Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-07-2015, 14:17   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oregon, USA
Boat: Shuttleworth Advantage 43
Posts: 200
Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

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
__________________

__________________
rgesner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 14:26   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I once rode a small wheeled (15-16" if I recall) Dahon folder several miles across pothole filled streets and up the hill in Nassau with a mainsail on my back and it was not a problem. Rode the same bike down some slightly rough dirt roads in the out islands and it was OK.

A larger wheeled, fat tired bike would have been a lot safer and more comfortable and would have allowed usage on much rougher roads. Also, if you remove the wheels for storage a large wheeled bike is not that much larger than a smaller one. But, it is bigger so will depend on the space you have. If every inch is precious then go with the small wheels. If you've got the space, go big.
__________________

__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 14:51   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 647
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have a 20 plus year old Dahon folder that has 26 inch wheels that I rode today in the mountains. It's a mountain bike with only 7 gears with no derailer on the front crank so it's not really geared for going down hill other than coasting. Plus the tires are inflated only at 30 psi so not the best bike for road use. There were around 20 bikers out today with most having expensive road bikes, but I was able to keep pace with most. Going down hill it seems to be an improvement over the new hybrid bike that I bought a couple of years ago, but when I compared GPS top speed today with the hybrid, the folder was slower ( 25 mph vs 28 last week ). I thought that the folder would be faster since I had repacked the wheel bearings and maybe the heavier bike would be faster, but it wasn't.


It would be interesting to see the performance of small wheel bikes with this group. I always thought that the larger wheel would be the better performer, however, an experienced biker who peddled across the US told me that the smaller wheels would be faster all other things being equal. This seems to be contrary to my thoughts and if that was true would we not see those small wheels in the Tour de France?
__________________
lancelot9898 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 15:06   #4
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,634
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

There really isn't too much of a performance advantage in large wheels over small, except when it comes to coasting. From my experience I would put priority on having a bike that suits you (ie. frame geometry is comfortable for your riding style/needs). Having kept bikes on deck, I'd also opt for being able to put them below. Then in keeping with being dinghy-friendly, I'd go for an internally-geared hub; have used Shimano 7 and 8-sp hubs and loved them; and a belt-drive would be a huge bonus. Just my 2 cents
__________________
Lodesman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 18:50   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Oregon, USA
Boat: Shuttleworth Advantage 43
Posts: 200
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

These STRiDA Folding Bicycles look interesting, cogged belt drive, disc brakes and internal gears (but only 3-spd).
http://www.amazon.com/STRiDA-Folding.../dp/B00NQXPTAY
__________________
rgesner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 19:53   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,003
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Ride a Bike Friday (bikefriday.com) on or off the boat with 20" wheels and the tire size hasn't been an issue. The New World Tourist Model that I have will take up to a 1.5" wide tire, IIRC. They also make a model called the Llama that will take full width knobbies and can be ordered with suspension. The main issue with small tires is gearing. Have 27 gears in the 3x9 setup and it's gotten these tired old legs around in strong headwinds and steep hills. I still get passed by the spandex crowd on their 17lb carbon fiber full size bikes but that has a lot more to do with my condition than their tire size. With only a three speed hub or a 7spd derailleur you'd be standing up pumping up a hill and soon exhausted or run out of gears with a tail wind or down hill.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2015, 20:00   #7
Eternal Member

Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 848
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Quote:
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
For me, 20" wheels hit the sweet spot, I wouldn't want to go any smaller... But I sail a smaller boat than yours, so that's the max I can stow below. No way would I carry a bike on deck...

But another consideration is getting your bike(s) ashore from an anchorage. A full size bike or 2 can fill up a tender pretty quickly...

My older aluminum Dahon D8 is a surprisingly good ride, and has held up very well...


__________________
Jon Eisberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 07:15   #8
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have a propper size bike because I am not a gnome and if little wheels are any good everyone would ride them.

Nowadays most bikes have quick release fore and aft wheels so you can store them easily on many boats.
Folding bikes have a couple of disadvantages: bloody expensive!! A cheap throw away new bike is a fraction of the cost.
The chains rust! Some folks spend near $2,000 on folding bikes for their boat... Marinised? Ho, ho, not the chain. Still rusts.
So go buy a new $400 bike that actually works, aint rusty, wheels pop off and goes up hill and down dale... Oh, and not with big fat tires... They just add friction, and how many mountains are you going to peddle up???
__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 08:05   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I have a propper size bike because I am not a gnome and if little wheels are any good everyone would ride them.

