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Folding bicycles

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:26 pm
by sgr143
We're thinking of getting a couple of folding bicycles to keep on board our newly - acquired Merlin, "Osprey ". Any suggestions as to bikes that work well as boat accessories - or ones to avoid! - would be gratefully received. Thanks, Steve

Re: Folding bicycles

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:02 pm
by mikebuggy
The less steel the better. Alloy frames and wheels. Stainless spokes. Alloy clips and fittings. The lightest weight you can afford for easier cycling and stowage. Weight is almost inversely proportional to price, so if you want cheap you may end up with heavy and slow!
Also look for the largest front chainring on offer, as most production folders mean 10mph at 50,0000 RPm which gets very tiring after a while. If you can afford it dont go for the very small wheel types as these arent great in rough marinas, poor roads, and boardwalks etc.
Folding pedals are worth having...anything to cut down width when folded. Also avoid bikes with long protruding wheel axles as again these increase folded width.
Once you've bought your bike...take a few bits off (!!!!). You dont need the fitted propstand, bell, reflectors, and mudguards. They all add surprising amounts of weight.
Ive never found the need for any of these....and in any case simple light clip on versions are available if needed. One thing I have found essential is a lightweight rear carrier (alloy) bungee, and light weight unclippable panniers.
Make weight as one of your prime keys as this tends to automatically drive the quality of materials used. It is weight that makes folders exasperating and why cheap bikes end up in your garage rather than on the boat.
The right bike is great for shopping etc when at distant ports. Best if bike is slightly distressed and you have a good lock and chain. 1M 8mm galv anchor chain in an old piece of rubber inner tube is ideal and a good thick garage type padlock.
Finally try to avoid having two identical bikes. Silly as it seems, this identifies exactly what you are...a visiting yachty..and therefore a good target..either the boat youve just left empty...or yourselves and your shopping!

Re: Folding bicycles

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:45 pm
by sgr143
Thanks, Mike. This all looks to be good advice. We just signed off on the purchase of "0sprey" today, so we should soon be able to put it to practice! Steve