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Finding a folding bike for touring

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Finding a folding bike for touring

Old 11-10-18, 05:22 AM
  #1  
reineelias
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Finding a folding bike for touring

Hi


My name is Reine and I have for several year's entertained the idea to go on tour with a folding bike because of it's versatility to hop on public transport without problem's.


My problem is finding the right folding bike for the job. I am 1.84 meters tall with a 90 kg body (6 feet, 190 lb hope it's right). I'm planning a two week trip with distances covering up to 70 km (44 miles) a day. Sleeping in hostels, hotels etc.


What do you think is a good folding bike to use? I have looked att Brompton, Dahon and Tern bikes. Found some models made for touring but they are a bit expensive. The one i currently look at is the Dahon Speed D7 that seems to fit me. Is there anyone with experience with that particular bike or any similar bikes?


Kind regards


Reine
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Old 11-10-18, 07:17 AM
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I'm 183 cm and 80 kg, and recently did a 130 km ride on a Dahon Speed D8 over two days with about 8 kg of gear, and the bike handled it just fine. I think the max. weight limit on Dahon Speeds is 105 kg, so depending on how much gear you carry, you may get close to that.
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Old 11-10-18, 10:29 AM
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Where are you located? In the US, you can pick up used Bike Fridays and they are amazing touring bikes. But not common in Europe.
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Old 11-10-18, 11:00 AM
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People tour on Bromptons, such as Heinz StŁcke, who stayed on a tour for 50 years,
because he wanted to see everywhere.
he used a regular bike, at first.. , not even a "touring bike"

then a bike friday pocket Llama ( folds to pack in a suitcase for travel, but too slow to catch a bus)

and finally a Brompton, which is made to fold quickly for multi mode travel..

Rear rack , A full sized backpack standing up .. + Brompton's, excellent front touring bag offers plenty of space

you will find dealers for Brompton in most countries , by now..

they sell well in Asia, and those places have an after market
in superlight substitute parts made in those countries ..

Brompton Specs for Touring ? The Path Less Pedaled
....
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Old 11-10-18, 11:28 AM
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Fwiw..

Bike Mechanic.. in Oregon, I now have a Brompton and 2 different bike fridays.

If buying a Bike Friday from the company they ship Around the globe..

they too have an Asian fan base of owners...
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Old 11-10-18, 03:05 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. It gives me a lot of input to go forward with my plans. It is fortunately, or unfortunately depending how you see it, a lot of time until I plan to go on tour in june -19. It is starting to get cold here in Sweden :-)
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Old 11-10-18, 06:16 PM
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A few comments:

First, answering your question, your plan to stay in hostels and hotels is significant: it lightens your load. I've toured both relying on camping (stealth and legitimate) and staying at B&B's and hotels. The former adds, at a minimum, a sleeping bag, and probably a tent to the load. For me, that meant relying on a full-sized frame. Staying at hotels, B&B's, and hostels means carrying less and my folder (a Swift) was ideal for the reason you mention: easier access to public transportation. (This doesn't mean you can't successfully tour on a folder if you're carrying a sleeping bag and a tent, but planning the load requires more ... planning.)

Second, depending on where you're touring, it's worth inquiring about the availability of rental bikes. This is far from universal but it's increasingly common. If your plans include flying commercially, the cost of a rental bike may be comparable to what's involved in bringing along your own bike as checked luggage. I can easily (and Swiftly) pack my Swift for air travel. This is less and less necessary.

Last, I like my Swift for travel because while the frame is proprietary, all the components are generic. If something breaks or requires service, most bike stores will have something that fills my need even if it's not precisely what I want. This isn't to steer you away from folders with proprietary components; just alerting you to one consequence of that choice.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:05 PM
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If you buy a new Bike Friday, they will build it to size, and help you with a custom gooseneck stem.

90 kilos is closer to 200 lbs, but most of the Bike Fridays should be able to handle that (as well as most other folding bikes).

You can either use a hard case or a soft case with the Bike Friday. The hard case can be converted into a small trailer, and if done right, will qualify for airline travel.

It is a bit of a pain to pack most folding bikes into an airline compliant suitcase, but with practice, you can get the bike torn down or reassembled in about 15 minutes or so. Of course, it is much quicker to fold to carry onto a bus or tram.

I have seen a bag that clips to the top tube, and then folds down over the folded bike for public transport if you wish, at least for the former Bike Friday Tikit.

