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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 10-03-10, 02:28 AM   #1
gringo_gus
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Touring on small wheels tips and wrinkles: post them here !!!!

A different thread started by Lucille on her Bike Friday tour of france, folks started chipping in their packing and luggage tips for touring on folding/small wheel bikes. I am hoping we can start a dedicated thread for sharing all small wheel/folding touring experience and knowledge - not just luggage and packing, but any aspect. Who knows, one day it may even be grown up enough to be a sticky

This is cut from Lucille's thread, to start:






Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
You need to be much more brutal with your packing list. I was carrying 56lbs for solo, self supported camping for 8 weeks.
Some foldy-bike tourists use a 40L backpack lashed to the low rear rack (+ bar bag). This makes you much more mobile when carrying a folded bike.
Use a photo storage device or a small netbook with a large thumb drive or card. Use devices with a USB charger so you can daisy chain off your netbook rather than separate charger units. Use a mini tripod.
Cut down on footwear. One pair of walkable riding shoes and one pr sandals or other ultralight shoes (eg marathon race shoes)
Use one set of off-bike/hiking/dinner clothes.
If you do spill dinner over your pants you can always change into your cycling leggings.
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Old 10-03-10, 04:19 AM   #2
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Clothing: Find clothing that can do double duty.

Eg, we have these pure woollen tops with polo necks that are made from very fine wool; they are really meant to be thermal underwear but they are great to wear as tops both on and off the bike when the weather turns to custard.

Zip-off pants, good quality ones, have very obvious double duty capabilities. Wearing leg warmers underneath turn them into cold weather wear. The same leg warmers without the zip pants for on the bike. Try to get a type of cycling jacket without the hugely long tail so you can wear it off the bike as well.

Shoes - besides my MTB shoes, I swear by my crocs. Dinner wear they aren't but they are supremely light and will go through deep water, shake em off, and zip on those pant lower legs and the crocs will go right into that posh restaurant, wearing your very fashionable-looking polo sweater top. The maitre-D never looks at your shoes (as long as they aren't the purple ones). Just put om some socks.

So anyway, double-duty is my credo. We met a pair of very seasoned cyclists from the US in NZ, and they were impressed by our way of doing. While they were sitting around in very dorky cycling-looking leggings and tops and stuff, we were lounging around in our sensible tops and snazzy (by comparison!) pants. We talked for quite some time about how we get by with almost no luggage while not looking like something from a bike shop's bargain corner. Connie thanked me for that.

Make sure you wash the stuff from the day every night. Using non-cotton garments, means they will dry easily overnight. This way you will never run out of things to wear, plus the work burden will stay small. We just washed by hand. We carry just enough detergent, a basin plug and a small number of pegs with us.

Bungy cords are extremely handy - they form washing lines between ANY two points, and tops and pants are threaded onto the cord so pegs are only needed for socks. And while traveling the bungies hold luggage down.

Elastic cargo nets - very handy. You can always get "one more thing" under them. They also can be attached with low enough tension so as not to cut that fresh loaf of bread into tiny bits.

Towels - we got one of those micro-fibre ones and made a couple smaller ones out of it. Packs away small, and dries in no time. Plus when no shower, dunking the whole towel in soapy works well to freshen up, then dries quickly.

Last edited by jur; 10-03-10 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 10-03-10, 07:51 AM   #3
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@Jur---fantastic advice. on all counts. I bought mtb-style SPD shoes and they look decent enough for most anything. My wife even complimented me on them, not knowing they were cycle-specific shoes!

My tips:
Electric tape is quite useful for a variety of unforseen things. Good to have on hand.

A pair of plyers serves many duties and might not be thought of as a cycle tool for the standard tool kit. Great for gripping all manner of things such as the end of brake cables that need tightening (on old bikes that don't have a barrel connector for small adjusting).

