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  1. #1
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    David Byrne on Folding Bikes

    From Bicycle Diaries, p 196:

    I have tried a few different folding bikes, but I haven't tried them all, so this is not a consumer report. I have a prejudice against the folding ones with little wheels, though I began my music touring with a small folding Peugeot with little heels and it held up for many years. I now mainly use full-sized folding bikes that feature some form of suspension---either in the front fork or the seat. I once go really sore wrists and I think it was from riding a lot on cobblestones in SoHo without suspension. For a guitar player this was worrying. Montague and Dahon both make folding bikes with full-sized wheels. Brompton, Birdy, Moulton, and Dahon all make folding bikes with small wheels.

    The full-sized bikes fold into a large suitcase with wheels (that also has room for a helmet), which can be checked as a second piece of luggage. Once upon a time you were allowed two pieces of luggage with no extra charge---that's rare now. I've gotten stuck with $125 sports-equipment charges (I think this charge was meant for skis or golf bags), so I'd think twice about throwing in the bike for a short trip these days. If I'm going to be somewhere for the week it is not only practical and fun but also economical, even with the baggage charge.

    An alternative to all this luggage and packing is to rent a bike when you get to where you're going. It's getting easier to do this locally. I recently rented a bike in berlin for a week and in Salvador, Brazil, for two days.

  2. #2
    Lonesome No More nigelme's Avatar
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    David! Why the big bike?

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    The Metropolis, UK
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    This is article is purely subjective and a matter of opinion. David likes larger wheeled bikes, each to their own I say!

    As for airlines, they charge for luggage and it's up to the person as a passenger to decide if the charges are worth it. I agree airlines had to redefine their business models but not to the point of overcharging so that there's a much lower uptake. The only net impact is people spend less on services and on their overall trip if pricing for luggage is too exorbitant.

    It's a shame as having your own favourite bike for your needs on a trip (large or small wheeled) beats some of the rental bikes on offer.

  4. #4
    jur
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    I'd like to see this suitcase that these large-wheeled folders fold into. With room for a helmet. Likely large enough for the Titanic to fold into. Second piece of luggage, indeed! A suitcase that large would attract dizzying extra charges.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

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    The Metropolis, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I'd like to see this suitcase that these large-wheeled folders fold into. With room for a helmet. Likely large enough for the Titanic to fold into. Second piece of luggage, indeed! A suitcase that large would attract dizzying extra charges.
    Hear hear!

  6. #6
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    I have been able to pack a small wheeled bike (sorry, Byrne) in an airline approved suitcase as documented here:

    http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...o-airline.html

    No extra charges only the $25 checked in bag fee.

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    BTW, it's worth reminding everyone that Bicycle Diaries is Byrne's travelogue as he visited lots of countries over the years, largely biking around on his Montague. Recently sold it at auction for some charity. The man is die-hard about folders and biking around the world.

    Still, I too wonder how he packed it: Montagues do not fold into standard suitcases so far as I am aware.

    I understand his concern about small wheels and lack of suspension on roads, though I made it through Rome unscathed on the Tikit.

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    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I'd like to see this suitcase that these large-wheeled folders fold into. With room for a helmet. Likely large enough for the Titanic to fold into. Second piece of luggage, indeed! A suitcase that large would attract dizzying extra charges.
    +1

    And I bet he pays a second oversize fee for a bag that will accommodate the suit:


  9. #9
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I'd like to see this suitcase that these large-wheeled folders fold into. With room for a helmet. Likely large enough for the Titanic to fold into. Second piece of luggage, indeed! A suitcase that large would attract dizzying extra charges.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by jur View Post
    I'd like to see this suitcase that these large-wheeled folders fold into. With room for a helmet. Likely large enough for the Titanic to fold into. Second piece of luggage, indeed! A suitcase that large would attract dizzying extra charges.
    These fold into a 62" total dimension suitcase ; you know this I'm sure ? The same size that's necessary for a small wheeled suitcase, just that it will be squared instead of rectangular.

    It's silly to check a helmet - you can always wear it through security and stuff it into overhead.

  11. #11
    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimBeans83 View Post
    These fold into a 62" total dimension suitcase ; you know this I'm sure ? The same size that's necessary for a small wheeled suitcase, just that it will be squared instead of rectangular.

    It's silly to check a helmet - you can always wear it through security and stuff it into overhead.
    No I don't know... 26" wheels won't fit even if it's square, i think? 26"+26"=52, leaving 10" for depth... but the wheels have to have the axles next to each other or nothing else will fit.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  12. #12
    Bop
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    26" wheels won't fit even if it's square, i think? 26"+26"=52, leaving 10" for depth... but the wheels have to have the axles next to each other or nothing else will fit.


