bikefriday.com. Bike Friday make folding bikes that ride like big bikes but fold into a suitcase or softbag. These are not cheap
bikes but they do ride very well. I've got their New World Tourist (NWT) and love it. The NWT is their touring version with slightly wider BMX type rims, attachment points for racks and usually a straight bar. These are custom bikes so can be set up with almost wheel
, bar, shifting type that you can imagine. They usually have a 9-10 speed rear gears with conventional deraileur shifting. Additional gearing comes with either 2-3 chain ring crank or a 3 speed rear hub for up to 30 total gears. That many gears may seem like overkill but wait till you want to make a 2 mile climb with loaded panniers and then zoom down the backside. They have number of models from a rear geared only base model, super lightweight skinny tired racing
bikes, to their titanium seat beam suspension bikes as well as tandems, tridems and recliners. If you are a riding enthusiast, the suitcase can be turned into a trailer
. Check the bike as luggage on the airplane. At your destination
, unfold the bike, put the wheels on the suitcase and ride off into the sunset. I actually like the suitcase trailer
duty as it's a way to carry even large and heavy stuff using the bike.
Ditched my full sized mountain bike soon after I bought the NWT. I rode
the NWT almost exclusively till it moved to the boat
. They are not super quick folding like a commuter bike (they do make one of those called the Tikit). It takes about 10 minutes, with practice, to disassemble and fold the NWT to its smallest size to fit in the suitcase. They fold in a minute or two if you just want to put it into the soft carrying bag, however.
I've ridden as long as four hours on mine. Comfortable as my touring bike, and covered about the same distance as I would have on the full sized bike. There's a guy riding around the world on one and believe they've done triathlons and coast to coast rides, as well. I commute by air to my boat and used to rent a car while I was there. Found I didn't use the car all that much and was wasting the money
. Now, I take a taxi from the airport
to the boat, unfold the bike and ride anywhere I care to go while I'm there. Saved me the cost of the bike in a year.
No bike will last if left on deck
exposed to the elements. Even on very high end, all alloy bikes, some parts
have got to be steel
like axles. I know, you can get titanium axles but cost is way up there, about the cost of a complete bike just for the titanium bits. The alloys used in bikes are not marine
alloys so will corrode and dissimilar metal corrosion
is especially prevalent. If you expect to sail with the bike lashed to the life lines, buy cheap
and be prepared to throw them away regularly. I keep the Bike Friday in it's bag stowed in a cockpit
locker when cruising. Also carry it ashore in the soft bag in the dinghy
to ward off spray. If you have a large boat and the room to store the suitcase, more the better. The suitcase actually has a rubber seal that is semi-water tight. I've sprayed mine down with a hose and no water
has gotten inside. Haven't done much cruising with dinghy
trips ashore, but storing the bike on deck
when I'm on the boat at the marina and packing it away in the suitcase when I'm gone has worked out great. No signs of corrosion
after 2 years of it living on the boat.