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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 09-12-03, 09:01 AM   #1
alexeicharkham
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anyone toured on a folding bike?

any good? thinking about this as it would be really useful for chucking on a plane/train....
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Old 09-12-03, 09:06 AM   #2
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I've seen people touring on Bromptons, but they don't carry that much...
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Old 09-12-03, 10:14 AM   #3
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Moulton is the machine to use; they are a "takedown" rather than folding bike. The frame is very light, stiff and efficient and well proven for reliability. The full suspension system is well engineered and makes the small-wheeled design comfortable and capable of riding rough trails. People have toured extensively on Moultons all over the world.
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Old 09-15-03, 07:42 AM   #4
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thanks both - I'll look into a moulton I think....depends on how small it packs up I guess
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Old 09-15-03, 07:55 AM   #5
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Alex, I've never done any touring on folding bikes, but right now I am getting a bike friday new world tourist, and I want to use that as my bike for touring and that kind of stuff...I haven't gotten the bike yet, but it's coming I think in the next month or so, so I know that moulton is a competitor to them, but you might want to check in Bike friday's also..

Benjamin
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Old 09-20-03, 08:10 AM   #6
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What about a bike with S&S couplings? They would make the bike pack small enough for airline travel without the addtional expense.

S&S resource page with lots of info and links.
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Old 10-27-03, 08:24 PM   #7
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I've ridden a Bike Friday NWT for 6 years now.
I play music for a living and end up doing a lot of flying for 1-2 week dates in Europe and North America. I take the Friday with me and try to do 3 day mini tours when out of the country. Beats the heck out of the hotel room.

I can't say I'd pick the bike friday as an expedition machine but for what they bill it for it works wonderfully. Using the suit case to ship is handy and he conversion to trailer realy works quite well. Again, I don't think this would hold up to extended touring.

Great commuter bike as well. I got mine with the sachs hub and never experienced a problem. The brakes were cheesy but I just replaced with some Avids. Customer support was top notch.
craig
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Old 11-03-03, 07:35 PM   #8
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Touring Cross Country on a Bike Friday

I toured across the US on a Bike Friday New World Tourist the summer of 1995, following the Trans America trail east to west. And, I even dragged along the suitcase trailer! So it can definitely be done, although in retrospect I think I would mail home the suitcase and just use panniers, or a BOB if you really like trailers.

One fun aspect to the Bike Friday is the number of people you meet who are interested in the bike--one guy even offered to trade me his motorcycle for it! I did find that the tires wore out quickly though, and since they aren't readily available I had to carry my own. I think they have sturdier tires now--at that time the selection was limited. I found out about the tire wear issue when I was out on the road, and I will say that customer service from the BF folks was great--very fast, and willing to mail out general delivery, etc.
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Old 12-28-03, 11:52 PM   #9
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I have had a Bike Friday since Jan. 1993 and have ridden it 8,700 miles including the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Natchez Trace, and SF to LA, with panniers and handlebar bag but not camping gear. It's been a great bike. I know of people who have ridden BF's from the North Slope of Alaska to San Diego.
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Old 12-31-03, 11:01 AM   #10
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check the Gaerlan custom cycles site. They have folding bike accessories and even thier own travel bike called the go travel.

Last edited by james Haury; 10-03-04 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 02-09-04, 12:01 PM   #11
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Bike Fridays rock as touring bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexeicharkham
any good? thinking about this as it would be really useful for chucking on a plane/train....
I've done both long and short trips on my Bike Friday Air Glide. I rode across the US in the summer of 2002 (journal at http://denise2002xc.crazyguyonabike.com), and I've also toured Hawaii (journal at http://denise2003hawaii.crazyguyonabike.com) and Ireland (journal at http://denise2003ireland.crazyguyonabike.com) on this bike.

No compromises here, the bike performed wonderfully. I used the suitcase trailer on all 3 trips, and I also used very lightly loaded rear panniers on my cross country trip (to hold my stove, fuel, and food - didn't want those odors in my tent, sleeping bag, and clothing).
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Old 09-26-04, 04:55 PM   #12
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I haven't toured on my NWT Bikefriday, but on the Bike friday web page "Yak" letters you will find many that have.. Glad to see some of the bike friday people on here, but your names are all coded here, me to. keep peddlin
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Old 09-26-04, 07:29 PM   #13
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I definitely liked touring on my Bike Friday. I had a blast, and I'll be touring again next year on mine. It was definitely great to be able to fold that sucker up and take it just about anywhere.

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Old 09-27-04, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by janabike
I toured across the US on a Bike Friday New World Tourist the summer of 1995, following the Trans America trail east to west. And, I even dragged along the suitcase trailer! So it can definitely be done, although in retrospect I think I would mail home the suitcase and just use panniers, or a BOB if you really like trailers.

