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Yo, pump it up ... to the max! - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

Aug. 23rd, 2009

11:14 pm - Yo, pump it up ... to the max!

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Date:August 24th, 2009 12:09 pm (UTC)
The pump sounds like a big improvement. I wouldn't worry too much about the cracked sidewalls - mine have been worse than yours for ages now - it's just that eventually the rubber will go through and you'll have a blow-out (an explosive failure of the inner tube) which is quite exciting and can be dangerous in traffic. I'm changing my tyres next weekend...

You cannot tow a cycle trailer with a folding bike. I have a trailer, cost me £100, couldn't live without it because I use it to buy gas cylinders for the boat, but it's very bulky and hard to store. I suggest that you either:

a) get the bus
b) ride with a rucksack on (okay for short journeys)
c) invest in a pair of panniers. I assume your Brompton has a rack over the back wheel? If not, you'll need one of those as well.
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Date:August 24th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks - I didn't want you to think that I'd ignored your previous advice about the pump, but it has turned out to be very useful. I'll be taking my bike back to the shop in October for its annual service, so if the rear tyre holds out until I then I may get it replaced at that point; I've noticed that the tread is a bit more worn on the rear tyre than the front, presumably because it takes more of my weight.

Out of interest, which type of trailer do you have? I've never seen anyone using one with a folding bike, but apparently it can be done. Quoting from the Bike Hod review: "It's become something of a favourite with Brompton owners, because the machines work rather well together, especially where there's a need to hoik the assemblage onto a train or into a car boot." Also, the blurbs claim that the Bike Hod and Monoporter can be folded up, which would make them easier to store.

I don't have a rear rack at the moment; when I first bought the bike, I spoke to my boss (a fellow Bromptonaut), and he said that he'd never used his. However, one advantage of the rear rack is that I could attach "Eazy Wheels", then I could roll the bike between platforms at Clapham Junction. There are small wheels built into the frame of mine, but they only work on a completely flat surface (e.g. inside a train carriage), so it's no good when you get small gaps between paving slabs in the overpass. I initially thought that a rear bag would be awkward because I'd run out of hands; at the moment I often carry the front bag in one hand and the bike itself in the other. However, that shouldn't be a problem for shopping trips, if I'm leaving the bike locked up.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear from someone with actual experience of towing a trailer around, so that's a useful perspective.
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Date:August 25th, 2009 08:20 am (UTC)
My trailer came from CamCarts.co.uk (which is run by a guy called Basil who lives on a narrowboat just down the river from me) but his site's been down for a while. It's a big sturdy box trailer and can carry 40kg as a bike trailer or up to 100kg as a handcart. Towing it requires a little care and patience - and I use it maybe only once or twice a month. Routine trips to the supermarket I do with just panniers, the extra hassle of the trailer is only worth it for gas cylinders, the occasional Big Stock Up at Tesco (particularly if buying drinks) and the like.

Cheapest option for you is a big rucksack - these will be in the sale right now as its the end of the summer.
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