Author Topic: A folding bike for touring?  (Read 14216 times)

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Offline sanuk

A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 24, 2014, 10:58:57 am »
Think I'm joking?  Look at this:http://bicycletimesmag.com/first-ride-tern-eclipse-s18/  and all you need is a spare $2,000 or so.  However, even if you have the cash finding one might be tricky.  Although introduced earlier this year I still cannot find a full independent on-the-road review of the S18.  Maybe it's just an illusion afterall. 

Offline bogiesan

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 10:41:00 pm »
Rhetorical question or serious?
Bike Friday has used Cycle Oregon for their Coming Home event several times. Touring veterans from all over the world came and rode their Fridays with us for 350 miles. I see several Bromptons and Fridays on tours or out on the roads, panniered and bagged, rigged for travel. Not so many Dahon folders.
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline John Nelson

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2014, 12:21:42 am »
Lots of Bike Fridays on the TransAm.

Offline sanuk

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2014, 03:44:41 am »
Somewhat rhetorical I guess as I'm not about to go out and buy one.  However, if I had a spare couple of grand to throw the Tern bikes would be my first choice - especially the Eclipse S18 - the so called road warrior for the zomby apocalyps!  In comparison most other folders look rather weak to say the least.  That goes for Bromptons, Bike Fridays, the bizzare looking German made 'Birdy' and even Dahons - the Taiwanese company originally set up by the father of the guy who started Tern.  Never having riden a fold-up - they generally tend to make tall people look a bit rediculous I've always thought - I was just curious to hear what those who had some experience think about them for any function other than commuting, as well as wondering why there's semmingly no recent revievs of the S18.

Offline staehpj1

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 06:08:20 am »
I have not ridden the Tern, but other folders I have ridden with a tall "mast" for the bars, were a terrible ride for any thing more easy riding for short errands.  The problems I found were that the mast flexed badly and it was impossible to get a proper fit adjustment on them.

Most folders come in only one frame size and do not lend themselves to much adjustment other than raising and lowering the saddle.  The bars also can adjust up and down, but I was generally not able to get them as low as I wanted them and definitely couldn't get them as far forward.  When I modified one with different bars to get my hand farther forward there was a lot more mast flexing because there was yet more leverage.

Adding a load would only make things worse.

Some folders may address at least some of these issues.  I suspect that a Bike Friday may address my concerns at least to some extent, but I really don't see any sign that the Terns do.  They do not look like a bike I would want to tour on.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 09:51:03 am by staehpj1 »

Offline sanuk

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2014, 07:48:39 am »
That was more or less my own thougt on folding bikes in general - gauwky and somewhat uncomfortable for anyone other than 5 foot tall, and then those silly little wheels.  However, it's only since doing longer haul bike tours on various continents, which involve air and/or train travel to get to your start point - and/or to get you home - air being the most stressful  and buses are no joke either if you care at all for the condition of your bike - that I've begun to dream of something that might just fold up into a neat little package I could take as carry-on! Dream on.  That Tern Eclipse bike - the irresistably named 'road warrior for the zombie apocalyps' - just seemed to be approaching my criteria - and the seat combined with the seat post supposedly working as a stand-up pump! That's inovative -if it works.  However, for a bike weighing in at supposedly around 15 kg picking the thing up when folded wouldn't be easy. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2014, 08:14:44 am »
and then those silly little wheels.

It depends on how little for me.  I wouldn't mind 20" wheels.  In fact I kind of lust after a little mini velo like this one:
http://www.bicyclehero.com/us/cello-meridian-carbon-mini-velo-bicycle-bike-white.html#.U9OYpZRX-uY
It would pack fairly small, but it doesn't fold.

the seat post supposedly working as a stand-up pump! That's inovative -if it works.

That has been done before. http://www.bicyclehero.com/us/dahon-biologic-seat-post-air-pump-33-9mm-2-colors.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwo82eBRCR1Yr2u-G-sK8BEiQAbrSjVFc7Sc1GrSV24Vddx2h_rMcQtMEyTKAnBL6Km7hpnIAaAgoK8P8HAQ#.U9OZgJRX-uY
In my view, it is less convenient and doesn't necessarily even save weight.  With small wheels some of the very light mini pumps work well and weigh under 3 ounces.  If really worried about weight I bet you could find a separate pump and seat post that actually weigh less than the seat post pump combos currently available.

