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Folding vs. full size for touring

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Folding vs. full size for touring

Old 05-17-21, 11:30 PM
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bkkboy
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Folding vs. full size for touring

Planning to go on a 800km ride across norther Spain in September, mostly road, but some flat off bike tracks if suitable. The occasional hill. Debating whether to take my full size or fold-up bike. I know all the arguments about compact and transport on planes etc, but what about comfort when riding for three weeks? I have been on 50km rides with it, slow but not too bad, full size bikes are much better. Has anybody any views on this? A pic of my fold-up bike attached.

Needed a wash, quicker this way.
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Old 05-18-21, 12:05 AM
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Can you afford, timewise, to go on a 3-day tour closer to home? This could help you making the decision and iron out some wrinkles if the folder were to be the choice. Obviously a folder will work only for a subgroup of people for whom a full size bike would work. If you were to end up being miserable in Spain, the cost savings with a folder would not be worth it.

I washed my badly soiled folder under a shower on an occasion and had to fold it to make it fit the shower cabin in my lodging. The taillight did not like it and occasionally gets back on me since with an intermittent trouble few years later as a reminder.
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Old 05-18-21, 12:52 AM
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bkkboy
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I planned to go on a multi-day ride but COVID and the rainy season here in Thailand got in the way. Rainy season will not end till late October unfortunately. Big bike is much more comfortable I agree.
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Old 05-18-21, 02:17 AM
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Fentuz
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I'd go modified folding bike. You can set up a folding bike with touring gear set and off set the wheel size using different chainring. When it come to confort, it all come to position which you can usually replicate, saddle and handle bar. Again this can all be setup.
An another big thing to consider is tyres, I'd go as big as a commuting tyre it can take (something like marathon 47-406 or 50-406) so that you can run lower pressure for comfort or at least take the load.
Also remember not to exceed 105kg (you + load) and if you using a light weight seat stem like the litepro, no more than 80kg for you and saddle bag (or anything mounted to the saddle post)
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Old 05-18-21, 03:25 AM
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bkkboy
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Time isn't the problem as I am retired. Getting a full size bike to Spain is OK also. I do not want to spend money equipping my fold-up for touring though. After Spain I wanted to visit relatives in UK, as well as cycle Paris to London. All this humping a bike around public transport in Europe and UK seemed a lot.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bkkboy View Post
.... I do not want to spend money equipping my fold-up for touring though. After Spain I wanted to visit relatives in UK, as well as cycle Paris to London. ..
You want to do a 800 km bike tour, maybe on a folding bike. And you do not want to equip your folding bike for the trip. And you say your folding bike is not very comfortable compared to full size bike. And after the 800 km trip, you would like to do an other trip on it too. And the photo of your bike does not include a bike.

I think you have answered the questions, if you take the folding bike you are probably not going to have a very good trip.

I have not toured on my folding bike but my folding bike rides almost as well as a full sized bike, the chainstays are a bit too short for a good pannier rack in back but it would probably handle the ride ok. It is not a question of if a folding bike will do the trip, it is a question of will your folding bike be something you would enjoy for the distance.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:28 AM
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A full-size bike needs to be taken apart to fit the requirements to take on trains (France/Spain: 120x90cm; Only applies to long-distance trains.)

Unless that big bike is easy to take apart, I would take a folder. If you don't think the Brompton is up to the task — I've done long rides and mountains in France, but it obviously takes more effort than a lighter, sporty bike —, a Dahon/Tern might be a good, affordable alternative.
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Old 05-18-21, 05:45 AM
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GhostRider62
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You will need a box to check your full sized bike on long distance trains. I have toured with my BikeFriday and extensively with full sized bikes. If I were staying in hotels and going light, I would take my Bike Friday. If camping and heavier weights, I would prefer a full sized bike.

Some options to consider. Rent a full sized bike in Spain. Bring your full sized bike but fly to Paris instead of train. I think if you look at all the costs of bringing the full sized vs the folder, you could simply use that money to stay in hotels during the 800 km tour.
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Old 05-18-21, 06:31 AM
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Winfried
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Depends on the train company. A trash bag could also be used.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/GORIX-Trans...dp/B08QM798G6/

Last edited by Winfried; 05-18-21 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:17 AM
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bkkboy
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I had thought of taking my small bike, and with the cost savings use the money to rent a bike for the 800km section. For smaller trips I could then use the Tern.
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Old 05-18-21, 07:02 PM
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I settled on the Change Bike (650b folding) after using my 18" Tyrell Ive for touring.
While I have no complaints about comfort for the Tyrell IVE, I did find some minor instances where a larger roll over diameter would have helped, when I detoured onto trails.
Change Bike 650B - Bike Forums

If you don't need to constantly fold the bike (only need to fold for train/coach/plane travel ), then do consider a break away system bike too.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...ghlight=waltly
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Old 05-19-21, 02:51 AM
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Thanks everybody. I think it is more likely I will take the folding bike, I will use it in the next few months to feel how comfortable it is.
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Old 06-25-21, 01:17 AM
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I was going to take my folder to Japan, but now, it can only in my imagination....
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Old 06-25-21, 09:45 AM
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I rode this little wonder machine from Bilbao to Burgos last year before lockdown. Now it conveys me around the mountains in La Alpujarras Granadina. I travel light with a backpack rather than racking up though. Not the smallest fold, but still managed to squish it into the luggage rack on a TGV train in France at one point.
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Old 06-27-21, 03:33 AM
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I hate riding with a backpack, especially when the weather is warm !

All my folding bikes have something to carry luggage's on the bike, either a Brompton front block (I adapted a Brompton front block on my Moulton and my Birdy) with a front bag (my favorite is the now discontinued T-bag which is big enough when travelling light) or a rear rack (mainly on the Birdy that has a fantastic folding rear rack that automatically folds when folding the bike and allow to carry standard rear pannier).
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Old 06-27-21, 09:25 AM
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Michael B.
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I travelled with Birdy (front and back rack), Dahon Cadenza in future with Bike Friday and full size bikes. Most importend, I think, wheel size and gearshift.
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Old 06-28-21, 02:01 AM
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Jipe
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Originally Posted by Michael B. View Post
I travelled with Birdy (front and back rack), Dahon Cadenza in future with Bike Friday and full size bikes. Most importend, I think, wheel size and gearshift.
Gearing is definitely important.

For wheel size, its not wheel size alone, its wheel size+suspension (or not)+tire width.
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