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View Poll Results: Bikes (folding or regular)
worth having on a cruising boat 29 72.50%
more trouble dealingwith than they are worth 11 27.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-11-2016, 06:28   #1
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Folding Bikes

Folding bikes, or bikes in general, are they useful and worth having or more trouble than they are worth?
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:55   #2
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Re: Folding Bikes

"We" find useful, but "Mrs. We" doesn't like to use hers.

My answer, though, is after taking the whole system into account prior to purchase: ability to store, likely weatherproof-hood-ness (?), weight, ease of folding and deploying, whether it (they) would fit in the dinghy, load-carrying ability (load-bearing rack), etc.

It's not easy to find one that won't rust (at least some parts), won't drip oil or corrosion inhibitor, etc.

The ones we have are fine for most of that, but only "OK" for the rust-proof part and could be improved in that department. Wouldn't take much to do that. Haven't seen any better models available, though, in only cursory shopping.



The folding feature isn't strictly necessary in our case, except for that fit-in-the-dinghy thing... and we don't even have to use that very often.

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Old 09-11-2016, 07:17   #3
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Re: Folding Bikes

There are numerous threads on this.

I used to have two on board, and got rid of one of them.

They are surprisingly hard to store, even on a larger boat. The one I have left takes up a good chunk of my sole deck storage space, the laz.

Mine has been out of action much of this year due to rusted wheel skewer and chain, but I love it, and would not want to be without it. I have a good one (a Dahon Jetstream EX with 20" wheels) and although I am a middle aged man of medium fitness level, I can knock out a 100km day without too much trouble, which gives a serious operating radius.

90% of its use is for running errands and going to meetings. Buying groceries, parts, etc., etc. and only 10% for just recreational riding, I would say.

Having a bike on board is more important in remote places. Less important where there are good busses and Uber.

A smaller wheel model like a Brompton is somewhat easier to store.

But greatly reduces your operating radius and pleasure to ride.

I cycled sportively in my youth and like to ride fairly vigorously, even if I weigh almost 1.5x what I did in those days. I ride my folding bike with cleats (yes, really), and frame stiffness is important to me. The Jetstream is surprisingly good in this regard -- not noticeably worse than the hot road bikes I rode in my youth. The technology is so good that the experience is really like being on a decent road bike -- except when going downhill at speed, where the small wheels can really be felt.

The Jetstream also has a full suspension, front and rear, which is a really great thing on a small wheel bike to be used sometimes on iffy roads, or off road. It has a 9 speed derailleur and a 3 speed Shimano hub drive, so no front derailleur, which is very good. The drive train is great.

If you don't want to stretch your legs but just want to putter around town, then you would be better off with a 16" wheel bike like the Brompton or any number of others -- they are simpler and easier to store.
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Old 09-11-2016, 07:25   #4
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Re: Folding Bikes

P.S. -- all the folding bikes I've ever used are extremely awkward to pick up and handle when folded. Whatever part you pick it up by, will allow the other parts to swing away. And the protruding bits and shape of the folded bike is also terrible.

Someone who invents a folding bike which makes a nice, stable, manageable package when it's folded, without all kinds of stuff sticking out of it to catch ropes and so forth, will be doing us all a big favor.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:09   #5
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Re: Folding Bikes

We sold the folding bikes and bought xooters a number of years ago. I like the portability and the ruggedness of construction. They also fold and store easily and compactly. Almost zero maintenance. Not as good as a bike for long distance or up hill, but small folding bikes are not much better for that...
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:24   #6
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Re: Folding Bikes

I have two left over from when I carried them in an airplane for remote places with no rental cars etc. (Dahons) One I even have powered with a tiny little Honda four stroke weed wacker motor.
Great for an airplane, not so much for a boat if your doing any real weather crossings.
Great I think for the ICW, but if offshore corrosion becomes an issue fast. Even folded they take up a huge amount of room so I tried storing them on deck, hence the corrosion issue.
I used to be a bicyclist, I still have my Lightspeed Ultimate, a Rans Screamer recumbent tandem and an odd Dutch racing recumbent.
If your a bicyclist, you will make it work, if your not a dedicated cyclist, it is way more of a PIA that its worth.
Myself I couldn't do a Metric Century on one if my life depended on it anymore, I am way too out of shape with knees and back and body mass.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:27   #7
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Re: Folding Bikes

We have been using the E-Twow e-scooters for a few years now.
24 lbs and fold down small and store easily.

