Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

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Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 9 May 2015, 11:43pm

blimey, they are coming out of the woodwork at high speed!

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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recordacefromnew
Posts: 333
Joined: 21 Dec 2012, 3:17pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby recordacefromnew » 10 May 2015, 11:04am

b1ke wrote:I'm after a folder at the moment that I can tour on. But properly. I can't afford S&S (unless somebody's got one going cheap? :lol: ), so I'm checking out any 26 inch steel folders that I can find. And there aren't many, which I why I ended up here...

I did find an old Dahon steel folder on Gumtree, but it had sold before I got anywhere near it.... Thread on that topic is here... http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=96346.

Despite saying that I thought the Rudge Biframe looked a tad clumsy, I'm now looking at them more seriously, thinking that maybe, just maybe, they're the answer I've been looking for. Question is, am I deluded?


Don't know what you would consider cheap, but as far as Ritchey goes below from USA is quite cheap. Despite their mtb origin, I would certainly consider them if I must have a steel (they are Reynolds 631) breakaway frame:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dahon-Flo-Rit ... 1414144063
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dahon-Flo-Rit ... 0671268743

If you are patient and want a Ritchey steel tourer, you can also wait for a Dahon Tournado, they come up on ebay occasionally.

Alternatively if you don't mind alloy (you can always add forks of any material), the Rudge/Montague's current incarnation is available from the Far East here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391138162670

You can of course also consider a Dahon Jack/Espresso, which are widely available and come with steel forks as standard. I have a Jack and IME their hinges are much better than my previous lock-jawed Cadenza, which was reviewed as a folded tourer below:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/file/member/201003024.pdf
http://www.velovision.com/Images/tour/vv30cadenza.pdf

Brucey
Posts: 35230
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 10 May 2015, 7:24pm

b1ke wrote: I'm after a folder at the moment that I can tour on. But properly.....

Despite saying that I thought the Rudge Biframe looked a tad clumsy, I'm now looking at them more seriously, thinking that maybe, just maybe, they're the answer I've been looking for. Question is, am I deluded?

Comments (gentle) please...

Update

Just seen this single speed conversion of an old Rudge. Pretty impressive...

Image


I think that the BiFrame is a little clumsy BUT it is still one of the few options you have if your basic standard for the bike frame structure is 'as good or better than a standard diamond frame'. The others that come close to this are the Ritchey design (which is close but no cigar IMHO, the joint near the BB gives trouble for some folk), S&S, or Rob English's folding rear triangle.

Matey's singlespeed conversion is OK (white bikes always look nice until you use them in real weather.... :roll: ) but he's chopped the rear brake mountings out amongst other things....and it isn't exactly a tourer is it....?

FWIW there is a conflict if you want to use a BiFrame for touring; basically mudguards even, - not to mention any luggage- will interfere with the fold. Pannier racks will definitely get in the way of a full fold. My solution to this is to use a saddlebag on a QD support. A bar bag (and a compact rack/decaleur) will be added if required. I've not done them yet but special QD mudguards are on the cards too. The idea is that I will (in less than half a minute) be able to get down to near-Rinko-package proportions, but much, much more easily. My package will be a bit larger but it will contain only three parts for the whole bike, plus the saddlebag. The reassembly target time is between one and two minutes, using one tool or no tools.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Freddie
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Joined: 12 Jan 2008, 12:01pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Freddie » 10 May 2015, 11:55pm

So, how long does it take you to dismantle, fold and have it in a car boot, Brucey? Have you a bag or carrier of any kind you put it in?

I have to say I am interested in the concept. It does the seem the only relatively cheap option for something that rides like a normal bike, yet will fold small enough for a typical car boot or be carried as luggage on a train that would otherwise prohibit bicycles.

Would you be happy to tour on one, Brucey. What do you think the limits of its performance are?

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 11 May 2015, 8:32am

with no mudguards as now (or later, with QD mudguards) you can either

a) do the main fold (in a few seconds), sling it in the back of a medium sized car, or

b) remove the wheels , fold the frame, sling it in a small car. (Removing the QR wheels takes about ten seconds.)

For taking on a train the idea is to strap the wheels to the folded frame (using toe straps), and use a shoulder strap to carry the bundle. The bundle is (if necessary) covered in an oversized bin liner (or rubble sack), upside down with the strap through a hole in the 'bottom' (now the top).

