Travel and Folding Wheels Comparison
The world of spinning wheels offers many different choices regarding “travel” or “folding wheels” every wheel has its pros and cons, but here are the basics of how to fold the wheels with some helpful hints mixed in!
Lendrum Folding Wheel
This is the wheel that many spinners think of when they think travel wheel. It is a modern Castle type wheel with scotch tension. The wheel itself is larger than many other travel wheels, with a diameter of 19 inches allowing for very smooth treading. The wheel also offers different flyers, Fast, Standard and Jumbo- However changing the flyers between Jumbo and standard requires the changing of the flyer head and a change in drive band. The footman is held on with an e-clip that is sometimes too easy to remove and very easy to lose. Many Lendrum owners have both drive bands on the wheel as the same time, tying the one not currently in use behind the wheel.
The wheel collapses with the removal of two screws that attach the flyer head to the body and the post to base. The wheel can then be folded and the post uses the same screw to lock the wheel in the folded position.
When traveling with the wheel make sure to remove the scotch tension knob from your flyer. This is my number one complaint of this wheel. The knobs design can break more easily than some; however, the design offers a greater control over tension as you almost never have the tension slip or loosen when spinning.
This is a great wheel for people who have little space, even if they don’t plan on traveling as it can be folded and easily slid under a bed.
The wheel weighs in at 13 lbs. with an orifice adjustable 30 inch minimum height.
All of Kromski’s wheels have a musical theme to their naming, and their folding wheel is no different. Sonata is a musical piece between one or two instruments, which fits with the idea that you and your wheel can go anywhere and be complete, everything in one carry bag that comes with the wheel. The Sonata is has a square base that sits very firmly on the ground. The upright, scotch tension wheel looks considerably less modern than that of other upright wheel.
To fold the wheel the entire flyer mechanism is removed from the body by unscrewing the knob which allow the drive tension to be adjusted. Support the flyer as it is being loosened or flyer mechanism will drop down pinching your finger and damaging the wheel. At the base of the wheel there is another knob that when removed allows the wheel to fold forward. Take car when loosing this as the wheel is weighted to fold onto itself. As you lower the body to the square base take care to align the footman to fit comfortably as they do not disconnect. Do Not Force the wheel in a folded position, it should settle into the fold. The wheel has a hole drilled into it, that when using the longer screw removed from the base, screws the wheel into base on the right side locking the wheel in the folded position. When standing vertical the wheel has a hole for the placement of your flyer mechanism, so the wheel is contained when traveling in the bag.
The Sonata is adaptable as needed with a jumbo flyer that requires a different maiden and the lacy flyers which work with the regular maidens.
The wheel alone weighs 11.5 lbs, it has a 25” minimum orifice height that is adjustable to add more height and a 19” wheel diameter.
Louet’s Victoria is the only wheel that is currently on the market that is small enough to be a carry-on for flying. I have seen laptop bags that are larger and weigh more than this wheel with all of its accessories in its bag.
This is the lightest wheel on the market and one of the smallest. It may be small, but it is a pleasure to spin on. The wheel is an up-right scotch tension wheel which is a little different from Louet’s classic bobbin lead wheels.
The design of a scotch tensioned wheel allows for the entire flyer mechanism to be removed with as single direct pull, separating the flyer from the whorl with no unscrewing and therefore no chance of cross threading. The design leaves the whorl attached to the wheel so that your drive band remains strung on the wheel even after folding.
The Victoria, while small has a smooth treadle, using a single footman design that is intelligent and effortless to treadle in a way that I was not expecting. The base is an H-shape giving the wheel plenty of stability when spinning. The wheel design uses the treadles as part of a counterbalance system located under the treadles yield an even treadle to footman movement. The footman connecter is likewise a brilliant mechanism for how the footman attaches and detaches from the wheel. The footman attaches to the body of the wheel with the use of a self-contained bearing. The footman has a ring that locks the cup that attaches to the baring. Losing the ring by pulling towards you, then grip the cup and slowly twist off.