I am too cheap to buy one, but the Bike Friday looks the closest to being ideal for the kind of touring you describe.

Offline PeteJack

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2014, 11:48:32 am »
On the Sierra Cascade route I met up with Jerry and Peggy on Bike Fridays. I was so impressed by their mounts that I was seriously thinking of getting one. The big attraction was easier plane travel. Then someone pointed out how much touring I could do on my 520 for what I would spend on a Friday.

We did over 500 serious miles together. The only downside to them seemed to be that the tires wore quicker than 700Cs

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 01:40:28 pm »
We did over 500 serious miles together. The only downside to them seemed to be that the tires wore quicker than 700Cs

I commuted on my BF New Word Tourist. About 20 miles/day, three days/week for two years. Rode Schwalbe Marathons.  The tires did wear quickly, and I only carried a relatively light load in a messenger bag.

Offline kukula

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 12:53:47 pm »
When I win the lottery, an early purchase might just be a Moulton:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=300306

Offline TCS

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 09:57:32 am »
Sometimes it seems a bit daft (but then, who am I to say?):

http://www2.areaware.com/press/clips/strida/StridaSaharaTrip.pdf

But sometimes it's just the right tool:

http://www.alastairhumphreys.com/microadventures-3/microadventure-islands/
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline canalligators

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2014, 11:26:09 am »
The real beauty of a folder is being able to take it on other transport modes, portaging if you will.  They have real advantages there.  And some good folding bikes also make good touring bikes, though they won't be cheap.  Lots of people use and enjoy touring on them, especially the Fridays.  You have to decide whether a folding bike is the right tool for your situation.

This whole discussion seems to be off on picking apart the idea of using folding bikes to tour.  Both rational and irrational reasons are presented, but the only ones that have merit were the cost and possible fit issues.  I note also that the naysayers are mostly people who haven't really given one a good try.  I may be misjudging, but that's the tone I heard.

As for folding bikes looking funny, the same thought process scares people away from recumbents - and many of them make exceptionally good touring bikes.  Let's keep our minds open, friends.

Offline staehpj1

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2014, 12:45:49 pm »
This whole discussion seems to be off on picking apart the idea of using folding bikes to tour.  Both rational and irrational reasons are presented, but the only ones that have merit were the cost and possible fit issues.  I note also that the naysayers are mostly people who haven't really given one a good try.  I may be misjudging, but that's the tone I heard.
The thread seemed to me to generally be supportive of the notion of folders for touring.  My post probably had some of the most negative comments, but did not "pick apart the idea of idea of using folding bikes to tour".    I did pick at the particular style of bike that the first post of the thread was about.  It seemed a poor choice for touring to me for the reasons I listed.

The Bike Friday does look like for some folks in some touring conditions that it would make a lot of sense.  Like any bike style there are some compromises with even the best of the folders.  For most of my tours the benefits would not be that great so I see no reason the deal with the compromises which include the cost among other things.  If your touring style would benefit greatly from a folder then a BF might be the ticket, but I have my doubts about the Tern Eclipse S-18.  It looks a lot like a dolled up Dahon, with a lot of the same disadvantages and hefty price tag.  The Tern in question seems like more of a mixed mode commuter that a touring bike.

Offline JaneSO

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2015, 04:15:46 am »
Yeah folding bikes aren't exactly known to be good for touring. It's going to take at least twice the time to get anywhere, but I'm sure you realize that. Anyway, this post might be of help: http://www.bicycleadvisor.com/best-folding-bike/. Good luck!

Offline RonK

Re: A folding bike for touring?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2015, 08:18:36 pm »
Hmmmmph - some of my favourite crazyguy journals are Bill Hoadleys tours in South America, often on his Bike Friday, and in particular his journey along the Carretera Austral in Patagonia.

Southbound on the Carretera Austral

Open your minds to what is possible.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...