Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Folding Bikes
Reload this Page >

Your longest ride on a folder?

Notices
Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

Your longest ride on a folder?

Old 06-11-14, 02:00 PM
  #1  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Your longest ride on a folder?

I'm very interested in buying a Brompton, but afraid that the 16 inch wheels and sitting my 6-foot 190-pound frame on a long-necked seat post for long rides will turn into torture. However, I get the idea from lurking in this forum for awhile that most riders are far more comfortable on their folders than I'm imagining. What's your experience with long rides, especially on 16 inch wheels and especially on a Brompton? I'm also interested in non-Brompton experiences. Are any tall, big guys finding them to be comfortable for long rides?

I've been reading a lot about the performance of the various folders, but haven't seen much written about comfort on long rides. I'm riding about 20-30 miles per day, with longer rides on weekends, and it's mostly road riding, although I do have to go off-road occasionally.

The reason I'm interested in the Brompton is the ability to fold it into an airlines-approved suitcase without taking it apart. I do a lot of air travel, and would like to just grab it and take it with me. My clothes and laptop are usually in my carry-on bags, so the Brompton could go for free in a checked bag (I get free checked luggage on Southwest - 62 inches, 50 pounds).

Thanks!
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 02:19 PM
  #2  
bargainguy
Senior Member
 
bargainguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Trekland
Posts: 1,911
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 45 Posts
Is there any way you can test ride a Brommie first? Folding bike fit is such an individual thing, you may like or hate the riding position.

I have a Brompton M3L and a boatload of other folders. The Brommie would be first choice only if I wanted to travel with the smallest footprint. Riding position is not ideal for me - I'm 5'4 and the bars are too far away and too high.

I would reach for my Bike Friday Air Glide w/suspension beam for all-day comfort. I don't mind the time spent packing and unpacking because the ride more than makes up for it.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
airglide.jpg (96.2 KB, 138 views)
bargainguy is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 02:50 PM
  #3  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Is there any way you can test ride a Brommie first? Folding bike fit is such an individual thing, you may like or hate the riding position.

I have a Brompton M3L and a boatload of other folders. The Brommie would be first choice only if I wanted to travel with the smallest footprint. Riding position is not ideal for me - I'm 5'4 and the bars are too far away and too high.

I would reach for my Bike Friday Air Glide w/suspension beam for all-day comfort. I don't mind the time spent packing and unpacking because the ride more than makes up for it.

That Air Glide is amazing! I don't see it for sale on the Bike Friday site. Is that a discontinued bike? What's the longest ride you've taken it on?
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 03:28 PM
  #4  
bargainguy
Senior Member
 
bargainguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Trekland
Posts: 1,911
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 378 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 45 Posts
Yes, unfortunately, BF discontinued the Air Friday, Air Glide and Air Llama models awhile ago. Something having to do with inability to further source the titanium beams - couldn't get the same rate or quality if memory serves. The Air models are still available on the used market, though.

Longest ride on the AG was about 70 mi. It's an interesting experience. First of all, you wind up bobbing along if you don't smooth out your pedal stroke as with any beam bike - Softride road bikes with the carbon beam come to mind.

Second, it feels as if you're not necessarily riding directly on whatever road surface, but more like a separate chassis atop it. The overall effect is isolation from road bumps but not the feeling of being disconnected from the road. Makes riding on rough surfaces much less rattling. That 70 mi. ride felt more like 10-15 mi. on my nonsprung bikes. If I were doing cobblestones in Europe, this would be the ride.

Sometimes when I switch back to this bike, I find myself "bracing for impact" on rough roads just out of habit for awhile, then I settle down and realize I don't have to do that!

Last edited by bargainguy; 06-11-14 at 03:32 PM.
bargainguy is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 03:45 PM
  #5  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bargainguy View Post
Yes, unfortunately, BF discontinued the Air Friday, Air Glide and Air Llama models awhile ago. Something having to do with inability to further source the titanium beams - couldn't get the same rate or quality if memory serves. The Air models are still available on the used market, though.

