Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

Modding a vintage bike for ease of travel

Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

Modding a vintage bike for ease of travel

Old 04-24-22, 08:38 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
bikemig's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,354

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 168 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5436 Post(s)
Liked 2,272 Times in 1,474 Posts
Modding a vintage bike for ease of travel

I was sorely tempted to buy a folding bike like a Bike Friday for travel before I decided to do the C&V thing and just mod what I already have on hand. I have a vintage MTB (a '91 team stumpjumper) which is a bit too small for me which makes it perfect for travel (18 inch frame, 26 inch wheels). I just need to get a taller stem to make this work or maybe sin a little and get a threadless adapter.

I've been reading up on Rinko bikes to get some ideas. I'm not sure about getting a Rinko headset to make it easy to separate the fork as this bike is pretty small with the wheels off.

I figure folding pedals like these from MKS might be a good idea:


I thought I'd buy a soft bag like this since they're cheap. Right now I plan on using it for road trips but I want to make it easy to take the bike into a hotel room:


It will be a bit of a pain since I'll need to remove the stem to make this work. Any other ideas I should think about? I know a lot of you have done a lot more travel with a bike than I have.

And since a thread is useless without photos, this is the too small MTB I plan on converting:

1991 Specialized Team Stumpjumper

Last edited by bikemig; 04-24-22 at 09:44 AM.
bikemig is offline  
Old 04-24-22, 08:46 AM
Bianchi Goddess
Bianchigirll's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Shady Pines Retirement Fort Wayne, In
Posts: 28,351

Bikes: Too many to list here check my signature.

Mentioned: 156 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2342 Post(s)
Liked 1,396 Times in 825 Posts
If it’s just something you want for the car I have a 1990 vintage Nashbar bag I’ll send you basically for postage.
One morning you wake up, the girl is gone, the bikes are gone, all that's left behind is a pair of old tires and a tube of tubular glue, all squeezed out"

Sugar "Kane" Kowalczyk
Bianchigirll is offline  
Likes For Bianchigirll:
Old 04-24-22, 09:29 AM
The Wheezing Geezer
Fredo76's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Española, NM
Posts: 278

Bikes: 1976 Fredo Speciale, Jamis Citizen 1, Ellis-Briggs FAVORI, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 108 Posts
Looks workable. I would consider getting some closed-cell foam sheets for padding on the outside and between parts.

And I'd buy and try before relying.
Fredo76 is offline  
Likes For Fredo76:
Old 04-24-22, 11:35 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 15,657
Mentioned: 402 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2947 Post(s)
Liked 3,662 Times in 1,638 Posts
Is this for airplane travel, I assume? If so, I've been dealing with issue in a variety of ways for several years now. Some options:

1) Pack your bike in a bike box and send it to your destination. Pros: Cheapest option, usually, in that bike boxes are free and shipping isn't terribly expensive. You can also generate the return label at the same time you buy the one to send the bike off. Cons: The arrival of your bike is subject to the shipper's schedule, and that can be anxiety provoking if you are cutting it close or are sending it somewhere that won't hold it for long. You also need to deal with the box once you're at your destination, reassemble (which means you need to have appropriate tools with you), and then disassemble for when you're heading home. Also, damage is perhaps more likely though pretty infrequent. I've used this option a bunch of times, including CA Eroica in 2018. But the various cons pushed me in a different direction.

2) Get a Trico Iron shipping case. I found mine used on CL in Salem, OR, and @CliffordK was kind enough to nab it and mail it to me back here in Boston. They often show up on CL. Pros: A very solid container, which will keep your bike in good shape. You can also ship it to your destination or bring it on the airplane as @gugie and @SquireBlack did for our recent travels to Tucson. Cons: Still need to do something with it at your destination, and the size/bulk make it difficult to shove in a car unless it's a pick-up or minivan.

3) Get an Orucase Bike Ninja travel bag. Pros: You can fit just about any bike in it with judicious packing, whether C&V or modern. It's what I used for Cino last year and will use again for CA Eroica next weekend. It's also smaller than a box or Trico, so easier to fit in the car or train or whatever your needs are at your destination. Cons: The Ninja part is that it's slightly oversized, but somehow can escape baggage handler scrutiny and not get charged extra fees. That hasn't always been the case for me, but now it seems airlines aren't charging extra for carrying bikes. Who knows how long that'll last.

4) Create a true travel bike by getting S&S couplers installed on a bike you really like or pick up a Ritchie Breakaway. Pros: Frame comes apart in two pieces and packs in dedicated bag that's below oversized baggage limit. Cons: Not cheap! For our Tucson adventure, I rode my Black Mountain Road, which I had Peter Mooney mod with couplers.

As far as specific mods you might make to your bike for ease of travel, the pink BMC has cable splitters, which are a nice feature, but that's really it. I just remove and reinstall pedals and bring a pedal wrench. Pulling a fork with loose bearings would be a pain, so go with a contained bearings. And bring disposable gloves!

Last edited by nlerner; 04-24-22 at 11:41 AM.
nlerner is offline  
Likes For nlerner:
Old 04-24-22, 12:05 PM
aka: Dr. Cannondale
rccardr's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,979

Bikes: Bob Jackson, Wizard, Pegoretti Duende, Merckx ProSLX, Pelizzoli, Cannondale ST, Schwinn Tempo, Davidson Sport Custom, Canyon Endurace, Richard Sachs, Davidson Discovery

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1746 Post(s)
Liked 1,690 Times in 693 Posts
If this is for car/train travel, then the soft bag you linked to will work just fine. No wheels (at least for me) means carrying for a short distance, but if just from car to room, looks ideal.

For air travel or cross country shipping, Neal made some excellent points, to which I would add a quality softwide bag with wheels. I use an EVOC bag, both to ship ahead (very ‘spensive these days) and to take on the plane (airlines currently treat as a regular suitcase if under 50 lbs). Pros: Literally dozens of trips with different bikes, never any damage. Wheels go in separate pockets, seatpost/saddle come out, as does stem and bars. Takes ten minutes or so to pack, same to reassemble, bag has wheels so easier to pull on longer distances in airports, etc.. Cons: all that protective stuff weighs, bag is about 20 lbs by itself so one must be careful not to overpack and bust the weight limit (shipping is 70 lbs, so no issue then) it’s also big and ungainly to tote around & toss in a car although it will fit in the back of a Camry sized vehicle. Takes up room in a hotel or apartment.
Hard at work in the Secret Underground Laboratory...
rccardr is offline  
Likes For rccardr:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.