Taking a Brompton aboard motorised transport


Ensure your luggage is not considered a bicycle...

...because transporting a bicycle is usually more expensive than an equal amount of anonymous luggage. This is also usefull for bringing your folded bicycle into places where bicycles are banned (When and how to leave your Brompton unattended - Forced separation - when folders not welcome) or for insurance matters (Taking a Brompton aboard motorised transport - Legal matter - is it still a bicycle?).
The advice is to hide the folded bicycle under its cover (Regional information concerning folder transport - Covers); if an official gets suspicous, deny it is a bicycle.

Can we sit on a folded Brompton?

Andras Toth, Mar 1998:
I have read on several occasions in this mailing list that sitting on the folded bicycle could modify the way the handlebar slips back to its place to the point of not being able to fold the bicycle correctly. What is the truth about this? Does it happen automatically, or is it exceptional? Sometimes the urge is just too great to sit down on it while waiting for the train. Also, I had to put a sign saying "DO NOT SIT ON IT" on the frame after somebody used my folded bicycle as a seat in a crowded conference room.

A Brompton in a bus

Alasdair Baxter, Nov 1998:
The last time I took my Brompton by bus, I put it in the largeish luggage/pushchair compartment at the front. However, when the bus driver braked sharply, my bike had an undignified fall to its side. I could have put it against the front wall of the compartment or facing the other way but it would still have fallen on its side in a violent manoeuvre by the bus.
It occurred to me that, if I could get a strap fitted with Velcro and some 10 to 12 inches long, I could fix the bike to the horizontal tube forming a wall of the luggage compartment and the bike would stay upright. What I have in mind is something about the size of a small dog collar but with Velcro instead of a buckle.

A Brompton in front of a bus

Dave's trailer equipped with a bike rack, holding another Brompton Custfold, Jun 1999:
I work with Sportworks on bringing their [bike carrying] racks into Europe, and have had the Brompton on racks regularly - the Moulton may fall foul if it has front rack fitted. 16" wheels do fit but MUST be put in such a position as to ensure maximum pull on spring in retaining arm - one way is to hook over the luggage block - but usually its as easy to fold the bike!
The Sportworks rack is fitted to around 20% of US urban bus fleet at last count and carries over 250,000 bikes/month on recent estimates from user feedback.

A Brompton in the trunk of a car

Legal matter - is it still a bicycle?

Don't lose your bits

The problem

The cure

Another bit not to loose

The Brompton comes with a platic cap over the left front wheel nut, protecting the frame (when folded) from the sharp edges of the front wheel nut. To prevent you from loosing it, attach it to the frame with a zip tie as demonstrated on this bike from Velodroom (who always do this).

If you have lost it or you want a second one to protect the world from the other wheel nut, try... R.Hainsworth, Aug 2002:
[...] the plastic screw top from one of those 1 liter tetrapack cartons which are used for orange juice and similar. The carton is the one with a "gabled" top, ie. /\ with a screw cap one of the "roof pitches" and the screw cap fits the B wheel nuts perfectly when properly trimmed.
A further advantage is that the top comes in a different colour according to cartons contents so an approximate match or psychadelica can be achieved for the discerning B owner.

Bromptons on commercial air flights


RL Bob Morgan, Oct 1997:
I'd be interested to hear from folks who travel with their Bromptons on regular old commercial air flights (we all know that it's the official bike of private pilots ...). I think Channell told me once that he has taken his as carry-on and put it into the overhead bin. This seems attractive, but I can imagine the airlines taking a dim view and grabbing it from me as I try to board the plane, throwing it into the luggage compartment and smashing it to bits. Do people really do this regularly, or do they shell out for $150 hard cases? Does the story vary by airline? Does it help if you disguise it?

In the cargo, do I need to let some of the air out of my tyres to prevent them from bursting?

Packaging a Brompton - coping with evil baggage handlers

Suitcases to serve and protect a Brompton

See also Carrying or rolling issues - Bags to carry a Brompton

Suitcases that turn into trailers

The traveller's dilemma

Richard Lighton, Oct 1998:
I had vaguely hoped that the hard-sided travel case that Channell Wasson sells came with a trailer conversion kit so that I could tow it if necessary, in the manner of the neat thing that Bike Friday sell.
Sadly this is not so.
So the problem is: I somehow pack my Brompton and arrive at an airport and am delivered thousands of miles away with said Brompton and luggage. Sooner or later I will want to fly back. Meanwhile, how do I move the luggage and whatever carrying case I used if my means of leaving the airport is Brompton? You may assume I travel light, and that anything I'm carrying will fit into the Brompton case (once the Brompton is removed). You may also assume I have ten miles (16km) to go before I can leave the case somewhere.
Possible solutions I see are:
  1. Bike Friday travel case (I don't think the Brompton fits)
  2. Bykaboose trailer (How small does it fold? How do I transport that?)
  3. Cardboard disposable packing case. (One came wrapped round my bike when it was delivered, but what do I do on the way back?. Do airlines provide on-the spot packing? Are these really robust enough to stand up to passenger airline baggage handling with a very high probability of the bike being instantly rideable on arrival?)
  4. Some way of attaching a (now loaded with other stuff) case that held the Brompton to the Brompton.
If solution 3 is the way to go, how much time do I have to allow to sort out the hassle of getting the case, packing the bike, etc? I can reasonably assume I can pack everything else in a way that I can carry on the bike.
(Getting the bike to the departure airport is assumed not to be a problem)

Inflatable Cases?

David Dodson, Apr 1998:
How about someone making inflatable cases? To a first approximation this would be like wrapping the folded bike in an air matress. On leaving airport: let air out, roll up; At last garage before arriving at airport (or by hand pump in emergency): unroll, inflate.
Careful design could allow a neat hinged box shape with ample pneumatic padding all round. Important: several separate air compartments are needed to allow effective padding to be maintained in spite of some puncture(s). Use same puncture repair kit as for inner tubes?
A challenge for all kit makers! If you read it here first, make a Brompton pneucase first...

Floating cases

JP Desbruèhres, Oct 1998:
Flying is interesting but you are making no serious effort on your private folding plane containing your fodable bike the trailer of which can easily carry your toothbrush and the folded plane.
I am working very seriously on the foldable boat containing the folded Brompton and vice versa. The reason which started the whole process was a metaphysical question I could not answer:
"Why cross the river on the bridge ?"
If anyone has a better answer I would like to know.
If not visit the Nautiraid Website: http://www.nautiraid.com E.mail: phguyot@nautiraid.com