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  1. #1
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    Carrying a folder on a full-size bike

    I've recently bought a Brompton, and can envisage situations where it might be useful to be able to carry it around on my full-size commuting bike.

    I'm looking for ideas on how this could be achieved, preferably as cheaply as possible! This has been my train of thought so far:

    Bolt a plastic crate onto the top of the rear rack. The dimensions of the folded Brompton are roughly 600mm L x 300mm W x 600mm H and it weighs about 11.5 Kg which is well within the capability of the rack.

    If it could be laid on its side, I'd need a shallow crate of 600x600 internally, and could use bungees to keep the bike inside. The platform of my rack is about 300mm long so the crate would overhang by another 300mm. This would probably need some extra struts to support the overhang, but would this amount of weight beyond the back wheel cause instability?

    It's a problem finding a suitable size crate as they are mostly rectangular, and anything in the right size range is generally way too tall so would need cutting down (not necessarily a problem, so long as its rigidity isn't compromised too much).

    Alternatively, if the Brompton is kept upright then a 300x600 crate would do. I still haven't found anything that's ideal, but something in this sort of range seems easier to find. Again, it would need extra struts to support the overhang at the rear. However, would that make the full-size bike too top heavy and difficult to handle?

    From a weight and wind-resistance point of view, a basket might be better than a solid-walled crate if there is anything on the market that could be adapted for this purpose. Another route could be to custom construct something out of wood.

    Instead of mounting to the top of the rack, I've also wondered about hanging it off the side. The advantage would be a much lower centre of gravity, but the load would be very lop-sided.

    Someone has already suggested that I buy a trailer to carry it in, but I don't really want to be encumbered by a trailer (particularly if I need to park up and lock it) and some of the cycle routes in my area would be difficult to negotiate with a trailer.

    Has anyone else ever tried transporting a folder this way? Any feedback and further thoughts on the subject would be most welcome!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Occasionally, I will bike to the train station to meet my wife, with my Curve SL slung over my shoulder in an Ikea bag. No problem for short distances if you are comfortable riding one-handed. If I can do it with the Curve I`d think a Brompton would be even easier.

  3. #3
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    Xtracycle fre radical? If you use your full size quite a bit build it up as a cargo bike and strap the Brompton to it.
    Dahon Jifo
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

  4. #4
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    tow the brompton behind the commuter bike unfolded? keep the bike frame unfolded, fold down the stem, and use bungee cords to secure the wheel & handlebars on the rear rack. easier than balancing 30 pounds of bike parts on the rear rack.

    check out this thread (no brommies but you get the idea): Towing a bike with another

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all your suggestions.

    I think towing it might be a good way to go. I can cycle one-handed when the road is relatively flat, but not up some of the hills in my area. I like the Xtracycle - a friend of mine has one and I think they're great - but don't really want to make such a radical alteration to my commuting bike. However, if I happened to acquire a cheap second-hand bike to modify instead I think I could be really tempted! But then I suppose I could just carry a passenger on the Xtracycle instead of transporting the Brompton!

  6. #6
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Craigslist has instep trailers and such for $50 every now and then. I have one from goodwill that was $10. The folder goes in there to pick up folks from the train station and such.
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  7. #7
    Senior Member edwong3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Xtracycle fre radical? If you use your full size quite a bit build it up as a cargo bike and strap the Brompton to it.
    There is a video on YouTube of a young woman who went to the local bike shop to pick up her new Surly "Big Dummy" (which is a purpose built Xtracycle), riding on her Bikefriday Tikit. After taking delivery of her Big Dummy, she folded the Tikit, and loaded it on the Dummy. That was genial.

    And she must have really saved her "pennies" as the Tikit was also new, having taken delivery on it only two weeks before. That's a lot of money in bikes, I estimate over $4,000 worth. But I guess with not having to spend on a car, that would make it possible.
    Edward Wong III
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  8. #8
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    I like to know the reason why the OP wants to carry a heavy folder on a full size bike? It doesn't make sense and I think he's doing this because the Brompton is peferct for multimode travel using the bus or tain, it's not good for long distance travel. Therefore, what the OP needs is a bike with 20' inch wheels that is more efficient than the Brompton.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I like to know the reason why the OP wants to carry a heavy folder on a full size bike? It doesn't make sense and I think he's doing this because the Brompton is peferct for multimode travel using the bus or tain, it's not good for long distance travel. Therefore, what the OP needs is a bike with 20' inch wheels that is more efficient than the Brompton.

    because he already owns the full size bike

  10. #10
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    I think there's a missed opportunity for lateral thought here...if you had a recumbent with a tailrack, it'd be pretty simple to lean it up against the seat back and bungee it securely. I'm going to have to do this with my Bickerton....

    That said, if you have a bag for your folder, why not look in to getting shoulder straps added to it and carry the bike around that way? Obviously this would be practical for some distances and not others, but it's an option.

    Leo H.
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    Leo H.
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  11. #11
    transport, not sport.
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    I have this same idea:carry a folder while riding a folder...
    I think, if with a fullbike, it would be no problem, because my folder is only11kg, while quite often I carry my 20kg daughter to school.

    I have already found in my dad's garage, a rucksack, old style, which has an aluminum frame.
    the L shape would be just perfect to strap the folder on....

    please stand by for pictures...

  12. #12
    Senior Member Chop!'s Avatar
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    Carry your brompton in a Birdy rucksack, then fold the bag back into a rucksack to return.

    Buy a folding trailer from a DIY store (make sure it has soft tyres not hard plastic wheels!)
    use luggage straps or zip ties to attach it to the rack, if you have one.

    There are threads on here where I show pics of my using this method towing with my Strida, in order to pick someone up from a station.
    Then strap their bags onto the trailer!
    BTW Use a luggage strap to keep the trailer from folding when you go over a bump!
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  13. #13
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    If you have a rear rack on the towing bike then it's easy enough to clamp an old front hub with QR or a fork holder from a roof rack to the back of the rack. Clamp the fork of the towed bike in this and bungie the front wheel to the frame. Works fine for towing a regular bike and should work equally well with a folder.

    Has the advantage that you can now tow just about any bike and you still have most of the rack space available for other things.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tow the folded Brompton on top of a 'carry freedom-city' trailer, with whatever you want, even another Brompton.

    or tied down to a front Porteur rack .

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