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Old 07-05-16, 02:41 PM   #1
edelay
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Dahon Curve D3 in airline legal suitcase, North America to Europe

Hi folks.

I'm going to Norway, Denmark, France and The Netherlands for 5 weeks tomorrow. Bringing my D3 to go for bike rides in the morning. I've managed to fit the bike into a suitcase that is 62 linear inches (157 cm), which is the standard size for free checked luggage. Pack with bike and the rest of my luggage is under 50lbs (22.7 kg)

I've disassembled the bike as little as possible. Some notes:
- removed the fenders and the front truss since won't be taking those on the trip
- pedals, seat post and seat removed to make the fold smaller (these are stored in the bag)
- case is from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) and is the Fast Track 100 litre rolling duffle
- dimensions 30.5" tall, 18.5" wide and 13.0" deep (77.5cm x 47cm x 33cm)
- the pack with the bike, parts and the tools is 39lbs (18kg)
- the pack with the above plus my luggage is 48lbs (22kg)
- I've wrapped my clothes in small shopping bags and put this around the bike for padding.
- I'll be taking the helmet in my carry-on since it was too bulky for the suitcase

Ideally I would have found a tallish hard suitcase for the D3, but couldn't source one. I'm a little nervous about the front rim being bent.

I'll update this post when I get to Europe to let you know how the bike fared.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg before-pack.jpg (93.2 KB, 372 views)
File Type: jpg test-pack.jpg (95.6 KB, 468 views)
File Type: jpg test-pack-standing.jpg (95.3 KB, 466 views)
File Type: jpg pack-final.jpg (96.6 KB, 469 views)

Last edited by edelay; 07-16-16 at 10:12 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-05-16, 03:39 PM   #2
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Nice packing job. I, personally, would have attempted to locate a hard sided suitcase. I definitely don't trust an airline to get my bike, especially inside a soft side suitcase, undamaged.
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Old 07-05-16, 05:25 PM   #3
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When you get back please update how things went...hopefully arrives in 100% great shape ... both there and the return trip.

Good Luck and enjoy!
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Old 07-05-16, 06:18 PM   #4
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If you are flying Air Canada do not tell them there is a bike in that luggage. They will charge you an extra $100 as they do not differentiate between a folding bike and full size bike.

Other than that have a nice trip, sounds fun.
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Old 07-05-16, 07:28 PM   #5
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If you are flying Air Canada do not tell them there is a bike in that luggage. They will charge you an extra $100 as they do not differentiate between a folding bike and full size bike.

Other than that have a nice trip, sounds fun.
We are flying KLM which seems to be bike friendly. Thanks for the tip regarding Air Canada... we usually fly with them. Won't volunteer that that is a bike in the bag.
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Old 07-10-16, 10:00 PM   #6
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Hi folks. Despite my concerns about the front wheel, the bike arrived in good shape. Enjoying the bike paths of Oslo. The morning bike rides have proven to be a good way to beat jet lag.
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Old 07-11-16, 03:02 PM   #7
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Excellent. It's nice to have a bike when you travel.
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Old 07-11-16, 03:36 PM   #8
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Enjoy!!!
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Old 07-16-16, 10:07 AM   #9
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Took the train from Oslo to Copenhagen. Conductor made me put the suitcase (with bike in it) at the end of the car instead of in the overhead rack. This made me a bit nervous that it might get stolen but it was okay.

Copenhagen has extensive and well laid out bike lanes. Some times in a painted area at the side of the road, sometimes between the parking and the sidewalk. Went on the bicycle snake dededicated bike bridge. Cyclists sometimes get and advanced green before the cars. There is also the "green wave" which is a series of lights along some major bike routes... If you can see the lights you will make it through each traffics light without having to stop.

Not too many helmets are worn here and too many people cycle with earphones and one handed. I do like the large variety of bikes. Lots of cargos and those black utility (Dutch) bikes. Saw a Brompton and a few other folding bikes strapped to yachts but otherwise not seeing a lot of folding bikes like in London and Paris. Bikes parked all over here day and night without being locked up.

