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Shaymo 12-14-08 09:32 AM

Back packs/ruck sacks for Foldaway bike?
I have been doing some investigation into foldaway back packs/ruck sacks to carry my folder. I have put together the best options/solutions I could find at:

If there are other viable options out there, please comment?

EvilV 12-14-08 10:05 AM

Outstanding research. This will be very useful.

I would like a bag that would allow me to take a Brompton onto a plane (hold baggage) that would also double as a rucksack for carrying maybe 10kg of clothing on a foreign tour. The snag is that the bag must stay airline legal. One of the bags in your investigation might satisfy that role, the Birdy Rucksack bag. I'm just not sure what size it would become when you open out its hidden flaps to accommodate the bike. Then there is the question of whether a bike made for a Birdy would tidily swallow a Brompton.

nekohime 12-14-08 10:06 AM

Interesting...I know downtube makes a backpack for their bikes. Check out their website for more details.

Shaymo 12-15-08 05:30 PM

The Birdy back pack should fit the brompton, afterall the brompton has the smallest fold size. I remember seeing confirmation of this somewhere in my research but can't locate it now.

Amuro Lee 12-15-08 11:58 PM


Originally Posted by Shaymo (Post 8026509)
The Birdy back pack should fit the brompton, afterall the brompton has the smallest fold size. I remember seeing confirmation of this somewhere in my research but can't locate it now.

The Birdy back pack is not for carrying the folded bike on the back actually.

Among the accessories of original brands, I think there're only a few of them can carry the folded bike on the back and most of them are for micro bikes only.
e.g. A-bike

However, I know that there's a kind of back pack used by paratroopers for carrying their military folding bikes.

Shaymo 12-17-08 07:13 AM

Thanks Amuro Ray for clarification about the Birdy bag.

somnatash 12-17-08 08:04 AM

Here an internet find on a cheap one, I cant comment on the quality so I have no idea if the bag is a good solutions but looks interesting:

jur 12-17-08 04:34 PM

This thread should be stickied. I'll contact a mod...

East Hill 12-17-08 04:39 PM

A great thread!

East Hill

Chop! 01-08-09 06:58 AM

Hey Guys

Amuro Ray is right when he says that the Birdy bag is only worn as a backpack when it's not carrying a bike, once un-zipped & unfolded (without having to empty contents of the rucksack BTW) it is then carried over the shoulder using the the long strap, the rucksack straps tuck away into a pocket.
I have used mine with my Birdy & Brompton as a way of picking someone up from the station, I isn't the most comfortable way to carry a bike so only ideal for a few miles.
I thought I had some pics of my bikes in the Birdy bag, will try to dig them out or take some new pics.

Safe riding! Chop!

KTHOM 04-27-09 09:33 AM

I thought your original question was one of How to carry all the stuff that we ineveitably need to haul back home when we are out riding and think...shoot I need to pick up some: you fill in the blank? Aero Stich is a motorcycle clothing and bag maker and has a pretty substantial catalog. Great stuff, nice people! I saw this in their most recent catalog and called them. Unfortunately, they are currently out of stock until late May. I will own one when the come in! At 4.5 x 3.75 x 2" I will stuff it in my seat pack, ever-ready to be whipped out whenever the urge hits me! Were one to sew a strap around the folded bag it would fit nicely around a seat tube or perhaps tuck up under the seat rails OR maybe even be used on one's belt when used off-bike?

I Googled for a light weight Sil-nylon bag and this appears to be THE only one out there in the $25 dollar range that folds down this small...and in designer colours, too! More pics online.

la2sei 04-30-09 09:10 PM

I made a couple of attachment points to my bike so I could attach a strap to carry it over my shoulder. I also modified an Ikea Dimpa bag to cover it.

I cut the handles on the bag, and turned them into straps to secure the top. I added snaps to take up the extra bag on the end.

jur 04-30-09 10:02 PM

^ Cle-ver! :thumb:

just4tehhalibut 07-26-09 06:08 AM

There is a backpack bag for the 24"-wheeled Airnimal bikes, the wheels are however carried in a separate bag. The Airnimal website is rubbish for details of accessories but I found this about the 'carry-on' bag :

The Carradice website has hassles too, the folding bike bag main page shows a rucksack but the specific pages for the bag has either 'photo not available' or a picture of the shoulder bike bag.

