Dorky Little Folding Bike

zag8_800.jpg Sensing my road snobbery and realizing my concern about looking like a total dork on a little folding bike, Bill Davidson first said, “like who’s going to know who you are in China! And then, just wear all black, all militant style … you’ll blend right in.” Ha! Black is right with a Nutcase helmet to top it off. Kidding aside, I folded and unfolded the Breezer Zag8 multiple times last night and have to say it’s a very functional design. I’m hoping to check it through on the plane like Todd did with his Brompton.

Later, upon hearing that I was taking a folding bike to Beijing nicknamed the B5, Jason sent me a link to the urban and mobile UM by Puma. First reaction, was “whoa, Slingshot Bikes is back,” or they never left (unsure about that) and hey cool Puma is marketing commuting as cool with a Biomega bike. Click through to find the form and function of the Copenhagen.

So how do you travel? Folding, S&S Couplings, Scicon, fixie like Mark V? During the trip to Santa Barbara, one of the guys had a Ritchey Breakaway and loved it. I’d like to try an S&S bike on another trip.


“Total dork?”  Please.  Embrace the dorkiness of such a great little vehicle that can fold up and sit by your desk or go right into a suitcase for airplane travel without additional surcharges.

It’s especially great when you fly right by the other commuters - I can easily do 20+ on mine, and the acceleration is pretty good given the lower inertia of the wheels.

Get even geekier and add [lights to your wheels](

Oh, I guess I should give you the link that actually tells you how:

oooooh nice and you’re right—I think I’m going to embrace the little bike just fine when i start riding it. Check the [Check the Rolf Prima Pros you can get for it!](

It also has a license plate holder on that back, where I can hang a bike hugger logo!

For others looking for a sweet folder at a good price, KHS makes a nice traveler called the F20-R. Not the most romantic name, but pretty slick looking.

How did you fly with your folders? Check through like a stroller like Todd did or as luggage?

I’ve assembled a “Biomega” bike before…and let me tell you, that definitely was a form over function design excercise.  The headset seat was way off, so that the headset was either loose or binding horribly.  And the fork was a bit dodgy as well.  I don’t know how much they cost, but anything with a $1500 Rohloff 14-gear internal hub ain’t gonna be cheap.  It’s the kind of bike that is meant to sit under track lighting or in a trendy shop window rather than be ridden everyday.

I broke down my ‘04 Dahon Speed P8 and fit it into a Samsonite Oyster suitcase.  Checked as normal luggage. 

Couple o’ links:

Compression members are a good idea (to keep your bike from getting crushed by a less-than-completely-stiff Samsonite Oyster).  Bike Friday offers complete cases for their bikes with everything you’d need (they use a slightly larger Samsonite F’lite case - which may be a tad oversized, but rarely checked):

I was able to fit the complete bike along with some tools, tubes, and a floor pump in my Oyster.



Thanks.  I’m out of time to make luggage work for the Breezer and found [Dahon’s Airporter Suitcase]( at [Gregg’s Greenlake]( and will try that out.

I talked the Breezer today and they’re focused on “modal” transportation and don’t have an airplane option at this time. Ok, the Dahon case should work well.

I ride a Dahon Boardwalk S1—singlespeed, horizontal dropouts avaliable on Ebay for $200 fully assembeled.

I got mine second hand from a local seattle-ite as a frame and parts including 2 Velocity 20” rims.

A few hundred in parts later, I’ve made up my own fixie wheels, replaced the folding handle-pos, added (and removed) brakes, and generally re-did the whole dealywick.

This gets me on the bus across lake washington very quickly—no waiting for the 5 cyclists in front of me to get on their various buses…

That’s so awesome, I just [posted on it](!

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