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  1. #1
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    My next tourer will be a FOLDER!

    Hey all

    Just returned from a 4 month tour in SE Asia, which can be read about on my blog in my signature , and have decided that I have no desire to travel with a full size bike ever again.

    I'm sold on the folder but there are still a few things that I find necessary that perhaps you could review and tell me if there is a folder out there that would suit me. Here is my laundry list of criteria:

    • Accomodates wide tires
    • Has wheels in a size where tubes and tires are available worldwide
    • Has mounting points for racks
    • Relatively long wheelbase
    • Can possibly accomodate "north road" style bars (Dont know about this one)
    • Double chainring up front with "normal" chainring and bail out ring for serious hills, 9 speed in the back (This is more of a thinking out loud item really, I'd add this custom setup to any bike I ended up getting)


    Also, doing some reading, it seems that its encouraged to load the front of a folder more than the rear for stability. On my last bike I ran rear panniers but not front. Would that be a problem on a folder? If so, could I get away with running only fronts?

    Thanks in advance for your help

  2. #2
    DLW
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    Solutions depend on budget and needs

    Depending on your budget, Dahon's Smooth Hound http://www.dahon.com/intl/smoothhound.htm or Dahon's Speed TR http://www.dahon.com/us/speedtr.htm
    fit your needs. Include Schwalbe 'Big Apple' tires in your search.

    Bike Friday and others have great bikes also, it all depends on your budget.

    Whichever direction you choose, traveling off the beaten path means you need to carry appropriate spare tires/tubes, spokes, cables, etc. This doesn't require much effort or excess weight for piece of mind.

    Where did you go in SE Asia?

    DLW

  3. #3
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    this is timely because I am thinking of kitting out my Hammerhead 7 to be more like a smoothhound so I can tour it; and also get more day to day use out of it, store trips etc. Anyone gone down this route, or got advice / I guess fenders/mudguards and the tour rack would fit. Am wondering about a different saddle (but that gets expensive, swapping out the I-Beam stuff). So, ideas and suggestions welcome. Cheers
    Last edited by gringo_gus; 05-11-09 at 04:50 AM. Reason: typo
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  4. #4
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeManDan View Post
    ...tell me if there is a folder out there that would suit me. Here is my laundry list of criteria:

    • Accomodates wide tires
    • Has wheels in a size where tubes and tires are available worldwide 20" (406mm) BMX size available everywhere
    • Has mounting points for racks BF has them
    • Relatively long wheelbase Yep BF
    • Can possibly accomodate "north road" style bars (Dont know about this one) BF I think
    • Double chainring up front with "normal" chainring and bail out ring for serious hills, 9 speed in the back BF is one of the very few out there with front derailers (This is more of a thinking out loud item really, I'd add this custom setup to any bike I ended up getting)
    You're describing a Bike Friday, perhaps a NWT. See above in red

  5. #5
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    Or maybe a pocket llama, for the wide tires requirement.

  6. #6
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    All Dahons can handle 2.0" Big Apple tires.
    The Mu XL with vertical dropouts can even handle 2,35" Big Apples.
    Dahon Mu Ex comes with a dual chain ring setup.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    All Dahons can handle 2.0" Big Apple tires.
    The Mu XL with vertical dropouts can even handle 2,35" Big Apples.
    Dahon Mu Ex comes with a dual chain ring setup.
    I would hazard a guess (as in, not sure ..., but would be glad to be proven wrong) that the Dahons don't have a long wheelbase, and the handlebar would be too close to put a north road style handlebar on it. The rear rack also looks like it would have problems with heel strike.

    Just to be clear, the Mu XL has no dual chainring.

  8. #8
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    fmattheus, Dahon Mu has 103cm wheelbase which is quite long. Actually all Dahons have the same (its called Biologic II geometry). You can easily put an ahead stem on the telescoping part of Dahon handlepost (with an 1-1/8" to 1" reducer). Strong enough to hold a drop bar or a bullhorn (bullhorn can be mounted such that fold isn't compromised). BTW, Dahons can accept caliper brakes if you install 451mm wheels.
    Mu XL does come with Nexus hub. Mu P24 comes with dual drive.
    Generally, to mount a dual chainring you'll need to find a front dereilleur to fit the bigger seatpost diameter.
    Regarding heel strike you have two options. Either use the low rack and pack things on top. Or use a higher touring rack (slightly bigger package when folded) with standard geometry. There are also front racks for side panniers available.

