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Old 10-07-2015, 19:46   #31
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Originally Posted by mikereed100 View Post
The short answer is to carry a bike with the biggest wheels that will fit on your boat.

The larger the wheel, the easier it will roll over obstacles and the faster and more comfortable it will be. This does not just apply to logs and boulders, but to small stones and irregularities in the road as well. 29" wheels have just about taken over the mountain bike market for this reason. If you just plan on pedaling down the malecon on smooth pavement, then 20" wheels will be fine, but if you are schlepping groceries, laundry and boat parts over pot-holed or dirt roads then you will find a 26" wheel with fat tires a much better tool for the job. Most of the lesser-developed countries we have been to have very rough roads even if they are paved, which they are often not. Negotiating potholes and curbs is much easier with a large wheel. You may also find yourself riding miles with a heavy backpack on rough roads. Your butt with thank you for the large wheels and fat tires.

We carry full-sized mountain bikes that we store in a v-berth. If you remove the front wheel, seat post and pedals they store fairly compactly and are a godsend when the boat is a long way from town.
I've rode 20" folding bikes in many countries and wished for a 26" foldup every time. The larger wheel not only rolls over uneven terrane it also has a greater gyro effect that helps balance. something I somewhat lost when I fell and broke my neck. I now have a Montague folding 26" with 1 3/4" tires that can inflate to 60 psi. It rides great on paved roads and on off road conditions.

I hear people talking 'bout racing down the street. But in practicality, who is racing down the street with a load of groceries or a reverse gear on the back or even site seeing. won't see much when racing by. Why are we there in the first place?
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Old 10-07-2015, 21:19   #32
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Originally Posted by rgesner View Post
Like anything else, bicycles on cruising boat are a compromise.

Obviously, a compact folder with small wheels is going to fit better aboard and in the dinghy, but how much do small wheels impeded performance ashore, particular in unimproved locations. From your actual experience in foreign ports, what do you think is the wheel size best compromise between performance and on-board practicality?

Thanks - Rusty
We got a good deal on two Dahons. In retrospect, I would suggest that you might do better looking for a mountain bike at a garage sale and add drop-out hubs & handle bars so its easy to remove wheels, handle bars & seat. That is pretty small; OK wheels & gears; light weight. It won't kill you if its stolen. You can get/make a bag for it.
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Old 10-07-2015, 21:45   #33
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have three "full size" bikes at our summer cottage, and have ridden bikes most of my life, including racing road bikes, mountain bikes and track bikes.

On the boat I have found a folding bike with 20" wheels to work great. I could fit a larger bike on board, but the real issues are getting it in and out of the boat, in and out of dinghy, loading off dinghy onto dock and a smaller bike really helps in that regard.

A well made folder properly fitted to your body dimensions is very efficient and fun to ride. You do not need 26" or larger wheels, really. A folding bike is a compromise, but well worth the advantages and an efficient and fun ride. Do not get a cheap folder however, get a good Dahon or other quality bike. Expect to spend over $700 for decent bike. Photo is of Dahon Mu which I ride.
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Old 10-07-2015, 21:59   #34
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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How long does it take to assemble/disassemble it, and can you do it on the dock without a toolkit?
Mike: assembly is less 30 minutes. Ive done it in the airport baggage terminal It takes longer pulling it out of the box than putting it back together. The fenders were a recent addition and take the the majority of the 30 minutes.

The tools i carry with me for it are a multi tool, the special wrench from the couplers and I have a small cresent wrench and a mini crank puller. It took me about 2 years to figure out the crank-puller trick ( you can ge the bike in the box with out pulling the cranks but it is WAY EASIER? You need some zip-ties and I trim them with a leatherman.

the cables are all split with a screw fitting. They are pre-ternsioned - so you just hook them back up

Takes 6 + beers to put back in box, as all the frame bits covered in the protectors. having a small child to jump on it helps .. LOL

Its about 600 dollars to send a frame and have it SNS coupled. This frame was becoming so popular to couple that Salsa started offering it coupled in Stainless steel. You can get Ti couplers too if you have a ti bike.

Lots of info out there on SNS couplers

Its awesome. I have ridden 15000km on the bike around the world. I commute 16k each way to work here in Malaysia. I rode the whole length of NZ in 2012.

I am not going to get baited into the folding bike conversation other than ti s toy not a bike You dont have to compromise if you really want a bike to ride.

LD
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Old 10-07-2015, 22:07   #35
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

As far as pot holes, rough roads etc., 20" wheels can handle these just fine. Teenagers have been beating up dirt tracks for years on BMX bikes with 20" wheels and do great. Get wider tires if rough roads are expected (mine are 2" wide Schwalbe Big Apple tires, and they handle the Mexican roads very well).

