This is a Bank Holiday Weekend in the UK, so we shall probably have bad weather. If so, and with cycling opportunities still rather restricted by Foot and Mouth, this bumper issue of FSN should keep you occupied if you have to stay indoors. Expect the next issue to be quite short though, as we have used a lot of our stock of material in this issue.
Our April 1st (April Fool's Day) feature on this imaginary product (note, a Bromton, NOT a Brompton!) generally met with a very positive reaction. I think that if it did actually come into being there would be a good market for it! The one feature of the design that was questionable was the use of 19 inch wheels - this was only included so that I could get '42' (which I should explain, if you are not a Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy fan, is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything) into the design via a wheel size of 42(0)! Actually, the question of wheel size is now an interesting one - a couple of years ago there would certainly have been a case for wishing for 406 (20 inch) wheels on a higher performance model, but we are now so well served with good quality 349 (16 inch) tyres that I'd be inclined to prefer to stay with these; they help to make the bike more compact when folded, and the Primo, Brompton and Schwalbe tyres cater for everything from fast road use to heavy touring and light off road use. Of course, if the design stayed with the 349 wheels, it would also make the creation of this version from the existing one much easier; if I had the skills and resources, I'd be very tempted to make one for my own use!
After using the Micro for two weeks, I got out the Bike Friday New World Tourist (Newt) and took a ride out towards Wolverhampton and back on Sunday 1st, and then used the old Brompton T5 for the remainder of the last couple of weeks - which has not involved much riding due to F&M and the weather. I have to say that after using the Micro for 2 weeks, my initial reaction was that I had been rather spoilt for the other bikes - whatever its shortcomings, it is very light, free running and fun. Both the Newt and Brompton felt heavy and sluggish by comparison on the very short rides I'm doing at present (mainly just to and from stations). However, the comparison with the Brompton was particularly interesting, in that the two bikes gave very different impressions of the effectiveness of the 5-speed Sturmey-Archer hub. The Micro felt rather under geared on the flat or downhill, but otherwise it bowled along well, and the gaps between the gears, though a little larger than I would like, were quite acceptable. By contrast, the Brompton, with an older, twin-cable Sturmey-Archer 5, exactly the same internal ratios, but slightly higher geared overall, seemed to be hard work, and the gaps between the gears were most unpleasant - pedal like a maniac in a low gear, then change up, and the knees were creaking. Since this is difficult to relate to the fact that the gear spacing in percentage terms is identical, it resulted in some further thought being given to the matter, and then some experiments, which are described in the article on gearing below.
April Origami Ride yesterday was relocated to Milton Keynes,
partly due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak. We had an excellent
ride on the quiet roads/Redways/paths locally, with the
additional benefit of very flat terrain. The weather was quite
kind, at least by recent standards - rather grey and a very light
drizzle just before the lunch stop, but no problems otherwise.
There were 10 riders, but all the local contingent were on
conventional large wheeled , non-folding machines, and it was
left to Graham McDermott (Moulton 'Pylon' Speed), Peter Evans
(New Series Moulton), Chris Dent (Bike Friday Airglide), Peter
King (SP Brompton) and myself (Brompton T5) to represent the
folders and separables. The distance was measured as about 35km,
although I had done 57km by the time I finally got home. All the
bikes performed faultlessly. Graham seems particularly enchanted
with his new Speed - despite what the rather alarming photograph
might suggest: don't worry, Shaun, he didn't let go! A more
detailed report is on the web site at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/origamiapr01.html.
I took the Brompton for its convenience on the train, and it was
more than adequate for a short, leisurely ride like this.
Certainly it was pleasant not to be worrying during the ride
about getting the bike onto the train afterwards, though the ride
was slightly marred for me by a painful toe (even worse today,
after the ride), and the thought of having to spend much of
Sunday on producing this issue of FSN and updating the web pages.
The iPAQ finally came back repaired on Wednesday 4th. It was correctly addressed this time, but there was no response to my enquiry about how to restore the data and programs following the ROM change (I had even sent a CD with the backup on it, which was returned with the iPAQ). I manually reloaded all the programs and re-synched the machine, a process which took about 2 1/2 hours as I could not use the restore feature.
I've decided to give it another chance, rather than abandon it and revert to one of my other, reliable, machines, and so far it's been behaving itself. What I find is the "killer app" (application), which makes the iPAQ so useful, is Pocket Artist. This amazing program not only allows pictures to be viewed on the screen, but edited as well - cropping, brightness and contrast changes - selective as well as the whole image - etc. It's like a miniature version of Photoshop, running on a palmtop. The current release won't handle the 700K JPEG files my 3M pixel digital camera produces in normal mode, but I have a new beta version which will process these, albeit by automatically reducing the resolution as it reads them. It makes it practical to edit pictures to make them suitable for web use while away from base. With a Stowaway keyboard, now just becoming available for the iPAQ, and brilliant with the Palm models, this makes a great portable system when away from base for a few days on a cycling expedition. The main problem at present is availability of FTP software to allow the images and text to be uploaded onto the web site from the iPAQ. Of course having to use a sleeve on the iPAQ to take the camera's CF card, plus (when I have one) the folding keyboard does make the iPAQ less compact, but it's still a lot more practical than carrying a heavy, bulky, power hungry, fragile notebook computer round, which is also something of an overkill when cycling. Pocket Artist is available from Conduits - see their web site at http://www.conduits.com. They also have several other good products for Pocket PCs and other Windows CE machines, and you can download evaluation copies of their programs, most if not all of which are fully featured and remain usable for 3 or 4 weeks.
The planned date for the next issue is 29th April.
Following the article in the last issue, a few more people have asked to receive the formatted version of FSN in the future, but not many. From some of the replies, it seems that I have not made it clear what the formatted version consists of, so here is an explanation. If you opt for this version, you receive an email containing a couple of lines of text, and one or more attached files (if you are behind a company firewall which does not allow attachments, this means you can't use this option). The attachments are meant to be stored on your own machine, and then viewed off line using your normal web browser. The basic text file sent is only marginally larger than the 'normal' emailed text version (HTML formatting does not required a lot of additional data); photographs will make the download bigger, but if you ask for it without the photographs, then I don't send them, so the impact on the telephone bill is minimal. Once the file is downloaded, browsing off-line is painless, and the formatting makes it much easier to read the articles, especially as headings etc stand out much better.
If you receive this issue of FSN in a plain text form, please remember that a formatted version is available on our web pages at http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/fsn/fsn074.html, and you can receive the formatted version (suitable for reading with a web browser) just by emailing us to let us know you prefer this version.
