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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 10-30-08, 07:37 AM   #1
vincentnyc
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any1 able to bring your folding bike into a plane w/ a carry-on bag???

yes i know u can pack your bike in one of those samsonite oyster suitcase and do a check-in. but any1 here ever able to just put your folding bike into one of those duffel look alike bag (or one of those folding bag u you put your folding bike in before you bring it into a building) and do a carry-on instead of checking in for a plane? and do you put them under your seat or the above cabinet? and what airline was it and what folding bike did u have?

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Old 10-30-08, 07:50 AM   #2
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yup:
Carryme in overhead compartment on southwest airlines
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Old 10-30-08, 07:54 AM   #3
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^^ any1 brought a bigger than a carry-me on a plane with a carry-on bag...like a dahon or a mini downtube?
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Old 10-30-08, 08:06 AM   #4
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I think the problem here would be airport security as much as the airline. Even if you were somehow able to pre-arrange this with the airline, if security doesn't want you to bring the bike aboard, you're hosed. Your choices at that point would be to check the bike, abandon the flight or let them confiscate your folder.
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Old 10-30-08, 02:52 PM   #5
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..... or unfold it and bike through airport security! i bet we could bike faster than their fat asses could run. I can see the headline now "folding bike: the new weapon of terror"
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Old 11-01-08, 08:48 PM   #6
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The only bike that I have physical evidence and personal experience that managed to do this is Brompton. Anything else, as far as I know, is just "someone that heard about someone that did it".
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Old 11-01-08, 09:36 PM   #7
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First of all, it's painful to read your message. Please use real words and capitalize.

Most airlines have a carry-on size limit of 7"x14"x21". I have a Downtube Mini and it fits within the checked size limit of L + W + H <= 62", but it's definitely not a carry-on. The Brompton (depending on features) is about 23"x23"x10", too big and thick to carry on. Airlines used to be more open about cheating, but now they really want the money from making you check more bags. I'm pretty sure that the Strida and CarryMe are longer than 21" when folded, but their narrow fold might make them easier to sneak by.
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Old 11-02-08, 01:37 AM   #8
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First of all, it's painful to read your message. Please use real words and capitalize.

Most airlines have a carry-on size limit of 7"x14"x21". I have a Downtube Mini and it fits within the checked size limit of L + W + H <= 62", but it's definitely not a carry-on. The Brompton (depending on features) is about 23"x23"x10", too big and thick to carry on. Airlines used to be more open about cheating, but now they really want the money from making you check more bags. I'm pretty sure that the Strida and CarryMe are longer than 21" when folded, but their narrow fold might make them easier to sneak by.
"Small personal items" don't qualify as carry-ons. For example, despite being longer than 21" umbrellas are typically allowed as are unfolded coats, walking canes, and other such "personal aids". A small folder like the Carryme or A-bike would, thus, qualify.

But isn't this getting a bit silly? What would you say if the gate agent asked you to remove and fold your slacks because they were over 21 inches in length? However, since the gate agents don't have the authority to search you, and the TSA doesn't have any rules on size the point of what comes of items which are small enough to conceal, but exceed carry-on specs, is moot.
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Old 11-02-08, 06:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
Your choices at that point would be to check the bike, abandon the flight or let them confiscate your folder.
If you have to "Check the bike" at the very last minute with no bike box or case, you are going to have to scramble for those things! In other words, you're probably going to miss your flight.
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Old 11-02-08, 08:31 AM   #10
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In the event of a nose-dive I wouldn't want to be under a nice heavy angley foldup bike, so the advice from my quarter is - if you must do it, make sure you stow it above someone else.
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Old 11-02-08, 09:40 AM   #11
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There was a posting on the Birdy forum of folks with Bromptons being allowed to do a gate check. I would be too scared to try this, but still an interesting idea.

I certainly wouldn't try anything of the sort with a bike bigger than a Brompton.
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Old 11-02-08, 09:42 AM   #12
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I've taken my Brompton on as checked luggage a few times, but I've never tried sandwiching it into an overhead bin.

However, it's a very tempting idea. Last time I took the M3L along, I got hit with "extra bag" surcharges at every stop. Plus, the luggage room gorillas knocked some stuff out of alignment (twisted the stem around, shoved the saddle forward) and tweaked the chainring to boot.

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Old 11-02-08, 10:04 AM   #13
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There was a posting on the Birdy forum of folks with Bromptons being allowed to do a gate check. I would be too scared to try this, but still an interesting idea.

I certainly wouldn't try anything of the sort with a bike bigger than a Brompton.
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
If you have to "Check the bike" at the very last minute with no bike box or case, you are going to have to scramble for those things! In other words, you're probably going to miss your flight.
I think gate checking should be a bit gentler on things than checking the regular way, but I'd still want a larger margin of safety than a Brompton could provide. Smaller and cheaper means that you're less likely to have a problem and if you do have a problem you don't stand to lose as much.

Unfortunately we also need to remember the travesty of freedom we now live under (in the US). At present there's no publicly disclosed set of rules or laws that determines what is and isn't allowed in airports and you can literally be kidnapped without trial for violating any one of these secret laws. So doesn't worrying about what might happen to a thousand dollar bike seem a bit frivolous when your very life is at risk?
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