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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 9th 05, 08:35 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

Apologies for possible reposting but I never saw my original post appear
on
the NG and would still like any information please.

I am looking for a couple of folding bicycles to put in the car or caravan
when away. I fancy aluminium frames for the weight benefits. They must
have at least 6-speed gears to make them usable for longer journeys and 20
inch wheels to make them pack smaller and more rideable/safer than 18"
wheels..

I have seen the Giant Halfway @10KG (399), Bronx Velo-City @ 11KG (249),
Land Rover Discovery City Lite @ 16KG approx. (330). One dealer tried to
put me off aluminium as he said that someone 5' 9" may find the frame
flexes.

Has anyone any experiences, advice or comments please, positive or
negative?

Thanks!

--

Jim




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  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 07:11 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
John Colloff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 105
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

The message
from "Jim" contains these words:

I am looking for a couple of folding bicycles to put in the car or
caravan when away. .......

..........................................8=
I fancy aluminium frames for the weight benefits. One dealer tried to
put me off aluminium as he said that someone 5' 9" may find the frame
flexes.


Has anyone any experiences, advice or comments please, positive or
negative?


Yes. I have been using a Bickerton, bought second hand for 150 about
20 years ago, and have used it extensively with the caravan at home and
abroad.

1. Aluminium does flex and I do not think that the weight reduction is
worth-while, especially wrt the extra purchase cost, FWIIW.

2. You say use with the car. If so, do take off the sticking-out pedal
when putting the bike in the boot, or sooner or later you will have a
dinge in your boot lid. So make sure that this removal is easy to
achieve.

3. With the discomfort of the small wheels, and likelihood of a
puncture in 1 trip out of 20 (average), I do not travel more than 5 to
10 miles from the van or parked car. It is quicker to walk and recover
by car than try to mend a puncture. Unless unlike me, you have the sort
of luck that has a cycle shop just round the corner from the puncture
site.

In general I use the bike to avoid parking problems, driving to where
the car can be parked easily, then exploring on the bike, especially in
quaint old towns with hideous parking and access problems.
e.g. Florence, Carcassonne, La Rochelle, etc.
So quick and easy folding is my priority, and I find the 3 speeds and
robustness of the Sturmey Archer type of gears quite sufficient,
especially in view of my shorter-range use.
For example, after the free-wheel down into Boscastle, the walk back up
to go home was not too excessive and inevitable even with 18 gears, if
you see what I mean?

I tried minimalism with a single speed folder and a single cable
operated front brake and built-in back-pedal back brake but the
undulating countryside around Biarritz and the hills of Monaco killed
that one. It is now on no-hill duty on tow paths used from a canal
boat. grin

If you want to go further afield I would look at a boot carrier for the
car and mountain bikes that can be purchased at two for 100, but you
should really get a cheap folder and find out from your own experiences
what your usage is likely to be.
The other extreme, of course, is the electric bike used by a friend, but
no for me!

HTH, and whatever you decide on, good luck, and do give it a go.
Cheers, John.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 07:11 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
John Colloff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 105
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

The message
from "Jim" contains these words:

I am looking for a couple of folding bicycles to put in the car or
caravan when away. .......

..........................................8=
I fancy aluminium frames for the weight benefits. One dealer tried to
put me off aluminium as he said that someone 5' 9" may find the frame
flexes.


Has anyone any experiences, advice or comments please, positive or
negative?


Yes. I have been using a Bickerton, bought second hand for 150 about
20 years ago, and have used it extensively with the caravan at home and
abroad.

1. Aluminium does flex and I do not think that the weight reduction is
worth-while, especially wrt the extra purchase cost, FWIIW.

2. You say use with the car. If so, do take off the sticking-out pedal
when putting the bike in the boot, or sooner or later you will have a
dinge in your boot lid. So make sure that this removal is easy to
achieve.

3. With the discomfort of the small wheels, and likelihood of a
puncture in 1 trip out of 20 (average), I do not travel more than 5 to
10 miles from the van or parked car. It is quicker to walk and recover
by car than try to mend a puncture. Unless unlike me, you have the sort
of luck that has a cycle shop just round the corner from the puncture
site.

In general I use the bike to avoid parking problems, driving to where
the car can be parked easily, then exploring on the bike, especially in
quaint old towns with hideous parking and access problems.
e.g. Florence, Carcassonne, La Rochelle, etc.
So quick and easy folding is my priority, and I find the 3 speeds and
robustness of the Sturmey Archer type of gears quite sufficient,
especially in view of my shorter-range use.
For example, after the free-wheel down into Boscastle, the walk back up
to go home was not too excessive and inevitable even with 18 gears, if
you see what I mean?

