Survival Bicycle – Best Bike – Features and Considerations
You might call it a survival bicycle. A bike that will be a valuable asset during a disaster situation when ordinary transportation may be difficult or impossible.
The only fuel required for bicycle transportation is your own muscle power and calories.
A bicycle is obviously faster than walking. They’re practical for general transportation, commuting, or other ordinary uses during ordinary times. Great exercise too!
But they may become especially useful when vehicular transportation may no longer be an option. In this case we’re now talking about a Survival Bicycle.
Best Survival Bike – Folding?
You really can’t get much more practical than a Folding Bike. Sure makes it easier to take with you. In your vehicle, truck, camper, motorhome…
Uses for a Survival Bicycle
- Transporting supplies (a Bike Trailer or Panniers will help)
- Transporting yourself (faster than walking!)
- Emergency “get home” bicycle (folding bike in the trunk?)
- Security patrol (pretty quiet transport)
- Exercise (Health and Enjoyment)
A few comments from our readers:
“A folder in the trunk is a must for those working at distance from home. Mostly for use in sudden profound events, such as an EMP or an earthquake (for example), which gives little warning. The bike would be used just to get home.”
“A good all around bike is called a hybrid. It will have mountain bike gearing with a road bike frame. The wheels will be the same diameter as a road bike but with wider tires closer to a mountain bike width. The handlebars allow an upright riding position like a mountain bike.”
“Wheels are the first point of failure. A survival bike should be as strong as possible using common components, eg 36 spokes. Accept nothing less, and never depend on modern low-spoke-count wheels.”
“Bicycle Trailers are essential for bike-dependent living. A rear solid steel axle can help with mounting. Single wheel trailers handle better on rough tracks. 2 wheelers carry loads better.”
“Stay simple with the gearing, Get it with tires that are road/dirt combo.”
Awhile ago, a reader submitted this photo of his survival bicycle setup (he built the trailer). It has a 14 speed internal geared Rohloff hub, and he has pulled a 600 pound load at 10 mph on flat ground…
Which Bicycle Is Best as a Survival Bicycle?
To decide which bicycle is best for survival, there are criteria that you should think about which may influence your decision.
The following is a list of features, considerations and questions to consider. Some may or may not be relevant to your own needs or situation.
Survival Bicycle List of Considerations
(a random list of thoughts in this regard)
Silent gears – No clicking while coasting (stealth)?
Off-road versus On-road use.
Overall weight (light weight, medium, or heavy duty).
Materials (aluminum, steel, titanium, carbon fiber).
Fit inside of your vehicle or trunk?
Size of frame.
Ability to connect bicycle trailer.
Expected or Max cargo load.
Its design or practical ability to strap on some gear or to transport heavy things.
The ability to tow a small utility trailer designed for bicycles.
How many gear speeds?
Quality brand considerations (gears, brakes, etc..).
Complexity of components and availability of Replacement Parts.
Strength of frame (weight considerations too).
Brand reputation & reliability.
Is color important? (stealth?)
Proper frame size for your height and weight.
The type of tires.
Type of wheels.
The more specialized or unique, the less parts you will find post-collapse.
Most common brands and parts?
Accessories (racks, bags, baskets, panniers).
A weak point of bikes are the wheels. Strong wheels will be better.
Note that ‘road bikes’ rims & frames are not built for heavy duty.
Price? (versus quality)
I am not a bike expert, but I do believe it is an important consideration to have a bicycle due to its practicality and usefulness.
If it were me considering what type of bike to get as a survival bike, I would put weight on this statement: Mountain bikes are generally tough and will take you places where road style bikes won’t go.
I drool over the Montague Paratrooper as a survival bicycle
>> Montague Folding Bicycles from ReadyMadeResources
If you’re planning a bugout on your bike ‘just in case’, consider this:~ from a MSB reader
– You should know all the ways out of your area… in all directions.
– How hilly is your area?
– Can you pedal with your BOB on your back?
– Are you strong enough to pedal with a little cart behind you and your BOB on your back?
– What if its snowing??
– Will you pedal during the broad daylight?
– Or the darkest of night?
– Bikes are very quiet if you have a fixie… If you don’t…. and you coast – you can hear the clicks of the bearings in the cassette of the gears….
Something to think about if you’re wanting to be stealthy…
– When you have to hop off and push a bike up hill… it clicks too. Don’t forget that if you’re in stealth mode.
– If we have no power for reasons such as an EMP, there won’t be air planes flying, and vehicles roaring everywhere… It will be silent… and we all know how much noise travels where its silent.
I am curious to know your opinion on the subject of a survival bicycle.
(This article has been updated to reflect more input and opinion)
Great topic Ken, thanks for raising.
My key focus up to this point with a bicycle is getting home.
I travel quite a bit, either locally to the “big city” or interstate, preferring driving to aircraft within about a 700 mile radius (i.e. one full day’s drive). Discretely in the trunk of my common, unexceptional, 4-door sedan is a 20″ Schwinn folder (in its own bag), and in separate bags are the panniers for the bicycle, as well as a small get home backpack.
Why discrete: I travel on business and want to keep a low profile. Occasionally the care is valet parked by others, something over which I have little choice. If asked (valets pop the trunk to offload boxes of printed materials or suitcases) its for my “workout”. No interest in raising eyebrows.
I have other bicycles, mostly Wal Mart grade for local travel, but this is the one that I carry along when heading out for work or on travel.
1) The bicycle itself. I have it dialed in now: it took a few tries to get everything adjusted and running as quiet as possible. My only problem with the folder is that the handlebars don’t extend very high and I have to lean over the handlebars to ride it, which gets tiring after a few miles. I plan to address this with hardware that allows you to more comfortably lean over (like the racing bicyclists) or to stand taller in the saddle with your arms comfortable higher then they are now.
2) The Panniers. These drape over the cargo rack in the back, and contain the support system for the bike (tire pump, spare tubes, repair tools, etc) as well as the heavier stuff that I don’t want to carry on my back, such as water and other heavy items. Over the top of the entire pannier goes a rain shroud to keep everything nice and dry.
Amongst the kit, I even have a goofy looking bicycle helmet and a bright colored outer vest to look ….well…. commuter-ish when needed.
It takes me only a few minutes to get the whole rig into battery and to wheel away from the car.
Potential future project? Bicycle set that gets you from home to somewhere else, with a bigger frame which would be better suited and more comfortable. The little folder is not a first choice for that.
A folder in the trunk is a must for those working at distance from home. Mostly for use in sudden profound events, such as an EMP, or an earthquake, which gives little warning. The bike would be used just to get home, or to a pre-positioned supply point, where it would them be used as needed. One could even carry the folder over rubble, or around obstacles, if needed. Travel right away, while the shock is still setting in. Get as far as you can those first hours. Carry water in your back pack, which incorporates a bladder. Then, just figure out the best way to carry your weapon, where you do not need to fumble about.
“– Will you pedal during the broad daylight?
– Or the darkest of night?”
I’d like to make a suggestion concerning that question by telling a story of what happened to us once.
We were at a state park campground in bear country and rode our bikes to a talk one evening at the nature center about bears. The speaker emphasized at the end to “whatever you do, do not go near the dumpsters at night as that is where the bears will be”.
When we left it was as dark as a night could get and we had no lights. It was too far to walk so I took the lead and we very slowly pedaled on the pavement back to the unlit campground. In the dark we missed the Y intersection and ventured off to the left instead of to the right. Not too far along my front tire bumped into a large obstacle which after a little investigation I realized that we were at the dumpster.
Fortunately, we were alone. We made it back to the campground and after that our bikes have been mounted with lights, front and rear as well as handheld ones.
You never know when you’re going to be in the dark so make sure you’ve got lights with fresh batteries.
When I was working (retired now) I carried a bicycle that I built. It has quick detachable wheels and fit nicely behind the seat of my economy car with a black blanket draped over it and the black interior it is very difficult to see. I lived about 35 miles from my job and figured it would take 3 to 4 hours to get home, also getting me out of the city in less than 1 hour. Having built this bike it fit me perfectly. I purched used bicycles from hospice stores for under $20 and figure the total cost was about $80~100. With a small 3 day back pack, I Felt comfortable knowing I was set for most any situation.
Great idea, hospice stores, or other non profits like Goodwill. You save $, they receive $ and everyone wins. Thanks for the idea.
In my case, since I never learned to ride a bike, I would need one with at least 3 wheels
There are some nice 3 wheelers available out there. They would be pretty much for road or street use. The bonus is the large carry basket in back which would handle a GHB/BOB.
Schwinn Meridian Full Size Adult Tricycle 26 wheel size
Daisy, if you can balance when you walk, you can balance when you bike. just get on and pedal. you will figure it out in a few minute if not seconds. just go slow. put both your feet down if you feel like you are going over. easy.
I have both road and mountain bikes that i ride. In my opinion a mountain bike is best for durability and ease of use and general usability. I am not looking at portability as i work within walking distance of home. Also a bike is like a gun or anything else, it needs practice and good maintenance. Just my two cents.
There are hybrid bikes which are built with a bit of Mountain and road bike. These generally come with flat bars.
There are also specialist Touring bikes. These are fitted with racks for front and rear panniers and are geared for traveling and generally feature wider tyres.
There are a class of bikes called Gravel Grinders or Cyclo cross – Perfect.
When you get your bike it’s imperative you know how to :
Fix a puncture or at least replace the tube. Don’t get tubeless for survival purposes.
Be able to break and join the chain, clean and lubricate it. – needs doing every 300 miles.
I’m 6’2″ and ride large road bikes. I break them down by removing the wheels and lowering the seat. Easily fit in the trunk of my cars.
Can anyone recommend a specific electric or battery powered bike for travel? Do they make foldable bikes like that?
Quietkat makes a folder called the voyager, they are out on new ones but have a demo for sale, decent little bike
I bought a Giant ATX a couple of years ago. It is an on-road/off-road bike. It was used for riding back and forth to work at the farm. I have had no problems with the bike and has worked awesome especially the disk brakes when riding in the rain (quick stopping). The cost was over $300 but a heck of a lot cheaper than the Montague. The way I figured it was the bike paid for itself in a few months after purchase by savings from not using gas in the car. After those few months the break even point was met and every day I rode after that was extra money in my pocket. This proves that little savings add up over time.
I’ve been impressed by police bicycles ever since I saw them up close. They are the most sturdy of any I’ve ever seen with lots of accessories.
If you buy a bike already set up, like from Walmart, it is a must to take it to a bike shop and have it checked out.
Bummin’ can I suggest you NOT get a Walmart-Target-etc. Bicycle? They are assembled by Walmart Employees who talking to them are mostly well meaning but RUSHED as it’s a secondary duty. If you buy one from Walmart by the time you pay the bike shop to get it “Right” you COULD have bought a decent Entry Model Hybrid FROM the Bike shop with MUCH better reliability.
You CAN if your handy (Or YouTube willing to try) buy a second hand bicycle for far less than Walmart and get it upgraded but again almost the same price as the Entry Model Hybrid from a decent bike shop. However you’d have Bicycle Repair Skills for later…
NH Michael – advice is agreed with, intended for those who do buy any bike preassembled other than from a dedicated bike shop. I bought a really nice Schwinn with disc brakes from a sports store with a bike department and still some adjustments were required. Not a problem for me.
Police bikes are pretty low grade for the price. You can do much better.
I think before running out and getting a bike a bit more thought is required as to the purpose, roads, distances and durations, how long it will be used, etc.
Mountain bikes are rugged etc. and better than other bikes for gravel and non-improved roads. They also far less energy efficient. The frames flex more to absorb bumps and especially shocks consume energy from the rider. You can ride them only 1/4-1/2 the distance of a modest road bike for the same energy output. If you need to just get home and the route will be mostly paved roads and paths, then a road bike or hybrid may be better. Or put road tires on it until home.
If you want local transportation after SHTF of just 3-10 miles and roads may be bad or you need to take discrete un-improved trails, then the mountain bike.
Do you need shocks and all that? They add weight, reduced reliability and are there to facilitate rambunctious and rough riding. You can’t risk injury with that SHTF.
Aluminum, titanium frames can shave pounds off a bike’s weight, but are generally not repairable with simple welding and brazing methods. This a one time get home use or multi-year?
Lots to think about.
Mountain bikes often come with knobby tires. They are loud. Knobbies are great for off roading but not so much for stealth riding.
I ride a mountain bike. The handle bar was replaced with a riser bar and a longer stem with a higher angle. The seat was replaced with a gel one. It’s much more comfortable and the more upright position took the stress off the wrist area. The grips were replaced with Ergon ones that fit my hand better and that, along with gel padded gloves, reduced the hand numbing.