    We appear to have two diverging lines of discussion. I agree Jur, that it is highly unlikely that a large wheel, folding bike would fit in a “legal” suitcase. However, the comment about the wheels is off point. My S&S coupled (not folding) 29er fits in a 26” x 26” x 10’ hard case. It is necessary to deflate the tires, but removal from the rims is not necessary. They nest side by side with the two frame parts intermingled. And there is room for a helmet.

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    jur
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    I stand corrected.
    My folding bike photo essays www.dekter.net/

  14. #14
    It's got electrolytes! chucky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop View Post
    26" wheels won't fit even if it's square, i think? 26"+26"=52, leaving 10" for depth... but the wheels have to have the axles next to each other or nothing else will fit.


    We appear to have two diverging lines of discussion. I agree Jur, that it is highly unlikely that a large wheel, folding bike would fit in a “legal” suitcase. However, the comment about the wheels is off point. My S&S coupled (not folding) 29er fits in a 26” x 26” x 10’ hard case. It is necessary to deflate the tires, but removal from the rims is not necessary. They nest side by side with the two frame parts intermingled. And there is room for a helmet.
    Give us pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Miami View Post

    And I bet he pays a second oversize fee for a bag that will accommodate the suit:
    Wow. That suit is now 35 years old. Witness:



    BTW, for those of you interested in what David Byrne looks like now...



    Along with Bowie, Byrne is the definitive example of music springing from Andy Warhol. Now if we can only get him to post to the forum. Though I suspect David might be invisiblehand.

    Oh yes. Though it's been posted before, the bike in question:

    Last edited by feijai; 09-08-10 at 09:52 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Apologies for veering off-topic, but I think I need to watch Stop Making Sense this weekend, and Home Of The Brave for good measure...


    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Along with Bowie, Byrne is the definitive example of music springing from Andy Warhol. Now if we can only get him to post to the forum. Though I suspect David might be invisiblehand.

  17. #17
    Senior Member social suicide's Avatar
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    Towards the end of the book he buys Walmart bikes for the weekend he's in town and leaves them where they'll get used. Cheaper than the 125 dollar sports bag fee.

  18. #18
    Pedaling fool ShinyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by social suicide View Post
    Towards the end of the book he buys Walmart bikes for the weekend he's in town and leaves them where they'll get used. Cheaper than the 125 dollar sports bag fee.
    Hmmm...There's a lot of Bike Found craigslist ads that say, "I found this bike in front of the Safeway, it was unlocked for 2 days. Call me with a description or distinctive trait and it's yours..."

    Damn, Byrne!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Wow. That suit is now 35 years old. Witness:
    Just a bit older than 26 years (it predates the movie)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088178/

    How is it I don't have any Talking Heads on my iPod?
    2008 Mezzo D9
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefmcg View Post
    Just a bit older than 26 years (it predates the movie)
    As a computer scientist, naturally math is not my strong point.

  21. #21
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Along with Bowie, Byrne is the definitive example of music springing from Andy Warhol. Now if we can only get him to post to the forum. Though I suspect David might be invisiblehand.
    Love Talking Heads and David Byrne's solo music; even the "musical building" project. But most definitely not David Byrne.

  22. #22
    Senior Member gringo_gus's Avatar
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    "I have tried a few different folding bikes, but I haven't tried them all, so this is not a consumer report. I have a prejudice against the folding ones with little wheels, though I began my music touring with a small folding Peugeot with little heels and it held up for many years. I now mainly use full-sized folding bikes that feature some form of suspension"

    ...just can't seem to face up to the facts
    it aint the size of your wheels, its the rhythm of you cadence. And I got powergrips too.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucky View Post
    Give us pics.
    SandS has been doing this for 20 years,

    http://www.sandsmachine.com/regs.htm

    Going with 26" wheels makes this even easier as axles are off center a bit and makes a lot more room in the case.

    There are several models of factory bikes built with S&S (thorn, rodriguez, ritchey, etc.), and several "folding brand" bikes that can also fit this way if removing some of their parts.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Wow. That suit is now 35 years old. Witness:



    BTW, for those of you interested in what David Byrne looks like now...



    Along with Bowie, Byrne is the definitive example of music springing from Andy Warhol. Now if we can only get him to post to the forum. Though I suspect David might be invisiblehand.

    Oh yes. Though it's been posted before, the bike in question:

    Thanks for the vids. Saw the Big Suit tour at the Hollywood Greek, though there was a 'no standing' rule he had everyone up and jumping in no time. Forgot what a nutcase Tina was. Nice trip down memory lane, and he seems to have weathered well and is as sharp as ever.

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