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Is this foldie a viable credit-card touring platform?

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Is this foldie a viable credit-card touring platform?

Old 03-25-24, 04:06 AM
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Is this foldie a viable credit-card touring platform?

I may soon put the question to the test.


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Old 03-25-24, 10:04 PM
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Is that chainring really that big or are you just happy to see me? (ref Mae West)

What's your highest gear? Because with light CC touring, you can go fast.

With those size wheels, and large cog, looks like you have plenty of low, though the chain and RD may be darned close to the tire, but I'm sure is already checked out ok.

Most any bike could be good for CC touring, but if hopping any buses or trains, a folder is better.
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Old 03-26-24, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Is that chainring really that big or are you just happy to see me? (ref Mae West)

What's your highest gear? Because with light CC touring, you can go fast.

With those size wheels, and large cog, looks like you have plenty of low, though the chain and RD may be darned close to the tire, but I'm sure is already checked out ok.

Most any bike could be good for CC touring, but if hopping any buses or trains, a folder is better.
The drivetrain is 53 x 11-37 with 50-305 wheels, Grouch. Fast is not my concern. As said before, despite the profusion of Greg LeMonds and Alberto Contadors on this channel, chasing speed on a 305 -451 size wheel is a fool's errand. I am more concerned about climbing to 3,000masl.
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Old 03-26-24, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
The drivetrain is 53 x 11-37 with 50-305 wheels, Grouch. Fast is not my concern. As said before, despite the profusion of Greg LeMonds and Alberto Contadors on this channel, chasing speed on a 305 -451 size wheel is a fool's errand. I am more concerned about climbing to 3,000masl.
Yeah that's enough gearing. I also don't need racer speed, just want to be able to pedal down mild grades, so 85 inch is enough, but I could probably get by with a bit lower. I think it's you saying credit card touring which made me think speed, I always pictured if I did that it would be on my old road race bike, light and fast. But if I go touring, it'll be on my 20", heavy, self-contained touring. Maybe if lodging and meals were low cost, I'd go light touring, especially if tropical, I'd rather not camp outside at night. A friend of mine, nearly every year goes to some southeast Asia country in January for a month-long tour (he's not a biker), totally lodging and bought meals. Last year was Thailand, this year was Vietnam. The food looked awesome, and not expensive.
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Old 03-26-24, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Yeah that's enough gearing. I also don't need racer speed, just want to be able to pedal down mild grades, so 85 inch is enough, but I could probably get by with a bit lower. I think it's you saying credit card touring which made me think speed, I always pictured if I did that it would be on my old road race bike, light and fast. But if I go touring, it'll be on my 20", heavy, self-contained touring. Maybe if lodging and meals were low cost, I'd go light touring, especially if tropical, I'd rather not camp outside at night. A friend of mine, nearly every year goes to some southeast Asia country in January for a month-long tour (he's not a biker), totally lodging and bought meals. Last year was Thailand, this year was Vietnam. The food looked awesome, and not expensive.
Singapore aside, SEAsia is still very affordable. That's one big reason I live there. One big minus for cycling, though, is the heat.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:37 PM
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Nice looking bike! I'm pretty sure you could squeeze a tour or two out of it as long as your credit card has the credit. If it were me I would want a larger seat bag or a rear rack. When I did a credit card bike tour of Bali back in the 1980s I just strapped my carry-on bag to my rear rack. Not the ideal solution, but it worked for me.

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Old 03-26-24, 09:48 PM
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With how close the rear derailleur tension pulley is to the roadway surface, wondering if a teeny tire might fit on it...

Hopefully it'll work well for you. I invested in a Bike Friday over two decades ago with no regrets.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:59 PM
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On a thread a couple months ago, Brompnots, seeing the price of those in SE Asia and without the expensive shipping to the USA, if I were light touring, I'd seriously consider pre-arranging to buy one there, use, then bring back home. With limited time, and perhaps hazardous roads with truck traffic, I probably wouldn't bike long transits, I'd probably use public transport, using the folder to bike around each city.
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Old 03-26-24, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
With how close the rear derailleur tension pulley is to the roadway surface, wondering if a teeny tire might fit on it...

