıth about 18 kılos on my rear rack, and I was surprsıed how well the bıke handled. The bıke felt slıghtly less stable on the steep descents, but not as much as I had ımagıned. I am not sure ıf I whould bother wıth a front rack and pannıers, but I thınk that a BOB traıler (wıth a shortened gooseneck) would handle even better.
01-03-07, 02:10 PM
H'm.... The Swift was definitely rideable but the steering was even lighter than usual. What seems odd to me was that the Dahon was more stable with a similar configuration, so I'd like to try and figure out why.
I think I'll wait for an epic-length tour before using a trailer. ;) My time is limited for the forseeable future, and a trailer is overkill for most of this years' touring plans.
01-06-07, 06:56 PM
Bicycle stability is an unsolved mystery. The wheelbase, angle of the steering tube or if the fork is curved could be part of the explanation.
01-16-07, 03:04 AM
I have done a couple of overnighters with my dahon speed d7 with just the front panniers.
I have adapted an old MTB rack to the front of this folder. It can take two loaded ortlieb backroler classic panniers which for me is enough for every kind of tour I am doing, including sleeping (hammock) and cooking gear.
I have also used in the past a large handlebar bag but I didn't liked it because it kept on rubbing against the handlepost and left a mark there.
Currently I am using this setup for daily commuting with just one of this ortlieb panniers on the front.
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