Please note that A to B have now changed their web address to http://www.a2b.care4free.net. Their email address also changed recently, as reported in FSN at the time, to email@example.com. We are trying to update our web pages to reflect these changes, but we may not locate all the links, so if you have problems accessing the A to B site from our pages, try manually entering these addresses.
A supplement to "It's in the Bag" became available recently in paper form, and is now supplied with the book to new purchasers. It is also available on the web at Tony Hadland's site - at www.hadland.net. Such is the pace of development, though, that it is already out of date!
Carradice have now launched their new range of SQR bags, one of which I had for test a few months ago, and which I have mentioned briefly in previous issues. To recap, the new Carradice SQR is a quick release mounting system for luggage which fits onto the seat pillar. It can be used on any kind of cycle, though you do need a reasonable amount of seat pillar exposed - generally not a problem with folders of course. It can mount on almost any diameter seat post - the standard mount fitted everything I tried, but there is an optional larger diameter version. One part parts on the pillar, and the other on the bag. The system can be used with conventional saddlebags, or the new SQR bags, which have been specifically designed for the system. I have used both an old Karrimor bag and the test version of the SQR bag successfully. The system is very secure, but the bag can be very easily removed and refitted, a particular advantage on a folder. Additional mounts can be bought, so that the bag can be used with several different cycles. Weight is reasonable, though as with any system of this kind it does add about a pound compared to a conventional bag mounted direct onto a saddle.
There are three bags in the SQR range (though as mentioned before you can use an existing saddlebag). They are all of a similar large wedge shape, projecting further to the back of the bike than with normal saddlebags. Mounted highish (to allow for lowering of the seat pillar when folded), and projecting so far backward, the sample I used did seem to affect the handling of the Micro (which has a very short wheelbase and rather sensitive handling), but I didn't notice any negative effects on the Brompton, Airnimal, Bike Friday or Marin mountain bike on which I have used it. The three models are known as the SQR Trax (37 x 18 x 20cm, mesh side pockets with compression springs), SQR Slim (36 x 29 x 15cm, no side pockets, more suited to smaller frames and extra wide to allow books and files to be carried) and the SQR Tour (37 x 18 x 20cm, with two side pockets). In all of them, the bag-mounting section of the SQR mount is built-in, and they all have an internal pocket, a carry handle, reflectors and LED straps on the (rear-facing) 'lid'. There is also a wipe-clean mudguard surface on the underside, and a rucksack harness is available which can be used with any of the bags. Capacity is quoted as 14 L for all of them. I guess the version I had on test was the Tour. I was very pleased with mine, and I now have mounts for them on several of my bikes, both folding and non-folding. For the Moultons I prefer the excellent Moulton Day and Weekend Bags, due to their incredibly light weight and neat, unobtrusive fitting, though fiddly to remove, and on the Brompton I'm inclined to use either the standard Brompton front bag (good capacity, but very heavy and unaerodynamic) or a Carradice bar bag mounted on an SP bracket on the Brompton luggage block, but the SQR is an excellent solution for other bikes less well endowed with integrated luggage systems.
I think this is an excellent system, and as mentioned I've put mounts on most of my bikes now to allow me to use them. The capacity is sufficient for a day ride, and the Slim version would also do well for commuting, with its extra width to accommodate books etc. You can mount a larger conventional saddlebag using the same system (you would need a separate bag section mount, as the ones built into the SQR bags cannot easily be removed) for weekend or longer outings. For touring, you could use the system with panniers or other bags, keeping valuables in the SQR mounted bag, so that it can easily be removed for security.
On my pre-production sample I could find little to suggest by way of improvements, and the pictures suggest that at least one of my suggestions has been incorporated in the production models. I bought the SQR mount when it was first announced, before the sample bag was supplied, and used it with an old Karrimor saddlebag on the Airnimal for Portmeirion in November. The rather loose fit that I noticed with this one had already been dealt with by the time the sample system arrived in December, albeit rather crudely using a plastic sleeve, but it shows that Carradice are implementing a policy of continuous improvement (they have also announced some minor but useful improvements in Super C rear panniers and other saddlebags). The price of £49-95 for the Trax and Tour models, and £44-95 for the Slim, may seem high, but it includes the complete SQR system as well as the bag, and the SQR and bags seem very well made, and should last many years.
Carradice also have a new section on their web site dedicated to folding bikes. Apart from the SQR system mentioned above, and the existing rack box which can be used on a rear rack, such as that of the Brompton T models, there is a "Folding bike carrying bag", which I had not seen before. The size is given as 59 x 25 x 61cm, and it is described as being "Suitable for Brompton & Micra type bike". This is a bag, rather than just a cover, and has carrying handles, shoulder straps and 3 sided zip.
By Robert McCann
I have for many years been interested in small-wheeled bicycles – my initial interest being kindled by being given (dare I mention) a folding RSW 16 by a ‘friend’.
About twelve years ago
I saw a second hand Airframe for sale in a local cycle shop and
whilst it interested me, I was more into Moultons at the time,
and so let it go. Ever since I have regretted this and have tried
by several means to obtain an Airframe to add to my collection of
folding bicycles. [Photograph: s, right and below right: Original Airframe, unfolded and
My wife suggested that
I put an advert in a local shop window as I had once seen a man
riding an Airframe in the area – fat chance of success I
Eventually, just before Christmas last year, I received a telephone call from a man who said that the advert had been brought to his attention and would I like to speak to him – he didn’t have an Airframe to sell but knew about them! Lo and be,hold it was Grahame Herbert, the Architect who designed the Airframe! He kindly invited me to his house to talk to him and see two prototypes of the new Airframe he was designing.
What an experience – not just meeting the man but also being allowed access to the new machines!
I have always been interested in design and the evolution process that new ideas go through before becoming reality – not just because this forms part of my job but also on a personal level it has always fascinated me.
Grahame told me about the mixed fortunes of the original Airframe and how repayments on the Government guaranteed loan had to commence so rapidly that the developmental schedule had to be concertinaed into a much shorter period of time than was really necessary. There were (and are) clear differences between the designer’s ideas and aspirations and those of the manufacturer and these can arise during the manufacturing process! Keeping the quality high during manufacture seemed very difficult!
To avoid encountering similar problems with the new Airframe, Grahame has turned one of the rooms in his house over to a small workshop, where he has fashioned all the press tools and jigs for making the new prototype. He even had a hydraulic press for metal fabrication!
On show were two
prototypes – one in yellow and silver, the other in blue. The
yellow and silver model had been powder coated, not only to add
colour to the bicycle but also to reduce friction on the folding
parts – a double whammy if there ever was one!
