Folding bikes on European bike tours
perhaps you folding bike afficionados can help me out here. I own a bicycle tour company and focus on custom self-guided tours to Europe. My tours are a little different than most - my clients are a little more independent and like to bring their own bikes. And they rent a car once there, so they have total flexibility and freedom. I provide the routes, maps, accommodations, logistics, and tons of tips and advice, etc (you can read about it more on my blog or website below).
What I'm looking for is to perhaps contact folding bike companies who make quality bikes for traveling, but also ones that are good for climbing and descending. I'd like to see if they would be interested in a joint venture, or some sort of joint promotion. I want to be able to recommend them to my customers (it's getting to be more of a pain to take bikes on planes), but I don't know enough about them. I am revamping my product line to include less expensive tours to sell to a wider market, and am creating a marketing plan for this product, so perhaps you guys can help me out.
Here's my questions before I contact any companies. I want to learn from you guys, the people who ride these bikes:
1. what are the most solid folding bikes for bike tours (say 40-70 miles a day, maybe more)?
2. ARe they good for climbing and descending too (like, in the Alpes)?
3. Are they similar to standard road bikes in terms of maintenance, getting flats, etc?
4. Are there any limitations with taking them on planes?
5. Anything I should know about them in terms of travel and transport?
Thanks for your assistance!