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  1. #1
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    Has Anyone COMPLETED a Century on a 20" Wheel Bike?

    I want to get another bike. I have a Vitesse D7 now. I've ridden every day since I got it more than a year ago. The longest I've ridden it is 20 miles.

    But I'm thinking about another bike for long distance weekend rides that ultimately lead to doing at least a century ride.

    I'm topping out at about $1000 or so dollars, before CA taxes. I just don't think it's necessary right now to spend more to accomplish my riding goals. So, don't suggest a $2000 Bike Friday. And please don't tell me I can/should do this on a Brompton.

    My other thought was to get a Giant Dash 2 or something like it with 700cc tires.

    I'm in good shape, having run a few marathons so fitness and pedalling lots on a small wheel is not so much the problem, I think.

    Is it hard(er) to do century on a small wheel bike? Maybe I should stick to a "regular" bike?

    Thanks for your input, if you give it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Folding-Bikes's Avatar
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    Xootr swift
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  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    the 451 narrow high pressure tire wheel combo makes a fast rolling setup.

    whether you can get something other than a BF Pocket rocket, for example,
    in a low priced bike, with that wheel is a separate issue..




    Is it hard(er) to do century on a small wheel bike? Maybe I should stick to a "regular" bike?
    no you have to gear the drivetrain higher .. that is why Shimano made the Caprio
    hub and cassette, it starts at 9 tooth for the top cog.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-21-11 at 11:41 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Folding-Bikes View Post
    Xootr swift
    it's only 8 speeds though.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    it's only 8 speeds though.
    it's all about the ratios, not the number of cogs.

    all else you can fit a double crank and use a greasy fingers shifter.

  6. #6
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I was doing a metric a day on my P20 last year and it has seen many century rides and back to back to back to back metrics... it is a great little tourer.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    the 451 narrow high pressure tire wheel combo makes a fast rolling setup.

    whether you can get something other than a BF Pocket rocket, for example,
    in a low priced bike, with that wheel is a separate issue..





    no you have to gear the drivetrain higher .. that is why Shimano made the Caprio
    hub and cassette, it starts at 9 tooth for the top cog.
    hmmm.

    i'm thinking you're referring to this pocket rocket.

    that's actually in my wheelhouse pricewise. it's not as nice-looking as the dahon smooth hound or silvertip, but it's green which is my fave color. lol.

    are bike friday's really that great? pardon my ignorance. and how would i fold it? is it more a separable bike? i don't think i've seen a picture or video of someone breaking one down and i'm always trying to figure out why that is. the smooth hound it more separable but it can be done relatively quickly.

    i wish bf would work on the look/design of their bikes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I was doing a metric a day on my P20 last year and it has seen many century rides and back to back to back to back metrics... it is a great little tourer.
    okay thanks.

    i was just thinkin i'd show up on some little bike and everybody would laugh at me.

    i wanted to get the dash p18 but it seemed like nobody ever got it in stock. the x20 was more than i wanted to pay.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    it's all about the ratios, not the number of cogs.

    all else you can fit a double crank and use a greasy fingers shifter.
    okay mister, i can't say i'm a huge greaser yet. i'm really not sure what you're talking about.

  10. #10
    Lao
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    Why not a Brompton? These guys maybe didn't do a whole century (I believe that they made about 70 miles in a day) but it sure is possible: http://pathlesspedaled.com/2011/09/z...mpton-touring/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao View Post
    Why not a Brompton? These guys maybe didn't do a whole century (I believe that they made about 70 miles in a day) but it sure is possible: http://pathlesspedaled.com/2011/09/z...mpton-touring/
    i know you're trying to be funny.

  12. #12
    747 Freight Pilot bicycleflyer's Avatar
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    yes I have... A Pocket-Rocket.
    Flying an airplane is really very simple...Push the stick forward, the house gets big. Pull the stick back, the house gets small. Keep holding the stick back, the house gets big again.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicycleflyer View Post
    yes I have... A Pocket-Rocket.
    and...

    how do you take it apart?

    is it with a screw or something? i haven't seen anything where someone is taking it apart - now for packing but just for general purposes like putting it under a desk at work or something.

  14. #14
    GN BIKN
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    I just did a 106 mile overnight trip -- with camping gear -- with my Swift, including 80 miles the first day. Without the camping gear the same effort would have easily yielded a century the first day. Although in fairness, this was on flattish terrain with only rolling hills.

    This was with 20x1.95 (406mm) BMX tires, a semislick in back and a somewhat knobby tire in front, at 90-100 psi. I believe that with these tires my Swift is about as fast as my cyclocross bike with 700x32 semislicks. Perhaps a bit slower than a racing bike, but then again I don't have any interest in racing bikes. Presumably skinnier slicks on the Swift would have been faster, especially on 451mm rims (though switching to 451s is a non-trivial thing to do).

    The Swift (at least the Xootr version) could more or less be seen as a budget Bike Friday. "Performance that packs", but at a lower price.

