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touring on folding bike tips: thread in folding bike forum....

Old 10-08-10, 09:17 AM
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touring on folding bike tips: thread in folding bike forum....

Hello tourers: for those of you with experience or interesting in touring on a folding/small wheel bike (Bike Friday NWT ? Dahon Speed TR ? Other ?) there is a thread for folder-touring specific tips and wrinkles in the folder forum here
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Old 10-08-10, 10:19 AM
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Thanks for sharing.

What's the longest you've gone on a folder bike? Any issues? They seem ideal for short trips while traveling for business.
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Old 10-08-10, 01:30 PM
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I did a 7 day credit card tour in Normandy last year, averaging 25 miles a day on a Dahon speed tr. It is designed for touring, but quite heavy. My Dad was on a Dawes galaxy, and I managed to keep up with him, just. He was 77 I was 52. The other custom design small wheel tourer I have seen on this forum is the New World Tourist from BF (Bike Friday). Advantages is that if you need to hop on a train or fold the bike in your tent it is more doable. Luggage wise I don't know - I fitted normal panniers, I think though, stuff on top of that - tents, for example, become more of a burden. I wonder about small wheel bikes longlastingness in comparison to a good full size tourer, but haven't seen any data or claims. Also, I think some parts are less common, and so if the bike breaks in say Mexico it may be bigger trouble... There are some reports on the folders forum, most recently from "Lucille" who did 3 weeks in France.
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Old 10-08-10, 01:35 PM
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Bravo. Goes to show one needs gumption more than equipment to tour. Well done.
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Old 10-08-10, 04:49 PM
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When I had my shop in Mendocino a German fellow came through on a folding 3spd with a medium sized back pack strapped on the steerer tube. "how was it going up the hill mtns?" "slow, but it's fast going down!"
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Old 10-08-10, 04:55 PM
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I've toured a lot on my Bike Friday NWT. The first 2 cyclists I encountered while touring in Laos were on a Bike Friday tandem. The next day, I encountered 2 more touring on NWT's. There are a lot of us out there.
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Old 10-08-10, 08:56 PM
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You all are inspiring.

Recently I picked up a used North Woods Metro Express folding bike off of Craigslist. First time dealing with one. The fit is not the best on this cheapie bike, but I was impressed by how comfortable the 20" tires ride. If one is willing to give up speed and carrying capacity, I can see it's totally doable for touring. Heck, people have toured on everything, from monocycles to Penny Farthings. It's more about the rider, the ingenuity and the fitness level.
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Old 10-09-10, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by safariofthemind
Thanks for sharing.

What's the longest you've gone on a folder bike? Any issues? They seem ideal for short trips while traveling for business.
People routinely take Bike Friday NWT the same places and distances as people on full sized tour bikes, with one huge advantage, they are easy to pack and ship.

I have done short weekend tours on my vintage Raleigh Twenty, longest single day ride so far has been ~45 miles, but that is typical of my normal touring days on a full sized bike.

BF Member Sixty Fiver has a modified Raleigh Twenty that he routinely rides on longer tours, IIRC some of his days exceed 150km.

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Old 10-09-10, 01:49 PM
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Carry Freedom City bike trailer . + the Brompton bike .. adding a Schlumpf Mountain Drive crankset ..

nice low gears in low range. I've just got a 3 speed in back
the new BWR half steps with 2 sprockets 13/15t on the hub ..

Trailer tows nicely , has a big bag slung inside the frame perimeter,

, take the bag out and the trailer folds its wheels into that space..

Easy to place another duffel bag on top for more space..
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Old 10-09-10, 04:50 PM
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I've set up my Bike Friday New World Tourist as a randonneur/tourer, with drop handlebars, a 30-42-54 triple*, an 11-28 8-speed cassette, front & rear racks, dynohub and LED headlight...it's pretty close to being a clone of my Surly Long Haul Trucker except for the small wheels. I did a 9-day, 250-mile tour on in in western Ireland this summer. Longest ride I've done so far is 45 miles or so. It's a real performance bike that happens to have small wheels.

