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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 06-18-17, 06:03 PM   #51
Knut
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This is an upgraded Dahon Speed p8 with an Ultegra Dual crank, a shorter outfolding handle bar stem and trigger shifters. I removed the handle bar stem and the handle bar, removed the fenders and rear rack and left them at home, removed wheels, pedals and the chain as well. Brought with me a pedal wrench and allen keys. Put the lights in the saddle bag, weight of the bike with the hard case was about 40-45lbs. Assembly and disassembly would cost you around 15 or so minutes depending on skill level.
May I ask the dimensions of the suitcase and / or Brand ?
thanks
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Old 06-19-17, 09:47 AM   #52
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May I ask the dimensions of the suitcase and / or Brand ?
thanks
It's this one from BJ's Wholesale Club

CALPAK Verdugo 2-Pc. Hardside Luggage Set - Black - BJ's Wholesale Club

Suitcase: 28"L x 19.5"W x 13.5"H

I use the bigger one though it may be a little cramped so a little disassembly is required ( handlepost, seatpost, wheels, pedals, probably rear derailleur, fenders and rear rack). Though we bought a larger bag, forgot the brand but from BJ's also and it's a little larger so the bike fits better there.
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Old 06-20-17, 05:25 PM   #53
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So I am just super lucky or has anyone else had their bicycle enclosed suitcase go missing? Almost 24 hours now since I filed a claim and not a peep by Southwest. Providence to DC, turned into to Baltimore many hours past my original flight time due to thunderstorms. Just wondering how you made out?
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Old 06-21-17, 08:01 AM   #54
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Just an update, I got a call last night and Southwest found my bike in DC. They dropped it off at the hotel overnight and it had a few new dings/scrapes and a broken off reflector on the front rim, but not unexpected since it was probably thrown around a lot in the past two days.

Advice I gained from this experience- Don't leave your sneakers in with the bike, so you can still exercise should your bike go missing. One set of gym clothes and sneakers in your carry on and you can keep moving forward for the day or two until you are reunited with your bike

Dings and dents come with the territory. I don't know if I would be doing this with a $1000+ bike or something carbon fiber. I can improve my wrapping but it is a balance of how much time to put into it before it becomes a PITA.
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Old 06-23-17, 06:09 PM   #55
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Fly regularly with my Tern Verge X30h. Packs into a 62" case at under 50 lbs with my helmet, shoes, and cycling clothes. 15 minutes at each end to dis and reassemble. 3 years of many flights a year (6 flights on 2 trips in the last 2 weeks) have been hard on the bike with lots of paint chips but it still works just fine. The main packing problem with a security checks. They have unpacked it every time and don't put it back in carefully every time.

Do you by any chance have any pics of your bike packed?

What suitcase are you using?

What country are you in? Luckily, I've never had anyone unpack my bike and I've flown many times in the US and Europe. That would be a disaster and I think I'd lose my sh*t!
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Old 07-09-17, 05:40 PM   #56
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Awwesome answers, thanks

I spent almost an hour packing and then another hour reassembling my Swift.

Too much work for a weekend trip.
n
Although it would be quicker next time.
The Swift will fit in a Samsonite 30-inch hardside case, without too much disassembly, but it will fit inside only one way. Once you learn how, it is much quicker the second time. (I figured this out when I sold mine, a steel NYC Swift, and needed to ship it to the new owner. I had to make an instructional photo guide for anyone who was opening and inspecting the encased bike on how to put it all back in the correct way.)
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Old 12-17-17, 11:27 AM   #57
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Although it's nice to see photos of bikes that can fit all together into a single non-oversized suitcase, I wouldn't do it unless there was enough space to add adequate protection for padding and tolerance for external compression.

You have to protect your bike against these beast machines that live in their deep, dark underground lair, called the baggage system:



I've traveled a few times with my Dahon folded with the wheels still attached in the original Dahon cardboard box, but I would not recommend it. One time the latch was completely bent. I assume someone dropped the box from very high. The hinge also won't tighten completely anymore. The pin or shaft on the other side was probably bent out of alignment.



Another problem with a cardboard box is that the check in agent always made me sign a damage waiver to relieve the airline of responsibility, and I had to pay for oversize because the box was too big for standard luggage. When the box goes to the oversize drop off location, I think it gets handled differently than normal luggage, which goes through the automated system where it will meet the beast filmed in the youtube video above.

Oversized luggage probably gets handled manually instead, so it gets to the airplane slower, with a higher chance of not making connecting flights and getting delayed for several days. One time I had to wait 3 days for my bike to arrive.

Another problem with packing the bike still completely assembled is that if the container is dropped on an edge, all the weight of the bike might be pressed against a single point. Alternatively, if the bike was disassembled, each piece could theoretically hit the side of the container or each other individually.

Next time I would disassemble the bike as much as possible, wrap each part with foam padding (especially the ends), and probably pack the frame and wheels separately in 2 different suitcases. Large suitcases under the 62", 158cm linear limit are usually 50cm wide and can fit up to 20" wheels and larger frames. Medium suitcases are usually 40cm wide and can fit small frames and 16" wheels. Cheap hard side suitcases cost about $40-50 each, and the fee for checking in 2nd baggage is $25-40, if you can avoid the special sports equipment fees. At least you would avoid the $100 oversize fee. Using 2 suitcases also makes packing simpler, and would be easier for security to repack if they happen to open them for inspection.

Upon arrival, you could donate the suitcases to someone else, and after the tour is finished you could find another pair so that you won't have to return to the start to pickup an expensive custom bike case.

