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Old 08-20-12, 03:30 AM   #1
Dirkhead
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Advice Needed: Folding Bikes for Sailboat

I am in the market for a pair of folding bicycles to keep on board my sailboat. I spend about 90 days a year on board and find myself, more and more, in need of land transportation.

I am 54 years old and in pretty good shape. I have a Merida aluminum bike at my lake house and ride it quite a bit in the country. I ride it with cleats (I used to race a bit in my youth), sometimes with my 3-year old son.

I have never owned nor even used a folding bicyle before, so need some guidance. I don't want to spend a fortune -- I think whatever I buy will get eaten up fairly quickly by the salt air anyway. But I don't want an El Cheapo creaky wobbly job, either. I don't plan on any hard-core off-roading, but the ability to handle roughish roads might be a good idea. Storage space is at an extreme premium on any boat, so it should be reasonably compact.

I have been looking at the Dahon Jetstream. Can anyone give any suggestions or recommendations for this use?
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Old 08-20-12, 04:48 AM   #2
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Not an expert but I hear the Dahon Mariner is designed for the seafaring folks.
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Old 08-20-12, 05:29 AM   #3
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Can you specify how much you are willing to pay? First of I guess an aluminum bike will stand the salty air better than a steel bike but I don't know how much better. Unfortunately I think any 20" bike will be quite big on a boat. Di Blasi though, makes a stainless steel bike, 20" that folds quite small but it's heavy 13.4 kg but I don't know about the quality of it (never seen one in real life) nor do I know the price.
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Old 08-20-12, 05:42 AM   #4
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Can you specify how much you are willing to pay? First of I guess an aluminum bike will stand the salty air better than a steel bike but I don't know how much better. Unfortunately I think any 20" bike will be quite big on a boat. Di Blasi though, makes a stainless steel bike, 20" that folds quite small but it's heavy 13.4 kg but I don't know about the quality of it (never seen one in real life) nor do I know the price.
Well, I don't have a fixed budget. Would expect to buy on EBay used, and wouldn't want to spend more than $1000 each and preferably less.

I am 5'10" and weigh about 195 pounds. I do ride 20 - 30 miles at a time on my regular bike, so the folder should be capable of covering some distances. Also, I will be humping groceries. I am looking at the Dahon Jetstream at the moment -- looks interesting.
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Old 08-20-12, 06:19 AM   #5
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Not an expert but I hear the Dahon Mariner is designed for the seafaring folks.

Hi, thanks, I looked at these, of course. Other than a mysterious "anti-corrosion coating", I couldn't see anything marine-specific about it at all, so decided not to limit myself to that one model.
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Old 08-20-12, 10:04 AM   #6
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You planning on fitting a dry box on the deck to stow them in ?

or is there some place below the weather deck to put them, underway?
the sail locker, perhaps?

Brompton is a winner for compact fold,
[dahon, (see 'brompton killer' thread) is trying to make a smaller fold too] but I wouldn't leave them,
Or any bike out on deck while seawater is wetting things down.

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Old 08-20-12, 11:06 AM   #7
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Ok.... thats my Jifo on a Farrier Tri. Weight and size is super important in my case. But its always important no matter what sailboat.
Before that I had a Curve SL, which also folds pretty small

http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/brommy.htm

but not as small as the Jifo, plus it was heavier. ....

Now for hauling gas, water, groceries, spare parts, sails..... and the usual stuff you will run intop. get a Burley Travoy trailer ...
If you just get into town to buy some bread and various small parts a backpack is the way to go. Question id if you are cruising or sail out of one marina... A dockbox is a good place if you are staying in one place... but you know that of course ...

What boat you sail ?
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Old 08-20-12, 03:43 PM   #8
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I don't have first hand experience, but I hear that people spray Boeshield into the frame tubing to slow down rust.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...w#.UDKvV2t5mSM
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Old 08-20-12, 07:03 PM   #9
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I think the best way to keep the bike from rusting on a boat is keep it covered when not in use. Plastic and/or old blankets work well.

Some folders are marketed as marine ready. There is no bike part that is specially coated to prevent rust. All the marine grading means is that the bike uses higher grade components that will not rust as quick as the cheaper parts. When left to the elements, they will rust no matter how expensive the bike is.

If storing for a long time, suggest washing then lubing it as well.

