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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-23-12, 05:59 PM   #1
tony_merlino
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Lightweight folding bike carrier

I thought this might be of interest on the car-free forum.

I need to rent a car for a work trip this coming weekend, and the car rental place is about 3 1/2 miles away. There's nobody available to take me there or pick me up when I get back, so I'd determined to walk. I was wishing there was a good way to get there on my bike, but the hassle of having to take the wheels off to fit it into the trunk of the rental car turned me off to the idea.

I got to thinking that it would be really great if there were a compact, lightweight, collapsible carrier that I could transport on my bike, and then use to load the bike on the car. I'm probably not the first person who wished for something like that. I started to write it up and make some sketches, and then said to myself, "This is so obvious, somebody must have thought of it before..."

Sure enough, here it is. Holds one bike, is less than 7 lbs, and folds up small enough to fit in a backpack, all for less than $40. Apparently, they also make 2 and 3 bike versions.
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Old 04-23-12, 06:05 PM   #2
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That is wonderful that the bike companies are beginning to see a market beyond recreational ones. One step further (and the one I chose) is having at least one folding bicycle or tricycle for those sort of bike + car or car/bike integration trips. I felt that when I rent a car, the bike could be hidden away in the trunk or boot.
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Old 04-23-12, 06:44 PM   #3
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That is wonderful that the bike companies are beginning to see a market beyond recreational ones. One step further (and the one I chose) is having at least one folding bicycle or tricycle for those sort of bike + car or car/bike integration trips. I felt that when I rent a car, the bike could be hidden away in the trunk or boot.
I like the folding bike idea, too. I see this carrier as more of a local solution, like when going to pick up a rental car (and then dropping the bike back home), or picking up the car at a shop, or maybe bumming a lift home after riding to a friend's house.
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Old 04-24-12, 03:37 AM   #4
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I like the folding bike idea, too. I see this carrier as more of a local solution, like when going to pick up a rental car (and then dropping the bike back home), or picking up the car at a shop, or maybe bumming a lift home after riding to a friend's house.
Neat concept I went the folding bike route. hard to beat when you can pick them up for $100 a pair.

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Old 04-24-12, 06:52 AM   #5
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Neat concept I went the folding bike route. hard to beat when you can pick them up for $100 a pair.

Aaron




Hard to beat that. I almost impulse-bought a Schwinn Hinge on CL for $75 last night, but got over the impulse when I read the reviews (which were pretty abysmal). I definitely see a place for both solutions. For example, if I were riding to a friend's house that was, say, 20 - 50 miles away, and hoped to catch a lift back, I'd probably prefer the folding carrier. I've never ridden a folding bike, but I'd imagine they're not really intended for longer distances or challenging routes. On the other hand, if I were going a shorter distance, then switching to car or some other mode of transportation, and wanted the bike when I got to the other end, the folding bike wins hands down.

Maybe I need both!
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Old 04-24-12, 03:06 PM   #6
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Hard to beat that. I almost impulse-bought a Schwinn Hinge on CL for $75 last night, but got over the impulse when I read the reviews (which were pretty abysmal). I definitely see a place for both solutions. For example, if I were riding to a friend's house that was, say, 20 - 50 miles away, and hoped to catch a lift back, I'd probably prefer the folding carrier. I've never ridden a folding bike, but I'd imagine they're not really intended for longer distances or challenging routes. On the other hand, if I were going a shorter distance, then switching to car or some other mode of transportation, and wanted the bike when I got to the other end, the folding bike wins hands down.

Maybe I need both!
Depends on you and the bike. Something like a Brompton or a Bike Friday can handle world tours. The Dahon's that I have are the old Classic III, they barely fit me and are a bit delicate. I have ridden up to 12 miles on the red one, still doing some tweaking to make it fit a bit better. Eventually I will put the money into a Brompton and a Bike Friday, just not quite ready. There are quite a few solid little folders out there on the market if you don't need one to substitute for a 64cm full sized bike...

