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  1. #1
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Anyone fit a 20" folder in a standard suitcase?

    I'm toying with the idea of taking my specialized Globe (Dahon Roo) on a short tour in Germany. I'd like to put it in a suitcase, but can't afford the Dahon flight case (well, any flight case). I wonder if anyone has succeeded in fitting a 20" Dahon into a standard suitcase? I've seen a couple on the internet that would probably work with some padding and a little disassembly (removal of seat tube and maybe rear rack).
    If you've managed it, have you had any problems getting it through the check in? I imagine there's a lot of airlines that would love to charge you for a bike, even if it fits as standard hold luggage. If you managed it, did you declare it as a bike, or just say nothing?

    I'm flying from the UK, where I believe they are a little more lenient concerning size of case compared with the US (I may be wrong on that count though, especially as I would be flying Ryanair, who generally seem to be rotters and scoundrels where bikes are concerned).

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Well, there is this video of a guy packing a Dahon D7 into a suitcase...

    http://it.truveo.com/Packing-the-Dah.../id/1125917117

  3. #3
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    The 20" Dahons do fit into a 29" Samsonite Oyster. But better use a 30" F'Lite if you have a rack etc.

    In Europe there is no spcial limit on size, only on weight, usually 20 kg. So any rather lightweight suitcase would do it.

    I prefer to fly with a cardboard. Fold it and strap it on my backpack when riding.

  4. #4
    hubgears BB49's Avatar
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    There is a guide on how to pack it on:

    gaerlan.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lalato View Post
    Well, there is this video of a guy packing a Dahon D7 into a suitcase...

    http://it.truveo.com/Packing-the-Dah.../id/1125917117
    That is me, but I put it on my youtube page here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmx_EXsBzag

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Many thanks for that. I was hoping to avoid as much disassembly as possible. I believe I could fit it into the largest suitcase (one I've travelled with before now by air, but unfotunately no longer have), but as it stands, I don't know how close I'd be getting to the max weight (with Ryanair, anyway, which I think is 15KG). What I may well do is still pay for them as bikes (which is 50), fold them, wrap them, maybe box them, and put them in my existing bike bags (for 700c tourers), then put them through excess luggage. It will cost more (though I won;t be buying a new suitcase), but at least I won;t be spending around 6 hours in total disassembling, reassembling, disassembling and reasessmbling two bikes for outbound and inbound flights. For me it's not so much the money (though it would be nice to save some) as the time and effort.
    But that said, anyone had any troubles having to declare it or not as a bike?
    Last edited by Gotte; 05-12-09 at 06:43 AM.

  7. #7
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    My wife and I have traveled a number of times with our folders in Samsonite Oysters. I posted a guide with pics on the Dahon forums a couple of years ago.

    Edit: Good luck making any RyanAir weight restrictions. I believe with tools, etc the packed suitcase came out to something like 40lbs each.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
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  8. #8
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    Disassembling or reassembling my Dahon Mu takes me less than 5 min (admittedly, I have not racks or fenders). If you get used to it, it's doable in 2 min. I bike to the airport. Disassemble it there. Check it in. Fly. Reassemble it on the target airport. And bike away. All just with a cardboard and bubblefoil. Strapped to my backpack when riding. No charges, never.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pibach View Post
    Disassembling or reassembling my Dahon Mu takes me less than 5 min (admittedly, I have not racks or fenders). If you get used to it, it's doable in 2 min. I bike to the airport. Disassemble it there. Check it in. Fly. Reassemble it on the target airport. And bike away. All just with a cardboard and bubblefoil. Strapped to my backpack when riding. No charges, never.
    Is the cardboard strong enough to prevent damage while in transit? How many times have you done it this way? It sounds like a quick and easy way to pack it up without using an actual suitcase!

  10. #10
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    Raleigh Folding 20" fits in a 29" oyster with 451 rims. I can break it down and I build it up in 30 min or less.
    Last edited by kraftwerk; 05-13-09 at 02:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
    Edit: Good luck making any RyanAir weight restrictions. I believe with tools, etc the packed suitcase came out to something like 40lbs each.

    Yes, I was looking at the weight restrictions, and came to the same conclusion. What we'll probably do if we fly Ryanair is pay the 50 bicycle excess, but take folders, anyway. I figure that we can fold them, pad them, bag them in my normal cycle bags or cardboard boxes, maybe, and then pick them up the other side.
    I suppose it isn;t really the money (though 50 is a lot), it's more the convenience.
    Previously when we've travelled, I've had two bikes to pack (my friend not being mechanically minded) and that has meant removal of practically everything, its ziptying to the frame to create one nice big bundle, then the padding of everything, and packing into the bag. Like I said, it takes about 45 mins to an hour per bike, and it's just too much. I have to do it 4 times in a week, and it does put me off. Even though we'd be paying the excess, and putting them through oversized baggage, the idea of just being able to fold the bikes, no disassembly, and pack them, then unpack them, unfold them, stash the boxes and padding and go is a real winner.

    Of course, the other option is to take our big bikes and put them in the CTC clear plastic bags. That also has the benefit of minimal disassembly. Of course, there is more chance of damage (or perhaps less, depending on which theory of bike carriage you believe).

    Or we might just fly TUIfly to Koln; their weight limit is a gentlemanly 20 KGs.

  12. #12
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    Why not just split your bike into two suitcases? Or does Ryan air charge 50 pounds for a second suitcase?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    Is the cardboard strong enough to prevent damage while in transit? How many times have you done it this way? It sounds like a quick and easy way to pack it up without using an actual suitcase!
    No the cardboard alone isn't strong enough, so requires lot of bubble foil plus some crash protector (as Bike Friday advertises but I just use some DIY plastic tube). Overall I think it is a very good solution to travel this way. I have done it a dozends of times, testing various ways of packing and different cardboards, suitcases, and other things (including a carpet). If you want to reuse the same cardboard you need to strengthen it by some tape. Otherwise it won't take to many folding actions. My Dahon fits nicely in a Dell TFT 24" screen cardboard ;-) But you want a cardboard that you open from upside (usually they open sideways). So you need to do some handicraft.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
    Why not just split your bike into two suitcases? Or does Ryan air charge 50 pounds for a second suitcase?
    Ryanair charges for the very air you breathe. Well, almost.

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