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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 08-01-07, 02:38 PM   #1
cooker
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Everything on travelling with a Friday

Hi there, all you experienced folder enthusiasts.

I got my Bike Friday NWT a month ago and will go on my first out of town trip with it Saturday, flying and driving to the resort town of Kenora, Ontario where I scored a week of contract work. I can walk the short distance to to work and will use the bike for evening exercise and maybe shopping and dining. I need some advice.

Do you get extra insurance when you fly with the bike? I've never owned a bike worth over $2k before or flown with any bike for that matter.

How do you lock up outside stores or restaurants when you are commuting or touring? I'll take the Kryptonite lock I use with my other bike...do you lock through the rear stays/rear wheel? Do thieves steal 20" wheels?

I'll be staying at a tower hotel and I plan to keep the bike in the trunk of my rental car rather than lug it up and down the elevator every day...what do you think of that?

Any other words of wisdom?

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-07, 02:51 PM   #2
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It's better to leave your bicycle inside, at least out of sight, so in your car is safe. If you're at a restaurant, they might let you take it inside as well, if there's room for it. You can always ask.

Don't leave anything on it that can be stripped off easily.

For the wheels, you can get pitlock skewers (do a web search), and if you have them on, if you have the lock through the wheel. Check out http://sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html
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Old 08-01-07, 03:24 PM   #3
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Check with your credit card to make sure you have insurance coverage automatically. Don't buy extra unless you don't have any, but definitely do if your card doesn't cover it. (If you have two policies, chances are each has a disclaimer stating that if you have another form of insurance, the other company is responsible. This will void both policies!)

Lost luggage is common these days.

More common are stolen bikes. I would own a Bike Friday if they were foldables rather than just packables. I would never leave a bike outdoors in any area with any baseline level of crime. The best Kryponite lock is the 20 pound New York, and these get broken all the time. U locks are a piece of cake to break. Thugs here freeze them and shatter them, pry them open with car jacks, etc. I saw one guy prying open a U lock with a police barricade. (Fortunately, he was caught by the owner, but we were both too scared to detain him.) If at all possible, try to take your bike indoors. Take it into the hotel, don't leave it in the car. Ask in stores if it is okay to bring it in. You can also use the ginormous Bike Friday back and sling it over your shoulder.

The only place I haven't been able to bring my bike thus far is to the free kyacking. (I didn't want to bring the bike on board, and won't lock it up, so I have to forgo the activity or subway there!
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Old 08-01-07, 07:57 PM   #4
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thanks both of you
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Old 08-01-07, 09:33 PM   #5
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Its seems every time I do a google search for something bicycle related up pops a page on sheldonbrown.com

Later this month I am taking my NWT to Germany and am similarly nervous. I've done one domestic trip with no problems so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

As for locking, I use Mr Browns two lock strategy and never leave it anywhere for more than an hour or so and only areas with lots of foot traffic (I realize it is naive of me to expect passers by to object to somebody cutting locks and cables in broad daylight). I have left it locked in my car as while staying in a hotel, but even then I lock it with my U-lock.

Other recommendations for checking Bike Fridays -- bungee cord (or otherwise fasten) things together so the security people can lift out one piece if have to. And include a sheet with some pictures of how it is supposed to fit in the case, pointing out the importance of the crush protector. I include my cell phone number so they can call if they have problems (have no idea if they would). At LAX I am lucky because the luggage scanners are in the open so I can watch (and be there if needed). Not so lucky at other airports.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-02-07, 09:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer View Post
bungee cord (or otherwise fasten) things together so the security people can lift out one piece if have to. Good Luck!
I've seen this advice before and don't understand it. Typically I lock suitcases when I check them in. Are there situations where security can open your suitcase without you present? Maybe it's different in Canada than the US?
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Old 08-02-07, 09:21 AM   #7
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I've seen this advice before and don't understand it. Typically I lock suitcases when I check them in. Are there situations where security can open your suitcase without you present? Maybe it's different in Canada than the US?
In the US, it is common for TSA officials to open the suitcase. Probably more common for suitcases containing folding bikes. Leave instructions for repacking inside the suitcase. (Not that they will follow them, but it doesn't hurt.)
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Old 08-02-07, 09:33 AM   #8
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The TSA opened my suitcase with the folder in it. They must have just looked and not messed around much. They just left their little 'TSA note' and that was it.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:12 AM   #9
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In the US, it is common for TSA officials to open the suitcase. Probably more common for suitcases containing folding bikes. Leave instructions for repacking inside the suitcase. (Not that they will follow them, but it doesn't hurt.)
We usually have our cell phone numbers listed for TSA to call if they have issues re-packing the suitcase.