Both bicycles looked spectacular and very modern! The
small diameter tubes of the original Airframe have been replaced
with a larger diameter single tube – this has greatly improved
rigidity. The handlebars still fold around but now use a new,
more rigid method of securing into place – the folding of the
main frame was as the original machine. A very interesting and
elegant folding pedal has been developed by Grahame, using
anodised aluminium and plain nylon bearings – silky smooth.
One of the most interesting items that Grahame showed me was a wooden and aluminium prototype of the main frame that he had produced to enable him to check and adjust, as necessary, the main folding action of the Airframe.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to see Grahame and his new Airframe – it was one of those rare moments in life where someone you have admired from afar, turns out in real life to be even better!
The new Airframe is due
to go into production within the next year using a Shimano hub
gear – now that SA are (temporarily) not available. Cost –
about £600.00. Would I buy one – you bet! It’s a real design
classic – best of the old, with the best of the new!
Photographs of new Airframe by Robert McCann. Copyright (C) Robert McCann.
By John Turvey
I purchased my first Brompton in June 1997. Until the previous Christmas I had worked 200 yards from the station in Newcastle (and I live 300 yards from the station in East Boldon) but we moved to a new Quayside office just over a mile from the station and I was getting fed up with the 20 minute walk. When I read about the prototype Neuß recumbent conversion (I was already a committed recumbent rider by this time) I though it would be ideal, so I wrote to Juliane Neuß to enquire about the recumbent conversion and went to my local bike shop (which happens to be the local Brompton dealer - Norman Fay in South Shields) and ordered a T5 Brompton. The Brompton eventually arrived, but there was no firm date for the Neuß recumbent conversion kit, so I started using the Brompton for cycle/train/cycle commuting, normally covering about 3 miles a day on the Brompton, but also using it to visit nearby clients. After a year I fitted a mountain-drive to this Brompton to enable me to get up a very steep hill when leaving work to go to the station to catch the train home - this gives 10 separate gears ranging from 16 inches to 89 inches, although the lowest gear is too low to be really usable. Initially I had a lot of trouble with the chain coming off the chainwheel all the time when in the low range on the mountain-drive, but after I fitted longer chainwheel bolts to move the chainwheel nearer the frame it worked fine and I can cycle up really steep hills now.
In September 1998 I finally heard the Neuß recumbent conversion was coming at last, and I decided I would have to buy a second Brompton as I did not think the mountain drive on my first Brompton would be compatible with the Neuß recumbent conversion. This time I specified Primo Comet tyres and better brake blocks from new as I had upgraded the upright Brompton with these and found they made a great improvement, and I also specified the lowest gearing option. The conversion kit I got was the first into the UK as far as I am aware - it was the kit that A to B magazine had had to do a review, and I was asked by Juliane Neuß if I wanted to buy it after A to B had finished with it (I suspect to get me off her back - I had been asking for progress reports regularly), and I said yes..
By November 1998 I had the Neuß recumbent conversion kit and the second T5 Brompton so I set out one Saturday morning to put it together. As I was nearing completion I realised the belt tension was far too weak, but at that very moment the post arrived with an alternative belt tension arrangement from Julianne Neuß, which I installed. The assembly was fairly simple - the only other problems I had was mounting the front seat clamp too far forward, so it interfered with the folding, and making the earth wire for the front light too short so it snapped when folding (twice!), despite specific warnings in the instructions about these points. After I had adjusted the seat clamp and soldered in the second extra extension to the earth wire, I set out for a short test ride and found it worked - in fact it worked surprisingly well, except that the belt still slipped when pedaling hard.
The following weekend was Bike Right 4 at Wooler Youth Hostel, so on Friday I caught the train to Berwick and cycled down to Wooler. Over the weekend I covered about 120 miles and found the recumbent Brompton to be very comfortable but that the gears were really inadequate for a recumbent - going up any hill the belt would slip when I started pedaling hard, so I ended up pushing up all the hills, and going down I would soon spin out - however this is a hidden advantage as the brakes were not up to much.
The following spring I installed a shorter tension spring, and this worked much better - the belt would still slip, but only when peddling really hard, and it was now possible to ride up gentle slopes and short hills. However it was still not possible to ride up a big hill - the lowest gear at 35 inches is really far too high for a recumbent - so I still get off and push. On one of my trips in 1999 I was heading from Reeth toward Tan Hill and on a descent I let the bike run and (as I found later) reached 38 mph just before a bend - when I put the brakes on there was no noticeable effect - fortunately there was nothing coming the other way and I got round the bend, but only just. On the return journey, on a big descent crossing from Wensleydale to Swaledale (I was still recovering from the fright I had given myself on the descent on the way to Tan Hill two days earlier) I set off from the top with both brakes on and both feet on the ground, yet the recumbent Brompton was still going faster and faster, and I eventually had to pick my feet up - I reached almost 20 mph with both brakes still on.
These two descents were in dry conditions. The following year, after I had put the new Brompton brakes on, I went down the same hills on a VERY wet day, and was able to control my speed using just one brake. The new brakes are a significant improvement to any pre 2000 Brompton, although for the recumbent Brompton the supplied cables were not long enough, so I used the rear cable on the front and got my local bike shop to make me two longer rear cables (one in use and one as a spare) as the cable end nipple on the new Brompton brake is a non standard size.
Having by this time decided the recumbent Brompton was a really useful bike for 'train/touring' trips I made a few basic upgrades:
I then set out to improve the luggage carrying - one of the drawbacks of the recumbent Brompton is that you lose the Brompton bag, one of the best bits of cycle luggage I have ever came across. I first of all fitted the smallest Caradice saddle bag to the top of the seat - this holds a basic tool kit, a spare tube, a waterproof, a sandwich and a couple of bananas. I was at this time still bungee-fixing small holdalls to the rear rack (no foot interference), but then I came across Radical recumbent luggage and got the 30 litre top bag (not the 'Brompton' version which is designed for the upright Brompton) which includes two pockets for water bottles - this fits nicely under the saddle bag (after sawing off the rear part of the seat rail) and allows me to carry enough for short hostel/B&B trips. At a push a small bag can be added at the rear of the carrier behind the Radical bag.
More recently I have fitted a water bottle to the rear of the head tube (above the hinge) - it took me over two years to realise there was enough space for a water bottle here (although it does increase the folded size). I have also put in a slightly longer belt tension spring after the drive belt snapped on Bike Right 6 last November - I had believed the belt would last indefinitely but mine lasted about 1,300 miles - it may have been because the belt tension was too high as, with the longer spring, it does not slip any more than it did before. I also got a spare belt when I got the replacement, as (although I was lucky this time - I was able to put the recumbent Brompton in a van and borrow a mountain bike for the trip back to Wooler Youth Hostel) without a belt the recumbent Brompton is fairly useless (unless you are carrying the saddle and saddle stem with you, together with the tools necessary to convert it back to an upright Brompton).
