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Coupled Frames, Is it Worth it for Me?

Old 06-18-21, 03:01 PM
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Coupled Frames, Is it Worth it for Me?

I need some guidance from people who travel with their bikes. I've read old posts, and I know I'm bringing up a subject that's been covered quite a bit before. I'm debating a coupled frame for some occasional travel for work and vacations. I go to about 1-3 conferences for work per year, none international, a few in-state within Texas, but some in west and east coast. At these events, I'm always stuck in the hotel room after a day at the conference, wondering how nice it would be to go for a ride.

I built up a Velo-Orange Neutrino(Mini Velo with 20 inch wheels) for its packability and nostalgia(I had a folding bike when I was little) last year. I haven't traveled with it yet since all the conferences have been virtual this past year, but the bike now has a rack, basket, fenders, which makes it more of a hassle to break down, especially since fenders are such a pain for me to setup. I haven't bought a case for it yet, but apparently it fits into a BMX bike bag. And it seems that BMX riders have gone out of their way to make some travel bags that look like golf club bags to avoid airline fees, which I think is absolutely brilliant and hilarious.

About me:
I mostly stick to paved roads, ride alone, non-competitively. I have 3 bikes, no car, early in my career. I want to eventually travel across the country more in the next few years before settling down, buying a house, etc. I have hopes of traveling to Europe and bikepacking/credit card touring, visiting family in Asia and touring my home country as well. I'm mechanically inclined enough to be able to pack and unpack the bikes. I build & maintain all my bikes myself, so that's not a concern.

I'm trying my best to not have too much overlap in bikes since I still live with roommates, and need to keep my bikes in my rather small room(I'm considering keeping the travel bike in its case if space is a huge concern). I'm trying my best to look for a used travel bike, but haven't had much luck. It also seems like retro-fitting couplers onto a production bike seems exceedingly expensive. When you factor in the cost of the production frame, retro-fit couplers, repaint/touch-up, frame alignment, and the case, it comes out to the price of a decent custom frame+case. On average, a "retro-fit coupler package" seems to cost $1,500+, including a case.

My questions are:
- Are Breakaway/S&S couplers worth it for occasional travel?
- Should I just get a case for the mini velo?(Around $200)

Frame Options I've considered:
- Ritchey Outback Steel Breakaway(Overkill for my road riding, probably)
- Ritchey Carbon Road Breakaway(Steel model seems to be discontinued)
- Crust Evasion Breakaway(Single Speed, I got some spare parts to put on a single speed/fixed gear, but difficult to use for bikepacking/touring)
- Custom Coupled Frame from Overseas(Waltly Titanium, Marino Bike, etc.)

What I'm thinking of doing:
- Get a case for the Neutrino for the next in-person conference, bring and ride the bike, see how the experience of traveling with a bike is.
- If it's a good experience, and I want the ability to ride drop bars, get a set of drop bars, shifters, brake calipers, and derailleur, keep them in the travel box
- The next time I travel, I can break down the Neutrino and choose between drop bars or up right bars depending on the type of ride I expect to be doing
- If it's a bad experience, look into a Ritchey Breakaway or a Custom coupled bike

Does this make sense? ​​​​
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Old 06-18-21, 06:21 PM
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There are so many different bike options and so many different fee structures for many airlines, you really have to think hard about it. But I suspect in the end, you will make an un-economic decision and do what you really want to do.

A couple airlines, I think it was Delta and American have dropped their oversize fees for bikes, and as far as I know nobody else has dropped their oversize fees for USA airlines.

Southwest gives you two free checked bags, but retains an oversize fee for over 62 inch (sum of length, width, height).

Other airlines the fees for oversize and checked bags add up.

In other words, you did not say which airlines you can fly or typically fly. I would fly Southwest if they flew in and out of my community but they do not. Pre-covid I usually flew Delta, but have not flown them for about four years.

Will your mini-velo exceed the 62 inch criteria? I suspect that it will.

That said, I have talked to Ritchey Break Away owners that say that airlines rarely measure the bag, they are more interested in total weight in the bag. The Break Away case slightly exceeds 62 inches, but usually they do not pay oversize.