Hopefully it'll work well for you. I invested in a Bike Friday over two decades ago with no regrets.
I've got other bikes with larger wheels, and I've toured cross country on a similar 16" bike. I can afford a stable of Bike Fridays if I wanted, but they do not appeal to me. They are simply not good value and they don't fold well either.

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Old 03-26-24, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Pine Cone
Nice looking bike! I'm pretty sure you could squeeze a tour or two out of it as long as your credit card has the credit. If it were me I would want a larger seat bag or a rear rack. When I did a credit card bike tour of Bali back in the 1980s I just strapped my carry-on bag to my rear rack. Not the ideal solution, but it worked for me.
For touring in Bali, I'd take just a saddle bag and a small handlebar bag. In fact, that's what I did on my last tour of the island.


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Old 03-26-24, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
I've got other bikes with larger wheels, and I've toured cross country on a similar 16" bike.. I can afford a stable of Bike Fridays, but they do not appeal to me. They are simply not good value and they don't fold well either.
My Dahon Speed set up like a BF NWT, was a small fraction of the BF price. But with Dahon's prices doubling and still needing the upgrades, and BF's not increasing nearly as much, the cost now is a lot closer to BF, for lower quality and needed investment of parts and labor, versus a BF arriving turn-key and ready to tour. Also, Bike Friday's customer service is famously good, from everything I've read online about service after the sale, and modifications like going from rim brakes to discs, they work with people. And that has value. However, like you, I consider the BF fold to be messy, though more compact than my bifold for air travel. But for non-air folding situations, the bifold is a lot cleaner and quicker fold, and don't need to remove any racks, handlebars, seatpost, etc.
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Old 03-26-24, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
My Dahon Speed set up like a BF NWT, was a small fraction of the BF price. But with Dahon's prices doubling and still needing the upgrades, and BF's not increasing nearly as much, the cost now is a lot closer to BF, for lower quality and needed investment of parts and labor, versus a BF arriving turn-key and ready to tour. Also, Bike Friday's customer service is famously good, from everything I've read online about service after the sale, and modifications like going from rim brakes to discs, they work with people. And that has value. However, like you, I consider the BF fold to be messy, though more compact than my bifold for air travel. But for non-air folding situations, the bifold is a lot cleaner and quicker fold, and don't need to remove any racks, handlebars, seatpost, etc.
Nope. BF (and most Dahons) is too expensive for me to consider its bikes seriously. It's not a problem of affordability, but rather of value. Sorry, I ain't a First-World-bubble spendthrift. Customer service? 😂 Do I sound to you like someone who wants to pay for being spoonfed, babied, held by the hand and advised on my world tour bike by some geezer in Oregon who probably doesn't even have a passport? 😂😂 GMAFB.

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Old 03-26-24, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Nope. BF (and most Dahons) is too expensive for me to consider its bikes seriously. It's not a problem of affordability, but rather of value. Sorry, I ain't a First-World-bubble spendthrift. Customer service? 😂 Do I sound to you like someone who wants to pay for being spoonfed, babied, held by the hand and advised on my world tour bike by some geezer in Oregon who probably doesn't even have a passport? 😂😂 GMAFB.
Oh I agree with you, there are better values out there now than BF.

