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  1. #1
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    I just feel like sharing that putting a downtube VIII into a regular 32" luggage (internationally accepted at airports) is, for the untrained fellow, under 45 minutes. The new luggage was US$69.00, so I think was a good investment to learn how to fit the bike in it.The only reason it took so long was because I had to play with rear rack, mudguards and deraileur for the first time ( I am taking the Silver, front suspension bike, not the FS one that is significantly easier than the city/urban one). It can easily be done under 15 minutes.

    Here are some pictures. I am using my roomate's DT VIIIFS Orange as a reference of size.




    Here are pictures with and without the wheels. All I used was Allen tool and a screwdriver (for the mudguardsand rack). No stem/crankset/pedals were abused for this pictures!









    I wasn't the one taking the pictures, so I am sorry for the misbalanced exposure.

    I am on my way to Brazil, so Happy holidays for those that celebrate it, see you all when I get back (January 9th).

    Rafael

  2. #2
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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    I hate coming into this forum.

    The reason? I didnt grab that $50 Raleigh twenty from the paper when I had the chance .

  3. #3
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    @ We the people, ehm so keep looking for a Twenty or buy a Downtube, worth the money/effort.

    @ Raphael: Cool! Nice pics, thanks
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  4. #4
    Commuter Ericx25's Avatar
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    Rafael,

    How do u compare your Halfway RS to the downtube ? Weight ? Ride ?

    Eric

  5. #5
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Please click Here

    Rafael

  6. #6
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    RAWK! That's AWESOME!!!

    I eventually plan to tour Europe with the folder so this is a great tease/primer.
    Do you know what the brand of luggage is used for this demo?

    The one I've had my eye on is a "Samsonite Oyster" but I don't know anything about it other than I've heard of bikes going in it. http://www.luggagepros.com/samsonite...e/oyster.shtml

    Thanks for the pics!

  7. #7
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    I have 2 Downtubes and I find they fit quite easily in my Samsonite F'lite 31". Of course that is one at a time. It is slightly larger than absolutely needed but allows me to pack a little more stuff in it such as a rack and other accessories. Also it is not a heavy suitcase for its size. Don't forget to use something to keep the suitcase from being compressed.

    I am fairly certain I have seen the suitcase Rafael has at a store near me. While I forget the brand I did remember looking at it a while back. If it is the one I think it is, it is somewhat flexible and not as hard as my F'lite. If you buy that type, make sure you make a compression tube inside of to reduce the chance of damage.

    I would also suggest using a bungee cord to tie it all together and post a picture in the suitcase in case someone takes the bike out during a security check. You want to make sure they KNOW and SEE how to put it back properly in the case. It will help you do it more quickly the next time as well.

    Only real downside I've seen to my Downtube is the weight. So you MUST choose your suitcase carefully to make sure you don't go over the allowed weight. For example, NWA has dropper the allowable weight on a flight to 50#'s unless your are first or business class. Pack a Downtube FS in a suitcase and you are darn near there already. Don't forget to take your air pump as you should really reduce the air pressure in your tires before transporting by plane. I'd also suggest using a circumferential external strap as well if you buy a case like Rafael's. Make sure you personally weigh your suitcase loaded before you get to the aiport. You don't want any surprises. Some airlines will want to charge you extra for a bike EVEN if you meet the actual requirements for the luggage. Once they see bike it is automatically a surcharge. I fought with a lady at KLM in Germany for damn near an hour. All I had was bike PARTS that I bought and they were try to surcharge me. Unfortunately it wouldn't have been an issue if I had been able to weigh my bag before the airport but I had to open the bag at the airport to move stuff to another bag to get the max weight down in that bag even though I was under the total limit. I had no scale at the airport to verify bag weight and I was over by 1 kilo but they were very strict.

    I can personally attest to the durability of the F'lite case. I have made several trips to Europe with mine. I have also been able to stuff one of my Dahon's in a 28" Briggs and Riley suitcase. It is an awesome suitcase, major $$$, BUT if it EVER breaks they will fix it for free; no questions asked. They have oustanding customer service. After my frame of my suitcase was broken on a flight, the replaced rather than repaired my entire suitcase. I ended up with a slight upgrade out of the deal. They said it was obvious I actually used my luggage.

    If you have a Burlington Coat Factory outlet near you, you can pick up the same suitcase Rafael is showing. They were about $60-$70 or so. A little more for a F'lite.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    Only real downside I've seen to my Downtube is the weight. So you MUST choose your suitcase carefully to make sure you don't go over the allowed weight. For example, NWA has dropper the allowable weight on
    On my euro trips, I often bring with me a fish type spring scale. It's good up to 100 lbs, and fairly accurate. It weighs perhaps 1 lb. It's very helpful to avoid those last minute worries.

