I've been looking into possibly taking my bike with me on planes as carry on (not checking in). This is for (i) avoiding the extra cost of checking in oversized luggage and (ii) avoid breaking any parts during checkin.

So I got searching and of course I found lots of information on "foldable" bikes such as Bromptons that seem to fit over-head compartments (link):

enter image description here

So I got curious, can regular diamond shaped bikes also be packed in such a way?

Some more search I found ways to disassemble them and pack them inside a thin tarp (link):

enter image description here

This of course lead me to the natural question: will that fit inside a carry-on compartment of an airplane just as the Brompton did?

Bike wheels already being 26/28" might already be a deal breaker for this, but was curious if anybody ever tried bringing a disassembled diamond frame bike on an actual flight.


The carry-on standard limit is: 22” x 14” x 9”. My thinking was that a 28" wheel could still be packed with an angle in a 22" case, so am curious if anybody ever tried that.

Here's an interesting concept design for collapsable diamond frame + wheels.


You are correct that bike wheels are the dealbreaker—even if you could get the frame down to carry-on size, you won't get the wheels that small (although people have tried making collapsible bike wheels too).

There are full-sized bikes made with couplers, which can be taken apart and packed in a case with the same footprint as the wheels, and there are a few "full-sized folders" that look nearly identical to a conventional bike as well. But these will always be bigger than carry-on size. Attempting to bring one on board would require the indulgence of the cabin crew, and is not something you could count on.

  • 4
    Nope. Pythagoras' theorem says the maximum diagonal dimension inside the box is 26.07" and that's outside dimension from corner to corner, not counting for tire width or case thickness. – ojs Sep 2 '20 at 15:12
  • 5
    That's not possible in Euclidean geometry. – Adam Rice Sep 2 '20 at 15:12
  • 1
    I should mention that these full-sized folders and take-apart bikes fit into a case that would not be considered oversize luggage by an airline. They'd be regular checked luggage. – Adam Rice Sep 2 '20 at 16:11
  • 1
    Also consider, airlines would count bikes as "oversize sports equipment" along with golf clubs, and kayaks and incur a relatively modest fee compared to the "excess baggage" fee charged per kilogram over your allocation. It is worth doing the numbers, and advising the airline you're bringing something odd as early as possible. – Criggie Sep 2 '20 at 19:45
  • 1
    @Criggie I've seen, once, airline advertising no fee for oversized sports equipment for first X passengers that'll buy tickets for a given flight. – Mołot Sep 4 '20 at 9:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.