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Old 19-05-2015, 08:11   #16
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

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Hi everyone

I'm keen to know what you think of taking fold-up bikes along for a circumnavigation. We have a 44ft Farr, so should be space somewhere. Just don't tell my partner because he thinks its a silly idea.

I just love the idea of seeing more of the places we visit than we can see on foot, without the expense of hiring some form of wheels.

So here are my questions - has anyone kept bikes on board and found them worth the space they take up? Do they rust quickly? Did you find you barely used them or preferred to hire a scooter?

Cheers
Of course. We're in the process of replacing our old cheap folding bikes.

One caveat is we are retrofitting gilmer belts and shimano internal shifting hubs. Cant stand dereilleurs and filthy chains that rust.

Ideally we'd buy bromptons which fold up best. But they are very pricey and need some work to retrofit.

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Old 19-05-2015, 08:33   #17
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Thank you for posting this thread. It got me thinking again about what's been on my mind over the past four days. Day one, I pulled a muscle in my back lifting the MTB out of the saloon. Three days later, still in pain and the damn bike only has three working gears and one working brake due to rust... but that's because I fixed it. For the first three days it was stuck in the second lowest gear, so pedaling at 120rpm, I could only manage a jogging pace. Was all set to order a Brompton today, but changed my mind... decided to buy a Lombardo instead (can buy five Lombardos for the same price as one Brompton. Changed my mind again when I was out photographing the rust bucket.

Going to spend 20 euros to replace the cables and keep the MTB. This marine environment will consume whatever you throw at it. Buy the cheapest disposable bike... Nature wins.

This advice coming from a guy with several road and track racing bikes costing over $15,000 each. Don't spend more than $150 on a boat bike.
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Old 19-05-2015, 08:37   #18
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

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. . .Ideally we'd buy bromptons which fold up best. But they are very pricey and need some work to retrofit. . . .
Bromptons win the foldup compactly prize. Can be crucial on many boats.

But they are much worse than 20" bikes for covering distance. OK for scooting around town, but not for stretching your legs in the country.
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Old 19-05-2015, 08:58   #19
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

I would think bicycles would be very useful on a boat for getting supplies and for just touring the area when in port.

Unfortunately, my boat is rather small so bicycles are on the list of things that have to be eliminated. Some marinas have loaner vehicles, some have shopping within walking distance. We haven't yet had to call a taxi but we could take a lot of taxi rides for the cost of two decent folding bicycles.

If my boat was large enough, I would have a pair onboard.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:06   #20
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Shay Pants & Camille,

We had a full size bike for a while. It was a great nuisance to haul around, got in the way of access to tools, was difficult to get in and out the companionway, and a horror in the dinghy under more than benign conditions. I sold it on after one year, and it had started to have surface rust.

For two of you, I think there ought to be two bikes, so you can explore together. Now, part of your decision will depend on where you are planning to cruise. I think they would be very useful where there are paved roads and not too much traffic, as long as the drivers are bike-conscious.

I agree with Dockhead to not spend a whole lot on them, and be prepared to fresh water wash them before stowing below decks. You will have to negotiate the space with your other half, because two bikes represents more than one large Esky worth of stowage space that may be needed for something else. If you're planning on a circumnavigation, there will be a number of places where you won't use them at all.

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Old 19-05-2015, 09:09   #21
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Would be nice to have one of these with a Rohloff speedhub.
You can fold them compact or really really compact.Well and some racks
for groceries and a couple of fenders would be nice in case you drive through the mud

FUBi- World's Most Compact Bike | World's most compact full-size bike!

nice design though with big wheels


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Old 19-05-2015, 09:21   #22
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

I really enjoyed them. And they are a godsend when needing to run errands while you are in the boat yard etc. In the end I preferred the simple small ones over the mountain bike type. The big ones with shifter cables etc just get tangled up on things trying to stow them.
Cheap and small with pedal brakes the way to go.
I bought my Dahon steel 20" folders for $50 apiece used. Use tehm 3 years in the Caribe and they were still going strong when I gave them away in Trinidad. Starting to rust in spots though. But unless you find a bike that EVERYTHING (chain, sprockets, pedal shanks etc) is not steel, you are going to have some anyway. We could have taken better care but used them.
The big bikes were terrible to try to get ashore in the dingy etc. Between that and the cumbersome storage they just kept us from using them.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:21   #23
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

We took a Dahon and a cheap knock-off. The Dahon rusted slightly less - but we did keep them in bags on the deck. We used them infrequently, but when we needed them, they were well worth it. I did see some cruisers with completely alloy bikes that had fan belts in place of regular chains - they seemed worth investigating, but I do not recall the make.