I have hardly ever used the Recumbent Brompton to go to work - basically it takes too long to fold compared to the upright Brompton, as it has to be strapped together and the drive belt and any luggage has to be removed. With the upright Brompton I can remove the luggage and fold the bike in under 30 seconds, but with the recumbent Brompton it probably takes 2 or 3 minutes and it is bigger and heavier. However, I have never had any problem taking it on any train as a piece of normal hand luggage, something I doubt I would get away with if I had my eight foot long Peer Gynt with me.
I have taken the recumbent Brompton to Bike Right 4, 5, 6 and 6 ½ and also use it for 'train/touring' trips - mainly going by train to Northallerton and cycling up Wensleydale or Swaledale to visit relatives near Kirkby Stephen for a few days. The longest single ride I have done on it was 80 miles and it was still comfortable at the end of the day (and this is in comparison to my Peer Gynt, one of the most comfortable recumbents I have come across).
The bike has to be ridden within its limitations, the main one being the gear ratios - with the five speed Sturmey Archer hub gears giving ratios from 35 to 80 inches the range is not wide enough for a recumbent and I find I have to push up most steep hills as the gearing only allows me to travel down to about 8 mph - any slower than that and the boom starts to creak and the belt starts jumping. I have accepted the boom creaking as a fact of life - the front boom is just bolted on and has a joint in it, so I expect the creaking is a feature I will have to live with. I also get squealing from the drive belt as it passes over the tension roller - this is intermittent, but I have not been able to work out why it comes and goes. I also find the handlebar shape is awkward as I have to point my knees out at the top to avoid the bend in the bars - Juliane Neuß is about to produce a 'T' shaped handle bar so I have put my name down for one.
Oh no, not another article on gears! I can imagine many people's reaction now - it's such a well worn subject, and although it continues to attract a lot of attention, there is not all that much more that can be said, and all too often the views expressed come from well entrenched positions - people who love derailleurs and hate hubs, or vv. Nothing is perfect, there are no magic solutions, and choice of system, ratios etc depends on the type of use and personal preference.
What I'm going to discuss very briefly here are some observations I've made recently, and some minor modifications which resulted and seem to have made my cycling much more enjoyable on one particular bike. Although I tend to prefer pure derailleur systems for day rides, touring etc, hubs certainly have many attractions for daily commuting in all weathers, and of course with machines like the Brompton our choice is restricted. What I have found a particular problem with hubs though is ratios available. For me, the 5-speed Sturmey-Archer provided an adequate range for most of my cycling (though not for loaded touring), but the gaps between the gears were more of a problem. The 5-speed gives ratios of -33.3%, -21.1%,1 to 1, +26.6% and +50%. Since the Brompton is the most common bike for members of The Folding Society (over 60% of you own one or more), I'll relate this and the rest of the discussion to the Brompton, which is the machine on which I've being basing my observations and modifications myself. So the current standard for the 5-speed (actually unavailable now after the demise of Sturmey-Archer, though perhaps to reappear later when production is established by Sun Race in Taiwan) translates as 37, 44, 56, 70 and 84 inches, using the usual method of expressing gear ratios. Note that before the Mk 3 Brompton, machines were about 14% higher geared as standard, and what is now the standard was a 'low gear' option. There is of course a further low gear option, lowering the ratios by7% - this is achieved by replacing the 44 tooth chainwheel and 13 tooth rear sprocket with a 14 tooth rear sprocket. However, all the lowering process achieves is to lower all the gear ratios - the percentage changes involved in each gear change remain the same. The actual percentage change as you change up through the gears is therefore 18.4% (1 to 2), 26.6% (2 to 3), 26.6% (3 to 4) and 18.4% (4 to 5). These are quite big steps, especially either side of the middle gear, though of course on the 3-speed the steps are even greater.
My problem is that with such large steps, I find that I have to pedal madly in one gear, and then when I change up, my knees creak under the strain of pulling the higher gear. Changing down is often delayed as it will give too low a gear, which is not good for the knees either. This is not just a question of the bike being too high geared overall - I hardly ever use gear 1 (just as well, as on my old 5-speed it feels like pedalling through treacle), and there are times when gear 5 is too low for me, though I'm quite happy to coast in this situation. Since you can't do anything to change the ratios inside the hub - one of the drawbacks compared with a derailleur system of course - this seemed a problem which I would just have to live with, and has always made me less inclined to use the standard Brompton for some rides than might otherwise have been the case. When I got the 5-speed Micro, one thing I noticed almost immediately was that it seemed to roll along much better, and that the problem of the gaps between the gears was much less noticeable. Although the Micro has a later, single cable, version of the Sturmey-Archer 5-speed, and my T5 has the old twin cable system, the internal ratios are the same, so the reason for the difference is not obvious. I hadn't really studied the reason for this apparent difference until after using the Micro exclusively for a two week stint, and then going back to the Brompton. Although the hub of the Micro is of a later design, and it has different tyres and lacks the chain tensioning mechanism - all factors which might affect overall efficiency - the only other difference is that the overall gearing of the Micro is lower, which has no effect on percentage changes between gears of course. For comparison, the actual ratios, calculated on a theoretical wheel diameter of 16 inches, although it's actually not quite this, are as follows (the Brompton has the lowest gearing option):
Micro (46 tooth chainring, 16 tooth rear sprocket): 30.7,
36.29, 46, 58.2, 69 inches
Brompton T5, low gear option (44 tooth chainring, 14 tooth rear sprocket): 33.5, 39.7, 50.3, 63.7, 75.4 inches
Looking just at the top and bottom figures, the Micro is very low geared, and in fact the gearing of the Brompton appears on this basis far more suitable for me - many would feel that something higher still would be better, and if it were not for the apparent inefficiency of the bottom gear, which I avoid using except in the most extreme emergencies, I would probably take this view as well. However, after a good deal of thought and investigation I came to the conclusion that the key issue here was not the total range, but the specific positioning of the available gears, including the intermediates. With a closer-spaced system, as typically found on a derailleur, this is far less critical, since one will rarely be in EXACTLY the right gear for the conditions (since there isn't one available), but the available ratios are near enough not to cause any discomfort. However, with the wider gaps of the hub system, one can be a long way from the 'optimal' ratio for particular conditions. Of course the optimum depends on the rider (strength and cadence) and the road conditions (gradient and wind). Although it might seem that variations in conditions mean that there is little that can be done once the spacing of the gears is fixed, my own experience seemed to suggest that, at least for me and my riding style, certain gears were much more useful than others. Notice that the actual gears available on the Micro are almost exactly mid way between those on the Brompton: the result seemed to be that I was frequently labouring in a high gear, or pedalling uncomfortably fast on the Brompton, where on the Micro I was at a comfortable speed, and my gear changes on the latter seemed to correspond more comfortably with changes in road conditions which required a relatively large change in gear ratio. On the Micro, I do most of my riding in gears 4 and 5, with 3 available for moderate hills, and very little need to use either 1 or 2. Although under geared by a about 1 gear at the top end, I can always coast under such conditions. With the Brompton, on the other hand, for me many conditions seemed to result in labouring in gear 5, or changing down to 4 and pedalling too fast; gear 3 was needed quite often, but was too low for many such situations.
