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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 02-21-12, 10:01 PM   #1
treesnake
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Recommendations for 26" folder to haul on inflatable catamaran

Looking to buy a bike that I can use mainly for exercise rides of up to, let's say, 30-40 miles on pavement, but would also have to handle gravel and maybe dirt bike paths (no extreme off road biking).

I am looking for a folder or similar bike that can be easily and compactly broken down because I want to be able to occaisionally pack the bike onto my inflatable catamaran which is 39" wide (and VERY stable, btw). The bike would also have to be able to pull a trailer with the uninflated boat (16" wide, 36" long) and other gear - up to, maybe, about 70 lbs.

My preference is 26" wheels because the amphibious requirement will only be occaisional. I'm 6 feet tall, 185 lbs.

Lastly, I'd like to stay under $500. I don't mind buying used. TIA

Last edited by treesnake; 02-25-12 at 12:30 AM. Reason: added height, weight
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Old 02-22-12, 01:17 AM   #2
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My Dahon Cadenza is a 26" folder that can handle trails and haul stuff but the fold is not very compact.
Montague do a fair few similar bikes.
If these are too big, then you will have to go for smaller wheels. Touring style folding or takedown bikes like the Bike Friday are plenty good enough.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:17 AM   #3
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You might want to consider a 20" wheeled folder. They will handle light trails and gravel with no trouble whatsoever.

For inspiration (even smaller wheels): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...4&noredirect=1
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Old 02-22-12, 07:07 AM   #4
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bendem'

Thanks for sharing the vid. Brave young souls, those. Here's a blog post and vid which served as my original inspiration ...

http://blog.seaeagle.com/2012/01/25/...e-combination/

My catamaran/kayak is a container ship compared to those used in the videos - thus the need to pull with a trailer. It's capable of carrying 650 lbs over class 2 rapids, though, and is virtually impossible to capsize.

http://www.seaeagle.com/PaddleSki.aspx
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Old 02-22-12, 12:15 PM   #5
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Have a look at the bikes West Marine sells. They cater to the boating crowd.
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...cles&searchBtn=
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Old 02-22-12, 12:32 PM   #6
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Dahon Espresso/Jack are also a good option. I ride mine home from work -- 17 miles or so.

I'm 6'4", 185.

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Old 02-22-12, 02:53 PM   #7
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So far I've ridden a fair bit of gravel -- and even some not-too-technical singletrack -- on my Swift. The ride is rougher than on a 26" bike (partly due to 1.5" tires) but tolerable depending on the length of the ride. Half an hour, no problem. Half a day might not be so fun, though it might be fine with fatter, lower-pressure tires. If you go 20" you'll want to make sure that the bike you buy is compatible with whatever trailer you plan to tow.

In the 26" market, I think you're mostly looking at either Dahon or Montague. Both companies make multiple 26" models, but they do start in the $650-750 price range. Used ones seem to typically be in the $300-400 range unless they're 90s vintage.

Last edited by GlowBoy; 02-22-12 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 02-22-12, 06:48 PM   #8
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Reading fast trough what you linked to the guy bought a Birdy folding bike (20" wheels). I would buy a Birdy or a Bike Friday for your purpose. Both 20" wheels.
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Old 02-24-12, 11:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I think I've decided on a Dahon Matrix, although I'll consider a Jack or Cadenza if I find a good one at the right price, or even the Montague Swissbike X50. I just can't get excited about the 20" folders, considering that I will really only need the folding feature of a bike on 3 or 4 weekends per year; and despite the enthusiasm of the owners of these fine machines. I'm a small town yank. I got me a pickup truck and a big garage.

