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  1. #1
    Share The Road bent eagle's Avatar
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    Absolute Smallest Folder?

    Hi, folks. I travel on the airlines frequently for business, and would like to bring a folder along sometimes to ride around hotels. What is the absolute smallest folder, not counting some of the "toy" folders like the A-bike or the Strida? I'm guessing the answer is the Brompton? Thanks.
    Steve W

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    bromptom < birdy < mezzo < dahon curve sl < downtube mini < bike friday tikit

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    jur
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    I have a Birdy and I don't think it is particularly small against say 20" Dahons. I expect the Curve to be smaller when folded.

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    If you take wheels out, Curve is smaller than Brompton.

  5. #5
    Life in Mono
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    Sinclair A-Bike<Pacific Carry-Me<Dahon Curl<Brompton<
    For long thin places like train over head luggage racks, Strida fits better than Brompton (I've got both). But for absolute minimum space Brompton has THE best fold ratio (ie size folded vs size unfolded). Also many other bikes don't fold up very neatly - they have bits sticking out at odd angles and generally look like an accident between a wheel chair and a shopping cart :-)

    It's been a while since I've been on here; new voices, similar conversations, some folk I recognize, many new folk, several I miss eg Makeinu, Wavshrdr, af895 and others, all very opinionated and even if you disagreed with them, they were great fun to read, most especially missed snafu21 THE forum wit.
    Last edited by Simple Simon; 01-06-10 at 10:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent eagle View Post
    Hi, folks. I travel on the airlines frequently for business, and would like to bring a folder along sometimes to ride around hotels. What is the absolute smallest folder, not counting some of the "toy" folders like the A-bike or the Strida? I'm guessing the answer is the Brompton? Thanks.
    I would consider a NWT, while technically not a folder it does pack down into a suitcase that can be checked, provides a good solid ride.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  7. #7
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bent eagle View Post
    Hi, folks. I travel on the airlines frequently for business, and would like to bring a folder along sometimes to ride around hotels. What is the absolute smallest folder, not counting some of the "toy" folders like the A-bike or the Strida? I'm guessing the answer is the Brompton? Thanks.
    So let me get this straight, you want a toy for amusing yourself at your hotel but you're turning your nose up at what you think are "toy" folders?

    Bikes like the Strida were designed to be and are some of the most practical machines in existence. They are not toys.

    But it sounds like you want something more in the vein of a toy superhero bike, so by all means avoid the smallest folders and get a Brompton.

  8. #8
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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    do I read overhead storage ..... ???
    wishful thinking at best .... there will be no airplane which allows a complete bike in the overheads ..forget the past.
    even if the bike would fit into the small square officially allowed cube ....

    thor

  9. #9
    Bromptonaut 14R's Avatar
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    Any bike that requires removing the wheels will grow old very, very soon.

    Get a Brompton.

  10. #10
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    +1 for Brompton.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  11. #11
    Life in Mono
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    Quote Originally Posted by brakemeister View Post
    do I read overhead storage ..... ???
    wishful thinking at best .... there will be no airplane which allows a complete bike in the overheads ..forget the past.
    even if the bike would fit into the small square officially allowed cube ....
    http://ridethisbike.com/2008/10/carr...southwest.html

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    I suspect things may have changed in the last few days.

  13. #13
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    I count myself lucky. I can travel on military AMC flights overseas and I've carried my foldy in just a carrying bag a couple times. Of course you usually carry your stuff to the plane yourself and every military AMC person I've ever dealt with was very cool about me dragging a bike around.


    I'm getting ready to do a lengthy project on the most beautiful little island you can imagine and plan on taking my bike as well. Rather than dragging it around this time I think I'm going to transport it via land carrier, the Japanese variant of UPS or FedEx. We call it "Black Cat" but of course that's not the proper name. Reasonable shipping and very professional.

    Depending on the costs the airline may or may not nail you for you might consider shipping the bike in the suitcase. Depending on where you're going it may cost the same give or take a little.

    John

  14. #14
    Share The Road bent eagle's Avatar
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    Thank, folks. Has anybody successfully taken a Brompton on an airline as carry-on? Will it fit through those X-Ray machines on the conveyor belt?
    Steve W

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    Share The Road bent eagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    So let me get this straight, you want a toy for amusing yourself at your hotel but you're turning your nose up at what you think are "toy" folders?

    Bikes like the Strida were designed to be and are some of the most practical machines in existence. They are not toys.

    But it sounds like you want something more in the vein of a toy superhero bike, so by all means avoid the smallest folders and get a Brompton.
    Jeez, dude, sounds like I offended you there. Sorry if I mis-represented the Strida. Actually, I am pretty ignorant about those. I was just basing my "toy" comment on my personal opinion of their looks. I've never actually ridden one, so I admit that I don't really know anything about them. I guess I just prefer the look of the more "normal" looking folders.

    I also don't want to go any less than 16" wheels, and I know some of those more unusual designs have smaller wheels than that. Anyway, thanks for setting me straight about the "most practical machines in existence."