Customer service: I also do my own service, and carry a lot of weight in tools, even local; I don't mean on the road fixing advice, although probably that too. I mean if the frame cracks, the fork cracks, etc, or even one of the components they don't make fails, they back up their stuff, and honor the component warranty themself, they don't blow you off and tell you to contact Shimano or SRAM. On frame and fork, 10 year warranty, and from what I've read online, they don't blow you off or make you jump through hoops. No long phone holds or being handed off to other departments 3 or 4 times, which happens with other things like problems with my health insurance billing, with a call center in central america or the phillipines, based on the time of day. They're a small shop, you get service right away, customer service is seconds away from where they build the bikes. They know people do serious traveling with their bikes and heavy touring, and they try not to let people down. That's rare these days. And if other parts of the trip were costing a whole bunch of money, I'd want a reliable bike and good maker support, that may be the much smaller cost versus a ruined trip. Also, their frames are custom-size on request at no additional charge. I think there's a reason BF has survived despite many more folders on the market now. I'm not a shill for BF and do recognize some shortcomings in the design, but not the company itself, from what I can see.

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Old 04-01-24, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
I may soon put the question to the test.


Ron, questions for you. You own both 16 and 20 inch wheeled bikes. I've read several times among these posts that 16 inch folders are only good for a few miles, more of a destination hookup than just pleasure riding. I want your opinion on this as you seem to have the most experience on these forums with the 16 inch wheel. My daily greenway jaunt is usually 8 to 12 miles. Is this too much for a 16 inch folder to ride comfortably? Thanks your opinion is valued.
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Old 04-01-24, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
Ron, questions for you. You own both 16 and 20 inch wheeled bikes. I've read several times among these posts that 16 inch folders are only good for a few miles, more of a destination hookup than just pleasure riding. I want your opinion on this as you seem to have the most experience on these forums with the 16 inch wheel. My daily greenway jaunt is usually 8 to 12 miles. Is this too much for a 16 inch folder to ride comfortably? Thanks your opinion is valued.
Dogg, answers (hopefully) for you. When riding day in and day out, as in commuting or touring, two considerations are paramount: comfort and durability. When it comes to durability, there is no reason why a 16" (305) bike should be less durable than a bigger bike save for the increased wear on tires as they have to rotate more to cover a given distance. Hubs and spokes, maybe, but by the same token, a smaller wheel is stronger holding other factors constant. Low riding RD? Don't ride offroad, and be deliberate and mindful of how you take a depression on the road. I build my own bikes so I am certain that all parts are solid and the points of vulnerability.

Comfort, well, again, save for their smaller dimension which makes fitting taller people more difficult, there is no fundamental reason why a 16" bike should be less comfy at the contact points. They take the same saddles, pedals and grips as larger bikes, and you can dial in the riding position to a good degree. Road chatter and bumps, of course, will be more noticeable, so you gotta ride in good or better roads. We don't have the best roads here, but I ride most of them with a 16" bike. After a while, it becomes instinct. The short-wheelbase on some models is a double-edged sword. The upside is that they are highly maneuverable, nimble and a blast to ride. The downside is that you can get into trouble if you don't know what you're doing and you can't take your mind off the steering. No hands, forget it. Having said all of that, yes, a 20" bike will be more comfy and smooth, but the question is not whether A is greater than B, but rather whether B is good enough. Only you can answer that. As for me, I always find myself reaching for the Gust 16" cuz it's just so fun to ride and its quirky X-factor, despite the disadvantages I've mentioned.
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Old 04-01-24, 07:43 PM
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(above) Well said, Ron. But you may also want to mention 16" 349 vs 305, you've mentioned a couple times the increased cushion for 305s when using fat tires at about the same outside diameter. EDIT: I do see now you mention 305. I think most 16s are 349, so you might want to mention specifics, like the tires you run on 305.
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Old 04-01-24, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
(above) Well said, Ron. But you may also want to mention 16" 349 vs 305, you've mentioned a couple times the increased cushion for 305s when using fat tires at about the same outside diameter. EDIT: I do see now you mention 305. I think most 16s are 349, so you might want to mention specifics, like the tires you run on 305.
That's right, Duragrouch. My experience with 16" wheel bikes is with solely with the ETRTO305 wheel size which, to my mind, offers the following advantages over the ETRTO349 size:
  • Wider tire selection
  • Wider range of tire size
  • Ability to run tires larger at lower pressure, affording greater comfort, traction and potentially decreased susceptibility to punctures.
  • Uniqueness, as everyone and their dogwalker rides 349
For reference, I ride the 50-305 Schwalbe Big Apples on my Gust 16" with 30 front / 40 rear psi. 25/35 is fine and cushier, but slower.


