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Old 10-07-2015, 09:34   #16
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

If you are over 5'10" and 200lbs forget the folding bike even if the wheels are large. I have ridden across Iowa 11 times on a little bike ride called RAGBRAI with thousands of individuals on hundreds of different types of wheels so I know that anything can be done. Mike bikes on these trips were full sized somewhat expensive bikes. My experience with folding bikes on my boat have been very disappointing.


Hit yourself in the head with a hammer for less dissatisfaction. Just my less than humble opinion.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:19   #17
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

A discussion about folding bikes without mentioning Bromptons is sorely lacking!
They are expensive, but far and away the best folded package (chain is held inside the folded bike so less chance oil everywhere/muck on chain) They have small wheels, but a rubber block acts as suspension smoothing out road judder.


They are amazingly size accommodating as well. I am 6'2" and 120KG and the same bike works for my sister at... well smaller and lighter
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Old 10-07-2015, 13:45   #18
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have owned and ridden bikes most of my life. My current bikes are a 1984 Trek touring bike (purchased new), with new components (now 700C tires), and a Brompton folder (16"). I rode the Brompton a lot in the Med and loved having it aboard. I had previously been carrying the Trek but it was just too bulky for my small boat, even with the wheels popped off and the lot stowed in a carrying bag.

On smalll wheels: the Moulton take-apart had small wheels (16" IIRC) and set speed records. Smaller wheels have less mass and less drag so in some sense are "faster". The Brompton comes with 1-3/8" wide tires, which gives a good ride; of course the smaller diameter tires are affected by small potholes that a larger wheel might roll over. The downside is that smaller wheels have shorter spokes to absorb shocks, and thus are more prone to spoke breakage, particularly when heavily loaded. In practice this has meant that it is somewhat more important to keep the spokes adjusted, and with long term heavy riding it is appropriate to replace all of the spokes when they do start to break. To be clear, this is not likely to be a problem unless you are someone riding thousands of miles and thus wearing out tires regularly (me, but not very many other cruisers). I weigh a bit north of 200# and am about 6' tall, and have been known to carry another 20% in cargo when shopping.

As for rideability the wheel size is not that big a deal. What IS a big deal is the frame design. A lot of folders seem designed for children and are nearly impossible for an adult to pedal. The reason the Brompton looks so strange is that the small wheels' axles are as far apart as a normal street bike - which is necessary in order to get the geometry right for riding comfortably.

Personally I enjoy riding my little folder, and find it much more practical for cruising than a full size street bike. In addition to the ease of storage, it is much easier to protect from theft: going into a store I will often just fold it up and put it in a shopping cart, or carry it with me. It is also easy to bring aboard for overnight secure storage. Bike thefts are common just about everywhere... My modifications include more gear choices (added a Swiss Mountain Drive) and clipless pedals. While I do prefer the feel of the touring bike, the folder is quite comfortable and very practical for cruising.

All bikes have components that include plated screws that rust in salt air. There are other components which are also made of steel and can rust, particularly on cheap bikes. Washing and lubricating are necessary maintenance - just do it. If you want to buy a cheap bike, do nothing to maintain it and don't mind the rusty look, don't care if it's stolen, and are happy to replace it every few years then go right ahead. If you want a nice bike then spend the extra money to get an appropriate one, with quality aluminum and stainless components, and put a modest effort in maintaining it. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be any easy way to get rid of the plated screws...

Greg
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Old 10-07-2015, 14:02   #19
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I made my first folder, by taking a good quality full size road bike and cutting the frame in 2 places and making slip joints, bottom pinned, top friction. I removed the front derailer and just reached down to moved the chain. The rear derailer control I moved to under the seat. The brake cables easily removed and the quick release hubs gave me 4 rather equal sized pieces, 2 frame, 2 wheel. Still bulky but much better. The price was sure right, but then I have a small arsenal of donor bikes at the farm.
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Old 10-07-2015, 14:30   #20
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I recently acquired a pair of WM folding bikes as payment for a "finder's fee" on selling a boat. I am torn between selling them and keeping them for upcoming extended cruising (circa Oct.). They will take up a lot of room, need to be hefted in and out of a dinghy. Is it worth keeping them?
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Old 10-07-2015, 14:35   #21
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I prefer the 20".. not too small, not big. Had both 24" and 20". My 24"cost me about $800. My 20" used cost $50 each,. I was far happier with the 20" and rode up to 20 miles with them and found it (strangely) more comfortable than the mountain bikes.. Definitely like the simple pedal brakes on them also. I'm a small guy though.
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:14   #22
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

sneuman- Since you now have the bikes, why not ride them this summer and make up your own mind? If you prefer to not get the exercise - that is not likely to change so sell them now. Going cruising is not going to magically make anyone enjoy bike riding who doesn't already enjoy it...
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:22   #23
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I recently acquired a pair of WM folding bikes as payment for a "finder's fee" on selling a boat. I am torn between selling them and keeping them for upcoming extended cruising (circa Oct.). They will take up a lot of room, need to be hefted in and out of a dinghy. Is it worth keeping them?

WM = West Marine? If yes, I don't see a WM brand on their web site but they do seem to resell several others. So to some degree it depends on what size, brand and model, but basically a question you need to answer for yourself.

- Where will you be cruising? Is it an area where a bike would be usable and useful?

- Will you have space on the boat to store them on passages? Inside or on deck?

- How much hassle do you personally want to deal with in carrying, storing, and hauling them to shore? Don't forget maintenance, anti corrosion battle, etc.
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Old 10-07-2015, 15:44   #24
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Sns coupled proper touring bicycle . Click image for larger version

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Old 10-07-2015, 17:16   #25
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Sns coupled proper touring bicycle . Attachment 105105Attachment 105106
Wow, that's the best solution I've seen for a life-size bike that can fit in a small space. And fenders! No more cable tying cut down water bottles to the frame to keep the mud out of my teeth!
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Old 10-07-2015, 17:27   #26
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Sns coupled proper touring bicycle . Attachment 105105Attachment 105106
How long does it take to assemble/disassemble it, and can you do it on the dock without a toolkit?
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Old 10-07-2015, 17:29   #27
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
I recently acquired a pair of WM folding bikes as payment for a "finder's fee" on selling a boat. I am torn between selling them and keeping them for upcoming extended cruising (circa Oct.). They will take up a lot of room, need to be hefted in and out of a dinghy. Is it worth keeping them?
If you're planning on biking, then why not keep them? If so, be aware that WM has a recall on a couple of their models (frames breaking) - you should be able to look that up online.
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Old 10-07-2015, 17:51   #28
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Last week we turned in 2 5 year old port runners for the recall and got 860 gift card

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Old 10-07-2015, 18:23   #29
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I'm in the USA for the next couple months. Have two almost unused Montague folding X-50 full size mountain bikes I'll make someone a good deal on.
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Old 10-07-2015, 18:44   #30
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

If anyone is going to be in the mountains of NC this summer or fall, I'll sell that Dahon 26 inch wheel folder to them that I used yesterday for the 20 mile ride with the bike club. PM me if interested.
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