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Old 19-05-2015, 09:21   #24
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Take bikes but consider take-apart hubs on mountain bikes from goowill.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:25   #25
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Simple answer, a resounding yes. Any quality alloy bike will resist rust. Steel, no. If you have room for a full size bike, you'll have an easier time of actually getting places in a more reasonable period of time.

Most places I've visited have asphalt or concrete roads in varying states of repair. Rarely is a road in such a state of disrepair that a lightweight, good quality alloy road bike cannot be used. The best approach to provisioning on a bike is to carry only what you'll need in a backpack and possibly in panniers. Plan so trips are spread out and loads can be kept reasonably light.

I've never carried a folding bike, but have tried both mountain and road bikes. The road bike wins hands down.

Very good 2000s vintage road bikes like the GT series alloy bikes can be found in great shape and for $400 or less on Craigslist and other online sites. Here's my favourite.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:26   #26
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

We opted for a Bike Friday folding tandem - and it was good and bad... When we crossed the Atlantic and stopped in the Azores, I'm glad I didn't get it out - the hills are too steep for this bloke! In Ireland we enjoyed having it and likewise in England. Last year in the Baltic it got quite a lot of use and it probably will this year now that we're back Stateside.
However, our current thinking for when we cast off properly and head towards southern South America and then across the Pacific, is that we will probably ditch the tandem in favor of bike rentals. Once we get to New Zealand we might purchase again as we plan to stay there a while.
For us, the Tandem is a good solution - it keeps us together rather than having the weaker partner sweat to keep up with the bored partner (though these days I think we're pretty equal...). The tandem doesn't take up a lot more space than a single, but the assembly certainly takes longer.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:36   #27
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

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Would be nice to have one of these with a Rohloff speedhub.
You can fold them compact or really really compact.Well and some racks
for groceries and a couple of fenders would be nice in case you drive through the mud. Nice design though with big wheels


Impressive, but the one big problem with this particular design is all the stuff (loose parts) the guy was stuffing in his pockets. Most of the time, we dinghy to shore on a beach or dock, and then need to get underway from there. It's enough of a bother to dust the sand off our wet feet, but we'd certainly loose those bits in either the sand or the water. Then what? You'd just have to loose one bit, then.... No bike.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:41   #28
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Do it! We have Terns (aluminum frames) that we store in our sail locker in sail bags with minor rust issues.
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Old 19-05-2015, 09:51   #29
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

We're in the Bahamas currently, and no longer carry the single Dahon we had due to space considerations.

However, one of the boats we've met here has plain old Worst Marine bikes, which they absolutely love; The live on deck all the time, uncovered, and these folks are heavy users, doing every sort of exercise imaginable.

They've gone through several chains, but that's it, and they looked like new.

Another boat has (make unknown or unremembered) electric bikes; the drive is in the front wheel, but the rest is just like any other multi-gear bike. No recapture mechanism, but until you pull the power by asking for it, it's a LI pack, and they'll do 20MPH. Those, too, looked like new (one was, relatively, but the other was years old); open panniers under the flat battery (which looked like the typical rear rack surface area, but solid and an inch or so thick) which is available in at least two amperage ratings.

They typically pedal, but for really long distances or uphill, the electric assist is very nice.

We know other cruisers who buy new WalMart cheapies and toss them when they become unwieldy/unsafe due to rust. I'd think that required a full-time presence of a shore facility (we live afloat, with no land base), but we have yet to see a cruiser with a bike aboard who didn't love it.

We sold ours because there's no point in having one when it's two who go ashore, and we didn't really have room for even one, let alone two...
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Old 19-05-2015, 10:07   #30
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Re: Taking fold-up bikes - yay or nay?

Good point Kenomac,had not thought about that.


@Wrong;Did you ever consider a randonneur type of bicycle,the kind Mark Beaumont uses?Aside from Koga Miyata you can get nice ones from Idworkx,I highly recommend the easy rohler with Rohloff hub,except that the magura brakes are a bit shaky sometimes.


Interesting thread.


Cheers,
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