Author Topic: folders  (Read 3437 times)

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Offline fastrog

« on: January 27, 2015, 02:52:48 am »
I rode road bikes for years, but have been riding a Trek FX 7.5 with road tires for mostly rails=to-trails rides of 25 to 30 miles and occasionally longer. And I'm breaking into a Bacchetta recumbent thanks to lots of hand, arm, foot and other numbness. The goal is touring, building up to south-north florida, maybe the cross georgia and cross-iowa tours and eventually cross-country.  This summer, we plan a car tour across the southern tier, into new mexico, Utah and Colorado. Idea is to drive half-day, then take a scenic loop or up and back to camp to hotel. And some days take turns driving and playing sag wagon. Since space is limited I'm thinking about a foldable. Any advice on whether a foldable is practical for 40 to 50 miles a day? Would one of the brands with an 8-speed internal and gates belt be at all practical? any preferred brands? thanks. roger

Offline aggie

Re: folders
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 09:23:59 pm »
I've seen plenty of "Bike Friday's" on tours and the riders seem to do just fine.  Bike Friday even makes a trailer you can use on the trail then put the bike in for shipping or storage.

Offline DaveB

Re: folders
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 08:25:45 am »
Are you looking for a foldable standard upright bike or a recumbent?  For an upright, Bike Friday is the standard "folder" and S&S coupled allow compact disassembly of regular frames. As to foldable recumbents, I don't know what's out there.

Offline John Nelson

Re: folders
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 03:01:29 pm »
S&S would be too much trouble for frequent assembly and disassembly. For a car trip, I would think options other than a folder would be better, e.g., a rack (roof or hitch), or even putting your bike inside and carefully packing around it. You might also consider a soft case, where you take off both wheels. Then you could just throw your bike on top of your other luggage without worrying about getting your other stuff dirty.

If you stick with the folder idea, then certainly Bike Friday should be at the top of your list.

Offline staehpj1

Re: folders
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 03:33:35 pm »
Are we talking about a bent or an upright bike?  I'll limit my comments to upright bikes since that is what I know.

For a car trip I see pretty much zero advantage to a folder.  A rack outside of the car makes more sense IMO.  I like roof racks, but there are other choices that can work too.  Even for shipping a bike to a tour or checking one as baggage I don't see any real advantage to a folder unless it fits in a standard checked bag size (l x h x w<= 62").

Most folders are not the best bikes.  I have a Dahon Helios and wouldn't dream of touring on it.  It is OK for short errands or to have in the deck locker of a small boat, but it really isn't that nice to ride.  The two biggest problems are that:
  • It is hard to set them up to an efficient riding position
  • They can be really noodley with the tall masts for seat post and stem.

The Bike Friday is reportedly better on both counts though.  Still it doesn't sound to me as if a folder suits your needs.

If you are thinking of a folding bent, I have no idea.


  • Guest
Re: folders
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 04:52:33 pm »
    • They can be really noodley with the tall masts for seat post and stem.

    That's how I feel about my Friday New World Tourist, which I bought when I had to commute via train and bike to a different state. The thought was that if I ended needing a ride part of the way home I could fold it to fit in a co-worker's trunk. I cannot imagine riding it with weight on it, but it clearly works for some people. In fact, in Glacier N.P. I crossed paths with ACA's North Star tour on its way to Alaska. One participant was riding a NWT.

    I have also never felt all that comfortable descending on it. Fortunately, my commute was mostly flat so that wasn't a big issue.

    With that said, for 40-50 miles unloaded, something like a Friday might work for the OP. Maybe something geared higher with drop bars might be better than the NWT.