It is a major hassle for me to pack my S&S bike into the S&S Backpack case. I am talking a couple hours at each end of a trip, I even have to remove the crank arms, fork comes off. The time is worth it for me when I fly international and have a month long tour. But a half week long business conference, I suspect not.

I am retired but if I still worked and traveled for work a lot, I would consider buying a Brompton, some people have carried that folder as a carry on.

I think you should try flying with your minivelo once and see how it goes, if you can avoid the oversize fee by flying one of the airlines that dropped it, go for it. Then decide what you want to do.

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Old 06-18-21, 06:29 PM
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In my opinion coupled bikes never made sense for most tourists and with current airline bike policy they are harder to make an argument for. A number of airlines have stopped charging a bike fee so an uncoupled bike goes as a regular bag (no extra fee) as long as it is under 50#. I'd just stick with those airlines unless you fly out of a local terminal that doesn't have one or more of them.

I won't comment on what you should do on mini velo vs full size bike. That seems like a personal preference question that only you can answer.

I will say that couplers and a case are more likely to work out for business travel than for touring. So since you say your use is business travel it is a little more likely to work out. I know that I tend to start and end my tours in two different cities so the case would have to be shipped between them so they were a non starter for me.

I have flown with my full sized non coupled bike in a soft case/bag. I used cardboard to add some extra protection. It was easy to roll up and mail ahead or mail home on tours.

That said I usually just box my bikes up like they were packed when new. That way I don't have a case to deal with when on tour. If you aren't touring that may not be an issue for you, but in that case I have to wonder why you are asking on a touring forum.
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Old 06-18-21, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
There are so many different bike options and so many different fee structures for many airlines, you really have to think hard about it. But I suspect in the end, you will make an un-economic decision and do what you really want to do.

A couple airlines, I think it was Delta and American have dropped their oversize fees for bikes, and as far as I know nobody else has dropped their oversize fees for USA airlines.
...
Will your mini-velo exceed the 62 inch criteria? I suspect that it will.
...
I think you should try flying with your minivelo once and see how it goes, if you can avoid the oversize fee by flying one of the airlines that dropped it, go for it. Then decide what you want to do.
I did not realize that they dropped the oversize fees for bikes! I mainly fly American or Delta for the conferences, although I do fly the occasional budget airline if it means I can avoid long layovers. This certainly changes things. I can just buy a regular bike bag and fly with that.

The bag that the Mini Velo will fit in is exactly 62 inches. Although, I'm sure it'll probably a bit tight to pack in.

Looks like the smaller full bike cases like the Post Carry Transfer case will be a perfect compromise, since the packed size is small, I can still put the case in a sedan trunk without too much hassle.

Thank you for the insight, and I apologize for not reading into the oversized sports equipment policies of the airlines, I just assumed that they would charge as much as they could!
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Old 06-18-21, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
In my opinion coupled bikes never made sense for most tourists and with current airline bike policy they are harder to make an argument for. A number of airlines have stopped charging a bike fee so an uncoupled bike goes as a regular bag (no extra fee) as long as it is under 50#. I'd just stick with those airlines unless you fly out of a local terminal that doesn't have one or more of them.

I won't comment on what you should do on mini velo vs full size bike. That seems like a personal preference question that only you can answer.

I will say that couplers and a case are more likely to work out for business travel than for touring. So since you say your use is business travel it is a little more likely to work out. I know that I tend to start and end my tours in two different cities so the case would have to be shipped between them so they were a non starter for me.

I have flown with my full sized non coupled bike in a soft case/bag. I used cardboard to add some extra protection. It was easy to roll up and mail ahead or mail home on tours.

That said I usually just box my bikes up like they were packed when new. That way I don't have a case to deal with when on tour. If you aren't touring that may not be an issue for you, but in that case I have to wonder why you are asking on a touring forum.
Yeah, I was being silly, I did not realize that the major airlines stopped charging bike fees. I should have done more research. My apologies. I'll probably get one of the smaller soft bike cases for ease of use and storage.