Longest ride on the AG was about 70 mi. It's an interesting experience. First of all, you wind up bobbing along if you don't smooth out your pedal stroke as with any beam bike - Softride road bikes with the carbon beam come to mind.

Second, it feels as if you're not necessarily riding directly on whatever road surface, but more like a separate chassis atop it. The overall effect is isolation from road bumps but not the feeling of being disconnected from the road. Makes riding on rough surfaces much less rattling. That 70 mi. ride felt more like 10-15 mi. on my nonsprung bikes. If I were doing cobblestones in Europe, this would be the ride.

Sometimes when I switch back to this bike, I find myself "bracing for impact" on rough roads just out of habit for awhile, then I settle down and realize I don't have to do that!
Remarkable! The geometry looks much better too, with the angled top tube. Looks much more comfortable than sitting so high up on an extended seat post.
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 03:54 PM
  #6  
bhkyte
Senior Member
 
bhkyte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: York UK
Posts: 3,027

Bikes: 2X dualdrive Mezzo folder,plus others

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 106 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I fitted a brommie with a dahon stem extender and home made bullbars. The riding position was great like a road race bike and folded the same as a standard brommie. Have a look at the thread if it's off interest.

I agree with the comment try the bike out as you may hate the standard brompton ( or other bike) riding position.
Test rides recommended for compact folders always.
Sound like you may want to also consider a bike Friday or a birdie.
bhkyte is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 04:22 PM
  #7  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bhkyte View Post
I fitted a brommie with a dahon stem extender and home made bullbars. The riding position was great like a road race bike and folded the same as a standard brommie. Have a look at the thread if it's off interest.

I agree with the comment try the bike out as you may hate the standard brompton ( or other bike) riding position.
Test rides recommended for compact folders always.
Sound like you may want to also consider a bike Friday or a birdie.
Thanks! The Brompton adjustments with the extender and bullbars sounds intriguing.

My first concern is that the bike quickly and easily fold into a standard airline-size suitcase, and I don't know of many besides the Brompton that will do that. I've read the claims on the Birdie, but the reality seems to be that there's a bit more dis-assembly required to fit it into the suitcase. Let me know if I'm wrong on that. Also, from what I've read, the Birdie has more ride issues due to it's unusual hinge/suspension system. Once again, please correct me if I'm wrong - I haven't ridden one.
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 06:54 PM
  #8  
fusilierdan
Senior Member
 
fusilierdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 320

Bikes: Giant TCRC2 2007, Dahon MU P8 2012, GT Avalance 2011

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a Dahon MU P8 that I've been on 75 mile ride with. Most of my rides on it average around 30 miles. I'm 5'5" 150 lbs.
Packing it for travel takes about 20 minutes on either end of the trip. I don't do much to protect the frame from scratches which saves some time.

I'd also recommend test riding a bike first if possible. Also check out the suitcases. My wife's case is different than mine and so the bike fits different (same model as mine)
fusilierdan is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 07:44 PM
  #9  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fusilierdan View Post
I have a Dahon MU P8 that I've been on 75 mile ride with. Most of my rides on it average around 30 miles. I'm 5'5" 150 lbs.
Packing it for travel takes about 20 minutes on either end of the trip. I don't do much to protect the frame from scratches which saves some time.

I'd also recommend test riding a bike first if possible. Also check out the suitcases. My wife's case is different than mine and so the bike fits different (same model as mine)
Thanks! I really like the Dahon MU P8 - very nice looking, and you get a loaded bike with high quality components at such a good price. What do you dis-assemble to fit yours into the suitcase? Just take off the wheels, or is it more extensive?
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 08:21 PM
  #10  
BWP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For what it's worth:

On a Dahon Helios: about 35 miles
On a Bike Friday Tikit: about 75 miles
On a Bike Friday Silk: about 120 miles

On the Helios, constrained by the fit -- it's just not big enough to be comfortable for me on a long ride
On the Tikit, constrained by weight and stance -- it's a great commuter but for hills and wind I don't have it set up right
On the Silk, constrained by my fitness... I wouldn't hesitate to plan much longer rides if I were in better condition
BWP is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 08:38 PM
  #11  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BWP View Post
For what it's worth:

