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R20 reality check

Old 07-22-08, 06:24 PM
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stevegor
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R20 reality check

About a year ago I rode my modded R20 on a Sat morning bunch ride, you know the type, warm up for a few kms, then climbing, helter skelter attacks and sprints thrown in for fun. Some of the guys still race so the pace was high....and there I was, in the action...leading out sprints...chasing breaks...forcing the pace, but alas....it has now all come to an abrupt end

You see, I normally ride my Specialized roadie on these rides and I'm one of the stronger riders, but this last year has seen a big improvement in the overall fitness of the other riders, so last Sat morn when I turned up on my R20 I didn't take that fact into account. So how did I go?? Well, my breakfast came up 1/2 way through the ride I only did a few turns on the front and had the indignity of getting dropped on a fast section before a sprint, then I did a short cut, missing my favourite hill climb attack section, just so I could get back onto the bunch.....how did I feel for the rest of the weekend?? Stiff, sore and quite unwell

So what have I learnt?
1: I'm no longer the A-grade rider I was?, maybe.
2: That unless you are a very strong rider forget the R20s, Dahons, Swifts and other folders on serious bunch rides.
3: Buy a BF PRP if you want to ride small wheels fast.
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Old 07-22-08, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
2: That unless you are a very strong rider forget the R20s, Dahons, Swifts and other folders on serious bunch rides.
3: Buy a BF PRP if you want to ride small wheels fast.
So, what wisdom do you have on why a BF PRP should be faster than a Swift kitted out similarly?
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Old 07-22-08, 07:05 PM
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I can sympathize . It's hard to keep up with with a strong roadie crew on a folder...

Closest I've come is with the superlight Dahon Helios (<17 lbs). That one keeps up on the hills, but runs out of gears at the high end (95 gear inches). I've given up my quest for a "portable roadie". I'll just ride my carbon fiber, Dura Ace, Fuji racehorse for those hammerfests!

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Old 07-22-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
So, what wisdom do you have on why a BF PRP should be faster than a Swift kitted out similarly?
Jur, the BF PRP looks faster, so therefore it must be ...but seriously, I realise that a Swift, Moulton or BF PRP would all be similar if kitted out the same, it's just that by personal experience, a small wheeled bike at 50+ kmh on the flat loses it's benefits over a 700c fairly quickly, according to BF themselves. And as I stated, only a very strong rider can stay with a serious bunch, by which I mean ex Olympic medalists, Sun tour riders etc. NOT POOTLERS.
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Old 07-22-08, 09:56 PM
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I have been giving people reality checks with my P20 as a few folks have been pretty gobsmacked to find out how fast the little bike really is but the bike isn't quite up to super fast group rides... it's a commuter / tourer and is geared up for brisk cruising.

If I want to go insanely fast I ride my '73 Raleigh Gran Sport... it's 7 pounds lighter and has much taller gearing.

My friend has a 1965 Moulten Speed that would be at home on any high speed ride...

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Old 07-22-08, 10:20 PM
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I'd be happy to reply since I've had both a Swift and (now) a Pocket Rocket (standard -- 24 lbs).

The Swift is great. I modded it with some 451 wheels and a Capreo hub. Worked great when I was in LA and the longest climbs were approx. 1 mile. Then I moved up here to the Bay Area. Give me a front derailleur STAT!

I moved over all my stuff from the Swift to the Pocket Rocket. I have compact crank w/ the Capreo that gets me a very nice low and a perfectly fine high-end (27 - 113). I can decend at about 95% speed of my full frame. You should definitely be able to keep up with either bike, the terrain really should be the deciding factor. The Swift will be a lighter bike, unless you go for the Pro, then it's about a wash. Also, the Bike Friday packs much easier than the Swift, and I've already used it along with the trailer on a couple of trips.

EDIT: you could also do the 58T/42T big rings to avoid the Capreo. That would allow you to use a real 10-speed cassette and swap them out to match your preferred combos.


Last edited by kb5ql; 07-22-08 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 07-22-08, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch View Post
I'll just ride my carbon fiber, Dura Ace, Fuji racehorse for those hammerfests!

BLASPHEMER!!!This photo needs to be removed from this sub-forum post haste!!!
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Old 07-22-08, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by kb5ql View Post
BLASPHEMER!!!This photo needs to be removed from this sub-forum post haste!!!
Oooops!
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Old 07-23-08, 01:02 AM
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WHAT monstrosity is that... that... big bike that does not fold! Surely this behemoth does not come from this world! Hahaha!
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Old 07-23-08, 01:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mrbrown View Post
WHAT monstrosity is that... that... big bike that does not fold! Surely this behemoth does not come from this world! Hahaha!
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Old 07-23-08, 02:15 AM
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SC, Snafu is more than happy to use her saw to create a Moulton style bike that separates into 2 halves for you lol! I notice the colour of the saw handle matches the frame on her Downtube FS
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Old 07-23-08, 05:32 AM
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to fast for me, i sicked up my breakfast on a ride a few days ago aswell
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Old 07-23-08, 06:54 AM
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While I mean no offence to my fellow small wheel riders and I still riding my R20s and would give my back teeth...if I had any, to own a BF PRP, Moulton or even a Swift, I still feel that for very competitive insanely fast bunch rides my first choice is my Specialized roadie. Again, I stress that these rides are not for the fainthearted, pootlers or roadie wannabees, and after following Jur's diary of riding this past year or so, he is perhaps an exception to the rule, most others are not. I'm happy to invite Jur to come up here for a Sat morn bunch ride, bring the Swift, Jur, I'm sure you'll be able to keep up.

