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Panniers for Folding Bicycles?

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Panniers for Folding Bicycles?

Old 11-11-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
...

I saw one of those over a decade ago. Had to stop to take a photo of it, it was so unusual.



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Old 11-11-23, 11:10 PM
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Very well. This started off life as a Tern Link D8. Tern also make a Link D7i, which is fitted with a Shimano Nexus 7 speed hub gear rather than a 1x8 derailleur setup originally found on a Link D8.



The rear rack is a Blackburn BD-1 - like a Dahon Traveller rack, it’s tall enough but more importantly set back enough for sufficient heel clearance for a pair of rather large Carradice 26l rear panniers. The latter factor is probably more important when looking for a rack for a folder. We’ve also found that the Tern Cargo rack can take large shorter panniers well and clearance around derailleurs isn’t really a problem. The Tern Spartan low rider rack also fitted above is designed to take smaller panniers up front.

Other more traditional luggage options for folders include saddle bags, rack top bags, and Rixen and Kaul compatible bar bags clipped on a Tern Luggage Truss which bolts to the head tube of many folding bikes (seen here with a small LowePro camera bag fitted with a R&K plate and used for tools).

For flying purposes, I use a folding bike bag off eBay that packs down into itself when not in use. For longer haul destinations I would probably line it with cardboard for extra protection and unscrew the derailleur, but on domestic flights the bag alone has been fine.
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Old 11-12-23, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
You're kind of right that it matters less these days...
Yep. And the proliferation since 1992 of quality folding bikes and S&S Coupler/Ritchey Break-Away/Rinko bikes makes a BikeFriday less of a thing, too.

So I think folders still have their benefits.
Strictly hypothetical: If your tour starts in a major transportation hub, say, Denver, you fly to Denver.

But let's say your tour starts in Wall, South Dakota*. Fly to Denver. Transfer to Denver Air Connect's smaller aircraft and fly to Pierre. Transfer to a Jefferson Bus Lines motor coach to Wall.

Hmm. Folding bike. Hmm.


*Wall, SD is on Adventure Cycling's Parks, Peaks and Prairies route. Heading west from Wall, one would tour the Badlands, the Black Hills, Devil's Tower, the Bighorn Mountains and Yellowstone NP.
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Old 11-13-23, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
...
*Wall, SD is on Adventure Cycling's Parks, Peaks and Prairies route. Heading west from Wall, one would tour the Badlands, the Black Hills, Devil's Tower, the Bighorn Mountains and Yellowstone NP.
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Old 11-14-23, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Given that and the newer policies of airlines eliminating oversize charges for bikes...
Groucho Marx said he visited his friend W.C. Fields' home in the early 1940s. Mr. Fields had (according to Groucho) ~$30000USD of liquor stored. Groucho said, "Bill, what all this? We haven't had prohibition in over ten years." W.C. Fields replied, "It might...come back."
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Old 11-15-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Groucho Marx said he visited his friend W.C. Fields' home in the early 1940s. Mr. Fields had (according to Groucho) ~$30000USD of liquor stored. Groucho said, "Bill, what all this? We haven't had prohibition in over ten years." W.C. Fields replied, "It might...come back."
There were a couple comments that may miss my point possibly using a larger than 62" case. My point wasn't that I didn't want/need to use the folder. It was only that I didn't need to jam it into the 62" case which for this particular folding bike (an older helios) is a fairly major effort. It seems to me as if it would make sense to have a larger bag that this bike could be just folded and dropped in. No muss no fuss. Why bother going to the trouble packing it in the oyster case? Additionally I always worry that the TSA would never get it back in the oyster case. I included detailed instructions with pictures, but I always worried they'd damage it as getting it in the case as that was tricky.

I could always go back to the 62" case when/if that was needed in the future for this bike if an airline required it. I could also choose to get a bike with a smaller fold, but I don't have enough interest in the folder at this time to upgrade when the current one is doing the job and only seeing minimal use.
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Old 11-15-23, 06:21 AM
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This is how I've rolled on a tour of Bali and a full cross-country tour the width and length of South Korea. Rack on the head-tube luggage truss with a dry bag containing all your gear. Saddle bag with tubes and tools. To schlepp more stuff, I'd get a large bike packing bag attached to the saddle.



.

.
Incidentally, here's the steed on the AREX train from Incheon airport to Seoul central. Only folding bikes allowed onboard! Which is a real shame for those with non folding bikes cuz the train is fast, inexpensive, clean, efficient and drops you off in the heart of Seoul.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 11-16-23 at 04:39 AM.
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Old 11-15-23, 08:50 AM
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Ron, given your penchant for photo locations, I would suggest packing more spare tubes.
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Old 11-15-23, 04:09 PM
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Same fundamental approach in Taiwan



Now, the weight limit on the Dahon/Tern type luggage truss is 7kg so your gotta be willing and able to travel fast and light. For me, that's my preferred mode of bike travel so it works out. On my three-week cross-Korea tour, for example, I schlepped only 4kg total.

