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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 02-08-18, 04:41 PM   #51
reppans
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Wow... 30-40km sounds like a lot on a kick bike. I've personally never ridden one, but I am an avid skateboarder, rollerblader, and have used a number of scooters - however, all are small-wheeled. Closest efficiency I can get to a bicycle is on rollerblades, probably because I can get into pretty good aero position and the stroke is effectively 'geared,' but even then it's only 50-60% the efficiency of a bicycle.

Count me as another that doesn't find folders to be much of a compromise. I've got my Brompton tuned closely to the comfort and aerodynamics of my 700x32 gravel bike - enough so that I am indifferent to riding either on pure exercise loops, and only 0.5mph/3% slower on the folder. However, the multi-modal options, complete security of taking/wheeling everything inside, and the ease of 'backpack' carrying the bike deep into the woods for wild camping makes it my favorite touring bike.
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Old 02-08-18, 08:47 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
Hyperbole
No, the simple truth. Folders have their place, but for anything involving distance you canít beat proper road and touring bikes. That isnít being disparaging, simply accepting the reality. I do have two folding bikes after all - plus two road bikes and two touring bikes.
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Old 02-08-18, 09:25 PM   #53
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You are now shifting the goalposts...

This is what you said initially, "...Even in the best of circumstances, folding bikes are heavily compromised.", which is rather different from what now say below.


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No, the simple truth. Folders have their place, but for anything involving distance you canít beat proper road and touring bikes. That isnít being disparaging, simply accepting the reality. I do have two folding bikes after all - plus two road bikes and two touring bikes.
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Old 02-08-18, 11:43 PM   #54
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It is what I was saying, they are compromised simply by having to fold. Think wheel size, weight, load carrying ability etc. After all, you don’t see many folding bikes in the tdf
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Old 02-09-18, 12:08 AM   #55
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it all depends on the type, and duration of touring, which ranges from overnight credit-card jaunts to year-longs unsupported expeditions. Wheel size? The smaller the wheel, the stronger it is. The rear wheel on my Dahon Dash has 28 spokes, and it has never, ever had to be trued. On a 559 wheel, it would be like havibg 38 spokes.
Weight? what about weight? Surely you are not counting grams on a bike that you will load with 20kg, are you?
Load carrying ability? I can load about 15kg on my Dash, no problem. Horses for courses.


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It is what I was saying, they are compromised simply by having to fold. Think wheel size, weight, load carrying ability etc. After all, you donít see many folding bikes in the tdf
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Old 02-09-18, 12:55 AM   #56
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It is what I was saying, they are compromised simply by having to fold. Think wheel size, weight, load carrying ability etc.
Not really. Those compromises i.e. regarding wheel size are there when you think about small sized folders like the Brompton. But even then they are in many cases more a psychological barrier than an absolute one. Many people do tour on a small wheel folder w/o regret. And people do tour on 20" Bike Fridays for a reason. Heinz Stucke (who I would count as a person that does bike "touring" did the last years of his traveld on a Bike Friday and a Brompton The pathless pedaled couple used Bromptons and there are many more. And obviously there are also big wheel folders like the Airnmals that are very good touring bikes. Thus your generic statement "folders are not good for touring" is in my eyes more a question of personal perception in both - what a folder looks like and what it can do - than "the reality". I.e. my HPV-Velotechnik Grasshopper is a folder and possibly a better touring bike than many big wheeled bikes including luggage capacity. I would on the other hand probably not tour on a Pennyfarthing despite it does not fold and has a big wheel
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Old 02-09-18, 01:22 AM   #57
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Clearly, you haven’t done a lot of touring.

I have done a lot, and it is true you can use a folding bike or any bike for touring, but I doubt you’d find many if any who would say they are the ideal touring bike, because they are not. The reason you take them is because they fold, so they’re easy to take in cars, buses, trains and particularly aeroplanes. I mean, you could take a folder on the tdf, but you wouldn’t last the first hour.

