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Old 04-02-2013, 23:40   #16
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Re: folding bike which type?

We have a pair of British-made Mezzo folding bikes. They are not fast, but one of our biggest considerations was how the bikes would transport in our dink. I would not recommend them for someone who wants to do trips of more than 10 miles or so. However, if you want something to cruise around town or to help you fetch the groceries, they are fabulous.

Folding bikes are not for everyone. It takes a while to get past the feeling that you're pedaling a toy. The upright posture on most folders is comfy, but slow. The small-diameter wheels don't do as well on rough pavements. The cheap bikes do not handle large riders well, and the bikes that hold large riders well are not cheap. Even the ones that fold up small enough to fit in a suitcase take up a lot of room on small boats.

That said, our bikes give us mobility that most cruisers simply don't have. Once you get where you're going, you see four or five times as much if you're able to pedal the site. How nice to be able to pedal to a vineyard five miles from the town dock to be able to taste the local appellation!
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Old 04-02-2013, 23:47   #17
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Re: folding bike which type?

They sell some at walmart for almost notthing and they already have the luggage rack on....around 125$ if im right....
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:09   #18
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Re: folding bike which type?

We have two. The Admiral's is the lesser expensive model West marine sells (Jetty Express?), and it has a few gears -- three, if I remember right -- using a derailleur. Mine is a Downtube front suspension model with 8-speed Sturmey Archer internal gear hub.

Both work fine for our short distance work, and they don't take up as much space or cause as much clutter on deck as would a full-size bike (which I've tried).

That said... ours are mostly constructed of decent quality stuff (like the stainless chain on one) EXCEPT some of the basic fasteners aren't stainless... so slightly prone to rusted fasterners unless protected often with an anti-corrosion spray. (Which I should have begun using earlier in their lifespan.)

I think I'd suggest shopping based more on features than on brand/model. Features we MUST have: a rigid luggage rack. Everything else is optional. We don't need much in the way of gears, mostly because of the way we use the bkes; YMMV. The Admiral only wanted something simple, and I thinks she's maybe shifted gears only twice in several years... and that was when I was showing her how.

The front suspension is slightly more comfortable; a rear suspension would preclude a rigid luggage rack. The enclosed gear hub seems useful on paper, but the derailleur hasn't caused any problems. And so forth...

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:09   #19
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Re: folding bike which type?

Been following a number of these threads as we wrestle with the same question. Our context: Currently weekend sailing on the Chesapeake, planning on full-time Maine - Bahamas in 2-3 years. We've been long distance bike riders for a long time: Pittsburgh to DC, Erie Canal, Bike Virginia, centuries, etc.

Have been looking at the Bike Friday New World Travelers as our current top choice. Fairly expensive, but rides like a regular road bike with no squirreliness during fast descents, geared low enough to climb, etc. Really like the folding mechanism and ease of storage in the v berth or dinghy.

However, I heartily agree with the earlier poster. If anything, buy bikes that match how you ride now. If putzing around town is your speed, then a Bike Friday is serious overkill. If you want to participate in the Tour de Puerto Rico (>300 miles @ at 18-21 mph), get a serious bike.

Having said that: anybody know of a couple used New World Travelers for sale? :-)
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:14   #20
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Re: folding bike which type?

I just purchased a Giant expressway II as a second commute like foldable and love it. I wanted a citizen, but this was available down the street at a bike shop and it was an impulse I couldn't resist.

Heres my list:

bikefriday
brompton - especially the titanium models which are super light
montague
swift
moulton
birdy
Xootr
tern

I'm looking to move up at some point to a Bike Friday or a Brompton.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:18   #21
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Re: folding bike which type?

A fellow sailor and friend of mine owns ThorUSA and they specialize in folding bikes. Their website is: www.thorusa.com
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:25   #22
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Re: folding bike which type?

I bought my 6-speed Dahon from Camping World (thank you Bob and Connie who suggested it) and it rides like a dream. I use it in 6th gear most of the time because it's so easy. If you stow such a bike below or in the lazarette it pays to make (or have made) a sturdy canvas cover out of, say, Sunbrella to make handling easier. It slides in and out easier without stuff sticking out to snag on things and I also sewed in a couple of fabric handles for yanking it around.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:40   #23
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Re: folding bike which type?