Why the bag? Well, UK train companies have variable (and frankly IMHO dull-witted) rules about how big a folding bike can be, and the basic folded size is 'too big' for many of them so you may be refused transit... but once it is in a bag it is just another 'large luggage item' and is far less likely to be refused, especially if you can bungy it onto a luggage rack. [I have occasionally travelled with a full-sized bike this way, knocked down and wrapped, well before I had ever heard of the term 'Rinko'.]

I think you would get cheesed off doing the full bagging routine on a daily basis, commuting, but on the other hand I think it would be fine for touring.

In use, when touring, the limitations are that the bike is a little heavier (about two pounds, tops, I suppose) and stiffer than a traditional lightweight non-folding touring bike. Mine runs on 26" wheels, too, which is a bit different to 700C or 27" ones. Although mine wasn't perfectly straight and some care is needed in setting the bike alignment when unfolding, I think these are not fundamental issues that will always corrupt the ride quality; I suppose I'm pretty fussy about this kind of thing.

The other limitation is the conflict between luggage racks and the fold. If you want to have four panniers and to be able to fold the bike down very small, very quickly, this is not the way. But if you are OK with a bar bag and a QD saddlebag, I think the luggage won't greatly interfere with the fold.

As far as cost goes I would be surprised if my machine has cost me much at all; I had a lot of parts to start with but fundamentally the bits that go onto this frame are not much different to any other steel framed MTB, i.e. not that expensive or difficult to get hold of. If you started with a bare frame you could put 90% of the parts from almost any used rigid MTB onto it.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

waveydavey
Posts: 4
Joined: 15 May 2015, 6:40pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby waveydavey » 15 May 2015, 7:05pm

Believe it or not I actually have one of these I brought brand new (frame No. 8), I even have the Montague carry bag for it complete with wheel pocket and Velcro ends on the carry handle to fit onto the frame inside the bag. It sat in my shed for many years unused and unloved but I now have it on a ship with me on the West Coast of Africa, ideal when in port and folds up to store when I go home.
I am very interested in the problems with the cartridge BB. I have just had a hell of a job adjusting mine, I had to drill the bottom and fill it with WD40 for a few days to move one cup.
I was looking at the cheapest cartridge unit I could get but now I am not sure. I have no support or LBS here, just a decent general workshop. What was the issue and what did you fit in the end? I was also considering the thread-less type where they expand in just in case I damage the threads getting the cups out.
Any advise on what to use or avoid would be appreciated.
By the way except for the saddle which broke a few years ago all the components are factory original (even the tyres which is scary) so if anybody wants any details or pictures of this thing as it was built just ask.
Dave

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 15 May 2015, 10:03pm

crikey... that is one well travelled bike then! Probably time for new tyres....?

Re bottom brackets. The clash varies from one frame to another...but basically the middle of the BB unit must be around 25mm in diameter or somewhat lopsided to clear the seat tube which pokes into the BB shell on one side.

I've done two so far; one like this

Image

which is a cheap VP BC55 unit, which you can install without the centre sleeve if necessary, and works best with loose balls, and one like this

Image

which was installed with a large cutout in the centre sleeve and Loctite on the cups. This had to be assembled in situ, i.e. sleeve first, then spindle, bearing & cup from one side, then cup and bearing from the other. Getting the sleeve aligned to enter the cup was exceptionally difficult.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

waveydavey
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Joined: 15 May 2015, 6:40pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby waveydavey » 16 May 2015, 4:59pm

Thanks fo that:I can see what you mean when I look at it again: I guess that is to get the strength with only being supported on one side rather than two as is more usual.
Am I right in 69x127 &English thread?
More well travelled than you can imagine: I brought it direct from the Raleigh factory in Nottingham, it went down the Falklands with e for a few months, flew home, then I moved to Wales where it was for many years and moved again to Cape Town, it went with me there and when the ship I am on now called in I put it on-board and is now in EG.
And definitely time for new tyres :D

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 16 May 2015, 6:44pm

IIRC the BB shell should be 68mm wide (English thread) and the BB spindle should be about 126mm long to use with the original crankset.

The actual amount of intrusion into the BB shell from the seat tube seems to vary a little from one frame to another.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

cpg
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 May 2015, 1:08pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby cpg » 8 Jun 2015, 6:20pm

Brucey. Have you got some photos of your modified and upgraded Rudge that you can post on here? I picked one up recently, the parts dont seem to be too bad, it has Suntour drive train, shifters and Oval Tech cranks. The wheels are nothing special and rather cheap. From the bikes I have seen on the internet it seems there were different component specifications, especially between the Rudge, BMW and Schwinn models.
Ultimately my bike might end up with 700c wheels and bull bars. I have tried a pair of 700x25c wheels and tires in the frame and they fit with probably just enough clearance for a set of mud guards. I suspect the Diacompe brakes will be a pain to set up so might get replaced with V brakes or road callipers if I switch to 700c. I quite like the fact that these bikes look like dull early1990's mountain bikes, that should make them less desirable to thieves.

