Flying with a Brompton Folding Bike

by Mark on May 29, 2010

Brompton Packed Into a Hard Travel Case

A Brompton bike fits easily into this B&W hard case

Tomorrow morning I depart for the Pacific Northwest on my bike tour of Portland and San Francisco. My trusty steed? A Brompton folding bicycle. Yes, like David Byrne I am taking my folding bike on an airplane across the country so it can accompany me on my adventures.

Though I was skeptical at first, I will be using the Brompton travel suitcase to transport my bike. After some reports I’ve heard about people transporting their Brompton bikes and damages to the bike if not transported in a carrying case. I wanted to make sure my bike was protected during the trip.

I’ll be sure to post a few pictures of my journeys. Hopefully I’ll be able to ride a Brompton bike through a Redwood tree.

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  • Chris

    This looks awesome, I’d be interested in hearing how you get on with it and also look forward to seeing photos of your trip – good luck!


  • chris

    I have used this case a few times. Works well but hard to store when not in use

  • Mark

    Hi Chris(s),

    It was a great trip. It was $25 to bring it on the airline (but it doubled as extra luggage for clothes, etc), and I was able to leave the case at the place I was staying during my visit. Portland was so much more bike friendly than New York, and I was able to actually leave my bike locked up without worrying about my Brooks saddle or wheels being swiped. There are bike racks outside every business and lanes on practically every road. It’s bike paradise.

    I used a local Portland bike shop to ship the bike back. They charged me a bit more than I expected to ship it back across the country (around $130, with insurance included), so all-in-all it was around $150 to have my bike for 4 days in Portland.

    If I brought it back on the plane, it would have made more sense and I would have only paid $50. I also paid them to pack it up at the bike shop, to avoid scratching my loaner hard case, so I have to take that into account.

    Was it worth it? I mean, I got to ride my own bike for 4 days in Portland and I didn’t have to pay public transportation. I was lucky that I had a place to stay and a friend with a van to pick me up with my giant case. You figure bike rentals are probably $40 per day in any major city, so it may have come out to around the same price, for a bike that is probably a beater.

    I’m editing together a video with both Portland and San Francisco trails. I’ll have it posted here in a few days (hopefully, I’m still learning the program!)

  • Peter Sibley

    The outside dimensions of this case are 1670 mm, or 65.7 linear inches, inviting insane oversized-baggage fees ($300 minimum, round-trip) on Delta, Continental, AA or USAir.

    • Peter

      Thanks for the correction Peter, a crucial note to be aware of. I will just mention that this type of fee is often at the discretion of the attendant checking you in. It is always best to call ahead and double check this sort of luggage with your airline before you arrive with a hefty suitcase. When I’ve flown – not on the airlines mentioned – it has been ok. But yes, please check your airline’s specific requirements and weigh the risks.


  • berit eisenmann

    So, where do I buy a case like that…. ??

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