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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 05-10-10, 02:23 PM   #1
tomtri
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Best Folder for touring?

I've never owned a folder, but I have several trips coming up where I'd like to fly with a bike and then hit the ground riding from the airport. Any opinions on what brand/model would be best for this kind of riding?

Or am I way off-base on what a folder should be used for?

Thanks!

Tom
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Old 05-10-10, 02:46 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Fold. Bike Friday build bikes for traveling and to fit into a suitcase. www.bikefriday.com there are other brands, Dahon, Birdy, Airnimal and other that would work also. Do you have a budget? How much riding will you do in a day?
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Old 05-10-10, 03:08 PM   #3
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I don't really have a budget... Used is OK - though I like good gear. On these kind of trips, I'm guessing I'd like to ride up to 50 miles, though most rides would be much shorter. I'm pretty ignorant re folding bikes - can they handle that kind of riding? Slow is OK, regular breakdowns not so much.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-10-10, 03:28 PM   #4
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I've never owned a folder, but I have several trips coming up where I'd like to fly with a bike and then hit the ground riding from the airport. Any opinions on what brand/model would be best for this kind of riding?

Or am I way off-base on what a folder should be used for?

Thanks!
Tom
definitely a folding bike with work for you. i would say brompton has the smallest fold but maybe not geared for touring. i agree with the previous poster that bike friday may be best suited for your ridings. you can check them out and if budget is not an issue call them and they will be more than happy to assist you and build you the kind of bike that you like.
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Old 05-10-10, 05:23 PM   #5
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The Dahon Speed TR is a touring bike and might be a good place to start for the price. http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/2009/speedtr.htm
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Old 05-10-10, 07:38 PM   #6
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Folders can indeed be used for touring. I've used my Bike Friday Tikit for light touring (i.e., no camping). The Bike Friday New World Tourist is built for full touring, although it's not a quick fold. All BFs are on the expensive side, so look elsewhere if you don't have a respectable budget.

In terms of a comfortable bike that can haul a lit of stuff, you'll get an equivalent non-folding bike for a bit less. The advantages to folding touring are many, though - shipping your bike to the starting point is greatly simplified. No more minivan rentals!
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Old 05-10-10, 07:57 PM   #7
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I've used my Bike Friday 'Pocket Rocket' for lots of bicycle camping trips with some days being over 100 miles but averaging under that. Having it fit into a completely normal suitcase is a big plus with the airlines starting to charge exorbitant fees for anything that's oversize or even hints that there's a bicycle inside. I also have the optional trailer frame that lets you tow the suitcase with all your other luggage inside once you've assembled the bike at the airport. [But note that some airport exit roads are decidedly not bike-friendly - at those I just hop on the first hotel courtesy bus I see and then put the bike together after arriving at the hotel.]

I agree with some of the other comments that Bike Friday bikes are a little pricey, but they are a good choice for touring - especially if you want to be able to ride directly to and from the airport.
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Old 05-10-10, 08:20 PM   #8
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I've used my Bike Friday 'Pocket Rocket' for lots of bicycle camping trips with some days being over 100 miles but averaging under that. Having it fit into a completely normal suitcase is a big plus with the airlines starting to charge exorbitant fees for anything that's oversize or even hints that there's a bicycle inside. I also have the optional trailer frame that lets you tow the suitcase with all your other luggage inside once you've assembled the bike at the airport. [But note that some airport exit roads are decidedly not bike-friendly - at those I just hop on the first hotel courtesy bus I see and then put the bike together after arriving at the hotel.]

I agree with some of the other comments that Bike Friday bikes are a little pricey, but they are a good choice for touring - especially if you want to be able to ride directly to and from the airport.
I'm Bike Friday shopping and the Pocket Rocket Pro is one model I'm looking at (the Tikit, Crusoe and NWT being the others) and would love to hear how you set yours up for camping trips.

As for the OP, check out Jur's trip blogs for a great example of what you can do with folders: http://members.iinet.net.au/~jdekter...in%20page.html I've read everyone of them and learned a ton about bike touring with folders.

