How to "fold" your Sears Tote-Cycle
Okay, the Sears ToteCycle isn't technichally a folding bike. But it does break in half, and, if you have the right pieces, the two halves can be rejoined on a more compact form. Also the Tote-Cycle is 30+ years old, so if this moved from the folding forum to Classic and Vintage, that'd be okay by me. I'm just posting this because when I first saw the bike, it was in the compact form, but when I took it home, it was assembled in the rideable bike form, and it took some playing and some e-mails to the previous owner before I could get it back to the compact state. I couldn't find a single picture or mention of there actually being a compact state for this bike, so maybe this will help someone out. Of course after combing the internet, I only found a half dozen Tote Cycles, so this probably won't help many people out.
Step 1. Clean your apartment, so people don't see your trash and unfolded laundry in your pictures.
(I skipped this step)
Step 2. Get yourself a Sears Tote-Cycle.
Step 3. Get the extra pieces required to hold the bike together in the "folded" position.
Step 4. Remove the seat.
Step 5. Loosen and turn handle bars.
Step 6. Split the bike by removing the two bolts at the joining plate.
Step 7. Attach "U" shaped joining piece to the connection plate of the front half of the bike. Use the same bolts that were originally holding the bike together.
Step 8. Slip the other half of the "U" piece into the seat post and tighten in place.
Step 9. The remaining two pieces clip on to the tires to keep them at the right distance apart.
And you're done. Now you can easily take your folded bicycle with you anywhere. Provided you have a nice roomy trunk or a pick up truck, and maybe a truss. Truth be told it's not that much smaller after this process, but I do find that once I've compacted it, I can fit it under the table in the spare room. But I would certainly not make a habit of it unless it was going to be stored for a while. But that's the plan for this bike: It'll live under the table or in my trunk and come out when I'm away from home and want to take a spin.
(attachments are repeats of the images used, in case my links break at some point in the future)
Re: How to "fold" your Sears Tote-Cycle
WOW - I have a Tote-Cycle and I've never seen one of the "folding kits" like you have shown. That is a cool way to store and manage the Tote-Cycle.
Here is my Tote-Cycle that I have modified into a fixed gear with allow rims, seatpost, handlebars, pedals, and a large basket for whatever I want to throw in there.
Glad to see others keeping the weird Sears Tote-Cycle alive!
Re: Howe to "fold" your Sears Tote-Cycle
OOPS - I did not have the correct size photo before.
Here is a small photo:
Originally Posted by humblecyclist
The ride of the Tote-Cycle
I love the ride quality of the old Sears Tote-Cycle. Long wheelbase is refreshing in a folding/take-apart bike. I have several other folders including a Raleigh Twenty and a Dawes Kingpin/Newpin - all set up as fixed gear bikes.
The long wheel base of the Tote-Cycle something like 43+ inches where as the Raleigh Twenty is around 38 inches (note: these numbers base on memory - a very old man's memory). Long wheel base is stable and smooth - not "squirrelly" at all. I prefer the ride of the Tote-Cycle to that of the Twenty by a large margin.
The build quality of the Raleigh Twenty is good, the build quality of the Dawes is better, the build quality of the Tote-Cycle is very much low end - inconsistent welds and gaps in welds, heavy mild-steel frame. But this is what the Tote-Cycle was design to do - compete is a Sears & Roebuck world of working-man bikes.
I've thought of taking my Tote-Cycle to a shop to have some spotty welds beefed-up - but I've been riding it for years without any problems and this bike is 30+ years old already.
The built-in rear luggage rack is very cool design aspect of this weird old frame - that and the swoopy-deco style of the long stays. Word of caution - riders with large shoes might find themselves hitting the back of their heels on the rear luggage rack (or at least I do occassionaly with my size 10.5 shoes).
I bought the bike for its unique design aspects. Removed all the other stuff off the frame and rebuilt is as a simple fixed gear and I LOVE IT!!!! Wheels are BMX sealed bearing hubs (~110mm wide in rear, front is 100mm wide) lace to 36 hole Sun alloy rims (406 or 20" size). Added a three piece adapter to use a standard alloy cotterless crank and ditched the rusty astabula crank. Alloy seat post and riser mtb bars. I keept the original headset and stem - both old chrome steel. Some cheap steel platform pedals were added. The basket shown in photo is TOO big and has since been replaced with a smaller basket attached to rack with cable-ties.
Too much info I know - but these old Tote-Cyles are relatively inexpensive (bargains), not too rare, easy to upgrade (as opposed to the Raleigh Twenty's BB - 26TPI - sheesh), are real visual-design delight (nothing else like them - not even remotely close!!!), the frame is tight and steady when assembled (no wimpy design here) and rides like a dream. Just don't expect high-end quality standards like todays bikes have.
The only down sides - a bit heavy - but look at it - it's got more miles of tubes than most folders - and once you take it apart - the Tote-Cycle does not fit any of my Samsonite Oyster luggage (the penalty of a supper long wheel base).
Other than the mentioned Sears Tote-Cycle, Raleigh Twenty, and Dawes Kingpin, I have several other folders and small wheel bikes. I have a fantastic Soma TiJourney titanium road bike with a frame design similar to the Twenty, three Moulton F-Frames (Series 1,2,3), Italian universal Barbarella Green folder - even heavier than than the Tote-Cycle, and a German made Hercules folding battleship (totally indestructable except for the weird non-standard Thron? BB and crank).
Given all of this - I still choose the old cheap Sears Tote-Cycle to cruise around the neighborhood and run to the corner market because of its RIDE!
Ride report - Shelley Lake on the ToteCycle
Grand report on the Tote-Cycle.
Shelley lake loop ride is one of the prettiest in Raleigh.
The Tote-Cycle is laden with heavy steel components.
Alloy rims will save about a poung.
Alloy crankset will save about 2 pounds (the single astabula crank is hunk of heavium).
Lose the steel seat post - and replace with simple straight alloy post - save another half pound.
It will ride like a different bike.
Also you can add a second cog to the Sachs three speed hub (like you can on the SA hubs) - add a rear derailleur and double your gear ranges. (see Sheldon Brown on hybrid gearing).
Keep us posted on the progress.