The trips will most likely be starting and ending at the same point for me as I'll likely have to take a return flight from the same location for the business trip. In which case, I may be able to ask the hotel to hold onto my bike case in exchange for staying one extra night before flying back home.

I posted in the touring forum since I thought it would have the best knowledge base of coupled frames, and I do intend to do short and light tours, so I thought it was valid to ask on the touring forum.
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Old 06-18-21, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Parkyy16 View Post
I did not realize that they dropped the oversize fees for bikes! I mainly fly American or Delta for the conferences, ...
Please double check their websites, I have not researched any of this since pre-covid.
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Old 06-18-21, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Please double check their websites, I have not researched any of this since pre-covid.
I checked, and they're still in place.
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Old 06-18-21, 08:58 PM
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If you got one S&S coupler at each end of the toptube and one at each end of the downtube, it seems to me that you could have a package about an inch taller than the inflated tire and the length equal to the distance from the back edge of the rear wheel to an imaginary line that connects the edge of the chainring to the top of the rear triangle. The rear wheel would stay in place. To do that, start by putting the left crank arm on pointing the opposite from normal. Take the handlebars off at the stem. Remove the front wheel, seatpost and pedals. Undo the cable-couplers. All of that doesn't seem like a lot, if you're using a two-piece crank. Does anyone see a flaw in that theoretical plan?
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Old 06-18-21, 11:23 PM
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My wife's bike has S&S couplers, and we have only used them once during the ten years she has had the bike. We uncoupeled the bike once to ship it FEDX to meet a size requirement. It did not require full disassembly needed to meet airline baggage size requirement.

We have flown to Europe 3 time during that period, and on several domestic flights without using the couplers. We have also traveled on buses and trains. During that time we toured over 10,000 miles in 11 countries, and never felt that the couplers were worth the hassle required to fit the bike into a 26 x26 inch case; and I am a pretty good bike mechanic.





.

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Old 06-19-21, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Please double check their websites, I have not researched any of this since pre-covid.
Always best to check especially given that covid has impacted the industry in many ways. I do know that at least some are still allowing bikes to fly as one of your bags as recently as last week and I have not heard of any reversing that policy, but I only checked a couple.
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Old 06-19-21, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Parkyy16 View Post
I posted in the touring forum since I thought it would have the best knowledge base of coupled frames, and I do intend to do short and light tours, so I thought it was valid to ask on the touring forum.
There are some folks here who have posted about using them so you may be right. I think those riders probably tend to do loop tours, out and back tours, or somehow return to their start point before flying home. That would seldom work for me, but for some it apparently has been a good fit at least in the past.

I can see where it still could make sense for business travel in certain situations. For example if you need to fly out of a home terminal in a city that only has bike unfriendly airlines or maybe your employer buys the tickets and you have no choice of airlines. I'd guess even in the latter case you'd still most often be okay these days since most airlines aren't too bad. The ones that have fees tend not to have the heinous ones of a few years ago so it takes more travel to justify the cost of the couplers.

It is hard to predict how fees will change. You might buy couplers and the rest of the airlines drop their fees. Or it could go the other way and all of them start charging a fee again. Or they could start charging a fee for bikes regardless of the size of the bag. So it is a gamble in any case.

The investment is limited to one bike so if you want to use a different bike that is another set of couplers. I know that I have tended to fly with different bikes (old style touring bike, rigid mountain bike, hard tail mtb, road bike, etc.) over the years so even if I had used couplers none of my bikes ever flew all that many times. I doubt that any individual bike in my fleet flew enough to have covered the cost of couplers even if I had flown to and from the same terminal each time.

My point is that there are a lot of factors that need to line up for couplers to actually pay for themselves. I didn't want to leave the impression that they were a flat no. There still could be a case for them, but I think it would be a very special case.
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Old 06-19-21, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
If you got one S&S coupler at each end of the toptube and one at each end of the downtube, ...
S&S couplers are quite pricey. For a solo bike I think that only Zinn has put two couplers on one frame tube, he is a really big guy and has very large frame bike. Plus, he makes his own frames and sells them, so for him it is a business expense. Tandems also often have two couplers on a tube, but that is a different topic. I am unaware of anyone else that builds a coupled bike that way.


Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
My wife's bike has S&S couplers, and we have only used them once during the ten years she has had the bike. We uncoupeled the bike one to ship it FEDX to meet a size requirement. It did not require full disassembly needed to meet airline baggage size requirement.

We have flown to Europe 3 time during that period, and on several domestic flights with out using the couplers. We have also traveled on busses and trains. During that time we toured over 10,000 miles in 11 countries, and never felt that the couplers were worth the hassle required to fit the bike into a 26 x26 inch case; and I am a pretty good bike mechanic.
.
During my last tour, I finally saved enough in luggage fees to pay for the S&S couplers and the S&S Backpack case. But I often find that the advantage of smaller baggage when it comes to complicated logistics can be more than worth the trouble to pack up a bike in an S&S sized case.

I live in Madison WI, small airport does not have a lot of direct flights, so flying anywhere usually means at least one layover, sometimes two. My last tour was in and out of Halifax, NS, Canada. Of all the flight options, the best was flying Air Cadada, and they do not partner with anyone that flys out of Madison, so a bus trip to Ohare was the best option. Description from a different thread on why my S&S couplers made my life so much simpler on my last tour.
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My flight to and from Iceland was slightly simpler than Nova Scotia, to Iceland I could fly in and out of my own community, but having that type of luggage was so much more simple.

Bottom line for me is when flying international on solo bike trips, I find that the extra time to pack and unpack a bike in a small case is more than worth the effort to avoid the hassles I would have with a full size bike box.

***

The topic in this thread is domestic, not international travel. And for domestic travel, I think the advantages of shipping a bike with bike flights or one of their competitors to and from destination instead of dealing with it at the airport can make shipping a bike separate much more worth it.

Or, as I mentioned in a prior post, if it is for a few days of riding while at a business conference, if I was going to a lot of conferences I would consider carrying a Brompton as a carry on piece of luggage.

I think an S&S coupled bike or a Ritchey Break Away bike for only a few days of riding in off hours while at a business conference is probably not a good plan.
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Old 06-19-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
The topic in this thread is domestic, not international travel. And for domestic travel, I think the advantages of shipping a bike with bike flights or one of their competitors to and from destination instead of dealing with it at the airport can make shipping a bike separate much more worth it.
I can see where having a bike just show up at the hotel when on a business trip would be nice. Dealing with lugging a bike box to an airport shuttle and so on on a business trip is a hassle. Then again Bikeflights isn't free and I am a cheapskate. I could see myself going either way, but business trips are a thing of the past for me. Maybe vacations with the wife, but I tend to not take a bike for those and in the rare case I did the folder in a regular size (62") bag would suffice.

For tours, I like riding out of the airport in most cases.
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Old 06-19-21, 01:30 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
During my last tour, I finally saved enough in luggage fees to pay for the S&S couplers and the S&S Backpack case. But I often find that the advantage of smaller baggage when it comes to complicated logistics can be more than worth the trouble to pack up a bike in an S&S sized case.

I live in Madison WI, small airport does not have a lot of direct flights, so flying anywhere usually means at least one layover, sometimes two. My last tour was in and out of Halifax, NS, Canada. Of all the flight options, the best was flying Air Cadada, and they do not partner with anyone that flys out of Madison, so a bus trip to Ohare was the best option. Description from a different thread on why my S&S couplers made my life so much simpler on my last tour.
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My flight to and from Iceland was slightly simpler than Nova Scotia, to Iceland I could fly in and out of my own community, but having that type of luggage was so much more simple.

Bottom line for me is when flying international on solo bike trips, I find that the extra time to pack and unpack a bike in a small case is more than worth the effort to avoid the hassles I would have with a full size bike box.

