This summer, a friend and I are biking through France. As the summer approaches, we have to start planning our trip, and choosing a bike is the first step. Last summer I did the Pacific Coast with a teen organization. The bike I road (which I rented form the organization) was a hybrid. Throughout the trip gears were screwing up, spokes were breaking -- it wasn't a good bike for the trip. I want to make sure I pick a suitable bike this time.
I'm a high school student, and have been very interested in biking for the past few years. I own a Cannondale SL5 mountain bike with big beefy tires, and mountain bike in local parks. My dad, who also bikes in his free time, purchased a variation of the Pocket Rocket Pro by Bike Friday back in 2006. He intended to use it for cycling when he traveled, but never did. He and I both (who are the same size) use the Bike Friday for casual road rides. It works very well apart from the occasional bend in the frame and weird look you get from other riders
My inclination, when we first decided on this trip, was to take the Bike Friday: it folds into a suitcase (no box, no fee!), the suitcase can turns into a trailer, it has a rack, it fits me. However, after talking to a family friend who has biked all over with the Bike Friday, I wasn't so sure. Our friend seemed to say that although the Bike Friday has its perks, the trailer tends to be heavier than saddle bags and noticeably harder to ride with. I wondered if any of you have experience riding with the trailer or just a Bike Friday and could voice your impressions.
If I weren't to take the Bike Friday, it would mean purchasing a new bike. My dad always talks about getting a "real bike", however he is referring to a road bike, and I'd be shopping for a touring bike. We only have so much money and so much room in our shed, so for me to buy a pure touring bike for my trip would be a stretch. More practically, the touring bike I purchased could also double as something my dad and I could take out on rides for fun/exercise.
I'd appreciate any feedback on my situation! Should I stick with the Bike Friday? Should I investigate a new bike?