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
If you’re planning a bugout on your bike ‘just in case’, consider this:
– 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.
~ from a MSB reader
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)