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Narrowing down the search - decent mid range folder for marine environment

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Narrowing down the search - decent mid range folder for marine environment

Old 05-20-17, 03:59 PM
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mikedefieslife
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Narrowing down the search - decent mid range folder for marine environment

"Which folding bike?" are a dime a dozen, but of course everyone's circumstances are different and the market is moving fast.

I'm looking for a folding bike with 20" wheels to be used in a marine environment. With that in mind, it would ideally have planetary gearing, possibly belt driven, of course corrosion resistant. It'll live on a yacht (not as glamorous as it sounds), and be carried in and out of the dinghy when going ashore.

The compromise comes as I also want to tour on it no more than 50 miles a day, so will want a good 26-90 gear inches (no possible with in-hub gearing), and bars that allow multiple hand positions, and luggage availability.

Tern have a few nice models, but I'd rather avoid them (no need to get into that). Bike Friday's New World Tourer seems out of my range. Bromptons only have 16" wheels.

I'm 177cm (about 5'10) and weigh around 75kg. Last tour my entire gear inc camping was around 13kg.

Any suggestions on something suitable for around the 1400 ($1800) mark?

Must be available in Europe or at least ship to Europe.

Last edited by mikedefieslife; 05-20-17 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:26 PM
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I would consider an aluminum foldable e-bike. Which brands are supported in your direct home region?

You can buy a second folding bike with different specs, as a backup, if the main bike is broken, and for more versatility.

Last edited by George3; 05-20-17 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:30 PM
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E-bikes are out of the running due to weight. Would not be fun hauling the extra 15kg in and out of the dinghy.

Bike shops here only really have Bromptons when it comes to folders. So I'd be ordering online, and sorting out the fit myself.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
E-bikes are out of the running due to weight. Would not be fun hauling the extra 15kg in and out of the dinghy.

Bike shops here only really have Bromptons when it comes to folders. So I'd be ordering online, and sorting out the fit myself.
Then I would consider a titanium Brompton, since support in your direct home area is very important and cost-saving IMO. Or would you rather fly to the nearest brand supporting dealer in case of trouble? Treat the steel Brompton main frame with a rust binding liquid on the inside.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:42 PM
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Thanks, but 16" wheels, are no good for me. I don't like the feel of them.

I don't have a home area so to speak. I live on a boat full time and travel around Europe. Dealer support is neither here nor there, if there is a problem I just box it up and post it to them. Not that I've ever had an issue in the past with my road bikes.
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Old 05-20-17, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mikedefieslife View Post
Thanks, but 16" wheels, are no good for me. I don't like the feel of them.

I don't have a home area so to speak. I live on a boat full time and travel around Europe. Dealer support is neither here nor there, if there is a problem I just box it up and post it to them. Not that I've ever had an issue in the past with my road bikes.
Sending a broken bike to a dealer abroad and back is pretty expensive. You can find out which brands are supported in the harbours that you will visit. Dahon seems to be a safe choice in that respect, since they are big. If you often drive long distances, you should expect technical failures, and regular professional maintenance is inevitable.

Carry two identical bikes on your ship, so you can swap out the parts, in case of failure. And keep spare tires, brakes, spokes and specific tools in stock in your ship.

Last edited by George3; 05-22-17 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 05-20-17, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by George3 View Post
Carry two identical bikes on your ship, so you can swap out the parts, in case of failure. And keep spare tires, brakes, spokes and specific tools in stock in your ship.
Add a printed customer manual, plus a professional service and repair manual. Plus a general handbook on bicycle repair.
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Old 05-20-17, 05:56 PM
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Corrosion resistant folding bike? Not aware of a folder made specifically for that purpose. Of course, now that I say that, I'm sure someone will step up and point one out.

In a nonfolding bike, Bridgestone used to make a stainless steel road frame (Submariner-12) which was touted as a good bike for marine environments. For the frame, perhaps, but the parts were just as prone to rust/corrosion as any other bike, and the frame was kinda heavy in comparison to other frames in their lineup.

Where this starts getting complicated is if you buy a folder and a proprietary part needs to be replaced, say a main hinge, because of corrosion. Not something you could just walk into any bike shop and have replaced on the spot. So a folder with as few proprietary parts as possible would be desirable, just to avoid that circumstance.

