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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 04-05-06, 04:15 PM   #1
bart
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Looking for a strong folder

I'm looking for a reliable folding bike suitable for heavy riders/loads (suitable for trekking, folding for airline/bus/train travel, not for commuting) (max. total load about 150 to 200kgs (around 400 pounds). Most folding bicycles seem to have a 200 pounds limit. Any ideas?

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Old 04-05-06, 07:58 PM   #2
spambait11
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Bike Fridays can be custom built for heavy weight. Probably the Pocket Llama in particular.
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Old 04-05-06, 09:13 PM   #3
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1) I doubt you would get a manufacturer to guarantee their bike will work with that load. On the other hand if you are doing something exciting maybe you can get them to sponsor you. They might give you a carry bag or something. email them and see if you can talk to a techincal person.

2) You will most likely use racks over the wheels. The wheels not the frame will support the weight. Smaller wheels are stronger structurally, but may not be suited to your touring. I weigh about 230 lb with a full back pack. I ride a Montague CX. They have models with better parts packages than the CX. I would suggest you get the CX and buy a new set of parts especially wheels. The Montagues are mediocre in all respects except they are rugged.

3) If you have some $$$ consider http://www.sandsmachine.com/ Dahon has some high end bikes that use couplings. For that cash a Brit (I assume) might do the patriotic thing and get a Moulton.

4) With that much stuff you could just get a bike with a managable frame. Pop off the wheels, pedals and handel bars. Wrap it all in a painters tarp with bungee cords. Remember you will need to wrap the bike to protect others from the filth on your chain, ect. It is less likely that a wraped bike will be ejected from the train.
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Old 04-05-06, 10:39 PM   #4
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It's possible that you might be able to keep some weight off the bike itself by using a trailer to carry your load. Spambait already mentioned Bike Friday, since they will custom build bikes for heavy riders. I don't know how heavy they'll go for the bike itself. They do have a system, though, where the suitcase that you use to transport the bike turns into a trailer that hitches to the bike, and will carry a lot of stuff. Of course, these are expensive bikes.
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Old 04-08-06, 03:11 PM   #5
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Re: Montague

Thanks everybody,

Actually, I used a Montague CX folder on a RTW trip in 2005. I took it in a large bag, a box or suitcase would have been impractical - I didn't always return from where I left.
It performed quite reasonably while it lasted, very little frame flex but it was quite a heavy bicycle. It took me well over an hour to pack it or to reassemble it. I ended up only using it a few times, when I planned to use it for several days in a row as I needed to take off both wheels, the steerer and the luggage racks (I used a Tubus Logo in the back, fixed to a Colorado seatpost binder and a Carradice Limpet system for the front).
I did use it for a 4 week tour in Tasmania.



I had a lot of problems with spokes breaking on the rear wheel - even though I had it replaced by a supposedly better one.
Unfortunately the bicycle sustained quite a bit of damage. First the large chainring got bent (I guess due to a 5 ft drop out off an overfilled luggage compartment of a bus somewhere in Argentina). I only noticed it later, fortunately I could still use both other chainrings, I ultimately had it replaced. Worst of all, when I got home I noticed the derailer hanger on the frame got bent during transportation .
I've been looking for alternatives since then (lurking on several forums,...). Peregrine Bicycle Works bikes looked quite attractive to me (20inch wheels, rohloff available), but they would have needed well over a year to build one. It looks like Montague might have been the most appropriate choice after all, maybe this time with a packing harnass or something like it. I'll need to check out Bike Friday as well (Moulton looks mighty expensive to me - I'm Belgian btw., not British).
A last possibility would be a custom folder design, but it seems quite hard to find a builder who could realise that dream for a reasonable sum.
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Old 04-08-06, 03:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bart
I had a lot of problems with spokes breaking on the rear wheel - even though I had it replaced by a supposedly better one.
Unfortunately the bicycle sustained quite a bit of damage. First the large chainring got bent (I guess due to a 5 ft drop out off an overfilled luggage compartment of a bus somewhere in Argentina). I only noticed it later, fortunately I could still use both other chainrings, I ultimately had it replaced. Worst of all, when I got home I noticed the derailer hanger on the frame got bent during transportation .
I've been looking for alternatives since then (lurking on several forums,...). Peregrine Bicycle Works bikes looked quite attractive to me (20inch wheels, rohloff available), but they would have needed well over a year to build one. It looks like Montague might have been the most appropriate choice after all, maybe this time with a packing harnass or something like it. I'll need to check out Bike Friday as well (Moulton looks mighty expensive to me - I'm Belgian btw., not British).
A last possibility would be a custom folder design, but it seems quite hard to find a builder who could realise that dream for a reasonable sum.
I'd recommend something like my bike below.. the 8spd Nexus RedBand hub laced to a 36 spoke Alex16 wheel is very strong.. The Downtube FS bike is over-built and I abuse it regularly off-road and have had no mechanical/frame issues over the last 8 months.. if I wanted a dual-purpose beefy 20" folder, I'd give a serious look at the FS. The exceptionally low price aside, the bike uses standard, non-proprietary parts available most everywhere if breakdowns occur or replacements needed. I have lots of great folders, if I had to pick one to go touring where road conditions are unknown, I'd take my FS..

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Old 04-08-06, 03:44 PM   #7
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Bruce, what tensioner are you using on your DT FS?
[found your post... a Surley]

I've gone to Speedplay Frogs on my FS. MTB shoes are very comfortable, the SPD cleat is recessed. I use Frogs on all my MTBs and now on the FS. I used Power Grips for years before switching to Frogs. An endo on Mt. Pisgah was the final straw. I was riding out of the Grips (Grip on the underside) because I was only going "10 m. down the trail" and .... the left Grip caught on a root. .....
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Old 04-08-06, 10:46 PM   #8
Wavshrdr
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I am a big guy and I have had some big loads on my Swift with no issues. I went with HD rims to make sure it wouldn't be an issue. I've towed a BOB trailer with it as well. As Bruce mentioned the DT is overbuilt as well. I have the 8spd Red Label Nexus internal hub and absolutely love it on my Swift. Great hub and has been reliable as heck for me. Look at a Swift and then get the heavy duty wheels and a Thudbuster seat post. Slap on some Schwalbe Big Apples and go see the world.
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