Let me give you an example. I took my folding to Cambodia and Australia. Cambodia was fine because the terrain is flat, and I didn’t do more than 50 km per day. Australia was fine in towns, especially as I did not have to take the 30kg of baggage with me, although the hills were a problem, as was keeping up with my friends on their touring or road bikes. Out in the bush, with 70km between towns, hills, and headwinds, sorry, no, and I’m speaking as someone who has done many hundreds kilometres touring in Oz with 4 panniers plus other gear on the rack. Frankly, for touring, you are always better off on a touring bike or a road bike suitable fitted out. Folding bikes have their limitations, and you’d be blind if you did not see that.

For city/commuting they’re great, no question, but anything else and those compromises kick in.
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Old 02-09-18, 01:57 AM   #58
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I've done a fair amount, enough to know that there are many different types of 'touring', and a bike 'tour' can be successfully and pleasantly carried out without a 559, 662 wheel bike, or a so-called 'touring bike'. You went to Oz and Cambodia, and now you pontificate, and purport to box us in your cookie-cutter world.

Again, depends on the type and length of tour, the terrain, availability of water, etc. You are peddling blanket, absolutes statements. The real world is not so black and white.


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Clearly, you havenít done a lot of touring.

I have done a lot, and it is true you can use a folding bike or any bike for touring, but I doubt youíd find many if any who would say they are the ideal touring bike, because they are not. The reason you take them is because they fold, so theyíre easy to take in cars, buses, trains and particularly aeroplanes. I mean, you could take a folder on the tdf, but you wouldnít last the first hour.

Let me give you an example. I took my folding to Cambodia and Australia. Cambodia was fine because the terrain is flat, and I didnít do more than 50 km per day. Australia was fine in towns, especially as I did not have to take the 30kg of baggage with me, although the hills were a problem, as was keeping up with my friends on their touring or road bikes. Out in the bush, with 70km between towns, hills, and headwinds, sorry, no, and Iím speaking as someone who has done many hundreds kilometres touring in Oz with 4 panniers plus other gear on the rack. Frankly, for touring, you are always better off on a touring bike or a road bike suitable fitted out. Folding bikes have their limitations, and youíd be blind if you did not see that.

For city/commuting theyíre great, no question, but anything else and those compromises kick in.

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Old 02-09-18, 02:26 AM   #59
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Not remotely, I'm afraid you're being obtuse, or you have misunderstood my argument.

You're going on a tour of the Republic of China shortly? Why not do part of it on your folder, and the other on a decent touring bike, then come back with your thoughts. I think you'll be surprised...
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Old 02-09-18, 03:12 AM   #60
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i have ridden 'touring' bikes. in fact, just two days ago I rode a Velotraum (a boutique Teutonic rig). I liked it; i was high up and felt like Leonardo DiCaprio on the Titanic. Nice bike. Were I to ride Papua or Myanmar, yeah, awsome. For the East Coast highway of Taiwan, overkill.

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Not remotely, I'm afraid you're being obtuse, or you have misunderstood my argument.

You're going on a tour of the Republic of China shortly? Why not do part of it on your folder, and the other on a decent touring bike, then come back with your thoughts. I think you'll be surprised...
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Old 02-09-18, 03:49 AM   #61
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That bike looks very similar to my Bianchi, which I use not just for touring but for distance generally, especially if I have a large amount of supermarket shopping to do. Nice bike, light, fast and strong. Took a similar bike down the Danube a couple of years ago. As you'd imagine it is either flat or marginally downhill all the way, so not a difficult cycle, but it meant I could take all the camping gear plus clothes etc and cover 100km per day both quickly and with ease.

The downside was where folding bikes always win: I could only take certain trains, and buses, as I discovered when a brake cable snapped, were out of the question.
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Old 02-09-18, 10:32 AM   #62
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Not remotely, I'm afraid you're being obtuse, or you have misunderstood my argument.

