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Bicycles for FT use


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Looking for input.  RAM 3500 w/5th wheel so no room for bikes to be upright in the truck bed.

A::: If you have FOLDING bikes what brands/model?   Pros & cons please?

B::: Anyone have a rack for front mounting on pickup truck for traditional bikes?

I had never heard of this til "AStreaminLife".  He seems to swear by it. 

 

MUCH thanks!

Linda, Larry, & the Hooligan Shelties

Hope to be FT in 2012 in 5th Wheel

LOL...We sure took the slow track!  Been enjoying retirement as volunteers with Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park & Kline Creek Farm living history farm in West Chicago.   But now its time to get this show on the road.   ETD: 1st quarter 2019!

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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20 minutes ago, RV Hooligans said:

Anyone have a rack for front mounting on pickup truck for traditional bikes?

I had a 2" front receiver put on my Chevy 2500. It would accept a wide variety of accessories including bike racks, winch plate, cargo platform and ball mount. Some folks worry about decreasing the air flow to the radiator and trans cooler by putting bikes on the front. I think this is more of a concern if you cover the bikes than if it is just the bike frame and tires. You do need to make sure that anything on the front does not interfere with the headlights just as anything on the rear should not interfere with the visibility of the tail lights.

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We have a receiver hitch on the back of the 5th wheel.  It works great for a bike rack and I also have a covered carrier that I put in it every now and then when I want to haul some firewood or my portable generator.

I have also seen 5th wheel owners weld a receiver to the king pin box and install a bike rack in front of the 5th wheel over the pick up bed.  This would most likely require that your pick up have a long bed to allow clearance for turning.

Finally, I have seen a number of roof mounted bike racks on top of the pick up.

Personally, I prefer the receiver at the back of the 5th wheel as the bikes stay the cleanest there (don’t get covered in bug splatter).

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We had two folding bikes from Dahon when we first went on the road. We kept them for about 8 or 9 years and used them quite a bit. The biggest negative for them in my opinion is that with the small diameter wheels they tend to be very unstable if you get off of paved roads. I changed mine out for a full size bike because of that.  Here us a review of the 4 best folders if you are interested.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
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I also have a front hitch on the truck and use a Swagman Escapee bike rack which is RV rated, pleased with them both. https://www.swagman.net/product/escapee/  The Swagman doesn't use a pin through the receiver but uses a bolt/pin combination, 15/16 hex head with a lock at the other end similar to other locking pins, and the hole through it is threaded. This creates a very solid connection between hitch & rack with no slop or wiggle whatsoever. Of course the bikes have weight and with motion have momentum, but that's it. It's all very solid. If I ever obtain a trailer with a hitch out back I may use it but at this point I am not concerned with that at all, being so satisfied with the front mount. I'm aware of the gyro affect Kirk alluded to that the smaller wheels have on two wheelers which is why I'll have a full size bike with, at the very minimum, 20" wheels (26" currently on my Townie, my favorite push bike of all time). Even when looking at scooters I only focused on those with 15" - 17" tires for the inherent stability (Aprilia among others in the 250cc and under class). So my vote is for option B in the original post for the comfort of a full size bike, the under 30 seconds each for two bikes for putting on/taking off/ready to ride, and the non-effect this set up has on available storage within the truck & trailer.

     Spot

Edited by $Spot
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We finally went with a pair of folding bikes that easily fold into a compact shape.  Look at Zizzo bikes.  We use the Forte model.  While not a full size bike, they are adequate for a few miles around the campground and some hard packed trails.

Ken

Edited by TXiceman

Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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We had a two inch hitch on the back of our 5th wheels. We had a couple of not real expensive mountain bikes that we carried around for years lashed them  down securely and never had a problem.In our younger days we were bike riders but not avid. We had a swagman bike rack very similar to the one pictured on a post above. IMO bike riding is great all around exercise.

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go down to a quality bike store. buy a full sprung bike. (you will understand with in a mile of riding it),  yes money gets you a very light bike. under 20 pounds. a wally wourld bike can top out over 40 pounds.

but during travel keep them inside the coach. at camp well locked up. or again inside. as good bikes tend to roll away.

but never off the back bumper, far too much bouncing, will destroy any bike. and can fall off and you would not know about it. there are special bike racks for the tops of trucks. still lower than the top of your rv. or cross bed on top of the extra fuel tank.

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:44 PM, RV Hooligans said:

Looking for input.  RAM 3500 w/5th wheel so no room for bikes to be upright in the truck bed.

 

B: Anyone have a rack for front mounting on pickup truck for traditional bikes?

Put in your truck's info @ this website, I randomly put in a '17 Ram 350 and got this

https://www.etrailer.com/Front-Hitch/Ram/3500/2017/C31067.html?vehicleID=201764864

I put a Curt on my truck that's not a Ram and it's a straight forward bolt on using existing holes, their hitches are model & year specific. Ordered from etrailer.com on a Tuesday and was using the bikes on it on Friday.