*Since the wheels are smaller, this is about the equivalent of a 20-28-38 on a 700C bike. It gives me a gear inch range of about 20-90 inches, perfect for touring and pretty good for brevets.
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Old 10-10-10, 05:44 PM
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This isn't quite touring but it is intrepid enough for the touring forum, I guess. Our club did a weekend ride a few weeks ago. The start of the ride was about forty miles from the town we live in. My wife and I were sitting in a line of cars waiting for the 8:30a registration when a familiar Bike Friday Travel-Tikit (with 9 speeds plus internal hub) passed us. It was a fellow club member and when I met up with him I asked him where he had parked. He replied that he had ridden from home, starting at 4:30a and, since he couldn't use the freeway as we had in our car, had done at least 50 miles. After taking his breakfast he proceeded for another 60 miles on the club ride to the overnight hotel where he refueled on fluids, energy bars and ice cream. Then, rather than stay at the hotel, he rode another 20 miles or so to a friend's for the night. His total mileage for the day was about 130-140 miles.

The next morning he reappeared at the hotel for the 7:30a start and did again in reverse.
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Old 10-10-10, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by brianogilvie
I've set up my Bike Friday New World Tourist as a randonneur/tourer, with drop handlebars, a 30-42-54 triple*, an 11-28 8-speed cassette, front & rear racks, dynohub and LED headlight...it's pretty close to being a clone of my Surly Long Haul Trucker except for the small wheels. I did a 9-day, 250-mile tour on in in western Ireland this summer. Longest ride I've done so far is 45 miles or so. It's a real performance bike that happens to have small wheels
How's tire durability? Can you find good road tires like Panaracers or Marathons?
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Old 10-11-10, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by safariofthemind
How's tire durability? Can you find good road tires like Panaracers or Marathons?
I run Schwalbe Marathons on my Raleigh Twenty, so far I am around the 3,000 mile mark and they still look decent, the back is starting to show wear. In the 406 size I can buy just about any tire you can in a 700c. I would expect the smaller tires to wear a bit faster due to the smaller diameter and more revolutions per mile, but I saved money by not needing a bike rack to haul a full sized bike on.

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Old 10-11-10, 01:23 PM
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Brianogilvie, do you have any pictures of your setup? I'm building up a commuting/light touring/distance folder, and would be very interested in seeing what other people have done.
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Old 10-11-10, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by IanHelgesen
Brianogilvie, do you have any pictures of your setup? I'm building up a commuting/light touring/distance folder, and would be very interested in seeing what other people have done.
+1
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Old 10-18-10, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by IanHelgesen
Brianogilvie, do you have any pictures of your setup? I'm building up a commuting/light touring/distance folder, and would be very interested in seeing what other people have done.
I've got a set on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianog...7624445284705/

Quickly, since I have a meeting in 5 minutes: it's a custom New World Tourist with an 11-28 8-speed rear cassette, a front triple (30-42-54 Vuelta chainrings) and Microshift FD, SONdelux dynohub, Bike Friday front rack, Racktime Foldit rear rack, Brooks Flyer saddle, and Nitto Randonneur handlebars. If you have any other component questions, send me a pm or email brian@brianogilvie.net because I have a crazy week coming up and probably won't have much time for the forum.

I started out with Greenspeed Scorcher 40-406 tires, which didn't hold up to the rigors of touring on Irish roads. (I didn't have the kevlar-belted TR version, which was probably a mistake.) I now have Schwalbe Marathons.

Last edited by brianogilvie; 10-18-10 at 10:56 AM. Reason: added tire info
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Old 10-18-10, 05:30 PM
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Nice Ride Brian!

I am working towards getting a BF NWT and your set up is sweet.

I am thinking Shimano Alfine 8, possibly a Schlumph drive but the rest of the stuff will look a lot like your bike, but in RED.

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Old 10-19-10, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by gringo_gus
Advantages is that if you need to hop on a train...
Yep.
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Old 10-19-10, 09:42 PM
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Cool bike. Do you find the springs on the flyer to be worthwhile? I have a sprung Brooks on my 3-speed, but I'm uncertain whether it would be as useful on a drop-barred bike.
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Old 10-20-10, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by IanHelgesen
Cool bike. Do you find the springs on the flyer to be worthwhile? I have a sprung Brooks on my 3-speed, but I'm uncertain whether it would be as useful on a drop-barred bike.
I use a Flyer on my touring bikes and think the springs are helpful. I have found the springs take the edge off of bumps and seem to slightly dampen the road vibrations as compared to a non sprung B-17. I am a heavier rider at 215# they may not be as beneficial to a lighter rider. YMMV

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Old 10-23-10, 06:45 PM
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Just found this thread. Yes, we went through France using trains and our New World Tourists, starting in Normandy all the way down to Languedoc-Roussilon and finishing in Provence. 740 kms on the bikes with way too much luggage, they did great! Having traveled (and struggled) with full sized bikes packed in boxes before, I must say that folding bike for travel wins hands down.
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