This week’s Readers’ Rides is a little different! Drew Devereux built this folding all-road bike in his garage with common tools. It’s a real hoot, so let’s look at it in detail below!
This is the latest of about a dozen folders I built for myself over the last 20 years, improving them incrementally as I went. It’s made of cromoly aircraft tubing, fillet brazed together, and is designed with 20” BMX sized wheels. It gets small in about a minute and a half, and meets the 62” baggage size limit for airlines and busses.
I designed, cut, filed, and brazed it all together in my garage with a minimum of tools. What I used most was the Sawzall, grinder, files, and oxyacetylene torch. Jigs were made with plywood, and alignment was achieved with strings, angles, yardsticks, and by matching assemblies up to the life-size drawing I made. It all worked out to within a millimeter or two. It has a 70-degree head angle, 73 seat angle, a long 46cm chainstay, and a 23mm fork offset which makes for 75mm trail with the 2.6” tires. Bottom bracket is 68mm and at 11 1/4” height with these tires. I really like how this one rides. The raw frame is clear finished with Penetrol, for now anyways. It’s glossy and keeps the rust away (where it doesn’t get abraded). There are lots of hand positions on the Nitto noodle 48cm handlebars.
It measures 21” high, 28” long, and 13” wide (with the left pedal reversed as needed). In its “folded” state, all the elements are clamped together, making a very solid package. I can pick it up from anywhere, and drop it in a bag without necessarily needing extra protective material. It weighs about 28 pounds as you see it.
It will accept a tire up to 2.8” wide. I find the Kenda slant six 2.6″ plenty cushy and effective off-road. The fenders I made from aluminum sheet and laminated cedar strips. They can be removed or installed in a couple of minutes with 4 bolts that are accessible on the outer fender curve.
The front rack is brazed onto the fork. The arches at the front of the rack are designed to protect an Edelux light that will go there. The front axle is 74mm; the narrow folding bike variety. There is a linear-pull brake with a travel agent. I would have liked to use a front disc brake, but there is no way it would fit in the design to allow it to fold quickly into my target size of 62” max (length, height, and width added together). The odd bits on the fork are part of the folding/clamping process.
The rear of the bike easily pivots down as part of the folding process. I can push the wheel down to park it (makes it too weird to steal) or lean it up against something (the front wheel resists turning- it won’t fall over easily).
The front derailleur is angled because the cassette is lower. A quarter-inch pin goes thru the lower main tube connection to resist pulling forces. Short lengths of tubing brazed onto the bolts allow me to quickly tighten and loosen connections.
I ride this bike everywhere; road, gravel, trail. It is a lot of fun in Post Canyon near where I live in Hood River where I ride almost all the trails, including the advanced ones (but no jumping off ramps!). It’s a lot more capable than it may look. Without the usual bike triangulation, it’s got some welcome flex in places a conventional rigid bike doesn’t. The very low “top tube” is nice if I have to land on my feet when in the challenging technical stuff. And being able to get on any transit out there is really nice, making one-way rides very easy.
We’d like to thank all of you who have submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared over here. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!