  9. #9
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Bullhorns is great, I like it on folders. you could do the stem thing and try northroads, but did you look into mousache bars? Good for shorter top tube bikes.

  10. #10
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    Bike Friday NWT
    www.colmanlerner.zenfolio.com
    http://submit.shutterstock.com/?ref=60183
    “No Sueñes Tu Vida, Vive Tus Sueños“
    There is a driving force more powerful than steam, electricity and nuclear power: the will.
    A.Einstein

  11. #11
    Senior Member scarabeoguy's Avatar
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    I too would suggest a Bike Friday NWT.

  12. #12
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    +1 For Bike Friday.

  13. #13
    sundaycyclist
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    Somebody has to bear the euro-flag:
    Moulton!

    Depending on your finances whether

    AM GT
    http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/models/AMGT.html

    or

    TSR 30
    http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/models/TSR30.html

    Both not folding but separable.

    Edit: OK GT not really available Tyres but TSR 406.

  14. #14
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    NWT...it's designed for touring.

  15. #15
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    Xootr Swift

    Buying a frameset and adding custom parts will suit you better, or you can go the Bike Friday route and have them do all the work for you.

  16. #16
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    At the price of a BF you can get 3 Dahons, 2 Swift or 1,5 Airnimal Joey, equally equipped.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    At the price of a BF you can get 3 Dahons, 2 Swift or 1,5 Airnimal Joey, equally equipped.
    Nothing against those. They're all fine bikes. The BFs are designed for exactly what the OP wants. The others can certainly be outfitted for touring fairly easily, but it really depends on what the OP likes and his budget.

    Just because the BFs are more expensive doesn't mean they aren't worth every penny. Just sayin'.

    --sam

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    At the price of a BF you can get 3 Dahons, 2 Swift or 1,5 Airnimal Joey, equally equipped.
    You can equip a Joey with easily found tires, especially in places like Southeast Asia?

    You can equip a Dahon with proper sizing?

    And you can equip a Swift with easily repaired steel and easy packability? Also, I was not aware that a Swift cost $450. It seems to say $699 on their website.

    Most bikes have a niche. This is BF's niche. The Swift, Joey, and various Dahons are fine bikes for their purpose. But Bike Friday's Pocket Companion or NWT match this guy's request the best I think.

  19. #19
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    Besides the Tikit, I don't think Bike Friday makes any other folding bike.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kamtsa's Avatar
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    Call Bike Friday, talk with a salesman and they will set you up with whatever you need.

    Here is a link with sample configurations

    http://www.bikefriday.com/2009

    Kam

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebicycling View Post
    Besides the Tikit, I don't think Bike Friday makes any other folding bike.
    Now you're just joshin' with us, aren't you.
    Last edited by feijai; 05-11-09 at 11:45 PM.

  22. #22
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    +1 Bike Friday

    my NWT is WAY more fun to ride than my Dahon P8 (same frame as the TR)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Now you're just joshin' with us, aren't you.
    I consider the non Tikit BF's as small bikes that separate at certain points in the frame. A folding bike needs to fold/unfold with ease such as with the Dahons, Brompton, Tikit, etc.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bokes View Post
    +1 Bike Friday

    my NWT is WAY more fun to ride than my Dahon P8 (same frame as the TR)
    Why specifically?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilovebicycling View Post
    I consider the non Tikit BF's as small bikes that separate at certain points in the frame. A folding bike needs to fold/unfold with ease such as with the Dahons, Brompton, Tikit, etc.
    If you would like to define folding in terms of ease, you are welcome to. Let me ramp that ease thing up. Since my Tikit folds in five seconds and my Helios P8 folds in 35 seconds minimum, I'm going to declare that Dahons and Bromptons aren't folding bikes. I consider them small bikes that separate at certain points in the frame. :-)

    However we like to redefine terms, I'm not sure if it gets us anywhere. It seems to me that this guy's not looking for a quickie commuter folder. He's looking for a conveniently packable long-distance tourer. The NWT seems to be made for that, "folding" or no, don't you think?

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