Your blog has pictures of a Montague Paratrooper but Montague (or Swissbikes) seems to only sell a cutdown version of an airline bag. Perhaps the backpack pictured isn't available to the public?

CrimsonEclipse 07-26-09 09:22 PM

This one is a good solution for the price. I would like one similar but turned 90 degrees so the longest dimension is vertical. Also a draw string on the top with a flap would help minimize the movement while in motion and the flap would cover any part that sticks out.

(If I only had access to a heavy duty sewing machine)

pivot 07-30-09 08:10 AM

I bought a Mountain Hardware Enterprise for a little larger bag, and it does the job.

I can fit a change of clothes and my lunch for my ride to work, plus some.
It has a pouch area for a laptop too (hence the term "Hardware"), but I haven't found the need to use that area for anything other than notebooks.

It also has two side pouches for water bottles, which I thought was important.

kingfish254 07-30-09 10:03 AM


Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse (Post 9360173)

This one is a good solution for the price. I would like one similar but turned 90 degrees so the longest dimension is vertical. Also a draw string on the top with a flap would help minimize the movement while in motion and the flap would cover any part that sticks out.

(If I only had access to a heavy duty sewing machine)

Have you tried this bag/pack yet? It looks pretty sound and it is hard to beat that $19.99 price.

CrimsonEclipse 07-31-09 04:14 PM

No, (didn't mean to imply that I had)

Just by the pictures, it would make for a difficult time to get through a crowd or an airplane/train without bumping the sides. That's why I suggested a vertical construction.

tblendell 09-14-09 02:03 AM

i just bought a couple of the RVtoys bags. cheap and they seem strongly made. too big, really, for the bikes, but i suppose you could sort of strap it down in places to compress it. it does have backpack straps, but, probably won't be carrying that way on mass transportation. but we'll be in italy in a few days, and i'll let you know.
the BIG problem with the bags though is the smell. They smell SO bad. i understand the materials are new and the dying of the fabric or whatever, but geez...

KTHOM 09-21-09 09:53 PM

Smelly new bags?
Hang that new bag out in the sun and breeze and it will help make those "manufactured smells" go away. IF that doesn't work, try a product called Atmos-Klear, if it takes away smells from Hockey players gym bags...I'm SURE it'll take away a little dye stink!

tblendell 10-11-09 12:31 AM

used the RVtoys bag in italy and it was great for the trains. roomy and it very easily fit a folded dahon and fit nicely on the trenitalia luggage rack on the superfast train. the regional train that did not accept bikes was fine, too, but we had to stay with it in the passageway outside of the seating compartments...anyway.
good bag for the money, BUT the zipper broke on the last day.
also used the smaller (must remove front wheel) bag for the bike friday pocket rocket. much smaller bag and lighter. easier to carry in a pannier but not as convenient to quickly fold and hop on a train as the canvas rvtoys bag.

brakemeister 02-18-10 09:02 AM

Dahon has a new to 2010 huge palette of bags to hide any small folder in ...

for a bag you carry on your shoulders ( or rucksack ) the Klickfix Freepack Sport with the optinal handlebar of seatpost fittings is first class

Thanks Thor

tedi k wardhana 03-18-10 02:57 AM

some serious backpacks, have a metal/aluminum frame, L shaped frame.
has anyone tried this frame to attach a 16' wheel folder onto it?

Milfordpearson 05-06-10 08:15 AM

I am looking for the following. I wish to ride a folder with two small bags in solid panniers to my local airport 20 miles away. I then wish to dis-assemble the bike and put it into the solid panniers which fasten together to make a solid case in order to 100% protect the bike in transit. I just cannot face the worry of having a damaged bike when I arrive in a foreign country.

So I land at Geneva airport. I then wish to re-build the bike. Split the hard case into two panniers and then place my small bags in them and ride the 60 miles to my son's home.

