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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 06-09-05, 05:34 AM   #1
sabre801
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Need good folder for aircraft

Ok, I just joined up because of the great info on this site. I'm not much of a cyclist but would like to have a folder for the airplane. After flying around for a few hours it's feels good to get some excersize plus I don't have to rent a car or keep bothering friends to pick me up. So... does anyone have any experience hauling a folder in & out of an airplane? I would like a quick folder, one that's light (under 26 lbs), easy to ride & easy on the butt (shock absorber sound good here). Are the 20" wheels better riders than the 16"? I don't understand the gearing ranges (distance?)

Thanks
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Old 06-09-05, 05:56 AM   #2
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Take a look on The Official dahon site in the forums, and the photos.
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Old 06-09-05, 09:31 AM   #3
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You get folding bikes for transit commuting, and takedown bikes which generally ride better but are more difficult/slower to pack.
For air travel, a high-performance takedown bike, like Bike Friday or Airnimal is better then compact folders such as the Brompton.
Check out
http://www.atob.org.uk/

For gearing you need to account for the tooth count (front and back) and the smaller wheel size. The "gear inches" method does this and is the std way of comparing gears for bikes.

http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_g.html#gearinch
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Old 06-09-05, 11:27 AM   #4
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I assume you are talking about general aviation flying. If so, then you want something more like a commuter would have, perhaps a Dahon. You don't want to have to take a half hour to assemble a complicated bike like a Bike Friday. You want to make sure you have enough of a luggage rack so you can carry your flight bag (which you might decide to convert to panniers) on the back, because locking up your GPS and handheld is a great way to fry them in the hot sun. It is also handy to be able to ride back and forth from parking to the FBO if you have to arrange fueling and then supervise it e.g. White Sulphur Springs VA. I don't trust those truck jockeys to put 100 LL in every time. It only takes a little jet fuel in your tank to ruin your day, especially if your fuel lines are holding enough Avgas to get your airborne in time to have your engine quit.
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Old 06-09-05, 01:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James H Haury
Take a look on The Official dahon site in the forums, and the photos.
I'll second that. Especially because I started one of the threads there about it.

Here's the thread

You should probably be able to get away with a 20" folder in just about any plane that offers reasonable baggage storage. Mooney owners will probably have to use the back seat. And if you fly something like a Katana, you might want to just get some rollerblades.

Generally 20" bikes offer a smoother ride than smaller-wheeled bikes, all other things being equal.
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Old 06-10-05, 09:57 PM   #6
sabre801
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Good info, Thanks. Yeah, GA flying. I'm building the Zenith CH-801. It's a 4 seater. Similar in size to a C172 but no baggage area behind the rear seat. So the rear seat IS the baggage area. There is an option to buy & build a baggage space on the bellow of the plane so I just may do this but if I don't I may need to get a 16" with shock absorbers. I hope these are good riders.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FOG
I assume you are talking about general aviation flying. If so, then you want something more like a commuter would have, perhaps a Dahon. You don't want to have to take a half hour to assemble a complicated bike like a Bike Friday. You want to make sure you have enough of a luggage rack so you can carry your flight bag (which you might decide to convert to panniers) on the back, because locking up your GPS and handheld is a great way to fry them in the hot sun. It is also handy to be able to ride back and forth from parking to the FBO if you have to arrange fueling and then supervise it e.g. White Sulphur Springs VA. I don't trust those truck jockeys to put 100 LL in every time. It only takes a little jet fuel in your tank to ruin your day, especially if your fuel lines are holding enough Avgas to get your airborne in time to have your engine quit.
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Old 06-12-05, 11:34 AM   #7
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Get a Strida with the upgrade package.
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Old 06-12-05, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabre801
Ok, I just joined up because of the great info on this site. I'm not much of a cyclist but would like to have a folder for the airplane. After flying around for a few hours it's feels good to get some excersize plus I don't have to rent a car or keep bothering friends to pick me up. So... does anyone have any experience hauling a folder in & out of an airplane? I would like a quick folder, one that's light (under 26 lbs), easy to ride & easy on the butt (shock absorber sound good here). Are the 20" wheels better riders than the 16"? I don't understand the gearing ranges (distance?)

Thanks
You will get any number of opinions here, but for compactness and utility, it's hard to beat Brompton. The C3 meets your criteria, it doesn't come with suspension but you can always a saddle with springs or shock absorber mechanism.
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Old 06-12-05, 07:59 PM   #9
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You might also look at Slingshot - they are based in Grand Rapids, MI.

http://www.slingshotbikes.com/

I'm told one of their biggest markets is pilots who want a real bike.


Ride on.
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Old 06-12-05, 09:01 PM   #10
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Try the Bike Friday. I specifically got it for the reasons you mentioned.

The Bike Friday has a suitcase you can buy for it. It's a Samsonite luggage with a combination lock. It's pricy, but it lasts. It has its own wheels and a retractable handle, so it pulls like all other checked bags. I love it. If you ever decide to start touring, you can also buy the hitch and touring wheels also. Then the suitcase converts to a trailer that hitches to your bike.

The website: www.bikefriday.com.

If you go there, you may think some bikes are pricy. But just stick with a basic Bike Friday with none of the fixins... something with straight handlebars. Or go to the used Bike Friday section. They often have used BF's they get from previous owners that they fix up and restore to near-perfect conditions that they sell for a lot less than getting it new.

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Old 06-13-05, 06:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabre801
Good info, Thanks. Yeah, GA flying. I'm building the Zenith CH-801. It's a 4 seater. Similar in size to a C172 but no baggage area behind the rear seat. So the rear seat IS the baggage area. There is an option to buy & build a baggage space on the bellow of the plane so I just may do this but if I don't I may need to get a 16" with shock absorbers. I hope these are good riders.
The diagram shows plenty of room for a bike in the back seat, since the cabin is 44 inches wide. http://www.zenithair.com/stolch801/cabin.html

You might try asking on the matronics list too. There are a few 801 builders there. There are also yahoo groups for Zenith builders.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/701builders/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CH200-300Builders/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CH601XL/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ZenithCh801/
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Old 06-13-05, 07:31 AM   #12
James H Haury
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A question which needs to be asked is ,how much do you want to spend?This will narrow your choices. Slingshot bicycles can be quite pricey to those used to schwinn's.
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Old 06-13-05, 08:13 AM   #13
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you may also want to check http://www.sandsmachine.com/

Lots of great info at the site linked above with a complete list of frame builders and who can retro fit any steel bike


This bike can be packed into this case
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