Touring on folders

For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS

Touring on folders

Postby jet-ski » Thu Nov 18, 2010 4:33 pm

The airlines have gotten more and more scabby with their baggage allowances. My partner and I are heading to Europe around TDF time to do some touring around Europe. We will probably be travelling fairly light though we will probably camp and stealth camp, but we're not going to be carrying much in the way of food etc.

I have a Long Haul Trucker which I've built up for Australian heavy-expedition type touring and commuting. I was going to take the trucker on the Europe tour, but my partner doesn't have a bike suitable for touring yet (unless we want to swap some gears on her Giant CRX2 which is also doable)

Anyway it occurred to me that perhaps for Europe a folder would be a good choice. Good roads, no need to carry provisions, etc etc, and easier to stash away somewhere secure at night time?

Has anyone toured on folders? Recommendations in terms of wheel size and brand?
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by BNA » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:23 pm

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Re: Touring on folders

Postby jet-ski » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:23 pm

Specifically I'm looking at a Bike Friday pocket sport with the travelcase/trailer system:

http://community.bikefriday.com/Folding/Overview

Looks totally awesome for any trip that involves planes/buses/trains.
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:32 pm

Watch your weight. Most airlines from Oz have 20 or 23 kg checked limits and a packed BF case with trailer kit isn't far off that. Combine that with camping kit and limited options as to what you can put in your carry-on and excess baggage charges are on the cards.

The BF trailer can 'drum' if not carefully packed. That gets old after a while.

I'd probably go with the NWT to allow wider tyres, useful with unsuspended small wheels.
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby jet-ski » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:43 pm

Well the folders are going to weigh a teeny bit less than my LHT (not much, though!) so the weight is going to be an issue no matter what bike we take. Noted about the wider tyres. Are folders slower/harder work/ do they fail? Are BF's really that easy to fold? By 'drum' do you mean stuff bounces around and makes a lot of noise?
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby avalon » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:20 pm

Have you considered a Moulton. I know several people who have given up conventional bikes after riding one.
Don't know if they are available here in Australia but you could probably buy one when you get there and ship it back.
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby jet-ski » Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:06 pm

I will check Moultons out. I am a bit nervous about buying a bike over there to tour on without any introduction period, otherwise I'd probably just buy something, anything, when we get there... me being a whole 5'3 also affects what bike will fit me ;) Problem is it seems that there isn't much available in Australia apart from Dahon.
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:35 pm

Bike Fridays vary, the Tikits fold fast, the rest are packable rather than easily foldable.
The BF trailer can amplify road noise + bouncing contents if badly packed.

Michael Kater can supply Moultons in Oz, Google for contact details.
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby jet-ski » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:43 pm

I really like the Tikit, I would probably ride it every day in summer so that I could just fold it up and bring it up to my office. I think the bike cage is getting worse and worse and there's no room to expand it!

BF have a 24 speed version which is something like $1700. The only disadvantage I can see for touring is the rougher ride of the 16" wheels. It's not going to be a hard core tour across the desert though I'm sure that some days will be longish. I don't think we'd do much over 100ks in a day though. I don't plan to go off road much, though we probably will ride along the Rhine and I remember those paths being gravel tracks... :P I am a lighter/smaller rider and I don't generate all that much power so I'm sure the Tikit will withstand it ;)

I wonder about a dynamo for the front? With the smaller wheels, there are more revolutions per a given distance hence it would generate maximum power at a lower speed than a 26" or 700c wheel, is this right?
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Re: Touring on folders

Postby LittleWheelsandBig » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:28 am

If you are talking about dynohubs, small wheels mean full power at a lower speed, not so for tyre or rim dynamos. Son do make a dynohub specifically for small wheels.
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