I believe that any bike can be converted into a touring bike and from time to time, I’ll be featuring several builds from friends and hopefully, we get to pick up insights for our own dream build for our epic adventures.
I met Dindo Flauta in one of our events organized by the Centurion Cycling Club and I’ve heard of his skill on two wheels before. Not only is he a technically gifted individual because of his knowledge of bikes but he prides himself of being consistent in terms of effort from start to finish…In fact, he was able to obtain the distinction of Super Randonneur twice in Audax Philippines for 2015 and 2016
I had a chance to ride with Dindo to Legzapi City, Bicol (450km away from Manila) and he was the only one with a folding bike.., Out of curiousity, ive asked him constantly about his rig as I have always had a fascination of using small wheels for long distance trips and I owe it to him for helping me setup my folding bike for a bike tour to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte last December 2015…
PV: So, does your bike have a name and what’s the story behind it?
DF: I named him Lando because that was the maiden voyage of the bike and during our trip (Manila to Aparri), that was the time when typhoon Lando hit the country and that was one challenging ride that we eventually had to abort due to bad weather conditions.
PV: I see, so why use a folding bike for your tours? And why bike Friday?
DF: I have always been fascinated with steel bikes, and with the chance of setting up a bike friday, reputed to be the top choice when it comes to small wheel touring, I couldnt pass on this opportunity
PV: Interesting, I agree that steel definitely has its charm when it comes to touring bikes but I gotta ask, what’s in that yellow bike Friday of yours?
DF: It’s a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro in full Shimano Ultegra 11s groupset. Wheels are custom H+ Son rims mated to Hope Mono hubs on Sapim CX Ray spokes and brass nipples. Saddle is the ever reliable Brooks B17 leather
PV: Lando is definitely a keeper with these specs-I’ve always wanted those Hope Mono hubs and we’ve always argued about the brooks saddle since I’m a C17 fan hahaha…what about the most difficult ride?
DF: Manila to Legaspi City, Bicol Region. It was a 450km++ ride spread out into 3days, a lot of it on rolling terrain and unfavorable weather…
PV: Clearly remember that especially day 2, aside from extreme weather, the rolling terrain was just terrible! What about your most memorable trip with Lando?
DF: – Explored California’s Bay Area from San Jose all the way to San Francisco. It was a mixed terrain of fast highways, dedicated bike routes, rough roads, and the some pretty hellish mountain routes (Mt. Diablo, Mt Hamilton, Golden Gate)- about 300km plus and around 8000m of elevation over two days…
PV: Wow, ive never done a lengthy tour abroad and that must have been really memorable for you…since readers may want to get ideas for their project touring bikes, I have to ask, why is this build for you?
DF: I’m a big fan of steel frames, and folding bikes. Also an avid traveller, so a bike that is easily transported and can withstand being thrown around ports and airports, it was an easy choice
Looking at his rig, you can really sense a minimalist build while keeping the essential components for his riding needs. Perhaps owing it to his mountaineering roots, his rig observes that pack light philosophy which appeals to many riders out there.