Note: I am not recommending you ride a BMX bike, just saying that 20" wheels can handle the rough stuff.
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Old 10-07-2015, 22:18   #36
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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... assembly is less 30 minutes. ...
A SNS coupled touring bike is a terrific bike if you are taking your bike to some remote place for a multi day tour. I have friends that have these, they took to Europe for a great cycling trip. Very nice, and at least a couple grand for the bike so equipped.

Not something I see as practical for a cruiser however. close to 30 minutes to put bike together! A Dahon folder is ready to go in less than 1 minute. Different bikes for different purposes.
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Old 10-07-2015, 22:31   #37
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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I am not going to get baited into the folding bike conversation other than ti s toy not a bike You dont have to compromise if you really want a bike to ride.

LD
I dunno, almost an hour spent on assembly and breaking it down again every time I want to whip out my bike for an excursion at a new stop, that's a bit more than I'm willing to compromise...

;-)
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:18   #38
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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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...
I have done long-distance cycling in the past - x-country trips of several hundred miles in both the U.S. and Europe. So, that's not the issue.

What I am wondering is how often these bikes get used while cruising. Is schlepping them on and off the boat really worthwhile for the amount of time they will be used in the islands (Caribbean and South Pacific)?
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:20   #39
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
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.
Exactly, these are the questions implicit in my post. Since I have not traveled to the Caribbean or South Pacific yet, I am asking for other's opinion.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:29   #40
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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What I am wondering is how often these bikes get used while cruising. Is schlepping them on and off the boat really worthwhile for the amount of time they will be used in the islands (Caribbean and South Pacific)?
We were glad we took the bikes - ICW and Bahamas - but we only used them when we were alongside. There are 4 of us on board, so taking the bikes ashore by dinghy would've involved a couple trips. Where we anchored for the most part, we wouldn't need a bike anyway - either no civilization or small villages where we could easily get around walking. But whenever we stopped for more than overnight along the ICW we got the bikes off and made good use of them. We also used them in Freeport, Nassau and at Emerald Bay, Gr Exuma - again very useful.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:18   #41
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I had planned on renting a bike in Antigua, after crossing the atlantic. Its like $10/day for a mountain bike. I had thought I would get one for a week and tour the whole island. However, when I arrived at the island, I was so exhausted, and it was so hot, the idea of pedaling around had no appeal at all. Instead, I rode the local bus. The local bus was great...cheap, and I got to see the real people of the island...best fun ever.

For all the effort and expense, I would rent a bike rather than bring one with me....unless I had a very large boat with lots of available space.

And when I circumnavigated lake ontario, using yacht club reciprocal slips, many of the clubs had "borrow bikes" for free...very nice and handy.
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Old 11-07-2015, 13:07   #42
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Always mention my Montague in these threads.

On the US gulf coast; a good anchor, free city docks and the bicycle work well for me.

Never road with little wheels as an adult but like the large wheels. It folds in seconds and stows in a cockpit locker. Wouldn't want one on deck much.

Pic taken ten minutes ago.
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Old 11-07-2015, 13:30   #43
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

SNS fittings are a great solution, but expensive. (and they are a local-to-me Portland company). But I wouldn't go as far as lamadriver in disassembly. Rather than pulling cranks, stem etc, you can get folding pedals and handlebars and store almost as compactly (but then it might not qualify as a "proper" bike, LOL.

The Strida 18" 3-sp seems like the best compromise to me considering all factors. Good riding position, compact folded, kevlar drive belt instead of chain, etc. Not cheap, and a very extensive distribution and service network yet though.

Regarding corrosion: Spray vulnerable parts with TC-11 frequently.

- Rusty
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Old 11-07-2015, 13:30   #44
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have a 10" wheel folding bike I bought when I was working on a ship in Japan. it has served me well in rough shipyard terrain. I think that is a good size wheel...10" diameter.
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Old 13-07-2015, 00:31   #45
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Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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Originally Posted by rgesner View Post
SNS fittings are a great solution, but expensive. (and they are a local-to-me Portland company). But I wouldn't go as far as lamadriver in disassembly. Rather than pulling cranks, stem etc, you can get folding pedals and handlebars and store almost as compactly (but then it might not qualify as a "proper" bike, LOL.

- Rusty
My reference to assembly/disassembly was for the box to transport it (airline etc). It would be very easily converted to a 3- min set up with the multi tool. Tye also make a soft case for traveling.

I like riding my bike so ill stick with the big wheels. One of the guys here has a Brompton, really? I about killed my self riding it down the road, talk about unstable. maybe good for the marina a boardwalk or pedestrian mall but certianly not a bike to ride on a road .


LD
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