I sprung for a set of Hope pedals and the pegs don’t dig into the 501’s allowing foot placement changes. I put plastic fenders on it and no more mud streak up the back in wet conditions. My usual ride is 14 miles and on nice days I stretch out to 25. I like to ride and I like my comfort. There is much that can be done with a bike to make riding enjoyable.
In my younger years, I used to bicycle tour and ride “Century rides” ( organized 100 mile bicycle races ). The road bike was my therapy for a knee injury and it opened to door to the freedom of the open road during the time of gas crisis during Carter Administration. ( 1976-1980 gas being over $1.00 per gallon first time in American history. Gas lines and American cars were big back then. )
Such long distance riding required special clothes to start with the lycra blend shorts with padded crotch to help prevent saddle rash and blisters on your nether regions. ( this is a factor if you ride more than 60 miles in one day or are riding in hot weather.)
The road bike I used had thin, high pressure “clincher” type of tires ( PSI of 80-90 lbs ). If these get a flat, it is tougher to fix and inflate on the road with the small.frame mounted pumps. I carried a spare tube on the road with me. When touring or camping, I had front and rear panniers to distribute the load more evenly. Still, the road bike was not meant to haul a very heavy or odd shaped load so packing of ice chests or 5 gallon water containers was best done by trailer.
The road bike was eventually traded for the new-at-the-time Mountain Bike because of many survival-based reasons: #1 Wider low pressure tires that are easier to fix a flat on the road.
#2 Small stiff frame suitable for carry of heavy loads on the panniers. #3 These are generally lower in price so they are less likely the target of thieves. #4 Modular in construction so parts that wear out are easily to replace. ( ie. front chain rings, rear gear cluster, brake pads, cables front and rear derailers just to name a few things.) The trade off is these require more energy to get from point A to point B on smooth, dry pavement. If you are riding for distances less than 30 miles, over rough road and some trails, and you are carrying a load, the mountain bike is my choice to move me and my stuff from place to place.
I have a Specialized Rockhopper that is over 25 years old now. The tech at REI that replaced the cables, brake pads and rear gear cluster was admiring it saying that he does not see many of the old classics any more. The newer bikes are not made to be as durable as the old/original mountain bikes. ( all double butted, steel tubing used in the frame ).
My repair kit for my bicycle consisted of:
1 Kevlar beaded, foldable replacement tire.
2 spare, new tubes. 1 chain breaking/repair tool.
3 “tire irons” to lever the bead over the rim when changing tires. ( these may be made of nylon or plastic these days ).
1 small frame mounted tire pump. My bike uses schraeder valves. and sometimes, if you hit broken glass, you shred your tire thus the extra tire in addition to the extra tube.
I fix or repair small punctures at home where I have good lighting and am warm and dry to use patch cement and patch. To try to do this in a hurry on the side of a busy road can be hazardous to your health. I use lithium grease on my hubs and gear cluster. I use Break-Free on my chain because it does double duty on my fire arms. ( one lubricant for multiple tools.)
At night, I have a light at the front of my bike, a flashing red lamp in back and I tape a headlamp on my helmet. The biggest hazard to bicyclists out there are still the motorists driving cars or trucks. I avoid riding along rail roads because I have picked up too many nails in my tires over the years along a well-travelled railroad.
Tire irons are evil for bicycle tires.
I worked in bicycle and small engine shops for about 7 years many years ago. We sold hundreds of tubes over those years to folks who used tire irons or screw drivers to lever a tire on or off and pinched the tube and put holes in it. Way too easy to destroy a tube with them. Some customers would return the tube claiming it was defective but the twin snake bite slits on the tube side was the sure give away.
Learn to properly drop the tire beads into the center groove on the rim and you can pop the tire right off and on with no tools. I could deflate and remove a bicycle tire in 10-15 seconds with only my hands and a Milton valve stem tool to hold down the valve stem on Schraeders. Install was a little longer mostly to be sure bead was properly seated during inflation.
We have a beautiful bicycle built for TWO with baskets frint and rear for small shopping trips 5 miles roundtrip.
Does making tires on a bike flatproof by filling their inflatable tires with the “hard foam material” or whatever they use to do it, affect the ease of pedaling too much to consider doing?
