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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 12-24-17, 01:38 PM   #1
mdadams1
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Largest folding bike get on airline?

what is the largest (tire size) folding bike that you can get on airline using checked bag? without paying extra?
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Old 12-24-17, 01:54 PM   #2
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20" wheels are do-able. My Dahon Speed P8 fits in standard 62" Samsonite Oyster, but I understand it is one of the few where the fork could be folded between the dropouts. Quick release 'disassembly' ie, handlebar stem, seat post, and wheels removed. With Big Apples, I also have to deflate tires.
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Old 12-24-17, 01:56 PM   #3
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Probably 20 inch tires. My Bike Friday Pocket Rocket uses 451 tires/wheels and they fit into the largest Sampsonite Hardcase airline bag. I do not think 24 inch tires would fit. Make that the 24 inch tires from her custom Seven will not fit the suitcase. Roger
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Old 12-24-17, 02:12 PM   #4
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Depends on the airline, you should ask them.

but yea The whole Idea Bike Friday designed around is getting it in a legal sized suitcase..

but even that is Moot, if an airline employee demands to see inside your case or no boarding pass.

and seeing its a bike assesses the charge anyhow.


[anecdote , 1st hand, from a cycle tourist using an S&S BTC equipped bike fitted in a legal sized case, and just that occurred]





.....
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Old 12-24-17, 02:14 PM   #5
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The airlines don't care about the wheel size. What counts is the sum of length + width + height of the case into which you can get the bike. The Helix bike that's still in prototype stage has nominal 24" wheels but claims a folded size of 27" x 23" x 10" or a sum of 60" - so a case designed for that bike could comply with the airline limit of 62". OTOH, my Bike Friday with 20" wheels requires some disassembly in addition to folding in order to fit in an 'airline-legal' case. And there are some folding bikes that use even smaller wheels (12" and 16") but where the frame design wouldn't allow them to fit in a case of 62" (L+W+H).

And to avoid the issue fietsbob mentioned, it can help if the case is a normal-looking suitcase (which is what Bike Friday uses). I've been on many dozens of flights and have never been asked about the contents of my suitcase with the bike inside since it looks (and is) the same as other typical airline passenger cases.

Last edited by prathmann; 12-24-17 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 12-24-17, 02:22 PM   #6
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I think the S&S Coupled bikes are also airline legal without surcharges.

So, 26" or 700c wheels would be doable. But, it takes a little more work for disassembly and reassembly.

By extension,29" should be fine without air.
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Old 12-24-17, 05:25 PM   #7
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For folding Dahons in my shop I believe I could get the 451 wheel (big 20") Mu Rohloff or the Mu SL11 into my Orgami Suitcase which ia right at max suitcase, normal check in size. For sure the normal 20" (406) can fit one way or another.

I have a 24" Dahon IOS and I do not believe I coukd fit it without doing a very customized case. Would be a nice travel bije though. 9 Speeds, disk brajes and, I think, Big Apple 24" × 2" tires.

Last edited by L Arnold; 12-24-17 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 12-24-17, 09:40 PM   #8
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I normally travel with a Brompton; 16 inch/349 ETRTO tires.
But I have flown a few times with a 20 inch wheeled Tobukaeru.
Similar in fold to many Dahon/Tern models. Never had to pay
any bike/weight/size surcharge. Standard 28" Samsonite:
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Old 12-24-17, 09:41 PM   #9
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It is very unlikely that anything over 20” will fit in the maximum 62” case. Our Crane 8 fits (even with the rack and the trailer kit).
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Old 12-24-17, 10:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdadams1 View Post
what is the largest (tire size) folding bike that you can get on airline using checked bag? without paying extra?
I managed to a Dahon Curve with 16" wheels into an airline checked suitcase without any extra fees.
https://www.bikeforums.net/folding-b...an-europe.html
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Old 12-24-17, 10:40 PM   #11
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Basically repeating what others have said, I most often fly with Brompton 16", next Bike Friday 20" and then occasionally Dahon 20". The order is basically in the order of trouble involved in packing and unpacking, with Brompton representing next to zero effort.
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Old 12-25-17, 02:59 AM   #12
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The case sold for the Airnimal Chameleon is the same clapton case that ist sold by Brompton. Therefor it should work w/o extra charges. The Chamelon has 24" Wheels.


