THE FOLDING SOCIETY


FOLDING SOCIETY NEWS
Issue 79 - 22 July 2001

EDITORIAL

Once again there seems a shortage of news and reports from members, and so this is another rather short issue of FSN

I had been thinking of producing this issue last weekend, but that assumed that I would be able to use a report on the Origami Ride at Cheltenham to make up for the absence of other material. Unfortunately my Brompton T5 suffered a puncture within 10 minutes of the start of the ride, and to avoid holding everyone up, I urged them to carry on, and I would catch them up later. Somehow I failed to follow instructions, and never managed to re-establish contact with them, so I gave up and returned to the station and caught an early train home. I hadn't even taken any photographs myself at the start, so I'm indebted to one of those who did complete the ride for the picture below, taken outside Cheltenham station before the ride. As the picture shows, the ride was not exclusively for folders.

Photograph (C)2001 pmailkeey, 0430

Next issue

The next issue of Folding Society News is scheduled for 5th August, but if news and articles by members continue to be in short supply, then it may have to be put back.

Format

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/fsn079.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.

NEWS

Tony Hadland has sent us news of some extensions to his website:
"Our website continues to grow and now carries more than 40 cycling-related articles, including material from notable guest authors. The BBC recently allowed us to upload an archive radio interview about early Moultons and yesterday we uploaded a considerable amount of additional technical information on Sturmey-Archer hubs. The Sturmey material comes from English engineer and hub-gear enthusiast Jim Gill, who for 25 years has been disassembling, measuring, comparing and analysing hubs. The majority of the material is Jim's own and has never been published before. It covers virtually every Sturmey hub ever produced (plus BSA) and would enable a skilled machinist to replicate missing parts from old hubs. The material includes:

Pages can be printed out individually and you can zoom in for greater clarity. Although the pages you see are scanned images, 'behind' them the text has been OCR'd, enabling electronic searching. Apart from 'The Sturmey-Archer Story', we can supply other books that we have written or edited, including the new Mike Burrows book 'Bicycle Design', the two Moulton books, Arnfried Schmitz's 'Human Power', and the first book in English on portable cycles, 'It's in the bag!'. Plus the Lauterwasser and Roberts videos and the Duffield CD."

Tony's web site is at http://www.hadland.net.

Tony also sent us the following very interesting message he has received from Alan Clarke, General Manager of  SunRace Sturmey-Archer Europe B.V.:
"We have been delivering Sturmey-Archer products ex-Taiwan for about one month now (including to Raleigh U.K.).  However demand exceeds current supply and we expect that it will be September before everything is freely available."

What we don't know at present is which Sturmey-Archer products are now in production - of key interest to folder enthusiasts is the 5-speed hub, the absence of which at present makes some makes of folder rather less versatile than their would-be owners would like.

From Mark Bickerton of Cyclemotion comes an update on the current range of Dahon folders:
"From 18th July 2001 the following Dahon folding bikes will be available from Cyclemotion:
Dahon Piccolo 16" Compact £299.99 (Inc VAT)
Dahon Boardwalk 20" Shopper style £299.99 (Inc VAT)
Dahon Speed Pro 20" 21 speed Performance £599.99 (Inc VAT) (Already Sold Out...Sorry)
Dahon Jetstream 20" Full Suspension £599.99 (inc VAT)
Dahon Mountain Gold MTB Std Mountain Bike £269.99 (inc VAT)
Dahon Espresso 26" 21 speed Adventure £349.99 (Inc VAT)
Dahon Storm 26" 24 speed Front Suspension Mountain Bike £599.99 (Inc VAT)"

Cyclemotion can be contacted by email at sales@cyclemotion.co.uk, or for brochures ring  01580 893404. The relevant web sites are http:// www.cyclemotion.co.uk and http://www.dahon.com

MOULTON

There is a new Moulton catalogue, and it includes both the 'APB' range and the New Series models, but not the AM range. However, this does NOT mean that the AMs have been discontinued. A telephone call to the factory did not produce much additional information, but apparently details will be given in the next issue of The Moultoneer, due in a few days time. The name 'APB' seems to have been dropped, the relevant models now simply being referred to as 'Moulton's. This range now consists of the R18 (dropped bars and 36-97" gears, £995), Dual Drive 24 (3 x 8, £795), Automatic (Shimano, £695) and fx8 (as before, £595). All have fixed (non-separable) frames as standard, with an option of separability for all except the automatic for an extra £80. The New Series range consists of the Speed (£4995), New Series Stainless (£4795) and New Series 531 (£3995).