Even aluminum frames will develop surface scaling when exposed to salt water.
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Old 08-20-12, 09:38 PM   #10
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what Jay says
the jetstream is not the lightest or smallest fold for sure, nice bike , but if I would take a 20 incher I would go as simple as possible like a speed uno, unless you plan to ride from Roadtown to Cane Garden bay ,,lol
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Old 08-21-12, 05:31 AM   #11
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Well, I wouldn't keep them on deck. They will go in a lazarette -- a locker below-decks. They shouldn't get too much seawater splashing on them, but there will certainly be salt air.
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Old 08-21-12, 05:36 AM   #12
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A Moody 54! So obviously vastly more stowage space than a tri. Still, I have so much carp on board that I have to be very strict with myself about the volume of any new stuff aboard. That Jifo looks very cool! Tiny! Maybe one of the two bikes should be a Jifo.

My boat lives on a mid-river mooring, so no dock box is possible. Anyway, I go out for a month at a time. So I have to keep everything on board which I'm likely to need. The bikes would be my "land dinghies", so always on board.
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Old 08-21-12, 08:00 AM   #13
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oh well .... wow .. what a cool boat .... mine is faster...but thats about it...lol
its definitely camping without a tent in the rain compared to yours ..lol

Some folks have them in bags, like the strow bag and than just throw them on one of the unoccupied beds .... or have a el bolso or similar and than put them in the lazarette.... but a sailbag ( of your boats size :-) will work too....like everything in saltwater, everything needs to get washed down once in a while.... ( right :-) even the stainless stanchions like to attract surface rust ) If the bike is washed down, dried, and once in a while a product like boeshield .... especially inside the frame tubes ( there are breathing holes, which are great to spray into the frame ) and you are good. I think Moody Owners are known to take care of their stuff. Havent seen a bad one yet, lol .. so you should have NO problem.

Basically the same applies about weight and small fold, as you have to lift the bike from the boat into the dink, back on shore reversed, and so on .... The Full sized 20 inch bikes, with gears, are of course much more agile on land... the Jifo is surpricing, how well it actually rides.... even with the size and only one gear. I was not a fan, just reading the specs, but it does serve me well on the boat, and it leaves smiles from whoever who ties it out ... Maybe take two ... one jifo and one jetstream ... try both of them, enjoy both of them in their very own way, and than eventually take the jetstream home and leave the jifo on the boat .... lol

I am also getting travoy trailers, which are foldable and really very nicely made, great for hauling jerry cans ...

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Old 08-21-12, 03:52 PM   #14
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If you are thinking about a Jifo then you might as well look up Dahon Curve and Riese und Müller Frog (the same that makes the Birdy) or as it is also called: Birdy Frog. It's an eight speed with double suspension and it folds really small. Maybe if you have the space you could look up the Birdy also
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Old 08-21-12, 04:18 PM   #15
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.. but there will certainly be salt air.
so there will be rust. but any mariner wont be surprised by that.


mizzle, it's more than mist , less than drizzle..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-21-12 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-21-12, 04:41 PM   #16
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West Marine used to sell a folder designed for the boat market. Probably a Dahon of some sort.
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Old 08-21-12, 08:34 PM   #17
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worst marine .....lol oh mei ..
yes they do have folders but they are awfull..... the old MAriner made by Dahon was just a stickered up Speed D 7 at the time, not too bad, but the current Dahon mariner is MUCH nicer ... :-)
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Old 08-21-12, 09:02 PM   #18
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My suggestions are going to be a little different. First I don't own a folder but am considering one - maybe a Bike Friday because I'm a serious roadie. My wife and I take regular bikes with us everywhere on our power boat. When we are underway, I lash them with bungee cords to a table down below or to chairs above deck. Actually they don't take up much more room than folding bikes because we put them end-to-end and they store/pack pretty efficiently.

One bike is 20 years old and it's always been around salt water either on the boat or in a storage locker near the water. I keep the chain and gears lubed and there's no problem with rust. I'm also careful and use touch-up paint to cover chips and scratches on the paint. About the only unusual problem I had is cable end fittings oxidation.

