The largest query I get about folding bicycles just like the Bike Friday New World Vacationer is, “If the wheels are smaller than an everyday bicycle, does that imply the bicycle goes slower or that it’s a must to pedal it extra with the intention to go as quick as a full-sized bicycle?”
The reality is, no, Bike Fridays and related folding bike fashions are able to going simply as quick as your full-size bicycle (as much as a restrict).
The Bike Friday web site explains it finest:
It’s all within the gearing. A single flip of the pedals on a Bike Friday will cowl the identical floor as that of an everyday wheeled bike — the small wheel simply turns a bit of extra. The gears on a Bike Friday are configured to match the ratios of an everyday bike.
They proceed by saying:
Small wheels climb higher on account of a smaller diameter that must be rotated.
Small wheels speed up quicker for a similar cause.
Small wheels are extra responsive — they flip and steer extra simply — the texture is somewhat like having ‘energy steering’ in your automobile.
Small wheels, having a decrease floor space, have decrease wind resistance in headwinds.
When using in a gaggle, small wheels allow you to get nearer collectively and draft higher.
The design of a Bike Friday permits a smaller and and lighter total bundle than an everyday bike, and smallness and lightness are components in going quick.
Whereas there’s virtually no distinction between the velocity at which a folding bicycle and a full-sized bicycle are able to going, there’s a level at which full-size bicycles change into extra environment friendly:
Checks have proven that as much as 16 mph, the small wheel is extra environment friendly than an enormous wheel. Between 16 and 33 mph there’s little distinction. Over 33 mph the gyroscopic impact of the massive wheel makes it more practical. Most folk don’t go over 33 mph.
I can confirm that what Bike Friday is saying in regards to the velocity of their bicycles is true. I’ve traveled with the Bike Friday New World Vacationer for greater than 4 years and lined 1000’s of miles on the bicycle, and I’m going simply as quick on the New World Vacationer as I do on any of my different touring bicycles. If there’s any distinction within the velocity of the bicycle in comparison with my full-size touring bicycles, it isn’t one thing I can noticeably really feel.
The one space the place the Bike Friday and related 20 inch wheeled bicycles fail to carry out in addition to full-sized bicycles is in traversing over giant objects within the highway, akin to cracks, rocks and curbs. It’s right here that the bigger wheels excel, on account of the truth that their giant circumference permits them to simply roll over sure obstacles within the highway. Small wheels, nonetheless, have a more durable time rolling over these similar sized objects on account of the truth that the circumference on folding bicycle wheels are a lot smaller, and the proportions between the small wheels and the item that’s being crossed over, is that a lot better.
Watch the video above and you will note a number of samples of how the Bike Friday New World Vacationer performs at velocity, in sharp turns, and going up and down a curb.