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Travel/luggage options for 26 folders

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Travel/luggage options for 26 folders

Old 05-12-21, 01:37 AM
  #1  
Barchettaman
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Travel/luggage options for 26 folders

Morning all!

For those of you with 26 inch folding bikes (or 24 inch I suppose), what options have you found for safely packing and traveling with your bike?

I used a cheap non-padded bag last time I flew with my Dahon Espresso; the chainring got bent inwards, which fortunately I could fix, but it was definitely an annoyance.

Is the Dahon Airporter case the one to go for?

maybe adapt an older xxl Samsonite case, or similar? I reckon with the tyres deflated the rim width will be about 59-60cm, which will fit in a bigger case.

All ideas gratefully received!
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Old 05-12-21, 07:36 AM
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I would recommend visiting a store /stores that sell a variety of luggage with a tape measure and the measurements from your folder. I do not think 26 inch wheels will fit in a Samsonite case. It is barely big enough for my Bike Friday. Roger
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Old 05-12-21, 08:42 AM
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For 26" folders I'd treat it as nonfolding and do a bike box. For breaking down, I'd buy myself a 20" folder.
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Old 05-15-21, 03:49 AM
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It might or might not fit in a S&S case. I use an S&S Backpack Case for my S&S bike, I have also packed my 24 inch folder (Airnimal Joey) in that case, but it was a tight fit, had to remove the fork from the frame, crank arms had to come off, etc. I also have a DIY center support in the middle of the case, you can see the small rectangle of plywood, I was concerned about airline personnel stacking things up on top of the case.



I have decided it is unlikely that I will pack that in that case again was a lot of time and effort. I even had to remove the crank arms.

Ritchey Break Away case is a bit larger, it slightly exceeds the 62 inch airline size criteria, but most Ritchey owners I have talked to did not have to pay oversize fees, the airlines were more concerned about weight on the scale. I think you would have a better chance of packing it in a Ritchey case than a S&S case.

I had to do some wheel truing after one of my trips with my S&S bike, expect it to be treated poorly but probably better than your bent chainring experience.

Photo below of my S&S bike in the case, wheels are 26 inch, tires in the photo are deflated 57mm. My fenders do not fit, they stay home. Rear rack does not fit, that goes in my other luggage. That is a heavy expedition bike with Rohloff gearing, the bike and case exceed 50 pounds, so some parts go in my other luggage.



I elaborated in more detail on a different forum about packing my S&S bike in the case, that thread is here:
Unpacking my S&S Nomad MkII from the S&S Backpack Case

Will your bike fit in either case? I have no clue, but I am sure a lot of disassembly would be needed.
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Old 05-16-21, 07:16 AM
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Thanks for the detailed post!
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Old 05-16-21, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman View Post
Thanks for the detailed post!
Happy to help.
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Old 05-17-21, 11:49 PM
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I have travelled with my 650B folding bike (Change Bike).
It needs a custom cardboard box that I make out of 2 cardboard bike boxes which I "re-link" with garden wire (or those twisty wire used for electrical wires )
Final size won't be that small though and I don't know if you will be charged for oversized luggage. (They don't over here in Singapore, unless flying out via the US airlines)
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Old 05-25-21, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman View Post
Morning all!

For those of you with 26 inch folding bikes (or 24 inch I suppose), what options have you found for safely packing and traveling with your bike?

I used a cheap non-padded bag last time I flew with my Dahon Espresso; the chainring got bent inwards, which fortunately I could fix, but it was definitely an annoyance.

Is the Dahon Airporter case the one to go for?

maybe adapt an older xxl Samsonite case, or similar? I reckon with the tyres deflated the rim width will be about 59-60cm, which will fit in a bigger case.

All ideas gratefully received!
I have also been looking for a better solution for traveling with my Montague. I currently have a really big Samsonite soft side that measures 20X12X31 which is 63 total inches I believe 64 or 62 total inches is airline restriction that constitutes oversize plus 50lbs. Problem is not the frame but the wheels. With 26 inch wheels that measure 22 1/2 'ish straight across they have to be a little angled in the case but because it is a soft side it does poke out a little.


