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  1. #1
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    boat bike for a big guy

    Hello Folders, I generally hang out on the touring forum, but I'm in need of a folder. I'm planning on doing the Great Loop in a small (23 ft) boat, and need a bike, a folder.

    My basic criteria;
    1. Folds up small for a small boat.(at least smaller is better)
    2. Can handle a big guy, 6'-1", 36" inseam and 225lbs (My touring bike is a 63cm)
    3. Needs to handle grocery panniers loaded to the max. (Provisioning)
    4. little to no steel components (rust)
    5. Price is no object

    I know, I know, a lot to ask, but this is the place to ask.

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Sounds like a birdie,a mezzo,an upmarket DAhon,a downtube(but loads of steel componats to change),a stainless steel Diblasi (you may have to alter the seat posts if you get a 16"model ),A Ti brompton or an alloy Merc.

    possibly consider SS coupling on a touring bike.

    or treat a steel bike with protective coatings/treatments.

  3. #3
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    If you are an enthusiastic cyclist I would recommend a Dahon Mu XL Sport.
    * has the 60mm I-Beam seatpost, so long enough for you
    * IGH, more robust for boat trip
    * light weight
    * aluminum
    * if you take out wheels the Mu has the most compact fold around of all 20" wheel size folders
    * some of the smaller 16" folders do ride well, but you might not be happy with those if you are used to full size touring bikes.

    Regarding panniers:
    best way is a bag with just hooks over the handlebar.
    Racks and front panniers instead make the bike more bulky and less flexible if you frequently pack/unpack it.
    Or use a foldable trolley, easier to put on/off, can take more load, including the boat

  4. #4
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    is it a motor or sailboat ?
    in any case 23 foot is rtaher small to load up with bicycles ..I use my Dahon Curve 16 without carrier or fenders ... but the new Mariner for a little over 500 is a nice bike.... again take the fenders off and loose the carrier and you should be able to stuff it into a "hole" might wanna take an el bolso bag to have the V berth clean ..if you keep the bike there ...:-)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post

    My basic criteria;
    1. Folds up small for a small boat.(at least smaller is better)
    2. Can handle a big guy, 6'-1", 36" inseam and 225lbs (My touring bike is a 63cm)
    3. Needs to handle grocery panniers loaded to the max. (Provisioning)
    4. little to no steel components (rust)
    5. Price is no object
    gregw - Re: criterium 5 - I think Thor can still get you a Mu XXV. Note that some Dahons (but, AFAIK, not the Mu XXV) have a braze-on for a Klickfix frame adapter. A front basket might balance the load on the bike better than rear panniers. FYI, most Dahons have a 230 lbs weight max, so you're bumping up against it before provisions. Get a Tipke Foldit cart (you have to have a dock cart anyway) with the BikeHitch, and you should be ready to go with just about any Dahon.

  6. #6
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    "All Dahon bikes with a hub gear feature a luggage bracket on the frame head tube." (new 2009)

    This decouples the stearing from the weight, but still this solution has many drawbacks:
    * cannot handle much weight
    * needs frame mount
    * needs adaptor mounted permanently to the frame (which compromizes the fold)
    * does not use up the full space on the smaller wheeled folders

    Nice solution if you mostly carry small loads only. See pic:


    For heavier stuff instead, a simple "hang-your-bag-over-the-handlepost-solution" might be just as good or better.
    For less than 20 kg I personally prefer a backpack anyway.
    Last edited by pibach; 06-01-09 at 06:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses! Several of your suggestions look interesting. It looks like one of my major criteria should be the space I intend to store the bike because each bike folds-up into a different final size and this will be very important on this boat. Here is the boat, it's the VW camper of boats.
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  8. #8
    jur
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    I question some of the Dahon suggestions. The Dahon Curve is too small for a 6'+ guy who is used to a touring bike, and probably the same for any other Dahon. And the Speed TR is really the only out-of-the-box option for hanging on panniers.

    I would call a Birdy. With the (optional) front and rear folding racks it is mighty convenient. I fold mine on a fairly regular basis and the availability of the rack for hanging my panniers at any time is so convenient. With the sports stem it would be just right for you size wise. It is a quality bike with no issues and little flex that will last a long time, and is available in a range of price options, such a SRAM 27 speed or even a Rohloff hub. It also comes with optional mud guards. See my sig linky for my tour of Kangaroo Island on my Birdy to get an idea of the capabilities.