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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 04-24-12, 04:25 PM   #7
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I wonder... By the time you attach the carrier to the roof of the car, and hoist the bike up there, is it really much easier than taking the wheels off the bike and throwing it in the trunk?

we often take off only the front wheel, stow it in the back seat, and bungie the trunk door mostly shut over the bike.
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Old 04-24-12, 09:52 PM   #8
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There isn't any transit or cabs for 3.5 miles? Rack idea is neat however.
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Old 04-24-12, 11:58 PM   #9
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I wonder... By the time you attach the carrier to the roof of the car, and hoist the bike up there, is it really much easier than taking the wheels off the bike and throwing it in the trunk?

we often take off only the front wheel, stow it in the back seat, and bungie the trunk door mostly shut over the bike.
It's not a roof carrier they're talking about, it's a trunk carrier. And yes, it is easier, and I would feel safer with the whole bike tethered to the back of a car rather than removing parts and risking something bending out of place or being damaged in the trunk.
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Old 04-25-12, 04:04 AM   #10
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There isn't any transit or cabs for 3.5 miles? Rack idea is neat however.
This may comes a shock to you, but some areas don't have cab or transit service, or they are expensive.

The "local" dealer where I get my Honda fixed is 18 miles from the house, cab ride would cost over $50, no bus service. The other dealer that we use for our Fords is ~20 miles away, closest bus stop is 12 miles away. If you want to take the bus from the dealer you have to walk over a mile and then with the transfers it would take about 3 hours to go the 8 miles to get you to the stop 12 miles from the house....better off riding.

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"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 04-25-12, 11:49 AM   #11
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This may comes a shock to you, but some areas don't have cab or transit service, or they are expensive.

The "local" dealer where I get my Honda fixed is 18 miles from the house, cab ride would cost over $50, no bus service. The other dealer that we use for our Fords is ~20 miles away, closest bus stop is 12 miles away. If you want to take the bus from the dealer you have to walk over a mile and then with the transfers it would take about 3 hours to go the 8 miles to get you to the stop 12 miles from the house....better off riding.

Aaron
We have cabs, but I'm trying to go light on the cost because of my company's new travel policy - don't want to make waves when thousands of people in my industry are losing their jobs.

Back in the day, the company would have sprung for a limo to the train station, the fare for the Acela, and a taxi from downtown DC to the meeting, total cost over $500 - without batting an eye. Forget flying - the fares are through the roof, and you need to book at least 2 weeks in advance to get the approval. Customer meetings don't usually come with 2 weeks notice. I used my own car the last time, and was told to rent a car - that it was cheaper to do that than for the company to reimburse my mileage. So here I am...

3.5 miles isn't a bad walk - I typically do that for exercise when I don't ride. There's no easy way to get there by bus. NJ isn't known for a great public transit system. Paraphrasing what Aaron said, if I wanted to get there by public transit by Sunday morning, I'd better leave now...

But the portable carrier caught my fancy. And Roody - from the picture, it looks like it's just a matter of attaching a few straps to the trunk lid. My current carrier is a trunk carrier, and it takes me all of 60 seconds to put it on or take it off the car. Once you have the straps adjusted to close to where they need to be, it's a matter of click, click, click, tug, tug, tug and you're attached.
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Old 04-25-12, 01:25 PM   #12
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Well, even in the city I've had bus journeys that were so convoluted that they were beat out by bus, cycling and sadly equivalent to walking timewise. Lately I've managed to use a folding bike and transit schedules to cut between routes becoming more time efficient.

12-18 miles out? Must be a big yard and house!
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Old 04-25-12, 02:06 PM   #13
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Well, even in the city I've had bus journeys that were so convoluted that they were beat out by bus, cycling and sadly equivalent to walking timewise. Lately I've managed to use a folding bike and transit schedules to cut between routes becoming more time efficient.

12-18 miles out? Must be a big yard and house!
Thirty-eight acre farm. Used to be over 90 acres but bits and pieces have been sold off over the past 70 some years. Used to be rural, not anymore.

But even living in town wouldn't help much, dealers are all on one side of town so it would be 12-14 miles across town to get to them.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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