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Old 19-03-2014, 12:13   #31
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

We have a pair of Dahon Mariners (20" wheels, folding, 6 speed derailleurs). I keep them in nylon bags made by Dahon, and I lash them to the pulpit. We have a center cockpit boat so there is room on the aft deck. The bags make it easy to lift them in and out of the dinghy both from the boat and on to land. The bikes have Dahon nylon handlebar bags with zipper tops--great for things about the size of two six packs, maybe a little larger. There is a rack on the back to which things can be lashed with a bungee cord, and I'm sure one could find saddle bags for the rear rack.
We have used the bikes all over the Chesapeake and New England. Great for getting around a town for errands, and the gears make it much easier on hills and going distances. While the bikes have derailleurs, the shifting mechanism is a flipper moved by one's thumb--could not be easier. Clicks into the next gear like the Sturmey Archer three speeds. Much easier than the "feel-y" system of the old style derailleurs.
The bikes are not inexpensive, but I got pair at the annual "sell unused stuff" sale at our marina. Pretty much brand new.
There are a number of brands, but what I like about the Mariner Dahon brand is the use of aluminum or stainless components. Check carefully. A friend bought a pair for sale at a Marine parts store and most of the components (rims, brake calipers, seat tube, handlebars all the nuts and screws) were ferrous. That means they will rust and corrode if scraped and the nuts/bolts will become almost impossible to take off or adjust w/o a decent tool box. Not what you want to have to carry around! And we're talking just a fee days in rain and salt water cruising to watch the rust take charge. Once a year I'll strip and lubricate the Dahons. The bikes cost more because the components are aluminum, but the more expensive bikes with such components are largely maintenance free. Worth it, in my view.
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Old 19-03-2014, 12:39   #32
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

I just sold my 16" SS Dahon folders. I'd definitely want at least 3 speeds, and I think the derailers are too fragile. I've ridden them over 25 miles a day. One comment-the rims got too hot from braking down Manua Loa in Maui, and I had to stop and let them cool off--there's a lot less surface area on a 16" rim.
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Old 19-03-2014, 13:39   #33
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

Watch yourself if you see a West Marine Jetty Express II or Port Runner II...

They have a recall out for them, as they can break in half.

West Marine Recalls Folding Bicycles; Frames Can Break Causing Riders to Fall | CPSC.gov
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Old 19-03-2014, 14:02   #34
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Im modifying my fold up e bike to put out 750w so I can escape from angry natives
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Old 19-03-2014, 16:43   #35
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

As a bike guy just make certain that whatever bike you get you can adjust the seat so that on your downward stroke on the pedals that your leg is nearly extended. Also, if you have 30psi in your tires your almost halfway there. Keep those tires inflated to their max and your rides will be very much easier. Get a good quality tire pump. You can use them for lots of different things.
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Old 19-03-2014, 16:56   #36
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pirate Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

Good tips. I'm amused at all the recreational, read casual, riders tooling around with their saddles too low. And on a 40# "cool" beach cruiser with soft tires, that just takes the fun out of it.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:16   #37
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

@bluecrab - I see it all the time on the local trail and even some of the local century rides. The Seagull century has provided a number of "How can you ride like that." Moments. Oh and squeaky bottom brackets and derailleurs.

Granted I see some on brevets too. Though more often than not you find fast "roadies" that burn themselves out in the first 100 miles and wind up dragging or walking the last 25 miles or doing a DNF on the longer ones. Though I've never seen one on a 400 or 600k. Those tend to be smaller groups and by that time you learn not to burn.

I second the Bike Friday but it did not feel right for me. I liked the mid level Dahons but the Tern engineering is a next generation and the bigger tires. I have the Schwalbe Road Cruier tires on the rear of a trike and like it, the fronts at Marathons. Otherwise I'm a huge fan of Panaracers on the bent for HPV events.

I'll never want to do more than 40 or 50 miles at a time on an upright again but for that distance or less, I am happy with these bikes.

The temptation to send my 700X out and have S&S couplers was strong but the time to assemble and break down just felt too much. I do that enough when flying my bent.

In the end the bike chooses you in ways. When we set out looking we had the Bromptons, Bike Fridays and Dahons on our list at the top, the discovered the Terns.

Anyone interested in a very custom frame build RANS 700X, it's on eBay. I hate parting with it but it's the beginning of my downsize operation.
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Old 21-03-2014, 06:25   #38
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

+1for Bike Friday. They are superb and worth every cent.
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Old 21-03-2014, 09:07   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramblingman View Post
... I liked the mid level Dahons but the Tern engineering is a next generation and the bigger tires. I have the Schwalbe Road Cruier tires on the rear of a trike and like it, the fronts at Marathons. Otherwise I'm a huge fan of Panaracers on the bent for HPV events. ... the beginning of my downsize operation.
Ha. Good to hear some bike tire tech! Casual riders just have no idea what a difference tires can make. I bought a Downtube once, mostly because it had the then-new SA 8 speed hub. The stock tires were ... ah... stock. Switching to Marathons was a welcome change like going to a Porsche from a VW.

I used to follow a guy on a Folder subforum who commuted like 20 miles each way somewhere in Australia. He was always trying some cool new stuff, and telling us all about it. Wonderful writer. And like Maine Sail, would document his stuff with great pics. He owned that 8 speed hub.

Buddy of mine is closing his canvas shop/storage/accommodation spot to head to sea. It's painful to watch the downsizing. I'd buy half his stuff but my boat's way smaller than his. Thanks for the Tern reference. I like websites with a sense of humor.
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Old 21-03-2014, 09:28   #40
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

So how many bent riders are there out there? I still have my Rans Screamer, like to find a good USS single seat
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Old 13-04-2014, 07:02   #41
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

My wife and I just test rode the Prodeco folder:
E Bikes - ProdecoTech, Electric Bicycles that Make Sense
They make an 8 speed, but my wife made a good point about banging the derailer while loading it from the dinghy to the dock (or boat). Don't want to repair it all the time when we are ready to ride. So we rode the single speed and the electric motor took away the need for more gears. Once up to speed, E-motor off and the single gear was perfect for cruising. Hills could be assisted by the motor as well. We want to get exercise while riding but if we need to go long distances to get food or parts then the electric motor can make this a bike/scooter mix. Also, there's the fact that it's just plain fun to zoom around on this thing in E-mode!
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Old 14-04-2014, 02:20   #42
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Re: Folding Bike - looking for advice

As another bike guy, an almost full size bike ride can be achieved on a 20" folder by having good slick tyres and inflated to full pressure. The standard Dahon tyres are pretty good. With rolling resistance its all about the tyres, nothing else. Our Dahons are a pleasure to ride because I always pump the tyres before every outing. By comparison a mountain bike with knobby 26" tyres will be much more work to pedal.

Also for saddle height, legs almost fully extended (but not quite) at the bottom of the pedal stroke is correct. You can get very accurate about it, measure your in-leg, multiply it by 0.883 and thats your saddle height. From centre of the pedal crank to top surface of the saddle.
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