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Old 06-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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Default fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

as i have been researching many idea's i have also decided on at some time in the future to get a fold up bike .
Why a fold up bike , the reason would be space savings and security , it would save space inside a van and be safer then locked on the outside .
i see where they have 15 speed bicycles (or more ) any more which gives a good gear ratio for hills etc.
As i said this is for security while at the same time taking less space by folding in half .
i thought maybe a closet space built next to a side door on a cargo type van , for easier access and putting the bicycle back .
this of course would be for someone doing full time living in the van on a limited budget and riding a bicycle to save on the van gas around town .
also the bike could be folded in half and maybe taken in a store for safe keeping while shopping .? should fit in a grocery cart . .

note although the title says full time it could be for travelers part time to .
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

No disrespect intended here. However, is there a question in your post somewhere?
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Old 06-08-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

If I were bicycle commuting in an urban area, a Brompton, Dahon, or other well made folder would be a must. Here in some areas of Austin, there is a good chance that a regular bicycle would get either stolen, seized, or parts (forks, brakes, wheels) yanked off. Plus, if one takes a bus, there are usually just two bike racks available... and likely in use. With a folder and its case, one can just get on the bus with it and not worry.

Plus, in a "B", storage space is precious, so a folder in its case won't take up much room.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

Examples of folding bikes? Specs? Details? Links?
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

I have been through a lot of the folder routine the last few years. I think before we can give a recommendation, we need to know more details about how you would use it.

Pavement only?

How many miles, how fast, serious riding or just around the campsite or to the store.

Multispeed with derailleur, internal gear hub, single speed?

The list goes on and on.

Here is what I found out. I am a serious rider 40+ miles at a time on occasion at decent speeds on a mountain bike, 60+ miles on a road bike.

Almost all the places we went to camp did not have decent, paved, trails. The original folder I bought was Dahon with 8 speed internal hub, and I added a front 2 speed to get 16 good gears. I almost never rode it because of gravel, sand, limestone trails. The 16" wheels were great on pavement, but when on anything else, not very good. Even 20" wheels aren't very good on gravel or sand.

The Dahon was a high end bike, and rode very well, but many folks think that anything with small wheels is "twitchy" to ride. It didn't bother me, as I am used to racing bikes that are very twitchy, but many folks really don't like it.

Brompton is similar to a Dahon, but with less gearing options. They are very well done, fold the smallest, and have rear suspension. They are very short between the seat and the handlebars, so casual riders find them fine, but most more serious riders are not able to get a comfortable position.

I finally sold the Dahon and got a Montague folding mountain bike. It is a bit bigger folded, but has full size 26" mountain bike wheels, suspension fork, 27 speeds. When unfolded it is a full size bike, with all standard mountain bike components, with the only penalty being a couple of pounds of weight. I have ridden it nearly 1000 miles in the last couple of years, everywhere we go, and at home. It is not as blazing fast as my old road race bike, but it is just fine for traveling, as I actually get to use it. They also make full size road, cruiser bikes that fold to the same size which would do fine on a limestone trail.

Bottom line, IMO. If you are a tourist on pavement, you can get most anything. A 3 speed internal hub, 16" wheel folder will be fine and take the least space. As you move up in how much, and how hard, you use it, the selections get more difficult.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

no question , i was only making a statement what i would do and others could do.
next a link , here is one link to e bay of i think a 21 speed bicycle , http://www.ebay.com/itm/COLLAPSIBLE-FOL ... 3372588de9
yes it is a bit pricey but then again saving the gas if living in a van would quickly be saved by using a bicycle if a person is healthy enough and even be good exercise .
As far as riding , i am mostly talking about riding around town or a city , how far is up to any person .
Bottom line to me is a multi speed bicycle , it makes going uphills easier and straight always faster .
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightspeed
no question , i was only making a statement what i would do and others could do.
next a link , here is one link to e bay of i think a 21 speed bicycle , http://www.ebay.com/itm/COLLAPSIBLE-FOL ... 3372588de9
yes it is a bit pricey but then again saving the gas if living in a van would quickly be saved by using a bicycle if a person is healthy enough and even be good exercise .
As far as riding , i am mostly talking about riding around town or a city , how far is up to any person .
Bottom line to me is a multi speed bicycle , it makes going uphills easier and straight always faster .
Actually, that one is pretty inexpensive for a folder, as many of them are $800+ for good ones, and they still come with mediocre components. The e-bay one is a whopping 45#, which is close to double that of a Dahon small wheel, and 50% higher than a Montague full size folder.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

oops i see why someone wondered if i had a question i see now that i put this in the wrong area , it should have went in open discussions probably , so the moderator can move this to the right area if he will, sorry about that!
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

The topic is fine right here in the General forum.

