Rack and tire recommendations
I've been away for awhile, and hope everyone is well. I bought a Birdy Monocoque and a Swift last summer in anticipation of taking them to Europe, but the trip fell through. We (my GF and I) rode them for awhile on a paved bike path, but we tend to put a lot of miles on our tandem. We are considering a week long trip in the Fall to the Great Allegheny Passage, a bike trail from MD to PA. I've read it is mostly fine crushed limestone, we are used to concrete and/or asphalt. That said:
Both bikes have Marathon Racers, 20 x 1.5 and 18 x 1.5...is this sufficently wide enough for that type of surface?
What kind of rack fits a Swift? Is a seatpost rack (ala Topeak) an option?
I know I can get a Birdy Expedition II...any others to consider?
This will be credit card touring, so I am thinking (hoping) we won't be too weighted down, as the Birdy is a 9 speed and the Swift is a Nexus 8.
Would also like to talk to anyone who has done this particular trail via email or PM. I have folder fever again! :eek:
Rack and tire
Zonker, I would like to get in on your question about the rack. I'm looking for a quick release seatpost rack for my gobike. The diameter is 34 mm. I think that might be the same size as the Swift seatpost. I also believe the Topeak rack is rated up to 32mm. Has anyone tried to modify a standard size seatpost rack to fit a larger seatpost?
I'd use a standard rack. Connect the forward arms to the top Quick Release for the seat post.
Seatpost racks in general are a little weak, and few of them fit the larger seatposts. Topeak definitely won't fit.
I'd also get some fenders....
Rack-wise, I've got the Old Man Mountain Sherpa Rack (the MTB version). The rack came with some risers bolted to it, and an extra long skewer to allow mounting to a bike without rack mounts. I installed the rack without the risers to keep it low and help keep the folded size as small as possible. Below are some photos. In the product photo (3rd) you can see the aluminum risers and skewer which I omitted. Also, rather than running the two rack stays from the sides of the rack to the brake bosses, I bent one of the stays and drilled a hole in the platform of the rack so I could use just one central stay. I thought it was much cleaner that way. I'm pretty sure you could make this rack work with the Swift. I'm not familiar enough with how the Monocoque folds to say whether or not the Sherpa would work with it.
In addition to the Expedition Rack you mentioned for the Birdy,I saw a photo here of another rack mounted to a Monocoque. Looks a little more substantial than the Expedition.
Tire-wise, you might want to try Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. I have no personal experience with them, but I hear they're great where avoiding flats is concerned. They come in 20 x 1.35 and 20 x 1.75.
http://schwalbetires.com/files/x_img_marathonplus.gif Do I remember reading something about the Birdy having an odd wheel size?
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