So I'm looking for a new bike, something that could theoretically be packed into a single standard non-oversize suitcase, and without a folding hinge at the middle of the bike that could be easily damaged. I would prefer 16" or 18" so that the wheels can fit in a more easily acquired medium suitcase. Something with a standard 8,9,10 free hub, less than $800, and strong enough for loaded touring, but I don't find many options.

Spin (chain stay design with no seat stay or bracing looks very risky, but can be completely disassembled with tools normally carried, and fits in a single suitcase with adequate space)
Tyrell IVE (could fit in a single suitcase but would be better in 2, has 18" wheels, but a bit expensive)
Birdy (really expensive, and eye candy for local theives)
Dahon Qix (maybe? not sure about the small looking pin. Probably needs 2 cases)
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Old 12-17-17, 03:19 PM   #58
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Actually you don't need to pack your bike. Simply ride the luggage.

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Old 12-17-17, 07:42 PM   #59
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Glad I saw that first video, thanks!
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Old 12-18-17, 09:58 AM   #60
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The Brompton folds so small I think it could pass that luggage robot in a padded suitcase but has the wacky hub system. The Ive has a low weight limit. I guess the Spin makes the most sense so far.
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Old 12-18-17, 10:43 AM   #61
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What's the weight limit of the IVE? I read somewhere on another thread 80kg because of the rear wheel? Is that from the 120mm hub? Would this limit include the rider plus loaded bags?

I'm a bit worried about the chain stay of the Spin because it's only a single straight member all the way from the rear wheel to the seat post without any bracing. That creates a lot of bending moment. If they had added a seat stay, and another seat post tube on top of the others so that the seat post goes through 3 tubes, it would be stronger and would still be able to rotation fold.

Last edited by tomtomtom123; 12-18-17 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 01-30-18, 09:19 PM   #62
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I bought a couple of Vilano APEX 6-speed folders a couple of years ago with plans to take them to Europe. My daughter declared that she didn't want to ride on a folding bike, so we rented bikes in Europe instead. But I was able to fit the bike inside a suitcase with exterior dimensions of 29x20x12. There was a little bulge on the front side that worried me, though. So I just just bought a slightly oversized suitcase with exterior dimensions of 31.5" x 22" x 13.5". The suitcase is five inches over the maximum linear size, but I've read that it is very rare to run into problems so long as the suitcase isn't overweight. And if I do I will pay the fee.

It's really annoying to me that this super-cheap folder ($143) will fit into a suitcase with no work whatsoever while other more expensive folders require the removal of wheels, etc.
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Old 01-31-18, 06:51 AM   #63
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Your Vilano APEX bike probably has a shorter wheelbase by 3 to 6 inches (divide by 2 when folded), and the 16" wheels saves about 2" in each direction compared to a 20" folding bike.
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Old 01-31-18, 08:42 AM   #64
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Helix my friends...if and when it ever comes out

Iím hoping the helix will just fold into a suitcase and fit with no extra work...but Iím not sure this will actually work.

Iím hoping we can soon test it once the helix is on the market!
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Old 01-31-18, 09:08 AM   #65
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Helix won't fit in a "standard" suitcase, it's too wide. It might fit the SAMSONITE STRYDE GLIDER LONG JOURNEY, which is wider but shorter than a standard large suitcase. But then it might be too short. You would probably need to use an oversize suitcase.
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Old 01-31-18, 01:53 PM   #66
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Your Vilano APEX bike probably has a shorter wheelbase by 3 to 6 inches (divide by 2 when folded), and the 16" wheels saves about 2" in each direction compared to a 20" folding bike.
No question the 16" inch wheels make it much easier to fit in a suitcase. I can see how it would be nearly impossible to fit a bike with 20-inch wheels into a suitcase without some work.

My complaint is that if this cheap folder can be thrown in a slightly oversized suitcase with ease (perhaps having to remove the seat), why don't the makers of other 16-inch-wheel bikes design similar models?
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Old 01-31-18, 02:05 PM   #67
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Helix won't fit in a "standard" suitcase, it's too wide. It might fit the SAMSONITE STRYDE GLIDER LONG JOURNEY, which is wider but shorter than a standard large suitcase. But then it might be too short. You would probably need to use an oversize suitcase.
But I thought a Helix is smaller than a Brompton, so an overhead bin is possible.

Thanks,
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Old 01-31-18, 03:44 PM   #68
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We have a Mobic City X7 bike and it fits inside this Samsonite Tote that's compliant with the 62 linear inch requirement, with just one pedal removed (https://shop.samsonite.com/backpacks...43610XXXX.html). The highest part is the handlebar/steerer hinge, which would obviously need some protection for airline checking. But there's definitely space around the bike to add padding or reinforcement.
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Old 01-31-18, 08:49 PM   #69
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But I thought a Helix is smaller than a Brompton, so an overhead bin is possible.

Thanks,
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Old 01-31-18, 09:03 PM   #70
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After starting this thread I followed early advice and had a bag made by a local upholstery shop. I lined this bag with a cut up mattress topper (the egg waffle type). I have flown 4 times with it so far and never an extra charge by the airlines. I'm headed to SE Asia and plan to use it again. It is oversize but with my bike and odd gear in it the weight is under 35 pounds. No problem at the boarding counter. They ask if it is a bike and I say it is bike parts---i put my pedals into my other bag. After they ask that ask if it matters if it is a bike or parts. One guy made me sign a release if it was damaged---no problem. I take the rear Derailleur off and the pedals--It can handle a 5 foot drop anywhere on the bag.
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