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Old 08-02-07, 10:25 AM   #10
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Do you get extra insurance when you fly with the bike? I've never owned a bike worth over $2k before or flown with any bike for that matter.
Nope. As someone else already mentioned, our homeowners policy takes care of it. Not to mention that the type of damage from flying will typically be minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
How do you lock up outside stores or restaurants when you are commuting or touring? I'll take the Kryptonite lock I use with my other bike...do you lock through the rear stays/rear wheel? Do thieves steal 20" wheels?
One, I don't typically lock my $2K bike on the streets. But if I have to ...

(1) pick a well lit area
(2) some bike racks can be an issue with 20" wheels ... but always have the lock going through the wheel and inside the rear triangle.
(3) use a cable to lock the front wheel
(4) the handlebar is an issue ... I don't have a good answer for that.

You might consider cable locks with alarms that work well in conjunction with a u-lock. With a little patience, one can typically find them at a reasonable price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I'll be staying at a tower hotel and I plan to keep the bike in the trunk of my rental car rather than lug it up and down the elevator every day...what do you think of that?
I am paranoid about my Bike Friday. I would bring it up. Although, if the bike was not visible--i.e., something other than a hatchback--and I had an early morning of driving before riding, I would probably leave the bike in the trunk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Any other words of wisdom?

Thanks.
Be systematic about packing and unpacking. This minimizes the likelihood of screwing up. Moreover, by doing it the same way time and time again, the process speeds up dramatically. I can pack or unpack both bikes in 40-45 minutes without rushing.

Remember to weigh your case before flying. While the Samsonite F'Lite will almost never be caught due to being 64", most airlines do weigh the bag.

Packing some extra clothes and other soft stuff helps prevent minor damage to the bike.

-G
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Old 08-02-07, 11:59 AM   #11
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^^^great tips, thanks
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Old 08-07-07, 08:50 PM   #12
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Interesting little webpage on packing Bike Friday. Notice the note he puts in.
http://briandesousa.com/bicycling/tech/bikefriday.htm

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Old 08-07-07, 09:00 PM   #13
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Wow, what a pain! It might be worth using a bigger suitcase than that guy used. Next trip, I'll have to pack and unpack about 10 times (no joke). I would need a quicker way of doing it.

Let us know how your trip was.
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Old 08-07-07, 10:16 PM   #14
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Thanks. I'm there.

It took 40 minutes to pack the bike in the case (my first time) and it was obvious the time could be halved with practise. The airline checked it in without blinking and it came down onto the carousel at the other end with some even bigger cases. I locked the case and no-one objected (Toronto to Winnipeg). The case easily fit in the trunk of a Pontiac G5 compact rental car.

I unpacked it at a picnic table overlooking Lake of the Woods. It took 30 minutes to assemble and it will take less time with practise. The naked folded bike slides in and out of the car trunk fairly easily, but you have to be careful of the paint on the inner trunk rim. I will probably leave the fenders and rack behind next time.

I've been in Kenora two days and ridden both days. Here is today's route: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1208834

The bypass has lovely fairly freshly paved shoulders and the southern part of the route along the waterfront has beautiful views. On Monday I briefly chatted with a guy riding through Keewatin on his way across Canada on an Urbanite (tour bike from Urbane Cycles in Toronto).

Last edited by cooker; 08-07-07 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 08-07-07, 11:03 PM   #15
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This U-Tube video of packing the Tikit may help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m29V31VgfI

Not sure though if the NWT has a bit more bits to dismantle...
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Old 08-08-07, 07:19 AM   #16
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Thanks, Oldies, I got the video with theNWT. To fit it in the hardshell case you have to remove the front wheel, separate the handlebars and stem, add the protective shells and a variety of chores, and in my case remove the racks and fenders, so it's fiddly stuff that takes time.
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Old 10-15-07, 01:22 AM   #17
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I figured if I had the pitlock I would need somethign just to protect it, for what it cost. I like the bolt on skewers Nashbar sell, so long as your spacings are stock. Obviously these are allen wrench removeable, but I doubt most people are carrying one of those unless they are set-up to steal the whole thing anyway.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products
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