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  1. #1
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Folder needed for a anal guy

    I will be strait forward with this - I need a folder (travel bike), but I will not consider small wheel options. I am in Taiwan at the moment, the 7th time being overseas in a a year and I am going nuts, its been too long. Note I own 6 high end bikes - none I can travel with. Here is what I am considering at this point:
    1) I have a steel road bike - 2004 specialized Allez steel - Columbus Foco - Thinking about SS couplings - the problem, I've got the bike at 17.5 lbs, may be a bit light for rougher roads and can't ride off road.
    2) Dahon Flo - great reveiws, good spec, but not for on road - I can buy another set of tires.
    3) Ritchey break away cross - covers everything, but starts getting a bit high on the price after a nice build.

    Any other suggestions? More history: at one point in my life I raced MTB at a pro level, I have done a couple IM competitions, so I'm a bit anal about what I ride. So I need performance, and I don't want small wheels.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If you want a folder that mimics everything your big bikes do order a custom Bike Friday. Mine was built to the same riding specifications as my 1974 Paramount. It does have small wheels (451s). Roger

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I think you've done a fair job of listing the high end options for folding bikes with full-sized wheels. I understand that you're anal... but have you even test ridden a high end 20" wheel travel bike? Until you do give it a fair test tride... you shouldn't discount them out of hand.

    --sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    Note I own 6 high end bikes - none I can travel with. Here is what I am considering at this point:
    1) I have a steel road bike - 2004 specialized Allez steel - Columbus Foco - Thinking about SS couplings - the problem, I've got the bike at 17.5 lbs, may be a bit light for rougher roads and can't ride off road.
    2) Dahon Flo - great reveiws, good spec, but not for on road - I can buy another set of tires.
    3) Ritchey break away cross - covers everything, but starts getting a bit high on the price after a nice build.
    Why not? Aren't all the airlines charging for regular luggage now? A folder with big wheels will surely also be oversized. What's the price difference going to be for flying with one of the breakaway options you mentioned as oversized luggage versus one of your regular bikes in a case/box? Can't be much compared to the overall cost of flying to the opposite side of the world.

    Heck, if you're going 7 times per year your best option might be to simply leave a bike there (find a storage locker or something).

  5. #5
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    Check out AIRNIMAL bikes.. Here's my Chameleon .. the frame folds down to fit a carry-on bag .. the wheels (520's) can be packed with your other luggage.. Here's an ARTICLE showing one use .. I also have a used Silver that is available if interested..



  6. #6
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Nice bike, Bruce. I forgot about Airnimal.

    --sam

  7. #7
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    True North and CoMotion both make bikes with couplers and regular sized wheels. True North were at the bike show in Toronto and I started yearning after them.

    But I just bought a Friday, so I don't want to hurt her feelings.
    Zero gallons to the mile

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    Dahon Touronado is a cheaper Ritchey breakaway.

  9. #9
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    On many airlines, there's no difference in price between shipping a break-away or a regular bike. None of the full sized break-away bikes are small enough to escape oversize charges, and the fees are typically flat rate - once you're over ,you're over. And NONE of the 26" / 700c break-away bikes will be under.

    Thus, there's often really no advantage to the break-away cost wise! Size wise, somewhat, yes. But normal bikes don't go over max size limits either, so unless you really need your bike in a suitcase, there's just not a lot of advantage between a break-away and a regular bike in a hard case. I'd check with the airlines you typically choose to fly on to work out what their size breakpoints and fees are, but its likely that your gains by going for a break-away will be minimal, or inexistent.

    I mimic some of the notions of the other suggestions here. You're dismissing some of the high performance small wheel options like Bike Friday and Airnimal too easily. My BF Pocket Llama rides exactly like my Rocky Mountain Hammer, it's also lighter.
    Last edited by Abneycat; 04-04-09 at 05:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    I am in Taiwan at the moment, the 7th time being overseas in a a year and I am going nuts, its been too long...
    I sympathize, I know the feeling. Longest I've been away was 6 weeks straight alone which should've been a 2 week stay. On the 4th week, I was climbing the walls of my hotel room (just an expression) with cabin fever.

    7th time in one year?!?? you poor bugga... must be a big R&D project you're working on...


    .

  11. #11
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocko View Post
    I sympathize, I know the feeling. Longest I've been away was 6 weeks straight alone which should've been a 2 week stay. On the 4th week, I was climbing the walls of my hotel room (just an expression) with cabin fever.