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby Brucey » 8 Jun 2015, 8:44pm

I'll get some more recent pics of my machine up in the next week or two.

If your BiFrame was originally fitted with 26" wheels, and you want to change to 700C then you will have to do something about the brakes; the original bosses won't work for you.

The (utility/tour) spec on mine is presently

- 3x8 gearing, 12-32 cassette with friction shifters mounted under the handlebar extension.
- Sachs front mech on revised braze-on mount
- Deore M590 rear mech
- shimano deore LX crankset (ST type from about 1992, 48,38,28)
- three-piece BB (pending modified sealed one being installed)
- stainless cable inners throughout
- linered cable housing everywhere
- PD-M520 SPD pedals
- Aluminium/steel stem
- Dropped bars
- Exage Aero brake levers (short cable pull as per SP sidepulls)
- Avid Shorty cantis with good quality brake pads and low straddles
- plastic saddle (UnicaNitor lookalike)
- steel seat pin (Stewart's pin is not presently fitted, but will be when I get a better shim than the first one I tried )
- QRs replaced with stainless bolts (anti-tampering measure; needs 10mm spanner to fold now)
- grease nipple cleared and nesting tubes well-greased
- original steel headset fitted with loose balls
- Half-decent 559 wheelset with stainless spokes, box section rims, well-sealed bearings, cassette hub etc
- 26 x 1.25" slick tyres
- QD mudguards (mocked up but not fitted permanently)
- QD saddlebag support (ditto)

FWIW I think that 1.25" tyres are too narrow (the ride is a little bit bumpy because the fork is stiff). I'm thinking that ~38-40mm tyres may be about right for me.

You can see that most of the original equipment has been ditched; the replacement stuff isn't a massive amount better quality but it is (for me) more of a known quantity.

The bike weighs about 28lbs without mudguards. I think that if I wanted to shed weight I could (without downgrading strength unacceptably) lose about 150g from the bars and stem, 50g from the headset, 100g from the seat pin, 200g from the wheelset, 200g from the crankset, 75g from the pedals, 100g from the saddle, 50g from the rear mech... you get the idea... I think losing a couple of lbs is well within reach if I wanted to....

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

cpg
Posts: 28
Joined: 30 May 2015, 1:08pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby cpg » 8 Jun 2015, 9:37pm

Thanks for that Brucey. Yes, 700c wheels will need work to make the brakes compatible. If I go with V brakes or canties then I will machine some brake block extender brackets. I have experimented with road callipers, they will mount in the rear stays and the blocks line up with the rim but they sit too low on the front. The forks could be replaced with road forks or there is enough space on the original fork crown to drill another hole 8-10mm higher up for the calliper mount. I haven't ridden the bike properly yet so I dont know exactly what set up I am ultimately going with. I have stripped, cleaned and re-greased the drive train. The grease nipple was clogged up so that has been cleaned out. I soaked the seat tube in paraffin and blew it out with an air line which has freed it up nicely, I still need to grease it. I have ordered some modern alloy seatpost clamps to replace the original steel (rusty) clamps. The modern ones weigh 30 grams compared to 100 gramms of the original steel clamps. Not considered mud guards yet, I have a spare set of 26" guards, I like the Tennax fastener idea for rapid removal.

waveydavey
Posts: 4
Joined: 15 May 2015, 6:40pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby waveydavey » 18 Jun 2015, 5:05pm

If anybody is interested this is what the origional factory accesory carrying bag looked like.
I Brought it brand new with the bike - its done me well over the years but I doubt its still availiable :D
Image Attachments
Bike in bag.jpg
Bike in Bag 1.jpg

KM2
Posts: 374
Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 5:38pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby KM2 » 20 Jun 2015, 7:56pm

I have one of these. They were produced by Raleigh but American design and built in Taiwan. Because all Raleigh's had to be built in the UK, at that time, they had to be badged as one of the defunct company's that Raleigh owned.
There's also a Montague tandem that folds like a Z.

waveydavey
Posts: 4
Joined: 15 May 2015, 6:40pm

Re: Rudge 'Bi-Frame' -a 'Proper' Folding Bike....?

Postby waveydavey » 20 Jun 2015, 8:30pm

That all fits because mine came from the Raleigh Factory in Nottingham - staff sale through a friend at the time.

I would seriouly like to see hte tandem!