So I changed the chainring on the Brompton from a 44 to a 40, giving the Brompton almost identical ratios to the Micro. The result is a big improvement - I no longer seem always to be in the wrong gear, and the steps between the gears are much less obvious (by lowering the gears, of course, the percentage changes don't alter, though the number of inches between gears is reduced). Top gear is now far too low, as on the Micro, but with the option of coasting under conditions where a higher gear is needed, the end result is much better for the type of riding for which I use the Brompton.
The other option which you may be wondering why I did not try is that of raising the gearing overall by about half a gear - fitting a 48 tooth chainring instead of the 44. While this might seem to have the same benefits for me, plus giving a more suitable top gear, I think it would not be as effective: it would result in the most used gears probably being 3 and 4, with 5 used to a more limited extent, and that means frequently having to make the 26% jump from 3 to 4. It would also increase the amount of use I would need to make of gear 1, which feels particularly inefficient. The solution of lowering the gears means that 4 and 5 suffice for most conditions, with 'only' an 18% jump, and the 26% jump down to gear 3 is used when tackling a steeper hill - or changing up after getting to the top of such a hill.
These results depend a lot on the age, strength etc of the rider, and the way that they ride, and it's unlikely that the exact combination of chainring and sprocket which best met my needs will be what will suit someone else. However, if like me you find that the gaps between the gears on a hub system seem too great, and you are frequently unable to get the right gear for the conditions, it's worth looking at the gearing, and tacking account not just of the overall top and bottom gears, but the positioning of the intermediate gears.
By Michelle Whitworth
This weekend took place on half term week of February, and I am therefore going to claim it as the first major cycle event of the millennium (yes, I know most people celebrated the start of the third millennium in 2000 but I have always been of the school which maintains they were a year early).
Bike Right is a winter gathering for all sorts of cycle enthusiasts (particularly those who ride HPVs, folders and the like), when there is dearth of events in the cycling calendar, and has previously centred on the Wooler Youth Hostel. For the first time, we had the use of Longridge Towers, a co-educational public school just outside Berwick, which was even more accessible by public transport. For £30, we got two nights with breakfast and evening meals, which has to be a snip by anyone’s reckoning. Some people complained that the showers were on the cool side, but I thought this was a minor matter set against the twin bedrooms with en suite facilities (!!), the beautiful sweeping grounds set in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, and the huge and tasty meals (for once, we vegetarians being well catered for).
Foot and mouth was only in its incipient phases, so the weekend wasn’t badly affected, though some people did disinfect their wheels. We were also lucky in view of the severe weather forecast. Travelling on the A1, in the middle of a small blizzard, way past dark, we spotted a cyclist apparently in difficulties at the roadside. John, having been on the road from South Shields since 7:30 am. and forced to remove his gloves in order to mend a puncture, was close to hypothermia. It was fortunate that we were in a van and therefore able to accommodate both him and his bike, a conventional tourer.
Saturday had a snow shower in mid afternoon but things held up well on Sunday. The roads were far better than I had thought they would be – the drive was very icy but otherwise the minor roads were not bad at all. Not surprisingly, small wheeled cycles were in the minority, even though several people had come up by train. There were a few Bromptons, a Brompton recumbent, and a Birdy. Derek and I were both on NWTs, only because I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up on a trike (I had that experience at a previous Bikeright). However, I regretted in some ways not bringing the Anthrotech, as a three wheeler was by far the safest vehicle to be on (that said, Geoff Apps had a mountain bike with a very high bottom bracket and large treaded tyres which felt extremely stable and secure.)
There were a couple of rides on the Saturday – we opted for the medium. This took in a pub with a rather strange publican. We managed to miss most of the afternoon snow shower, but I gather those on the longer ride were not so fortunate. The evening consisted of a mountainous meal and videos in the common room upstairs.
The next day, following a hearty breakfast, we all set out together, the intention being to split halfway. Some decided they would go via St Abb’s Head, whereas the rest of us would go straight to the designated pub in Coldingham. Sadly, we in the slower group had not gone far when we came upon the faster group with one of their party lying in the road. He had hit a patch of slush out of the blue and fallen, hitting his head on the road. (though it was fortunate he had taken no-one else down with him). As so often happens in the country, a resident materialised from nowhere (somewhat mystifyingly for the weather, clad in shorts) to offer his assistance. An ambulance was soon on the scene to take him to Berwick hospital. Again, it being the country, the ambulance men were very relaxed about taking not only his bike but slinging his partner and her bike in as well. I am happy to report that, although he was kept in overnight with mild concussion, he was fine the next day.
Obviously, the longer ride was curtailed and most people went straight to the pub. A small group of us decided to continue the 11/2 miles further on to St Abbs, which is a pretty little fishing village and one of Britain’s top diving sites. Someone then mentioned that there was a short cut along the cliff top to the youth hostel so we took it for its scenic value (sorry folks, because I admit we did cycle on a foot path but it was paved, there was no-one else on it and it was very picturesque).
Once again, despite the weather forecast, we had a great weekend. I consider that North Northumberland and the Borders have some of the finest riding, because there are miles of quiet lanes with low traffic levels, which roll sufficiently to give long views but with not too many steep climbs. There are also lots of nice little villages and interesting sites to visit. It was a shame that Tom and Rachel Johnston only made a brief appearance, because they normally do a lot to organise Bikeright. However, we must thank Jason Patient, who always puts loads of effort into leading rides, setting up all sorts of brain-teasing cycling quizzes, and taking photos etc. Phil and Sue Stanbury had also helped organise the venue (if I’ve left anyone else out, sorry, it wasn’t deliberate).