Modern backpacker stoves that run on butane/propane mix burn well and for a long time, and in cold temps, too. No need to spend a fortune--I have a simple stove by Primus that serves me very well, packs small and light. Something like this one: http://www.primuscamping.com/product.php?id=11

Thermarest inflatable sleeping pad---the long one. I have had mine since before I can remember. It has two patches that have held for over 15 years. Weighs a bit, but worth it to me. The long one covers all of me at 5' 8".
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Old 10-03-10, 09:42 AM   #4
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All of Jur's tips are spot on. I have been traveling for work for too many years. I can pack a weeks worth of clothing for business meetings in a single 22'' roll aboard. By using the easy to clean under garments and things like wool sweater vests you can stay comfy. One thing I always pack is a water resistant wind breaker that packs into it's own pocket. They can be used as an outer shell, or even a mid layer if necessary. The one I am currently hauling around the countryside is an Eddie Bauer that I picked up on clearance somewhere. I also will take a down vest that can be packed down extremely small. The current one is an older LLBean model. It is all about layers and making things serve more than one purpose.

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Old 10-03-10, 12:19 PM   #5
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Picture taking:
I don't think big cameras and bikes mix well. ( I am a longtime amateur photographer - I still have my Yashica Mat & Nikon F from the 1960's!)

On our non-bike trip to Italy in Nov 2007, I took my Nikon CoolPix S550 a very small digital with a 5X Zoom) It has a very small charger, which I used every night and enabled me to shoot all day. The 4GB memory card held 10 days of pics and carrying a spare or two was easy. This camera has a lanyard that goes around my neck and it fits into jersey pocket when cycling for quick access. I also can carry it like this if not wearing a jersy:

http://www.detours.us/product_info.php?cPath=60products_id=325

The camera and my $6.00 COSTCO reading glasses both fit into this case. I mount it to the stem riser on my Fridays.

Unfortunately, there are sooo many pictures around these days of everything and everywhere that it's hard to take any unique ones.

Lou

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Old 10-03-10, 01:29 PM   #6
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Jur forgot to mention the MOST important of all things he takes on his tours........ Connie.

Having the companionship of the one you love most makes a tour something very special......

.... unless you've taking the tour to get away from.....
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Old 10-03-10, 03:04 PM   #7
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Stove:
http://www.osg.com.au/stoves.htm

I use an Esbit stove, burns solid fuel tablets. Put a screen around it to shield the wind, just simple cardboard. Very light and compact. I learned to appreciate how well these work while doing a compulsory 2-year stint in the army. You can easily fit in several of these if you want to have more than one pot on the boil at once. Plus they are dirt cheap.

When going cycle-touring, the big decision is whether to take camping gear or not. For some this never enters into the decision, but if it does, here are some considerations:

1. Taking camping gear takes away anxiety about where you will sleep the night. You can arrive almost anywhere and find a camping ground or at least a secluded spot to pitch a tent.

2. Penalty: Camping gear takes most of my packing space - more than half. That includes the tent, thermarests, sleeping bags, cooking gear, pillows.

3. Leaving the camping gear frees you up enormously for packing stuff. Penalty: You may need to book overnight places ahead, making you schedule inflexible.

So at least for us, whether to camp or not is the biggest item. We have done both.
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Old 10-03-10, 07:50 PM   #8
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Jur mentioned biking with Zip-offs as shorts. Suggest you consider using these underneath:

http://www.andiamounderwear.com/shop...mg4kv97jm606t0

Beats the Chamois in Mtn Bike shorts and will dry faster, too. My wife really likes them - we each have 2-pairs.
FYI: Suggest you get them in Black, not White...lol

Lou
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Old 10-03-10, 08:30 PM   #9
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For camping, take a look at some of the light/ultralight backpacking gear and food. You should also be able to use a lot of the same techniques for packing and cooking meals. There are many good resources, such as backpackinglight.com and packitgourmet.com.
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Old 10-04-10, 09:31 PM   #10
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If it's likely to be cold at night - bring a down jacket. They pack very small, and also double as a very comfy pillow.

Unless it's a remote area, I prefer to pick up food in the afternoon rather than cart heavy food around all day. If it's remote, I'd rather eat cheapo ramen noodles than pay for freeze-dried astronaut food (it's tastes fine, but I think it's overpriced).