I think an S&S coupled bike or a Ritchey Break Away bike for only a few days of riding in off hours while at a business conference is probably not a good plan.
The logistics of flying with the big bike bag was my qualm as well. I often get sedans as rental or Uber from the airport to the hotel if I'm staying at the same hotel as the conference, which eliminates the need for a rental car. In those cases, a full sized hard shell case would be cumbersome or impossible to fit into an uber, depending on the size of the trunk.

I think a smaller softshell case(slightly bigger than S&S or Break Away case, but smaller than Thule or others) should allow me to put them in sedan trunks easier, along with a backpack and a regular suitcase. A soft collapsible case should make the storage of the case easier at home as well.
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Old 06-19-21, 01:57 PM
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My interpretation is that if you are going for a few weeks, or perhaps months at a time. Get the S&S bike.

If it is a quick trip of a couple of days, mostly at work, then try a folding bike or your mini velo.

One of the more unique folders available is the "Pocket Rocket".





They are a bit of a pain to put in the suitcase. Wheels and pedals come off. Seat comes off. QR to uncouple stem. Mine has split handlebars. I don't know if they're still doing that, but the bars do come off. But, it is pretty straight forward and less than a 15 minute job.

The suitcase can be converted into a trailer, and in theory the bike and all trailer pieces fit into the suitcase, although so far I haven't needed to pack all trailer parts into the one suitcase.



Mine is an older Samsonite "clamshell" suitcase. Samsonite has upgraded to a slightly roomier suitcase which Bike Friday is now using.

I have a large duffel bag (bike bag) that I put my clothes and stuff in. In bike mode, the duffel goes in the Bike Friday suitcase. In travel mode, the duffel comes out and the bike goes in.
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Old 06-19-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Parkyy16 View Post
The logistics of flying with the big bike bag was my qualm as well. I often get sedans as rental or Uber from the airport to the hotel if I'm staying at the same hotel as the conference, which eliminates the need for a rental car. In those cases, a full sized hard shell case would be cumbersome or impossible to fit into an uber, depending on the size of the trunk.

I think a smaller softshell case(slightly bigger than S&S or Break Away case, but smaller than Thule or others) should allow me to put them in sedan trunks easier, along with a backpack and a regular suitcase. A soft collapsible case should make the storage of the case easier at home as well.
Yeah, something like the S&S case, or Ritchey Break Away case or the suitcase for a folder offers two advantages, (1) on airlines that charge oversize fees, avoiding the fee and (2) the logistics of luggage that is small enough to deal with. Only one of my flights with a bike was with others, when traveling solo and dealing with a oversize bike box and other luggage is a big hassle. On some trips, the fee is the important factor, but on other trips the logistics is a bigger factor.

Photo below, I am wearing my S&S Backpack case as I leave the airport, I had my folding bike in the case. This is the only trip I took with others, the other two guys had full size bikes and they were not willing to deal with full size bike boxes in the airport so they used Bikeflights. This trip was on Southwest, you get two free checked bags, my bike flew for free.



The first trip I flew with my S&S bike, I called the taxi company I usually use and asked them if my S&S case plus one more large bag would fit in the trunk of their Prius taxicabs. The dispatcher was not sure, did not want to be liable for me being late to the airport so he suggested I call a different taxi company. I called one that I knew used minivans, and the taxi arrives, it is a Prius. I asked where the minivan was and he said they were replacing all their mini vans with Prius taxis. That was when I learned that the Prius trunk would take both my S&S case and also the other large checked bag.

My last tour, the bus to Madison from Ohare airport dropped me off at the bus stop at sometime between 1am and 2am. I was still six miles from home. If I had to rely on having a friend with a minivan pick me up with a full size bike box in the middle of the night, I would have a lot fewer friends.
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Old 06-19-21, 04:47 PM
  #17  
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I have both an S&S coupled touring bike (Waterford Adventure Cycle) and a Bike Friday New World Tourist folding bike. I have flown dozens of times with the Waterford (I bought it in 2003). It takes me about 90 minutes to disassemble/reassemble the bike and get it into/out of its case. While it isn't quick (or easy), it does afford me time to carefully check all the bike's components one last time before packing/riding. The box the Waterford goes into is exactly 62 linear inches. The bike, the metal bits that can't go on the plane, and the box weigh close to 50 pounds. One one flight, the scale settled on exactly 50.0 pounds! The ticket agent said he'd never seen that before and congratulated me.