    I often stuff my carryon bag with the densest stuff (careful not to bring tools in carryon!) since they've never weighed them in the past.

  9. #9
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    I am also looking into the Oyster or Similair for packing my Twenty. Any good ideas of what to use in the middle so the bag doesn't compress/the throwers don't kill my Twenty? The Flange/tube idea is elegant but heavy plus i don't have acces to metal working tools. Any idea on something wooden (with a threaded pre bought threaded rod maybe) that would also do the trick and not take up tons of space in the suitcase?

    The whole packing option just puts folders into a class of their own when when compared to other bikes, can't wait to take my Twenty to Egypt in about 2 weeks time. None of this getting ripped of by cabies or seeying only the touristy sights.
    Last edited by v1nce; 12-18-05 at 12:26 PM.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  10. #10
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    @C.J.: This luggage is a Heys, and this one is the 32". It is very soft and now that Wav. mentioned, I will add some extra support to avoid the wheels to be compressed.

    The weight of bike + Luggage + some extra items is 42 pounds now. I am flying Varig which allows me 70lbs but I want to practice keeping it under 50. I am with V1nce though, any help on what to use to avoid collapsing of the luggage walls is welcome.

    Rafael

  11. #11
    Senior Member af895's Avatar
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    Pizza boxes! What I mean by this is those little plastic thingees that go in the center of a pizza to keep the lid from contacting the 'za.

    You could make a bike sized version out of drain pipe - maybe 6 inch PVC with cut outs to fit around bike & wheels.

  12. #12
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    Hey AF, that's a scorcher of an idea! PVC is cheap, easy as lego to assemble and there are loads of parts available. Of course it isn't as strong as Iron but a heck of a lot lighter, i am def. Visiting my hardware store soon! I reckon i might glue on flange and just use the other as is (slip it on and off). Maybe ad some rubber or felt padding to the two tops of the flanges so they don't crack or slip while in the suitcase.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  13. #13
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    PVC is what I use to prevent compression. Just go to your local hardware store or Home Depot of you have and get schedule 40, 1" dia pipe. I have bigger diameters too but sometimes they don't fit through some wheels but go through the frame easily. You don't even need to glue it together as it will usually have a good interference fit! Makes it easier to store too or you can use a little clevis pin if you are worried.

    It is also helpful when the TSA idiots take it out the compression tube acts like a big skewer and keept it all together. PVC is quite strong too.

    Rafael, even though many airlines still honor 70#'s weight limit some are even strict on the max in any 1 suitcase. That is a problem I also had. Many airlines have now started weighing carryons too. I carry a big trench coat with many pockets just for such an occasion and all my batteries go in it and other dense objects.

    FYI, if you travel with in the FSU (former soviet union) you can almost 100% bet they will weigh damn near everything on you and per kilo it is expensive. One flight my baggage overage charges cost damn near as much as my ticket. I paid a lady on the flight to check in 1 of my bags and saved a fortune. Fortunately I speak Russian so I saved myself a bundle there but it was still expesive. I had to cough up $50 and they wouldn't let me board the plane until they saw my paid luggage receipt.

    The US, NA and SA are much more lenient (usually) than the EU and FSU. All it takes one ball buster though to ruin your day! Also having gold or platinum status doesn't hurt either so I try to use the 2 airliines where I have a very elevate frequent flyer status. Just something else you can use to your benefit. They become less finicky than someone they have never done business with before.

  14. #14
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    See,

    practicing with under 50 doesn't hurt.

    My bike is now fully protected by several 1 inch OD PVC pipes with squared wood ends. Looks ugly, but it is funcional.

    Thank you for all the hints, time to nap before the trip.

    Rafael

  15. #15
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    Rafael- If you read this before leaving, have a safe and enjoyable trip! I hope you took a few extra tubes, tire spoons and a pump.

  16. #16
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    I wonder how important the hard case and compression-avoidance techniques are. I have traveled with a traditional bike in a soft case for years (and I know many others who do so as well) without any problem.

    Does anyone here have experience with damage to a Folder when using a soft suitcase?

    My observations from a lot of travel suggest that hard cases get thrown harder than soft cases. I pack many things that are more fragile than a bike frame and have never had any problem with anything getting damaged.

