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  1. #1
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    folding bikes and hiking

    I was wondering if anyone would recommend a light weight bike which can fold for hiking. I don't want it to be too obtrusive to get the way of hiking. I was looking into adding bicycling to my destination before and after I go hiking.

    I dont want to half to walk it around like a kid with a broken bike, but the folding bikes adn wheels I hear about sem to be a good fit.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    mountain biking?

  3. #3
    Life in Mono
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    I seem to remember AtoB magazine did an article about 6 months ago about mounting a Brompton on a back pack for this very purpose. But If it were me I agree with MK - why hike when you can mountain bike (each to their own i guess !!)

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    yeah I am looking at options though. There are some spots where hiking it mainly the only way to go, so. Since I've never ridden a collapseable bike.. how are they in terms of being solid and sturdy? Anyone ever had any issues with it giving out on them? Or is that just a you get what you pay for type thing?

  5. #5
    recovering stroke victim senseamp's Avatar
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    If your looking for options....

    My son used to take his "GoPed" scooter on our hillwalks. They fold, and can be slung across your back for the climb up. Then he'd fly down the path! Parental helmet insistance was in force....

    John

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    I know what you need. A Burro (or Burrito) with SS couplers. It doesn't fold, it breaks apart for packing, but that should be ok because if you were looking for a hurried solution then you wouldn't be hiking to begin with.

    http://www.sandsmachine.com/bp_buro.htm
    http://www.burrobikes.com/


    A little pricey though. Maybe you can get a similar result by adding SS couplers to a BMX bike?
    Last edited by makeinu; 03-21-07 at 01:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Dr Kickstand
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    I think the brompton would be the least intrusive if you plan hiking. It has the smallest fold size and are a very sturdy bike. I guess the mountain bikes are too bulky.
    www.bikesTHATfold.com - All about Folding Bikes
    www.twitter.com/bikefold - Follow me on Twitter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaymo
    I think the brompton would be the least intrusive if you plan hiking. It has the smallest fold size and are a very sturdy bike. I guess the mountain bikes are too bulky.
    Why do people suggest the Brompton for every single folding bike application? Yes, the Brompton folds small, but that doesn't make it appropriate for every situation.

    I would think that low weight, wide tires, and proper gearing would be the most important features in a hiking bike and the Brompton doesn't seem to fair very well in any of these categories.

    I'm sorry, but I'm sick of seeing people suggest the Brompton no matter how unsuited it is to the application at hand. The Brompton seems to be a right bike for those that have daily commute involving the train or bus and are willing to pay a premium for the best. For most other applications there seem to be other bikes which are much more appropriate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    I would think that low weight, wide tires, and proper gearing would be the most important features in a hiking bike and the Brompton doesn't seem to fair very well in any of these categories.
    If you are looking for a 'hiking bike', wouldn't you want to hike the 'interesting bits' and just ride the 'boring bits'? As such, wide tyres and 'proper gearing' are a little redundant. If you want to ride the interesting bits, use a mountain bike and walk the minimum amount necessary but that isn't what was asked for. Just for interest's sake, there have been several instances where mountaineers have carried full-size MTBs up real mountains (crampons, ice axe and all) and ridden part of the way back down.

    Low weight can easily be achieved with a Ti Brompton and folded compactness can be a significant factor. My wife's Dahon bag/backpack is rather awkward to carry when there is a Dahon in it. In comparison, a Brompton in the same bag is easier to deal with, despite very similar weights, possibly because of the reduced volume and overall width.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by seargentofarms
    I don't want it to be too obtrusive to get the way of hiking. I was looking into adding bicycling to my destination before and after I go hiking.
    If you're just going to cycle to and from the site then why don't you just ride a regular bike and lock it to a tree while you hike?

    I mean, it seems like the typical reasons people want to use folders instead of just locking up a regular bike (theft, storage, multimodal gaps) don't apply here.