On a Dahon Helios: about 35 miles
On a Bike Friday Tikit: about 75 miles
On a Bike Friday Silk: about 120 miles

On the Helios, constrained by the fit -- it's just not big enough to be comfortable for me on a long ride
On the Tikit, constrained by weight and stance -- it's a great commuter but for hills and wind I don't have it set up right
On the Silk, constrained by my fitness... I wouldn't hesitate to plan much longer rides if I were in better condition
On the Silk, if it weren't so expensive it could be more intriguing to me. Incredible components. I notice you are still sitting up on a very long extended seat post - is that a comfortable enough position for you for such long distances? I guess it must be - I should try one out.
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-11-14, 09:39 PM
  #12  
BWP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As far as I know, the fundamental geometries of the Silk models and those of bikes in Bike Friday's Pocket range (which includes some less expensive models) are the same. If I pay attention, it feels like the long seat post has a modest vibration damping benefit relative to a regular road bike... mostly I don't notice or think about it!
BWP is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 06:27 AM
  #13  
cplager
The Recumbent Quant
 
cplager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fairfield, CT
Posts: 3,080

Bikes: 2012 Cruzbike Sofrider, 2013 Cruzigami Mantis, 2016 Folding CruziTandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by BWP View Post
As far as I know, the fundamental geometries of the Silk models and those of bikes in Bike Friday's Pocket range (which includes some less expensive models) are the same. If I pay attention, it feels like the long seat post has a modest vibration damping benefit relative to a regular road bike... mostly I don't notice or think about it!
Bike Friday is good at striving towards what I think folding bikes should be:

A bike that fits the rider that happens to fold (or pack).

I've got two bikes, one folds, one doesn't. The fit is almost identical between the two. It also happens that my longest ride is on my folder.
cplager is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 08:40 AM
  #14  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,700

Bikes: Downtube 8H, Surly Troll

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 19 Posts
I feel like a comfortable ride is more about where your seat, pedals, and handlebars are in relation to each other. The fact that there's more seatpost on a small-wheeled bike never seemed to be an issue with me. Although I do think smaller wheels may let you feel the bumps better, but I only find that to be an issue when I'm on gravel.

I just took a several day trip on my Raleigh Twenty. Longest day was about 70 miles. There were some saddle sores associated with that trip, but the same is true of long days on my full-sized touring bike. Still, all things being equal, my Long Haul Trucker is a more comfortable ride. But my Raleigh Twenty did just fine, and had the added bonus of packing up into a suitcase at the beginning and end of my trip.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
airportTwenty.jpg (99.7 KB, 108 views)
Rob_E is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 08:45 AM
  #15  
Northwestrider
Senior Member
 
Northwestrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 2,466

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Dahon Mu P 24 , Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Rodriguez Tandem, Wheeler MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 31 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
60 miles on my Dahon Mu P24, quite comfortable miles, although I should change out the stock saddle to achieve more comfort
Northwestrider is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 09:35 AM
  #16  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,239
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 659 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Here's my '94 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket at the end of a 90 mile day on a camping trip to Yosemite Park last year:
photo | EveryTrail

Agree with the comments above that the fit of the bike (i.e. relative position of hands/feet/seat) is what's important and that is essentially the same on my folder as on my other road bikes. Mine does require some disassembly for packing, but compared to all the other preparations for a trip the 20 minute packing time seems pretty trivial.
prathmann is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 12:27 PM
  #17  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Here's my '94 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket at the end of a 90 mile day on a camping trip to Yosemite Park last year:
photo | EveryTrail

Agree with the comments above that the fit of the bike (i.e. relative position of hands/feet/seat) is what's important and that is essentially the same on my folder as on my other road bikes. Mine does require some disassembly for packing, but compared to all the other preparations for a trip the 20 minute packing time seems pretty trivial.
Your pictures are wonderful - what a great trip! Well, if you can do that much climbing comfortably, I guess I shouldn't worry about seat-post height.

