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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 05-10-07, 08:28 AM   #1
brunop
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folding bike for southeast asian touring?

i know next to nothing about folding bikes. that being said, i think i want one for an extended tour in southeast asia. my price range is around 2000 dollars. what should i get?

thanks!
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Old 05-10-07, 08:50 AM   #2
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@Brunop, I am guessing that you never did get that fixed/ss folder in the end...

Sounds like a Bike Friday would be strong contender. Search this forum and you will get a lot of hits...
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Old 05-10-07, 09:54 AM   #3
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Modify a mini or buy a Tikit. You'll be thankfull that you can easily throw these bikes on various types of transportation when you need them. As much as I love 20" folders, I found that they are just a little too big to make "on the fly" travel arrangements (folding them to fit into small compartments, etc.) These two bikes will easily haul more than enough gear for a tour in South East Asia even though people will state that they are suitable only for "light" touring. Just my two cents.
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Old 05-10-07, 10:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
Modify a mini or buy a Tikit....
But are the roads in most of SE Asia in good enough condition / smooth enough for 16" wheels?

Also, it doesn't look to me like the Tikit folds all that small. Any idea on the folded size?
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Old 05-10-07, 11:02 AM   #5
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Raleigh twenty, I will post a picture of how one fits in a pretty small suitcase, I might time myself too, if anyone is interested. Obviously you would probably want a heavily modified one, but you might be able to make it more suited to your needs.

I worked at a bike shop for years, and saw many folders come and go. I was always a bit of a snob about them, but then I stole a Twenty and man, I love it. I love it so much, I bought it a friend three weeks later. Not that it is really important, but it might prove just how much I love the twentys. I have about eight bikes, including a Dura-ace10 equipped ulta foco dream bike, and I am in the process of selling them all to simplify the bike stable. I want two, so that if my girlfriend was to come on a trip with me, she could ride the spare. Other than folders, how many bikes could fit a 6'2" tall guy and his 5'5" girlfriend. I also helped my GF move with one, the rear rack is so low, that I could fit gigantic 50# Rubbermade containers.

I think there are many other good choices in the 20" 406 wheel size. With a loaded touring bike, you might have trouble making quick directional changes, and with the high possibility of hitting a few potholes 16" wheels might be a bit of a drawback. In SE Asia, you would be able to find an emergency replacement tire or rim, from kids bikes or BMX.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:26 AM   #6
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Depending where you plan on going, I'd pick it up in SE Asia. I have a feeling it will be cheaper. You may not get a top of the line folder, but any cheap chinese copies will do (maybe you can find a MERC). And the best thing is... you don't have to worry about it being stolen.

I also plan on travelling to SE Asia (next year for six months), but currently weighing wether I should take my downtube or try to find a MERC or cheap folder. Been trying to get information on what's available (specifically MERC), but not having luck. Originally I wanted to take the downtube, but I like it so much, I can't imagine parting with it. I do know that there are tons of cheap chinese folders to be had.
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Old 05-10-07, 11:36 AM   #7
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BTW:

Depending on the country, some roads are just down right nasty down there. A 16" would be easier to travel with, but would recommend a 20" as minimun tire size... less you want to be regularly swallowed by the craters and canals... even a 20" is on the iffy side on some roads...
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Old 05-10-07, 01:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe
Also, it doesn't look to me like the Tikit folds all that small. Any idea on the folded size?
I does not fold small. As you might guess, it is particularly long. If one looks through the tikit threads or the website, you can find the folded size.
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Old 05-10-07, 06:28 PM   #9
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I've done quite a bit of touring in South East Asia (Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand) and I still think that 16" wheels would be fine. Potholed roads suck no matter what sized wheels, you just go slower and avoid the obstacles. The tikit quickly folds smaller than most 20" inch folder, which is worth gold, IMO.
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Old 05-10-07, 08:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankypants
The tikit quickly folds smaller than most 20" inch folder, which is worth gold, IMO.
Erm, I'm not so sure about that. Tikit will be way smaller than a Swift, but:

Bike Friday Tikit, 16" wheels = 15" x 24" x 35" (12,600 cu in)
Dahon Speed P8, 20" wheels = 13" x 25" x 32" (10,400 cu in)
Downtube NS, 20" wheels = 12" x 23" x 33" (9,108 cu in)
Downtube Mini, 16" wheels = 10" x 20" x 29" (5,800 cu in)

(Yes, I'm actually surprised as well.) Bike Friday does a lot of things very well. Sadly, a tiny and efficient "quick fold" really isn't one of them.
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