By Simon Parker
I was inspired to buy a folder during a camping holiday in France in 1996. A friend and I took our full size bikes with us on the back of the car. I wondered as we loaded them on in the UK before departure, whether the hassle of taking them on and off the rack each time we wanted to pitch camp, would be outweighed by the pleasure of having them to use throughout the holiday. It was, but I couldn't help thinking that to still have the bikes but without the hassle would be like having the proverbial cake.....
On return from holiday back at home in Bristol, I started to notice a lot of people shooting around town, at quite a pace, on a very elegant looking small wheeled machine. Having always been a Mini and Vespa fan, I knew the merits of small wheels. I enquired of one of these riders, during a rare stationary moment, what his mount was called, and my fascination with Bromptons was born. This culminated in the same friend from the 1996 camping trip and I packing our new Brompton T5 and Ridgeback Tailwind machines onto the Eurostar in London in September 1999 for a weeks tour of the French Riviera. We arrived in Paris at the Gare de Nord and as we 'unfolded' it was obvious that quite a crowd had gathered - we learned fast that this is par for the folding rider whenever you do your stuff in a crowded place! One Japanese tourist even filmed us on the station platform with his handycam! The holiday was a breeze and having the folders with us and travelling as light as possible meant we could find places that a car bound tourist never sees.
I have used the Brompton in preference to my full size bike ever since and I rarely go on a trip without it. I've recently emigrated to the US and true to form, it was the first thing I packed!
Comments: So I've just emigrated to Seattle and the Brompton has come with me. If you're wondering what happened to my friend's Ridgeback Tailwind, well he didn't catch the folding bug quite as much as I did and it now languishes in a garage somewhere in Oxford. I guess it's for sale if anyone's interested?
The Seattle bike scene is very lively and I shall be using the Brompton on the many cycle tracks that criss-cross the city and run around Lake Washington. My interest in folding stuff generally has been fuelled by the trip described above and by the frequent business trips I need to make around the world.
Like your other contributor, I also recently bought a pair of Sole Mio folding sunglasses, but they cost 16 pounds at the Design Museum in London - somewhat more expensive than the Conran Shop! I'm also a Psion 5MX user and have several other folding gadgets that ease the pain of long business trips by air. I would gladly write about these if anyone's interested? Also, would you like contributions to your site with occasional reports on the folding scene from the Pacific North West. Just let me know! Bye for now and happy pedalling!!
Simon's first report from the USA will be in our next issue.
Roy Barrowcliffe writes:
"Congratulations on April fool joke, it made such good sense I was taken in completely - I would love to ride it.
This has made me write to consult your readers about a suitable folder for myself. I have had a number of folders over the last few years, two of which I consider to be unrideable. The other two, both Dahon derivatives, rode well but were too heavy to carry far. I want a light folder to use on day trips a few times a year, using trains or buses where possible. The Brompton is one I am considering, but I would like comparisons with others if possible."
Glad you liked it!
You don't mention how far you would want to ride. Bike Fridays and the Airnimal give a most enjoyable ride, but are less than ideal from the folding point of view - better for the sort of trip where you fold at the beginning and end of a a few days cycling, and can fold in an emergency. That probably makes folding sound more troublesome than it really is, but although it is not difficult, it is tiresome if it has to be done frequently. Both are quite awkward to carry when folded - but more of this later.
The Brompton is very compact when folded, but not at all light to carry - but DON'T carry it! - see note later. It rides quite well, though few people would rate it as the best for a long pleasure ride. Nevertheless, they are very robust, with good luggage capacity, and I've ridden over 50 miles in a day on a more or less standard one with no ill effects, and some people do this, or even higher distances, quite often. It makes a very good, reliable choice for most purposes, though the absence of a 5-speed model while the 5-speed S-A hub is out of production is a drawback for those wanting to use it for longer rides, especially if it is hilly.
A modified Brompton, such as the SP, or some of the Kinetics modifications, is well worth considering - double chainrings, derailleurs and a stiffer, suspended stem make the bike much more enjoyable for longer pleasure rides.
The Micro is compact, quite light, and fun to ride, but less than ideal for larger riders and for longer rides.
That leaves one other obvious contender - the Birdy. Its fairly light (though accessories narrow the apparent gap between it and the Brompton quite significantly), folds reasonably easily - not Brompton, but quite bearable, and it rides quite well, with a reasonable range of gears. Tyres have been a bit of a limitation in the past - several makes available, but all rather high in rolling resistance. I notice that Schwalbe now list a Marathon described as an 18" by 1.5" - if this fits, it might improve the situation; perhaps Birdy owners could comment on the suitability/ performance of this tyre. There are several luggage options which are quite adequate for day rides, though they all seem afterthoughts, rather than an integrated feature of the design, as in a Brompton or Moulton. I would go for the Red model - the 3 x 7 of the Blue makes it heavy, and although you get better components on teh Black, you pay for them, and those on the Red are quite adequate.
There are lots of other folders around, and almost anything could be used, but I think the ones I've mentioned are the best, and would be likely to give the most satisfaction.
The are two points I need to come back to. First, weight when carried. The key thing here is NOT to carry it - roll it on its wheels until the last possible moment, then fold. This is really only practical with a machine with a quick, easy fold, and able to be bagged quickly and easily as well. That of course is where the Brompton scores most strongly. The Micro is fairly easy as well, and both it and the Brompton are sufficiently compact, and stay locked together when folded, to make this possible. The Birdy is rather more questionable, as the fold is more fiddly, and it is awkward to carry when folded unless bagged, and its appearance without the bag would be more likely to occasion comment from the powers that be than the Brompton. Of course, the idea of rolling it on its own wheels cannot always be applied - changing platforms at a station, or last minute platform changes both make carrying the folded bike necessary sometimes. I admit to finding the Brompton beyond what I can comfortably carry in these situations - I'm rather small, lightly built, not very strong and no longer in my first youth. I also found the Birdy a problem though, and only the Micro is reasonably easy for me in this situation. The Panasonic Traincle is lighter still, but apart from lack of availability I think we can rule it out on other grounds.
A crucial test for me of foldability is not just theoretical fold times, which usually ignore removal of luggage, bagging, ability to carry it when folded etc, but whether real owners fold the bike if they can avoid it. Only Brompton owners fold whether they need to or not, and not just to show off!
Lots of makes COULD be used for what you describe, though it would help to know typical cycling distances and terrain. However, I think a Birdy, or perhaps a Brompton (maybe with a few modifications,) is what I would choose for this application.
