Best Folding Tourer?

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PH
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby PH » 22 Apr 2019, 5:49pm

tmac100 wrote:
Heinz Stucke used a Brompton to tour 60K km in around 50 YEARS of touring.

Nice bit of Brompton marketing, but I don’t think he’s used a Brompton for many of those 50 years.

Brucey
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby Brucey » 22 Apr 2019, 6:54pm

PH wrote:
tmac100 wrote:
Heinz Stucke used a Brompton to tour 60K km in around 50 YEARS of touring.

Nice bit of Brompton marketing, but I don’t think he’s used a Brompton for many of those 50 years.


indeed; it would involve time travel amongst other things...

cheers
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mjr
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby mjr » 22 Apr 2019, 7:13pm

RickH wrote:
mjr wrote:Is anywhere in the UK or even EU selling these parts, or is it always a long wait? Velovitality used to stock some but no more AFAICT.

Jan Heine's Rene Herse Cycles (formerly Compass Cycles) do a couple of Ostrich branded bags the L-100 & SL-100. You may be able to order direct from the US (I don't know if they ship internationally) or a stockist of their tyres (such as Sven Cycles in Weymouth) may be able to get them.

Thanks and to Brucey too. So, order from abroad and wait then.

It's the mudguard nut that looks very interesting. Trying to make modern mudguards behave through repeated dismantlings and assemblings is rather vexing.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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hoogerbooger
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby hoogerbooger » 22 Apr 2019, 11:06pm

Just to add on Brompton touring ( as I have done a bit in hilly and non hilly areas ).

The fold and being able to use most types of public transport without much risk of not getting on, is it's main benefit ( or stowing it in the tent or under the bed in a hostel). On smooth roads a sensibly loaded Brompton can handle well and do reasonable distances, but I wouldn't recommend long distances). A standard BWR 6 speed Brompton with 40t chainset can get up pretty steep hills ( & if you are very macho Alps and Pyraneesss ) but on bumpy or soft roads you slow down a lot. You can't let the tyre pressure down a bit on roughish surfaces which helps with the judderyness.....but ultimately small wheels do not work will on bumpy surfaces. On a BWR 6 speed you have a reasonable gear range but the gaps between gears are quite large which affects efficiency as you often don't quite have the gear you want. I found the Brompton saddle and it's seam not good for distance & reckon a softer saddle helps with the judderyness . stumpy bar ends help greatly for comfort and leverage up hills/on longer trips, but there is less you can do about bar position/reach without affecting the fold. Settle up to get the best saddleposition with the pentaclip can be fiddly if the saddle rails are close to the saddle top.

However, despite the niggles, I found it good fun,particularly for trips that jumped here and there using public transport to miss bits out/get to places, but for longer hauls or places where there may be tracks/offroad routes I use a more conventional tourer.

You can pimp a Brompton to have extra gears and better range/spacing, but the bike starts expensive and the pimping can leave you with £1500-£2000+ bike to guard.....that still has small wheels. It's a case of flexibility vs practicality.

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mjr
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby mjr » 23 Apr 2019, 5:27pm

Are Bromptons as bad aerodynamically as Dahons? I've not yet ridden one far enough to find out, but trying to get out of the wind on Dahon's Dawes Jack is very unergonomic, to put it mildly.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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hoogerbooger
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby hoogerbooger » 24 Apr 2019, 2:36pm

I don't know as I haven't ridden a Dahon. However a Brompton has limitations in set-up that 'normal' bikes don't i.e. the frames are all the same size with limited scope to adjust reach/handlebar height. The shorter you are the more upright you sit. I'm 5'8" in old money and don't find the position worse really than my flat handlebar 26" wheel tourer.

(I should add the steering is naturally v twitchy ( with a small wheel and no forward projecting stem to moderate the rate of push to turn) . This can make you feel less balanced. However when touring I attach an Ortlieb front bag to the stem/handlebars using an old Rixen & Kaul bar bag mount arrangement & this counteracts the twitchyness without adversely affecting balance.....I'd say it makes it better).

