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Folding bike for touring

Old 04-07-24, 01:59 AM
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Folding bike for touring

hi all,

I am based in UK. I am touring in Dec, 800kms average daily elevation 3500ft. Supported so no luggage will be carried.

Due to practicalities i cannot take by road bike.

I am thinking about Tern Folding bikes.

Confession- i do cycle 10k km a year...lots of climbs, but never ridden a folder. Tried one for 15 and felt ok.

my question is which folder bike would you recommend and what groupset which is reasonably fast, 14mph on flats but easy to climb as well.

Handlebar attachements looks like obvious, but any other changes you would recommend.

I need a bike which can fold into a large suitecase which can be taken as check in luggage not sports equipment. I believer some of the terns achieve that.

For my need fold or ease of carriage is not a major issue, i want a bike which can achieve the distance without being too exhaustive that i have to give up.
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Old 04-07-24, 02:22 AM
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Don't overthink it. I rode the length and breadth of South Korea umsupported last year on this pony, including 111km in one day.


Last edited by Ron Damon; 05-18-24 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 04-07-24, 02:24 AM
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Couple of questions that might help to narrow down your options:

What exactly is your maximum size for transporting the folded bike?

What range of gears are you looking for? What are the high and low gears in inches on your usual ride that you’re looking to replicate on a folding bike?
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Old 04-07-24, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman
Couple of questions that might help to narrow down your options:

What exactly is your maximum size for transporting the folded bike?

What range of gears are you looking for? What are the high and low gears in inches on your usual ride that you’re looking to replicate on a folding bike?
Hi Reddleman man,

I was think any folder folder can be packed with wheels removed in large suitcase. Vol 130 litres.

Last bike ride yesterday. I rode 75 miles...I spent 75% time on 21t at back and 48t in front. 700c x 28 tyres.
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Old 04-07-24, 03:49 AM
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If you’re in the UK, looking for something that behaves like your road bike but can fit in a large suitcase, have a look for an Airnimal Chameleon as it’ll probably involve minimal tinkering to meet your needs.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:07 AM
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Ron -Please will guide on components for Fnhon tornado, if i want to build a bike similar to yours.

Last edited by capstain411; 04-07-24 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:24 AM
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You might also consider an S&S coupled bike or a Ritchey Break Away bike. These are full size bikes, but can be packed into smaller cases than other full size bikes. They can be time consuming to unpack and repack into the case, but how time consuming depends on how many items you have to attach to the frame (racks, water bottle cages, mudguards, etc.) If attachments are minimal, then packing the bike can be quicker. Size of frame is also a factor in how easy it packs, if you are a smaller person that has a small bike frame size, that makes packing the bike easier.

These options would not be cheap, but for the long term these options could replace your other existing bike. My road bike has a Ritchey Break Away frame. Looking at the bike, only a bike mechanic would notice that the Ritchey frame splits into two pieces for travel.

The S&S case meets the 62 inch size most airlines use for oversize criteria. The Ritchey case is slightly oversize but most airlines do not get out the tape measure when they check luggage.

I suspect you will get the folder, but I wanted to make sure that you were aware of these other options before you buy.
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Old 04-07-24, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by capstain411
Ron -Please will guide on components for Fnhon tornado, if i want to build a bike similar to yours.
Hmmm... You may be asking the wrong guy cuz I don't build my bikes for speed and top end, but rather for low end and I am no weight weenie.

But how would I build a FnHon Tornado built for speed? Probably with 451 wheels and 11-speed XT M8000 if you've got the coin. The other option is a FnHon Blast for rim brakes which are lighter than disc. Those are still available though not in great number. Yeah, a 451, rim brake Blast.


11-speed 11-42T, 440g

There's a 10-speed 11-42T cogset that though only 10 grams lighter could save you some weight by running it with a small and compact Zee RD which weighs less than a GS or SGS RD. That part is Deore CS-HG500-10.


Shimano Deore CS-HG500-10, 11-42T, ~ 430g

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Old 04-07-24, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by capstain411
Hi Reddleman man,

I was think any folder folder can be packed with wheels removed in large suitcase. Vol 130 litres.

Last bike ride yesterday. I rode 75 miles...I spent 75% time on 21t at back and 48t in front. 700c x 28 tyres.
I have just successfully packed a tern 20 inch folder into a large suitcase. Check my other thread and ask me anything you want.
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Old 04-07-24, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman
I have just successfully packed a tern 20 inch folder into a large suitcase. Check my other thread and ask me anything you want.
Was it verge or link series....I am thinking of 451 tires.
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Old 04-07-24, 10:26 AM
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If you're after a 700c steel roadbike feel, consider the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. It's a steel, drop-bar bike that fits into a suitcase (that's just a couple of inches beyond airline limits so it's rarely if ever charged extra). It's got slightly larger ETRO451 20" tires than many other folders (which use slightly smaller ETRO406), which I think makes the difference in road feel.