Don’t mountain bikes already have flatproof tires? Or am I mistaken? I’ve been out of bicycling for a long time and am considering getting one.
Timely article, Ken!
CK there is a company known as Muffin Tires that produces solid foam filled flat proof tires for bicycles. So far as I can tell they sell them to city bicycle fleets for low maintenance bicycles AND Citizen Folding Bicycles has them as a 99.00 upgrade for their bicycles.
I’ve ridden a Citizen with them and they ride as nice as the same citizen bike with “normal Tires”.
Some mountain bikers have their bike shops add a thorn proof “Sleeve” inside the tire to add protection and slime self sealing goo. If you get a puncture anyway the slime when I used it kept me riding until I got back to the truck and pumped it back up. Was harder to ride with semi-inflated tires though.
CK, it’s complicated. No bike tires are flat proof.Tubeless tires come close, but there are tradeoffs with roll weight and compatibility issues with rims and needing sealant.
Slime is an option for standard tires with tubes. It’s a gel that you put into the tubes that will seal pinhole flats. Again, there’s a tradeoff with roll weight but it can be a quick fix until you have the time and security to replace the tube.
Personally, I roll with 29″ tires on a hardtail mountain bike and have plenty of spare tubes, tires, patches, lube, tool kit and repair items stockpiled. Brake cables, spare chain, derailleur parts, and a few other things are still on my wishlist…
Solid foam filled tyres are OK for short range urban commutes esp if you leave your bike at a railway station. They are not as grippy or comfortable as pneumatic tyres.
Modern puncture resistant tyres such as Marathon Plus are really hard to destroy. They are heavy and not as efficient as lighter tyres but a good option for people who wont/cant repair punctures.
I prefer the std ( not plus) Marathon as a do everything tyre.
We did that with our mountain bikes, not full but a lot, never had flats, forgot what tires but were a knobby kevlar belted mountain bike tire, tubeless.
we have lots of thorns here. Sharp rocks.
Thanks to everyone who responded to my questions. This forum is great for getting answers when one has a problem to deal with.
There’s no bicycle shop in my town so I bought a Schwinn from WalMart & had to work on it somewhat to align everything a little better than the Walmart people did who put it together. It has tubes and I got a flat the second time I rode it. I noticed the tubes are not very thick, so I’m considering going with thicker ones along with the liner suggested by Calirefugee and NH Michael and also going the slime route. Managed to fall trying to turn it around and almost went into a dry irrigation canal behind my house. (Whoever said you never forget how to ride a bicycle LIED!)
And I didn’t know there was vulcanization methods for bike tubes still available. I used it when I was a kid in the l950s when I used my bicycle on my paper route. Next time I go to the big city I’ll spend some time in a bike shop and hopefully learn whats available nowadays. Think I need to get a few spare parts, too.
Thanks again, everyone.
Hmm, I bought a bike used ten yrs ago and rode it locally around the neighbor hood and on the local bike trials, then about 4 yrs ago my wife got sick and the bike riding got pushed to the side as did everything else.Now with time on my hands, I’ve tried to ride my bike and I’ve fell twice now just getting on and off of it, but I think the problem is that the bike grew taller ( instead of me getting shorter ) while I wasn’t riding it. I have been looking and thinking about getting another one that is more suitable to my height.
Finally, Email is optional, just like the vaccine!
More important than the bike, the means of fixing that ride with spare parts. Get that inner tube with the vulcanizing repair kit and a manual pump.
Response to Caliche kid in regards to puncture proofing bike tires:
There is a company that makes some silicone liners that fit b/t tire and tube which provides additional layer of protection from some road hazards like puncture vines. These stickers are similar to jacks in shape and when they dry, they are sharp and hard enough to give you a flat. They come from a plant that looks a lot like a tumbleweed. Slime is heavy and a mess to deal with so I am not a fan. The liners were to be found in bicycle shops in areas where puncture vines were prevalent like the Central Valley of California. Many a time I came home brushing the stickers off the exterior of my tires butt the stickers did not penetrate the multiple layers of rubber, fabric and silicone prior to breaching the tube. Tubes can be found in different thicknesses as well butt the thick tubes are also heavy.
There are mountain bike tires made for smother rolling on asphalt. They all have a raised center rib.