    7th time in one year?!?? you poor bugga... must be a big R&D project you're working on...


    .
    I'm a commissioning guy - 7th time since last April to 7 different places. China (4 times), Greece, Egypt, and now Taiwan. Most trips are 3 weeks or under.

  12. #12
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceMetras View Post
    Check out AIRNIMAL bikes.. Here's my Chameleon .. the frame folds down to fit a carry-on bag .. the wheels (520's) can be packed with your other luggage.. Here's an ARTICLE showing one use .. I also have a used Silver that is available if interested..


    Where did you purchase you airnimal - I don't see any dealers in the states.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    There are two American dealers... Calhoun Cycle in Minnesota and Mt. Airy Cycle in Maryland.

    Every once in a while a few appear on eBay. One thing to note... I believe Airnimal bikes have 24" wheels. Don't know if that makes any difference to you.

    --sam

  14. #14
    jur
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    There's the Airnimal Rhino - wait till you see the pics...
    You could consider a Moulton TSR30 with break-apart frame - now there's a bike for an anal guy (I have an APB, early version of TSR). This bike is simply brilliant, and with a double set of wheels you'll be able to either race on-road or cyclocross or off-road.

    My apoligies for suggesting small wheels but there are small-wheelers out there that really are brilliant.

    Also check out some of the MTB-ing threads by member foldsinhalf.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  15. #15
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    I'm starting to re-think my original post. Traveling with a full size folder (even if I didn’t have to pay the oversize fare) would not be practical because of what I need to bring with me. I’m limited to 2 50# checked bags and one carry on. I typically travel with 3 bags. A backpack (as my carry on) and 2 checked bags.
    1) In the small - about carry on size – bag - I'm an EE - so in this bag I carry the tools I need for the job - meters, a few hand tools, com cables for different devices, steel toe boots (most sites I go to are industrial), and drawings for the job. About 38 pounds
    2) In a large bag - Clothes, running shoes, workout gear, protein powder (it's notable, because it's heavy), books, toiletries etc. about 45 pounds.
    I figure, if I get past the ego issue of riding a small wheel bike, I can fit it in with what I carry now (but having 2 large bags), with a bit of redistribution, and stream lining what I carry on a trip.
    Realistically, a full size bike would not work – I would be pushing size limits from the start – plus the hotels I stay in may not appreciate me wheeling a full size bike to and from my room – so I will need it to fold quickly.
    The bike I will need would have to be similar to my Specialized Tri-cross. I use this as my commuter when I’m in town. I have done a century on it, ridden single track, mount studs on it in the winter – is a do all bike that performs well.
    I have looked at the Dahon and Friday sites a bit – any specific suggestions?

  16. #16
    jur
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    I wouldn't consider a Dahon. They are very good bikes indeed for the money, but I don't think they would be good enough for the sort of punishment a strong rider would mete out to them. Possible exception may be the Jetstream. Foldsinhalf has a modded one with disc brakes.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  17. #17
    Fool O' crap sscyco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I wouldn't consider a Dahon. They are very good bikes indeed for the money, but I don't think they would be good enough for the sort of punishment a strong rider would mete out to them. Possible exception may be the Jetstream. Foldsinhalf has a modded one with disc brakes.
    After I looked at Foldsinhalf profile, that is the model I was considering - I sure would like to ride one before I buy.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Moulton? swift? alternatives ,20" wheels are fine on the right bike IMO.Downtubes NS frames are strong enough, fast and reasonable weight also if you go for a road setup. Never weighed mine ,but felt around 10-11 kgs,maybe less. Add some carbon forks and crank set maybe if you need even more weight savings.
    Judging from other forum responses I would opt for the purpose built offering from bike friday,airnimal,or even an 18" birdie as main options.

    The future solution? a folding carbon frame set ? http://www.carbonfibergear.com/cubes...cycle-concept/
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by bhkyte; 04-05-09 at 05:14 AM.