We have also heard a rumour that at last owners of the New Series models will have an alternative tyre at some point in the not too distant future - though this is probably a few months away. One advantage of the fact that the factory did not tell me anything about this when I telephoned them recently  is that I don't feel constrained about reporting what I have heard from other sources!!

A new issue of the Moulton Bicycle Club (MBC) magazine, The Moultoneer, is reported to be imminent, and when it appears a more up to date version of the MBC Sales and Wants List should be made available on their web site at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/moulton/moultsw.html. It is also hoped that the MBC site can be moved to a new address, with a more memorable name, soon - details here when this happens, and the old site will then be maintained at least for a while, with a link to the new address.

THE GIANT HALFWAY

By Bruce Beale

Having had both knee joints totally replaced last October I needed to cycle in order to get the joints moving and to build up my muscles after five years in a wheelchair. Sadly I could no longer mount my beloved Viscount Aerospace Sport and need to find something without a cross bar. The last person the average cycle shop wanted to deal with was somebody in his late sixties who had been treating diabetes with insulin since 1947, had high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis was partially paralysed down the right hand side as a result of a stroke. Could I even still ride a bicycle? I had to try one. Only one firm expressed any interest and this was Gareth at Folding Bikes of Bath. [Avon Valley Cyclery I think, judging by the location etc - Ed]

Behind Bath Spa railway station they have a wonderful selection of bicycles in the store. Gareth was busy when I arrived but a beautifully decorated Paul met me and showed me everything from a seven thousand pound Moulton to Strida.

Eventually after trying many cycles out in the car park outside the shop I settled on a Giant Six Speed Halfway. Costing four seventy five pounds this came with everything except lights, was light and appeared to have superb gearing. Since I have not got use of my right arm Gareth arranged for the gear change to be swapped to the left handlebar at no further cost.

This folding bicycle is a joy to ride and sadly difficult for me to get my sixty five year old wife away from it. A trip to Tesco which used to take nearly half an hour to walk to take about seven minutes. Carrying the shopping back used to be a nightmare but with the weight now being carried by the cycle it is a dream. The gearing is wonderful as is the accuracy and efficiency in changing gear.

So if you are a pensioner and would like to try a modern, really lightweight bicycle spend a day or weekend in Bath. A visit to Bath Folding Bikes will be worth while if only to enjoy Paulís astonishing tattoos. 

PS: It has a serious fault in that it has no clips for a walking stick! The handlebar should be adapted as a portable walking frame.

The Editor adds: Our ownership survey (see http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/survey.html) classifies the Halfway with a multitude of 'others', but we have noticed in the last couple of months that quite a number of new 'members' list it as the folder that they own.

LETTERS

Alan Brannon writes with news of his unhappy experience with Micros:
"I thought you might be interested in my experience with a Micro & why I have reluctantly relegated it to occasional use rather than my main commuting bike. I've had a Micro for four years now and have managed to fracture the handlebar stem on four occasions at approx. yearly intervals. Twice the part has gone just above the hinge and twice below. Pashley are clearly aware of a problem with this part as they have modified the stem above the hinge but now the weak point appears to have moved further down. On the third occasion the company gave me a completely new bike in compensation. I had though already decided that if the problem occurred again I would change the bike, hence my current position.

I could have forgiven the problem if I had been using the bike for purposes it wasn't designed for but I really think that it should have been able to stand up to an average of 5 miles of commuting each day through rain & shine, along with an average amount of use and abuse. Great shame really as apart from the above problem the bike served my use just fine, and was British to boot. You can probably guess what I've switched to, and that's British made too."