Tribulus Terrestris, Puncturevine, goathead stickers. Damn. They can stay dormant in the soil for years. (‘short of tactical nukes, very hard to get rid of them.) In places varieties have grown with long thorns, can go through ATV and truck tires. ( Always said if the US wanted to keep the Afgan/Paki border from being so porous, they should overfly the area with C-130s fully loaded with goathead stickers and blanket the area. Guarantee within 5 years, no rubber tired vehicle, animal, nor human would be able to cross). I have fought for years to keep them off my farm, but they get brought in along the road from elsewhere. (our road has access to BLM land, so we get a lot of folks going through). One correction, the plant tends to grow along the ground, spread out in all directions. Rough on pups and kits, and padded quadrupeds in general. for bikes, I have tired the silicone liners, “puncture resistant” tubes, still had issues. Slime is a pain and expensive, but kinda works. Think we might need kevlar belts on tires or something.
Back in California, I used to go to a bicycle shop called Performance Bicycle. They used to sell things at reasonable/affordable prices. I saw online that they are out of business or are reorganizing under chapter 11 laws. I live near a college town that has 2 good bicycle shops. One of which is REI.
Talk to the folks that work in the shop doing repairs because they have opinions about what works and what does not. Nice thing about bike shops is most of the people that work there also ride and will share their opinions.
When I lived in a crowded city, I used the bicycle for shopping and trips to post office because parking and gridlock were such a problem. With a strip mall and grocery store only a mile away from me, shopping used to be a multiple trip affair using my bike. Trip #1 2 gallons of water in the panniers. Trip #2 produce and meats from the grocery store. It was a nice way to get outside and run errands within a larger city. With the weather being bad now, I have a set of rollers that use air resistance. I am not a Peloton customer.
Response to Bill:
I partially agree with you that tire irons can be overused. Sometimes, especially with installing foldable tires straight from the box, a tire iron or lever can be a great aid as my hand strength is not THAT good. ( my folding tire has a kevlar bead and is made by Specialized out of Morgan Hill, CA.)
Tire irons is also an old term because these days, there are tire tools made of nylon that are non-metallic and they are more slippery than steel tire irons. If you find a set of these, buy them and use these instead. They are superior to tire irons made of steel.
I have also worked as a bicycle mechanic and drove the SAG wagon on group rides for organized Century rides in California. I have replaced and patched a lot of tires. Training rides used to go from the Coast Range to the Central Valley. This is where I learned about puncture vines and silicone tire protectors.
Been researching e-bikes. Lots of options for diy using small dc motors. In an emp you’d still have the pedals available. Also looking into rebuilding battery packs (18650 batteries). They’re used in e-bikes, cordless tools, etc. I’ve got several old 18vdc dewalt batteries that are worn out.
It doesn’t look too difficult to rebuild old battery packs. Safety while doing the rebuild would be paramount. Lithium batteries pack a punch. Anyone out there doing this?
Welcome back Plainsmedic! As far as DIY E-bike kits my bike tinkerer friends at the Bike shop say in general don’t bother. They were trying to build them before they became commercial with less than stellar success. There is a lot of careful engineering in a decent quality E-bike. Adding a electric motor with out proper torque sensing or cadence sensing means you have a throttle bike and are trying to assist it with enough peddling.
Cheap E-bikes and E-bike kits often cut corners with materials and weather proofing. A good splash and you might be pedaling a 50 pound bicycle with out electric assist.
My local Bike shop sells the fairly high end Bosch Mid-drive e-bikes. And they are very effective using the bikes own gears for high efficiency and power. However when pressed they will agree that the mid priced disc braked rear tire engine 1500.00 or so models quite acceptable, as in THEY will work on them. They suggest Rad power or Blix e-bikes. They WILL NOT work on the cheaper ones as it’s Their Reputation if the bikes fail to perform well.
NOW a serviceable weather proof second battery would be Wonderful!! Blix uses a 48 volt 14 Amp hour battery that costs 599.00.
Thanks for the input. In my situation, actually traveling is not the issue. I plan to stay right here. I’m thinking an e-bike could provide limited renewable (solar) power. Moving firewood or even short trips within the area with extra gear, will become an issue. A small trailer would likely be utilized. Even if I had to walk along side the bike.