Packed in a suitcase and ready to travel.
Check list:
1) Fork removed from headset.
2) Pedals removed.
3) Derailleur removed from frame mount.
4) Wheels Remove.
5) Tires and tubes dismounted.
6) Took the rotors off to keep them from bending.
Everything is replaceable with a small set of allen wrenches and a small crescent wrench.
So my my calculation I believe the Ritchey Travecase is a good option because the case is 8.5”W x 26.5”H x 31”L which is a total of 66 inches 2 or 4 inches over the airline size limit. The case looks small enough to the eye to get away with 2 inches I have never seen a check-in agent whip out a tape measure and say sorry that is 2 inches over the allowed size. HaHa! The 26.5"H will fit the 26" wheels possibly with out angling them. However, there are two cons first being the price $300 before shipping is pricey in my book especially if you get caught by that picky airline agent that is going to charge you for an oversize bag because that is the point with going folding. Right? Second con is the luggage wheels which are on a corner requiring the bag to stand up and be pulled. Not sure if you have ever use a suitcase with wheels like this but they are really hard to roll.

A second option is the Co-Motion Co-Pilot travel case 26" x 26" x 10" = 62 linear inches (airline regulation for non-oversize luggage) according to Co-Motion? Again I believe it would be a perfect fit for the Montague and the wheels are on the side of the case with an extendable handle. Also there are two cons number one being the price $400 ouch! I guess 3 free airplane rides as a regular checked bag and it has paid for itself. Second and possibly why they are so expensive, is they are very rare to find used and the only place you seem to be able to buy them in on the Co-Motion website. $395 there is another company( S&S Machine) that has one called Co-Motion hybrid case that shows as $340 but can't seem to find a way to buy it? Guess you have to call S&S Machine? TreeFort bike shop online has this option as well its a backpack
https://www.treefortbikes.com/S-S-Ba...IaAgCJEALw_wcB

My bike in the case with some other stuff is about 42lbs (Shoes helmet tools) so I am not sure about strapping that on your back but maybe if you had one that rolled and the backpack you could manage two bikes. I say two because my wife wants to go too. These are the things I have looked into hope that helps. If you find a place to get the Co-Pilot case cheaper please let me know!

Last edited by keithdavis2; 05-25-21 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 05-26-21, 08:05 AM
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My samsonite flight suitcase was just over 100 and has been used many times without issue even though oversized. Rims are 24 but you may be able to squeeze a set of 26 in there.
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Old 05-28-21, 03:04 AM
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Thanks again everyone for the detailed replies.

the current plan is to buy an XXL suitcase, strip out the lining and use that.

Something like this:





Dimensions are:

75x80x30cm
29.5x31.5x12 inch
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Old 05-28-21, 06:03 AM
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I traveled with a bike, and wrapped in clear plastic. Then they can see what it is, and should hopefully be more careful with it.
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Old 05-28-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Barchettaman View Post
Thanks again everyone for the detailed replies.

the current plan is to buy an XXL suitcase, strip out the lining and use that.

Something like this:





Dimensions are:

75x80x30cm
29.5x31.5x12 inch
Wow! I really like the looks of that. What is the brand and were did you find it? It seems the liner inches are 73 which will put it in the oversize category however from the picture it doesn't look that big so maybe the agent won't whip out a tape measure and check the size.
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Old 05-29-21, 10:02 AM
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Ritchey Break Away owners have told me that generally their oversize cases are not measured, sounds like the airline personnel are mostly focused on the overweight baggage. You might get lucky even though yours is even more oversize. That said, if you travel in and out of small airports where turboprop or other small aircraft are common, you might find that the larger bag might run into a problem getting it into and out of the plane baggage compartment.

A luggage scale is the travelers best friend. And with that much volume it may be tempting to go overweight. How much does that weigh empty?

You said you are taking the lining out. If you want to add more structure, I added a couple sheets of Coroplast in my S&S case. A 4 X 8 sheet at Homedespot was only a bit over $20 and it weighs almost nothing. But now that prices are jumping for all kinds of things, not sure what the price would be now.
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