I'd certainly not rate the Micro as being anywhere near as robust as a Brompton, and the base of the handlebar stem does look rather under engineered, but I'm very surprised to hear of so many breakages in normal use. Ed.

SALES AND WANTS

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 (mike@foldsoc.co.uk) - 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.

RIDES AND OTHER EVENTS

The events listed below are a combination of those organised by Folding Society 'members', or of potential interest to 'members'.

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 4th August - 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 11th August - Origami Ride
Origami Rides are usually held on the second Saturday of each month, and the normal meeting point is at the Tearooms at Meriden. For further information, contact John Pinkerton on 0121 350 0685, email pinkertn@mwfree.net, or look at his web site at http://www.users.mwfree.net/~pinkertn/origami.html

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. Note that there have been some alterations to the details published previously, as the second weekend has had to be cancelled. The event will therefore be held on the weekend 18th & 19th August 2001 based on the usual campsite on the Lune estuary at Snatchems End near Lancaster. Further info from Steve Andrews - please phone 01524 824594 or email vickya@dial.pipex.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 tnegus@onet.co.uk or john.turvey@kpmg.co.uk 

8th - 9th September - Welsh Trains Ride
A weekend outing for folders  taking in preserved steam railways (and main line trains), using cycles and other means of transport to get between stations. See editorial of FSN 077 for details, or contact Paul Evans at paul_evans@ekno.com. Paul has now produced a very detailed booklet about the route etc. If you are interested in joining us on the above date, do please let Paul know as it would be helpful to indicate numbers to the railways, especially if they may need to provide additional accommodation. If you are interested in the route, but the dates aren't suitable, Paul's route sheet may be useful to you in arranging a similar ride at some other date.

29th - 30th September - Moulton Bradford on Avon Weekend
The date for the annual Moulton weekend at Bradford on Avon weekend has now been fixed, although no details are yet available of what will be taking place.

A number of additional Moulton Bicycle Club rides are being listed in the new issue of The Moultoneer - see the MBC web pages at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/moulton/moultev.html for details.

PDA CORNER

Quite a lot of folder enthusiasts have an interest in paraphernalia such as Personal Digital Assistants, or Personal Organisers. The news that Psion is dropping out of the handheld computer market comes as a blow to many of us, although it cannot be all that much of a surprise, as I commented in one ride report recently. Psion owners do not really need to panic immediately - their machines are well served with reliable and versatile software, and the machines themselves are generally very reliable. I imagine Psion will make some arrangement for future servicing, but already there is a well-established third party service organisation (POS) to look after problems with Psions, and they seem able to handle almost any form of failure. I believe they can also sometimes supply refurbished replacement machines, and there are other companies selling/buying/exchanging Psions, so if you want to stay with Psion, you should be able to get replacements for quite a while. Obviously what we won't get, though, are new models of Psion organisers with improved features - better/colour screens, sound etc. Nevertheless, the operating system of the Psions (EPOC) lives on via Symbian, and EPOC is being used, for example, by Nokia in its new organisers which are combined with mobile phones, so this may be an attractive alternative route for those Psion enthusiasts seeking machines with the same character but with additional features. Otherwise, our options are somewhat limited if we want an integral keyboard in a small package - the HP Jornarda 720 is about the only machine of that kind: it runs the Windows CE operating system, has a good colour screen and keyboard, and is just a fraction larger than a Psion Series 5. Palmtop computers - whether from the Palm family or Pocket PC family - have their attractions - compact, colour screens (on many models), plenty of applications software (at least for the Palm family, more limited for Pocket PC at present), etc. The software is less robust than that on Psions, and of course they do not have an integral keyboard, and input via the touch screen is laborious if you want to do more than put in diary appointments, task lists and brief notes; external keyboards are available, but can't readily be used while holding the palmtop in your hand.


A to B Magazine

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.atob.org.uk, or you can email them at atob@atob.org.uk, 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

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.


Contributing material for FSN

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
email: mike@foldsoc.co.uk
Web: http://www.foldsoc.co.uk
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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Copyright (C)2001 Ferrets Anonymous
Last updated: 22 July 2001
URL: http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/fsn/fsn079.html