One of my favorite design elements of this wheel is the folding element, where you pull the pin at the base of the wheel, fold the wheel forward and the pin re-locks the wheel in the folded position. You can hear the click as the wheel locks. The Victoria has a leather strap to pick of the wheel by, never pick the wheel up with the flyer, it can and will rip out of your and hands damaging you and your wheel.
The wheel weighs under 13 lbs in the bag with accessories, just the wheel with bobbin is 8lbs. The wheel diameter is 14” and the orifice height is 23”
The Schacht Sidekick is a very cool little travel wheel! At first glance it is nothing like the other wheels on the market because of its design, however it is well designed. The wheel was not designed for a bag but rather has a carry strap and two secure bars the wheel attaches to. All of the flyers, whorls and bobbins are interchangeable with other Schacht wheels. There is a Jumbo-Bulky Plyer Flyer head for the wheel that does require a second maiden to allow for a larger front baring. The Sidekick can look overwhelming at first glance for folding it up however ever step has a logical reason behind it.
To begin folding the wheel for travel we need to remove the flyer. Using the flip latch allows you to loosen the front and back maidens with just a flick, start with the front and allow the maiden to flip down, remove the flyer, detaching the drive band and the scotch tension. Next you will take your flyer apart.
The bobbin with be laid in the center between the two maidens which will fold down, lock in place with the clip in place and secure your bobbin to the wheel. There are two screws on the side of the wheel that are allow you to store your unused whorl, slide your whorl on the wheel and screw them in place. Then set the flyer to the side.
Then we move to the footmen, where we unscrew the footman connecters from the treadle, set aside the screws you will use them to attach the treadles to the body of the wheel. Flick the locking mechanism at the base of the wheel that holds the treadle locked in relation to the wheel, and pull the treadles away from the center of the wheel. That allows for the treadle to fold up, use one of the footman connecters to screw and lock the treadle to the wheel. Once the treadles are locked in place the left treadle has a seat for the flyer. Slip the flyer in the leather hook and set it in the drilled whole, with the hooks facing the wheel. And you’re good to do go! Just click your strap to the bars and over your shoulder and lead on!
The wheel is 13lbs with a 25” orifice height and wheel diameter of 13.75 inches.
Ashford’s Joy is a lovey self-contained wheel. It is limited by the ratios that can’t be changed due to how the whorl is mounted in the wheel design. This is a huge disadvantage to some spinners and other just adapt how they spin as needed.
Start by removing you scotch tension when you plan to travel long distances with your wheel. Then to fold you will need to remove the flyer. The flyer is screwed into the whorl with a long post. You will have to brace the whorl with one hand as you begin to un-screw (counter clockwise) the bobbin/flyer or you will have no traction when attempting to remove it. When re attaching your flyer take your time not to cross thread the screws, by holding the flyer straight on and don’t force it onto your wheel! You want your flyer to be snug Not really tight.
With the double treadle wheel the front footman connecter needs to be removed before attempting to fold the wheel. The footman connect is a simple pull and a click, and the front releases. Then the treadle can be folded up slowly as you adjust for the footman to align in the gap between treadles. Do Not force the treadles against the footman! Go slow and adjust so the treadles will rest against the footman connecter. Last there is a clip on the right side of the wheel that locks the treadles in the folded position. Last please make sure to lift the wheel by the handle and not one of the other parts of the wheel that look like handholds- they are not-
The wheel and flyer are mounted on ball bearings for effortless spinning. Smooth and quiet with treadles mounted on polyurethane hinges to allow a comfortable heel-toe action, for some spinner the treadle will feel very shallow. The wheel comes assembled and lacquered, ready for spinning.
Ashford Joy weighs 11.2lbs with a height at orifice of 22.25 inches, with a wheel diameter of 15 inches
Things to keep in mind. I have found is that spinning on ground that is not even across the T shape or square base can lead to rocking, and a harder treadle, but this is true for most travel wheels. However, most people who are looking to travel with their wheel are not spinning on lawns or on grassy uneven areas and if you do look for a flat area and be willing to wiggle around a little and you will be fine.
Many travel wheels are small which is great for travel unless you are looking for a taller orifice height for your wheel, keep in mind your height when you are going to select a wheel as small as some of these, if you can try it first you might want to. If you ever have any questions about wheels feel free to contact us!