You're going on a tour of the Republic of China shortly? Why not do part of it on your folder, and the other on a decent touring bike, then come back with your thoughts. I think you'll be surprised...
Have you ever toured on a Bike Friday? I think Enno Roosink would disagree with you; he's ridden them all over the world, made climbs you only dream of, etc. Small wheels do perform ( Fausto Coppie rode 20"inch wheeled rigs by Bianchi but UCI refused to accept ) are stronger and roll nice as well
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Old 02-09-18, 10:45 AM   #63
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Have you toured on a touring or road bike? You might well need a rethink after !
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Old 02-09-18, 10:57 AM   #64
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Have you toured on a touring or road bike? You might well need a rethink after !
Well, you're the one making the negative claim...responding without answering. Nevermind, I can see your bias.
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Old 02-09-18, 11:25 AM   #65
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Who is making a negative claim?? You misunderstand.

Also, because one person has toured on a folding bike really proves nothing. I mean, I have too, but it isn't the perfect tool for touring, you'd have to admit.
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Old 02-09-18, 12:13 PM   #66
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Who is making a negative claim?? You misunderstand.

Also, because one person has toured on a folding bike really proves nothing. I mean, I have too, but it isn't the perfect tool for touring, you'd have to admit.
You said using a folding bike for touring is "always a compromise". That is a negative statement. And I believe SOME folding bikes are perfect tools for touring. Again...if you haven't tried a Bike Friday for touring, your statement is an overreach. And it's not just one person, btw, Bike Friday exists because many people tour on their folding bikes, that is what they are designed to do. Bromptons are not designed for that but many people do it, anyway (I wouldn't but that is just my preference as I prefer 20" wheels for touring).

I think a fair statement is that you prefer full sized bikes for touring. Period. Until you have toured on all the many variations of folding bike designs, your statement is a bit of an overreach, imo. that's all. Maybe I consider full sized bikes a compromise for touring - after all, they are a pain to deal with on transit and to store in hotel rooms, etc. ;-)
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Old 02-09-18, 12:21 PM   #67
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If you're going to cycle that distance regularly, then you'd be much more comfortable on a road bike. Even in the best of circumstances, folding bikes are heavily compromised.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seemed to have 'heavily compromised' (for years?) on what I would consider the single most important aspect of bike fit - proper seat height and leg extension. If that's included in your idea of necessary compromises for a folder, then I can understand your position - that would be unacceptable for me from day 1, period.

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Interesting that you bought, and waited so long to correct, what seems to be an ill fitting bike. I can understand that it takes time to realize that a particular handlebar config is comfortable/uncomfortable, but proper seat position/leg extension should be known day one.
Oh, I knew straight away, but thought it a compromise one had to make for the convenience. Except for the SE Asia/Australia trip I don't usually use it for touring , so decided to live with it. You can't beat the convenience when it comes to trains, planes and automobiles, always free.
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Clearly, you havenít done a lot of touring.

I have done a lot, and it is true you can use a folding bike or any bike for touring, but I doubt youíd find many if any who would say they are the ideal touring bike, because they are not. The reason you take them is because they fold, so theyíre easy to take in cars, buses, trains and particularly aeroplanes...
From a traditional touring perspective, yes, a road/touring bike is better - a peek at the touring sub-forum would show folding bike tourers representing a minuscule %. A folding bike is a niche tourer, primarily for those that enjoy 'fast forwarding' their sightseeing via multi-modal transport. For me, also a niche tourer, it allows me to tour the popular/populated Eastcoast shoreline, cities, and sights where I simply cannot access [motor vehicle] parking or accommodations without lots of money and reservations, and of course, the extensive public transport facilities provides the option of riding the good, and skipping the lousy (dangerous/boring roads).

