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Old 15-09-2015, 05:13   #1
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Folding bike Do I need two

Hi we are coming to the Caribbean later this year, I have one folding bike onboard, do I need two? one for myself and one for my wife or is every thing close enough to walk to or bus. The bike takes up room which we do not have a lot of and also the trouble of getting them ashore is a consideration . Any constructive input appreciated.
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:16   #2
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

I have two, but have not cruised the Caribbean. Corrosion is a real concern with bikes, suggest if possible putting them in bags and storing below. I kept mine on deck and had to be vigilant with corrosion prevention, if I do it again, they will be in bags, down below.
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Old 15-09-2015, 05:37   #3
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

There are at least two (maybe several more) big threads somewhere around here about bikes on board, lots of info/opinion there...


We're considering making a cover for ours, so we don't have to fold our bikes and insert into the bags.


I'm also considering getting rid of the folding bikes altogether, and making one up that's more corrosion-proof. (Mostly the folding fittings are especially susceptible to corrosion.)


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Old 15-09-2015, 08:57   #4
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

we have had one now for 6 years in a bag and down below and it's still good.
We use it a lot in the med but it is very easy to get on and off the yacht from the docks, it has been a big help getting food/water/beer.
But do I need 2 too get round or do you just stay around one bay and then move to the next bay? I will also look for old threads thanks
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:03   #5
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

You will find bikes for rent many places in the caribbean. One bike should be enough, good for running errands, etc. Then rent a second bike when you are ready to explore. Owning one and renting one is a good compromise. Although most caribbean islands are a nice size for biking everywhere, you will find the roads are narrow and rough with cars going very fast. I found it easier to take a local bus, and I really got the flavour of the locals by doing so.
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:04   #6
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

We had one and gave it away. Regardless of where you're going, if you're not going solo, one walks and one rides - generally not workable, as the walker can't keep up, and the rider is struggling to stay upright at walking speed.

All the other issues are common; you've already seen those. Two or none; ours was 'none' due to stowage issues, and ours is a big boat. Getting it ashore is a smaller issue, at least for us. YMMV ☺
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:21   #7
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

We used our folding bikes extensively while cruising the US. And I am a serious cyclist. I've put well over 15,000 miles on my current road bike.

When we got into the Bahamas and the Caribbean? Not once in two years did we use our bikes. Narrow roads, no shoulders - we just took the bus. Save the space for other cargo/stores...
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:24   #8
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

cannot understand your difficulty in off loading your bike unless you are transporting by dinghy. in any case carry one and rent as needed seems a fair compromise but if you plan on spending extensive time ashore a second bike might save some money. The warnings about Islands drivers is well taken. If in doubt plan on the bus.
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:43   #9
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

We started with bikes , they turned to rusty piles on the deck . one was stolen in Florida (they must have used a broom and dust pan.) Get rid of the bikes and replace them with 2 kayaks much more to see along the shore edges and some times even a dingy can't get close enough.
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Old 16-09-2015, 09:50   #10
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

I have a brand new citizen folding bike that I have never used. I thought I was going cruising but life got in the way, lol. First 300 takes it, you pay shipping.
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Old 16-09-2015, 10:11   #11
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

I had two small ones (16" tires) Most of the Caribe is easy enough to bus or taxi or walk to . I did find the bike invaluable for running errands on hot days etc though. I would definitely have at least one.
As a couple, we biked on land excursions also which was a lot of fun, mostly in Trinidad though.
I had fancy mountain bikes that folded with hand control shifting and brakes. They were a real pain storing etc. Cables and levers snagging everything and big to take to shore in the dink too.
I sold them and picked up the pair of 16" folders with pedal brakes and one gear. Simplicity is great! Used those far more than the big fancy ones.
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Old 16-09-2015, 13:30   #12
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

Last fall before heading to the Bahamas for the winter, I looked at various bikes. I decided that I wanted full sized, folding bikes. On line, from a company in NJ, I found Columba bicycles. $200 each. No, they are not like my Trek road bike, but they function well as hybrids, on dirt back roads and streets as well. I spray them regularly with CorrosionX. Almost a year later they are doing great. I have a catamaran, so they are kept below deck when not being used. For the price, they have been great.
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Old 16-09-2015, 14:11   #13
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

For the past 9 years I have biked extensively on all the Eastern Caribbean islands, plus the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Virgins. I biked for over thirty years in the LA metro area and biking here is definitely safer and more enjoyable. Drivers are usually courteous and aware.

Public bus service is generally good, except in Puerto Rico, but you constantly find that the bus doesn't go where you need or that it is filled to the max and you will be waiting for a while in the sun. Occasionally in rural areas, you will share the bus with chickens and goats. Most island busses do not have air conditioning or it is not working (you need air con, take the more expensive taxi). That said, the busses are one of the best ways to meet locals and find out about all the best "secret spots".

Unlike the Bahamas and Turks, these islands have hills and mountains. If you do find a flat stretch of road, the trade wind will be so strong that you will want a minimum six speed bike. With the exception of the French Islands, roads are in poor shape, so a fat 20" tire is the minimum I would want. Make certain that the frame is aluminum or it will rust within a week. Before you buy a bike, learn at least basic bike maintenance (flat repair, chain repair, brake and deraileur adjustment and spoke replacement). Nothing ruins a day like having to pay taxi fare to the local bike shop with a broken bikee, only to have to return two or three times, waiting for "island time" repairs to be completed.

WEAR A HELMET AND FULL FINGERED GLOVES AT ALL TIMES. This has nothing to do with person preferences and everything to do with ambulance response times and local medical facilities.

If your spouse doesn't like to bike now, she certainly won't like to bike on the poorly repaired narrow roads with the drainage trench shoulders and some exciting dropoffs.
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Old 17-09-2015, 01:44   #14
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

Thank you all for this it was the information I was looking for. We will keep the one we have. A friend of mine has two blow up paddle boards and loves them, good form of exercise may look at getting one or a kayak in place of the bike
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Old 17-09-2015, 16:33   #15
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Re: Folding bike Do I need two

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Originally Posted by kiwinz1 View Post
Hi we are coming to the Caribbean later this year, I have one folding bike onboard, do I need two? one for myself and one for my wife or is every thing close enough to walk to or bus. The bike takes up room which we do not have a lot of and also the trouble of getting them ashore is a consideration . Any constructive input appreciated.
Cheers
I can't tell you about the Caribbean unfortunately, but when I travel I often rent a bike as I'm a cyclist. You could likely buy a very cheap 1 or 2 second hand on arrival and leave them behind. You could lock them ashore if you're in one place for a while. Lock through the front wheel too! Won't matter if they get a little rusty stored on deck. Just an idea.
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