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  1. #1
    Hello from Canuckistan! saanichbc's Avatar
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    Best bet for new folder tourer

    Hi folks... This question has probably been asked before, however, I thought I would ask again in light of what is currently out there available to us comsumers.

    Of all the available folders that are out there available to us today, which make\model of folder would prove to be the best one to consider with touring in mind?

    Keep in mind that the bike should come with sufficient braze ons for racks, easily modifiable, etc.

    Should also be available with an internally geared hub, such as the Shimano Nexus 8, or even a Rohloff 14.

    Please provide your choice, including reasons why you would consider the model of your choice.

    Thanks lots.
    __________________________________
    harv welch victoria bc canuckistan
    My R20 project: http://21oaks.net/r20

  2. #2
    Senior Member sprockets's Avatar
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    Bike Friday. Check out their web site. If they ask tell them I sent you!

    Seriously though, the frames are custom made for you. They have an endless array of options for components and they actually use regular bike components as opposed to most folding manufacturers.

    Check the reviews, people are seriously cultish about this company. They offer a 24 hour hotline, pack into a standard size suitcase and they also have a great environmental policy. I just ordered mine after doing a fair bit of research.

    I ordered the Pocket Llama, the mountain bike version for the slightly sturdier frame and set it up for touring. It's nice to know that I can always go offroading if I need to. The goal of this company is to make a folding bike that rides as well as your favourite bike. The most popular is the New World Tourist which is set up for touring as well.
    Last edited by sprockets; 12-12-07 at 10:30 AM.
    *************************
    As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

  3. #3
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    What kind of touring? How much will you carry? Where will you be touring?
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  4. #4
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    My wife and I went with Bike Friday. My fat butt is on a NWT while her tiny person is on a Crusoe.

    • 20" wheels have a good selection of tires/tubes
    • steel frame ... our personal material of choice
    • great support
    • decent folding for travel
    • quick packing relative to S&S/Ritchey separable bikes


    We were very close to picking up Airnimals instead. For touring I would pick up the Joey since it can kit two types of 24" wheels which increases the tire selection.

    • 24" wheel has a more normal ride than the 20" wheel
    • much worse tire selection/tube availability than 20" size
    • aluminum frame
    • OK fold for travel ... requires wheel removal
    • quick packing relative to S&S/Ritchey separable bikes


    You can also consider the Swift since with either the SRAM Dual Drive or Rohloff a typical touring gear range can be acquired. It uses 20" wheels, has a faster fold relative to the BF (bigger folded package?), but has a longer packing time according to other reviewers. We wanted a derailer drivetrain so we eliminated the Swift.

    EDIT: Of course you can go with an S&S coupler or Ritchey Breakaway. Of course, they are separable bikes instead of folding bikes.

  5. #5
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    I recently rode my Bike Friday NWT (w/ Rohloff) 3500 miles from Phoenix to Jasper, Canada. I talk a bit about the bike on my journal:
    www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/2391

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    We were very close to picking up Airnimals instead. For touring I would pick up the Joey since it can kit two types of 24" wheels which increases the tire selection.
    What are the two ERTO sizes? How does it resolve the brake issue created by switching wheel diameters?

  7. #7
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makeinu View Post
    What are the two ERTO sizes? How does it resolve the brake issue created by switching wheel diameters?
    Hmmmm, I recall ERTO 507 and 520 ... my recollection of the reports of others and some exchanges with Airnimal USA most cantilever brakes can handle that much adjustment. Otherwise, you can always use the Paul Components v-brakes with the extra flexibility.

    Here are the ERTO 520s ... http://www.calhouncycle.com/productc...?idCategory=63

    Here is an ERTO 507 ...
    http://www.schwalbetires.com/node/142/ok

  8. #8
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    Bokes, I read your report on your Phoenix~Jasper tour last night and it seemed like the perfect trip - route picked, time taken, fun partner. friends meet and made. Just wonderful. Not surprised you were dispondent as you neared its completion, but to the next road eh.
    As with your note above, saanichbc will be pressed to find from your article what you thought of your bike choice for the trip other than you got a lot of punctures and missed the B17.
    It was opportune that you replied here because I was very curious as to whether you would choose the NWT if you were doing it again. The money you've spent on it aside.

  9. #9
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    I would suggest Dahon.com Mu XL or Ciao P8. While not technically touring bikes they have what you want out of the box. A front rack can be purchased.

    Xooter.com swift and Bike Fridey are also worth considering. But you will have to pay with time and money to get them to your specs.

    Downtube.com sells bikes with Sturmy Archer hubs.

