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Old 08-29-06, 12:43 AM   #1
megaptera
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Grocery shooping with a folder?

Hi all,

I just got my Vitesse D5 for city use. I was thinking about as many ways to use this bike, and one obvious issue is grocery shopping. So I have questions for those who go to grocery shop with folders: (1) how do you lock the bike or carry it in to the store? I thought about putting the bike folded on the shopping cart but this may be problematic (size issue, scratch to the bike, ...) and the idea of locking the bike outside seems not to fit for this type of bikes and also invite theft... (2) what are good panniers/bags/etc. for this purpose? Front or rear mount type? I am thinking about a bag that attaches to the rear rack since the center of gravity is still low with this 20" bike. But I see comments by those who think front bag is easier to ride. Any comment on this?
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Old 08-29-06, 05:07 AM   #2
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I may not be too much help on this but, I ride my RSW to the grocery store and lock it outside(it are a heavy sucker) I use the Transit Grocery panniers. However I am in the market for a different folder like the Dahon Piccolo, if I get that one the game plan would be to fold it, stuff it in a canvas sleeve and throw it on the rack at the bottom of the cart.

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Old 08-29-06, 05:38 AM   #3
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I think for something as short as a trip to the grocery store, a good lock and a solid thing to lock the bike to should be enough.

I'm about to move to a new apartment which will require a bike ride to the supermarket, and would also like to hear more comments about panniers on folders. Any other recommendations?
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Old 08-29-06, 08:51 AM   #4
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I do all my errands using my Swift, and I lock it up outside. (Locking strategy: ABUS Granite + the thickest Kryptoflex cable for the front wheel. And I always bring the seat/seatpost inside)

As you may have seen in the Swift thread, I have a front rack on the Swift which I either bungee my bag(s) to or fit panniers (pics to come of that). The main reason I don't have a rear rack is because it would compromise the fold too much. On the Dahon type fold, I would probably prefer a rear rack and I see Dahon make several different ones.
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Old 08-29-06, 10:32 AM   #5
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I had no luck with rear panniers on folders (several models), so I strongly suggest any front basket, bag or handlebar-pannier.

Bringing the bike with you is not practical, so fold it, cover with the carrying bag and lock it (don't forget to lock the bag going thru the carrying handle). Done it about 20 times, no problems with theft so far.
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Old 08-30-06, 06:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafael Guerra
Bringing the bike with you is not practical,
It is with a Brompton, it'll sit below the cart (where you might put the beer).
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Old 08-30-06, 07:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megaptera
Hi all,

I just got my Vitesse D5 for city use. I was thinking about as many ways to use this bike, and one obvious issue is grocery shopping.
No room for the Vitesse where you mentioned, but thank you for the advice, I'll try having my Merc there instead of all the Coronas...
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Old 08-30-06, 03:09 PM   #8
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Thanks all for helpful responses so far.

So it is possible to put a Brompton under the cart, but not with Dahon... I may do a bit research on shopping cart sizes: which local market has the biggest cart?

In terms of panniers, did anyone try Sunlite toploader and grocery getter? Some toploaders seem to have padded and insulated walls, ideal to carry a digicam and a sushi lunch for weekend cycling, while grocery getter seems big enough to hold a bagful of grocery. Both are mounted on the rear rack, and I'm not certain if they can mount nicely on Vitesse.

Rafael, can you expand on what kind of problems you experienced with rear panniers?
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Old 08-30-06, 08:18 PM   #9
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Same problems you have I had myself. Here is what I end up doing.

For bags I have a trunk bag with expandable side paniers. This is mostly empty, so I don't always need to use it. I take it in case I want to stop at a store on the way home. My laptop goes in a messanger bag. As others have said, I had no luck with paniers except in the front for touring, and these are not big enough for a laptop. I carry tools in an under seat wedge.

I carry my lock looped around the seat post (cable, not secure enough by itself), another one on the handle bars (u-lock style). When I lock up I remove the seat post with my tool bag. I figure it will be very hard to sell a Dahon without a 34mm seat post, and no Dahons in the area to steal said seat post from.
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Old 08-31-06, 12:55 AM   #10
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Is it that the problem with pannier on Dahon is related to the low height of the rear rack and the height of the pannier, leaving small clearance?
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Old 09-01-06, 10:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yangmusa
I do all my errands using my Swift, and I lock it up outside. (Locking strategy: ABUS Granite + the thickest Kryptoflex cable for the front wheel. And I always bring the seat/seatpost inside)
I have a steel Swift. I just moved to Tucson and I relunctantly locked up my bike for the 1st time in 5 months. I folded it up and locked it wih an arbus 810 and a standard Knite Ulock. I also take the seat post which includes a seatpost rack and trunk bag. I am still paranoid about leaving the stem riser. I plan to take off the QR and put back the original allen bolt.

Last edited by stargazer48; 09-01-06 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 09-01-06, 11:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer48
I am still paranoid about leaving the stem riser. I plan to take off the QR and put back the original allen bolt.
I started out being paranoid about this, but I wonder if it's waranted? I mean, the stem riser is attached by 3 cables to the bike. I guess someone could cut the cables, but how likely is that?

Another idea I had, was to attach some sort of eyelet, so that I could put the lock or cable through the eyelet and lock the riser with the rest of the bike. I haven't found anything really suitable yet. I have my water bottle cage attached to the riser with hose clips, and I have occasionally passed the lock through the water bottle cage. I know it isn't heavy duty or anything, but it ought to deter the opportunist thief..