  17. #17
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
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    DEFINITELY protect your bike. The TSA is brutal. I had to replace a wheel EVEN though it was in a hard case and had a ant-compression device. Ditto for my soft case too but I only had to replace about 15 spokes the bent. Best so for has been my Brigg & Riley as well as my Samsonite F'lite hard case. The last few months they have been brutal.

  18. #18
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    Agreed, you can get lucky or not but i feel it is better safe than sorry in this case. Having lots of fragile stickers on your hard case might help.

    Another interesting strategy i once heard is putting your hard case in a ratty looking old POS case and actually stapling in the cut off end of a shirt so it sticks out. The idea was to dissaude both potential thieves and luggage thrower butchers. Down side is that you need to find the crappy old suitcase that fits and it will add to the weight. Packing in clothes among your bike (in Garbage bags) can also do lots to prevent damage but weight may be an issue again.
    http://www.rhizomes.nl/twenty.html
    My Tweaked and modded Raleigh Twenty. Lots of pictures and lots of general info on for example a different & Cheap Bottom Bracket solution as well as fork solution.

  19. #19
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    I have flown into orlando twice to visit my daughter adn have carried my bike friday NWT once and my pocket tourist the other time. I was given a travel case for the friday and it was easy to pack. the TSA folks were very curious about the bike so curious that they didnt give my checked ******* a second glance. they thought the bike was cool. I bought the fridays to travel with usually either fo fla or to portland Or.
    Once in fla the fla Highway patrol stopped me just to look at the bike as i was riding it.He was also impredded. oF course having a tshirt with my police depts logo ion the front didnt hurt any either.

  20. #20
    Gone kayaking mcgurme's Avatar
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    IXNS into an airline legal Oyster suitcase

    Hey all,
    This thread was great inspiration thanks to Rafael. I was a bit concerned about the F'lite suitcase though, because it's slightly above the airline limit for size on domestic travel (limit is 62", the F'lite is about 65" linear). I wanted a case that was strictly legal, so tonight I got a Samsonite oyster, which they claim is 62.5". I found it at the local Samsonite outlet for $99.

    After some (ok, a lot) of messing around, I got the bike to fit. Here's the procedure I used, with a couple pictures below.

    0. All "commuting" paraphernalia, such as kickstand, rack, and fenders has to be removed (less of a hassle on the FS bikes, I hear - I haven't received mine yet)
    1. Remove handlebar/upper stem.
    2. Fold lower stem towards the inside of the bike (required adjusting the angle of the quill by loosening the allen key)
    3. Remove wheels, and remove skewers from the wheels.
    4. Remove pedals (need pedal wrench)
    5. Remove seat & post
    6. Remove derailer hanger & derailer (I couldn't get the bike to fit w/o doing this - it has the added advantage of minimizing potential damage to this very sensitive area).
    (fun begins)
    7. Fold bike.
    8. Now, turn the forks so that they swing around to fit in-between rear chainstays (see picture #3) - necessary to minimize thickness of bike to fit
    9. Now, set bike in case, with forks facing towards front of case (picture #2).
    10. Put in seat, followed by handlebars on left hand side (I had taken the bar ends off, but may not be necessary)
    11. Deflate tires (helps the fit, but also good idea for high altitude travel in a cargo hold)
    12. Place rear wheel with freewheel facing down on the right side, making sure rim clears the frame to the right. I had to shift bike slightly left to get it to fit minimally.
    13. Place second wheel to the left, overlapping somewhat the first.
    14. Place tools necessary for reconstruction (all purpose bike tool, pump, and pedal wrench) in suitcase (picture #1 is everything packed in)
    15. Close it up carefully, making sure no cable housings are caught, and pushing in on the one v-brake that slightly protrudes in the front due to it's spring
    16. Done

    It sounds pretty extensive, but it didn't take that long for the first shot (maybe 45 mins). Putting it all back together took 15-20 minutes while watching TV.

    Total weight with a few tools: ~41 pounds.

    I'll be doing my first trip with it next week.

    Morgan

    ps - I had put slightly wider (and lighter) Bontrager Race handlebars on, which I thought improved handling. Unfortunately, they did not allow packing in the suitcase - so it was back to the original.

    Picture 1:
    bike-oyster1.jpg

    Picture 2:
    Bike-Oyster2.jpg

    Picture 3:
    Bike-Oyster3.jpg

  21. #21
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Thank you. Good luck on your trip. Don't worry about time: I did this several times and after a few I was doing what you just did in under 10 minutes.

    Have fun,

    Rafael

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