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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 08-22-08, 11:34 PM   #1
gregstandt
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Completed tour on Pocket LLamas

My wife and I just finished two weeks in Oregon after picking up our BF Pocket LLamas in Eugene. We each carried about 35-40lbs each and weigh 145 and 115. We had previously toured on conventional uprights, steel and aluminum. We both prefer our BFs. A comfortable ride that absorbs shock well, very manueverable, and what we both loved and hadn't really thought of before is no top tube. It just makes life on the bike easier. They also for some reason have greater foot clearance at the rear panniers than our other bikes.
I've just noticed alot of discussion about what type of bike to buy for touring and thought I'd throw this out for anyone making that decision.
I'd include a picture but don't know how to make a 1.28mb pic a 100kb pic.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:43 PM   #2
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Old 08-23-08, 02:32 AM   #3
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Greg,

I'm glad those Pocket Llamas worked out for you. Are you planning another tour for the future now? I always seems to start planning my next tour as soon as I get home from the tour I just finished. Ha! I'm addicted I guess.
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Old 08-23-08, 07:17 PM   #4
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How did you find the handling on the PLs? I've been thinking about a Bike Friday touring bike and was not sure what the practical difference between the NWT and PL is? I'd prefer the wider tire clearance of the PL as long as I wasn't giving up anything in terms of handling.
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Old 08-23-08, 07:45 PM   #5
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We both liked the way the PLs rode. Very comfortable. We choose the Schwalbe 1.75 tires and that helps. We carry about half our weight up front and that slows the steering down, which we like. I don't know if there would be a noticable difference between the two. The PL has a higher bottom bracket so your up an inch and a half or so. I just like the look of a curve in the fork and wanted the option of larger tires if I ever wanted to. The long stems provide alot of mounting room for stuff also. On my diamond frame I couldn't hang a seat bag because the rear rack stuff is always up tight against the seat but now there's plenty of room for a seat bag for my tools. The people at BF are very friendly and helpful.
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Old 08-24-08, 08:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by vik View Post
How did you find the handling on the PLs? I've been thinking about a Bike Friday touring bike and was not sure what the practical difference between the NWT and PL is? I'd prefer the wider tire clearance of the PL as long as I wasn't giving up anything in terms of handling.
FWIW, I've done a few tours on folding bikes (not BF's). I had most of the weight (20-30 lbs) on the rear, and another 5 on handlebar bags. I found it did not suit my preferences.

Due to the small wheel size, any folding bike is going to have much more responsive handling than 26" or 700c. In general you get used to it, but the reality is that any folding bike is going to be substantially twitchier than even the most aggressive 700c racing bike. Loads on front and back racks might sort that out a bit, though.

You have to be careful not to put your bags too low, or you may have problems with ground clearance. The drive train is much lower to the ground, so it can get a little more abused depending on the terrain. The ride tends to be harsher, and compensating for the harsher wheel size usually results in comprising the performance - not a big deal for a tourist, though.

Airlines are charging more and more to check any kind of bag, so the cost advantage of a folder is starting to narrow. Even so, I'd say if you travel very frequently to the start of your tour (more than once a year), folders start to become worth the compromises.
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