    Dahon also sells bikes with 26" wheels.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brainrider View Post
    Bokes, I read your report on your Phoenix~Jasper tour last night and it seemed like the perfect trip - route picked, time taken, fun partner. friends meet and made. Just wonderful. Not surprised you were dispondent as you neared its completion, but to the next road eh.
    As with your note above, saanichbc will be pressed to find from your article what you thought of your bike choice for the trip other than you got a lot of punctures and missed the B17.
    It was opportune that you replied here because I was very curious as to whether you would choose the NWT if you were doing it again. The money you've spent on it aside.
    Brainrider,
    thanks for your compliments. I talk about the bike on the "so why the small wheels" page, but I'll copy and paste it here:
    <<
    The wheels are small because the bike can fold up and fit in a standard suitcase (wheels included), so I can fly with it without paying extra baggage fees or without the hassle of boxing up a bike. I got it for shorter trips in mind, but since it's strong, I knew it could handle the trip. Most of the time it rides great and feels like riding a regular bike, but when riding over rough pavement(+gravel/dirt), it's a rougher ride, and also on high speed descents it feels bit unstable above 25 mph (40 km/h), so I have to slow down. It's hard for my ego to watch Usch zoom by when on a long downhill!
    >>

    I think Bike Friday NWT is a fantastic 20" touring bike, but on such a long journey I would have brought a full size touring bike if I was to do a tour of this length again.
    From now on, my BF will be used for trips lasting less than a month, and full size tourer for longer tours.

  11. #11
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saanichbc View Post
    Of all the available folders that are out there available to us today, which make\model of folder would prove to be the best one to consider with touring in mind? Keep in mind that the bike should come with sufficient braze ons for racks, easily modifiable, etc.
    After having done several tours & lots of riding on Dahon & Swift bikes, I'd say... none.

    KIDDING

    I personally find 20" wheels too rough for touring, mostly because I dislike soft / low PSI tires. Plus, the gearing and geometry on my Swift is less than ideal for loads.

    Since you want an IH, a Bike Friday New World Tourist is pretty much the way to go. Custom fit, order the exact components you want, packs quick.

    There's also the S&S option. A little pricey, but you get 26" or 700c wheels that can break down into a suitcase. A Surly Long Haul Trucker + S&S might run you $1500+; in theory they're also doing a pre-built S&S coupled Cross-Check. However, any 20" bike will break down faster and easier than an S&S bike.

    Last but not least, if you only tour once a year, you could just buy a full-sized touring bike and lump the charges -- assuming you get hit with them in the first place. That's my plan, at any rate....

  12. #12
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    Bokes, in '83 I travelled in a camper wagon from Alaska down thru Jasper, Glacier Nat. Park, Yellowstone, Utah and over to LA so I know how beautiful and BIG that scenery is. I would have enjoyed it twice as much if I emersed myself in it like you did.
    I'm doing up a Raleigh 20, isn't everyone here, with a dual drive 3 x 9 with the idea to see how a 20" feels and then I would look at Bike Fridays. I love the idea of touring with those small wheels but to be practical I guess no one bike is suitable for every ride.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shilun's Avatar
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    Here's a folder that's set up with touring in mind.

    http://www.khsbicycles.com.tw/html/product/f20-w.htm

    For under $600 you get a bike geared from high 90s down to about 20, with front and rear racks plus panniers and rain cover!

  14. #14
    Senior Member IWantToGoFaster's Avatar
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    If you don't mind a deraillieur providing eight gears, which are then tripled by the hub gear to provide 24 duplicating that of a conventional triple, then without a doubt, a Birdy Touring.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I personally find 20" wheels too rough for touring, mostly because I dislike soft / low PSI tires. Plus, the gearing and geometry on my Swift is less than ideal for loads.
    The Swift isn't bad for light loads. As with most folding bikes it has pretty low trail and will benefit from carrying most of the load up front, not on a rear rack. I'd use lowriders and a large saddlebag.

    Bike Friday has the advantage of being designed for touring, so there are racks built for them. Their custom front rack is one of the few lowriders made for 20" wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    There's also the S&S option. A little pricey, but you get 26" or 700c wheels that can break down into a suitcase. A Surly Long Haul Trucker + S&S might run you $1500+; in theory they're also doing a pre-built S&S coupled Cross-Check. However, any 20" bike will break down faster and easier than an S&S bike.
    Expect to pay over $1000 on top of the cost of the bike ($900 for a stock LHT). Retrofitting the couplers, buying a suitcase, and paying for a repaint adds up quickly. The ride will be better than most folders, but the folders are still better for mixed modal transport (using trains, getting rides in cars, and packing for the airplane).

    If you are doing long tours without much transit except for a flight at the start and a flight at the end I think you are better off with a rigid traditional touring bike.

    alex

  16. #16
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    Who sells Raleigh 20's in the USA? What is the max. rider weight recommended for it? Shilun, same question for that KHS. That bike isn't shown on their website: http://www.khsbicycles.com/09_foldin..._series_08.htm

  17. #17
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    The Raleigh 20 isn't made anymore and hasn't been made for over 2 decades. You can find them on the used market.

    The Dawes Kingpin is a better implementation of the same bike. It has the same frame design but uses a normal bottom bracket and normal headset.

    alex

  18. #18
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    Oh, duh, no wonder I couldn't find it for sale.