    I think I'll go for the Brompton, though.
    Steve W

  16. #16
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    I suspect things may have changed in the last few days.
    That's what they said after 9/11, but I've taken the same bike as a carry-on on the same airline as our good friend Larry there.

    Quote Originally Posted by bent eagle View Post
    Thank, folks. Has anybody successfully taken a Brompton on an airline as carry-on? Will it fit through those X-Ray machines on the conveyor belt?
    People have taken Bromptons as carry-ons, but it's a total crap shot since it's not even in the ballpark for satisfying the size requirements.

  17. #17
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    I've got a mezzo, and I've convinced myself that it won't quite fit in an airline legal bag.

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    Sinclair A-Bike<Pacific Carry-Me<Dahon Curl<Brompton<
    Very unlikely. At any rate, while you're inserting imaginary things in your list, where do the tooth fairy and Santa Claus fit?

    I've got a mezzo, and I've convinced myself that it won't quite fit in an airline legal bag.
    Even with a bit of disassembly? I'd be absolutely shocked. Shocked, I tell you!!! The Tikit fits in a 31" suitcase. So do most Dahon 20" bikes, much larger than the mezzo.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Even with a bit of disassembly? I'd be absolutely shocked. Shocked, I tell you!!! The Tikit fits in a 31" suitcase. So do most Dahon 20" bikes, much larger than the mezzo.
    I don't come here very often .... I guess I should have said standard, not legal. A 31" bag has total dimensions of 69", which would incur excess baggage charges on most carriers. It's total dimensions are slightly more than 62" of a standard bag.

  20. #20
    Senior Member snafu21's Avatar
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    I think a lot of peeps here who schlep bikes in slightly oversize suitcases on airlines manage not to get hit for excess baggage, although if the word 'airline' is involved, things change hourly. The Dahon Airporter bag holds a 20" bike and is said to be 'legal'.

    (There's another aspect, what to do with the bag if you want to ride out of the airport.)

    If I had to do it, I'd take a 16" wheel bike, which gives you plenty of options, (because you still have to lug the thing around in airports. )

    Other than that the er, latest Strida looks a hoot, as do the Dahon Curve, and Ye Olde Brompton. But look at the new Downtube Nova too: 23 pounds = 10.4326245 kilograms.

    Approximately.

    The other slimline weeny is the new Giant 20" mini-bike which is just arriving in the market. Very light, very fast.
    - every mile of road has two miles of ditch -

  21. #21
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    I don't come here very often .... I guess I should have said standard, not legal. A 31" bag has total dimensions of 69", which would incur excess baggage charges on most carriers. It's total dimensions are slightly more than 62" of a standard bag.
    My F'light 31" measures a claimed 64". Although Samsonite now claims that new F'Lights are 65".

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisiblehand View Post
    My F'light 31" measures a claimed 64". Although Samsonite now claims that new F'Lights are 65".
    I just repeated the exercise I did months ago with a tape measure 28"x26"x12" (say 71cm x 66 x 31). Basically a square profile. All the bags I have found have a more 2/3 ratio. Only the Dahon bag would fit it.
    The seat post is removed. About the only other reduction would be to remove the handlebars, which would get that 26 down to around 22 1/2 (57cm), which might open some more options, but isn't that appealing an idea.

  23. #23
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    I just repeated the exercise I did months ago with a tape measure 28"x26"x12" (say 71cm x 66 x 31). Basically a square profile. All the bags I have found have a more 2/3 ratio. Only the Dahon bag would fit it.
    The seat post is removed. About the only other reduction would be to remove the handlebars, which would get that 26 down to around 22 1/2 (57cm), which might open some more options, but isn't that appealing an idea.
    I think if you remove the allenkey securing the upper stem from the lower stem the mezzo may fit in to a very small space. Fairly quick and easy but I have not tryed it yet.
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8.

  24. #24
    New usename ThorUSA brakemeister's Avatar
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  25. #25
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    Eagle what type of riding are you doing with the bike? just goofing around the hotel area and probably some smooth bike paths? or are you touring around the entire city over 5km? this would probably direct you which way to go.

    as much as you find the abike a fun toy the new abike city now actually has 8 inch wheels, so it's the same tire sizes as the carryme but the fold size is really really tiny! it's just amazing. I think it has around 46 gear inches now which is probably great for pootling around faster than walking pace (like 2nd gear on a road bike or something). Depending how often you lug that thing around the tiny bike would be the easiest to take without a second thought since it even has it's own backpack. But then again if you are not too social, riding this contraption maybe the worst thing you can do!

    else for longer distances you'd have to carry a brompton in their hardcases they sell or a strida (same 16 inch wheels) in a hardcase golf club bag (probably cheaper bags on ebay). Those two bikes require the least amount of work to get it in and out of the case without disassembly, as someone said it gets tiring after the 3rd+ time doing that with you frequently travelling.

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