There is a (Fuji/Montague?) bike on eBay that caught my eye. The seller knows little about it except what is in the item description and that it is probably a late 1990s model - albeit new. It looks to me like the Fuji Marlboro that I have seen in a few BF posts. Does anyone recognize it and/or have an opinion on the quality and if it's worth making an offer?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/290651704042...84.m1423.l2649

Last edited by treesnake; 02-25-12 at 12:20 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-29-12, 07:47 PM   #10
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Excuse me for resurrecting this thread, but while shopping I've run into a used 2005 Giant Halfway folder that is in pretty good condition. The owner replaced the original cassette with one smaller than stock. He also indicates that the frame will not support the standard left side trailer hitch which means I'd either have to modify the tow bar and hitch or get a trailer that connects to the seat post.

Here's the bike, but you'll have to do some acrobatics to get a good look ... http://columbus.craigslist.org/bik/2855074587.html

Any suggestions or comments will be appreciated.

Last edited by treesnake; 02-29-12 at 08:04 PM. Reason: link
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Old 03-01-12, 01:44 AM   #11
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Does the hitch attach to the axle or the rear triangle? An axle hitch should work without issue.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:08 AM   #12
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I don't yet have a trailer, but I guess I'll be looking for one with an axle or seatpost hitch. I may end up building a custom trailer or modifying an existing design since the only ones that meet my size requirements cost as much as a bike. My uninflated/rolled up catamaran is 36" x 16" and weighs 42 lbs. I should be able to fit the remainder of the gear (except paddles and a tent and sleeping bag when camping) into a 18-20 gallon tote. I'm thinking that a trailer with a base of 48" x 24" will be needed unless I think I can tie and stack pannier-type bags on top of the rolled up boat, in which case I can go as small as 36" x 18". Should be no more than 70 lbs total with the possible exception of water. Comments welcome.

In case you're wondering why I have suddenly become interested in a 20" folding bike, I've decided to buy a cheap or used one specifically for the 3 to 5 boat-and-bike outings per year that I will do. I'm also looking at a used Trek 7200 today to serve as my exercise/liesure bike.
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Old 03-01-12, 04:44 AM   #13
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The only thing that I would say is that with that kind of weight, which is totally doable BTW, you are better off with an axle hitch. Seatpost hitches can be a little less stable, and affect the bikes handling more. Also, on folding bikes, the seatposts are pretty long so they already are acting like a big lever on the rest of the frame. With an axle hitch, the wheel is taking the brunt of the forces from the trailer which is what they are designed to do in the first place

Just remember when you get it all rigged up, pics or it didn't happen
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Old 03-01-12, 06:13 AM   #14
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It's a deal, bendembroski. I appreciate your suggestions. I have read that the seatpost rigs are not advisable when towing heavier weights, and I can imagine that it is even more of a factor with folding bikes. Cheers.
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Old 03-01-12, 07:15 AM   #15
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One other thing, all folders (particularly those with small wheels) can induce the very serious condition of folderitis, where over the course a few months or years ones place of domicile fills up with bikes sourced from ebay and craigslist.

Extreme cases can result in divorce, so do be careful!
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Old 03-02-12, 01:17 AM   #16
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"My preference is 26" wheels because the amphibious requirement will only be occaisional. I'm 6 feet tall, 185 lbs."

I don't know what the hell you are talking about but you sound like a good character.
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Old 03-02-12, 10:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraftwerk View Post
"My preference is 26" wheels because the amphibious requirement will only be occaisional. I'm 6 feet tall, 185 lbs."

I don't know what the hell you are talking about but you sound like a good character.
Just wait and see . You`ll buy one, then another one and then.. Son and me own 8 at the moment but only becouse we gave some away...

Peopel are going to start asking what you need all the bikes for .
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Old 03-02-12, 12:29 PM   #18
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An inflatable catamaran, suggests its got a deck between the hull/sponson balloons.

Fresh water or salt? you just strap it down as is ,
or try to keep it in a dry bag so it's parts won't rust so fast?
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Old 03-04-12, 10:15 PM   #19
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No parts to rust ...

http://www.seaeagle.com/PaddleSki.aspx
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