Tomorrow I head to San Diego with my new Bike Friday tri bike. Last time I was there in October, I brought everything I needed to go running and do some open water swimming but I missed out on some great cycling. This time will be different!
To fit into a suitcase, my Bike Friday both folds and comes apart. The things that come off are the pedals, seat post, ti boom, stem, handle bars (which split in two but remain connected to the bike, so they're in the picture below) and the wheels. All that is needed to remove these things are an allen wrench and a pedal wrench, which were provided with the bike. Very easy, easier than fixing a flat tire.
The frame is what folds. To do that, I just use my fingers to remove a wing nut on the frame by the chain rings (see green arrow) and fold under the chain stays. Voilà!
A DVD that came with the bike shows how to put everything in the suitcase (as well as how to unpack the bike). Since I did not order accessories for touring (racks or a trailer to pull the suitcase), I have extra room in my suitcase where I can put my bike shoes, Profile Design aero bottle, energy bars and other small things. The only thing that won't fit is my bike helmet but I am bringing another roll-on anyway so no biggie.
With more practice, I should be able to pack and unpack my bike in about 10-15 minutes. It took about double that this first time, excluding the time I spent watching the video.
The Bike Friday is now ready to go!!!
Next time, I will discuss other travel bike options I considered (Ritchey Breakaway, Airnimal and the S and S Coupling system) and why I went with a Bike Friday despite its higher price tag.