B&W Foldon Hardcase Review
Posted on 28 July 2017
Every time I took a trip to London U.K., I became obsessed with Brompton-spotting. Watching the hustle and bustle of London Brompton commuters on their folding contraptions, whizzing up and down the cycle superhighways which criss-cross the city, before hopping on and off the underground with their swiftly collapsed and reassembled machines. In my mind, this is how city commuting should be. After hankering for a Brompton for years and spending hours online reviewing, choosing frame colour, handlebar set up, titanium upgrades and so forth, I purchased my Racing Green Brompton (H6Lx with Son Dynamo). It was everything I hoped for – fast, sleek, convenient and practical for downtown Toronto living.
A few months into my tenure as a Brompton owner, I was asked to take a work trip to the U.K., where I would be working in both London and Oxford. There was no question that the Brompton would be coming with me. For my 2-week trip, I used a B&W Foldon Hardcase to stow my Brompton. This case is sleek and smart with a main fastening opposite the hinges and additional chunky velcro straps to ensure the case stays closed. The box comfortably fits the folded bike, after removing my seat post, with sufficient room leftover for my larger toiletries and some sweaters although this did bring me very close to the 23 kg weight limit. The remainder of my possessions I packed into my work satchel and YNOT Brompton Catch Messenger Bag – a snug fit, but I am not the lightest of travelers.
Sleek but functional: the case comfortably fits the Brompton and holds it safe in a padded interior with a double locking mechanism and broad Velcro straps
I flew Air Canada to London and checked my Brompton case as over-sized luggage at no extra cost whilst my other 2 bags, I took into the cabin. The flight was somewhat excruciating, both as a red-eye and as I wondered the fate of my beloved Brompton through baggage handling. I needn’t have worried. The sturdy case arrived in London on the baggage carousel without a scratch and with my Brompton unharmed, I was relieved and impressed!
Solo adventures: as a lone traveler, the case was easy to move around the airport although a snug fit in a European car
The main downside of this case for international travel is that it is quite wide and boxy and although it comfortably fit in the back seat of a European sized car (Audi A1), it did not fit in the boot. I had a few issues navigating the narrow and twisting corridors and staircases of an English house given the width of the case, not helped by the exaggerated handle which seems to extend just a bit too far out of the case causing it to be a tad unbalanced. However, once I was settled into my accommodation, the case was convenient to store all of my possessions as I went to and from work on my Brompton with the messenger bag.
Using the bicycle for the first time after the flight, I was worried that there could be something shaken loose or damaged but the Brompton was in tip top condition besides needing some more air in the tires. On my day trip to London, I left the case behind and took the soft cover and was able to travel on the overground train from Oxford to Paddington at rush hour with no problems, folding bicycles are welcome anytime. As an inexperienced London cyclist, I was amazed at how easy it was to find safe routes and the courteousy of drivers – Toronto has a lot to learn on that front.
Bromptons are welcome here: train travel with a folded Brompton was unrestricted and easy
My return flight to Toronto was much more relaxed as I trusted the case to do its job in protecting and transporting my Brompton home, and that’s exactly what it did.
Overall, I would highly recommend this case for international travel and would give this product 4/5 stars.
Robust Two trips through baggage handling and not even a scratch!
Stylish looking smart and professional, this case is appropriate for work based trips and meetings as well as vacations
Protection I could trust this case to look after my Brompton so the bicycle was immediately ride-able upon arrival
Convenient easy to travel with when flying solo and fits in cars (albeit on the back seat of smaller vehicles), buses and hotel rooms very well
Money Saving Unfolded bicycles incur a cost to check on a flight so this circumvents that charge as well as public transport/bicycle hire on the day-to-day once you’ve arrived at your destination
Heavy not much additional weight allowance for the hold with Brompton and case, so made me grateful for my titanium fork and rear-triangle upgrade
Bulky I don’t think the case could be any smaller whilst still protecting the Brompton but it is much wider than a traditional suitcase. The next time I travel to Europe I will consider the B&W Foldon Box S