Folder for Touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Folder for Touring

Postby bikepacker » 22 Oct 2007, 5:55pm

I am thinking of purchasing a folder for touring, it will make life easier when going on trains and planes. If you look at my website you will see I prefer to camp so will be carrying camping gear.

I like the Bike Friday NWT and the Dahon Speed TR 2007. Does anyone have any thoughts on these or other suggestions?
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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Postby manybikes » 22 Oct 2007, 7:19pm

I have an older verwion of the NWT and find it can take the weight OK. Panniers and rear mech are close to the ground but not too much of a problem. The folding is not as quick or as small as some but it does ride reasonably on tour. I even have a front rack for additional panniers.
A quick fold to get into a bag involves taking out the handlebar stem but packing into a case involves more dismantling. I have taken it on a plane to USA and ridden on a tour with it. It also fits the so called luggage spaces on the sprinter style trains.
I have the version with three rings but think hub gear plus rear deraileur would ease packing and give potentially a higher gear range which I found I needed when riding with full sized bikes.
Not the lightest of bikes to lug around but I'm satisfied with mine.

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Folding bike for touring..

Postby V4281051 » 22 Oct 2007, 7:30pm

I have a Bike Friday New World Tourist..fabulous bike for touring but not really a folder when you have pannier racks...Takes too long...Not really suitable for jumping into buses and taxis with..As for Dahon..I had a Dahon Impulse...24 speed folding touring bike...for 6 months ...I had so much troble with the hinges I sold it...
Check out the Viking folding bike..6speed aluminium..You can pick one up for about £175..simple hinges..nothing to go wrong..

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Folder for Touring

Postby JJF » 22 Oct 2007, 8:07pm

I have a Bike Friday NWT and regard it as a good touring bike. However, I don't camp so don't have experience of carrying that type of load. I use bar bag and either ordinary panniers or large saddle bag.
I don't understand comment by V421051 about pannier rack making folding more of a problem. Rack doesn't impinge on folding action in any way. In fact it's a benefit because the folded bike will stand on the rack. Perhaps he is referring to front wheel racks which I don't have.
The folding action is much less easy than Brompton. Likewise, the folded B/Friday is much bigger than Brompton.

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Postby andrew_s » 22 Oct 2007, 9:15pm

You could also look at the Airnimal

Several versions, including Rohloff if you want to spend lots, and accessories like racks available.

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Re: Folder for Touring

Postby leftpoole » 23 Oct 2007, 9:31am

bikepacker wrote:I am thinking of purchasing a folder for touring, it will make life easier when going on trains and planes. If you look at my website you will see I prefer to camp so will be carrying camping gear.

I like the Bike Friday NWT and the Dahon Speed TR 2007. Does anyone have any thoughts on these or other suggestions?

I have cycle camped with a T5 Brompton. With the largest available tourer size front bag, plus a Carradice Rackbox on the rear rack. The tent was strapped on the rear rackbox. Everything else went into the rackbox and front bag very well, in fact so well that I used more than I take on my Thorn tourer!
The bag/Rackbox etc easily remove to carry with the carrying handles, bike folds up small.
Last edited by leftpoole on 11 Aug 2008, 8:40am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Woody » 23 Oct 2007, 11:31pm

I have a 'Birdy Touring' that I use for light touring; I would use it for fully laden touring only with a two wheeled trailer as its a bit wobbly when overloaded especially over the front wheel as one must do when touring with the Birdy.

One problem when transporting the Birdy by public transport is that one has one's hands full with a folded bike and two plus panniers to carry on the bus / train.

I use a Carry Freedom Y-Trailer (small) for heavy laden touring on my folder or touring bicycle with a 'Weber Transporter' waterproof bag of approxaimetly 90 litres capacity to keep everything dry.

The Pashley TSR range seem a reliable range of 'seperable' bikes for touring. Its all a compromise with folders.

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Postby Si » 24 Oct 2007, 10:43am

The chameleon could happily house the volume of luggage that you require Bikepacker. It also offers a very comfortable ride with performance not dissimilar to that of a good light tourer.

But there were issues with the build quality of the earlier ones (I know, I've broken three frames). Given that you will be carrying a fair weight and that, no doubt, you will be on a few rough rural roads, you might be best confirming that the reliability issues have been overcome with some chameleon owners that have used the bike for similar purposes, and to Richard Loke, before opting for one yourself.

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Postby professorlandslide » 25 Oct 2007, 8:12pm

If folded size isn't the most important thing, you could try a Dahon Jack, and maybe add more gears at the front and switch the bars for drops or add bar ends..?

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Postby Philip_Rogers » 25 Oct 2007, 11:41pm

Pop down to Avon Valley Cyclery in Bath who'll have all these in stock and can advise.



Postby JC4LAB » 26 Oct 2007, 1:37pm

With a Brompton I often have a problem of breaking spokes when using it for take some spares as few shops stock them on route if you get one....Using a front bag helps to avoid this so use one instead of a rucksack or rear carrier ...With it you always will have the escape by any bus

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Postby MLJ » 26 Oct 2007, 2:48pm

Breaking spokes on the Brompton? When new, the wheels are often poorly built and frequently suffer from loose spokes. Try tightening all the obviously loose ones and you should have no further problems. A pinging test (play a tune on the spokes - they should all emit the same note!) may actually show up one or two over-tensioned ones. If so, just free them off a little.

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Postby Woody » 27 Oct 2007, 12:23am

Have you considered getting S & S couplings brazed on your Nomad frame.

If I was having a new frame built for me that would definitely be on the order form.


Folding bike

Postby kona » 27 Oct 2007, 7:33pm

Bike Friday vs Dahon TR...

I've been looking at folding touring bikes in the recent past and these are the two bikes that I've also considered. I think what it comes down in lots of ways is how often the bike will be folded versus the ride quality. There will probably always have to be some compromise.

My intention next year is to do some long term touring with minimum use of public transport. I've tried the Bike Friday and was very impressed. Infact, that's an under-statement - I thought it was superb. I also tried a Dahon (not the TR) and found it had a bit too much flex for my liking. I've also heard of people having problems with the hinges.

When it comes to folding, it seems the TR is probably better. The racks are integrated in the fold and don't affect the folded size. The Bike Friday, especially, with the rear rack fitted, seems to be more cumbersome. But, like I said, the ride is more important to me than the fold, so it would have to be the Bike Friday everytime.

Someone also mentioned the Brompton as a touring vehicle. I own a Brompton and I'm very impressed by the fold and wish that it was more tour-friendly. Unfortunately, I can't get excited by the ride and the gearing is just too limited for me. Superb commuter, though.

All the best with it all, whatever you decide...


Dahon Speed TR

Postby Pauline » 28 Oct 2007, 4:47pm

I have been touring this year on the 2007 Dahon Speed TR and can't talk highly enough of it. It handles masses of luggage with front and rear panniers and a tent on top of the rear rack; personally I love the ride; the Big Apple tyres can handle a variety of terrain including forest tracks and trails and I've never had a puncture on any Schwalbe kevlar tyres; (have not yet tried it on anything more rugged); the fold is quick, easy and small - I had no trouble getting it on a bus when my train was cancelled and on really wet nights fold it and pull it into the porch of my tent; the range of gears and small wheels have taken me up the steepest of climbs (Bealach na Ba included); and isn't it just a gorgeous looking bike as well! I absolutely LOVE IT - with its ability to integrate with other transport, I think it's the perfect touring bike. I think (if I'm right) it is also more affordable than the NWT, Birdy and Airnimail previously mentioned. Costing around £780 but that's with racks and mudguards that you have to add to the basic price of the others. Hope this helps.