Regards, Jim
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Old 05-10-10, 08:22 PM   #9
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If you want to actually ride out of the airport then you'll want something that won't take an hour to assemble from the suitcase.

Bike Friday tikit I say.
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Old 05-10-10, 09:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the great info, guys! Will be checking out your advice and making decisions...

Regards,

Tom
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Old 05-11-10, 02:02 AM   #11
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If you want to actually ride out of the airport then you'll want something that won't take an hour to assemble from the suitcase.

Bike Friday tikit I say.
And what do you do with the suitcase it came in ?
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Old 05-11-10, 04:33 AM   #12
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And what do you do with the suitcase it came in ?
If you have a Bike Friday you slap wheels on it and use to haul your luggage

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Old 05-11-10, 05:13 AM   #13
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Cool solution, Aaron!
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Old 05-11-10, 06:06 AM   #14
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Cool solution, Aaron!
That's been a standard bike friday accessory for ages:
http://community.bikefriday.com/travelsystem
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Old 05-12-10, 10:52 AM   #15
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A folder for touring? For me, that's the Airnimal (Joey). It might be worth to take a look at them . . .
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Old 05-12-10, 04:57 PM   #16
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The Bike Friday New World Tourist would be my first choice. Your NWT will be built to fit your body rather than being one size fits all and it can be ordered in numerous different specifications depending on the type of touring you'll be doing and your personal preferences.



The Bike Fridays shown here belong to some Korean friends of mine...they are some pimped out touring rigs! I need some black and white Ortliebs.



The Dahon Speed TR was mentioned above and it's the Dahon I liked the most of those I've test ridden. Biggest cockpit and I liked the Schwalbe Big Apples a lot.
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Old 05-12-10, 06:23 PM   #17
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Dahon Speed P8 and Mu P8
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Old 05-12-10, 06:50 PM   #18
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The Bike Fridays shown here belong to some Korean friends of mine...they are some pimped out touring rigs! I need some black and white Ortliebs.
Wow, these bikes have exactly the setup I want to implement on some of my bikes - barend shifters with cross-top levers. Got any pics zooming in on that? I am interested in the brand and size.
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Old 05-12-10, 10:53 PM   #19
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I think i'd go with the Dahon Speed TR for a great budget choice, the New World Tourist for normal-ish touring, and the Pocket Llama for heavy / expedition touring.

All 3 are great bikes in their own right, and have something to offer as a touring bike for sure.
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Old 05-13-10, 05:27 AM   #20
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go for the NWT and if you have some extra money with Rohloff
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Old 05-13-10, 06:19 AM   #21
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For touring? As an owner of two P8s: no way. A higher end Dahon perhaps. But I'd suggest a Bike Friday NWT as well.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:04 AM   #22
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Wow, these bikes have exactly the setup I want to implement on some of my bikes - barend shifters with cross-top levers. Got any pics zooming in on that? I am interested in the brand and size.
Sorry I don't have any detailed pics....if you are asking about the bar end shifters I'm pretty sure they are Shimano Dura Ace units...not sure about the brake levers.

I'll try and dig up their email addy...Bike Friday may also have current contact info for them [Eddy & Mirye] as they just bought a new tandem BF.

If I find their email I'll PM it to you.

If you have some Korean language skills you might be able to contact Eddy from this article he wrote for a Korean bike magazine.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:06 AM   #23
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One last thing I would add to respond to the OP's question...for a bike tour the most important thing is you fit well on the bike. The best touring bike in the world is no good to you if it's too big or too small. After fit I'd rank strength and reliability next most important....so a bike built to carry significant cargo and equipped with quality components.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:07 AM   #24
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For touring? As an owner of two P8s: no way. A higher end Dahon perhaps. But I'd suggest a Bike Friday NWT as well.
Don't you have the aluminum Helios P8(s) .. the Speed P8 is steel and a completely different, much stiffer frame..
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Old 05-13-10, 05:16 PM   #25
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It's not the metal: it's the lack of handlebar options, gearing choices, seat options, sizing choices, etc. I own aluminum, but ride a Speed P8 all the time. I wouldn't tour on any P8. Tool around town, yes and happily. Tour, no.
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