Look what my wife gave me. Bought used. And yes, its a disease - folderitis that is.
Standing height of the Carryme
Look what my wife gave me. Bought used. And yes, its a disease - folderitis that is.
Standing height of the Carryme
Last edited by puppypilgrim; 05-06-09 at 09:06 PM.
Sweet little ride. Speaking of which, have you had a chance to ride it much? How does it ride?
Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.
Nice, looks like an older version like mine.
They keep getting heavier every year.
Be warned, this is a long review. There is a black under-saddle bag attached to the seat in the picture above.
I bought this Carryme off ebay. The previous owner had removed the tire tubes and filled the tires with a red foam to avoid the need to ever fix flats or carry puncture repair kits. The tires are fairly new - half of the wear nipples haven't even worn off yet. The previous owner also replaced the black factory rolling wheels on the rear rack with blue skateboard wheels.
I am 5'6", 170 lbs with short legs. I have ridden bikes all my life. My natural cadence is about 90~95. My other bike is Dahon Helios modified into a singlespeed with bullhorns.
The frame seat stays and head tube stays are all solid. There is no creaking from the frame whatsoever. With so many quick releases, I expected more slop or play within the bike but was pleasantly surprised to not experience any from the main frame itself. The handlepost flexes if you pull on it - not enough to frighten me but its there.
The paint work is excellent, the welds tidy. Every bolt has its corresponding washer, every quick release its friction pad, where needed, certain bolts had locking nuts - everything is spec'ed on this bike with few corners cut.
RIDING THE CARRYME
I could not and did not adjust instantly to the riding position on the bike. It takes some getting used to. In an aha moment, I realized that the Carryme felt a little like a crank forward bike. Notice the forward position of the crank relative to the tush line compared to a full sized bicycle.
It took a while to find a comfortable fit for me on the bike where I felt right. For me, this required keeping the handlebars as low as practical. The picture above does not show my final and most comfortable setup. In the pic, the handlebars are still too high. This keeps more of the weight forward and it was more comfortable maintaining a high cadence with this setup. Keeping the handlebars as low as practical also prevents unintended wheelies.
The bike turns easily yet I was able to maintain a straightline with little effort and steer with one hand with no drama.
The brakes work well - meaning the action feels right for the bike and modulation is good. However the rear brake is very ineffective compared to the front brake. Better performance can be had by simply changing brake pads. The rear brake cable also gets tangled up easily when folding the bike - especially when you remove the handlebars from their snap locks.
Due to the frictional resistance I encountered, I found it easier to have the seat lower than my usual and mash at the pedals instead. Which leads me to my next observation.
The Carryme has more rolling resistance than a normal bike. It also felt like more rolling resistance than a Strida that I tried briefly. I feel like I am working harder on the Carryme than the Dahon. The Carryme rides surprisingly well but it is no Dahon. The bike is more comfortable at a pootling pace than holding a cyclist's cadence at 90-100 rpm.
While there is no undesirable noise from frame flex, the rear free wheel is noisy and whirrs all the time. If you're looking for a quiet ride - this isn't it. My wife paced me in her electric trike and had me at about 20~21 km/h cruising (about 90 cadence). I would not be too comfortable going much faster than that since maintaining that cadence was not easy. Let me be absolutely clear: the bike was perfectly stable at 22 km/h. Maintaining the cadence to achieve that speed wasn't due to what I felt like was higher than expected resistance in pedal effort.
The ride is comfortable. Much better than the solid wheels of a Xootr scooter and feels much like an 85 psi Marathon Racer tire. However, the small wheels do not carry very much momentum - hence the feel of increased rolling resistance over a 20" wheel (never mind a 700c wheel).
Folding the Carryme is an art that has to be mastered. There are 5 quick releases to unlock and lock to achieve the fold. The folding while laudably compact, is neither elegant nor clever unlike a Strida. The handlebar and seatpost height have to be reset every time you fold it.
So where does the Carryme shine? I'm glad you asked
The Carryme is a solid neighborhood and multi-modal commuting cycle. Build quality is excellent and it is very compact. If you are looking for a bike to pootle with this could fit the bill very well. Forget using panniers, trunk bags and so forth. Just use a backpack. If you need to go from buses to trains to taxis, this could be very very good. Never carry a lock anywhere.
It is simple and uncomplicated. Given the geometry of the bike, my seat height is low enough that I can tiptoe and touch the ground at a standstill - something I cannot do on the Dahon. The bike is well made and a conversation piece. Its convenient to be able to take the bike anywhere. I think it shines for short trips in the city and multi-modal use.