If it were me and I were in Europe, I'd find a used Bike Friday, Birdy, Airnimal or similar, then stock some extra parts on hand (chain, cassette, chainrings, cables, etc.) in case you need to replace due to corrosion while you're traveling. A bike cover / bag would be a boon for your situation, to keep the sea spray off your bike and hopefully make it last longer.
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Old 05-20-17, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
If it were me and I were in Europe, I'd find a used Bike Friday, Birdy, Airnimal or similar, then stock some extra parts on hand (chain, cassette, chainrings, cables, etc.) in case you need to replace due to corrosion while you're traveling. A bike cover / bag would be a boon for your situation, to keep the sea spray off your bike and hopefully make it last longer.
The bike is better placed indoors in the ship to prevent condensed water, due to temperature changes. And all moving parts, chain, nuts and grooves should be sprayed regularly with anti rust spray, or covered with vaseline.

I would prefer a new bike in this situation, which I would sell and replace, when it shows wear, to prevent complications in repairs abroad without support.

He can even carry three (cheaper) identical bikes, so he can change his bike twice easily, in case of technical failure. That will also save the cost of sending his bike to a dealer abroad for repair.

And as you know, repair scams / rip offs are not uncommon. What will he do, if his broken bike is not sent back in six months, or is stolen by the mail company, or if the repair bill is three times too high, etc.? I have experienced too many repair scams, to trust people easily.
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Old 05-20-17, 06:31 PM
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I think downtube might be a brand that's right for you: https://downtube.com/11h-internal-hu...-folding-bike/
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Old 05-20-17, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by George3 View Post
...He can even carry three (cheaper) identical bikes, so he can change his bike twice easily, in case of technical failure. That will also save the cost of sending his bike to a dealer abroad for repair...
Now that seems like overkill to me. I'm assuming one of the reasons the OP wants a high performance folder is to save space onboard, which may be extremely limited. Stowing three folders....why not just get a beater rigid bike and call it a day? It would take up about the same space and be much less expensive to operate and maintain.

And I'm not sure you could even purchase three folders at the OP's budget and still meet his wish list: IGH, widerange gearing and something other than straight bars.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Now that seems like overkill to me. I'm assuming one of the reasons the OP wants a high performance folder is to save space onboard, which may be extremely limited. Stowing three folders....why not just get a beater rigid bike and call it a day? It would take up about the same space and be much less expensive to operate and maintain.

And I'm not sure you could even purchase three folders at the OP's budget and still meet his wish list: IGH, widerange gearing and something other than straight bars.
I don't know about the available space in this ship. But if you are stranded on a foreign shore with a broken bike, it's cool features are pretty useless.

Maybe a lightweight aluminum mountain bike is an alternative option, but it won't fit in a taxi or bus.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by George3 View Post
I don't know about the available space in this ship. But if you are stranded on a foreign shore with a broken bike, it's cool features are pretty useless.

Maybe a lightweight aluminium mountain bike is an alternative option, but it won't fit in a taxi or bus.
The OP has requested certain specs for the bike they want. What you're​ suggesting is NOT what the OP wants. The OP's REQUIREMENTS are an internally geared hub, a belt drive, foldability, and corrosion resistance. You've not made a suggestion that has been in line with this request. You mentioned what YOU would do, and what YOU prefer. How about helping the OP out by looking for something HE or SHE might actually consider.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
The OP has requested certain specs for the bike they want. What you're​ suggesting is NOT what the OP wants. The OP's REQUIREMENTS are an internally geared hub, a belt drive, foldability, and corrosion resistance. You've not made a suggestion that has been in line with this request. You mentioned what YOU would do, and what YOU prefer. How about helping the OP out by looking for something HE or SHE might actually consider.
That is true. That is the way my brain works. People differ. If he feels disrepected or disappointed, he can complain.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by George3 View Post
That is true. That is the way my brain works. People differ. If he feels disrepected or disappointed, he can complain.
I'm highly doubtful he will complain. But, at least be considerate of the request put forward. Regardless of how our brains work, it's not all about "us". This is a "request for assistance" thread,...not a "my way is the only way" thread.
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Old 05-20-17, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tds101 View Post
I'm highly doubtful he will complain. But, at least be considerate of the request put forward. Regardless of how our brains work, it's not all about "us". This is a "request for assistance" thread,...not a "my way is the only way" thread.
I respect your concern with forum manners, but Mike seems to be smart and brave. Unless you are a moderator or admin, I would suggest we leave it up to Mike, if he will blame me for inappropriate behavior, or enjoy my creative jumps in thinking.
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Old 05-20-17, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by George3 View Post
I respect your concern with forum manners, but Mike seems to be smart and brave. Unless you are a moderator or admin, I would suggest we leave it up to Mike, if he will blame me for inappropriate behavior, or enjoy my creative jumps in thinking.
I don't need to be a moderator or admin to speak my mind, as you seem to feel the same way. Creativity isn't what Mike asked for. And, considering his stipulation that it be a single bike that does all that he's requested, and be easily transportable and storable, your creativity is completely not what's been asked for. He lives on a yacht,... multiple bikes is a ridiculous suggestion. Especially since he's requested 1 bike,... PERIOD.
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Old 05-20-17, 08:50 PM
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Bike Friday PakiT IGH/carbon belt works in every regard except 16" wheels instead of 20". However, reviews indicate it rides really really well; maybe BF can let you know if anyone is traveling in your area with one you can try? Reviews indicate the ride is very smooth (some say much better than Brompton but not looking to go there, lol). An annual dosing with Frame Saver would take care of the rust potential. The 4 speed IGH is $1650; the 8 speed is a bit over OP budget.
Another option is putting an IGH on a used Xootr Swift which can be had cheaply and is a very good riding bike, 20" wheels, aluminum. Assuming you can put an IGH on it (I don't know but the Swift thread folks would). Rotate the bars and it folds flat if not very small.