They are a custom builder out of Eugene, Oregon, so it takes some time to get one built. But you can also buy used first for much cheaper to see if the concept will work for you. That's what I did with the bike above.

Best of luck
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Old 04-17-24, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by capstain411
hi all,

I am based in UK. I am touring in Dec, 800kms average daily elevation 3500ft. Supported so no luggage will be carried.

Due to practicalities i cannot take by road bike.

I am thinking about Tern Folding bikes.

Confession- i do cycle 10k km a year...lots of climbs, but never ridden a folder. Tried one for 15 and felt ok.

my question is which folder bike would you recommend and what groupset which is reasonably fast, 14mph on flats but easy to climb as well.

Handlebar attachements looks like obvious, but any other changes you would recommend.

I need a bike which can fold into a large suitecase which can be taken as check in luggage not sports equipment. I believer some of the terns achieve that.

For my need fold or ease of carriage is not a major issue, i want a bike which can achieve the distance without being too exhaustive that i have to give up.


If you're able to swing it logistically and budgetwise, I think Bike Friday is the best option by far.
Personally, I'm also a huge fan of the Swift...but you'd need to build it up to your liking. The original setup is a fast hybrid.
Look up the ginormous Xootr Swift thread for ideas. I think Jur's swift is the nicest one by far.

Personally, I think that Piningis is offering a great service by resurrecting the design (and improving it), along with selling just the frame.
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Old 04-18-24, 01:40 AM
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This is what I last flew with. While it isn’t exactly a folding bike, it does come apart, and fits in a large suitcase. Front and rear racks are available, gearing can be whatever you like, this one is a Dura-Ace, XTR Di2 hybrid which works flawlessly. Smooth, stable, and fun to ride. These shouldn’t be hard to find in the UK.

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Old 04-18-24, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
This is what I last flew with. While it isn’t exactly a folding bike, it does come apart, and fits in a large suitcase. Front and rear racks are available, gearing can be whatever you like, this one is a Dura-Ace, XTR Di2 hybrid which works flawlessly. Smooth, stable, and fun to ride. These shouldn’t be hard to find in the UK.

MMMMMmmmmm.... look at that elegant 2X gearing.

OP: if needing to fold and unfold more often than just for flights, bikes that come apart like the above take too much time to break down. But if bike going to stay unfolded for the duration of your stay, well the Moulton looks to be a class act. I've never ridden one, but the suspension, though small, should ride better than my fixed frame. Be aware, 20"/406 has wide range of tire size availability (can go wider, if clears in frame and fork), whereas 20"/451 has very limited tire widths. Not sure, I think the Moulton may be 451 or other size.
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Old 04-18-24, 02:20 AM
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I have a Moulton Jubilee that also splits into two parts.

Its easy to do split but the two parts are really big, the only solution to make it smaller is to remove the wheels but when doing so, the derailleur is very exposed, it is better to dismount it from the frame.

For the tires, most Moulton (excepted the XTB) use road brake calipers that limit the tire width to about 28mm for older calipers, 30-32mm for some current ones (I have eebrake calipers on my Moulton Speed and they accept the Continental Contact Urban 32x406). Moulton use only two wheel sizes, 17" ETRTO369 with only one type of tire available and 20" ETRTO406.

For me as a travel folding bike with easy, quick fold + off road riding possibilities + several possibilities to carry baggage, the best, most versatile solution is the Birdy (full suspension; 50mm wide tires, rear folding rack for rear pannier that has no impact on the folding size, front Brompton block, front low riders)
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Old 04-18-24, 03:44 AM
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Originally Posted by capstain411
Hi Reddleman man,

I was think any folder folder can be packed with wheels removed in large suitcase. Vol 130 litres.

Last bike ride yesterday. I rode 75 miles...I spent 75% time on 21t at back and 48t in front. 700c x 28 tyres.

have you had a chat with CH Whites in Malmesbury? They could advise.
they do custom build too.

Once you re set with a frame or donor bike, you can modify most things as 1x touring/endurance bike knowing there is a ~1.4 ratio between 20” and 700c
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Old 04-19-24, 06:52 AM
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A bi-fold Dahon/Tern (and all the various good quality clones like Fnhon, Rifle, Crius, etc) will be good enough.

As for upgrades.
1. Assuming the bike comes with a 9speed RD, then add a cheap FD and fd-shifter and the chainring to a 2x; worth considering will be to swap out the usual stock square taper BB while changing the crank.


Thats about it actually.
A bike as such has high utility and is inexpensive.
Spend the rest of the money on bags that mount on the bike and a rear rack.