However the cycling dynamics of the Carryme will NEVER threaten 16" or 20" folders. In fact for someone who needs to log more than 5 miles a day, I would recommend a 16" folder like a Citizen, Flying Pigeon or Downtube Mini. Those with more money can opt for Tikits, Dahon Curves or Moultons. If your need can accommodate a 20" folder, there are even more options.
MY MODIFICATIONS TO THE CARRYME
Removed rear brake (caliper, cable, lever). This greatly simplifies the fold and nothing will ever tangle.
With this configuration, it weighs 17 lbs. on my bathroom scale (may be +/- 1 lb.). I kept the kickstand as I find it useful.
So while I like it, I have not fallen in love with the Carryme the way I love my singlespeed Dahon. Does the Carryme have its place within the stable of a bike lover? Time will tell and I will let you know if I feel differently.
Last edited by puppypilgrim; 05-06-09 at 12:04 PM.
Here's a video. I'm 5'6", 170 lbs, shortish inseam.
you blocked out your face in the forum yet we got a full view of your face in the video (now we know who you are - ha, ha, ha...). nice review though. let me know how it goes as i am planning on getting something smaller for my multi modal commute. i have a dahon and tokyo but at 26lbs....hmmm.
Nice review! The carryme does look like a fun bike.
I defy you to give a good description of my facial features based on the video..... ,) LOL!
pft, so your wife is the one that beat me at the auction.
Sorry, we did indeed beat another bidder in the auction. If you are certain you want the Carryme, contact me via private message.
Or maybe it's the rear freewheel...Mark Sanders has said that the difference in friction between rear and front freewheels is equal on a Strida. Ergo, since the Carryme's rear wheel is half the size the rear freewheeling versions must have double the friction.
Or maybe I'm just too light to cause any detectable rolling resistance.
There is no air in the tires. See original back story above:
"The previous owner had removed the tire tubes and filled the tires with a red foam to avoid the need to ever fix flats or carry puncture repair kits."
I wonder if this is part of the problem - added weight of the foam. I won't know unless I can test the tube option back-to-back. I like the convenience of the foam filled tires as it is a pain to keep an 85~90 psi tire filled at all times to be ready to ride. I also like the fact I won't have to worry about punctures or carry a repair kit. Comfort is a non-issue. The tires rolls over everything with reasonable ease and better-than-expected comfort. I even rolled over a brick-laid portion of road to test it. Never having to check tire pressure is a great service to an opportunity rider like me.
The handling and tight cornering were solid. The Marathon Racers on my Dahon are not solid at 65 psi and will squirm and yield under cornering unless pumped to the 80s psi.
Last edited by puppypilgrim; 05-06-09 at 04:59 PM.
Oh wow. This is amazing. That was my CarryMe!
Joako, I can assure you it went to a good folding bike fanatic home
Thank you for keeping it in very good shape.
However, can you confirm that your bike does indeed have a rear freewheel?
Mine might roll well because I keep my pressure closer to 95 psi, but I wonder if it might also be:
- Rider weight: Influences rolling resistance in exact inverse proportion to wheel radius (so, all else being equal, a rider half your weight would feel the same RR on 12" wheels as you do on the airnimal's 24" wheels).
- Freewheel friction: With monstrously high gear ratios (6:1) the wheel is turning at a much higher rate than the crank. So I'd expect the front freewheels equipped on some Carryme's to have much lower friction than rear freewheels equipped on others.
I am keenly interested in this because the Carryme is the fastest accelerating bike I've ever ridden, including airnimals, road bikes ,etc, which makes it the fastest city bike I've ever ridden. Presumably the main reason is the supremely low rotating weight of the wheels/tires/hubs, but given reports of slowness like yours I'm afraid of accidentally "upgrading" into a crippling configuration. For example, I'd like to throw on some of these light and versatile bad boys , but if it requires a big drop in efficiency via a rear freewheel then I won't waste my money.
Actually, the tires were not filled with foam. The air-tubes were replaced with Airfree Tires' foam inserts (a solid foam version of filled tubes), so you can easily go back to the original pneumatic tubes. Having the tires filled with foam would be much more expensive and is permanent so you can't revert back to the original inner-tubes.
On the manufacturer's website, they say that the foam inserts are equivalent to 40 psi pneumatics. The original tubes are spec'd to 80 psi, which may be the main reason why it feels somewhat sluggish. Since this bike was used for short rides downtown and cruising on the beach boardwalk, the compromise was fine for me (was never used for long trips or fast rides). It's better than having to fix flats, especially since the 8" inner-tube size is not easily obtainable.
p.s. - Great review! Glad you were able to install the pedal ;-)
Last edited by jaynh; 05-07-09 at 01:21 PM.