Steel folders often feature the London type luggage mount with a ​10kg capacity. One such example.


Last edited by Ron Damon; 11-19-23 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 11-15-23, 06:23 PM
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A slightly different approach to a folding bicycle: Farfold / Alpaca Bikes: Long distance bikes that fold (http link not https)

Note: I am related to the inventor.
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Old 11-15-23, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
Ron, given your penchant for photo locations, I would suggest packing more spare tubes.
Thanks for the smart suggestion, bro. On my last tour, I carried three spare tubes but needed none. 💪🏽
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Old 11-15-23, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Thanks for the smart suggestion, bro. On my last tour, I carried three spare tubes but needed none. 💪🏽
You know I'm just being a smart ass--all the cactus made me laugh with your bike right beside them.
I've ridden in Mexico with tons of cacti and couldn't believe I didn't get any flats. Thorns stuck in a few times but luckily noticed them and pulled them out before they got through.
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Old 11-15-23, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
You know I'm just being a smart ass--all the cactus made me laugh with your bike right beside them.
I've ridden in Mexico with tons of cacti and couldn't believe I didn't get any flats. Thorns stuck in a few times but luckily noticed them and pulled them out before they got through.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Those cacti 🌵 pics are off the front gate of my house in Bali. And they are domesticated cactus for home landscaping with not a single spine or needle on them. You can rub them up and down with your bare hand without consequence. 💪🏽💪🏽
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Old 11-15-23, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
I'll let you in on a little secret. Those cacti 🌵 pics are off the front gate of my house in Bali. And they are domesticated cactus for home landscaping with not a single spine or needle on them. You can rub them up and down with your bare hand without consequence. 💪🏽💪🏽
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Interesting, and funny too.
I had no idea there are cacti without spines/needles.
In little stores in Mexico one can buy pieces of cacti with the spines macheteed off, and you sort of fry the inner bit after you cut off all the tough green outer skin. I'm pretty certain I had some in a meal at an eaterie once, it was like a lot of cooked root vegetables, I liked it.
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Old 11-15-23, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
Interesting, and funny too.
I had no idea there are cacti without spines/needles.
In little stores in Mexico one can buy pieces of cacti with the spines macheteed off, and you sort of fry the inner bit after you cut off all the tough green outer skin. I'm pretty certain I had some in a meal at an eaterie once, it was like a lot of cooked root vegetables, I liked it.
Yeah...having lived in Mexico and visited earlier this year, I have never been a fan of nopales. Mexico has great food, but the nopal ain't an example of that.


Dessert dweller food. No thanks.

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Old 11-15-23, 10:35 PM
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I have a pretty vague memory of eating it, I think it was in slices on a plate, kind of like a veggie add on. Not a strong taste I don't think.
I just remember pricking my finger on some chopped cacti bits with a bit of a spine still in it at a store once.
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Old 11-16-23, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
I'll let you in on a little secret. Those cacti 🌵 pics are off the front gate of my house in Bali. And they are domesticated cactus for home landscaping with not a single spine or needle on them. You can rub them up and down with your bare hand without consequence. 💪🏽💪🏽
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A similar species are popular here in Tallahassee. Most of ours have thorns, but they various subspecies range from aggressive thorns to small almost non existant thorns to none. We have some with the aggressive thorns. They put out pretty blooms at night. The blooms last one night and close in the morning. Once in a while (rarely) ours have produced an edible fruit. Our cacti were pretty badly damaged by a unusually hard freeze last winter, but still bloomed this year. You can see the 1/2" thorns in the picture.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Yeah...having lived in Mexico and visited earlier this year, I have never been a fan of nopales. Mexico has great food, but the nopal ain't an example of that.
I like nopales a lot. They have a mild but pleasant flavor and add a bit of texture to some Mexican dishes. Now that I think about it, the same can be said for chapulines.
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Old 11-17-23, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
I like nopales a lot. They have a mild but pleasant flavor and add a bit of texture to some Mexican dishes. Now that I think about it, the same can be said for chapulines.
Hi ax.
I love, love chapulines, I got addicted to them and always bought bags of them wherever I could. Loved the really spicy ones. They gradually petered out as I got more north heading up to DF ish area, but don't recall when they were no longer sold in mercados.
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Old 11-17-23, 01:18 PM
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Apologies for deviating from the current tasty direction but I have a question about lateral stability of these folding bicycles.
I have seen a few on occasions and assumed them to be a convenient in-town ride for commuters who might take trains to work.
Touring on them would mean that they must hold up much better than my assumption…
Thanks for your input.
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Old 11-17-23, 02:27 PM
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Lateral stability? They’re fine. Modern folders have stiff handleposts, particularly when they’re single piece and not telescopic, and the seatposts are stiff enough to take a heavy saddlebag. Folding bikes are often seen in North America and Europe as being a commuter device for the last mile, but they get used for far more than that, particularly in Asia where apartment life makes them easier to store. Folding bike touring is definitely a thing!
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Old 11-17-23, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Apologies for deviating from the current tasty direction but I have a question about lateral stability of these folding bicycles.
I have seen a few on occasions and assumed them to be a convenient in-town ride for commuters who might take trains to work.
Touring on them would mean that they must hold up much better than my assumption…
Thanks for your input.
There's a big difference between folders. A folder like a Bike Friday New World Tourist, which is designed for serious touring, rides very much like a "regular" touring bike including when loaded with panniers. They've been around for a long time and have an outstanding reputation for taking on serious tours, as I've done. It doesn't feel much different from my old Bridgestone RB-T touring bike, and that includes "lateral stability".

