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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 03-09-09, 09:16 PM   #1
ilovebicycling
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Anyone done a century (100 miles) on their folder?

I'm planning a 100 mile single day bike trip next month.

Weather's getting quite nice so why not?

I'll be on my Brompton S2L. I find it can handle moderate hills adequately so the two gears is all I need.

I have already ordered a seat bag and will order a Freepack Meta backpack to fit on the headtube block (I'll need to go to a machine shop to get a custom made adapter for a Klickfix brace).

Has anyone done a century on their folder? How was the experience. For my sake, I'd just like to do it for fun. I get a lot of interest from bystanders about my Brompton. I'd just like to be able to say: It did 100 miles on it!

I will.
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Old 03-09-09, 09:32 PM   #2
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Folders for brevets
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Old 03-09-09, 10:28 PM   #3
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Excellent ... a search will find more like that as well as a thread by a person who did a century on their Brompton.
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Old 03-09-09, 11:24 PM   #4
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Yep folders in themselves are not a problem.

What is of first importance, is how comfortable you are. If you are in the saddle for 8h with only a few short breaks, you will know how important. More than gearing. Of course if there are many steep hills where you have to get off and walk that can be a drag. But if after 3 hours you can't bear to touch the saddle any more, or your hands or upper arms scream blue murder, then gearing is irrelevant - the ride is over.
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Old 03-10-09, 06:18 AM   #5
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Yes, mine was done on an early Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. Roger
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Old 03-10-09, 10:14 AM   #6
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I've ridden 100 miles on my S6L. Over the course of 10 separate trips! I found that the easiest and probably most effective thing to do to improve comfort is to add bar ends. I added a set of these stubby bar ends, which don't affect the fold at all.
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Old 03-10-09, 12:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for all your comments!

RBRIAN: I may copy you with the addition of the bar ends, but how do you attach them without affecting the fold? If you mount them so that they point forward, won't they collide with the spokes of the front wheel when you fold down the stem?
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Old 03-10-09, 01:32 PM   #8
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I did a (ahem, metric..) century on my Birdy, and have done lots of 40-50 mile rides on my Birdy and Xootr. No folder-specific issues, though I'm still looking for the perfect saddle...

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Yep folders in themselves are not a problem. What is of first importance, is how comfortable you are.
I agree 100%. There are two major components to comfort as I see it - bike fit, and road shock/buzz.
  • Most high end folders can be made to fit you as well as any "normal" - especially the custom fit Bike Fridays. So getting a folder that fits you shouldn't be a problem. Test ride before buying if you can... (though most bikes can be adapted to fit).
  • Suspension + small wheels = speed and comfort My Birdy, my wife's Moulton, and the Moulton I used to own are/were all fast and very comfortable. I found my Xootr's aluminium frame to be very "buzzy". That said, I have a friend with a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket and I've never heard him complain about road buzz. Maybe it's that magical steel ride?
  • Tire selection can mean a lot for comfort. I had Primo Comet Kevlar tires on my Xootr that rode like concrete donuts compared to the IRC Metros I replaced them with. Schwalbe Kojak & Big Apple tires are wide and provide a softer ride, without much/any increase in rolling resistance. However, I just replaced the stock Maxxis tires on my Birdy with Schwalbe Stelvios and am surprised that the ride comfort is just as good - even with such a skinny high pressure tire.
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Old 03-10-09, 02:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for all your comments!

RBRIAN: I may copy you with the addition of the bar ends, but how do you attach them without affecting the fold? If you mount them so that they point forward, won't they collide with the spokes of the front wheel when you fold down the stem?
Ok, here are some quite poor mobile phone pictures, but you can see the angle they are installed at, and the clearance when folded - there is about 2mm clearance between the right hand bar end and the tyre, but lots more space on the left side. This is with standard Brompton yellow tyres, I don't know how other tyres would affect it. I know that other people have installed Ergon grips with good results - I was going to do that, but the bar ends were a third of the price.
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Old 03-12-09, 02:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ilovebicycling View Post
Thanks for all your comments!

RBRIAN: I may copy you with the addition of the bar ends, but how do you attach them without affecting the fold? If you mount them so that they point forward, won't they collide with the spokes of the front wheel when you fold down the stem?
I've been experimenting with bar ends, & having tried the straighter type, prefer these, as they allow a variation, stop hands slipping off the ends, & are useful for other purposes :-)

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...x?ModelID=5440

The left one is fine, but the right has to be moved before folding, so adds a few seconds to fold time, but it's worth it to me because I tend to ride > 40 kms on a regular basis. I'll probably use a Brompton plastic "wing nut", but currently have a length of threaded rod housed in a piece of plastic to (un)tighten the right bar end.
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