One fun aspect to the Bike Friday is the number of people you meet who are interested in the bike--one guy even offered to trade me his motorcycle for it! I did find that the tires wore out quickly though, and since they aren't readily available I had to carry my own. I think they have sturdier tires now--at that time the selection was limited. I found out about the tire wear issue when I was out on the road, and I will say that customer service from the BF folks was great--very fast, and willing to mail out general delivery, etc.
That's the weakness of the 20' inch wheel. The rear tire wears out fast and the best touring bike tires are made for 26' and 700 cc wheels.
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Old 09-27-04, 03:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Moulton is the machine to use; they are a "takedown" rather than folding bike. The frame is very light, stiff and efficient and well proven for reliability. The full suspension system is well engineered and makes the small-wheeled design comfortable and capable of riding rough trails. People have toured extensively on Moultons all over the world.
The Moulton frame was designed with touring in mind. Look at the rear and it was made to hold luggage. Enough said.
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Old 09-27-04, 03:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch29
What about a bike with S&S couplings? They would make the bike pack small enough for airline travel without the addtional expense.

S&S resource page with lots of info and links.
Ritchey has a road frame built with these couplings built in. You still have to have the added expense of buying a hard case large enought to fit the wheels and the frame.
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Old 09-27-04, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
That's the weakness of the 20' inch wheel. The rear tire wears out fast and the best touring bike tires are made for 26' and 700 cc wheels.
Check out the schwalbe tires. It might occur that 20 inch tires have strengths too!
if you have sufficient clearance you can get tires at many places if you have to till you can find something better. 406mm tires are available at shops specializing in bmx and even wal mart & Meijers etc and probably at european equivalents to them.
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Old 09-27-04, 04:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james Haury
Check out the schwalbe tires. It might occur that 20 inch tires have strengths too!
if you have sufficient clearance you can get tires at many places if you have to till you can find something better. 406mm tires are available at shops specializing in bmx and even wal mart & Meijers etc and probably at european equivalents to them.
The Schwalbe is the exception and it is probably the only touring tire for the 20 inch folder. The only strength of the smaller wheel folder is the fact that it won't get out of true. There is no need to get 36 spokes like a traditional tourer.

The problem with BMX tires is trying to put them on and the slugglish performance they provide.

Last edited by Dahon.Steve; 09-29-04 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 09-27-04, 07:48 PM   #19
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All I use is the Schwalbe tire. My Michelin Pro lights didn't last as long and wasn't as sturdy as the Schwalbe.

I haven't had to even change the inner tube once yet!

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Old 09-28-04, 06:00 PM   #20
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Steve I never said Bmx tires were great for touring, but in a pinch a Bmx tire is infinitely superior to riding on a rim.
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Old 10-02-04, 05:30 PM   #21
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Hi there!

How comfortable are folders if riding several miles (10+) a day? Perhaps for long-distance rides/tours the addition of a suspension seat post, a Brooks saddle, a suspension fork or suspension front hub, a multi-position handlebars, and/or wider tires is needed?

Thanks!

Javier
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Old 10-02-04, 05:38 PM   #22
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Whoa! That's a lot. The Bike Friday Pocket Rocket doesn't have a lot of that stuff you mentioned, and I could do 60- 80 km in a day and still be ok. Perhaps if you were doing a lot of offroad riding, it would be necessary, but I don't think for the average tour a lot of that stuff would be necessary.

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Old 10-02-04, 07:13 PM   #23
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I agree with Koffee - a well-made folding bike can be just as comfortable as a diamond-framed bike for touring. I have 2 Bike Fridays - a Pocket Rocket that I have set up as a road bike, and an Air Glide that I have set up for touring. I also have a diamond-framed touring bike, and I don't see any difference between the touring bikes from a comfort or efficiency standpoint. One thing that you have to remember is that although the wheels on a folding bike are small, the chain rings are larger, so you can actually have the same gear ratios with both types of bikes. I've put in some long mileage on these bikes too - on my cross-country trip back in 2002 my mileage ranged from 50 to 80 miles a day.
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Old 10-05-04, 09:02 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
Ritchey has a road frame built with these couplings built in. You still have to have the added expense of buying a hard case large enought to fit the wheels and the frame.
Just a minor clarification. Ritchey may offer a model with SandS couplings, but the Ritchey Breakaway uses a completely different proprietary system. The take down is not really a coupling, but the way the frame is made from the ground up.
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Old 10-15-04, 09:42 PM   #25
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I just acquired an sns coupled tandem. It requires two big 26x26x10 soft cases to carry though I can squeeze it into one case if need be. I imagine a single would require only one case. Bike fridays would be considerably smaller to carry.
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