While on the move over the past few weeks, I had a shower thought where I figured it would be extremely convenient to travel with a folding bike that fits within the allowed dimensions of hand luggage.
Turns out, of course, I’m not the only one with this idea. Kwiggle is in the process of releasing a bike that purposely folds such that it fits your hand luggage (on many airlines). However, they’ve been kicking the idea around for years, but do claim they will start shipping their bike by the end of this year.
At a very steep 1500 euros.
Typical foldable bikes tend to be much cheaper, starting at under 200 euros. What you gain in price, you lose in weight. But, practically all, if not all, fall outside the size specifications for hand luggage. Even research on aliexpress didn’t lead to anything.
Surprisingly, other foldable bikes that make some claim to being the smallest are either outrageously expensive, like the crazily priced 3500 GPB Hummingbird, or vapourware, like the Helix, which is actually too big to fit in your hand luggage, and still costs an absurd 1900 USD, or like this seemingly useless contraption.
There’s also the A-bike, which is even electric and sells for a not completely unreasonable 600 euros. But, though small, is 70cm tall when folded, 15cm taller than typical hand luggage allows.
Other A-frame bikes are made by Strida, but are all too tall, too.
I’m surprised no readily foldable bikes exist that fit hand luggage dimensions. Here’s a business opportunity!
A note on airports
On the way back home to Brazil, I had another long stopover, waiting in Istanbul for 4.5 hours, after first a two hour delay in Amsterdam. I realised that where I used to enjoy the bustle of airports, they now mildly irritate me; The sameness, the unnecessary rush, the overly strict treatment of passengers, all airports have become one big necessary blur with no individuality.
Once, they were the gateway to the world, in all their diversity. Now, they are the harbingers of mediocre and averaged unified global culture.
At least the Turkish airport served Turkish coffee. But that only made me long for the superior Turkish coffee I had all over Jordan.