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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby Brucey » 24 Apr 2019, 2:46pm

by coincidence I was chatting with a chum of mine earlier on and he happens to have travelled by train to Paris on numerous occasions with his full-sized bike. He effectively uses a rinko variant; the forks come out as well as the wheels and the package then fits through an 85 x85 cm square hole so it is the correct size to take on the train.

However he also reports that the railway staff might be used to folding bikes that fold small but they seem easily confused by other things. On more than one occasion he has had someone try and tell him that 'he can't take it because it isn't a folding bike' or that 'it is too large' at which point a more involved discussion and/or some measurements are made. Some folk circumvent such discussions by using a cheap bag of some kind (eg laundry bag) to cover the packaged bike which simply leads to less confusion; it no longer looks like a bike.....

cheers
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PH
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby PH » 24 Apr 2019, 3:29pm

Brucey wrote:Some folk circumvent such discussions by using a cheap bag of some kind (eg laundry bag) to cover the packaged bike which simply leads to less confusion; it no longer looks like a bike.....
cheers

I have the Airnimal Carradice bag and am considering stencilling "Mobility Aid" on it, which isn't entirely untrue. Not an original idea - I took it on a recent coach holiday and when I rang to check it was possible that's what they booked it on as (It was a fair bit bigger than the maximum suitcase size but well under the maximum weight, which made me wonder what people take on holiday...)

Nigel
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby Nigel » 24 Apr 2019, 5:10pm

Just to add to the Brompton "upgrade" options. For some years, a friend of mine had a six-speed Brompton with an additional Schlumph (I think that's the spelling) bottom bracket. That gave another two-speeds, so in theory he had 12 gears, and a very decently wide spread from super-low to high gears. He climbed a few Alpine cols with it, before it disappeared in airport baggage handling never to be seen again.

- Nigel

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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby hoogerbooger » 25 Apr 2019, 11:31pm

Me my missus have a schlumpf speed drive on our brommie '6 speeds & I also swapped to an SA SRF5(w) hub with double sprockets. So the better half has 12 gears & I have 20. We like the speed drives....BUT they are expensive. Hers was £400 when the exchange rate was good & mine was £500. Some special tools are needed to fit them and maintain. Very few outlets in UK sell or fit them. You can order direct, but they require chamferring of the bottom bracket shell with special tool that you can hire from them. I had mine fitted by Madgetts cycles in DIss (it was handy as I live in Wales).

If you use the website below you can play around with the various options of hubs,schlumpf drives,chain rings and sprockets to work out gearing that looks sensible for you on a pimped Brompton.

http://xldev.co.uk/bgc.html

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horizon
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby horizon » 26 Apr 2019, 9:00pm

Just for info my 24" wheel Tern Node is 41 x 85 x 80 cm (16.1" x 33.5" x 31.5") folded.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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Tinnishill
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby Tinnishill » 26 Apr 2019, 9:09pm

Our household has been touring with folding bikes since the 80’s. We have used moultons, cresswells, bromptons, dahons, terns and random short lived cheap folding bikes with wheel formats in 16, 20, 24 and 26 inches.

I would concur completely with what has been said up thread about Bromptons. Most of my touring is on Brompton.

I have had a look at Eurostar’s luggage rules and understand them to say that no piece of luggage should exceed 85 cms in any one direction and should be light enough for the owner to carry it without getting in anybodies way. I think that the biggest wheeled bike to easily comply with the 85cm rule would be a 20” wheeled job; there are loads out there on the second hand market. A lot of them are rebadged Dahons, under names like Raleigh, Philips and Dawes. The specifications of 20” folders that I have looked at on line have a longest dimension of about 80cm.

Claude’s first post on this thread also includes the requirements to come in under a second hand type budget and have a low bottom gear; so that looks like buying something cheap and regearing it.

