I purchased a brand new Bike Friday New World Tourist folding bicycle just two shorts weeks ago… and since that time I’ve unpacked the bike, packed it up again, flew with it to Aruba, put the bike together for the second time, spent seven days riding the bicycle around the island, got 1 flat tire, packed up the bike again tonight… and tomorrow I’ll be flying home, where I will once again put the bike together so that I can ride it around town. Whew!
It sounds like a lot of work, but you know what? It was actually pretty easy!
Compared to what I used to have to do with my full-size touring bike when I traveled by plane, traveling with my Bike Friday has really been a breeze. And best of all, I really like the bike! (But more on that later).
Since I first mentioned that I was getting a Bike Friday, dozens of people from around the world have written to me, asking me how easy it is to pack up the bike inside of its suitcase. So today I’m going to attempt to answer that question.
The night before I flew to Aruba I sat down to pack up the bike for the very first time. I moved slowly, reading the directions as I went along, and found that the take-apart time was pretty darn short (about 15-20 minutes). But once I had all the various parts removed and the bike folded down, I had to get the bike and its trailer inside of the suitcase… and that’s where I had some trouble.
For the next hour I delicately arranged the parts, moved pieces around, reread the instructions, and then somehow managed to squeeze the bike inside of its case. I couldn’t believe that it took me 20 minutes to take the bike apart and an entire hour to arrange the bike inside of its suitcase. I thought it was going to be a lot easier.
But then tonight I packed up the bike again. I’m still in my hotel room in Aruba and I’m going to be taking a taxi or hitching a ride to the airport tomorrow, so I figured I would pack up the bike now and save myself the stress of trying to pack up the bike at the airport.
Once again, it took me about 20 minutes to take the bike apart, get the water bottle cages off, deflate the tires, etc. But when I tried to put the bike and trailer inside the suitcase this time, it went in on the very first try! What had taken me an hour and a half the first time had just taken me 30 minutes on my second attempt!
I’ve produced a time-lapse video that shows me packing my bike for the very first time inside my condo in Park City, Utah. Click the play button below to watch the video now.
0 thoughts on “Packing My Bike Friday Folding Bicycle For The Very First Time”
I just watched your video on Bike Friday.
I have owned a Pocket Llama since the early 90’s. It is my primary bike. The key to your packing issue, as you correctly point out, is practice. Once you have practiced it becomes “no big deal”.
On one trip I proved that if we get our luggage at the same time, I can build the Friday and have the trailer built and take off by the time it takes a family of four to pack their vacation luggage in a mid-sized car and head off to their destination.
Another key point for your website is that if you have a touring bike you love, Bike Friday will walk you through taking the measurements to custom-make your Bike Friday to mirror that favorite touring bike. At the time I ordered my Llama I owned a Miyata 610 which was the most comfortable bike I had ever owned. For over 12 years I essentially ad only one bike because the Llama and the Miyata felt exactly the same.
I’ve ridden the Llama on several tours including the Tour de Wyoming in 2005 and last summer I rode on a self-contained tour across Nebraska
Good luck with your New World Tourist. I’ll bet you’ll love it
I just watched your video on packing your NWT. I really laughed because I went through the same thing with my first BF, an Air Llama. I thought I’d never get that bike in the suitcase. But of coure practice makes perfect. I’ve done it so many times that I can definately pack it faster than someone packing a suitcase the same size. The BF has taken my travelling with a bike to another level. I actually enjoy travelling with a packable bike now cause it is so easy and I get to ride my favorite bike anywhere. I’ve never had any problems with airlines. I’ve never been asked what’s inside the suitcase and no one has ever opened it for inspection. The bike always arrives to my destination safely. I have just recently purchased my second custom made BF, it being a Pocket Llama (received it on June 20, ’10). This one has the folding seatpost and handlebar stem to make travelling even easier mainly on trains and buses. I have no auto, I travel by public transport and this bike makes it a breeze. I have the Llamas mainly cause I have the option of using 2.10′ tires if I want. BF’s are so awesome. Really glad to hear you’ve gotten into the BF world and enjoy hearing your feedback. Your website is right on. You are very inspiring. Thanks so much.