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    Jur, I agree, the 16" Dahon Curves are much smaller than the 20" ones (shorter wheelbase, 96 cm and shorter saddle to handlebar distcance). I would not recommend these for people over 6ft (but works with simple ahead stem conversion). The 20" Dahons have a 103cm wheelbase (all 20" Dahons have same frame geometry). Fits me very well (186cm tall). Actually the Birdy is smaller. There are several rack options available for the Dahons. No problem to install a rack anytime after purchase. The standard one, touring, or front, these fit all Dahons. Other than the Birdy, you can keep load on top of the rack when folding. Also it can transport higher loads. The beauty of the Birdy rack instead is that the load is partially suspended. But probably the Klickfix solution is preferable to a rack anyway. Quality wise I can attest that Dahon frames and parts are at a high standard.

  10. #10
    in cog neato itsmoot's Avatar
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    How about a Dahon Mariner. Swap the stock rack for Dahon's Touring Rack to fit normal-sized panniers.

    I used to have a Dahon Speed D7 which was very similiar. A little heavy, didn't fold as small as others, but well built and rode nice.
    Last edited by itsmoot; 06-04-09 at 11:01 AM.
    I have the heart of a young boy. I got it on eBay.

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    Birdy

    I've owned the new style Birdy for 1.5 years and I really love this folder. Like Jur said, with a rear rack and a set of panniers it certainly could carry a bunch of groceries. The only drawback that I can see is that it's kind of a pricey bike to be leaving around docks and in front of stores. Due to it's unique design and small wheels, it draws alot of attention, especially amongst the younger bmx bike riding crowd who might want to take it for a test ride.

    Last edited by boldav44; 06-03-09 at 08:34 AM.

  12. #12
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! Several of your suggestions look interesting. It looks like one of my major criteria should be the space I intend to store the bike because each bike folds-up into a different final size and this will be very important on this boat. Here is the boat, it's the VW camper of boats.
    Yep ... a different final size and shape.

    Are you near a shop with folding bikes?

    EDIT: Note that some bikes that don't fold very small can separate and fit into small areas. So if it is the case that folding does not matter much, I would consider 20"-wheel bikes built for touring. If ride and fit matter a lot to you, a Bike Friday should be considered.

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    At 225 pounds, you're very close to, or over, the maximum weight limit of a bunch of the bikes mentioned so far. Further, most of the bikes suggested are going to fit you pretty poorly given your size.

    The Brompton would be my top choice, and can handle your weight (it tops out at 245), but I'm guessing you won't like its very short reach regardless of the bar configuration. The Dahons top out at 230 pounds but you also won't like the reach (better than Brompton though). Some Bike Fridays can handle your weight fine, and will fit you perfectly, but they don't compress as well. Swift likewise.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Asuming a 20" bike is too large.

    Possibly a Dahon presto(longer wheel base) or Curve both with the telesopic seatposts.
    If you wish to have something more like a touring bike you could do something like this I did to my 20" downtube. The simular conversion to a mezzo is more difficult to get the folding comprimise correct.

    I feel the best option would be a curve with some bullbars and STI racing levers mated to a dualdrive hub or a 8ish speed internal to give gearing.

    I feel the bull bar would work well to give extra cockpit space on the Dahon as the stem is ready set up to enable them still to fold without major headachs. The bars can be postioned below the wheels when folded,or placed on top loose. This bike can also take a quick release front bag and a rear rack set up. In addition the 305 wheel size will take big apple tires good for rough ground in mooring situations.

    Unforntuately this is a non standard recommendation that your LBS may not want to build up. But it should be easy to DIY if not.

    This combination should be all alloy, just as small folding, fast, that will take a rider 6foot4, take your weight and have good ability to upgrade an alter if reguired. It will give you a simular set up to a touring bike also.

    see the thread of a vistesse Hotrod with drops for something simular

    I have seen Bromptons with bullhorns, but the fold is not as good unless you also change the stem or use an addition quickrelease.
    I also thought you wanted to avoid steel bikes.
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    Last edited by bhkyte; 06-03-09 at 12:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! Several of your suggestions look interesting. It looks like one of my major criteria should be the space I intend to store the bike because each bike folds-up into a different final size and this will be very important on this boat. Here is the boat, it's the VW camper of boats.
    Wow. That's a small boat for what can kick up on the Lakes and Gulf. I'm sure you are cautious but constantly check the weather and don't head out when there's a chance of bad weather.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    A boat that size screams, "Brompton".

    Being on the water begs for a sea-worthy bike like the Dahon Mariner.

    Of those options, I would choose Brompton just for the size. Replace rusty bits as needed.

    --sam

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
    I feel the best option would be a curve with some bullbars ...
    You can easily add an adaptable ahead stem to improve the reach (works for all Dahons), see this video.

