One of Davidson’s specialities is S&S Coupling travel bikes and Mark has traveled with them more than 30 times, all over the world, in various configurations. From Mark’s experience, Davidson’s direction, and creative input from me, we began working the Modal Concept in May of this year. The Modal is a travel bike that folds and toggles between single, fixed, and geared modes.
The concept isn’t presenting anything particularly new, but gathers various parts and ideas into a unique bike that I can travel with and ride in a city or a long tour. The bike switches modes with Paragon dropouts, a second set of bars, and cable split-stops.
Hinge v. Couplings
As our readers know, we’re into folding bikes and Dahons. The Modal is a different bike for a different purpose. I’m using it for longer rides and trips when I want a full road bike. For business trips and urban mobility, the Dahons are outstanding.
There are tradeoffs. Where the Dahon is heavier than the Modal, the Modal case is heavier and travel weight is about the same at around 45 pounds. I’ve also traveled with Sci-Con cases and the drawback to those is TSA and airline reliability. It’s very liberating (both in time and money) to check a bike as luggage and not have to wait for oversize to come out, hope that it wasn’t crushed, and that TSA didn’t unpack and repack it for you.
Single Mode Details
For the Modal to work, it’s built as a road bike with two sets of bars: one has shifters and other just brakes. I’m simply removing the derailleur, releasing the chain master link, swapping out the Paragon, changing the bar, and connecting the cable stops. After a few adjustments, the bike is ready to ride. The beauty of a single speed when traveling is fast rear wheel in and out. There’s also very little to break in transit.
- 39 x 16 gearing with a chain-ring protector replacing the 53 chain ring
- Ksyrium wheels with adaptor spacers
- One position derailleur hanger
- Carbon fork starnut adaptor thingy – don’t know the actual name, but this part replaces the expanding bolt method on some carbon forks with a star-nut style. If I need to drop the fork and for swapping bars, it’s way easier.