/. Magnus
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Old 09-02-06, 12:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LWaB
It is with a Brompton, it'll sit below the cart (where you might put the beer).
I use the Brompton with front touring bag as the cart:
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Old 09-02-06, 08:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfahrner
I use the Brompton with front touring bag as the cart:
Now that's a nifty idea. Do you ever run into stores that don't let you do this?
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Old 09-02-06, 01:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yangmusa
I have my water bottle cage attached to the riser with hose clips, and I have occasionally passed the lock through the water bottle cage. I know it isn't heavy duty or anything, but it ought to deter the opportunist thief.
I also attach my bottle cage in the same way and pass the arbus chain through the cage as well.
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Old 09-02-06, 01:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbcb
Now that's a nifty idea. Do you ever run into stores that don't let you do this?
i haven't yet after probably at least a hundred hours and a couple dozen shops. i would not patronize such a shop unless it was too cramped for carts, given that the bike is narrower, shorter, and more maneuverable than a cart, and that it speeds/obviates bagging waste. one time i was informed repeatedly that i could leave the bike up front. i repeatedly stated that i was willing to leave the bike up front if they required, but that i preferred to keep it with me, and they seemed to accept that sincerely. another time i entered on a rainy day, and i was asked to be mindful of the (minimal) water dripping from the bike and what a slip hazard that could create for other customers. i found that a very reasonable point, politely made, so i cheerfully left the bike folded at the register.
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Old 09-02-06, 08:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfahrner
i haven't yet after probably at least a hundred hours and a couple dozen shops. i would not patronize such a shop unless it was too cramped for carts, given that the bike is narrower, shorter, and more maneuverable than a cart, and that it speeds/obviates bagging waste. one time i was informed repeatedly that i could leave the bike up front. i repeatedly stated that i was willing to leave the bike up front if they required, but that i preferred to keep it with me, and they seemed to accept that sincerely. another time i entered on a rainy day, and i was asked to be mindful of the (minimal) water dripping from the bike and what a slip hazard that could create for other customers. i found that a very reasonable point, politely made, so i cheerfully left the bike folded at the register.
Interesting. I had heard that some stores do not let bicycles in for "insurance reasons", but I do find it's amazing what folding or partially folding a bike will do. People don't treat them as bikes, and you can get them into places that would otherwise frown upon bikes.
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Old 09-02-06, 11:41 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by gbcb
Interesting. I had heard that some stores do not let bicycles in for "insurance reasons", but I do find it's amazing what folding or partially folding a bike will do. People don't treat them as bikes, and you can get them into places that would otherwise frown upon bikes.
If only that was true all the time.
I just moved to Tucson. I folded up my Swift and went into 3 POs. 2 of them refused to provide services. I went to the main public library and there too I was also not allowed to enter with the "bike". In each case, I tried to convince them that this was bicycle parts and not a functioning bicycle in its current state.
I have been trying to find a bag that would easily fit my folded fendered bike. Haven't had any luck yet. I need a carrying bag that has the following dimensions, 36" height x 38" zippered opening x 18" wide. I guess out of sight, out of mind is best.
On the other hand, I have been allowed to enter banks, supermarkets and restaurants both with the bike unfolded and folded.
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Old 09-03-06, 04:08 AM   #19
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The "insurance" reason is pretty bogus IMHO, we own a small retail business. If someone would actually ride a bike to it I would probably fall over in a dead faint however, I would request that the bike be left at the front of the store. (our store is a Bridal, Pagent, Formalwear) Our small town is actually in the throes of revitalization and I have made my suggestions for bicyle parking in the downtown area. Currently there is none.

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Old 09-03-06, 06:47 AM   #20
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Yeah, I had similar feelings about the "for insurance reasons" line, but have heard it anyway!
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Old 09-03-06, 09:14 AM   #21
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... (our store is a Bridal, Pagent, Formalwear)
Advertise a discount for every person who shows up on a bike.
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Old 09-04-06, 03:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megaptera
Is it that the problem with pannier on Dahon is related to the low height of the rear rack and the height of the pannier, leaving small clearance?
The ground clearance is not so much an issue, it's ankle clearance. It's the small size of the chainstays that causes the problem. When you get the Dahon front rack (fairly new item), these cause paniers to sit much lower to the ground and your really have to be mindful of curbs.
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Old 09-06-06, 02:11 PM   #23
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Portland is an incredible city. I didn't ride when I was there but I saw bikes and a general earth friendly way of life very much encouraged. Here in NYC where I live now that is simply not the case. My GF lives in Hoboken, NJ and we do our shopping there on a full size tandem towing a BOB Yak. We have easily exceeded the 70lb capacity on most every trip! It isn't hard to do and I would respectfully suggest that to be considered 'grocery shopping' the expected weight capacity be at least 40lb for one person doing a weeks groceries. That lets out panniers, maybe in tandem with a large backpack. I actually have loaded an expedition type backpack with 60 - 70 lbs for a weekly run when my GF couldn't help and it is no fun but can be done. My single folder is a Giant 1/2way and cannot tow an axle mounted trailer that needs access to two sets of axle bolts but some of you others using 'conventional' folders might think very seriously about getting something like a Burley or BOB cargo trailer. Highly recommended.

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Old 09-06-06, 04:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfahrner
I use the Brompton with front touring bag as the cart:

Neat stuff! Just out of curiosity, do you have the rear triange tucked-under only when you're parking the bike, or do you push it around like that too, using the skate wheels?
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Old 09-07-06, 09:15 AM   #25
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Neat stuff! Just out of curiosity, do you have the rear triange tucked-under only when you're parking the bike, or do you push it around like that too, using the skate wheels?
the latter. more agile, compact, and quiet that way.
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