I just bought one too, a NOS from H2outfitters for probably not the best deal (if you include shipping).
I'm pretty excited about it (it's white), but I'm afraid of the looks I'll get when my folks find out about it (you bought what?).
"Thx for the video. I was surprised this smallish bike does ride so quickly.
How about a video of your single speed Helios for comparison? "
Ask and ye shall receive...
Here is a video comparing a Dahon Helios at 62 gear inches with the Pacific Carryme at 48 gear inches. I could not do it yesterday as it was raining.
The "woo, woo, woo" cheer is from my next door neighbour who saw me riding by. Taking one hand off the Carryme affects stability much more than taking one hand off the Dahon. With both hands on the bars, stability is very good.
In the video, I was going as fast as I could comfortably ride on the Carryme. In fact, I would not feel comfortable maintaining that cadence on the Carryme for more than a mile. I could have gone faster on the Dahon but that was a comfortable speed for me.
If you pedal while cornering, you will almost certainly experience pedal strike on the Carryme. Its low. The frame is sturdy. I think I have become a fan of single, non-hinged, ovalized or rectangle main tubes on folding bikes such as those on the Carryme or Swift or Giatex. Hinged main tubes don't feel the same.
The Dahon is quieter and more stable due to the larger wheels and longer wheelbase. For such small wheels and such a compact bike, the Carryme is - as others have duly noted - surprisingly comfortable. I'll have more to say on ride quality in another post.
Last edited by puppypilgrim; 05-08-09 at 11:29 AM.
I went for another ride tonight. Basically when it doesn't rain, I'm out on the bike in the evenings.
I shall now correct my previous impression of rolling resistance. I examined the tires carefully under compression of my weight. There isn't what I would call a detrimental deflection of the tire due to too low a psi. The previous owner, forum member jaynh, had put a urethane insert in place of the pneumatic airtubes. This serves several purposes:
1. Remove the need to check air pressures everytime you ride. Small tires with high pressures are very sensitive to variations in tire pressure.
2. Remove the need to tune the ride by varying tire pressure.
3. Remove the need to carry a puncture repair kit.
4. Remove the possibility of needing repair a puncture during a ride.
5. Simplifies maintenance.
6. Removes the need to purchase spare tire tubes.
This is the urethane insert he installed: http://www.airfreetires.com/shopping...re-insert.aspx
After spending more time the bike, I find the urethane insert to have the right blend of performance and cushioning. I say this with careful consideration. I like high cadences. I'm not a slow, leisurely rider. Yet this setup was able to keep up with me and provide what I consider the perfect amount of shock absorption and cushioning when riding on brick-laid surfaces, cement connection joints, sidewalk ridges, up and down curb ramps, asphalt roads and the kinds of surfaces one is likely to encounter in city riding. I am in fact amazed at the quality of the ride given the small size of the wheels. I am convinced that if the Carryme's tire were pumped to 80 psi, they would feel less comfortable than my present setup with the urethane inserts. So a big kudos to jaynh for thinking of this and passing it on to me.
Having the urethane inserts is a huge convenience. Imagine never having to worry about flats or need to fix a flat on such small wheels. Imagine never having to pump up the tires every time before you ride. Now imagine having the ride quality that is a good balance between performance and comfort which needing to tweak anything once its in place. This is like have a urethane suspension piece on the bike with the benefit of never needing to pump air into the tires or fix pinched flats. It greatly improves the reliability of the bicycle.
I am slowly seeing the Carryme in a more positive light by recalibrating my expectations. At first, I approached it as a speedy, urban, singlespeed terror on two wheels for multi-modal commuting. I was disappointed as it was not fast enough for me and I was unable to maintain my preferred cadence on the bike. I could not stretch out the way I prefer on the Carryme.
Then I realized that instead of seeing it as a competition to my Dahon Helios, I needed to see it more as a compact cruiser. The Carryme's geometry, gearing and intended design lent itself to be more of a compact cruiser than a replacement for an urban fixie. So I slowed my cadence and bopped along more at 60 than 90. Then it made much better sense and I was rewarded by a better sense of equilibrium than what I had previously experienced. I was slower but the bike felt more at peace.
The Carryme SD is not a speed demon. If I want to go much faster more efficiently, I would need a Carryme DS. The Carryme SD is a compact cruiser - it is what it is. I cannot ask it to be more than what it is. With that in mind, I am seeing the Carryme as a very appropriate day to day bike. If you don't have to be somewhere at the absolute minimum of time, the Carryme will get you there and make you smile all the way. If you want to get there fast, you'll either need the Carryme DS or more likely something faster that you can ride for sustained periods of time.
Is there a conversion kit to add on the Schlumpf drive to a Carryme SD?