How to bring a folding bike onto MRT?

by chuwa on September 22, 2007

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Other related posts/links:
– Bicycle? no, it’s a shopping trolley!
– Traveling with folding bike
– Jz88 folding bike home
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I enjoy taking the MRT but hate waiting for buses. However, many places I need to go is just too far away from the MRT stations and require a connection bus service. If I have my bicycle with me I can easily cycle there without waiting. I start to explore the “MRT+Folding Bike” method a few years back and since then helped others to do the same.

Jz88 folding bike on SMRT platform

There are 3 ways you can bring a folding bike onto MRT:

1) In a carrier bag
2) Carry the bike fully collapsed
3) Roll it in as a trolley

Regardless of which method you choose, you may push the bicycle as far as it is acceptable by others to save time and effort. For JZ88 users, this means you may take the escalator (e.g. City Hall MRT, from grand level to B1) with the bike unfolded. Do make sure you and your bike stand on the left hand side, leaving enough clearance for others to pass. You really only need to “transform” the bicycle before entering the ticket concourse.

1) In a carrier bag
Beginners prefer this method.
Advantage: the package does not look like a bike any more, it transformed into a “luggage”. For JZ88 folding bicycle, it becomes a luggage within the size limit of MRT.
The downside is the extra time required to pack and unpack the bike at both end of your MRT journey. You also have to carry the load everywhere you go in the MRT station.

2) Carry the bike fully collapsed
If you start with method (1), sooner or later you will discover it is too much trouble to pack and unpack the bike each time in front of the MRT station. Even though it is just a 20 seconds affair each time.
The disadvantage of carrying the bike “naked” is now the bike is visible to all, including the MRT staffs. However, I never heard anyone got rejected JZ88 into the MRT. Perhaps the “toy like” appearance and the compact size helps. After all, it is still within the size limit set by the MRT.
Tips: lock the saddle with the nose pointing slightly left and use the nose as the handle to carry the bike. Gravity force will help to keep the bike in folded condition.

3) Roll it in as a trolley

This is really for the experienced user, the so called “trolley mode“. The big deal here is the fact that you no longer need to carry the bike.
BONUS: you can use the “trolley” to carry extra load if you have the front pannier attached. And the whole thing is self-standing.
However, the handling does take a bit of training and practice.
Tips 1: when you need to turn, imagine the handle bar is fixed, e.g. swing the whole handle left to turn right. If you turn the handle bar alone, the wheels will jam together or move apart.
Tips 2: the trolley-mode is also “escalator friendly”. I push the trolley to the left hand side and keep the right side of the escalator clear for others to pass.
Tips 3: if you see the train is crowded as it approaches, fold down the handle bar and detach the front pannier (if you have it). Bring the completely folded bike and the pannier separately into the train cabin. stack the pannier on top of the folded bike to reduce foot print.

If the train is really too packed, wait for the next train as you would normally. The fundamental here is to be considerate to other users. Once you put this principle in mind, you will enjoy the best of both world – clean, reliable and efficient of long distance travel by MRT and the ultimate door-to-door personal mobility of folding bicycle.

Curious? Now you can try it risk free for 2 weeks

————————————————————
Other related posts/links:
– Bicycle? no, it’s a shopping trolley!
– Traveling with folding bike
– Jz88 folding bike home
————————————————————

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

chuwa September 24, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Thanks to Mr.Brown and tinkertailor, this post has been “Tomorrowed”. Cheers!

Reply

sarip September 24, 2007 at 11:55 pm

nice.

Reply

The Singapore Daily September 25, 2007 at 10:51 am

Hi, you have been featured in The Singapore Daily (singaporedaily.wordpress.com). Keep blogging!

Reply

chuwa September 25, 2007 at 11:24 pm

Thanks singaporedaily, I hope more Singaporean will know about this wonderful option of commuting: clean, convenient, enhancing individual mobility and fitness.
No more waiting (for buses) just a pure continuous movement of bicycling..

Reply

Ponder Stibbons September 26, 2007 at 10:06 am

Now for the next step: Allowing bikes on MRT during off-peak hours, and installing bike racks on public buses. Many US cities have such schemes, and it makes it so much easier to replace parts of your commute with a greener, healthier option.

Reply

chuwa September 26, 2007 at 6:38 pm

Agree, perhaps SMRT and Singaporean will be more prepared to allow normal bicycle on board after getting used to the idea that people bringing their folding bike on MRT.
From anti-bicycle to pro-bicycle, it will take time and series of events for such transition to take place.

Reply

Retro Bicycles October 24, 2007 at 3:06 am

Give me an old cool bicycle, and I’ll ride around the city for days.

Reply

Terry Tang December 30, 2007 at 12:31 pm

It would be nice if the bicycle tyres are made of solid rubber
to avoid facing an unexpected puncture.

I’ve already got a foldable Taiwan-made bike, but its too large and heavy to be carried up to a bus.

Reply

Leisure Cyclist April 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Great Idea! If only the Authorities could see your point of view. I suppose it all boils down to being considerate and being civic mindedness.

Reply

Chinamotorscooter August 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm

How cute and creative! I like it!

Reply

Wanda October 24, 2008 at 6:39 pm

People should read this.

Reply

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