    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB
    If you are looking for a 'hiking bike', wouldn't you want to hike the 'interesting bits' and just ride the 'boring bits'? As such, wide tyres and 'proper gearing' are a little redundant. If you want to ride the interesting bits, use a mountain bike and walk the minimum amount necessary but that isn't what was asked for. Just for interest's sake, there have been several instances where mountaineers have carried full-size MTBs up real mountains (crampons, ice axe and all) and ridden part of the way back down.
    Why compromise? If he gets something more appropriate than a Brompton then he can ride either the interesting bits or the boring bits.

    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB
    Low weight can easily be achieved with a Ti Brompton and folded compactness can be a significant factor. My wife's Dahon bag/backpack is rather awkward to carry when there is a Dahon in it. In comparison, a Brompton in the same bag is easier to deal with, despite very similar weights, possibly because of the reduced volume and overall width.
    Yeah, low weight can be achieved with a Ti Brompton, but for the same money you could probably get a lighter Ti mountain bike with S&S couplers. Sure, it will take you 15 minutes to assemble/disassemble the SS coupled bike, but that isn't any longer than setting up a simple tent, which is a popular thing to bring hiking.

    I'm not saying you can't shoehorn the Brompton into this task. You can. But why shoehorn?

  11. #11
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    S&S bikes are a lot bigger than a Brommie. Carrying them on your back feels more difficult (I have an S&S bike and backpack also).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    If you're just going to cycle to and from the site then why don't you just ride a regular bike and lock it to a tree while you hike?

    I mean, it seems like the typical reasons people want to use folders instead of just locking up a regular bike (theft, storage, multimodal gaps) don't apply here.
    Not all hikes are round trips. Some people like walking from A to B and riding back by a different route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB
    S&S bikes are a lot bigger than a Brommie. Carrying them on your back feels more difficult (I have an S&S bike and backpack also).
    I'm not saying that a larger package isn't more cumbersome to carry than a small one, but as you said, people have carried full sized mountain bikes up mountains, so one would think that if there were ever a task for which small folded size would take a back seat to other considerations then this would be it.

    Especially considering that for the same price as a Brompton with Ti bits you could probably build a titanium S&S bike that's 7 pounds lighter, with better gearing, and with better wheels/tires for rough terrain. How could a smaller backpack outweigh all those advantages?

    Even if the S&S bike isn't the best option for the OP, I would think that there are still many other bikes which would come before the Brompton. For example, a Dahon Mu SL might be a good compromise as it's only about 10 inches longer than a Brompton, but lighter than a ti brompton, with bigger wheels, and more gears. Furthermore, it's almost as cheap as an entry level brompton, so it could probably be made even lighter if the OP wanted to spend as much as he would on a ti brompton.

    I'm not a hiker, so maybe I'm completely off base here, but I find that the size of a package is least important when I can strap it to my back and not worry about bumping into things (as opposed to when I need to fit it in a small compartment, like a car trunk, or a carry it in a crowded hallway, like in an office building or train). If you think that the slightly smaller folded size of the Brompton still trumps all the advantages afforded by other bikes, even when hiking, then let me ask you this: Is there any situation warranting a folding bike where you think the Brompton wouldn't be the best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB
    Not all hikes are round trips. Some people like walking from A to B and riding back by a different route.
    I know, but the OP didn't specifically state that this was his intention. So I was just drawing attention to the possibility that he might not even need a folding bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu
    If you think that the slightly smaller folded size of the Brompton still trumps all the advantages afforded by other bikes, even when hiking, then let me ask you this: Is there any situation warranting a folding bike where you think the Brompton wouldn't be the best tool for the job?
    Fast riding

  15. #15
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    Brompton is the only one that will meet your criteria, Birdy might work too. The problem is that you are adding 20lb to 30lb to you pack. If you are going to lug the bike around I would put my crap on it and push it through the forest.

    Bike Friday with the tailer/carry case could work for you.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
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