There are several ways to enjoy a bicycle: just pedaling around your neighborhood, mountain biking, off-road cycling, racing, and touring. Touring is my favorite. Each type of cycling though demands a different approach to riding, and some require different equipment. I like touring with a Downtube 9FS folding bike. It gives me everything I want and need in a touring bike.
If you are looking to travel with a bike there are some things you need to address. The first and perhaps most important thing is that you will need a comfortable bike. That means it needs to fit you well, be small / light weight, and should be easy to transport. That’s why I highly recommend a folding bike like the Downtube 9FS. The compactness of your touring / traveling bike is also important as a security feature. You don’t have to leave it behind if you need to go shopping – it can go into the store with you. Your traveling / folding bike will also need to accept a rack. Some people like to add panniers to their touring bike and others like me like to use a backpack. The advantage of the backpack is that it does not restrict air flow, which can slow you down. A folding bike with a suspension system is the perfect travel bike. The suspension makes it so much more comfortable to ride than a standard un-suspended bike, and the fold makes it super easy for carrying or stowing when you travel. We've had many customers take our bikes on travel tours. All of our current 2018 models travel bikes accept racks, and most have suspension.
Below are pictures of a 2007 Downtube FS that was set up for touring by Ben Waddington a customer. A big thanks to Ben for the pictures. Our newest 2018 9FS models have braze ons for a frame mounted rack, hence they can be set up for touring very quickly.
In the picture below you can see how Ben has chosen the pannier style for storing equipment for traveling. While I find it bulky and speed reducing, others love this style. One of my other frustrations about loading panniers is that you have to make sure the contents are distributed evenly or it will throw off your balance. Notice that Ben also has a handlebar mounted pack for smaller things he may need access to more often or that he needs to find quicker.
In the picture below Ben has removed his pack and is enjoying an unencumbered ride down a country road. Doesn’t that look like fun!
The bottom picture is a close up shot of the suspension system on his bike. It’s simple to adjust depending on your weight, the extra weight of your traveling kit, and your desire for comfort.
So, there you have it! If you want to travel with a bike, I highly recommend a folding bike, and because I believe in my products, I suggest you use a Downtube 9FS or other great Downtube folding bike. Happy traveling!