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Century on a Folding Bike

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Century on a Folding Bike

Old 02-13-20, 10:08 PM
  #1  
Bassmanbob
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Century on a Folding Bike

I ride almost exclusively road riding, but I also travel for work at times and to visit family. So I purchased a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket in 2017, and have taken it on vacations, during family visits and in 2018 I took it to do the GFNY New York Century ride. This year, I want to ride the Crater Lake Century in Oregon in August as a long weekend solo retreat. I can't justify to my wife to ship out my CF road bike considering I spent the money on the Bike Friday. Besides, I did the GFNY on the BF, so why not?

Really... why not? Do any of you participate in long distance riding on a folding bike? Am I the only lunatic doing this more than once?
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Old 02-14-20, 12:35 AM
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linberl
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I don't know that I'd do a century on any folding bike except a Bike Friday or something of similar design and quality. No frame hinge, custom sizing, rides like a regular bike. I wouldn't consider any one-size-fits-all bike, athough I'm sure there are folks who do it on a brompton, for example. But if you care about your body.....
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Old 02-14-20, 12:45 AM
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I've done hilly Centuries in the US, Alpine granfondi in Italy and a hilly cyclosportive in France on my Air Friday. The Italians tended to look askance with smirks, probably thinking "this idiot's going to die on his silly bike when he hits the climbs", because the folding bikes they were accustomed to seeing were cheap urban utility bikes… until I passed many of them on climbs and/or descents.
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Old 02-14-20, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassmanbob View Post
This year, I want to ride the Crater Lake Century in Oregon in August as a long weekend solo retreat. I can't justify to my wife to ship out my CF road bike considering I spent the money on the Bike Friday. Besides, I did the GFNY on the BF, so why not? Really... why not? Do any of you participate in long distance riding on a folding bike? Am I the only lunatic doing this more than once?
I've done 150 km/~100 mile days on a Brompton, although I was too tired to do this again the next day :-)

As long as you can ride at your own pace, it's doable, especially on a more road worthy bike like a Bike Friday.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:59 AM
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I've done months long tours on a Dahon Speed TR, which has the same hinge as a regular Speed. The hinge eventually wore out and got loose. But there are other people who have toured on a Speed and say that their hinge is perfectly fine. You'll find some descriptions of people touring on Dahon bikes either on this forum or on crazyguyonabike.
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Old 02-14-20, 08:14 AM
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I haven't taken the Bike Friday on any organized century rides, but I've towed my trailer over 100 miles.. once... and 50 or so miles a couple of times.

Yeah, this was at the end of the ride, but it did go the distance.



As far as Crater Lake. I'm not sure about the century ride. I did it on my road bike, loaded a couple of years ago, riding from Eugene. It was a pretty long ride, and I had troubles on the hill between Culp Ceek and Steamboat. But, otherwise, the climbing was just long, but not overly intense.



I suppose I'd like to take a fancy road bike for a hilly century, but would ride whatever I had available.
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Old 02-14-20, 01:24 PM
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In 1999 I rode Paris-Brest-Paris (1200 kilometers) on my Bike Friday New World Tourist. In 2001, I rode the same bike on London-Edinburgh-London (1400 kilometers). I now work at Bike Friday and we have customers who have logged many thousands of miles touring all over the world.

Kent Peterson
Eugene, OR USA
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Old 02-14-20, 03:57 PM
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I completed two centuries last season on my Airnimal in about 6 hours, each time, found it no different than past centuries on my cannondale. Most people say hey that's cool looking, only one said your crazy.
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Old 02-14-20, 07:37 PM
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flatbike dot com is coming out with a full size folding century bike..tomorrow I think.
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Old 02-15-20, 03:16 AM
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Done a few 200km audax with my Tyrell IVE (18") and one with the Pocket Rocket.
The only downside with the PR is when the roads are no good, the tires tend to bounce more due to the higher pressures, narrow tires and small wheels.
Totally doable though.
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Old 02-15-20, 03:28 PM
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Thanks guys. These responses are quite reassuring. When I did the GFNY two years ago, I received a lot of comments:
"Are you crazy?" "You've got big balls!" "You're my hero." "You're a badass!" "Do you have to pedal twice as hard on that thing?" One idiot said, "I don't know what you're trying to do?" I just gave him a dirty look and said, "I'm riding a century!" and walked away.