There is a Bike Friday Crusoe that has been stuck on our local Craigslist for some time. I'm not quite sure why it hasn't sold yet.

https://eugene.craigslist.org/bik/d/...726627055.html

It is listed as a "large", but is probably more of a "medium" size as it appears to have a relatively short seatpost mast, and a tall, but not so long Gooseneck stem. I could help facilitate shipping it, but an international sale could be problematic as you couldn't try it first. Where are you?

=============

I haven't personally tried a Dahon Speed D7 that you are interested in. I do have a cheap Chinese alumium folding bike that just seems funky. Anyway, I'd say to test ride your bike if you can. See if the gearing is comfortable for riding on level ground as well as hills. My aluminum folder is just slightly short, and feels really awkward for riding up steep hills.
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Old 11-11-18, 01:06 AM
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It Seems length , Virtual Top tube , is how I'd Size Bike Fridays,
since seat height and bar masts are replaceable parts..
In the Long Run..
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Old 11-11-18, 05:42 AM
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I quite like my Tern Verge Tour.
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Old 11-11-18, 09:27 AM
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Currently touring Thailand on a Brompton clone. Really, the keys are to travel light and and choose a bike whose fold is quick and small, you won’t go wrong. Oh, and choose made roads where possible.
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Old 11-15-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Currently touring Thailand on a Brompton clone. Really, the keys are to travel light and and choose a bike whose fold is quick and small, you wonít go wrong. Oh, and choose made roads where possible.
What is your Brompton clone?
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Old 11-17-18, 09:01 AM
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Can I hastily point out I’ve toured Thailand and Cambodia, not to mention parts of Australia, on my Brompton, which remains my number 2 choice. The clone has more to do with convenience, as in it stays in Thailand so avoids the need for me to take the Brompton on flights from europe everywhere with me.

Incidentally, Thai railways now appear to be charging for non-folding bikes, as I’ve had to demonstrate its folding properties every time I’ve bought a ticket this time around.
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Old 11-17-18, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Can I hastily point out Iíve toured Thailand and Cambodia, not to mention parts of Australia, on my Brompton, which remains my number 2 choice. The clone has more to do with convenience, as in it stays in Thailand so avoids the need for me to take the Brompton on flights from europe everywhere with me.

Incidentally, Thai railways now appear to be charging for non-folding bikes, as Iíve had to demonstrate its folding properties every time Iíve bought a ticket this time around.
Please answer Pinigis, I would like to know too.
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Old 11-17-18, 09:59 PM
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There’s already a thread about it.
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Old 11-18-18, 08:40 AM
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That is a great help.
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Old 11-19-18, 08:27 AM
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Well, Given your size, which is almost identical to my size, I will again recomend the Dahon Visc (D18 or D20) depending upon what is available. A few reasons for this. First, the top compression bar is very good for taking some of the load off of the hinge. Second, when travelling, when you remove the wheels, the frame packs to a smaller window than Dahon's Mu frame for instance (this is on account of the lower sweep). Third, it has a high level (Tiagra) transmission build and is normally offered with very strong (and aero) rims.

I hope this is helpful info. If you really want "capacity" - either in weight or in carrying I do have a few other things you can also add.





Originally Posted by reineelias View Post
Hi

My name is Reine and I have for several year's entertained the idea to go on tour with a folding bike because of it's versatility to hop on public transport without problem's.
My problem is finding the right folding bike for the job. I am 1.84 meters tall with a 90 kg body (6 feet, 190 lb hope it's right). I'm planning a two week trip with distances covering up to 70 km (44 miles) a day. Sleeping in hostels, hotels etc.
What do you think is a good folding bike to use? I have looked att Brompton, Dahon and Tern bikes. Found some models made for touring but they are a bit expensive. The one i currently look at is the Dahon Speed D7 that seems to fit me. Is there anyone with experience with that particular bike or any similar bikes?
Kind regards

Reine
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Old 11-19-18, 09:10 AM
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I have found that the Origami Dragon is very easy to pack into our suitcase. It takes only about 5 minutes to pack, and requires only requires one 5mm allen key to remove the derailleur.



Origami Dragon in an airline-legal sized suitcase.
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Old 11-19-18, 09:26 AM
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Same Suitcase in both pictures I might add. Paul's Origami Traveller case is quite rugged and has fit all 20" bikes I have tested it with when the wheels are removed.

Here it is also being used in trailer mode.

Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
I have found that the Origami Dragon is very easy to pack into our suitcase. It takes only about 5 minutes to pack, and requires only requires one 5mm allen key to remove the derailleur.


Origami Dragon in an airline-legal sized suitcase.

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Old 11-19-18, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by L Arnold View Post
Same Suitcase in both pictures I might add. Paul's Origami Traveller case is quite rugged and has fit all 20" bikes I have tested it with when the wheels are removed.

Here it is also being used in trailer mode.




Yes, you will see that we have the trailer kit packed in with the Dragon in our photo.
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Old 11-27-18, 10:19 AM
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If you're going on express trains like the German ICE, a 20" folding bike can fit in the luggage rack in the middle of the passenger car. However, you'll need a low rear rack, like the Tern Cargo Rack. I had a Speed TR, which is like a Speed D8 with the addition of a SRAM dual drive hub, but it came with a tall rack that required me to remove the wheels to fit in the ICE train.
https://www.ternbicycles.com/gear/471/cargo-rack

Normally you don't need to cover the bike when taking the ICE train but the conductors are kind of angry when they see a dirty bike. You can pickup a Tern Carry On Cover 2.0 for around $40 (kind of similar to the Dahon version). It's the lightest cover I could find at around 500g, and has a shoulder strap. The bottom and top can be opened to stick out the wheels or the seat post if you want to.
https://www.ternbicycles.com/gear/472/carryon-cover-20

If you're on flat land, 8 speed may be ok. If you're sticking to a standard 1x drivetrain, I would recommend easily changing it to 1x10, 11-36T cassette with the Shimano Zee rear derailleur. The Zee is short enough for 36T to clear the ground down to a 16" wheel, but doesn't have enough cage length to fit a 2x front. If you have more time, I could recommend installing a 2x10 drivetrain with a front derailleur if you're interested in DIY tinkering, since most Dahon bikes don't come with a FD braze-on. Some of the Tern Verge models come with FD braze-on. If you decide to go near mountains, you'll definitely need more than an 8 speed 1x drivetrain. I recommend at least 20-80 gear inches, which is a 400% range (although 11-36T is 327%). If you're not so fit, you might want to go down to 16 gear inches. As you get below 15, it becomes too slow that it is more convenient to walk. I cruise on flat land at around 67-70 so I recommend at least having 75. I rarely go over 83 unless I'm going downhill but it lasts for such a short duration that I would rather extend the lower range. At the moment I've modified my Dahon Vigor to 16-80 gear inches with a 2x10 drivetrain, which is around 500% range.

A SRAM Dual Drive would solve any gear ranging problems, but you need a 135mm wide dropout, and you have to check if it will fit the hub axle. Dual Drive is discontinued but you can still find them on eBay or aliexpress. middle gear is 1:1 and you lose something like 5% efficiency on low or high gear. If you go with a Brompton, it's got a narrow rear dropout, so you're stuck with their rear drivetrain, although there are people on other threads who've successfully installed a double/triple front derailleur with a 6-8 rear internal gear hub. In comparison I think the Dahon or Tern is easier to modify than the Brompton for a FD. There are also 2-3 gear BBs, like the Schlumpf Drive (2x), ATS (licensed), EFNEO (3x), and some others. But they make the low gear 1:1, and you also lose 5% on the high gear. It would have been better if they made the high gear 1:1 since you'd spend more time on high.

20" is the maximum size to fit in a standard suitcase while staying below the 156cm total linear dimension oversized limit. You can buy cheap hard shell suitcases for $50 on ebay. For 20" you need at least 45-48cm wide. 16" and 18" are easier to pack. 20" bikes need the wheels removed to fit in the suitcase. You also could separate the parts into 2 suitcases if you are willing to take 2. You could remove the handlepost and fork too, which is easy to do, but takes time to reassemble and adjust to the correct angle again. Some 16" bikes don't need disassembly, but if they do, it's just simply the wheels.

The main differences between the different brands of bikes are the folding size, how they fold, the stability of the hinge, and whether they can use standard components, and where you can attach racks and bags. The Dahon and Tern bikes would be easier to modify than a Brompton since you can use more standard components on them. Dahon and Tern are also much cheaper. 20" also come with more standard dropouts than 18" or 16" (for example, having RD hangars). However, if you are 90kg and want to carry a lot more gear, perhaps 25kg, you might be reaching the limit of most folding bikes. Some people may say it's still good though. I'm only 65kg. The bikes where the rear folds under, like the Bike Friday, Brompton, Birdy, IVE, might have less flexing at heavy loads compared to center hinges like Dahon and Tern. Just be careful that the IVE has narrow dropouts that is supposed to lower the load limit, but some retailers say they've changed the rims to make it stronger.

