The BYB in my Tern BYB P8 folding bike mode name stands for 'Bring Your Bike'. The wonderful thing about a folding bike is taking it, anywhere.
When I saw the Tern Airporter Slim case, on their site, the idea of an easily flyable bike really appealed. It isn't for point-to-point touring, more 'hub and spoke' (day rides from a base) but that is the type of cycle touring I like.
Photo from Tern Website
Trying to buy one...
None of the local Tern dealers had one in stock. Rouleur, where I got my bike, were happy to order it in and said would come back to me with a price:
The supplier does not stock this but can order it in for you.
I'm waiting to hear back on how long this will take.
The next day they came back with some disappointing news...
He came back after trying to order saying they are not available anymore.
Sorry about that.
Seems odd that Tern still lists it on their website but make it impossible to purchase, in New Zealand anyway.
Giving up, but then...
Oh well, time to find out if any locally available hard luggage is the right size. After a bit of measuring, I found the Tern case is much the same size as a normal suitcase except for height. After a lot of searching, I found even the largest '32 Inch' (thank you USA) normal hard suitcase is about 60mm too short (internally)...
Trying even harder to buy one...
Back to the web and searching all the usual, and even some unusual, bike and general websites the Airporter Slim was impossible to find. Even some sites that listed it showed out of stock and no known restock date.
Then I found My Bike Shop (MBS) in Singapore had one listed as 'Last Unit'. After a bit of mulling, the freight was about the same price as the case, I decided to order. I'm going to have this bike for years, seems a shame not to have one accessory that makes it far more useable for air travel.
When I placed the order the payment section (via 'Stripe' card processing) failed even after I had put the bank generated transaction confirmation code in. It was it was flagged 'possibly fraudulent'. Put off by that I gave up again....
A bit later I discovered my credit card was locked, then a message in the bank's web portal that I had to unlock the card, approve the vendor (in the bank web portal), and then approve the transaction code. The transaction flagging was not due to MBS, just bank transaction monitoring considering the value and location outside my usual transaction habits.
Having jumped through all those hoops the transaction went through and, several weeks later, the MBS listing shows 'Out of Stock' so seems it really was the last!
And here it is!
This is my Airporter Slim next to a standard 'large', about 800mm, hard suitcase. That little bit of extra height makes all the difference.
Before checking the BYB fits you must evict the CAT...
Folded, one pedal removed, and ready to fly. If I used Tern's supplied removeable pedal there would be no tool disassembly at all, but I prefer a standard combo flat/clipless pedal. Other than that, and pumping up the tyres, it is ready to go out of the box!
The supplied base board (on the left) and cover/straps make for a secure protected package. There is a bit of room for bike shoes, maybe a helmet, but this plus a cabin bag is all I need for a short trip.
My first trip will be a domestic flight, to Dunedin at the end of November, and I look forward trying it for real.
See it in action...
You can see it in action in Bike Shop Girl's "How I fly my bike for free" video: