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Old 01-09-08, 10:01 AM   #1
cmcanulty
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Best 16" folder for touring

Can we start a discussion on the best if any 16" folder for touring? I would think at a minimum it would fold easily without major disassembly into an airline legal hard case, have low gears, fenders and rear & front rack included or easily added. Also accept toe clips. Maybe I've missed something ?
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Old 01-09-08, 10:20 AM   #2
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The Tikit is one possibility:

- 349 wheels w/ fenders
- good fold and will fit into a suitcase with some disassembly
- can be had with a SRAM dual drive for wide gearing range
- BF is making me a 2 pannier front rack so anyone can get one if you call them up
- I assume a Tikit specific rear rack is in the works. Here is a pic of one with a rack, but I'm not sure which rack this is. I'm sure you could also adapt an Old Man Mountain rear rack to work without too much trouble - the guys at OMM are very helpful for custom applications.
- the stock Tikit pedals won't take toe clips, but you could use some MKS EZY pedals that would do so.
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Old 01-09-08, 10:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cmcanulty View Post
Can we start a discussion on the best if any 16" folder for touring? I would think at a minimum it would fold easily without major disassembly into an airline legal hard case, have low gears, fenders and rear & front rack included or easily added. Also accept toe clips. Maybe I've missed something ?
The tikit is an obvious answer. The Birdy ... technically with 18" (ERT0 355 instead of ERTO 349 like the tikit) ... also qualifies since you can get the SRAM DD, front and rear racks, fenders are available, and packs into a flight legal suitcase.

I have read about people touring with a Brompton and DT Mini as well.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:01 AM   #4
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The tikit is an obvious answer. The Birdy ... technically with 18" (ERT0 355 instead of ERTO 349 like the tikit) ... also qualifies since you can get the SRAM DD, front and rear racks, fenders are available, and packs into a flight legal suitcase.

I have read about people touring with a Brompton and DT Mini as well.



+1 - I can't say how this bike rides, but it sure looks cool....
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Old 01-09-08, 11:08 AM   #5
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I think the birdy is out as I don't want 18" wheels. How much disassembly is needed to fit he tikit in a 29" suitcase? I know Bike Friday sells the 31" but I don't want to worry if I will get dinged for oversize every time I fly. The 29" is largest legal airline size (62" girth max)
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Old 01-09-08, 11:12 AM   #6
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I too have been wanting to do some touring, and have been considering what bike I'd want... and frankly I don't think it's my Downtube Mini.

Why not the mini? Basically, what's great about the Mini is its an agile and fun bike with a compact fold, and it makes an excellent commuter since I have to take the train for most of my commute.

No doubt I could customize it to make it better for touring, but in almost every case a contemplated customization would not do enough to make the bike a good tourer, and would interfere with the fold. For example, I could change the handlebar configuration to improve aerodynamics, but the result would be a marginal improvement with a significant increase in folded size. I can (I have!) put a rear rack on it, but panniers are not an option on account of heel strike issues. A seatpost mounted rack solves that problem, but you can't put a lot of weight on it, and it causes more fold problems. No doubt a front rack, mounting to the brake studs and center hole, would work; but it wouldn't be good for very much weight. And so on.

Conclusion: If I were going to tour with the Mini, I think I'd get a trailer with a quick-release seatpost hitch. But why tour with a mini anyway? If I were on an extended tour, I wouldn't be commuting, so I wouldn't need the compact fold, so I'd probably pick a different bike.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:16 AM   #7
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I think the birdy is out as I don't want 18" wheels. How much disassembly is needed to fit he tikit in a 29" suitcase? I know Bike Friday sells the 31" but I don't want to worry if I will get dinged for oversize every time I fly. The 29" is largest legal airline size (62" girth max)
See the hyper link in my post above on the word disassembly it will take you to a video of how to pack your Tikit. I've never been through that process so I can't comment further than that.
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Old 01-09-08, 11:42 AM   #8
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I think the birdy is out as I don't want 18" wheels. How much disassembly is needed to fit he tikit in a 29" suitcase? I know Bike Friday sells the 31" but I don't want to worry if I will get dinged for oversize every time I fly. The 29" is largest legal airline size (62" girth max)
The Birdy doesn't really have 18" wheels. Its rim size at 355mm is 6mm (1/4") larger than the 349mm rim size used on the Tikit.

