Folding Bike Blog

Camping: Bring Your Folding Bike Along

I recently did some cold weather camping here in New England and had the opportunity to bring along my Montague folding bike. If you’re in the great outdoors, there’s nothing better than having a bike with you that can handle the terrain. If you’re car camping, or you’re driving to the trail-head for some bike-packing, you can easily stow a folding bike in your vehicle with your gear.

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I was camping in the DAR State Forest in Goshen MA, and there’s a variety of mountian bike trails to explore here. It seemed we were the only ones camping in the area that night,  so I rode through the quiet surroundings without seeing a single other soul.

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If you want to keep your bike out of the weather, a folder could even be stored in your tent when not in use.

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Fresh ground coffee even in the woods.

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Even a simple breakfast is greatly improved when cooking over an open fire.

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If you have any stories or tips for camping with your bike or for bikepacking, we want to hear them!

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2014 Cyclist Holiday Gift Guide

December is a time for gift giving. If you have a cyclist to shop for, we have some ideas for you.

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Bike Multi-Tool

A handy all-in-one bike tool is a must own for any cyclist. I have a great multi-tool and I could still use another. It’s nice to have one in your bag or backpack, and one in the toolbox. Pictured is the Crank Brothers Pica. MSRP: $54.99

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Saddle Roll

While out riding it’s important to have some necessities with you in the event of a flat tire or simple mechanical. An elegant solution to keeping them on the bike is a saddle roll or saddle bag. You can even fill the roll with goodies to take this gift to the next level. Pictured is my YNOT Cycle Saddle Roll. Made in Canada and available in Woodland Camo. MSRP: $24.99

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Cycling Socks

Not only are a good pair of socks excellent for wicking away moisture and keeping your feet comfortable, a stylish pair is essential to a complete kit. If you want to impress your cyclist friends with your choice in socks, go with an offering from The Athletic, Ten Speed Hero, or a hometown favorite of mine Team Awesome. MSRP: varies

reductivist-key-ring2Key Ring Tool

While always having a multi-tool on hand would be ideal, sometimes you forget it. Having allen keys, spoke wrenches, screwdrivers, and a torx wrench on your key ring means you’ll always be able to make adjustments or help others out in a pinch. Did we mention it’s a bottle opener too? This offering from The Reductivist is made in the USA. MSRP: $28.00

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Bicycle Books

Buying for a cyclist that loves to read? One interested in bicycle design or the history of the bicycle? Try Bicycle Design: An Illustrated History (MSRP: $34.95) or Fifty Bicycles That Changed the World (MSRP: $20.00).

blinder-4-twinpack-black2Bike Lights

Lights are a necessity for anyone riding at night, and Knog makes some of the most elegant options. Pictured are the Knog Blinder 4 lights; USB rechargeable with rubber mount to stretch around any diameter handelbar or seatpost. MSRP: $44.95 for one, or $84.95 for set of 2.

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Reflective Jacket

While riding at night, reflective clothing does wonders for being seen by motorists. Although not everyone wants to look like a highlighter when they step off the bike, so for a clean minimal design try the Sugoi Zap. The fabric is embedded with with hundreds of glass beads that reflect light, but in daylight it’s a solid black (or red, or yellow). MSRP: $149.95

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Bikepacking Gear

If you’re shopping for someone who loves cycling and camping, consider hooking them up with some bikepacking gear to combine their passions. Revelate Designs has some of the best on the market. Hand sewn in the US, their seat bags, handlebar rolls, and frame packs let you bring all the essentials into the wild with you. Pictured is the Viscacha seat bag (MSRP: $130.00) and the Sweetroll (MSRP: $100.00)

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Full-Size Folding Bike

Even for the cyclist with a stable full of bikes, a folding bike opens up a number of new options for riding. It can be kept in the car trunk, always ready for a ride, or brought on the train or bus for commuting and day trips with a bike. Of course, it always stores conveniently out of the way. The single speed Boston is a simple lightweight option from Montague Bikes. MSRP: $699.95

 

One Comment

  1. Steve
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    The knog bike lights are the best! I can’t wait for the Boston to arrive. My son is going to be so excited! Good job guys, keep up the great work!!

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Going Tubeless: How to Convert Your Existing Rims

Tubeless tires are extremely popular in the mountain bike world, and they’re starting to appear on road bikes as well. The idea is quite simple; get rid of the inner tube, install a special rim strip, and with the right tire a liquid sealant can be used to create an airtight installation. The lack of inner tube allows for lower tire pressures without the risk of pinch flats (when the tube get’s pinched between the rim and the ground). That means a larger contact point with the ground, better traction, handling, and bump absorption. And for the most part, punctures are usually stopped by the liquid sealant in the tire.

While many new mountain bike wheels ship as “tubeless ready”, you can actually convert your existing wheels to a tubeless system. I recently made the switch to tubeless with a kit made by Orange Seal. This includes the rim strips, valves, and sealant. Make sure you get rim strips with the correct width for your rims. 24mm is pretty standard for mtb wheels, but measure the inside width of your rims to be sure.

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Lay the strip in the center of the rim. It should come up on the sidewall of the rim on each side. I removed the existing rim tape before applying the tubeless strip, but I recommend leaving it. There’s no reason to get rid of it and many tubeless kits recommend using two layers of their tape if you do remove it.

Old tires, tubes, and rim tape. Good riddance!

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The Orange Seal system has the valve separate from the tape. Once the tape is installed, cut a small slit over the valve hole and push the valve through. Depending what valve type you used before, the hole size may vary (presta vs. schrader). I’ve heard of some people having the separate valve pull through on the larger schrader hole, so in that situation a system that has the valve integrated with the strip may be better (like Stan’s No Tubes).

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Time to install the tire. I upgraded to a lighter set, but with a kit like Orange Seal you can use your existing tires. To accomplish the initial seal more easily, cover the rim and the tire bead with a soap and water mix. Until the sealant is properly distributed inside the tire, the soapy water will allow for a temporary seal.

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Install one side of the tire, then squirt the sealant into the tire at the bottom. Push the other bead onto the rim and grab your compressor. In order to inflate the tire quickly enough for it to seal, compressed air is a necessity. If you don’t have a presta fitting for your compressor, a schrader to presta adapter is a quick fix and handy to have around anyway. A quick blast of compressed air should push the beads of the tire against the rim and seal it up. Once seated, you need to distribute the sealant throughout the tire to make sure it covers every inch of the seams. Turn the wheel around, shake it, spin it; whatever it takes!

Once you feel that sealant is evenly coating the inside of the tire, inflate to your desired psi and get riding! Finished tire sans tube:

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While the sealant does a pretty good job of stopping air from leaking out in the event of a puncture, a large hole or tear in the tire can be a problem. If you’re out on the trail you should carry a spare tube just in case. It can be installed if necessary to get you home.

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