For fun use, there are some bargain fold-up bikes on clearance occasionally at Walmart. This guys blog post - http://adventuresinbicycling.blogspo...o-folders.html - shows the the same red "Campus" folding bike I got from Walmart for $50 on clearance. I think the quality and build of it is pretty good. It was a waste of money though because I've only ridden it twice. I wish I had space for it in the van then I'd take it with me.

It was strange reading that blog post because I also have the "Next" fold-up bike (mine is grey, not gold) and agree that the Campus is a better bike. It was going to be his and her bikes stored permanently in the Class C but I sold the rig.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

I am a pretty serious cyclist (6000 miles per year) and travel mostly to get to cool places to ride. After riding nice bikes all my life, I really couldn't live with one of these folding bikes. It is hard to travel though with a full size road bike. Here was my solution.

I bought a steel frame Bianchi road bike on Ebay. It was slightly used and I got it for half the price of a new one. I then sent it to Bilenky Cycle Works and had it retrofitted with S&S couplers so the frame can be broken down into 2 pieces. The couplers are amazingly strong and take about 30 seconds to screw together. The shifting and brake cables also have screw-together splicers than can be taken apart quickly. I can pop off the wheels and break the frame down into 2 pieces in no time at all. The bike will then fit into a travel case that is the size of a suitcase. It is within the dimensions for normal baggage fees on all the airlines so I can easily check it onto an airline flight. I can also slide it under the couch of most any Class B van (with or without the case). I can put it together in 5-10 min and can then ride a professional quality road bike anywhere I go. I have climbed most of the big mountain climbs in the US with it.

It cost me about $400 for the used steel frame bike and $600 for the coupler installation. It wasn't cheap but neither are the good folding bikes. My normal road bike at home is a $6000 carbon bike so this thing was relatively cheap and it rides almost as good as my normal carbon bike. You could do the same thing with a steel mountain bike or a "cross bike" that would allow much wider tires.

http://www.sandsmachine.com
http://www.bilenky.com/#!my-bike-is-steel/cxj2
http://www.bilenky.com/#!what-is-a-retrofit/c22f8
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

thanks marcopolo , also another thing i am just mentioning , i personally would rather have the full size bike like i showed an e bay link to , it just gives a more dignity look when riding lol , although the other smaller looking bikes may be better for space and even easier to ride for some elderly people .
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

If you go mountain biking, you pretty much need 26" or 29" wheels for any heavy terrain. It won't be as small as a Dahon, but the S&S fittings allow one to fit it into a much smaller space. I've remembered seeing dual suspension bikes using these fittings, but they were XC bikes, definitely not downhillers.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
If you go mountain biking, you pretty much need 26" or 29" wheels for any heavy terrain. It won't be as small as a Dahon, but the S&S fittings allow one to fit it into a much smaller space. I've remembered seeing dual suspension bikes using these fittings, but they were XC bikes, definitely not downhillers.
As I said earlier, too, the full size bike is much more versatile, and you never know what kind of terrain you will be around.

Here is a link to the Montague site. They seem to be the among the best of the full size folders, with road and mountain versions

http://www.montaguebikes.com/folding-bike/

I have a Hummer branded Montague mountain bike I got for $420 on Craigslist. It is like the Paratrooper in the link.



It fits well under our full time bed



The bike is made to fold in the middle with the front wheel removed. I usually also remove the seat, as it is easy and I can keep it from being damaged in transit. I also have MKS removable pedals in clipped and non clipped version. They connect like a compressed airhose quick connect, save a lot of thickness when folded, and work a lot better than the folding pedals.

http://www.amazon.com/MKS-mm-Cube-Clipl ... B000MXOL8W
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

I like those clipless pedals. I assume they are generic SPD compatible? They are useful for not just folding bikes, but regular ones, because it means that a would-be bicycle opportunist thief can't just ride off on it. Thank you for the link to the Montague site -- I didn't realize there were still dual-suspension, full size folders being made.
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: fold up bikes for full time live in van dwellers

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
I like those clipless pedals. I assume they are generic SPD compatible? They are useful for not just folding bikes, but regular ones, because it means that a would-be bicycle opportunist thief can't just ride off on it. Thank you for the link to the Montague site -- I didn't realize there were still dual-suspension, full size folders being made.
The pedals are SPD shoe compatible, and come with their own cleats. I do know some folks have been able to use SPD cleats, but I don't know if they had to modify them. The thievery thing is a big deal with a lot of folks, as well as being able to switch back and forth from cleated to non shoes on the same bike, easily. Having the pedals off also makes bike fit on racks a lot better sometimes.

The Montague are not dual suspension, they are all hardtails, as far as I know. If you like your breakdown roadbike, you would love a Dahon Flo. It was a high end mountain bike that easily disassembled. It probably still is considered the best riding, packable, mountain bike ever produced.
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