The Chainlink

I'm considering a folder specifically to take on the South Shore Railroad.  I know this line has a history of being hostile to bikers.  Anyone have stories to share?  Their official policies allow bikes that fit on the luggage racks.  I've taken measurement of the racks (not spacious, but, I think, do-able).  Thoughts?

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I tried to take my old Italian u-folder on the SS last Summer, and the conductor kicked me off because it wasn't in a bag. It doesn't really fold small enough for a bag.


So I went back to the desk to get a refund, and the saleswoman said he shouldn't have done that because I was inside the timeframe for bikes to be allowed.


So firstly, it's down to who you end up dealing with, but secondly, I would get a smaller modern folder that fits in a bag.  I'm not that well-versed on which ones to get, but I bet some of the other folks on here could suggest some good models for you.

Brompton: small, compact, great for trains, fits in a bag or pseudobag with no bottom easily, but a bit expensive, and gearing is odd, though usable. This is ideal for your intended use, and you can carry a bunch on it with the front cargo bags they have. I'd get one with fenders, no rack, 3 or more gears.

Bike Friday New World Tourist and similar: disassemble-able, don't fold fast, clunky when folded, but will disassemble into a suitcase that later works as a trailer. Good for planes, not trains.

Bike Friday Tikit - a bit clunky but possibly usable, needs to be held closed.

Birdy: again, clunky when folded. I don't think the ones I call clunky will fit well on a rack since they have sharp bits sticking off at odd angles and they don't hold themselves folded as you lift them up and down.

Dahon: many versions, most have a single fold and are clunky for putting on an overhead rack. Some might be OK - I don't have one. There is supposedly a newish Dahon that uses the Brompton type fold, nearly, perhaps not easy to find. There is a new Dahon spinoff company called Tern mentioned elsewhere in the folders group. I think these will all need a bag to work on a train, which costs you time. Inexpensive and well regarded bikes though.

Xootr or other Swift: big package when folded, don't think it would convince many conductors. 

Strida - would fit in a rack easily - it's like a big broom - but not supposed to be nice to ride (haven't tried it)


Hi David,

 I have decided to sell my Mezzo D9. It comes with a Birdy bag. I have done a few mods to tweek things a little. My firm asking price is $700 cash. It is in pristine condition with very low miles.Possible trade for a macbook pro or very recent macbook. If you might be interested, send me an email & I will send you pictures. Carrie

I've taken my Dahon Speed (20" wheels) on the South Shore a few times without incident.  It's been bagged, and I put it on the seat next to me.  I had it ready to go before the train arrived, and the conductor did not give me a problem on any trips.



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