57-305


58-305


50-305

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Old 04-02-24, 02:10 AM
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Besides its wider gear range, total silence and shifting at a stop, an Alfine 11 gear hub would be a nice alternative to that huge cassette + derailleur very close to the ground

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Old 04-02-24, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Besides its wider gear range, total silence and shifting at a stop, an Alfine 11 gear hub would be a nice alternative to that huge cassette + derailleur very close to the ground
Perhaps. It's an interesting idea, I'll give you that. A dispassionate and thorough analysis of the pros and cons, however, would need to consider the proposed part's price, weight and efficiency. It may be that though attractive and desirable the setup may appear at first, the drawbacks cannot be justified. One reason that I dispensed with the SRAM DualDrive 3 hub several years ago was the weight. I can't imagine an Alfine 11 weighing less or even in the ballpark of that three-speed hub.
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Old 04-02-24, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Besides its wider gear range, total silence and shifting at a stop, an Alfine 11 gear hub would be a nice alternative to that huge cassette + derailleur very close to the ground
I became very interested about the possibility of an Alfine 11 on a Brompton, much cheaper than a Rohloff, discoved Bromptons have a narrow rear OLD (I think 110mm) but a Scottish shop was making new wider rear triangles to fit an Alfine. But then I read of some reporting slippage on the Alfine due to roller clutches (instead of ratchet pawls) and that it's designed more for city bikes and spinning, then climbing out of the saddle. I climb both ways, so would prefer ratchet pawls.

My feeling is, either go all derailleur, or all internal gear. Combinations of both just give the drawbacks of both without any advantage.
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Old 04-02-24, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
...

My feeling is, either go all derailleur, or all internal gear. Combinations of both just give the drawbacks of both without any advantage.
Au contraire, Dura. Except for the weight, I have nothing but good things to say about the SRAM DualDrive3 three-speed hub. Huge range, too much actually. Good shifting, good efficiency.
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Old 04-02-24, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
One reason that I dispensed with the SRAM DualDrive 3 hub several years ago was the weight. I can't imagine an Alfine 11 weighing less or even in the ballpark of that three-speed hub.
Being oil-lubricated, the A11 is pretty good in terms of efficiency. As for weight, it's ~1,600g so would add a few hundred grams to a derailleur solution.

Pros and cons.

Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I became very interested about the possibility of an Alfine 11 on a Brompton, much cheaper than a Rohloff, discoved Bromptons have a narrow rear OLD (I think 110mm) but a Scottish shop was making new wider rear triangles to fit an Alfine. But then I read of some reporting slippage on the Alfine due to roller clutches (instead of ratchet pawls) and that it's designed more for city bikes and spinning, then climbing out of the saddle. I climb both ways, so would prefer ratchet pawls.
A cheap and safe solution for the Brompton is to get a triangle from AliE and coldset it to 135mm note that the frame is not symetrical: The drive side is bent outwards a few mm's more than the left-side. If it fails, it's only a $100 experiment.

As for slippage, besides a folder being used in cities by most users (where a gear hub is nice to have since you can change gears at a stop), it'd be interesting to know the context: Were people standing on the pedals (never a good idea with a gear hub) and/or using it with a mid-drive motor (not a good idea either)?


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Old 04-02-24, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
Being oil-lubricated, the A11 is pretty good in terms of efficiency. As for weight, it's ~1,600g so would add a few hundred grams to a derailleur solution.

Pros and cons.




I note that you did not address the issue of price. Yeah, that weight.
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Old 04-02-24, 04:43 AM
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~$400
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Old 04-02-24, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Winfried
~$400
Yeah...now I know why you overlooked it earlier. I'll pass, thank you.
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