The Speed is steel with Dahon's "Vise grip" hinge. The one I had failed after a few years, but other people say their's are still perfect. Dahon also has aluminum bikes with Vise grip which are a little different than the hinges on the steel version. The Vigor that I have now uses their V-clamp which is the same hinge on the Mu. Tern's hings are similar to Dahon's Vise grip, and they make 2-3 different versions of it. Tern folds with the front wheel turned 180 degrees while Dahon does not. Tern has the front V-brakes behind the fork while Dahon has it in front, which makes Tern front racks easier to install and remove. Dahon front racks are difficult to find and require removing the font brake cable to install the rack. Tern front racks can't be installed on Dahon bikes because of the position of the brakes. Tern handlepost uses 2 bolts to attach to the fork stem while Dahon uses only 1 bolt. This makes Tern handleposts fold taller by maybe 2-3cm, perhaps not much, but may be important for fitting in a suitcase. If you're tall and need to have a more forward hand position, you can use the Tern Andros 2 stem which will add an extra 3cm forward compared to the standard stem that comes with Dahon bikes. you need to have a T-handlepost to use the Andros.

If you want better folding pedals, you should get MKS EZY. The EZY Superior is a newer version but has a wider diameter quick release so I find my shoes rubbing on them when I try to place my feet as close as possible to the crank arms. So I switched to the MKS EZY Superior Urban Platform, which keeps my shoes 1-2mm above the quick release. I had to shave off the sharp tabs on top of the pedals to allow my feet to get close to the crank arms. I had the Esprit but those with the open top with the Superior will make your shoes rub on the quick releases.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 11-27-18 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 12-20-18, 01:12 AM
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Travel thousands km on bikefriday, this guy is quite reliable. Im 75~80kg
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Old 12-20-18, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tomtomtom123 View Post
If you want better folding pedals, you should get MKS EZY. The EZY Superior is a newer version but has a wider diameter quick release so I find my shoes rubbing on them when I try to place my feet as close as possible to the crank arms. So I switched to the MKS EZY Superior Urban Platform, which keeps my shoes 1-2mm above the quick release. I had to shave off the sharp tabs on top of the pedals to allow my feet to get close to the crank arms. I had the Esprit but those with the open top with the Superior will make your shoes rub on the quick releases.
Im using the MKS EZY too, I think the MKS touring is another good choice
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Old 12-20-18, 04:52 AM
  #24  
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A few months back I saw a cyclist riding one of the small Dahon classic folding bikes. He had a very large rucksack on his back which was flapping about a bit as he rode. It seemed obvious that bike was stored in the rucksack when not in use although how practical such a small wheeled folding bike would be for touring I don't know but it would certainly be good for getting on and off public transport.

Now that I think about it curious to know which folding bike has the smallest fold, not necessarily combined with lightness but just the ability to be stored in the very smallest bag. I'd sort of assumed it would be the Brompton but wonder if there are one or two better folding bikes for a compact fold. I suspect the Brompton is at the sweetspot though between suitable for touring and also a very compact fold. I also suspect a 3 speed hub or even a single speed would be a good option too for simplicity, durability and reliability unless you can afford a rohloff equipped bike.
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Old 12-20-18, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by reineelias View Post
My problem is finding the right folding bike for the job. I am 1.84 meters tall with a 90 kg body (6 feet, 190 lb hope it's right). I'm planning a two week trip with distances covering up to 70 km (44 miles) a day. Sleeping in hostels, hotels etc.

What do you think is a good folding bike to use? I have looked att Brompton, Dahon and Tern bikes. Found some models made for touring but they are a bit expensive. The one i currently look at is the Dahon Speed D7 that seems to fit me.
I recommend you get a Dahon that has a boss brazed on the frame so you can carry most of your stuff in the front (tweaking a Brompton luggage block is a better option than Dahon's truss), and carry a second, smaller bag on the rear rack (small wheels cause heel strike → must use small bag or somehow keep it away from your feet.)


The Dahon Speed D7 doesn't have that feature.


You might also want to get/add a double chainring to increase the range.


https://eu.dahon.com/bikes-category/...wheel-size/20/
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