For the first half of the event, I kept telling people how well made these bikes are. I told them that riding my BF wasn't that much different than my Cannondale CF bike. It was a little slower, but definitely still fun. By the end of the ride, I got tired of that. I just coyly told people that I had Herculean strength and endurance. But the best part was anytime I passed someone. Honestly, it wasn't often. I'm a Clydesdale, and I was on my folding bike-- it was a sight. I was like Chris Farley in the movie Tommy Boy. "Fat guy on a little bike!" Instead of "Fat guy in a little coat!" But I'd hear the huffing and puffing of pissed off riders behind me trying to catch up. It wasn't often, but it was fun.

I'm currently successfully losing weight. I'll hopefully be out of the Clydesdale category and only about 20-30 pounds overweight for the Crater Lake Century. Either way, I'll do what I gotta do on my Bike Friday.
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Old 02-16-20, 09:15 AM
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I`ve done a few 100k Audax events and rode one with a chap on a Moulton,in Cornwall,he said he loved it!
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Old 02-16-20, 09:55 AM
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It all depends on the bike. My Airnimal Joey rides almost as nice as a full size bike, but it does have 24 inch wheels, not 20 or 16. A couple years ago I rode it for an ACA week long van supported trip in West Texas. I could fit my Airnimal into my S&S case, it flew for free as one of my two checked bags on Southwest which is the reason I took it instead of my titanium bike. None of the days were over a hundred miles, but I think a day or two might have been metric centuries of 100 km.

Originally Posted by kentsbike View Post
In 1999 I rode Paris-Brest-Paris (1200 kilometers) on my Bike Friday New World Tourist. In 2001, I rode the same bike on London-Edinburgh-London (1400 kilometers). I now work at Bike Friday and we have customers who have logged many thousands of miles touring all over the world.

Kent Peterson
Eugene, OR USA
PBP on a folder is impressive. Thanks for posting.

Originally Posted by kayakindude View Post
I completed two centuries last season on my Airnimal in about 6 hours, each time, found it no different than past centuries on my cannondale. Most people say hey that's cool looking, only one said your crazy.
I assume Chameleon?
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Old 02-16-20, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
It all depends on the bike. My Airnimal Joey rides almost as nice as a full size bike, but it does have 24 inch wheels, not 20 or 16.
I assume Chameleon?
Correct on the Chameleon. Airnimal makes an incredible bike and this is my preferred sunny long distance rider. A few more weeks until our weather breaks 50 and the Dahon goes into 2nd position in the toolbox.
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Old 02-16-20, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
But if you care about your body.....
At the age of 63 I did a Century on a Tern Verge S11i and lived to tell the story.
Shortly before that, I rode a Dahon Mu XL to work and back for "Bike-to-Work Day"... 100 miles round-trip.
It is possible. That said, I'd rather do it on my road bike.

Verge S11i on the road.
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Old 02-17-20, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
At the age of 63 I did a Century on a Tern Verge S11i and lived to tell the story.
Shortly before that, I rode a Dahon Mu XL to work and back for "Bike-to-Work Day"... 100 miles round-trip.
It is possible. That said, I'd rather do it on my road bike.

Verge S11i on the road.

The Mu is actually a nice bike, I have the Mu Uno. That said, just cuz you can do it doesn't mean you should, lol.
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Old 02-17-20, 06:34 AM
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Looks like it is photo time, so this is my Airnimal Joey. No 100 mile days yet, but it certainly is capable of long rides like that.

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Old 02-22-20, 11:56 AM
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I rode the last New York Century on a Tern P20. I didn't finish the century cause I ran out of time (I'm not a morning person), but I doggedly made it a century by riding loops through lower Manhattan.
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Old 02-24-20, 11:24 PM
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A Bike Friday seems perfect for the task..No I am thinking about this challenge on my Ti-Swift.. or Folding 20 (!) but it's single speed...
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Old 03-10-20, 10:04 AM
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100 Miles(160 Km.) on a Brompton by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 03-30-20, 10:14 AM
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I find my folders only a little bit slower than my road bikes, but a lot more comfortable on the back and shoulders over longer periods. I have done quite a few long rides circa 100m on my trusty old Dahon with panniers and find my Moulton TSR even more comfortable, although I am not setting any speed records. The slightly greater energy use in my case is well offset by the comfort towards the end of the ride from the more upright position and suspension/long flexy stem.

On a BF pocket rocket you will sail through. Never been on one but it looks fast just standing still.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:36 AM
  #22  
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Yes, I rode 103 miles on my Dahon Mu P8 in the Sunday in June back in (maybe it was) 2010. Mine was the only folding bike I saw that day and it got a lot of odd looks, but it wasn't any harder than centuries I've ridden on my full-sized bike.
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