You've convinced me. Now all I have to do is the hard part - test ride as many as possible and pick one. Looks like there are a lot of good choices out there.
andyprough is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 08:25 PM
  #18  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,775

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Liked 36 Times in 26 Posts
Checked in my Brompton in a cardboard box by New York City.
Landed in Los Angeles; threw the box and rode 50 miles to Anaheim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNuu...6zPoymgKaIoDLA

Largest ride in the US - over 32,000 riders on a 40 mile route.
Probably did over 50 if I include the miles it took me to get to the start and get home:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmFU...aIoDLA&index=3
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 06-12-14, 10:17 PM
  #19  
andyprough
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
andyprough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 284

Bikes: Motobecane

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
Largest ride in the US - over 32,000 riders on a 40 mile route.
Probably did over 50 if I include the miles it took me to get to the start and get home:
Nice videos! One thing I love about the Brompton is the community.

Here's one of the World Brompton Championship in at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in the UK. How many other folding bikes have their own World championship, preceded by national championships in 15 different countries attended by thousands of riders?

andyprough is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 05:52 AM
  #20  
fusilierdan
Senior Member
 
fusilierdan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Rockland County, NY
Posts: 320

Bikes: Giant TCRC2 2007, Dahon MU P8 2012, GT Avalance 2011

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The link I had to instructions for folding no longer works. Wheels come off, pedals, rear derailluer, seat post comes out and handle bar stem comes out. None of the cables or chain are diconnected. I put pipe insulation on the seat and stem, wrap the chain and sproket in a plastic bag, put a shower cap on the free wheel.

On my wifes bike the kickstand comes off so it fits in the case. We've been on three trips so far with them. Well worth it.
fusilierdan is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 06:54 AM
  #21  
LWaB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Auld Blighty
Posts: 2,240

Bikes: Early Cannondale tandem, '99 S&S Frezoni Audax, '65 Moulton Stowaway, '52 Claud Butler, TSR30, Brompton

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I thought we'd done this topic before but couldn't find it.

Longest ride on a folder - Dunwich Dynamo about a decade ago. Around 220km including from/to train stations at both ends. No major discomfort from riding my Brompton. I'm another 6 footer.

Longest ride on separable bikes - 2 x PBP Randonneur 1200km and LEL 1400km on Moulton TSR30, 1 x PBP on Moulton Stowaway Duomatic, Mille Miglia 1600km on S&S-coupled Frezoni.

Last edited by LWaB; 06-13-14 at 10:14 PM.
LWaB is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 09:21 AM
  #22  
Azreal911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 922

Bikes: Wheeler Mtn bike, Strida 5.0, Tern Link Uno, FSIR Spin 2.0, Dahon Mu P8

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
longest ride on a Tern Link Uno

115Miles in one day.
Azreal911 is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 11:32 AM
  #23  
wilfried
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: The Big City
Posts: 619

Bikes: Brompton M3L, Tern Verge P20, Citi Bike

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
My longest rides on a Brompton have been round about 60 miles, with no major discomfort. I'm contemplating a century, but I don't know when that will happen. YMMV though, as at 5'6", I find Brompton geometry fits me pretty well, and the saddle is pretty comfortable as well. I don't see how a long seatpost by itself would affect comfort, as opposed to where it is in relation to the pedals or handlebars. The Brompton is more comfortable than a friend's road bike (and the seat is agony after a couple of hours). It may not fit me exactly, but then he's just a bit bigger and he says it's a bit small. It's more efficient, so it's easier to go longer and faster, but my Brompton is easier on my body.
wilfried is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 03:42 PM
  #24  
jur
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 7,391
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 318 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ead-first.html

Last q&a 1st post.
jur is offline  
Old 06-13-14, 10:11 PM
  #25  
LWaB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Auld Blighty
Posts: 2,240

Bikes: Early Cannondale tandem, '99 S&S Frezoni Audax, '65 Moulton Stowaway, '52 Claud Butler, TSR30, Brompton

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...lding-day.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dista...s-brevets.html

https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bi...ce-riding.html
LWaB is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.