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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 06-10-2009
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folding bike

Has anyone purchased those folding bicycles that they sell at West Marine? And if you did are you happy with it? I sometimes see them on sale and thought it might be nice to have when cruising but I don't want one if they fall apart. Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2009
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I don't have one but, the most expensive to buy would be at WM. they sold on Ebay even much cheaper.
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Old 06-11-2009
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or camping world at less than 1/2 the price
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Old 06-11-2009
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I bought a West Marine "Port Runner" (I think)...it's the red one. Then I liked it so much I bought a second one for my wife. I've had them for 3 years with no issues I - at least none I can blame on myself.

Against the warnings in the instructions manual, I did give a ride to someone on the luggage rack on the back. She was cute and it was Vibes weekend in Bridgeport. All kinds of caution-to-the-wind antics were in the air, otherwise I would have known better. The clamp fatigued and broke under her perfectly round rump. Ah well...she hung on tighter as the rack sagged, so all was not for naught. (my wife was riding ahead...just far enough)

But I digress...

For the price, these mostly-aluminum bikes are great - pretty well made and perform as advertised.
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Old 06-11-2009
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Oh, and shop around for deals at West Marine. I've seen them run ads on these bikes for as low as $150. I think they list for 2x that.
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Old 06-12-2009
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I picked up a Dahon Boardwalk, a much better built bike on Craigslist for $100. But then I commute to work from the boat everyday. If you are just using it as a port runner, should be ok. Keep the chain lubed. But yeah, WM is WAY marked up.
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Old 06-12-2009
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I had the small Dahon, and found them to feel sloppy while riding. They sit in their bags, and we rely on local transportation when cruising, taxis, buses......i2f
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Old 06-12-2009
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Ride with great care

I have two Dahon Mariners on board - I found the lowest online price a few years ago was Boater's World. Dahon sort of dominates the market for low end folding bikes (and for casual use low end is fine) and the Mariner is one with some of the components (particularly the rear cluster and chain) in a corrosion resistant metal.

Very Important Note - the Dahon owners manual points out that folding bikes do not ride like normal bikes, a fact I ignored because I'm a pretty experienced rider. I know to hit the rear brake before the front and put my weight on the pedals and push back off the bars a bit when breaking on a steep hill (like a hill you might find near a marina) My 14 year old didn't know about that technique, and I forgot to tell him.

Bottom line, these bikes flip over their front wheel much more easily that you might imagine. He was wearing a helmet, thank god, otherwise it would have been a life changing accident rather than just ending the trip. He was knocked out, ended up concussed, plus he broke *and* dislocated his elbow.

Ride with great care.




Edit - storage is also an issue - in the end, all things considered, I really wish I had not bought them.

Last edited by TaylorC; 06-12-2009 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 06-14-2009
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I'm also considering buying a normal bike rather than a folding one. A normal bike is cheaper than a folding one, and I think I would use it more. I would probably only use a folding bike when cruising which for me would only be a couple of times a year, but a normal bike I would use other times. My question is could I still carry a normal bike(actually 2 bikes) on the boat somehow when I am cruising? Is there a way to hang some kind of a bike rack off the rear pulpit? Has anyone ever done this and is it a complete PITA?
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Old 06-14-2009
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I can't imagine it's too much of a stretch to put a bike on dinghy davits off the stern...

Another idea is to get a folding full-size bike. most folding bikes have only 20" diameter tires, for the sake of compactness. a regular bike has 26" tires. you still save some space this way, just not as much, and you get a nicer ride. check ebay for one!!
also, if you have a bike with quick-release wheels, that will save some space and some $$
generally, a bike of any worth should be stored indoors to keep from being swiped or going rusty. but there are mounts you can put your bike on without the wheels. generally they are used on trailer decks, but i bet they'd do fine bolted onto your deck somewhere.

Last edited by modul8; 06-14-2009 at 11:54 PM.
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