Sizewise the case is just at the limit of what is legal as free luggage with most airlinies.
Possibly the Helix (also 24" wheels) will fit in an airline-legal case as well once it will be on the market.
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Old 12-25-17, 05:50 AM   #13
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Wow really neat video. Thank you for posting.
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Old 12-25-17, 08:00 AM   #14
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My Bike Friday Pocket Rocket in the Sampsonite case. There is room for spare tires tubes water bottles and few other things. This bike and case has been all the way to France with no problems from the airlines. Roger
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Old 12-30-17, 05:58 PM   #15
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Had no trouble following the online instructions to partially disassemble my Tern Verge X20 and fit it into the recommended Samsonite F'lite 31.

Given that I also own the Brompton case, perhaps this thread is a sign that I need to buy an Airnimal!
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Old 12-31-17, 06:22 AM   #16
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I think my Airnimal Joey with 24 inch (507mm) tires will fit in my S&S backpack case. But have not fully put the bike in there to confirm that it will fit. Might have to remove the fork, for certain would have to remove both wheels and a crank arm or two.

When I got home from a trip and pulled my S&S bike out of the case, I was curious so I tried to see how much of my Joey would fit. The seat, seatpost, crankarms and pedals are not shown in the photo. When I got to this point I decided that there was a 98 percent chance that I could pack it into that case but it would have been time consuming to finish the task so I did not bother to fully pack it. See photo. This is a soft case, you need a center support to keep it from being crushed in the middle, my DIY center support is not shown.

As mentioned above, there are full size S&S coupled bikes and full size Ritchey Breakaway bikes that will fit into a case that the airlines to not charge extra for. I am not sure if the Ritchey bag actually meets the 62 inch requirement but Ritchey owners I have talked to were not charged extra.

My S&S coupled bike uses 26 inch wheels, they fit in the case much easier than a pair of 700c wheels.

Second photo is the case with my S&S bike inside it.

I have heard that Delta will on rare occasion charge extra if a bike is in a case. My last trip with my S&S bike was on Delta, I was wearing my helmet when I got on the plane, had my helmet strapped on the outside of a small backpack when I checked my luggage. I was not hiding the fact that I had a bike, but if asked I would have said I had bike parts but not a complete bike in the case. At that time, I had my pedals and a few other parts in a different bag, thus it was truthful that it was not a complete bike in that case.
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Last edited by Tourist in MSN; 12-31-17 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 12-31-17, 12:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have heard that Delta will on rare occasion charge extra if a bike is in a case. My last trip with my S&S bike was on Delta, I was wearing my helmet when I got on the plane, had my helmet strapped on the outside of a small backpack when I checked my luggage. I was not hiding the fact that I had a bike, but if asked I would have said I had bike parts but not a complete bike in the case. At that time, I had my pedals and a few other parts in a different bag, thus it was truthful that it was not a complete bike in that case.
Delta wanted to charge us for a carry-on Brompton. A friend bringing an electric folder from China in a case meeting 62 dimension declared that she had a bike and was charged the bike fee by Delta. It turned out that the battery was in excess of maximum allowed, so the bike was anyway pulled back and she was refunded the fee. I was then brought in to solve the problem. In the second round she did not declare the bike and did not get charged the fee. The battery got split into cells and was brought in pieces by different travelers to be reconstituted at the other end.
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Old 12-31-17, 02:24 PM   #18
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I pasted this from Delta website, I added underline for emphasis:

Bicycles

Bicycles; non-motorized touring or single seat racing; are allowed as checked baggage on most flights, with the exception of certain Delta Connection® carriers.
If you are checking a bicycle that does not exceed the size (62 linear inches/157 cm) and weight (70lbs/32kg) guidelines for normal checked baggage when folded, no oversized or overweight fees will apply.
If the bicycle exceeds the normal baggage linear dimensions (62 linear inches) but must not exceed 115 linear inches (292 cm) — excess weight fee may apply if over 70lbs/32kg, but no oversized fees apply.
Bicycles over 115 linear inches (292cm) and/or 100 lbs (45kg) will not be accepted.
A limited liability release form must be signed by the passenger in the case that the bike is not properly packed.


There is more, I did not paste it all. Above pasted from:
https://www.delta.com/content/www/en...ial-items.html

But, I have heard of Delta employees looking for more fees and charging it anyway, even though their policy is clear that if you meet the size criteria, no extra fee.

The weight limit is ambiguous, I carry a luggage scale and always try to have my bag at no more than 49 pounds, have not paid over weight fees yet. Some European airlines have a 20 kg policy, so be careful on weight.

Delta recently announced that they are increasing their fees for luggage to Europe too, so be careful if you fly Delta.
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Old 12-31-17, 02:30 PM   #19
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There is nothing about the sports equipment/bike fee here. The fees are applied independently. If you bring your bike in addition to check-in suitcase and are allowed one check-in free, you will be charged bike fee and extra piece of luggage fee and possibly overweight fee, according to the above, but not excess size.
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