The problem with the Dahon Mariner is it's only an 8 speed rear derailleur . Fine for unloaded riding on relatively flat ground but not enough gears for pulling a trailer
, heavily loaded bike, hills or riding into a strong headwind. If you could get it with a geared hub or double chain ring crank it would probably work
in most conditions.
Haven't ridden the Dahon but another folder that looks like a pretty close copy. The riding position sucks and it's heavy. A struggle to hoist onto the deck
from the dock
and probably worse from a dink. Suppose to get a compact folded package the riding position is very cramped. To spread the load over a large set of muscle groups, you need to have some forward lean. Not the extreme tuck of a racer
but definitely not the stupid bolt upright position of the typical beach cruiser and the cheap
folder I own. Made the mistake of carrying the boat
on the foredeck for one fairly rough passage
and never again. Bike dripped rust like crazy staining the gel coat and caught sheets
on every tack. Would not reccomend leaving any bike on deck
for a passage
if you expect to ride it when you get there.
My regular bike is a Bike Friday New World Tourist. bikefirday.com. It rides like a regular bike with 27 speeds to tackle the gnarliest of conditions and carries an amazing amount of stuff using panniers and its suit case trailer
. I've owned a number of bikes over the years and prefer the BF which has left my other three full size road and mountain bikes gathering dust. Store the bike on the boat
in it's suitcase/trailer in the forepeak on a passage. It's light enough to be easily hoisted onto the deck with the panniers off. The bike folds into a suitcase so can go as checked luggage on the airlines. Frame is steel
but hasn't been a problem though have done few dinghy
trips with the bike. Have left the bike on deck folded in it's suitcase which pretty much protects it from rain for a couple months at a time. The only negative is it's not a quick fold to get into the suitcase. Takes 15 plus minutes to break it down to fit in the suitcase and/or reassemble. You can do a quickfold in a minute or two to fit in a shoulder bag for quick transport like in a dinghy
, throw in a car trunk, chuck in a locker or forepeak or whatever. BF's are not cheap but they are custom built to order. Also available on Ebay at somewhat cheaper prices.
Bike Friday does make a truly quick fold, backpack bike called the PakIT. It's truly light at UNDER 20 pounds and can be had with a wide ratio 8 and 11 speed geared hub to handle hills and loads and belt drive so no greasy hands. Actually quickly folds down to fit in a custom backpack. They also offer an electric
upgrade. The 'but' is they are very pricey especially with the geared hubs and the electric option.
My BF New World Tourist has paid for itself many times over on and off the boat. Have saved cab fares with the suitcase trailer as well as for relatively light largish items. Used the BF to get to the BART stations which gave me access to the whole SF Bay
area. Getting my two boats ready for ocean passages was able to go tens of miles around Sausalito and Alameda with no problem. When I got to Hilo, it opened the whole town to a sshort pedal. Way more convenient than a car. I can't imagine going places on the boat without a good bike. The one exception would be the islands of SoPac though even there did a circumnavigation
of Moorea on borrowed folding bikes. So many more places to get to that are too far to walk. Now use the bike to get the 6 miles to and from our Condo in Carlsbad to the boat at Oceanside Harbor and load it on the Coaster Train down to San Diego
FWIW, I'm 73 and in not great shape so you don't have to be Lance Armstrong to get around or use performance enhancing drugs.