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folding bike for flying and touring?

Old 04-24-15, 08:05 PM
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folding bike for flying and touring?

I am looking for a folding bike with 26 inch wheels and canti brakes. I would use it to fly to, for example Guatemala, Where I would want to fold it to ride the bus, then ride to some ruins, and camp for a week. This is an example, not the only use.

The bike needs to have common parts available in every village, ie, 26 and canti.

Got any ideas?
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Old 04-24-15, 08:57 PM
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i've seen a few of these recently. thinking of getting one since
the high-speed super trains here don't have baggage cars, and
won't allow full-size bikes to be carried aboard.

HUMMER BIKE - hummer mountain bike, hummer tactical mountain bike, design hummer bike rack

the frames are available here online for under $50:

悍马车架 折叠车架/ 山地自行车26*17寸高强度铝合金V刹碟刹车架-淘宝网
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Old 04-24-15, 09:13 PM
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Would you be interested in a bike with a take-apart frame that fits in a standard-sized box or case so you don't pay airline oversized fees getting to and from Guatamala?

I have a retrofitted steel Trek frame that doesn't fold, but bolts together, and works with 26" wheels and cantilever brakes. (It uses the Ravello travel bike frame system.)

Also, how tall are you, and what size are you looking for?
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Old 04-25-15, 05:00 AM
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Have you posted your question on the folding bike section of this forum?

If it was me, I would try to get a package that does not exceed the airline size criteria of 62 inch. That means either take apart frame or if I stay with folder it means smaller wheels.
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Old 04-25-15, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
If it was me, I would try to get a package that does not exceed the airline size criteria of 62 inch. That means either take apart frame or if I stay with folder it means smaller wheels.
If airline travel is in the mix I definitely agree that meeting the sub 62" criteria would be a big plus.

My experience with folders is limited to 20" wheeled ones and the flexing of the tall masts was terrible on every one I tried. The frame was pretty hard to dial in to something I was happy with. The Bike Friday apparently better geometry wise, but still has the tall masts.

The 26" wheeled folders look interesting, but depending on the space you need to fit it in it may or may not pack better. I know that on my sailboat a regular bike with the front wheel removed fit in the deck lockers much more easily than my folded Dahon Helios. The Dahon folded to a nice short package, but the width was problematic with the fairly narrow deck locker opening.

Coupled bikes look great for those who fly to and from the same city, but dealing with a case or special sized box is a hassle for those doing point to point tours with air travel on each end. Also they may be not ideal for quickly throwing on a bus.

The 26" folder may work well for the OP, but just taking off the wheels will allow a normal bike to pack quite small, so I wouldn't rule out a more conventional bike.
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Old 04-25-15, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
I am intrigued, but don't read Chinese and the translate function bombed when I tried it. I am kind of concerned about buying from a page I can't properly read
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Old 04-25-15, 06:14 AM
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folding bike for flying and touring?

S&S fitted mountain bike?
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Old 04-25-15, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I am intrigued, but don't read Chinese and the translate function bombed when I tried it. I am kind of concerned about buying from a page I can't properly read
copy-n-paste into google translate for much of the text works, but won't
help with text in the pictures.

26 * 17-inch mountain bike brand aluminum frame

Name: Brand frame

Material: Aluminum 6061

Size: 26 * 17 inch seat tube diameter: 27.2MM head tube diameter: 44MM

Weight: 2.48KG

Brakes: White (disc / V brake)

Yellow, green (pure disc)

Compatible with: 78910-speed transmission system MTB


not sure if the seller would ship to where you are. here in our china, express
delivery costs about $5. there are middlemen-dudes that provide international
service for things sold on taobao, not sure what the additional costs would be.

and i think there's an english version of taobao somewhere online, but i've
never used it.
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Old 04-25-15, 09:07 AM
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Let go of the big wheels and the bike's folded size is more convenient .. 20" (406) wheels also have abundant tires ..


Like : Bike Friday Pocket Llama https://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/...s/pocket_llama
an example: https://www.trekkingbike.com/uploads/...11bf1f6bd2.png

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-28-15 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 04-25-15, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I am intrigued, but don't read Chinese and the translate function bombed when I tried it. I am kind of concerned about buying from a page I can't properly read
That frame looks like the paratrooper frame.