Many folding bikes come in stainless steel frames but I wouldn't worry about that - it costs more as well as weighs more.
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Old 08-22-12, 02:35 AM   #19
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My suggestions are going to be a little different. First I don't own a folder but am considering one - maybe a Bike Friday because I'm a serious roadie. My wife and I take regular bikes with us everywhere on our power boat. When we are underway, I lash them with bungee cords to a table down below or to chairs above deck. Actually they don't take up much more room than folding bikes because we put them end-to-end and they store/pack pretty efficiently.

One bike is 20 years old and it's always been around salt water either on the boat or in a storage locker near the water. I keep the chain and gears lubed and there's no problem with rust. I'm also careful and use touch-up paint to cover chips and scratches on the paint. About the only unusual problem I had is cable end fittings oxidation.

Many folding bikes come in stainless steel frames but I wouldn't worry about that - it costs more as well as weighs more.
I can imagine that on a larger power boat, I certainly don't have space for non-folding bikes on board -- I could get them on board but that would be hugely in the way.

I could put bikes in unused bunks (I have four sleeping cabins and seven bunks), but I regularly have a full boat and can't count on using that space. I think I will have to clear some carp out of the lazarette (give away my spare anchor, give away the oversized sausage fender I never use) and keep them there. I hope they will fit there.

The Jifo sounds really intriguing. Maybe really one of those, and one Jetstream would do it.

I will also look at all the other models suggested -- thanks everyone for the tips.
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Old 08-22-12, 02:55 AM   #20
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Ok.... thats my Jifo on a Farrier Tri. Weight and size is super important in my case. But its always important no matter what sailboat.
Before that I had a Curve SL, which also folds pretty small

http://www.thorusa.com/dahon/technical/brommy.htm

but not as small as the Jifo, plus it was heavier. ....

Now for hauling gas, water, groceries, spare parts, sails..... and the usual stuff you will run intop. get a Burley Travoy trailer ...
If you just get into town to buy some bread and various small parts a backpack is the way to go. Question id if you are cruising or sail out of one marina... A dockbox is a good place if you are staying in one place... but you know that of course ...

What boat you sail ?
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once again, Thor proves he knows everything about everything. An adornment to this forum Thor
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Old 08-22-12, 06:59 AM   #21
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Dirkhead, I've read your posts on this thread twice and I don't see much definition of the riding you want to accomplish - distance, speed, frequency, load carried - beyond "roughish roads". This makes a useful recommendation problematic. Is it telling that you're interested in the fully suspended Jetstream?

Roughish roads...hmm. In addition to the Jetstream, I might suggest looking at a much less expensive and more common Dahon Mu P8 retrofitted with Schwalbe Big Apple tires, or, if you have room for it, even a Tern Eclipse P9.

Anyway, if the Jiffo appeals and, as you said, you're not adverse to buy used on ebay, there's always the classic stainless steel DaHon (or Hon): tiny folded, that stainless frame, three speed gearing, rear rack and even in collectable status much cheaper than a new Jifo.

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Old 08-22-12, 08:07 AM   #22
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once again, Thor proves he knows everything about everything. An adornment to this forum Thor
yeah right ....... I am full of it... but not THAT that much ....
The late Sheldon Brown certainly derserves that title( about knowing everything),
but not me for sure, I just know enough to get me in trouble.

But thanks for the kudos..Ill take them ....
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Old 08-22-12, 08:19 AM   #23
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My suggestions are going to be a little different. Many folding bikes come in stainless steel frames but I wouldn't worry about that - it costs more as well as weighs more.
Did I miss somethting ? Where are all those stainless folders ?

About the first/second Dahon Generation, which indeed had the top of the line being stainless..... These are rare and are becoming collectors items, they sell upwards of 500 dlr on ebay seemingly. They are great little bikes and fun to restore and collect. But have no doubt about that they ride like crap, compared to modern Dahons, Terns and others.... Some folks love theirs, and all power to them, but some folks like their old english roadsters, which leak, have Lucas electrics ( Lucas the " Lord of Darkness" ) brakes pull you over to one side, rust : yeah its not just an italian problem, gas milage is so so, accelaration ..Yes ...lol eventually .... and and and ....
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Old 08-22-12, 12:12 PM   #24
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Staniless steel diblasi are popular on boats. Bit heavy plus costly ......
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Old 08-22-12, 01:02 PM   #25
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the Bormpton-esque all Titanium 'Ultimate folding bike' is still signing up Kickstarter Funders.

to get Len Rubin off the ground & prototype stage.

projected to sell for 10k each , they say..
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