Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montreal, Canada
Bikes: 2003 KHS F20-Westwood folding & enough parts to make several more bikes...
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If you have the coin for a Brompton, you might also try to track down the elusive but extremely high-performance Go-Bike. We have at least one Go-Biker here, "chop" - see http://www.long-john.com
for his review.
I suggest it because it folds nearly as small as a Brompton - if folded size is an issue for you. Folded size for London Underground commuting seems to be the selling point of the Brommy. If that's not a huge factor, there are dozens of other folders - convert a Raleigh 20 or get a new Giant Halfway, KHS, Bike Friday etc.
700c, 26" MTB, older 27" road and the 406 (20") are prevalent everywhere I've ridden (Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Canada, the US) - available at my local W*lmart and hardware store, as well as the LBS'. 16" seems much less common.
Take it for what it's worth. I'd hate to hear a potentially small problem turned into a big one when you couldn't find a tire/tube/rim after a flat or wipe out and it messed up a well planned trip.
To answer your question about holding up to a loaded rig: small wheels, for a given spoke count, will be stronger than larger wheels. (eg: 32 spoke 20-inch is like a 44-spoke 27-inch) I would think a 16" would be near bullet-proof. I know 20" is practically indestructable.
Last edited by af895; 10-15-05 at 08:15 AM.