We've had success with a great variety of bikes. Like some, we spent some time buying cheap used bikes and donating them to kids when we left. Wev'e kept full size bikes below with the quick release wheels. We had old heavy folding stainless steel Dahons with the gear shifting mechanisms in the hub. We now have newer light weight Dahons. We always keep our bikes below when underway. My nephew lives aboard and has a bamboo frame bike that he made,- light and simple. As others have said, the choice depends upon boat size, how you ride, why you ride, where you ride. We've adapted well to the little folding bikes and no longer feel that we need to have the yarn wig and the red rubber nose to be seen on them!
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:09   #24
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Re: Folding Bike Which Type?

My wife and I had been looking at folders for awhile and oscillated back and forth as to whether or not we would use them. We bought some less expensive ones to start off with to determine if we liked the functionality. If we didn't, we were not out a lot of money.
So far, after two years of testing them out, we really like the mobility of having bikes plus the exercise aspect of it. One day, either when these wear out or when we feel like spending the money, we'll get Bike Friday's or the like.
Our bikes now: Folding Bicycles by GreenZone Bikes
They're a decent bike for the money, especially if you're like us who wasn't 100% sure at first.

Edit: I just opened up GreenZone's website and noticed that their pricing has gone up quite a bit and they are using a new design, so my experience with them may not apply except that they delivered the bikes quickly and no problems.
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:28   #25
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Re: Folding Bike Which Type?

We don't ride a lot, went a different route for consideration, a kick scooter: http://www.xootr.com/kick-scooter_mg.html

Compared to a bicycle, its even smaller, a little less range, but the big plus for us, is that we can fold it and put it over a shoulder to take onto a bus, or not leave somewhere it could be stolen. Oh, yes, and the conversations it starts. More pix on our blog: Life Afloat Archives: Getting Around
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Old 05-02-2013, 14:22   #26
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Re: Folding Bike Which Type?

We've had folding Dahons and Wildfire 49cc scooters aboard. We got rid of both because we find we can walk almost anywhere we stop and they were a pain to store and load/unload.
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:01   #27
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Re: folding bike which type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
I just purchased a Giant expressway II as a second commute like foldable and love it. I wanted a citizen, but this was available down the street at a bike shop and it was an impulse I couldn't resist.

Heres my list:

bikefriday
brompton - especially the titanium models which are super light
montague
swift
moulton
birdy
Xootr
tern

I'm looking to move up at some point to a Bike Friday or a Brompton.
You might consider this for your list:

Dahon Jetstream EX High Performance Folding Bike

The full suspension makes a dramatic difference in ride and handling of small wheel bikes. Some people (see Alex Moulton) think small wheels plus suspension are the thing even for non-folding bikes.
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Old 05-02-2013, 15:15   #28
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Re: Folding Bike Which Type?

When we were in New Zealand, my brother shipped us three Stridas (he's a very generous guy) for my wife, daughter and me. They're a brilliant design but I think they have a limited range of use.

On the plus side: They fold up very small, use a Kevlar belt instead of a chain (no chain grease to deal with), fold and unfold in seconds, have terrific brakes and have a very eye-catching design.

On the other hand, the small-sized tires makes them a bit squirrelly to ride, they only have a single speed, the manual says to not stand up when pedaling and I didn't find it that comfortable to ride.

This may sound like I'm ungrateful for a very generous gift. Since my brother shipped us the bikes, we've given one away, sent one back to the US and we still have one on board.

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Old 05-02-2013, 15:44   #29
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Re: folding bike which type?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesail View Post
check out the montague full size folding bikes if you are interested in actual bicycle riding
x2. We love ours. Feels like and rides like a full size bike. They fold up small enough to put into bags that we keep in the aft cockpit. Front Tires go into one other bag.

Ken
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Old 05-02-2013, 19:03   #30
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Re: folding bike which type?

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This is my folding bike. I bought it off Craigslist for a 100 bucks, and it was money well spent. Its a 3 speed, with a shaft drive, no chain to rust. You can find a deal, if ya look. It stows nicely in my port quarterberth. I have used the tar out of it. Its a great bike. Its a Aitelen. This is my grocery rig in photo. The dolly I got from home depot for 30 bucks.

I just checked the bike rack.
It's missing!
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