    The 60mm I-Beam seatpost is long enough, no telescoping needed (too heavy and complex).

    Presto (Light) is a very good suggestion (just add Big Apple tires to it).
    Last edited by pibach; 06-03-09 at 04:48 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregw View Post
    Thanks for all the responses! Several of your suggestions look interesting. It looks like one of my major criteria should be the space I intend to store the bike because each bike folds-up into a different final size and this will be very important on this boat. Here is the boat, it's the VW camper of boats.
    oh heck,,it's a motorboat. I bet you have as much usable space as a 30' sailboat. Call Bike Friday and ask for the cheapest version of the LLama and put Big Apple or other 2.125 road tires on it. I've got two 20" wheeled BF on a 30' sailboat and they are acceptable down below compared to sticking on deck and rusting away.

    Your desire for a corrosion free bike is unrealistic. Every chromed steel part on stock components will eventually rust, every unanodized aluminum component will develop a frosty grey corrosion. Even the ss. washers between dissimilar metals will show rust. The chain will rust if it's not lubed with sticky messy wet weather oil. I've got the $100 clipless shimanno pedals on one bike and the cheap $50 Wellgo clipless on the other,,,the Shimanos rust more. If you don't need clipless then get plastic and you'll save the concern. The corrosion that will bother you the most cosmetically are all the parts the custom manufacturer doesn't make. So you could have a ss. all aluminum or whatever bike and the rust will show up on chromed steel. I'd suggest slathering a few parts with oil, bagging it and watching it get dirty after time. If you're riding every day I'll bet you'll get tired of assembly/dissassembly and will just tie it down somewhere and live with the corrosion. It's funny seeing all those folders tied on deck but if it's too crowded down below..up it goes.

    The reason I suggest it is your desire for a real load carrier,,that means fat tires and a bike designed to carry them. That's the LLama or the other version that comes in only three sizes,,the largest of which will fit you. If you load down 30lbs on the front wheel you really don't want to be riding through dirt on a 1.5" tire. Make it fat. 2"-2.125" fat.

    I don't know about other folders but the chainstay length isn't that long so rear panniers have to be moved back,,but for further heel clearance the rack has to be monted HIGH. I haven't ridden a folder with that set-up but it looks kind of awkward and accentuates an existing rear weight bias for a normal wheelbase bike. I'd rather mount a rear rack as low to the tire as I would a regular bike and load gear up from there THEN rely on the front entirely for panniers and top mounted basket for more.

    I used to have a Blackburn front rack on the BF but I gave it away and used the BF folding one. It's really slick. For a rear rack I got the cheapest Sunlite brand with adjustable struts and just cut them down to fit on the back. It is WAY solid and only an inch or so above the rear fender. On the rear rack goes a Jann expandable rack bag. It doesn't look big but once it's expanded up it'll accordion up to the back of the seat post a couple inches under the seat,,maybe a couple more under yours with enough room to hold one grocery bags worth of stuff.

    With front pannirs you can load up more,,which is where you'll want the fattest tire. If you're going through marinas outside of clean neat urban areas you're probably going to be riding through sandy chopped pavement which is no fun with a small tire, big guy, loaded down.

    With the rack setup above it'll take 15minutes to break it down or put it together assuming the front rack has to be removed/installed each time. You can fold it on but it won't fit in the bag well. Oh,,right,,the bag,,I'm not familiar with folding pedals but if you have a pedal preference then removing them is what you'd do to get an extra 6" storage clearance and fit it in the bag.

    You could carry four full grocery bags with the above setup. One on the back and three on the front. My loaded folders are funny compared to regular wheels, they become bizarrely stable compared to a regular sized bike loaded down. It's like the difference between similar sized motor boat and keel sailboat in waves.

    this is the bag, once the expansion zipper is opened up the top tilts forward filling in the space between the seat tube and bag. It needs a bungie over the top to help stabilize it side to side when loaded with heavy stuff. I use it to get groceries and on a short tour last year. From a shopping standpoint I'd be tempted to experiment with a small kitchen sized rectangular plastic trashcan with eyelets attached mid way for strapping the container to the rack. The whole idea is that having weight as close to you over the rack makes for better handling than way off the back wheel. The trashcan could provide double duty on board down below. It's just a thought for a way to carry more on the rear wheel without having heels hit it.


    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FRRPII

    for some reason I can't find the Sunlite rack but it's the kind of rack you'd find in a little out of the way bikeshop that can't sell $100 rear racks.
    Last edited by LeeG; 06-03-09 at 11:58 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    You can easily add an adaptable ahead stem to improve the reach (works for all Dahons), see this video.