eta: My Bike Friday is great for riding around town. It's not so great, however, for folding and taking on public transport because it remains unwieldy when folded.

Many other folders are indeed ok for riding around town and have a better quick-fold which is useful for taking on public transport. I've ridden a Brompton as well as 2 different Dahon models. The Brompton is a nice folder though it felt quite different from my Bike Friday or non-folding full-size Bridgestone RB-T, and that was without panniers on the Brompton. The 2 Dahon models I rode (I don't recall the models) were absolute crap.

Last edited by axolotl; 11-17-23 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
Hi ax.
I love, love chapulines, I got addicted to them and always bought bags of them wherever I could. Loved the really spicy ones. They gradually petered out as I got more north heading up to DF ish area, but don't recall when they were no longer sold in mercados.
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That's right. Chapulines and other critters are a southern cultural thing that begins to peter out north of the valley of Mexico. In that regard, Mexico City can be considered a cultural transition zone. Yet another reason to recommend that fantastic metropolis is the Mercado de San Juan which is the epicenter of edible bugs, critters and arachnids, and dishes cooked from such.
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Old 11-17-23, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
Apologies for deviating from the current tasty direction but I have a question about lateral stability of these folding bicycles.
I have seen a few on occasions and assumed them to be a convenient in-town ride for commuters who might take trains to work.
Touring on them would mean that they must hold up much better than my assumption…
Thanks for your input.
Time to check your assumption. A good, modern folder can withstand the rigors of touring (day in and day out loaded riding for hours over uncertain terrain), let alone commuting.


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I've never ridden a BF, but they look like well made, competent bikes. And well they should be, given their frankly extravagant prices. At those prices, I'd expect nothing less. But I am here to tell you that in many instances your can save your money, and you need not pay through the nose for a folder made in Oregon or London. There are other, much less expensive, more affordable, yet capable platforms. I know this from personal experience for I've ridden a few. This steel rig, for example, costs about $500-600 to build here in Asia. It's gonna have a cushier, more compliant ride due to the fattish, lower pressure tires, wider gearing, lower weight, lower cost and zero difficult-to-source proprietary components than a folder made in London. 90kg weight limit, though.


Tight & taut with slick shifting 10-speed, 11-36T Shimano Zee/SLX drivetrain

Last edited by Ron Damon; 11-19-23 at 04:56 AM.
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Old 11-17-23, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
There's a big difference between folders. A folder like a Bike Friday New World Tourist, which is designed for serious touring, rides very much like a "regular" touring bike including when loaded with panniers. They've been around for a long time and have an outstanding reputation for taking on serious tours, as I've done. It doesn't feel much different from my old Bridgestone RB-T touring bike, and that includes "lateral stability".

eta: My Bike Friday is great for riding around town. It's not so great, however, for folding and taking on public transport because it remains unwieldy when folded.

Many other folders are indeed ok for riding around town and have a better quick-fold which is useful for taking on public transport. I've ridden a Brompton as well as 2 different Dahon models. The Brompton is a nice folder though it felt quite different from my Bike Friday or non-folding full-size Bridgestone RB-T, and that was without panniers on the Brompton. The 2 Dahon models I rode (I don't recall the models) were absolute crap.
Thank you for the information - both of you.

I have not been keeping up with all the newer models or even technologies.
I already have too many bicycles (according to my wife) so I have slowed way down on buying more. Every so often, I do tweak one or the other for either real or imagined reasons.

One of these days, I’ll go to a local bike shop just look… that’s how it always starts. 😉
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