Simon Baddeley has had an unpleasant experience with
his Brompton recently:
"Luckily my Brompton handlebar went all wobbly only just as I was leaving the house and not at speed in traffic on a hill. The right side of the handlebar suddenly bent forward and then with one more push broke right off next to the stem, I think the metal fatigue was caused by me putting a pair of stubby bar ends on the bike about 6 weeks ago. I liked them both for the extra pull up hill and for the hand position when on the level but the price must have been greater working of the handlebars and the eventual early and quite alarming break. Thought this might be of interest. Has anyone had similar experiences. I shall just not use bar ends again on a Brompton. Luckily no harm done."
Handlebar breakages are not unknown on Bromptons - or other bikes (conventional as well as folding) come to that, though the shape of the Brompton bars probably makes it more of a potential problem. The design has changed over the years, and I believe the current design is supposed to be better than some earlier ones in this respect. Many people use bar ends without problems (SO FAR!), but certainly they do allow higher forces to be applied, and I would discourage really vigorous pulling on the bars, whether bar ends are fitted or not. On my own T5, I'm certainly conscious on hills that if I pull hard I shall be putting a considerable load on the bars, and deliberately try to avoid pulling. As I say, I know of cases of bars breaking on other bikes, including completely conventional ones. I would be inclined to replace critical aluminium alloy components of this kind after some years - I would have done so on my old T5 but for the fact that I have the earlier pattern which are lower, and the last thing I want to do is fit new bars which raise the height even further.
Simon also enquired in another email about options for using toeclips and straps on a Brompton without having to sacrifice the folding pedal. I wish I knew an answer to this one! I've thought of using just a right-hand clip and strap, on the non-folding pedal, or fitting small SPDs, which would not project much more than the folded pedal, but they are actually quite heavy, and for the town riding I use the Brompton for mostly, I'm not so keen on SPDs - if I did fit them on this bike, I'd want the SPD/plain 323 type, and they are bulky as well as heavy. If anyone has a solution to the clips/straps problem with the folding pedal, please let us know.
Regular readers may recall that a while back we published
an article by Drew Devereux describing the
folders/separables that he had made. Drew recently sent this
"I posted some pictures of my bikes in their 'quick-fold' mode at photopoint.com. Basically, 2 connections I made out of square tubes were brazed onto the bikes, allowing them to hold together in a compact way. The task takes a minute (45 to 90 seconds depending on if my hands are cold or not). Since this is so much easier than bagging, I do it quite often; usually when I bring the bike in the house. http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=1624411&a=12490515 I wonder if there has been much study on the concept of a take-apart bike with a quick fold type mode as I have been working on, other than the Bike Friday. It seems it may be more versatile, if a bit less convenient. It would allow a greater choice of componentry, and provide a standard riding position."
Tim McNamara replies to Peter Arnold's request for information
about using the BOB trailer with small wheeled bicycles:
"The BOB Yak trailer can be adapted to use with small wheeled bikes. I seem to recall seeing such as arrangement in one of the old Open Road Encycleopedia videos, as a matter of fact. riese und mueller have advised that using the BOB Yak trailer with the Birdy would void the warranty because of the extra stress the trailer would put on the rear suspension pivots. As such, I would think that this same concern would apply to any bike with rear suspension and that the Bike Hod type design might be preferable."
Frank van Ruitenbeek adds:
"Yesterday, March 31st, I visited the Dutch national bike show in the RAI and had a short talk with the Dutch importer of both the Bob Yak and the Tactic. He had the Bob Yak on display fixed to a Tactic. Remembering that R&M warn that the Birdy may not be used to pull a one-wheeled trailer, I asked him if this was a safe set up. He declared the Tactic with it's 16" wheels perfectly suited to pull a Yak. I have no experience with the handling of such a combination on the road."
John Dash provides another positive response:
"I have been using a Bob Yak trailer with my SWB recumbent which has 20" wheels for the last year or so with no problems. Clearance is not a problem. As the wheel of the trailer is so small the clearance at the back is still less than that near the bike. I have yet to ground it on any traffic calming humps and bumps (of which there are a great many in east and north London !). Any significant weight does have an effect on the steering, but no real problems yet. I am looking at trying it on the Brompton but suspect the projection of the adaptor nuts will be too great to be worthwhile."
Ian Dicken writes:
"I have had a pair of 40-406 Marathons fitted to my APB for
about 4 months now, which I use for commuting and leisure. Over this
period I have covered around 1000 miles. They fit nicely even on the
wide rims that my early model has. Inflated to 100psi (the maximum
inflation pressure shown on the sidewall) they run freely on the central
rib. My subjective judgement is that they seem to have got better with
a bit of use. The only drawback I have experienced so far is that the
grip round corners seems to be a bit marginal on cold, salted (damp)
roads. Otherwise they are great both in wet and dry conditions. There is a bit of wear now visible on the rear but hopefully
they should last for some time yet. I have not suffered any punctures so
far, despite having had to ride over broken glass on numerous occasions.
The combination of a substantial tread and the Kevlar belt built
into the carcass seem to have kept the shards at bay, so far.
Fitted at a similar time was a Busch & Muller 6 dynamo, Oval + headlight and Dtoplight + rear. These have proved very useful for commuting around town giving good illumination both underway and at a standstill. The standlights are charged enough to come on after the 100 yds to the bottom of my road and when fully charged last around 5 minutes. The front light, while good in town, would be slightly restrictive if out in the country on a black night as it is quite a narrow beam. The only other problem I have had is some slippage between the rubber cap and the tyre in salty conditions. I have now fitted a metal cap (supplied as standard with the S6) which seems to have overcome any slippage."
Stuart Nisbet writes:
"Many people write about combining folders with cars/ trains etc. For several years we have been using a combination of folders and normal bikes to allow cycling on family holidays. This allows us to take 2 mountain bikes (lying flat on a conventional roof rack) and two Bromptons underneath (or in the boot depending on luggage space). My son won’t be seen anywhere on a Brompton, but my daughter and I enjoy them. For those unhappy with bike racks obscuring number plates/ vision this gives a flexible alternative. Once we get to the destination, if only two of us are going out for a short ride, we can stick the Bromptons quickly in the boot."
Mixed mode transport is what it is all about, and that doesn't preclude the use of cars. Folders allow more bikes to be carried, and more securely, if you are using a car. Conforming, fashion and appearance often count for more than efficiency and effectiveness with at least some of the young, and sadly small wheelers are perceived by some as lacking the necessary image, though my own observations of late are that the situation is improving.