    Dawes:

    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/kingpin.htm

    Sold only in the UK? Due to the very long seat bar it looks like it may not be good for heavier riders, like me.

  19. #19
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    Oh, duh, no wonder I couldn't find it for sale.

    Dawes:

    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/kingpin.htm

    Sold only in the UK? Due to the very long seat bar it looks like it may not be good for heavier riders, like me.
    That is a "new" one. There is a classic version--again, only available on the used market--which closely resembles the R20 except the important differences that Alex discussed earlier.

    EDIT: Here is an example ... http://www.hpv.on.ca/hpvso/myhpvrb.htm

  20. #20
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    My wife and my self we have Bike Friday N W T with Rohloff ,the best what money can buy
    http://www.der-radladen-mannheim.de/Cambodia/
    www.colmanlerner.zenfolio.com
    http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=60183
    “No Sueñes Tu Vida, Vive Tus Sueños“
    There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will.
    A.Einstein

  21. #21
    Senior Member scarabeoguy's Avatar
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    A shameless plug for the Bike Friday Air Glide. Probably one of the most comfortable tourers you can buy. However it is expensive!!!!!

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    Dahon upgrade

    I own a Bike Friday NWT and am very pleased with it. Can highly recomend it for touring. That being said I did see a Dahon upgrade by " Gaerlan Custom Cycles" the other day that was interesting and lot cheaper then BF. He does a 27 speed (9 x 3 duledrive) upgrade for Dahon Speed P8 and Mu P8. This should give it the gear range for touring. Have never delt with Gaerlan so know nothing about there work or service.

    http://www.gaerlan.com/

  23. #23
    Hello from Canuckistan! saanichbc's Avatar
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    Interesting frame all right (the Dawes Kingpin)...

    I suspect that if one was willing to pay the shipping costs, they may be enticed to ship one overseas to Canada or the US.
    __________________________________
    harv welch victoria bc canuckistan
    My R20 project: http://21oaks.net/r20

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by werewolf View Post
    Who sells Raleigh 20's in the USA? What is the max. rider weight recommended for it? Shilun, same question for that KHS. That bike isn't shown on their website: http://www.khsbicycles.com/09_foldin..._series_08.htm
    Funny you mention that. I live in southern Taiwan and just purchased the KHS F20-W. Will arrive sometime in mid-January so I will post a review after that. It's only marketed in S.E. Asia, primarily Taiwan and Japan. The price on it is unbelievably cheap here - same for other bikes (the F20-T3 is about $350 cheaper here).

    Check back with me in about a month and I can give a better idea of what it comes with, as well as give you some close up pictures if you like.

    Oh, and the recommended max rider weight was something like 100 kg. if I remember correctly.
    Last edited by meteparozzi; 12-22-07 at 12:15 AM. Reason: addition

  25. #25
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    We are touring through central Thailand on Birdies. The way that I tour, I really like to have a bike that actually folds, so that you can get on and off transit easily. They also fit relatively easily into 29" suitcases, which is the maximum legal limit. If you are not a cheapskate like me, you can go with a bigger suitcase and a Bike Friday and probably do less work to get the bike in there. I think that the Dahon suitcase is probably a better bet for any bike bigger than a Birdy.

    (I do appreciate 14R's Brompton philosophy, but value my ass too much to tour on one of those. Has anyone else tried this?)

    One secret is to use MKS pedals for touring so that you don't have to remove them with a wrench.

    The bikes are capable of fully loaded touring with front and rear racks, but we are using a Samsonite Oyster suitcase hooked to a BicycleRevolution trailer (the kind used by Bike Friday). You know it's there, but it isn't bad at all. Panniers are definitely better if you are arriving and departing from the same place and have a place to stash the suitcase.

    Birdies are extremely comfy and fast, and are a dream on the many off road trails in Thailand that run along the many canals transversing the countryside.

    I can't tell if they are fussier than other bikes with respect to adjustment. They fold like a contortionist, so one has to be very careful about cables and chains getting wrapped around other bits. This can also affect adjustment. I'm often fiddling with brakes, latches, chains, but I think a lot of that had to do with a 50+ hour 3 stopover flight that demolished one of the suitcases. (It was a freebie from the street, so no loss.)

    I've been able to get tubes here (even in small towns, and even for the BicycleRevolution trailer, which has 12" tires). This is a great advantage of developing nations, since there tend to be lots of kids, and thus lots of kids sized wheels. In a real pinch, 305 tubes can be fit, but it is a major pain in the ass. Fortunately, 349s are generally available. You have to bring a spare set of tires, though, as you are only going to find 355s in a handful of countries. (Good practice with any size wheel though, as you will inevitably chew your tire up in the middle of nowhere.)

    If something awful happened and a wheel was tweaked, there are a fair number of wheels that would fit on this bike.

    Pics of the tour coming in a few weeks.

    Cheers,

    P

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