The Birdy is lighter than the Tikit and packs smaller. It also fits in a 29" case.

David
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Old 01-09-08, 12:46 PM   #9
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The Birdy doesn't really have 18" wheels. Its rim size at 355mm is 6mm (1/4") larger than the 349mm rim size used on the Tikit.

The Birdy is lighter than the Tikit and packs smaller. It also fits in a 29" case.

David
How much does the Birdy weigh?
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Old 01-09-08, 01:29 PM   #10
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How much does the Birdy weigh?
Weight depends upon configuration and accessories.

A basic 8 speed Birdy weighs about 23 lb.

With light weight components and tires I understand that they can be as light as about 18 lb. The Japanese titanium models may be lighter.

With hub gears, front and rear racks, fenders, 36 spoke wheels, heavy tires and lights you would be up over 25 lb.

This may also be of interest.

Birdy in 29" Case

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Old 01-09-08, 01:50 PM   #11
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I think the birdy is out as I don't want 18" wheels. How much disassembly is needed to fit he tikit in a 29" suitcase? I know Bike Friday sells the 31" but I don't want to worry if I will get dinged for oversize every time I fly. The 29" is largest legal airline size (62" girth max)
Ignore the nominal wheel size. The Tikit and Birdy effectively have the same wheel size, the rim diameter is only 6mm (1/4") different.

The Tikit won't fit into a 29" Oyster suitcase because it is too wide when folded. The 31" suitcase is needed for it's thickness, not for it's height or width. My Tikit has been on 4 flights since August with no problems, but I agree with your concerns.
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Old 01-09-08, 01:53 PM   #12
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Can the Birdy be fit with drop bars and still fold properly? The tikit allows this, but many other small wheel folding bikes don't. I can't happily ride more than about 25 miles without them.

I really like my tikit, but prefer the luggage system designed for the Brompton. I built my own front rack for the tikit which will hold enough for me to do 2-3 night camping tours, but there isn't a stock system available from Bike Friday that is really set up for this. If vik's 2 pannier rack is made as a stock item then it could be used for touring with plenty of capacity (two front panniers and a rear saddlebag is enough for indefinate touring for my needs).
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Old 01-09-08, 01:57 PM   #13
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With the exception of Birdy's crazy looking fork, that's a sweet ride!
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Old 01-09-08, 06:44 PM   #14
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I was asking about folding, not packing. Also, can you adjust the stem reach with the Birdy? Is there some way to adjust the angle at the hinge?
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Old 01-09-08, 07:17 PM   #15
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Also, can you adjust the stem reach with the Birdy? Is there some way to adjust the angle at the hinge?
You can get a different stem post that allows an AHEAD type stem to be used.

Excluding the aforementioned post -- it is a kit that can be acquired though Black Dog -- I believe that there are two different stem posts with different angles. The more upright one is height adjustable.
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Old 01-09-08, 07:54 PM   #16
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I believe that there are two different stem posts with different angles. The more upright one is height adjustable.
I believe that the 25 deg stem which gives the longer reach comes in fixed length and height adjustable versions. The nice grey Birdy in the photos above appears to have the height adjustable version.

David
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Old 01-09-08, 08:19 PM   #17
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Can we start a discussion on the best if any 16" folder for touring? I would think at a minimum it would fold easily without major disassembly into an airline legal hard case, have low gears, fenders and rear & front rack included or easily added. Also accept toe clips. Maybe I've missed something ?
Why are you restricting yourself to a 16' inch wheel folder? Bike Friday has made a business selling touring bikes that use 20' inch wheels. In fact, I've never heard a Bike Friday owner who said they could not board an airplane because the package was too big.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:42 AM   #18
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Nothing beats the Birdy for touring. It has a load capacity of at least 80 pounds (35Kg) on the racks alone. They used to make them with drop bars, now you have to add them. I run bullhorns on mine. This makes the folded package slightly larger. Also, you have to watch that the hub does not dig into your bar tape when you carry it, or it will put a small tear in the tape. The fold time is fast and the package is small. The ride is superlative. However, folding can go awry (dropped chain, caught part).