I love my Trangia stove: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikiped.../Trangia_stove
It's pretty much foolproof, as well as being incredibly durable. It's true that alcohol fuels have a lower heat content than gasoline or butane. However, given the Trangia has a very effective windbreak built in it tends to boil water at least as fast as friends who brought a multifuel (MSR) stove or regular gas stove without a windbreak. Not to mention the Trangia is low hassle - the amount of times I'm already drinking tea while a friend is futzing around making a sooty mess of their MSR... And lastly, it is extremely stable - in bad weather I cook with inside the tent without feeling like I'm taking a large risk ;-)

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Old 10-04-10, 10:25 PM   #11
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Perfect companion for my Brompton , a Carry Freedom City trailer ,
It folds flat ,
bag slings inside the squarish frame another duffel can be tied on top.

Room for a spare tire too..



http://www.carryfreedom.com/city.html#4

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Old 10-05-10, 06:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Perfect companion for my Brompton , a Carry Freedom City trailer ,
It folds flat ,
bag slings inside the squarish frame another duffel can be tied on top.

Room for a spare tire too..



http://www.carryfreedom.com/city.html#4
wow that's quite an awesome invention. works almost like the bike friday suitcases! it should work for many small wheeled bike and looks easily transported through the plane.
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Old 10-05-10, 07:42 AM   #13
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I don't know how quick the fold, but Burley has the new Travoy which is similar to the Carry Freedom City, competition is sometimes a good thing! They appear to be about the same price by the time you get the Travoy accessorized.

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Old 10-05-10, 12:07 PM   #14
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not so similar to the CF-C .. really, .. the travoy is seat post mounted,
reminds me if a hand truck, C of G goes upward with the load..
but upon seeing it

I thought it would be useful to carry your back pack and hiking boots , then you could ride to the trail head

and the hotel/hostel /chalet would store the bike and travoy while you went into the mountains, bagged another peak.
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Old 10-05-10, 02:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
not so similar to the CF-C .. really, .. the travoy is seat post mounted,
reminds me if a hand truck, C of G goes upward with the load..
but upon seeing it

I thought it would be useful to carry your back pack and hiking boots , then you could ride to the trail head

and the hotel/hostel /chalet would store the bike and travoy while you went into the mountains, bagged another peak.
Similar in that it folds and has small wheels. Different hitches work for different folks. Some bikes won't take a low mount hitch due to varied designs. The seat post mount would over come that. I don't particularly like the seat post mount because it will interfere with using the rack...Different strokes...

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"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 10-06-10, 10:14 PM   #16
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With all the sophisticated advice and equipment shown here, I am almost embarrassed to mention my solution to the 20" wheel pannier dilemma: a diaper bag.


MuP8 with diaper bag at the start of a Buffalo to Albany ride on the Erie Canal


At the end the Erie Canal near Albany



Diaper bag on Speed P8 at Four-K stables, Bassfield, MS on a tour from Brookhaven, MS to Mobile, AL to Hammond, LA. You can almost make out the Dahon sticker covering up the Gerber logo.


At the east portal of the Big Savage Tunnel on the Great Allegheny Passage. Also note the high-tech cooler on the handle bars of the MuP8.

Last edited by jobtraklite; 10-24-10 at 09:26 AM. Reason: missed image
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Old 10-19-10, 12:10 AM   #17
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I took a 35 gallon Rubbermaid bin and turned it into a trailer for my Bike friday tandem, using it to haul all my gear on a 227 mile 6 day trip with my 10 year old son and 5 year old daughter through the California redwoods. The bike came with us in the trunk of the rental car as we drove 360 miles to the start of our trip.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p...id=152658&v=6l

My bike has small wheels, but really performs no differently than any other tandem.
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Old 10-19-10, 02:42 PM   #18
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I like to carry a small thermos flask.
At the end of the day I boil up some water and once in the flask is plenty hot enough for a cup of whatever in the morning.

In the future I will buy a slightly bigger flask and use it to 'cook' oats overnight.
Rob
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