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 MapsOSMapsHereWeGo and ApeMap. Now I only use – the best offline app for cycling in my opinion. This map shows you even the height profile while in bike mode.

navigation bike, brompton, smartphone navigate
With all the cards in the world can be downloaded and used offline. I you wanna know how I managed to cycle in New York, have a look here.

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.

verliebt Brompton, Brompton best folding bike, best bike, bike travel, bike holidays
OK. I admit it. I’ve fallen in love with the Brompton. At least a little bit.

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.

equipment bike, Brompton beach, beach bike
The Brompton – the Mercedes among folding bikes. Here at Playa Salinas, Cuba.

Other good folding bikes provide the following brands: Dahon and  Riese & Müller. Of course there are now many many more. Check them, do a test run and you will come back to the little brompton.

folding bike, bike on the bus, brompton, folding bike vs. bike, good bike, bike travel
The Brompton is simply unbeatable when it comes to quick and easy folding. Here at the bus station in Barranquilla, Colombia.

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.

folding bike, brompton, equipment, choose bike, travel by bike, bike travel, equipment bike travel
Here compared to the standard bike. The 16-inch tires make it easy to pack. Offering a good transition, it is also unbeatable in terms of performance.

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.

Folding helmet, folding bike, equipment folding bike, brompton equipment, travel by bike
The folding helmet made by Overade fits perfectly and protects you.
Helmet bicycle, folding helmet, equipement folding bike
It can be folded up so small that it fits in a purse.

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.

bags folding bike, bike travel, holiday by bicycle, bike holiday
The backpack from Osprey can be attached easily on the rack. The straps of the backpack can be stowed with a zipper inside. While flying I can use it as a carry on bag. Here: Buenos Aires, Argentina

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?

front bag bicycle, tote bag brompton, brompton bag, equipment bike travel, equipment brompton
I’ve found the perfect combination of a purse and a bicycle bag, available at the Brompton shop.

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.

tote bag brompton, brompton bag, equipment brompton, travel by bike
There is enough space for my laptop, some personal items and a bottle of water.

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!

bags brompton, travel bike bags, brompton travel bag, travel bicycle bag
With the rubber straps on the rack of the Brompton I can easily attach my bag pack to the bike. On top I put the mattress that I use to wrap it for the flight. To the right is the wheel of my buddy Mo, with panniers of course.

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.

Repairkit: I always travel with two 16 inch tubes, since this measure is anything but common. Here you can find them from Schwalbe for 7.50 EUR. I also have a small toolkit made by Brompton.

Brompton toolkit, equipment brompton
The Brompton toolkit is super smart – you wouldn’t expect it any different – and disappears in the frame of the Brompton. Although not cheap (50 EUR) it is very practical.

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.

asus lock, bike lock, secure bike, bike lock brompton, brompton
The lock can be attached with velcro to the frame. Even when I fold the bike, the lock can stay at the frame and doesn’t bother.

If you have any further questions or other ideas for traveling with a folding bike, just leave me a comment.

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  1. Hi, I’m totally inspired by your Brompton travels. I’m an English woman living in Kufstein & have today looked at a Brompton for the first time. I’d discounted them as I found they appeared like a childs bike in my opinion with their tiny wheels, however I decided to take a look as the shop had one & highly recommended it. I was very surprised when I found myself seriously impressed. I almost bought it on the spot! After giving myself a talking to I decided to come home & do some more research. My initial requirement was to buy a folding bike that I could transport in my small car & therefore use more often to explore at the weekends. I’d also considered the possibly of taking it on the train down to Italy & up to Munich, over to Vienna & so on. So, having come across your article I’ve taken on board all your tips & would love to know which model Brompton you have. I’m guessing its a Superlight as you fly with it.
    Really look forward to hearing from you.
    Bye for now
    Happy cycling

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