I’m still in the brainstorming phase. A tricycle or even an e-cart of some kind is a possibility. I’ve looked at 2-cycle and 4-cycle gasoline kits for bikes. Noise would/could be a major concern. And of course, gasoline will end at some point. I have an electric golf cart (I don’t golf) but it likely wouldn’t survive an emp. Too many electronics.
Sincerely considering learning to rebuild battery packs. I’m fairly handy, but haven’t done this kind of thing before. The solar renewability of e-anything is what is driving my curiosity. In a grid-down situation, a little bit of power is great compared to no power.
Have seen e bikes for hunting, matching trailers, been thinking about getting one, a small array can charge it, like 1000w max, could be smaller,
great for mobility and speed in all terrain, great for close to homestead movement.
The Quietkat is one i like, easy to finance, they aint cheap, close to 8k for the one i like
Plainsmedic odd you brought up walking beside it using as a pack mule. Blix has a walking mode with their bikes. Seems in Cali folks like to walk through farmers markets using their e-bike as a basket :-). An odd feature as I called by Bike shop who sells e-bikes and they were intrigued by the idea. Anyway I did some research, you can get 1000 watt sine wave 48 volt inverters reasonably priced. You SHOULD NOT try to recharge Li E-bike batteries quickly HARD on Battery Life Cycles. I’d use a fixed solar array through an sine wave inverter to power the issued 2 amp hour battery charger. I’d also buy a spare charger and battery myself.
So you could use an e-bike as a walk beside pack mule, towing a trailer, I suggest single wheel design trailer, add an inverter to feed small electronics like drills or maybe a Water Pump?? The human in GOOD Shape generates around 180-250 watts of power equivalent (pedaling a bike etc.) so 48 volts @14 amp hours E-bike battery is a fair human multiplier indeed. The ability to walk safely a trailer with 100 pounds of stuff (Water-Firewood, etc.) would ne nice indeed.
I know where MY Stimmy Check is going now :-)
The Viet Cong used bikes laden down with heavy supplies on their trails. Walked beside them pushing them up the trails. After unloading ride them down. I was told they may of carried up to a 150 pounds on the bikes.
A good sturdy bike is definitely an asset to move water,supplies firewood where it may be needed. A sturdy single wheel trailer would be a nice addition .
Making some bike trailers…add that to the to do list.LOL!
Bill Jenkins Horse assuming some sort of Rule of Law you *might* find building a bicycle holder to work on them and some skills, tools, supplies might develop into a Tax paying Side Gig. Being able to fix them and build bike trailers out of scrap bikes and such would be a welcome addition to a neighborhood. A 36 volt dc battery welder is something you know about.
Have you given thought how a horizontal roller set up, a screw top olive barrel and a bicycle could become a rotating washing machine? Adding some tire rubber to increase tire to tire friction helps a lot. Beats a plunger into a bucket.
Trusted friends, skills and preps will carry the day.
A survival bike needs good tyre clearance, common wheel size using 36 spokes, 3×8 speed transmission ( not 9 or higher).
The frame should be medium weight, steel or Aluminium with welded/brazed threaded eyelets for attaching luggage racks.
Modern raceing bars gear controls dont play well with mtb gears. Fit a flat, swept back, or trekking butterfly bar with MTB controls.
Front dynamo hub gives battery free lighting and recharging.
Cable disk brakes are reliable and easy to work on.
Avoid discount store bikes. Aim for mid-low to mid priced components. Avoid ultra light anything. Saddle is entirely personal but longer distance riders avoid soft spongy saddles that cut off blood supply. A harder bench not a comfy chair is needed.
Pannier bags come in tough waterproof roll top styles. Modern quick release hooks are essential.
For trailers, 1 wheel is better off-road, 2 wheel is better for big awkward loads. Flatbed style is more useful than child carriers ( unless carrying child).
Pack a toolkit and spares that you can use. Helmet can be useful but gloves or mitts are essential.
A solo rider can be stealthy but also vulnerable. A convoy system is safer using wide spacing.
Great input! Thanks.
In urban get back home scenarios, bike shops sell out very quickly ( eg London, Tokyo).
If you carry a folder, ensure that you can access it after fire, earthquake, flood events that may trap your motorised vehicle.
Get a cycle route map and compass and study good urban exit routes. Canal and river paths are useful.