Paratrooper Military Folding Bike | Montague Bikes

I have no idea what I would use it for, but if I saw one of those frames for less than $75 with shipping, I might pop for it as a curiosity. But then I would have to start scouring the garage sales to find an old mountain bike with good parts to rob from.
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Old 04-25-15, 10:35 PM
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Not cheap, but the Surly Long Haul Trucker Deluxe is made for this very purpose.
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Old 04-27-15, 04:08 PM
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Before you order the bike, it's worth asking how often you're likely to travel with it and the run a financial analysis.

You can save $1,000-$2,000 up front with a bike case and ordinary bicycle. You'll pay more (maybe $150 per travel leg) to transport it, though.

S&S couplers will let you get an otherwise ordinary bike into an airline-friendly 62" travel case, but they'll still ding you $40 per trip if that's your second bag.
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Old 04-27-15, 07:10 PM
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SS coupler bikes won't fold quickly enough to fit a bike onto a bus or other transit -- they are packable bikes, not foldable ones. That may be the case for most 26-inch wheel bikes too. It's bikes like the Brompton that fold into a tiny package for transit (or to squish under a desk).

I also vote for asking this question in the folder forum (unless you already did that, of course).
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Old 04-27-15, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Before you order the bike, it's worth asking how often you're likely to travel with it and the run a financial analysis.

You can save $1,000-$2,000 up front with a bike case and ordinary bicycle. You'll pay more (maybe $150 per travel leg) to transport it, though.

S&S couplers will let you get an otherwise ordinary bike into an airline-friendly 62" travel case, but they'll still ding you $40 per trip if that's your second bag.
good question.

i have a regular mtb. i fly twice per year to southeast asia on jetstar or tiger.
going thru singapore, that's two legs each.....these airlines charge a bike fee (as
sports equipment or per/kg luggage) per leg of $30-50. one of the trips will
return by air, the other trip will cycle back. with special fares, the luggage/sports
fee can sometimes be more than the airfare itself. also need to add in one
$20 taxi fare (110 km) to the airport outbound each trip.

once in country (thailand/laos/cambodia/malaysia/myanmar/vietnam) normally
don't use any public transportation. even with the incredibly cheap transport
cost, paying the bike fees beats the cost of traveling as a backpacker. good to
note that in most of these countries a full-size mtb can usually fit (without
removing the front wheel) on trains/buses/tuk-tuks if necessary, and the extra
fee for the bike is reasonable. bike travel definitely cheaper than backpacking.
so much easier to cycle around town for half an hour to find a cheap hotel,
instead of taking taxis.

the thing is, having a folding bike or collapsible bike wouldn't be any cheaper.
the set fee for sports equipment is usually for up to 32kg. assuming you pack
gear into the case, you'll probably be getting close to the limit. the charge for
that amount of luggage based on weight would be about the same, perhaps
even a bit more depending on the actual weights.

in terms of finance, folding/collapsing bikes can be a huge-ish outlay at purchase,
but won't necessarily save money (in this region) on transport. the main thing
is convenience.

--don't have to scavenge cardboard to make 1.5m-long boxes.
--can take light rail to the airport instead of a taxi or bus.
--can carry on subways in developed cities.
--can hand carry on super trains. don't have to take alternate slow
trains or buses (but supertriains can cost more than flying!)
--can take as baggage on smaller commuter flights that won't
take bike boxes.

but then unless you pack your bike into throwaway thrift store luggage,
or have the kind that converts into a trailer, you're stuck doing circle
tours. you have to find some place to store the special case during
your tour.

Last edited by saddlesores; 04-27-15 at 08:33 PM. Reason: my balogna has a first name........
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Old 04-27-15, 08:37 PM
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The world troller looks good. World Troller | Bikes | Surly Bikes

It's still vaporware but I've been keeping my eye on it.
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Old 04-27-15, 11:39 PM
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folding bike for flying and touring?

Check out different airline's baggage policies. British Airways and SAS will take your bike for free for example.
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Old 04-28-15, 03:28 PM
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What bike is best for plane and bus? That is a lot to think about.
First thing is replaceable parts. What parts are available in every village? 26 x 135 mm hubs, and cantilever brakes.
Next, the plane. S&S works best there. The costof the couplers + the case $1,000, about. What is the extra cost of flying the folding bike? How many flights does it take to save money over the folder?
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Old 04-28-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
The world troller looks good. World Troller | Bikes | Surly Bikes

It's still vaporware but I've been keeping my eye on it.
If you are willing to use a Rohloff (no derailleur hanger), get a Thorn Nomad with the S&S option. It usually is fitted with a solid fork but for the trip where I took the photo I fitted a suspension fork. The frame is designed for either solid or 100mm travel suspension fork.

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