Last edited by edelay; 07-16-16 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 07-16-16, 11:02 AM   #10
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Took the train from Oslo to Copenhagen. Conductor made me put the suitcase (with bike in it) at the end of the car instead of in the overhead rack. This made me a bit nervous that it might get stolen but it was okay.

Copenhagen has extensive and well laid out bike lanes. Some times in a painted area at the side of the road, sometimes between the parking and the sidewalk. Went on the bicycle snake dededicated bike bridge. Cyclists sometimes get and advanced green before the cars. There is also the "green wave" which is a series of lights along some major bike routes... If you can see the lights you will make it through each traffics light without having to stop.

Not too many helmets are worn here and too many people cycle with earphones and one handed. I do like the large variety of bikes. Lots of cargos and those black utility (Dutch) bikes. Saw a Brompton and a few other folding bikes strapped to yachts but otherwise not seeing a lot of folding bikes like in London and Paris. Bikes parked all over here day and night without being locked up.
Norway and Denmark just don't do crime, they have jails because jealous husbands will sometimes loose their temper and kill their cheating wife's and stuff like that, but daily crime as a social phenomenon that is just there and has to be lived with is quite alien to them.

Don't expect the same from the Netherlands and France though, especially in the Netherlands you will have to lock your bike and lock it well. If the bike is in plain sight and it's not for too long a good ringlock will do most of the time, but in general it's better to attach the bike to some object that can't be moved with a strong second lock. In Amsterdam three locks a bike is the most usual, if you have any less and your bike isn't a completely worthless crooked piece, the thiefs will take yours because breaking two locks is easier than three.
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Old 07-16-16, 01:52 PM   #11
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Enjoy copenhagen. Visit this shop if you find the time Cyklistbutikken 1905 ? Boutique Wheels Close to Nørrebro.

Wish I was there.
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Old 07-17-16, 09:56 PM   #12
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Enjoy copenhagen. Visit this shop if you find the time Cyklistbutikken 1905 ? Boutique Wheels Close to Nørrebro.

Wish I was there.
That shop is one block from where I'm staying. Didn't go in but peered through the windows a few times.

Off to Paris today. Brushing up on my French. I'm impressed with how widely and well English is spoken in Scandanavia.
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Old 07-18-16, 01:18 AM   #13
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Off to Paris today. Brushing up on my French. I'm impressed with how widely and well English is spoken in Scandanavia.
In France that's a bit more complicated. A lot of (young) people do speak English quite well, allthough with more accent, you can't take it for granted and they take a different kind of pride in speaking English (and their own language) than the Scandinavians.

The French who do speak English generally will like to speak English with foreigners but don't like if it's taken for granted. It's a difficult language for them, they have had to study hard for it and it comes with high education that shouldn't be taken for granted either. If you ask them in French if they speak English, you avoid a lot of friction.
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Old 07-18-16, 02:19 AM   #14
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Enjoy Paris but stay safe!
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Old 07-18-16, 06:03 PM   #15
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That shop is one block from where I'm staying. Didn't go in but peered through the windows a few times.

Off to Paris today.
Hope you are okay and not traveling trough Germany on that train..
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Old 07-19-16, 01:47 AM   #16
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Hope you are okay and not traveling trough Germany on that train..
Hey BadMother.

Was travelling through Germany but not on that train. Safe and sound in Paris. Too tired from the 14 hour train ride yesterday to bike this morning but will post my thoughts on Paris biking tomorrow. Finally some nice hot weather.
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Old 07-19-16, 01:51 AM   #17
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In France that's a bit more complicated. A lot of (young) people do speak English quite well, allthough with more accent, you can't take it for granted and they take a different kind of pride in speaking English (and their own language) than the Scandinavians.

The French who do speak English generally will like to speak English with foreigners but don't like if it's taken for granted. It's a difficult language for them, they have had to study hard for it and it comes with high education that shouldn't be taken for granted either. If you ask them in French if they speak English, you avoid a lot of friction.
This is the most concise and accurate summary regarding France (and Quebec) and English. I know a little bit of French and always leave it up to the other person to decide to switch to English.