Nowadays most bikes have quick release fore and aft wheels so you can store them easily on many boats.
Folding bikes have a couple of disadvantages: bloody expensive!! A cheap throw away new bike is a fraction of the cost.
The chains rust! Some folks spend near $2,000 on folding bikes for their boat... Marinised? Ho, ho, not the chain. Still rusts.
So go buy a new $400 bike that actually works, aint rusty, wheels pop off and goes up hill and down dale... Oh, and not with big fat tires... They just add friction, and how many mountains are you going to peddle up???
All true. Even some of the marinized bikes have other fittings, screws and such besides the chain that rust.

Even better than a throw away new. Get a throw away used.

Another suggestion. I have taken full sized, used but decent bikes to the Caribbean in the past, too big to store below so carried on deck. When ready to make a passage or head home I donated the bikes to local kids who were thrilled to get it.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 08:24   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
Boat: 46' custom cat
Posts: 1,571
Images: 2
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Quote:
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
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.
__________________
Mike

www.sailblogs.com/member/rumdoxy

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 09:06   #11
Registered User
 
jheldatksuedu's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: On my boat, Manhattan, Kansas or LaBelle, Florida
Boat: 45 custom steel ketch-Steelin Time
Posts: 396
Images: 6
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

If you really ride a bike, you will not like small wheels, if you use a bike just to not walk a mile you can put up with the small wheels. I have developed a full size wheel that easily disassembles for storage, molded plastic rim parts, air pressure secures everything, but you can ride it flat without falling apart. It allows a full size bike to fit small carry on luggage. I want to find somebody that wants a business, I'll help get it started but I want to circumnavigate. Any takers or leads appreciated. Next step is a patent. Then multiple frame configurations that allow assembly as a bike for one, two or a Dutch style cargo bike.
__________________
A bad day sailing is 100 times better than a good day at work. www.jheld.mysite.com
jheldatksuedu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 09:09   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 25
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

The Strida has models with 16" and 18" wheels. I've commuted on local roads in the US for about 8,000 miles total, at most 5 miles at a stretch, on the 16" model. It's a one-speed, so performance is somewhat limited on flat terrain, but not so much going up or down big hills. I've found it's actually more stable on rough gravel than a larger bike. I have a larger folding 7-speed mountain bike (Dahon Jack). The Jack is heavier and more stable generally but not much different than the Strida as far as effort going up a big hill. From a boating perspective, one big advantage of the Strida is the fact it's driven by a Kevlar belt rather than a chain. It's also lighter, more compact, and folds/unfolds quickly and easily.
__________________
boatster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 09:20   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Pacific NW
Boat: Hedley Nicol Vagabond MK2, 37'
Posts: 979
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

I have the slightly larger 20" x 1 3/8" wheels on my Raliegh 20 and they handle everything well. It turned out to be a good trail/single track bike too which isn't too surprising when you think about bmx bikes. Tires make a big difference in speed.With high pressure 80+ psi Primo Comets and my 2 cog 3 speed hub for wide range I can average road bike speeds. Heading to the islands and logging roads the low pressure 45psi rough tread Kendas are a good choice for smoother ride and dirt traction. On the road they lose about 2 mph on my average.
__________________
Cavalier MK2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 09:28   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 25
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

Regarding tire pressure, I'd like to add the Strida LT comes with 100 psi tires.
__________________
boatster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2015, 09:29   #15
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,147
Re: Folding Bikes & Wheel Size Compromise

In order to save weight and space, my daughter has taken up the unicycle, with a 20" wheel. It is much lighter and smaller, has fewer moving parts, and is easy to carry or stow. If you want even fewer wheels, I suppose you could go with a pogo stick...but that would look silly.
__________________

__________________
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
size, wheel

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Montague full size folding bikes CHARTER MAGIC Commercial Posts 12 25-10-2013 15:25
Full size folding bikes midnightmail Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 15 18-03-2013 15:51
Folding Bikes skippy Fishing, Recreation & Fun 18 28-02-2011 10:56
Dahon folding bikes bottleinamessage Classifieds Archive 5 26-04-2009 03:58



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:37.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.