Now they make a Carbon fiber e-scooter that's 14 lbs. and will go 15 mile per hour for 15 miles. They sell for around $350 usd on e-Bay
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:28   #8
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Re: Folding Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
P.S. -- all the folding bikes I've ever used are extremely awkward to pick up and handle when folded. Whatever part you pick it up by, will allow the other parts to swing away. And the protruding bits and shape of the folded bike is also terrible.

Someone who invents a folding bike which makes a nice, stable, manageable package when it's folded, without all kinds of stuff sticking out of it to catch ropes and so forth, will be doing us all a big favor.

Have you looked at a bike Friday?
Expensive, but a real bicycle

https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:35   #9
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Re: Folding Bikes

Well, this is certainly a timely post as I was thinking about this earlier today.

Like Dockhead, I as well used to cycle competitively (criteriums and long distance) many years ago and appreciate a quality bike.

My boat is much smaller than most who have posted here (27-feet) and was wondering about bike storage onboard.

I absolutely do not want a folding bike for reasons already cited and the wheel diameter severely limits the range unless one is going for the Ironman record on small wheels.

The areas that I plan on mooring next year in the Chesapeake Bay are fairly remote with supplies being located 6-13 miles away from most landings or marinas so a bike is necessary. Also a bike with a rack or two.

I am looking at mid-range mountain bikes at the moment. Cheap enough to be disposable in a year when they corrode to pieces, yet solid enough for carrying loads of groceries, parts, etc.

My issue will be storage while sailing....Bike rack on the transom? Ha! Don't think so. Stowing down below? Possible, but difficult to secure in a small space and still allow access to the head and opening sole hatches. Still thinking this one through....
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:36   #10
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Re: Folding Bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
We have been using the E-Twow e-scooters for a few years now.
24 lbs and fold down small and store easily.

Now they make a Carbon fiber e-scooter that's 14 lbs. and will go 15 mile per hour for 15 miles. They sell for around $350 usd on e-Bay
I just looked as you peaked my curiosity, seem to run about $1,000
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:42   #11
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Re: Folding Bikes

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I just looked as you peaked my curiosity, seem to run about $1,000
I purchased the E-Twow e-scooters direct for $600 before the usa dealer marked them up.

The new carbon fiber e-scooters maybe the way to go as they are lighter and less expensive.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:02   #12
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Re: Folding Bikes

I have these.
Small scooter I take on the boat.
I get about 20-27 miles before recharge on the bike.
About 30 on the scooter.

Bike was 850 and scooter was 600.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:08   #13
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Re: Folding Bikes

We found our cheap Citizen folding bikes useful for provisioning and sightseeing while sailing to Pensacola from Annapolis. They are heavy, awkward to stow, and no friends of salt water.
We've removed them from the boat, but may pack them in again depending on our cruising plans.
I think it makes sense to buy cheap ones as they don't get that much use and even expensive bikes don't hold up well on a boat. I do know of one folding bike that may be perfect as it's carbon fiber with a Gates carbon belt drive, but they start at 3,250.00 pounds sterling and that's far outside my budget.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:09   #14
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Re: Folding Bikes

Just had my 87 dahon with 16 inch rims stolen after all these years on a boat had no real issues with rusting.
Stored easily on my 24 ft islander in the lazzerette with my engine.
Just purchased a new no name one that is rated for 120 kilos rider and gear.
Folding Bike 20 Inch 6 Speed Bike Fold Storage Blue College School City Commuter | eBay
Should take delivery next Monday. I will post a critique of how it preforms in a coup,e months after I have time to evaluate all the aspects of it.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:29   #15
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Re: Folding Bikes

I found them useful and a pain in the butt, yes. I liked the small bikes, 20", no cables or shifters etc. KISS. They will rust and degrade, buy cheap. Especially useful when you are in the boat yard etc. Trying to put mountain bikes in a dingy is a real PITA. One small bike for a run to the store etc not so bad.
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