How do you feel about joining tours with cyclists on road bikes?

Vg12th

Regular
New to biking in general and waiting to purchase a brompton, I want a folding bike primarily for city commute but I also want to use it for some minor touring (city to city).
Have you joined other cyclists on their road bikes for tours and did you feel like you were slowing down the group? Is it bad form not bringing a road bike? I know it's possible to tour and to bikepack with Bromptons, but just worried how it would be if I joined friends in some tours. Especially as I plan on taking the - 12% gearing. Am I expecting too much from the B?
 

Oldhippy

Veteran
It's all relative. Touring is generally, in my opinion anyway is relaxing and enjoyable, not a hell for leather dash from one place to another.
 

the_mikey

Legendary Member
Horses for courses, there's nothing stopping anyone doing a tour on a Brompton, I'm aware of at least one CycleChat personality who has done some substantial touring on a Brompton, which also included using the Brompton to support a tarp and bivvy but Bromptons are very much a compromise, engineered to be small and functional which may be fine if you're touring with other people riding the same kind of bike, you're all experiencing the same limitations so are likely to make similar decisions about pace, route choices and when and where to stop. Not judging however, just put it down as experience for the future!
 

annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
If you plan to tour with friends why not ask them?
Obviously touring with strangers in an organised group is a bit different. People may have different expectations of how fast the group should travel. But in my limited experience of groups that'll happen whether you're riding bikes or hopping along on pogo sticks. One of the reasons I tend to go everywhere on my own :laugh:
 
If it is regular touring group, they will let you know the avg speed the group does. It is common practice so new comers will know if they can fit in. Not just for touring, but for nearly all group cycling activities.
 
OP
V

Vg12th

Regular
Thanks for the feedback. Yes so this will be a group of friends and their friends so I think it will be quite open in terms of level. It's just that when I see a group of tourers they are all wearing expensive gear and roadbikes more than my monthly apartment so it made me think the Brompton might stick out both in looks and performance. There is a difference between doable and requires much more effort than worth it to prove a point. I think I would tour with a Brompton by myself fine but with others it may be daunting
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
Depends on how chilled the other riders and how ambitious the distances are each day. Some tour like it’s a 7 day stage race. Others are more chilled, diverting and stopping at the merest hint of something interesting off route.

Also depends on relative fitness. I take my Brompton out with local CTC group. Many of them on road bikes struggle to keep up when the road points upwards. But as long as you regroup at top and give the last one up time to catch their breath, I never see it as an issue.
 

Kell

Über Member
As a general rule - over the same routes I'm about 3-4mph slower on the Brompton than I am on a road bike.

Compared to my old folder (a 26" Dahon) it's about the same.

A huge amount will depend on your ability and their ability.

Like others have said, if it's an experienced group they'll know their average speeds for a ride. If you can match that - for the distances you're thinking of - why not?

I would certainly have no qualms about joining a group on a Brompton - as long as I was matched to it.

The clothing may help to make it more comfortable for long distances, decent padded shorts for instance, but again not necessary.

A couple of years ago my brother in law did the Exmoor Beast - a 100 mile day event on his road bike in full lycra.

One of the farmers did it on an old mountain bike in jeans and wellies. :rolleyes:
 
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Kell

Über Member
As above - welcome.

Forgot to ask - which Brompton are you looking at? I wouldn't tour on a three speed (but that might just be me), but I would on a 6-speed.

That said, I've seen pictures posted here on people going off touring on 2-speed bikes.
 

rogerzilla

Legendary Member
I've led 70 mile rides over the Chilterns when I was the only one on a Brompton. That was an S-Type with a 52" lowest gear.
 
OP
V

Vg12th

Regular
Thanks for the welcome. I am looking at a 6 speed with -12% gearing. My city is more hilly than I expected. Never noticed before until I rode around. I understand this gearing lowers my top speed even further.
I don't plan on racing times, I just didn't want to hold back the group. But as pointed out here, I should just manage expectations with the group and see if there is fit.
 
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