  19. #19
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I wouldn't consider a Dahon. They are very good bikes indeed for the money, but I don't think they would be good enough for the sort of punishment a strong rider would mete out to them. Possible exception may be the Jetstream. Foldsinhalf has a modded one with disc brakes.
    I think the Dahon SpeedPro TT might also work for this case. I had an older model, and they're built solid, fast, with great gearing. Not for off road use, though. I can't tell if that's an important criteria for this case.

    http://www.dahon.com/us/speedprott.htm



    To the OP: I think you need to take a long, aggressive ride on a good small wheeled bike to eliminate your reluctance with them. I routinely ride my 20" wheeled bikes on my training rides (56% of my 986 miles so far this year). My rides are 30-70 miles usually, with a minimum of 2500 ft climbing (68,500 ft climbed so far this year).. I do centuries on them - going on one today on the Moulton TSR30. I'm not arguing that they're faster than my 17lb carbon roadie, but for training, you should have no reluctance to use them, especially in a travel situation.

    Gratuitous photo of my TSR30 on the way up to Mt. Hamilton in San Jose (4,300 ft +):
    Last edited by SesameCrunch; 04-05-09 at 08:42 AM.

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    Moulton is a very high performance breakdown bike. They have been used for world speed records, time-trials, world tours and everyday commuting. The small wheels combined with proper full suspension make for a very comfortable ride in a lightweight package that can cope with any road conditions.

  21. #21
    Eschew Obfuscation SesameCrunch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    Moulton is a very high performance breakdown bike. They have been used for world speed records, time-trials, world tours and everyday commuting. The small wheels combined with proper full suspension make for a very comfortable ride in a lightweight package that can cope with any road conditions.
    I agree with your assessment of the Moulton (as I have two of them) except to clarify that the lightweight reference is in regards to one's wallet after buying one..

  22. #22
    Senior Member DLBroox's Avatar
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    I can't give any advice on high performance folders, as I ride a Dahon Curve (with a million upgrades), so I defer to my friends here on the forum, but I'm glad you are reconsidering small wheels. Once you get over the idea that these bikes are "weird," you can really enjoy what they bring to your riding experience.

    Someone referred to me as capricious when I was questioning how they handle the strange looks and the attitude towards my clown bike. I wish I remembered who, because I'd thank them for setting me straight. I ride small wheel because I love it.

    Think of it as adding to your resume of bike riding and owning experiences!

  23. #23
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    OP SScyco (like the avatar btw) I can relate. i've been annoying bike shops and trying loads of folding bikes, but in spite of what people on this sub forum say (they would wouldn't they) - nothing beats the gliding, in the zone, effortless feeling you get on a half decent 700c road bike. Here are some comments.

    The Zootr Swift IMHO, rides better than other 20" wheeled bikes (including the rather porky TSR, and the expensive Airnimal), but still do not feel as fast as a 700c bike, even with decent high pressure rubber. Dahon make some full sized wheeled bikes but they either need to be dismantled, or are massive when folded. I was disappointed when I tried the Cadenza, when folded it is still massive with the bars sticking up and out. You have to get the tools out and remove the whole stem and bars, which then 'dangle' against the frame to get the same folded form as they show in the pictures.

    I quite like the look of Pacific If bikes, the IF Cross (or IF Urban as they have re-named it, again) would seem to be the best bet for faster rides as well as fast folding - they are all 'roll when folded' bikes which is a plus. But they are still new and outside Taiwan few seem to stock them yet.

    I've rejected the other 700c and 26" bikes from Ritchey and Dahon, as well as Airmimal and Swiss bike as they all need to be dismantled in some form to 'fold' them up, this would annoy me if I needed to say take a commuter train in bad weather, but this may be ok for the OP for travelling.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
    Where did you purchase you airnimal - I don't see any dealers in the states.
    I got my Airnimal from the US distributor .. but, now that I've read that you're downsizing your wheel size needs, here's another bike to look at .. it is currently for sale and I will give a 10% discount to any B/F member who mentions that they saw the offer here.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/bik/1099772913.html

  25. #25
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    When you mention your cross and mountain bike, and describe that you would like to ride off road,

    The Airnimal Rhino and Bike Friday Pocket Llama are what come to mind for me. The Rhino is outfitted like a full sized + full suspension XC bike, while the Pocket Llama is a rigid but extremely durable bike like a good cross or MTB trekking bike.

    Of the two, the Pocket Llama comes closest to the Ritchey break away cross - covers everything.

    I would avoid the Dahons for high performance needs if you are going off road. They have a folding stem which makes them very convenient for quick and convenient folding, but it also means you'll risk damaging the hinge on the stem if you stand and hammer / stand while doing technical maneouvers.

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