This is my other street/touring ride - for me, there's no difference in comfort so I already alternate with my folder on exercise rides, but it does complete my ~15mile/1hr exercise loop 2 mins faster. On a leisurely 50mile touring day, it's ~10 min difference. Folders have other compromises of course, like riding dirt/gravel/single track and in mountainous elevations (gearing/brakes), but for most of the bicycle touring I personally enjoy doing, my gravel bike has much more significant limitations and compromises.

To each his own...

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Old 02-09-18, 12:41 PM   #68
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Is a "gravel bike" a touring bike? Not a term with which I'm familiar.

Thanks, by the way, for vindicating my position re folding bike compromises - they are, whether people admit or not, compromised, but that does not make them unusable, although I personally wouldn't take one on the corrugated unmade roads in Australia, recipe for bike and/or rider damage.

All I have to do now is see if the changes I made to the Brompton have made a difference - still suffering from la grippe, so that will have to wait.
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Old 02-09-18, 01:56 PM   #69
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Thanks, by the way, for vindicating my position re folding bike compromises - they are, whether people admit or not, compromised
You seem to follow a wrong assumption: When you say "folding bike" you seem to mean "small wheeled bike" which is something different. There are small wheeled fixed bikes and there are big wheeled folders.
Just your experience with folders has been with small wheeled ones only which seems to foster your conclusion "all folders are no good touring bikes". Which is - as has been outlined - not even true for small wheeled folders. Aside of Bike Friday there are othe dedicated touring folders like the Birdy Touring, the Bernds, the Grasshopper, the Tern Verge Tour, the Airnimal Joey Expedition and many many more. And - as others have already outlined - maybe fixed bikes often are a bad compromise as tourers as they limit your possibility: Either you have to start from your home (limiting your touring radius) or you have to deal with limited and often expensive possibilities for transporting the bike, again limiting your possibilities where and how far you can go. In that sense folders are no doubt better touring bikes. And to buy a bike that does not fit you (though it would have been perfectly possible to buy a fitting version), not bother to fix this issue for years and afterwards stating that folders are no good for touring as they would be always be a compromise sounds a bit silly to me.

And btw.: I have done a lot of bike touring. On "official" touring bikes as well as on "just normal" bikes, on racing bikes and on folders. For me the folders proved to have the most advantages. Your mileage may vary.
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Old 02-09-18, 03:14 PM   #70
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I went to another bike store today to look at more bikes and they happened to have a kick bike so I asked about it. It wasn't badly priced at $599.99 + tax as it was on sale was $999.99+ tax I asked if I could give it a test ride and it has a very smooth ride and almost no effert at all to make it move and it handles great in the snow.


It also shimano roller brakes witch I've never had on any bike and they stop way better then v brakes.


I ended up buying it and it is a bit heavy for a very basic design but not to bad I can carry it upstairs
As the owner of a Mibo Mastr and Tiny I do love riding them but they're limited to short to medium distances. Also they are hard on the knees. You may want to look at Letskickscoot.com to get some ideas about riding a kickbike. Get shoes that flex a lot maybe try smaller tires because the closer to the ground you are the better. Of course you don't want to bottom out but get low to take the stress off your knees. Good luck and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
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Old 02-09-18, 03:21 PM   #71
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berlinonaut, No, you misunderstand. I also don't know why you are being so defensive, and refuse to accept that folding bikes are not ideal in many ways. Ask yourself why it matters so much to you. Also, accept that bikes like Brompton's and similar are intended as commuting bikes, there's no harm in admitting that. I mean, you can take your Porsche 911 off road, but it's not going to perform as well as your Mercedes GLS, that isn't its intended function.
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Old 02-09-18, 03:56 PM   #72
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berlinonaut, No, you misunderstand. I also don't know why you are being so defensive, and refuse to accept that folding bikes are not ideal in many ways.
I am not defensive. Life is a comprimise. I am wondering why you are so massively insisting in your claims that are obviously wrong in many ways, as others have already lined out in similar ways as I have.