Luggage carriage was also a requirement. Something like a Tern Link or Dahon Mariner would come with rear rack and mudguards already fitted. There are some pannier racks out there which will allow fitting big panniers to a 20” wheeler, but generally smaller panniers will be a better fit. A very useful feature on some folders is a steering tube pre-drilled for the Rixen & Kaul Klick-Fix Headtube Fitting Mount. I have a Carradice Camper Longflap with a mounting block bolted to it which fits the R&K mount.

Gearing can be a bit of a puzzle on folders, due to frame geometries not many can take a front derailler. Schlumpf drives have the problems already mentioned. A folder with a rear OLN dimension of 135mm will take the Sturmey CS-RF3 hub and cassette set up. Most dahons have 130mm dropouts, so it’s a bit of a squeeze. I described fitting one of these to my Tern on
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=107139&p=1060751&hilit=tern+node#p1060751 .

Sheldons gear calculator shows that a 20”x 1.75 406 tyre, CS-RF3 hub , 32/13 cassette and 44t chain wheel gives a bottom gear of 19” and a top gear of 84”.

A point to consider about carrying folding bikes on public transport is that it helps to disguise it a bit. I have sewn up a simple bag from thin nylon (scrap tent material is useful) which just slips over the bike. When challenged I have said something like “it’s sports equipment”, but it’s probably better to be truthful.

Have fun.
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cycle tramp
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby cycle tramp » 27 Apr 2019, 10:34am

Personally, I'd organise a Brompton test ride.
I'm 5' 10" and have mark 2. I've ridden on roads, Cycle paths and unmade tracks, but for me it's not the small wheels or lack of gears which I found tiring but the cramped cockpit space. About 12 miles is my limit.
I've heard that the mark 3 is longer in the cockpit and with a choice of handlebars you may find that it suits you completely.
I once toured in a group, one of which was a rider of 5'2" who used a Steve Parry modified Brompton with disc brakes rolhoff drive and a handbar stem converted by a sprung seat post. He kept up with us just fine :-)

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horizon
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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby horizon » 27 Apr 2019, 12:16pm

cycle tramp wrote:Personally, I'd organise a Brompton test ride.


I think the word is personally. It seems it's going to be down to personal priorities here and the actual details of the trip envisaged. The Brompton wins hands down on foldability, a 24" bike on ridability (IMV and that of others). A 20" I think is a good compromise. I find my Node to be quite a handful, although once it's on, it's on and it does come within the 85 cm rule. I've never tried it on a bus though. If I were doing a multi-transport trip with full luggage and fairly high mileage I would go for a 20" with the most gears I could find.

My experience in Spain wth a bike is that you can book a full-size bike on a bus (coach) and then bag it; on local journeys you just sling it in the boot.

But if someone loves their Brompton, revels in its convenience and doesn't mind its small wheels on the road, then great. And I wouldn't necessarily recommend my 24" as an alternative.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

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Re: Best Folding Tourer?

Postby Brucey » 27 Apr 2019, 12:28pm

aye, there's more than one way to skin a cat: there's different views on how nice various types of bike are to ride, how practical they are for carrying various amounts of luggage, what constitutes an 'easy fold'. And of course what an acceptable price is, durability, and acceptable availability of spare parts.

IMHO it is, for a once-or-twice-a-year trip which only has a couple of train journeys in it, complete overkill (folding-wise) to use a dedicated folding bike that is optimised for daily commuting, if there are alternatives.

If 16" wheels were a brilliant idea, there'd be more bikes (folding and non-folding) using them. As it is, Brompton 'inherited' its rim and tyre size from the original moulton design (you could buy those parts when the prototypes/early versions were being built), whereas Moulton have -for various reasons- moved away from that tyre and rim size. FWIW the Airnimal design acquired its wheel size in a similar way; I have spoken to the LBS owner who supplied the rims and tyres for the prototype; the conversation was "can you give me rims and tyres about this big" (arms outstretched indicating the rough size); the rest is history. The main reason for using 16" wheels (or indeed any small size) is that it makes the fold small and rapid. If you don't need this, there are any number of wheel sizes that offer a better choice of tyres and rims, greater tyre longevity, easier rim/tyre/wheel availability, etc etc.

cheers
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