As was mentioned above, the box, a heavy, square plastic case with only 2 small wheels in one corner, is a major liability if foot transport of any distance is need. It isn't a problem at international airports that have luggage carts, but moving it from one train track to another can easily result in a pulled muscle or worse.

Then, there is the problem of the what to do with the case. On loop rides, I have left it at the hotel without problems (though prior authorization is highly recommended). When it is a one-way tour, I usually schedule an extra day at my starting point to arrange for shipping the case to my destination. This is a fair amount of hassle. First, I have to find a place to send it. Sometimes, this has been a hotel; others a warmshowers or couchsurfing host. Then, I have to find a shipping service. Once, I was able to take the box to a local Post Office (in Amsterdam) and ship it to Germany without problems. Every other time, it has been an express service (DHL, UPS, FedEx) and while a bit costly (last time about $100), it generally is nothing more than filling out a form. But, here is a tip, don't try to send an empty suitcase to Switzerland!

After almost 15 years of traveling with the Waterford, I decided to buy a bike that was easier to transport. After looking around, I bought a Bike Friday New World Tourist, which can be disassembled and put in a large suitcase in about 20 minutes. The case is a plastic Samsonite case that is larger than 62 linear inches. But, I have in-laws in the UK and I leave the bike there which saves me the hassle of flying out of the US with a bicycle (and the potential hassles of an oversized case). Note that airlines in Europe allow for larger cases, which the Bike Friday's case fits below.

Having taken month-long tours with both bikes, I find that traveling with the Bike Friday is much easier as its case has easy to roll wheels and more handles than the S&S case. Both bikes are fun to ride, though the ride of the Waterford is smoother and more stable. Note that I haven't toured with the Waterford since I bought the Bike Friday, though this is more due to only touring in Europe since I bought it than any other reason.

One thing missing in the discussion that might not be a big deal for you but is for me is the ease of putting the Waterford into the trunks/hatchback of a car. It takes a couple minutes to undo the couplers and cables (I have cable splitters to facilitate this), split the frame and load it into a car. I have done this more than once on a tour when needing to go by car (say, over a bridge or though a tunnel). Once, I did it to meet the requirements for a bus's luggage compartment. Once, after being told I couldn't bring the bike into my room and had to leave it out on the street, I uncoupled it and hid it in the closet!





If you'd like a bit more detail and some photos, I have written articles about both of these bikes. One reports on my 10 years of experience with an S&S coupled bike. The other is a "first hand" look at the Bike Friday with further comments after I'd ridden a couple tours with it.
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Old 06-19-21, 04:48 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
S&S couplers are quite pricey. For a solo bike I think that only Zinn has put two couplers on one frame tube, he is a really big guy and has very large frame bike. Plus, he makes his own frames and sells them, so for him it is a business expense. Tandems also often have two couplers on a tube, but that is a different topic. I am unaware of anyone else that builds a coupled bike that way.
Get ready to pick your jaw from off the floor...
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Old 06-19-21, 04:53 PM
  #19  
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and that was available eight years ago.

So you can get as many S&S couplers as you want. It might cost you 5Gs or, it might not.

What's the cost of a single coupler?
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Old 06-19-21, 06:02 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post
So you can get as many S&S couplers as you want. It might cost you 5Gs or, it might not.

What's the cost of a single coupler?
So far I've never been able to figure that out. The company will not sell them to basement mechanics.

There was a pair of recycled couplers on E-Bay a while ago. I think for $300 to $500 or so.

There is this S&S Coupled CIOC. Old school, but nice

The seller wants local pickup in California, but it comes with a perfect shipping case, so??? There is a facilitator's thread.
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Old 06-19-21, 06:10 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Nyah View Post

and that was available eight years ago.

So you can get as many S&S couplers as you want. It might cost you 5Gs or, it might not.

What's the cost of a single coupler?
That must have cost you a fortune. I count six couplers there. But I bet that makes it really easy to pack.

