Time for another bike! I wanted something I could hand over to the coat-check person at the museum. Or take into the movie theater with me.
|a 2 speed mini-velo|
|Folds up in 60 seconds.|
This is a stripped down and lighter version of my 20″ wheel folder. My last folder is a wonderful beast of a bike. While at 60″ length/width/height added up (it meets the 62 inch max requirements for bus and airplane transport) it is rather heavy. After all, it’s a bike designed for heavy duty use, all-road travel, or around-the-world trips. Handing that heavy bagged bike over to the hat-check girl is asking for a lot.
A mini-velo is a full sized bike with wheels smaller than the usual. This bike is 24lbs and 58″ length/width/height added up when it’s bagged. I could bring it inside with me to a restaurant, movie house, or a museum, and expect it to be regarded like any other piece of luggage. Taking it on a bus or a plane would be just as easy. If I am concerned it could get rough handling during airline travel, I could put cardboard scraps between the bag and the bike. But it’s unlikely to get damaged even if it gets dropped on the tarmac, because of the way it’s clamped together- it protects itself.
Folding bikes need to be bagged in many situations. You never know how someone will react when the item you carry could be identified as a bicycle. And bikes get dirty from riding on the streets. Things just go better when it it’s bagged.
I spent quite a bit of time making the bag. It is carefully tailored to fit the folded bike. It slips over the top of the bike and zips shut at the bottom. Made out of nylon pack cloth. It needs to look good.
|Bag slips over the whole thing|
|Zips up at bottom. I can have a frame tube extending out of the top of the bag if I want. This can be used as a handle for carrying it. There is also a shoulder strap on the bag as well.|
Taking this on a bus is easy. It is 19.5 inches wide when folded. I can put it in my lap as the bus fills. The chair space on a bus is about 20″ wide. At 24lbs it is not too much of a burden on my lap.
This bike needs to be a minimalist: light and small as possible when bagged. No lights or fenders at this time. I used the smaller and lighter 40mm folding tires (Schwalbe marathon supreme 406-40). No shifters. It’s really a one speed with a smaller chainring so I can manually down-shift it when I encounter a long, steep hill. To shift to the lower gear requires using my fingers and getting them dirty, so I only do it when really necessary. The normal gear is a 69″, good for most everything. The low gear is about 52″; used for the longer/steeper hills.
I wanted to minimize the $$ I put into it. As a city bike, it is more likely to get stolen. I won’t always be bagging it to go into a store or other place of business, so there is always a risk of theft. Another technique to reduce it’s chance of being pinched is to make it look crappy. I’m an expert at that.
|The bike folds up like my previous bikes. Kicking the rear wheel under brakes the rear wheel and allows me to lean it against anything without risk of it falling over. And it just looks too weird to steal.|
|Closeup of the rear wheel hinge. Rear brake tucks into a tight space under the chain stays. This is the only place it would fit. I can’t use a disc brake with the DX hub.|
|Pedals are MKS quick-release. They disengage from the crankarm quickly, similar to an air compressor fitting. Only the left pedal needs to be removed when bagging. I need toe clips and straps on this bike so I can pull up hard on the hills.|
|The seat extender post. A 26.8 mm seat post fits into it. I made it as short as possible and used as little material I thought I could get away with.|
|Old stem I made for some earlier project was shortened and re-brazed to fit this bike. A coin was brazed to the top of the stem tube.|
|Since the wheel flips down, I need something to take up some chain slack and keep it in place. This chain tensioner is from an early Rholoff hub kit. It is not a derailleur, and not designed to shift the chain sideways.|
|In a Safeway grocery store with the bike under the basket. Where a large sack of dog food may normally go.|