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Even in the best of circumstances, folding bikes are heavily compromised.
Quote:
No, the simple truth. Folders have their place, but for anything involving distance you canít beat proper road and touring bikes. That isnít being disparaging, simply accepting the reality. I do have two folding bikes after all - plus two road bikes and two touring bikes.
Quote:
they are compromised simply by having to fold. Think wheel size, weight, load carrying ability etc.
Quote:
Clearly, you havenít done a lot of touring.
Quote:
they are, whether people admit or not, compromised
It is obvious that you have been making wrong claims (i.e. about my touring history), set wrong correlations (folders have small wheels etc.) and you instist on being right, so being the only person with the only correct wisdom. In fact you have an opinion while other have another one. And that's about it. People are different as are their needs and opinions.

But in the area of facts: A folding bike is a bike that folds. That's about it. Everything else (like wheel size, luggage capacity, ergonomics, etc.) may or can be like any other bike. Thus the claim that folding bikes as a category would be no good for touring can be only based on the folding. Which could be correct if i.e. a hinge (that is necessary for folding) would weaken a bike to an amount that makes is unusuable for touring. Which may be the case for some cheapos but clearly not for all folders. On the other hand it has been outlined that the fold can become a big advantage when it comes to touring and that the lack thereof may be a bad compromise with "traditional" touring bikes. You did not bother to answer to any of those aspects brought in by others or to take into account any of the many folders that have big wheels or have been designed as tourers, are used as tourers and have been mentioned in this thread. Lining this out does not make me defensive - in fact it seems as you are locked into your opinion, no matter how obviously wrong it may be, and neither willing to accept any opinion that differs from yours nor to widen your perspective to things you did not consider in your initial statement...
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Old 02-09-18, 04:48 PM   #73
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Fitment/comfort and gearing are problems for all bikes, not just folders. Touring bikes are not exempt or priviledged in these respects. I've done 80km streches on my Dahon Dash, no problems, no discomfort. It's got 19-113GI, it can carry 15kg of load, and Marathon Supreme tires. What's the problem, really?

The problem with Avole is that he does not admit that there are many types of touring, touring terrain, touring length, and touring environments. From overnight credit-card jaunts on smooth tarmac, to off-road, end-of-the-world sojourns. To his mind, only one type of tour, and hence only one type of bike.

What are the baseline requisites of a 'touring' bike?
1. Comfort for at least half a day in the saddle
2. Gearing for the terrain at hand
3. Ability to carry stuff in line with the purpose, intensity, environment and length of the tour.
4. Ease of roadside repair, durability and sturdiness in line with the purpose, intensity, environment and length of the tour.
A folder can easily satisfy these baseline requirements. Don't let the 'experts' tell you otherwise. Too much self-glorifying mystification, and silo mentality going around.

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Old 02-09-18, 07:09 PM   #74
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Avole, the new folding bike forum troll.
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Old 02-09-18, 07:38 PM   #75
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Is a "gravel bike" a touring bike? Not a term with which I'm familiar.

Thanks, by the way, for vindicating my position re folding bike compromises - they are, whether people admit or not, compromised....
Have a look at the Surly Long Haul Trucker, one of the most popular touring bikes in the US - it's just a variation of the gravel bike theme.

Sorry if I was not clear, but my point is that any type of bike can be seen as a compromise vis-a-vis another type of bike. For me, overall, a folder (and specifically the Brompton) provides the most options, and least compromises, for how and where I prefer to tour. A more traditional touring rig, such as mine shown above, is what actually made me quit touring decades ago, and the Brompton is THE bike that got me back into it (and I've owned folders since '91). There are many reasons, but the three most important for me are 1) security (the B comes inside most places, often carting my gear); 2) skipping the particularly nasty sections like dangerous traffic and pouring rain (multi-modal options); and 3) easiest bike to carry distance, specifically hiking/bushwhacking deeply into the knarly Eastcoast woods for secluded/private wild camping, nearly as nice as backpacking.
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