    The 60mm I-Beam seatpost is long enough, no telescoping needed (too heavy and complex).

    Presto (Light) is a very good suggestion (just add Big Apple tires to it).
    Yes, an I beam seatpost would be OK (just for height) ,and a better idea as it will not rust around the clamp area because of the tough plastic construction.

    I would still opt for bullbars instead of or in adition with an adaptable stem, as 6-8 inches of reach will be added not 2 inches.

    My recomendation mark 2!

    presto or curve with I beam saddle, and bullbars, ( consider adaptable stem), mated to road sti an a maintence free 8 speed internal laced with SS spokes.
    Telfon coated SS brake cables and gear cables also.
    Last edited by bhkyte; 06-04-09 at 08:53 AM.

  20. #20
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    I agree on the wide tire suggestion. The Mu Xl can handle 2,35" Big Apples. I use them on mine.

  21. #21
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    now ... when I read that it seems to always have a lot of customisation going on, no matter what bike being suggested.... dont get me wrong I like that .. after all part of my life is financed that way ..lol

    Its getting much more difficult to suggest a stock bike.....

    room on a boat is of max importance..... weight is more important for sailboats than motorboats... but than you wont drag a 35 lbs bike down a ladder and jump into the boat either.... no matter what.

    I find that if it is a drag to get the bike together you will start walking and get upset after ten minutes that you havent took the bike ...

    Yes , there is the occasional time when you want to carry a full load of stuff .... mostly however its small items you can easily carry in a backpack ..or small shopper bag ......

    Carriers fenders and such only add to the folding size and make the bike heavier

    Corrosion due to salt spray will make alloy look ugly and will eat steel alive... Interestingly enough bikes get thrown away as being unusable because the parts are rusted shut but the frames are usually the last thing to go .... despite that I would only take an alloy frame on theboat

    modern folding bikes dont usually have zink spokes but stainless ones and they have alloy bits and pieces versus steel... at least if you look to spend somewhere up of 400 dlr ....

    I like the Curve as it is much bigger feel that the size of the bike .... and I get it through my relative small hatches on my boat. I also have an el bolso bag and sometimes just throw it into the cabin out of the way.

    http://www.thorusa.com/corsair.htm ( somewhere down on that page)

    If you have a little more room the MAriner is a nice bike.. again I would take the fenders and the carrier off and leave it at home .....

    heres a vid of a 5 11 guy riding a Curve
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_6nMrCVqDk
    or check this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNgIy3XHTQw

    pretty big guy riding a curve .....


    of course I am biased ..lol

    thor
    p.s. only one 2008 Curve D 3 left

  22. #22
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    A lot depends on th dimensions of the lockers you want the bikes to fit in and also the dimensions of the hatch openings to them. I found that may daughter's full size mountain bike fit in just as easily as my Dahon Helios 8 in the seat lockers of my Alberg 30 (which almost certainly has less storage space than your Cdory) due to the narrow hatches on the otherwise generous sized lockers under the cockpit seats. The MTB slid right into the locker with room to spare as long as the front wheel was removed. The folder was a bit wide when folded and was actually a lot harder to squeeze into the locker unless it was loaded in an unfolded condition and the front wheel removed.

    As a result I started to carry a non-folding bike on the boat.

    My point is that you should have a good hard look at where you will store the bike(s) and not necessarily assume a folder is the best answer. It may be, but not necessarily.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 06-04-09 at 12:33 PM.

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    [QUOTE=brakemeister;9040235] room on a boat is of max importance.....


    great photos on your website. Yep,,in your case the least amount of stuff on the bike the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    My point is that you should have a good hard look at where you will store the bike(s) and not necessarily assume a folder is the best answer. It may be, but not necessarily.
    saw an eight speed IGH on a Salsa Casserole at the marina once,,that looked like a good idea.

  25. #25
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    WOW even more great info, and I thought picking a folder would be easy. Hey Staehpji I didn't know you hung out on the folder forum, got any tours planned?
    Just as I'm starting my research on folders a very hard to find pocket cruiser comes up for sale on the C-Brats page, a Toland 18-8. Possibly the smallest power boat capable of doing the loop, OK you could do it on a jetski, but I mean something with an enclosed cabin, sink, stove, full sized sleeping bunk, that sort of thing. This boat will get up on plane with a 40hp motor and get 6mpg at 16-18 mph, now that's economical cruising.

    If I can live out of a bike and trailer for a summer, living out out of even this small boat should be luxury. I would pack only slightly heavier than the bike trip, a few more cloths, inflatable kayak on the roof, folder in the V-berth and a tool kit for the outboard.
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