Paris biking thoughts coming tomorrow.
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Old 07-19-16, 02:06 AM   #18
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Hey BadMother.

Was travelling through Germany but not on that train. Safe and sound in Paris. Too tired from the 14 hour train ride yesterday to bike this morning but will post my thoughts on Paris biking tomorrow. Finally some nice hot weather.
Happy to hear that. This is a link to the train ride story that made me ask (for those who did not read it already) German train attack: Afghan refugee 'had IS flag in room' - BBC News A lot of frustrated peopel in the world these days..
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Old 07-19-16, 08:58 AM   #19
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Paris: One thing to be aware of. The rightmost lane is supposed to be reserved for bicycles and buses. In the real world, motorcyclists and folks on scooters use it to weave in and out of traffic at high speed. I was biking through Paris in that lane and had a motorcycle cut between me and the curb at around 60 mph - no lie, and completely freaked me out. From that point on, I rode as close to the curb as possible to avoid anyone trying to wedge in.
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Old 07-29-16, 01:28 PM   #20
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Paris: One thing to be aware of. The rightmost lane is supposed to be reserved for bicycles and buses. In the real world, motorcyclists and folks on scooters use it to weave in and out of traffic at high speed. I was biking through Paris in that lane and had a motorcycle cut between me and the curb at around 60 mph - no lie, and completely freaked me out. From that point on, I rode as close to the curb as possible to avoid anyone trying to wedge in.
Here are my thoughts regarding cycling in Paris.
- motorists drive really fast and close to cyclists
- the bike lanes aren't marked with paint and symbols as I would expect them to be. Perhaps Vancouver and Oslo have copied the Copenhagen signage or those 3 cities follow so sort of international standard
- the bike lanes change type often even on major roads: bike lane in median of Boulevard, then at edge of street, then in bus lane then over on frontage road. I lost the bike lane several times going from Montemarte to the Arc de Triomph.
- when I go out for a ride, usually at about 6:30am, there are many delivery trucks parked blocking the streets, especially the bike lanes. They appear to have nowhere else to park.

There seems to be this sort of flow to traffic with many vehicles ignoring lanes and rules of the road. It seems to be safest just to ride predictably and the vehicles will know where to expect me to be.

Enjoying the rides, but just more cautious.

Folding bikes are much more common here than in Oslo and Copenagen. Not sure why that is, perhaps theft is more common so people want to take them inside. Certainly every bike outside is locked up here but many unlocked especially in Copenhagen.

It is good to see that in Oslo, Copenhagen and Paris that the bike rental stations are plentiful and the bikes from them are used frequently.

Amsterdam next week!
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Old 07-29-16, 02:41 PM   #21
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Folding bikes are much more common here than in Oslo and Copenagen. Not sure why that is, perhaps theft is more common so people want to take them inside. Certainly every bike outside is locked up here but many unlocked especially in Copenhagen.


Amsterdam next week!
Good to hear from you! I must go to Amsterdam one day. Going to Copenhagen wery soon. Looking forwards to hearing about the difference between Copenhagen and Amsterdam -
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Old 08-09-16, 12:33 AM   #22
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Good to hear from you! I must go to Amsterdam one day. Going to Copenhagen wery soon. Looking forwards to hearing about the difference between Copenhagen and Amsterdam -
First off, I really like Amsterdam. What a beautiful and interesting place. Have been for a ride most mornings, only the rain prevented the other rides.

The bike situation is very similar to Copenhagen as follows:
- lots of black utility bikes with upright riding positions
- common for people to ride one handed (very dangerous) using a phone or carrying something
- large number of cargo bikes, usually with kids in them but other loads too
- paths tend to be seperated from roadway by at least a curb sometimes by parking

The differences from Copenhagen are as follows:
- gasoline powered scooters are allowed to ride in the bike lanes, some do at very high rates of speed. Had one overtake me and somehow not hit me at a high rate of speed
- bike lanes more extensive than Copenagen. Provisions for a bike on almost every street
- all bikes are locked up with 1 or 2 heavy locks
- while helmets were fairly uncommon in Copenhagen they are very rare in Amsterdam.
- Cooenhagen is actively trying to engineer better biking into their city (example the green wave) while Amsterdam appears to already know how to this and the infrastructure is already in place
- no bike rental stations like in Copenhagen (Paris, London, Vancouver...) perhaps it isn't needed?