I know a gal that got a custom built bike (non-S&S) from that same manufacturer, and it cost a fortune without couplers. I would expect each coupler from that manufacturer to be more expensive than most other manufacturers. My frame was designed in the UK, welded in Taiwan.

Lennard Zinn has put a coupler on his stem, half of the stem stayed with the fork and half stayed on the handlebar. I think that is a bit excessive.

I got my S&S bike seven years ago, I think that the couplers added roughly $500 USD, thus likely $250 each on a new bike at that time. Retrofit can be much more, four years ago when I bought a titanium bike, at that time having someone add couplers to my frame would have been $1300 USD, but that was on a titanium bike which is much harder to weld. On the other hand, a titaium bike does not require a re-paint which you would expect to pay for on most retrofits.

And I had to pay customs duty on the frame, bought it from the UK, so that extra cost meant extra customs duty too. The frame without couplers might have been below the threshold where customs does not charge any duty if I bought it without the couplers. Thus it is possible the entire customs fee was related to the couplers.

And at that time I think I paid about $225 for the S&S backpack.

Thus, I figured the sum of couplers and backpack case were between $750 and $800 USD.

I see the eccentric on your frame, do you use a Rohloff on that bike? Or is there some other reason that I can't figure out?

For those of you that have S&S couplers, if you want to keep the dirt and grime out of your coupler threads, I am using sleeves I cut from an MTB sized inner tube and stretch over it to seal up both ends of the S&S "nut", see below.



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Old 06-20-21, 05:11 PM
  #22  
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My couplers were a $699.00 option. I haven't packed down the bike yet but have split it in half with the front wheel off a couple dozen times to put it in vehicles.

Tourist in MSN I like your tube pieces over the couplers. I have pulled the couplers apart before, cleaned greased and reassembled them. I will do this again and add the rubber.

Ricks Ride

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Old 06-20-21, 07:16 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
...
Tourist in MSN I like your tube pieces over the couplers.
...
I can't take full credit for it. At one time I saw someone on the internet that had an S&S bike, it looked like they had stretched a single long piece of inner tube rubber over an entire coupler. I decided instead to use shorter pieces that would be easier to stretch over it, plus with two pieces I could still put the wrench on the coupler to check tightness.

Your frame is a really small size, what size is that?

Before I bought my Nomad, I considered a Pangea from Co-Motion, but ended up picking the Thorn. That was seven years ago, I do not recall all the factors on why I picked what I did. But I am sure I would have been happy with either manufacturer.
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Old 06-20-21, 11:24 PM
  #24  
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I can't take full credit for it. At one time I saw someone on the internet that had an S&S bike, it looked like they had stretched a single long piece of inner tube rubber over an entire coupler. I decided instead to use shorter pieces that would be easier to stretch over it, plus with two pieces I could still put the wrench on the coupler to check tightness.

Your frame is a really small size, what size is that?

Before I bought my Nomad, I considered a Pangea from Co-Motion, but ended up picking the Thorn. That was seven years ago, I do not recall all the factors on why I picked what I did. But I am sure I would have been happy with either manufacturer.
I also looked at the Nomad. I am not sure on the size but imagine the top tube level instead of sloped. I had them make the frame that way so I could have more stand over room. I ordered the bicycle November 2013 and it was ready for pickup at the bicycle shop early March 2014. I got all the bells and whistles. Heavier tubing, extended head tube. The right fork drop out is machined for the Schmidt Son 28 SL hub. I have the SS dropouts also.
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Old 06-21-21, 01:51 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
My couplers were a $699.00 option. I haven't packed down the bike yet but have split it in half with the front wheel off a couple dozen times to put it in vehicles.

Tourist in MSN I like your tube pieces over the couplers. I have pulled the couplers apart before, cleaned greased and reassembled them. I will do this again and add the rubber.

Ricks Ride
Can you please tell us more about that interesting handlebar? Also, are those Ergon GC1 grips? How do you find them? I also have swept bars and think about replacing grips as I have some wrist pain on long tours with my existing grips.
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