Touring - Travel Bike for a Tall Person
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01-25-13, 12:57 PM
Whenever I travel by air, I miss having a bike around. For most destinations, I feel like having a bike would really improve my travel experience, whether I'm just exploring the area with short hops, or going on longer tours. I would like the bike to be ready for domestic and international use. I would also like it to break down small enough to avoid outrageous baggage fees, but also comfortably fit my 6'2" frame. If I were a few inches shorter, I think a good, mid-range folder would be a no-brainer for me. But I am at a height where I'm pushing the limits of comfort on a folder, so I am looking closely at the Trucker Deluxe. Cost is also a factor. I could buy a discounted TD frame, assemble it with parts from my Cross Check, then sell my CC frame to defray some of the cost. I also have a rack, panniers, and frame pack that would transfer right over to the TD. With this setup, just one bike could serve as my at-home bike, but also as my travel companion. A folder seems more like a dedicated travel bike, so that would mean the expense of two bikes instead of one. Plus, a folder that would comfortably accommodate my height seems to put me in the more expensive Bike Friday category. So, yes, leaning towards a Trucker Deluxe, but looking for input from others who might have useful info that I haven't thought of.
01-25-13, 01:47 PM
perfectly happy with My Bike Friday Pocket Llama.. for a custom sized bike they are quite reasonable..
and an Oregon USA product.
S&S coupling adds $400+ to the Taiwan Made truckers,
and NB: the case can be no smaller than the wheels
+ the racks, will have to be packed separate, perhaps with the panniers and such.
how many bags can you check with out extra pieces fees..? check that..
you going to always return to the same hotel to leave the S&S hard case in?
got any 'open jaws' ticketed trips planned?
of course you have several frame builders there .. Bernie Mikkelsen is right near
the stadum the Raiders and A's play in, at home..
R&E in Seattle have another approach, they have a S&S bike, more couplers ..
the top and down tubes are separated at both ends,
so no possibility the long tube will get bent right behind the headtube ruining the frame and trip.
It's also 20" wheels..
01-25-13, 02:37 PM
Thanks fietsbob. All good info. Time for some googling.
I should clarify that this bike would mostly be used for day rides. 1x a year to an annual family get-together in Northern Wisconsin. Same arrival/departure point. Then for random trips to random destinations, say a week in Washington DC or Hawaii, or two weeks in Japan or Europe, etc, using the bike as a means of getting around the destination city and environs. Likely the same arrival/departure points. But would also like to keep open the possibility of a longer tour in South America or elsewhere, as well as touring more locally, starting outside my front door.
01-25-13, 03:40 PM
I've looked into this many times recently... The LHT Deluxe is still the best deal out there as far as regular-sized demountable framesets (excluding folding bikes) suitable for int'l. touring: S&S couplers, 26" wheels, rim brakes, etc. If that doesn't satisfy you for whatever reason (fitting, color, functionality, etc.), there are no more off-the-shelf options at this time. You must go custom. You can consult builders such as Rodriguez, Co-Motion, Bilenky, Elephant. The latter can build a custom 26" touring frameset for $1,400 using Ritchey's break-away system, although I don't know how reliable is Ritchey's system for loaded touring purposes. In the great scale of building a bike from the frameset up, the additional money on a custom frame is really something to consider, IMO.
01-25-13, 04:17 PM
I looked for a few weeks on Craig's list and picked up virtually brand new a Dahon knock-off for $250 with a Sturmey Archer 8 speed internal hub. The rear hub gearing wasn't low enough for some of the dirt roads I ride on in Hawai'i so I put a Paterson 2 speed crank on and I now have gearing that is close to my full size 27 speed touring bike. It all breaks down and fits in a standard hard shell suitcase. I carry extra tires for the dirt and I am getting some studded tires to visit my grandchildren who just moved to Alaska. I use to be 6' 2" and the only hassle was getting the seat high enough. It took a little creativity but it fits perfectly now.
Getting the bike on the plane or the bus to the airport is no big deal. It flies for what ever the airline's standard checked baggage fee is. TSA always seems to have a look. I always leave some photos on top of the bike to show how it is packed and there has never been any damage to the bike. The suitcase has 4 spinner wheels and weights about 45 lbs with bike, bags, racks, tires and tools. It definitely is not was I would take on an extended tour, but for a 20 to 30 mile day ride it is just great.
01-25-13, 04:33 PM
Bi Fri , The Travel Bikes with the 406 tires as the bmx tires come in all sorts of types are also good rolling
high pressure tires to use.. Kojacs and so forth ..
406/20" and 26" tires are pretty common world wide .. like SA..
I dont feel much of a sacrifice with the Nimble steering Vs the heavyer tire of that extra 6" of diameter..
01-25-13, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. Again, very helpful info. I think I will slow down a bit and search for a used S&S bike, Bike Friday, or similar, since my need is not immediate, although I would like to have something by this spring. That still gives me a few months to see what comes up in the used market, then I can go with something new if I don't find anything.
As an aside, check out this Bike Friday that is for sale in my area. (Wow!) Certainly doesn't meet my needs, but if there's something this specific available in the used market, I should be able to find something in the next few months that will fit just me.
01-25-13, 11:55 PM
Bike friday has 8 top tube lengths. then the Masts for bars and saddle are the height/ size variations.
so generically 1,know what TT length is right , for your body ... translates well if you know what works on DF
for me thats 56 .. Bi Fri's medium. you, tall guy, that maybe 60, IDK..
01-27-13, 02:44 AM
My arvon2 is a custom built folder custom built by Arvon Stacey in Alberta, Canada.
It fits into an aluminum box 20" X 20" X 10" or is it 12". The box folds to a platform on the rear rack. 20" wheels with a SA 8-speed rear hub.
I am 6'5" and almost 65 years old so figured to have an ultimate folder built for touring. Not cheap at just over $3000 a year ago. Made of steel and it FITS into the box! Really, NO BS, but it is costly -just like a Ferrari :D
Works for me. A new car depreciates that much in a year!
Just my approach as I am tired of ill-fitting bicycles at my age.
sixtyfiver who is on the folder forum has further info. PM him. All of my emails and pics were lost when my personal laptop was stolen.
I found Keith's info at this place:
01-27-13, 09:34 AM
I have a Bike Friday New World Tourist that I got years ago. Highly adjustable for fit. I am also 6' 2" and was able to set it up just the way I like it for the fast commuting I used it for.
How is a TD going to help you with the bike surcharge? Also, when you travel by air domestically, look into shipping via UPS, FedEx and/or Amtrak. Usually much less expensive unless you are flying Southwest or Frontier.
I am 6’2” and wanted a travel bike. I couldn’t afford what I wanted to ride so I built it myself. It is a “folding” bike based on the design of the Raleigh 20, but has a diamond frame and instead of folding, the frame comes apart much like the Ritchey Break-Away frame, but has 20” (406) wheels. I built it many years ago as a 10 spd. It now is a 3x9 with ratios from 18 to 98. I haven’t taken it on a trip for a while but it worked out well in the past when I took it to Cali, Idaho and other places.
01-27-13, 02:45 PM
ClemY, that is so cool. Nice build.
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