I just built another such bike for my son for a trip at the end of the year. (Will share some photos when I have the chance to take some)
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Old 04-19-24, 06:56 PM
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My wife and I have Montague Urbans, but maybe the Navigator would work? Of course, the Montague bikes are larger than the small-wheel bikes when folded, but the fold is just as fast and easy:

https://www.montaguebikes.com/product/navigator/
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Old 04-19-24, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam
A bi-fold Dahon/Tern (and all the various good quality clones like Fnhon, Rifle, Crius, etc) will be good enough.

As for upgrades.
1. Assuming the bike comes with a 9speed RD, then add a cheap FD and fd-shifter and the chainring to a 2x; worth considering will be to swap out the usual stock square taper BB while changing the crank.


Thats about it actually.
A bike as such has high utility and is inexpensive.
Spend the rest of the money on bags that mount on the bike and a rear rack.

I just built another such bike for my son for a trip at the end of the year. (Will share some photos when I have the chance to take some)


Yep. The only tricky part is, there's no standard clamp-style FDs for the large diameter Dahon seat tube (I think 40mm?), so you need an adaptor for a braze-on style FD. My adaptor is sturdy, some of the later adaptor designs are simpler but not as strong. And because of the fat seat tube and thick adaptor, I couldn't get the FD inboard far enough for the inner chainring on my new hollow-spindle crank, so had to grind off the inboard cage top lip/flange (overkill wide and strong) at the very front where the adaptor interfered, worked great. However the Microshift FD has too stiff a spring for me, a road Shimano is better, but the linkage is larger so won't mount properly on my adaptor. For now, my setup works. Everything else was pretty straighforward.

Would have been way easier if the frame came with a FD "braze-on" (now welded) mount. Some bi-folds do.

EDIT: With 3500 feet of daily climbs, unless you are a TdF quality climber, I'd recommend having a low gear no higher than 21 gear inches in case you run out of steam and need to spin your way up. (I'd say 15 if you were loaded touring, but you said not. I may need that if I do that kind of elevation.) The bike above ranges from 21-85 gear inches, with 50/34 crank and 11-30 cogs on 20"/406 x 1.75"/44mm tires. Also, bike weight may be critical, mine is 28 lbs empty, no racks or accessories. With all the stuff I have added, it's now 55 lbs, and that's before a lot of cargo. With all the competition now in the 20" space, I think you can easily find one 28lbs or even less at moderate cost.

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Old 04-20-24, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch


Yep. The only tricky part is, there's no standard clamp-style FDs for the large diameter Dahon seat tube (I think 40mm?), so you need an adaptor for a braze-on style FD. My adaptor is sturdy, some of the later adaptor designs are simpler but not as strong. And because of the fat seat tube and thick adaptor, I couldn't get the FD inboard far enough for the inner chainring on my new hollow-spindle crank, so had to grind off the inboard cage top lip/flange (overkill wide and strong) at the very front where the adaptor interfered, worked great. However the Microshift FD has too stiff a spring for me, a road Shimano is better, but the linkage is larger so won't mount properly on my adaptor. For now, my setup works. Everything else was pretty straighforward.

Would have been way easier if the frame came with a FD "braze-on" (now welded) mount. Some bi-folds do.

EDIT: With 3500 feet of daily climbs, unless you are a TdF quality climber, I'd recommend having a low gear no higher than 21 gear inches in case you run out of steam and need to spin your way up. (I'd say 15 if you were loaded touring, but you said not. I may need that if I do that kind of elevation.) The bike above ranges from 21-85 gear inches, with 50/34 crank and 11-30 cogs on 20"/406 x 1.75"/44mm tires. Also, bike weight may be critical, mine is 28 lbs empty, no racks or accessories. With all the stuff I have added, it's now 55 lbs, and that's before a lot of cargo. With all the competition now in the 20" space, I think you can easily find one 28lbs or even less at moderate cost.
All FnHon and Litepro frames have an FD hanger. It's 2024, DG.
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Old 04-20-24, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam
A bi-fold Dahon/Tern (and all the various good quality clones like Fnhon, Rifle, Crius, etc) will be good enough.

...
Yeap. Every time this or a similar question comes up, people fall over themselves to suggest the most expensive options. Let's see. Moulton. BF. Birdy.
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Old 04-20-24, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
All FnHon and Litepro frames have an FD hanger. It's 2024, DG.
No one is more glad to hear that than me! Hopefully it stays that way, even with the advent of 1X. But I still have a stable of older steel Dahon Speeds waiting to be modified, if I am able to tour and others can join me. You would think, that with all the Dahons and clones out there, someone would make a band-clamp FD to fit them.
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