     Spot

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I have a Curt front hitch. Paid $75 to have it installed.  I had two installed....the first actually cut the power steering lines on rough roads after two or three years....when I complained to Curt they did send a free replacement hitch....they thought all the installers caught the mistake. Mine didn't, so I was out the power steering repair.  Check tolerances!!!  

Then a Yakima front rack....http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2012/08/usbackroads-product-yakima-holdup-bike.html

Our local RV dealer recommended AGAINST a bike rack on the rear of the 5th wheel, particularly one that is ladder mount. At that end, things move a LOT MORE than up front.  We did have issues mounting a hitch to our Carriage 5th wheel. Front hitch is a pretty simple easy solution.

Edited by Vladimir

Vladimr Steblina

Retired Forester...exploring the public lands.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for all the GREAT input & detailed info!!!!    We're still mulling on the facts.  Might, "maybe" go with front hitch & get our bikes tuned up.  See how that goes, at least in the beginning.   Who knows?   If we did later switch to foldable we'd just leave our current Trek bikes at my sons place in TX.

But thanks AGAIN!

Linda, Larry, & the Hooligan Shelties

Hope to be FT in 2012 in 5th Wheel

LOL...We sure took the slow track!  Been enjoying retirement as volunteers with Frank Lloyd Wright in Oak Park & Kline Creek Farm living history farm in West Chicago.   But now its time to get this show on the road.   ETD: 1st quarter 2019!

There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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What kind of biking do you do?  Sometimes it's not worth the hassle unless you're a die-hard rider.  We started off carrying them and they got filthy and staying near the coasts they started rusting from the air.  We decided we didn't use them enough to justify them.  Do the  types of places you like to stay have good, safe riding?  We know a few folks who haul them around and never use them .... but they might. :)  If you just do campground biking, walking might be more beneficial.

Full-timed for 16 Years
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome
and 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

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On 7/12/2019 at 4:25 PM, Kirk W said:

We had two folding bikes from Dahon when we first went on the road. We kept them for about 8 or 9 years and used them quite a bit. The biggest negative for them in my opinion is that with the small diameter wheels they tend to be very unstable if you get off of paved roads. I changed mine out for a full size bike because of that. 

We fulltime in a motorhome and don't have anything on the outside.  All bikes must fit in storage compartments.

One bike is a 10-year-old folding Dahon Jetstream mountainbike (has some suspension) that has 20" wheels.  It's been ridden on trails, some of them very challenging, all over the country.  It's not meant for hardcore trails, and had to be rebuilt several times over the years, but that's strictly a case of the owner using it for much more gnarly conditions than Dahon recommended (or even dreamed of).  It's now used on mellower mountainbike terrain (no jumping, for example), and the little wheels make it pleasingly nimble.

Another in the fleet is a folding Dahon Mu that has 20" wheels, with street tires on it for riding around town.  It's no different comfort-wise from a full-sized bike.  In fact, this one has a handlebar height adjustment.  When two of us want to ride around town, we use these two folding bikes, and loser gets the one with the knobby tires. 😀

The third bike is a real mountainbike for expert trails, that fits into an underneath compartment if the front wheel is removed.  We got that only once it was confirmed that (1) it was needed, and (2) it fit into a storage compartment.

I can't imagine not having the bikes.  I think they're perfect for sightseeing--riding around neighborhoods in towns I've never been to.  Or major cities' downtowns on Sundays or holidays (one of my favorite things to do).  Not fast riding--the pace is about 8 mph.  I routinely get passed by women in skirts and flip-flops on Citibikes, not to mention kids.  But it's perfect for riding around getting a real good look at stuff.  It's much better for sightseeing than a car, and you can cover vastly more distance than walking while still getting the same "view," and if something is super interesting, you just stop to take it in, and then start pedaling again.

It really is one of the parts of fulltiming I prize the most.  I know a LOT about a bunch of different in the U.S. because I toured them at 8 mph.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have a pair of bikes with electric motor kits and carry them on a Swagman ladder bike rack.  We keep them covered and lashed tight to the ladder.  No problems other than the bike cover wearing at rub spots after several ALCAN trips. 

Later,

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I purchased a Segway Mini Pro and put a handle bar on it. I have extreme back pain and hip pain if I walk more than 150 yds. I was able to go to the state fair yesterday with my Segway and go everywhere my family went. 

Ron C.

2013 Dynamax Trilogy 3850 D3

2000 Kenworth T2000 Optimus Prime

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32 minutes ago, Ronbo said:

I purchased a Segway Mini Pro and put a handle bar on it. I have extreme back pain and hip pain if I walk more than 150 yds. I was able to go to the state fair yesterday with my Segway and go everywhere my family went. 

I cant' stand for very long so I had a SegSeat put on my Segway. It was a real lifesaver for me before I changed to a TravelScoot.

Linda

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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