When I sold my 4 seat Tampico in order to buy the RV-6, I pretty much thought I was giving up my dream of someday having a folding bicycle that would fit in the plane. I have been looking at them on the internet for years, finding prices ranging from around $200 for a spindly looking thing with tiny wheels to more than $600 for one that looked like a real bike. I've always thought the Montague bikes looked the best, and had the price been more in range with what I willing to spend, I'd have gotten one.
Sometime earlier this year, Sam's Club started selling the Hummer, a folding mountain bike made by Montague in a promotional arrangement with GM. I've studied it closely every time we've gone to Sam's, noting the high quality of the brakes and shifter stuff. It's light, too, weighing in at 26 pounds. Still, if I remember correctly it was priced at over $300, which was a bargain compared to the normal street price of nearly $800, but still a bit too dear for me. Today, while browsing down the aisle just to get another glance, I noticed that the price was down to $199. Yow! At that price I decided to buy one whether it fits in the plane or not! I've been riding the same cheap Huffy that I bought ten years ago to carry Co-pilot Egg in a baby seat. That activity, by the way, lasted only as long as it took her to realize that she could sit back there and give Daddy wedgies.
Still, I was hoping I could find a way to load the Hummer into the RV. There are just tons of places that I haven't gone to or only go to rarely because there's nothing to do or see within walking distance. Being able to bring a full-size bike along will be fabulous!
And it really is a full-size bike. Here's what it looks like ready to ride:
This is a close-up of the front brake, which I think is indicative of the quality of the various components:
To fold the bake, you remove the front wheel, which only takes a few seconds. Then you use this quick release to release the center joint:
Here it is folded up just before my first attempt to get it in the plane:
I was able to get it in there like that, but it was tough and I worried about scratching the paint or dinging up the fancy gears on the bike. I had a heck of a time getting it back out of there - it was like a barbed fish hook. Once it was in, it wasn't coming back out! I finally managed to get it back out of there, and went ahead and removed the seat, pedals, and rear wheel. None of that was particularly hard to do, and it made it much easier to get everything into the plane. Here it is snuggled into the baggage area:
It's fairly secure back there, but I'm worried that rough air could cause it to fly up and bang against the plexiglass, so I'm going to find a way to hold it in place with a bungee cord, or even better, a tie-down strap. I'm guessing that it will take about 5 minutes to get the bike out of the plane and reassembled. Once I get good at it, I think it will be pretty easy to do. For now, though, it's a bit of trial and error.
I haven't actually ridden the bike yet, so I can't comment on the ride. Maybe tomorrow if this dismal weather clears up enough.
I pulled the bike out of the plane this morning and had it ready to ride in less than 5 minutes. Most of that time was putting the rear wheel back on. If you were just folding it and tossing it in your car/boat, it would take less than a minute for folding and unfolding. It's light, too, so it's easy to move around, although it's bulky and unless you grip it right (or wrap it in a bungee like I've tahen to doing) it will try to unfold at the most inconvenient times.
I tossed it in the back of the Subie and took it home for a ride around the neighborhood. It rides great! There's a little gear-jumping, but I haven't tried to adjust it yet. The rear brake is very effective, and the front disc brake is much gentler. The seat is as comfortable as all bike seats seem to be these days, which is to say it's pretty hard and is going to hurt after a few miles.