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Folding Bikes


Bicycles

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Bicycles

There are those travellers who want to take a bicycle along for themselves or their children when holidaying in their caravan, campervan, camper trailer, motorhome or RV.  Bicycles are a great way to keep the kids occupied, keep fit or to run those quick errands to the shops.

Types of Bikes

There are the conventional touring bikes, mountain bikes, triathlon bikes, folding bikes as well as electrical or power assisted bikes.

Mountain bikes are normally strong and robust to withstand use off the bitumen or bike tracks.  They are sometimes called dirt bikes and usually of robust construction and come with a thicker more nobly bicycle tyre. 



Folding Bikes

As the name suggests these bikes are able to be folded to enable them to be more compact for travel.  A number of these types of bicycles will fold up small enough to fit in the boot of the car.  The folding procedure varies between makes and models.  To some extent the size of the folding bikes will also vary between big wheeled and small wheeled bikes.  So, take some time to research and determine which folding bike is best for you.

The bicycle seat and handle bar heights are normally adjustable and in some makes and models the length of the folding bike is also adjustable within a range.  Be sure to check the model you choose will withstand the rider’s weight.

 

A few brands and their features are:-

‘On-yer-bike’ - have a range of folding mountain bikes.  The manufacturer claims the bikes have an aircraft grade aluminum frame, shimano gears and rear coil suspension.

Giatex these are one of the folding bikes designed to change the frame length.  The length may be reduced or increased by a telescopic tube secured by two quick release clips and it does not require any tools to get it into motion.  The wheels come in 16 inch or 20 inch, it has a Shimano RevoShift grip shift changer, front and rear brakes, rust resistant frame as well as a small rear carry rack, kickstand, bell and reflectors.  The seat and handlebar heights are adjustable.  A carry bag is also available. 

The 16 inch weighs 12.5 kg (27.55 lbs) and the 20 inch weighs 13.86 kg (39.55 lbs). Their website indicates a new range will be available soon.

If your were to put the rear passenger seats down on a Toyota Landcruiser GXL two bikes would fit neatly inside the passenger compartment across the vehicle. 

Dahon this company has a good range of folding bikes using their DFS Folding Technology.  The features vary between the various models available.  The manufacturer claims they use high quality materials and components such as stainless steel spokes and frame latches.  The ‘Glide P7/P8’ model is a step through type and weighs 16.5 kilos (36.3 lbs) fully equipped.

Folding bicycles are available from Camec, caravan stores, on-line bicycle stores and ebay.

Electrical or power assisted bikes

What is a power assisted or motorized bicycle ?

A motorized or power assisted bicycle is one that has either electrical (battery) or fuel/gasoline (two stroke or four stroke engine) to assist with peddling.  Some bikes can be propelled by the motor without the need to peddle but others have motors that will only run if you are peddling. 

Electrical or battery driven bicycles often come with a battery charger you can plug into your household standard power point.  The weight of the bike is likely to vary depending on the size of the battery. 

The performance of an electric bicycle can also depend on a number of factors such as the type of terrain, battery size, weight of the rider and any bags, wind conditions and correct tyre inflation.

Bicycles propelled by fuel/gasoline motors can be either 4 stroke or 2 stroke (usually run on unleaded petrol with 2 stroke oil at a ratio of 50:1) and the size of the tank capacity can be optional.  Some models have the tank on a carry rack and others mounted to the frame.  The weight of the bicycles vary, of course, depending on the size of the tank capacity but roughly from 25 kg – 50 kg.

As there is zero emission the electric bike is considered to be the more environmentally friendly of the two.

Zuma Power Products in Wollongong NSW supply a folding electric bike with a top speed of 25 kph and a range of 30 – 50 km.  The folding electric bike features, disc brakes front and rear, 12 inch coloured alloy wheels, adjustable handle bars and seat height and will withstand a maximum load of 110 kg.  The gross weight of this folding electric bike is 22kg without the battery and the net weight is 36 kg with the battery.  It folds to 78cm x 36cm x 60cm.

Are electrical or power assisted bicycles legal in Australia and do they require registration?

It is legal, under current Australian road regulations, to ride either a purpose-built powered bicycle or a modified electric pushbike where you would normally ride a bicycle so long as the engine output is 200 watts or less.   You must also be 16 years of age or over.

You are required to wear a bicycle helmet and the helmet must comply with Australian Standards.  The power assisted bicycle is exempt from registration and CPT (compulsory third party) insurance but the bicycle must have a working at least one working brake, bell or horn and a red reflector on the rear.  If you are riding at night there must be front and rear lights fitted. 

In some states, it is illegal to ride a bicycle that has an internal combustion engine (eg: diesel or petrol motor attached) on roads or road related areas (such as paths). Further information is available from your state or territory Road Traffic Authority or Transport Authority. 

Where can I get a motorized bike?

Electric or battery power assisted bicycles as well as folding models are available from :-

Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd of St Kilda, Victoria, Australia – they claim to develop and design many of their products here in Australia and can ship anywhere in Australia. They also claim that one of their electrical bicycles, the Sherpa MK3, is the lightest folding electrical bicycle available. An electrical bike car rack is also available for purchase.

The Electric Bicycle Co P/L of Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia is an importer/distributor.  

Fuel powered bicycles, including folding models, are also available from Rotary Bicycles Australia who have distributors in a number of states. 

Power assisted kits are available if you want to convert your existing bicycle.

Some motorized bicycle brand names or suppliers are Zuma e-Bike, Avanti, Dahon, Heinzmann, Sakura, Powabyke, Optibike, Five Flags, Island Hopper and Urban Mover.   Electric and fuel powered bicycles may also be purchased from on-line bicycle stores as well as ebay.

 

 

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