I don't know why I waited over 30 years to visit this city. If you ignore all of the frat boys on pot and hooker vacations it is a very enjoyable place to be.
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Old 08-09-16, 08:59 AM   #23
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First off, I really like Amsterdam. What a beautiful and interesting place. Have been for a ride most mornings, only the rain prevented the other rides.

The bike situation is very similar to Copenhagen as follows:
- common for people to ride one handed (very dangerous) using a phone or carrying something

I don't know why I waited over 30 years to visit this city. If you ignore all of the frat boys on pot and hooker vacations it is a very enjoyable place to be.
it is a gorgeous cycling haven, and I think most of them there learn to ride a two wheeled bike by the time they are 3 so one handed riding is pretty much a given to them, I've seen them carry groceries, cellphones, cup of coffee and umbrella when it's raining. Pretty much the main form of transportation in the city. When we arrived at the airport and needed to get to the main city by the shuttle, cars have alot of problems moving around with one way streets and no turning here. When we rented a pair of bikes it was soo fast getting across the city center from one tourist spot to the next.

Oh yeah make sure you practice and are comfortable riding in crowds before heading there, during rush hour before and after work it really is RUSH HOUR! but with bikes! No sudden turns or sudden braking, I find among themselves they move very smoothly like a peloton and they usually AVOID tourist rental bikes like the plague if they see one on the road (they're labeled as such for the safety of others) .

Paris isn't such a friendly bike area but they do have a amazing looking trail along the seine river, we just travelled by subway there cause of the cars there and no real dedicated cycling lanes for the wife.
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Old 08-10-16, 07:44 PM   #24
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Hi folks.

I'm now back home after 5 weeks in Europe. Happy to say that the bike made it both ways without any damage. Was fun to ride around the streets of Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris and Amsterdam. While I had hoped to find a nice brass cycling bell as a souvenir, I did manage to snag a diecast cyclist from Paris and a dutch bike miniature from Amsterdam. The dutch bike has a working wheels, pedals, chain and kickstand.

The third photo is an artistic selfie I took while out for a ride on the Champs-Élysées.

I'm thinking that a Brompton might be better for the next time as the Curve with the suitcase I had was a little wide for going down the aisle of a train. Having to remove the seat and pedals was also an annoyance.
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Old 08-14-16, 04:34 AM   #25
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Hi folks.

I'm now back home after 5 weeks in Europe. Happy to say that the bike made it both ways without any damage. Was fun to ride around the streets of Oslo, Copenhagen, Paris and Amsterdam. While I had hoped to find a nice brass cycling bell as a souvenir, I did manage to snag a diecast cyclist from Paris and a dutch bike miniature from Amsterdam. The dutch bike has a working wheels, pedals, chain and kickstand.

The third photo is an artistic selfie I took while out for a ride on the Champs-Élysées.

I'm thinking that a Brompton might be better for the next time as the Curve with the suitcase I had was a little wide for going down the aisle of a train. Having to remove the seat and pedals was also an annoyance.

Nice. I also try to buy bikestuff as souvernirs. I bought a Spurcycle bell when we visited Copenhagen in the begining of August this year.
Spurcycle: better bicycle bells and other enduring bike accessories.

On traveling with a Brompton next time:
Bromptons are nice, but we decided we would use some 20" beaters nex time. Reason is security. I would not lock up and leave a Brompton for 5 minutes in Denmark (and I would guess other places with similar infrastructure for bikes) a bike is a bike, and bikes are left in the bikeracks. You can not bring them into shops and museums as easily as you can do other plases, an you can be punished with a fee for taking them into parks.

Next time you should take the ferry between Oslo and Copenhagen. Plenty of space for bikes and also for you, There are lots of ferrys in this area going between the nordic countrys.

We use detatchable pedals so that could be a good upgrade for your Curve. Is it possible to find a smaller suitcase for it?
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