Also, if a New World Tourist is something you'd consider, make sure you regularly check the pre-loved page.
https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-b...ne-60cm-27834/ as an example. You would need to get someone in the U.S. to send it on to you though, as they only ship pre-loved in the U.S.

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Old 05-20-17, 10:05 PM
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On a yacht you must deal with the corrosion irrespectively of th plans for a bike. For corrosion I employ a mixture of products developed for air industry: T-9, LPS 3 and ACF-50. The mixture eliminates practically any corrosion on a bike but anywhere else too. I employ it for the inside of the frame, chain, drivetrain, bolts etc. It needs to be reapplied only to a degree to which a given part is mechanically rubbed. On a chain I reapply it only every few months. You are presumably aware that alu corrodes too, particularly where it is in contact with other metals.

In optimization it is often impossible to meet various requirements and it is particularly hard with the folding bikes, especially when you add budget limitations as you do. With the mixture such as above, or something functionally equivalent, you can drop the requirements of the belt, planetary gears and specific corrosion resistance. I would do so, if I were you, and add any of those back if they were not increasing cost or impair other desired features.
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Old 05-21-17, 12:42 AM
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I could accept the maintenance of chain and cassette, and they are generally cheap and easy to replace.

What I really want to make sure of is that I get a decent frame/fork setup, that way I can upgrade and replace any necessary components as and when.
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Old 05-21-17, 08:37 AM
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Then take a look at the Downtube website. There's different options that may suit your needs. And the owner @downtube is a member of this forum, so he'll answer questions for you.
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Old 05-21-17, 09:31 AM
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Up to 50 miles a day is doable on 16" wheels, so I would discount that option straight off.
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Old 05-21-17, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Corrosion resistant folding bike? Not aware of a folder made specifically for that purpose. Of course, now that I say that, I'm sure someone will step up and point one out.
Brompton makes a nickel-ti-version which should be pretty corrosion-resistant - but the op doesn't like Bromptons. Then there is Di Blasi - they used to make stainless-steel folding bikes with tiny wheels. Today, they have a 20" folder with stainless steel bolts and frame (R22s) - but it has a derailleur: R22 ? Di Blasi

Would not be my kind of bike for many reasons, but that's a different story.
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Old 05-21-17, 09:58 AM
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I actually have two cheapo rusted to bits folding bikes that came with the boat and have sitting outside in the marina for a year or more. They have 16" wheels but that's not why I don't fancy a 16incher.

There is an old Bike Friday available at the moment for 800 I'm guessing they are a decent frame to build up from.

Dahon Speed Pro TTs are around and cheap but I think I've heard their frames are a bit too flexible.

Of course both of these have standard gearing.

I've had a look at Downtube. They look more like city commuter bikes if one can judge that from frame shape and specs.

In terms of Birdy bikes can you add a rack? The suspension looks like it rules that out.
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Old 05-21-17, 10:07 AM
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If you can get a used Bike Friday I'd say go for it. They're fantastic bikes.

As for the Downtube folders, the Mini is actually a bike recommended for boat owners. It's not just a city bike. Here's a link to the Downtube YouTube channel, run by Yan. The videos will give you a better idea of the bikes Downtube has available.

https://www.youtube.com/user/downtubeY/videos
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