Malcolm Clarke reports:
"I have just spent a week (mostly) working in Bologna accompanied by 1 wife and 1 Brompton. I was reminded that one of the unsung (collateral) virtues of the compactness of (both wife and) the Brom is that it can be taken up and down small (Italian) hotel lifts without getting other guests (and management) molto pissed off. However, taking the Brom turned out (unlike the wife) to be an unnecessary piece of baggage. The (v central) particular had decent bikes available for guests to use. First time I have come across this. Please post this letter in FSN to ask subscribers: Any one else come across this facility?"
If you have a folder, separable, or accessories to dispose of, or you want to buy, you can use the Sales and Wants page (http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/sandw.html). If you want to have something put on the list, just email us the details (firstname.lastname@example.org) - there is no charge, but please let us know when it is sold so that we can take it off the list. As I strongly suspect that I am not being told when items are sold, I intend to introduce some changes to the Sales and Wants section. In future all entries will be dated, and will be deleted after 3 months unless a request is received to retain the entry on the list. However, please do still tell us as soon as anything is sold, so that we can remove it and avoid creating annoyance to those using the list. Take all normal precautions when buying and selling goods - the Folding Society and its officers are not responsible for the descriptions and products and services contained in the Sales & Wants list.
The events listed below are a combination of those organised by Folding Society members or of potential interest to members. Please note that events may be affected by the current outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease in the UK, so check with event organisers before attending.
Remember that cycling can be dangerous (so is travelling by car, bus, train, air or water, breathing and living!); anyone participating in any way in any event does so at their own risk.
Saturday 28th April - 2nd North Dorset Ride
Rolling Dorset countryside towards Dorchester - c 35 miles. Meet Cavalier Cottage, Wonston, Hazelbury Bryan, nr Sturminster Newton. Nearest station, Yetminster or Gillingham. Meet 10.00am for 10.30am start. Further details from Mark West. Tel: 01258 817878, email email@example.com
Saturday 5th May - Mud Dock
Although there is no official organiser, the gatherings on the first Saturday of the month at Mud Dock in Bristol are still taking place and receiving good support. Meet at Mud Dock from about 10.30am onwards.
Saturday 12th May - Origami Ride
The April 14th Origami ride was in Milton Keynes, a change of venue partly influenced by the Foot & Mouth outbreak. The arrangements for May are rather uncertain, partly as the usual leaders have other (cycling) commitments, and the F & M situation confuses the issue. Origami Rides are usually held on the second Saturday of each month, and the normal meeting point is at the Tearooms at Meriden. During the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, arrangements may be changed, so please check with the organiser before attending. For information on future/alternative events, contact John Pinkerton on 0121 350 0685, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or look at his web site at http://www.users.mwfree.net/~pinkertn/origami.html.
Friday 11th - Sunday 13th May 2001 - Informal
Folder/Separable gathering in Weymouth
Early notification of the dates of our annual informal gathering in Weymouth - no so much a Forum, more a way of life! Nothing organised, just take things as they come. Typically meet up at the Pavilion between 10:00 and 10.30 am for activities during the day, and 7:00 pm in the evening. More details (if there are any - it is informal) nearer the time.
14th July 2001 - Moulton to Bickerton and back. (Mid
For those of you who enjoyed this ride a few years ago, a chance to enjoy once again the tumbling scenery of West Cheshire, and for those of you that missed it, a chance to come and enjoy the legendary views, food and beer at The Pheasant. Anyone completing the trip on a Bickerton will have their drink bought for them at lunchtime! Around 35 miles. 10:00am meet in car park, opposite Moulton Post Office, for 10:30 departure. Anticipated return 3:30 - 4:00. All Moultons and any make of folder welcome. Contact: Jem Kime, 8 Norman Road, Stockport SK4 4HJ. Tel: 0161 432 8132. email: email@example.com
Saturday 14th &
Sunday 15th July, Amsterdam area
European Bike Friday gathering - other folders welcome. More details later, or contact Enno Roosink at firstname.lastname@example.org .
17 - 19th August - Bike Friday Homecoming Rally 2001, Eugene, Oregon. Contact Jennifer Hill, jenniferH@bikefriday.com for further details
2001 A Cycling Odyssey
There is of course no CycleFest at Lancaster this year, but for those whose year is not complete without a visit to Lancaster, there is the Cycling Odyssey, described as a unique cycle camping event. The event will be held on two separate weekends at two different venues, 18th & 19th August 2001 based on the usual campsite on the Lune estuary at Snatchems End near Lancaster, and 25th & 26th August, at Kirk Newton near Wooler in Northumberland not far from the Scottish Border. Further info from Steve Andrews - please phone 01524 824594 or email email@example.com The website is at http://sdk.tripod.com/cyclingodyssey.html ."
August 24 - 26: Tynebikes Rising Sun cycle festival
A weekend at the Rising Sun Park, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne. For further information contact Ken Davison telephone 0191 296 2918 mobile 07720 916 046 or e:mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Moulton Bradford on Avon Weekend (not?): Reports on the Moulton emailing list suggest that there is not going to be a formal, organised Bradford on Avon weekend this year, but that there will be a totally informal gathering over the weekend of 15-16 September, with no organised activities. Since then we have heard another possible date mentioned - 29-30th September. If/when we have any confirmation (or otherwise) of this, we will give details in FSN.
A to B Magazine remains the ultimate source of authoritative information on folding cycles. In the unlikely event that you aren't aware of A to B and/or don't read this magazine, then we would urge you to take out a subscription without delay. A to B can be found on the web pages at http://www.a2bcare4free, or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or they can be reached by telephone or fax on 01963 351649, address 19 West Park, Castle Cary, Somerset BA7 7DB, England. A subscription to A to B is only £10 per year in the UK, or $24, and the magazine is published ever two months and is packed with news, reviews and other interesting information on effective integrated transport systems in general, and folding cycles in particular.
Note: The views expressed by contributors and correspondents are those of the writers, and are not necessarily those of The Folding Society or its organisers.
Back numbers of all issues of Folding Society News are available on our web site - go to http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/fsn/fsn.html for the full list.
We would very much welcome articles, photographs or any other material for inclusion in future issues of FSN, or on our web pages. Please send any material to The Folding Society at the address given below. However, if you are planning to send pictures by email, please send them at an appropriate resolution to avoid high telephone bills - a JPEG picture of 50K or less is ample for use in FSN or on the web pages.
The Folding Society
If you have any news or other information of interest to other members of the Folding Society, please email us at the above address.
If for some reason you wish to be removed from this mailing list, please send a message to this effect to the same email address.
All information given here is provided in good faith, but no responsibility can be taken for errors or for any consequences arising from the publication of this information.
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Last updated: 15 April 2001