And SesameCrunch, that bike is GORGEOUS
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Old 07-23-08, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mulleady View Post
SC, Snafu is more than happy to use her saw to create a Moulton style bike that separates into 2 halves for you lol! I notice the colour of the saw handle matches the frame on her Downtube FS
Yeah! We could pin the two halves together with this:



That would be way cheaper than buying a silly old Moulton, wouldn't it!
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Old 07-23-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
While I mean no offence to my fellow small wheel riders and I still riding my R20s and would give my back teeth...if I had any, to own a BF PRP, Moulton or even a Swift, I still feel that for very competitive insanely fast bunch rides my first choice is my Specialized roadie. Again, I stress that these rides are not for the fainthearted, pootlers or roadie wannabees, and after following Jur's diary of riding this past year or so, he is perhaps an exception to the rule, most others are not. I'm happy to invite Jur to come up here for a Sat morn bunch ride, bring the Swift, Jur, I'm sure you'll be able to keep up.

And SesameCrunch, that bike is GORGEOUS
Agreed. Keep in mind you have to keep a slightly higher cadence (especially at speed), to keep up with a smaller wheeled bike due to the rotating mass thing. Some folks (i.e. mashers) would probably not like that. I find myself having to tuck and spin somewhat more "vigorously" after 20mph. Horses for courses.

And there's no way I could hang with you Aussies. Are all of you sprinters with Guads of Steel???
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Old 07-23-08, 10:05 AM
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Hmmm, I have been pootling myself sick lately. Fitness is down, weight is up.
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Old 07-23-08, 11:07 AM
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seen a crash on You tube.

A tour de france racer hit a road sign
his carbon fibre bike was thrown in the air.
It broke in 2 bits
maybe he was wanting a folding bike
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Old 07-23-08, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by stevegor View Post
About a year ago I rode my modded R20 on a Sat morning bunch ride, you know the type, warm up for a few kms, then climbing, helter skelter attacks and sprints thrown in for fun. Some of the guys still race so the pace was high....and there I was, in the action...leading out sprints...chasing breaks...forcing the pace, but alas....it has now all come to an abrupt end

You see, I normally ride my Specialized roadie on these rides and I'm one of the stronger riders, but this last year has seen a big improvement in the overall fitness of the other riders, so last Sat morn when I turned up on my R20 I didn't take that fact into account. So how did I go?? Well, my breakfast came up 1/2 way through the ride I only did a few turns on the front and had the indignity of getting dropped on a fast section before a sprint, then I did a short cut, missing my favourite hill climb attack section, just so I could get back onto the bunch.....how did I feel for the rest of the weekend?? Stiff, sore and quite unwell

So what have I learnt?
1: I'm no longer the A-grade rider I was?, maybe.
2: That unless you are a very strong rider forget the R20s, Dahons, Swifts and other folders on serious bunch rides.
3: Buy a BF PRP if you want to ride small wheels fast.
Nice to hear some objective honesty.
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Old 07-23-08, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Simple Simon View Post
Nice to hear some objective honesty.
SS,


"Honesty is the best policy"
Seeing the shackles rise on small wheel riders when they're questioned about the 20"-16" size's ability to "keep up" with "normal" bikes is like observing SMS...small man syndrome. You know, it's the small man that always fights the hardest, just to prove he's a good as everyone else...or better, I should know, I have Duck's Disease as well.

To be perfectly honest, give me a SWB for commuting, pootling, fun rides and touring, but not for my fast rides.....unless anyone has some spare EPO to give away.
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Old 07-23-08, 05:28 PM
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After only having the 20 for about a week, I feel like I know it pretty well. I am confident in its ability to move quickly and with stability, but it can't keep up with the yuppies in tights. And I am totally cool with that. Nothing against Peter Pan and his crew, but I'll stick to pootling in my jeans. (you know what I mean)
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Old 07-23-08, 05:40 PM
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If I get dropped on my Swift, one thing I'm sure of, I'm won't be blaming the bike. On the Mini, the bike gets the blame.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jur View Post
If I get dropped on my Swift, one thing I'm sure of, I'm won't be blaming the bike. On the Mini, the bike gets the blame.

That makes good sense, Jur, we both know all things being equal....a light weight SWB set up with similar gear inches to a light roadie should be no different, but as you say...it's the engine driving it, not the bike.

What I should have said in the opening post was, I"m struggling on my heavy R20 with it's extra heavy SA 8 spd hub to keep up with the "Peter Pan crowd" on their ultra light C/F speedsters, heck!!, come to think of it...I did pretty darn good to stay with them at all ......wait until I get that BF PRP.
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Old 07-23-08, 07:20 PM
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SWB? Short wheel base?
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Old 07-23-08, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel View Post
SWB? Short wheel base?
Hello Huw,

SWB in my demented vocabulary = small wheeled bike.

When Jur refers to SWMBO.....well we all know that one.
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Old 07-23-08, 09:14 PM
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Make sure you talk to Rob English at Bike Friday. He'll set you straight as to the "limitations" when using a small wheeled bike.

https://rob.bikerevuk.com/mybikes/mybikes.html

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