Bridges are choke points. Is there a boat? Do you need a packraft ? These can carry bikes.
Typical travelling speed will be 10mph. Dont believe that you go door to door at 20mph unless you can.
Carry walking essentials in your backpack in case you get separated from the bike. Dont use clipless pedal systems requiring special shoes.
Police departments that buy bikes that I have seen are buying Specialized or Trek mountain bikes. these are solid, mid-priced bicycles with capability to replace parts and swap out components as needed to customize their bikes. Most officers I knew that rode mountain bikes volunteered for this position and they were serious or semi-serious riders prior to receiving this assignment.
As far as cost basis of equipping an officer on a mountain bike, the good mid-priced mountain bike will cost about as much as a Smith and Wesson revolver or about 1.5 to 2x the cost of a Glock on the duty belt. Sadly enough, the most expensive piece of gear on a bike mounted officer is the Motorola radio.
– For about fifteen years of my time in the Army, I was a bicycle commuter. I rode a Royal I bought in Germany for the majority of that time. When it was stolen in Louisiana, I bought a replacement bike from Peugeot. Both were road bikes with narrow 27” tires and after riding the thing for a couple of years, my insurance agent stopped me one day and commented that he saw me fairly often on it. did I know how many miles I rode annually? Long story short, after a visit to his office, that bike became my primary vehicle and the Dodge Caravan that we owned became an RV, used for family trips and grocery shopping. Saved me enough I could have bought a new bike every year.
It was originally bought to help with the cost of living off-post, and it helped immensely with PT scores. The only people in my battalion who could routinely outrun me were a couple of lieutenants who were half my age.
Both bikes came from midlevel department stores. And I did all my own maintenance. Both of my younger brothers had had heart surgery before I did. I blame that bicycle that I had quit riding.
When the Peugeot went down under the from end of a Mercedes, I had two fractured ribs and a partially collapsed right lung. I found out about it after going for my morning run with the battalion. I couldn’t manage anything above keeping up; normally I was that sergeant who could drop out of the formation and collect the ones who were falling behind. When I went on sick call and an X-ray revealed a pneumothorax, I was told that I knew if I had come in before running two miles that morning, I would have been in the hospital with a chest tube. I was restricted from running or riding a bike until I was released back to duty and to come in for a chest X-ray every day. it reinflated the morning of the third day without further incident. I started riding again about two weeks later, a ladies’ Peugeot I had bought my oldest daughter that she decided she did not like. If anyone made comments about it being a lady’s bike, I just told them I was trying to breed my own, parking it in with the men’s bikes.
I have been thinking about getting another bike. The primary change I would make being a mountain or hybrid style bike, and a special-built luggage rack. I have seen one with an axle at the side made from the axle of a swamp cooler. Turn the luggage rack upside down to support the bike; put the axle through the rack so that the tire could turn the axle with a v-belt wheel on its end. That will give you a light-duty motor for electricity generating, pumping water, grinding grain or any number of other tasks. Just add a v-best and whatever. Plus you still have a usable bicycle with five minutes work. Sorry for the long comment, Ken.
– Just as an aside, bicycles are also currently in short supply. You will have to wait until the sheeple quit stripping the stores.
My Survival bike is my everyday bike, a Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike.
Reply to Papa smurf:
Thanks for the reminder of the good old days. When I stopped running track, my impromptu fitness standard was the ability to run a 5 minute mile. When I was not able to run due to work and lousy weather, I spent time either riding the bike or riding a set of rollers under an awning. 1 – 30 minute ride with 2 sets of intervals of high revolution and high resistance. 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down. When I was able to hit the track again, I was able to do a mile in less than 5 minutes. I was able to maintain this level of fitness well into my 30’s.
This came in handy as a police officer in the occasional foot pursuit or in a fight with person trying to grab my weapon. #1 Look at the skinny guy run! #2 Primary rule of a fight over your weapon: keep fighting and never quit because your life depends on it. I do not know a lot of fancy moves butt I have been able to outlast my opponents.
I was 39 at that time, and had run and completed six formal marathons and I have no clue how many half-marathons and other lesser runs. At that time, I could pretty well count on a seven-minute mile, so I was pretty happy with that. We did run in the rain, snow, or whatever, so I had first-hand experience with what effects weather could have on my run times. Best part of not being young anymore.