So in summary, a folding bike, solid panniers which fix to bike for riding and clip together to make a fully protective box for the bike on the plane.

The nearest I can get to this is the following - a Freedom Won from Qoroz bikes in the UK. Their small wheeled bike dis-assembles and can be packed into a hard case for on the plane. They have not solved splitting the box so that the two parts can be mounted onto the bike.

The other nearest solution seems to be the BikeFriday with a trailer carrying a Simmonite case. This a closest as far as I am aware, but I would prefer not to have a trailer.


EAPellow 06-16-10 11:42 AM

Some food for thought: make your own.

I'm going to extrapolate my experience with making rather than buying my own camping gear to this topic, especially because the camp gear items that I most want to make on my own happens to be a series of packs. In my opinion, and I hope that you can all agree with me, buying gear, ESPECIALLY packs and other storage/carrying items is very difficult for one reason: it needs to be customizable to your own gear and needs. It's often difficult for a manufacturer to accommodate everyone's needs with just a few designs, and each design is often difficult to customize. Therefore, I think it's best to try and design your own so that it meets your needs and gear exactly, as far as you have an intimate awareness of what those needs are. FYI, this is also coming from someone who by no means has "magic DIY fingers." I usually go through one design after another until I get it right, but the gratification you get from using something you made is so much more than trying to make something you bought work the way you want it to.

Most of the folding bike carry bags I've seen seem to be identical or minimal improvements on bag #5 in your link, the one from RV Toy Outlet. It's simply a nylon bag, cumbersome and uncomfortable. If all you want to do is stow and carry, then sure, this will work. But it'll suck.

The first "bag" in your link, designed by Robin Davis, seems ingeniously minimal yet effective, and a very different approach to a carrying solution than the others. I'd follow a design similar to this for making a bag. In being so minimal, it securely straps to the bike. However, there are some basic issues I have with this design in being a little too minimal:
1. It doesn't completely cover the bike so it's still vulnerable to debris, rain, scuffing, and getting snagged on...everything.
2. In tandem with the above issue, it would not be able to also stow any other gear, thereby being a carrying solution for the bike and only the bike.
3. There are better solutions for separating the bike from your back that would be more comfortable than "pieces of ply" stuffed into pockets.

A simple solution to the first two issues would be a cover that starts by your back, and draws closed with a flap over the straps that you see in the picture. In this way, the straps are holding the bike, and the cover takes none of the weight so doesn't need to be make out of heavy nylon. I would recommend Cuben, which is 50% lighter than kevlar and 4 times more durable. It's also waterproof. I haven't used it yet but have heard great things about it. You can get it at, a site I found for buying fabrics and other materials for making your own gear. They also sell remnants cheap if you want to experiment.

My solution to my third issue is more complicated. Going back to camping for a moment (hopefully there are enough campers on this site to follow this reasoning), I'd like to discuss the old school external frame packs and the now popular internal frame (if any, just a strip or two of hard material) soft packs. Soft packs offer a lower profile and form right to your back with substantial amounts of foam. The biggest issue with this is lack of airflow. Anyone who's been on a long hike with a heavy pack, or even a long walk with just a backpack knows how quickly your back starts sweating out all your fluids when a pack is against it. I hate it. And that's why I love the old external frame packs. The pack straps to the frame, which is usually bowed a little to give space between the frame and your back. The frame usually has a netting material across the width of the frame, and this is what rests against your back. It offers plenty of airflow and can be very comfortable.

Since Davis's pack straps securely to the bike, I think it would be possible to attach 4 stanchions to either the bike frame or the pack. Having them installed pointing towards your back, you could attach nylon web/mesh across them, as well as the shoulder straps, so that the mesh rests against your back with a slight gap between you and your pack. This could be tricky to do though, since it uses the rigidity of the bike as a frame for the stanchions. You could make a collapsible rectangular frame for them, which would put less potential stress on the bike, but it would also add a tiny bit of weight.

In the end, it's all about comfort and ease of use. Even the most complicated design can be simple to use, it's just a matter of what works specifically for you and your gear. I plan on making a folding bike bag soon, so thanks for this post! It's given me a lot to think about, as you can see.

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