One reason to stick with 16" wheels (the Birdy's is really 16") is that it is they are the only bikes that really fit in an airline legal suitcase. Don't know about the Mezzo or other 16" folders, but the Birdy fits without major disassembly. I would say it takes me 10" to pack. You can also pull the suitcase behind the bike on a trailer if your departure point differs from your destination.

BF with 20" wheels is a great option, but it doesn't really fold well and you need a bigger suitcase unless you want to take the bike apart and rebuild it.

I know I keep pimping the Birdy, but this is the only one that has worked for me. I'll shut up now. I'm procrastinating from grant writing, which keeps me on Bike Forums.

The downsides are folding hassles, cost.

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Old 01-10-08, 08:03 AM   #19
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You can get a different stem post that allows an AHEAD type stem to be used.

Excluding the aforementioned post -- it is a kit that can be acquired though Black Dog -- I believe that there are two different stem posts with different angles. The more upright one is height adjustable.
Both the comfort and all-round Birdy stems are now height-adjustable.
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Old 01-10-08, 08:10 AM   #20
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Maybe it's just the person in this video clip but it looks like a 16" folder requires a rather "uncomfortable for prolonged sitting" ride position, especilly compared to a full sized mnt. bike?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=e_6nMr...eature=related
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Old 01-10-08, 08:48 AM   #21
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What is it that looks more uncomfortable in his riding position on the dahon? The angle of his back and arms look the same to me when I place to windows side by side ...
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Old 01-10-08, 09:46 AM   #22
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I may be looking at it with my professional physiotherapists eye, but it seems like he's having to support / stiffen his upper body much more, almost as if the handlebars are acting as a constriction. His movement is much more lower body intensive without seemingly as much propulsion.

Whilst I agree that using your upper body isn't what bike riding is about, it seems like the 16" limits any kind of motion, which in turn causes a contraction / more effort to "be there". There may also (most likely) be an issue of the seat postion (pelvis relative to legs relative to arms) or seat size? Issues especially for taller people riding long distances?

IOW - he doesn't look to be 'sitting neutral' compared to the bigger bike. Watch it in motion and tell me what you think? Something is clearly different...


BTW - never ridden one, so can't comment if that that actually what happens IRL.

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Old 01-10-08, 10:51 AM   #23
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BF with 20" wheels is a great option, but it doesn't really fold well and you need a bigger suitcase unless you want to take the bike apart and rebuild it.
This is not true. I used to travel with a Bike Friday NWT and it fit easily into a Samsonite Oyster 29" suitcase. The packing time was about 20-25 minutes. The Tikit packs faster, but into a larger suitcase (due to height requirements).

The Birdy looks like a great bike, but let's avoid misinformation.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:53 AM   #24
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I believe that the 25 deg stem which gives the longer reach comes in fixed length and height adjustable versions. The nice grey Birdy in the photos above appears to have the height adjustable version.

David
Interesting. What is the difference between the two stems in degrees?
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Old 01-10-08, 11:31 AM   #25
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I may be looking at it with my professional physiotherapists eye, but it seems like he's having to support / stiffen his upper body much more, almost as if the handlebars are acting as a constriction. His movement is much more lower body intensive without seemingly as much propulsion.

Whilst I agree that using your upper body isn't what bike riding is about, it seems like the 16" limits any kind of motion, which in turn causes a contraction / more effort to "be there". There may also (most likely) be an issue of the seat postion (pelvis relative to legs relative to arms) or seat size? Issues especially for taller people riding long distances?

IOW - he doesn't look to be 'sitting neutral' compared to the bigger bike. Watch it in motion and tell me what you think? Something is clearly different...


BTW - never ridden one, so can't comment if that that actually what happens IRL.
You need to select a folding bike of any wheel size carefully considering the cockpit dimensions. The Tikit comes in three different sizes and you can use standard stems/bars with it so there is no reason you can't duplicate the riding position of a 26"/700c bike. The cockpit on my Dahon D7 is on the small side and not adjustable.
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