    As for gearing, I've replaced the standard 11-28 cassette with an 11-34, yielding a gear inch range of about 28 to 87 inches. This goes a tad lower than the lowest gear on a normal road triple (even one with a 12-27 cassette), and on the high end is still tall enough to allow comfortable pedaling up to about 30mph. On downhills beyond 30mph I rarely find it necessary to pedal anyway, so I consider the gearing "just right." Put another way, an 11-34 gives you a slightly wider gear range than the BOTH the small and middle chainrings of a typical racing bike, but without the need to shift the front. Nicely spaced gear steps too, with none larger than 15% except for a 31% jump up from the very lowest gear.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-21-11 at 01:48 PM.
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  15. #15
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    I'm in good shape, having run a few marathons so fitness and pedalling lots on a small wheel is not so much the problem, I think.

    Is it hard(er) to do century on a small wheel bike? Maybe I should stick to a "regular" bike?

    Thanks for your input, if you give it.
    Small wheel isn't any slower or harder to use - it just doesn't smooth out the bumps as well. While being stronger. So whatever issues there are don't have to do with fitness or pedaling.

    That's all I know. Good luck.

  16. #16
    GN BIKN
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    okay mister, i can't say i'm a huge greaser yet. i'm really not sure what you're talking about.
    What he's referring to is putting on a second chainring (which is an easy, cheap upgrade on the Swift) and manually moving the chain from one ring to the other when you need to "shift" the front. That's less trouble than installing a derailer and shifter to go with that second chainring (which is not necessarily an easy, cheap upgrade on the Swift).
    I like bike lanes. I also practice VC when I'm not in them.

  17. #17
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    How about an Airnimal Joey ?


    http://www.airnimal.eu/Joey/Sport.php
    Last edited by Diode100; 09-21-11 at 03:31 PM.

  18. #18
    Lao
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    i know you're trying to be funny.
    Well, you might need some determination... but I bet it's possible.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    The only two limitations to doing a Century are likely your Butt and your Mind, especially if you are in good physical condition as you've mentioned. The Bike Friday Pocket Companion is a good bike. The frame comes in three different sizes - Swift has only one frame size and they vary things like the seat post height and the stem length to adjust for taller/shorter riders.

    Our Pocket 8's are GREAT - they are just like the Pocket Companion, but just 8-speeds vs. 24 for the PC. We are in our late-60's and have easily done 25 mile rides on them in 90 degree+ heat. You might want might want some narrower, high pressure tires and a different seat or handlebar set-up, but those are all easy changes.

    Not the smallest or fastest or neatest fold, but they travel nicely in a small car (we have a Yaris Liftback) or SUV, and the Pocket Companion is within your STATED price range.

    Lou

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post

    I'm in good shape, having run a few marathons so fitness and pedalling lots on a small wheel is not so much the problem, I think.

    Is it hard(er) to do century on a small wheel bike? Maybe I should stick to a "regular" bike?

    Thanks for your input, if you give it.
    I wouldn't even think of doing a century on anything but my penny-farthing... everything else has wheels that are too small for long distance riding.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  21. #21
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao View Post
    Why not a Brompton? These guys maybe didn't do a whole century (I believe that they made about 70 miles in a day) but it sure is possible: http://pathlesspedaled.com/2011/09/z...mpton-touring/
    Fully loaded, too.

    (The bikes; no idea about the riders).

  22. #22
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    I'm topping out at about $1000 or so dollars, before CA taxes. I just don't think it's necessary right now to spend more to accomplish my riding goals. So, don't suggest a $2000 Bike Friday. And please don't tell me I can/should do this on a Brompton.
    How about a $1000 Bike Friday? Something like the Model T Tikit. Does for $1300, you can probably find one used for much less. (People sell BF's from time to time on the BF Yak mailing list.)
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    and...

    how do you take it apart?

    is it with a screw or something? i haven't seen anything where someone is taking it apart - now for packing but just for general purposes like putting it under a desk at work or something.
    Here's a video of folding up a Bike Friday:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/bikefrid.../5/tVlOb9hPPGU

    The 'Tikit' model folds easier and more compactly but might not be quite as good for longer rides. My Pocket Rocket model folds up about as shown in the video but the seatmast also folds down so I don't have to remove it as is shown in the above video.

    For packing it in a suitcase for airline travel there is some additional disassembly required and that takes about 15 minutes or so (longer the first few times) and does need some allen wrenches.

    Haven't used mine for any organized centuries since I don't participate in those anymore, but I have gone on a number of rides that exceeded 100 miles in a day. That includes one where I was riding with my full camping load.

    BTW, there have been many finishers of the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris event who rode Bike Fridays with 20" wheels. Don't think I could do that, but it's not because of any limitation of the bike.
    Last edited by prathmann; 09-21-11 at 06:49 PM.

  24. #24
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by merry2 View Post
    Has Anyone COMPLETED a Century on a 20" Wheel Bike?
    Velocio had no problems doing so over 100 years ago.
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  25. #25
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    I had done it on a Bike Friday New World Tourist, so it is doable. The question is not a special bike, but a good bike fit. Good fit means comfortable on the saddle, hands don't go numb after hours riding. I don't see why you can not modify the vitesse to make it more comfortable and have more than 7 gears by running a double chain ring.

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