I tried minimalism with a single speed folder and a single cable
operated front brake and built-in back-pedal back brake but the
undulating countryside around Biarritz and the hills of Monaco killed
that one. It is now on no-hill duty on tow paths used from a canal
boat. grin

If you want to go further afield I would look at a boot carrier for the
car and mountain bikes that can be purchased at two for 100, but you
should really get a cheap folder and find out from your own experiences
what your usage is likely to be.
The other extreme, of course, is the electric bike used by a friend, but
no for me!

HTH, and whatever you decide on, good luck, and do give it a go.
Cheers, John.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 11:49 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

"Jim" wrote in :

One dealer tried to put me off aluminium as he said that someone 5' 9"
may find the frame flexes.


I have an aluminium-framed bike, and wish I'd gone for something else.
Although not a folder, my Giant Cypress suffers from frame flexing enough
to cause problems with the front changer. I can't get all gears to "run
cleanly" and in some the chain fouls the front mech cage on the downstroke
of one pedal. The dealer fitted a new bottom bracket and chainrings, which
was a partial cure. However, it got worse a few months after and is now so
bad that I'm looking for a new front mech or (better) a friction-only front
shifter.

If you're going for aluminium, I'd suggest that you give the bike a
thorough road test and walk away if you get the slightest flexing-related
issue because it will get worse as the bike "wears in".

HTH,

--
Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
  #5 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 11:49 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Geoff Lane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 870
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

"Jim" wrote in :

One dealer tried to put me off aluminium as he said that someone 5' 9"
may find the frame flexes.


I have an aluminium-framed bike, and wish I'd gone for something else.
Although not a folder, my Giant Cypress suffers from frame flexing enough
to cause problems with the front changer. I can't get all gears to "run
cleanly" and in some the chain fouls the front mech cage on the downstroke
of one pedal. The dealer fitted a new bottom bracket and chainrings, which
was a partial cure. However, it got worse a few months after and is now so
bad that I'm looking for a new front mech or (better) a friction-only front
shifter.

If you're going for aluminium, I'd suggest that you give the bike a
thorough road test and walk away if you get the slightest flexing-related
issue because it will get worse as the bike "wears in".

HTH,

--
Geoff Lane
Cornwall, UK
  #6 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 07:18 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
johnh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 91
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

There's someone on uk.rec.motorcaravans sell two steel framed folding bikes.

Or if you wanted new, there are some listed on www.marcleleisure.co.uk



  #7 (permalink)  
Old November 10th 05, 07:18 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
johnh
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 91
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

There's someone on uk.rec.motorcaravans sell two steel framed folding bikes.

Or if you wanted new, there are some listed on www.marcleleisure.co.uk



  #8 (permalink)  
Old November 11th 05, 10:05 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

"johnh" wrote in message
...
There's someone on uk.rec.motorcaravans sell two steel framed folding
bikes.

Or if you wanted new, there are some listed on www.marcleleisure.co.uk




Thanks, have looked but I want ones with gears. The ones listed are single
speed only.

--

Jim


  #9 (permalink)  
Old November 11th 05, 10:05 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.

"johnh" wrote in message
...
There's someone on uk.rec.motorcaravans sell two steel framed folding
bikes.

Or if you wanted new, there are some listed on www.marcleleisure.co.uk




Thanks, have looked but I want ones with gears. The ones listed are single
speed only.

--

Jim


  #10 (permalink)  
Old November 12th 05, 12:21 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
someone here
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 29
Default Folding bicycles - pros, cons etc.


"Jim" wrote in message
...
"johnh" wrote in message
...
There's someone on uk.rec.motorcaravans sell two steel framed folding
bikes.

Or if you wanted new, there are some listed on www.marcleleisure.co.uk




Thanks, have looked but I want ones with gears. The ones listed are

single
speed only.


Contradiction of technologies here!!!

Lots of gears implies slim chain, with mechanism to carry from cog to cog.
Requires a fairly stiff frame. ie not aluminium

Aluminium frame is flexible - beware flex/stress fractures on 2nd hand or
older
frames regardless of how harshly they may or may not have been used.
Usually has a thicker chain with a single cog and 'Sturmey Archer' internal
gears
Three speed is cheap, cheerful made by everyone
Six or seven speed is available made by a few and is very expensive

A bike carrier to fit on the boot is actually more use than putting the
bikes in the boot.
(My wife has an estate car - this still applies)

More gears are only useful to people who actually *use* them. My son has 21
gears and uses one of them!
I have five gears and use them all.

Read a quick copy of Richards bicycle book (Library or Halfords) regarding
'gear inches'
Front cog, rear cog diameter of wheel = gear inches.
If you get the right combination you will not need gears, you'll just sit
and pedal
or get off and walk. It saves weight and money.

Go for cheap.
Then when you have used the bikes for a year either
throw them in the back of the garage to be never seen again (who cares? they
were cheap!)
OR
Trade up to something which actually suits you better. ie if you wish you
had another water bottle
fitted every single time you use the bike then look for that feature.

And if you really *really* want lightweight folding bikes look at some of
the space age materials.
Carbon fibre, tungsten etc.

HTH

Dave


 



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