Yes, it’s true: There is nothing better than traveling with a folding bike. But which folding bike is eligible and why? What tricks do I use to travel cheaply? Which apps help me while traveling? All about the equipment for your journey with a folding bike you can find here!
Which navigation do I use?
I only use my phone to navigate. And that’s usually fine. Many navigation apps and maps can be used for free. Thus, you can also navigate offline. At the beginning of my journey, I used three free maps Google Maps, OSMaps, HereWeGo and ApeMap. Now I only use maps.me – the best offline app for cycling in my opinion. This map shows you even the height profile while in bike mode.
The GPS signal is usually stronger on the phone if it is supported by WiFi. That is why I always plan the route ahead while using WiFi. If GPS later on will not work properly I can still find my way.
Which folding bike is the best for you?
Sure, the most important consideration is, which folding bike is the best for your journey. This decision has cost me about half a year research and a few trial runs in Munichs Brompton store. Eventually the British manufactured folding bike ‘Brompton’ won – the Mercedes among folding bikes. And what applies to a Mercedes applies also here: Quality has its price.
The Manufactures of Brompton in London have been around since 1975 and in all these years they have developed this masterpiece of folding bike. It is almost perfect. Furthermore, everything is handmade. You might have noticed by now, despite its ‘pretty’ price, I am absolutely thrilled by this vehicle.
None of the other wheels could convince me as much as the Brompton. When it comes to folding and flexibility it beats all others simply by its small 16-inch tires.
Which helmet is well-built but can disappear in your bag later?
If you have a folding bike what else do you need for sure? A folding helmet, right?! I found a very good folding helmet made by Overade. None of the other helmet can fold that small. All the other folding helmets from e. g. Darrera can’t keep up with the Overade bicycle helmet. Thanks to brilliant system, this helmet fits into almost any pocket. Already in 2010 this helmet was awarded with the Grand Innovation Award of France.
Despite its pliability, this helmet is absolutely stable and protects you in case of an accident. And besides, it is not more expensive than others. The price is between 50 and 90 EUR.
Which bags do you need for you and your folding bike?
Bicycle bag or rucksack?
I have put a lot of thought into the subject ‘bags’. Two conditions had to meet my bag: A bag that I could also use comfortably if I don’t wanna use my bike. Thus, bicycle bags were out of the question. At the same time this bag or a backpack should fit on a bike and can be easily fixed on the bike.
The most important thing when choosing a backpack: I don’t want to pay extra fees for my bike. The only way to do this: I can check in the bike as regular luggage and take the backpack on board. There are several bagpack models that are suitable as hand luggage. For me the Osprey Farpoint 40th is the most spacious.
Frontbag or bag that can be used as a purse and as a bike bag?
The ‘tote bag’ can be fastened on the bike and easily removed to be used as a tote bag. Since my backpack already has go on board I found that small bag very convenient. The front bags of the Brompton can be quickly fixed with a single click using a special frame that comes with the bag.
How can you attach smartphones and bags to the bike?
As mentioned above, I travel without Garmin. Therefore my smartphone is my guide. To attach it to the bike I use the simple holder from Finn. For only 10 euros you can order it at Amazon. However, I must admit that I usually put the smartphone in my pocket. Every now and then I take a look at the screen, simply for not getting lost. In Central and South America there are areas or neighborhoods where one should not necessarily show off his newest smartphone. Therefore, better keep it close to you!
What else you’ll need:
Power bank: When you navigate by phone, then you should by no means do that without a spare power bank. I use the Poweradd. Which is small and handy and has got 5000mA.
Bag for the bike on the plane: There are all kinds of bags to pack the Brompton. I picked the cheapest. The bag of radical design can be folded and fastened to the saddle or the handlebars. To get the bike on the plane I pull the rabbit out of the hat: I wrap my bike with a thick yoga mat. And tatataaaa – my little bike has survived 21 flights so far using that method.
Bike lock: I use a bicycle lock with key from ABUS.