Electric bikes on airplanes?

For discussion of folding e-bikes: Mando Footloose etc.

Electric bikes on airplanes?

Postby nycewheels on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:33 pm

Here's a blog written by our friend and employee, Jack, about some new technology that makes traveling with electric bikes a little easier. Thought it would make a good forum topic:

"The Brompton is really the world's first jet-setter bicycle, compact enough to fit in the overhead of an airplane, can pass through the conveyor belt ex-ray machine at security, and performs well enough to ride as far and as fast as you could ever want, from Paris to Barcelona for example...

All this is still a relatively new idea. Every airline has their own policies regarding bikes, and many are not aware of folding bikes and/or have not drafted policies to account for them. Nevertheless progress is made everyday. Just a few weeks ago, a representative from American Airlines, Newton Dixon, came by and spoke with us about how he takes his own Brompton bike on the plane with him everywhere he goes and that he recently showed the Brompton to the head of the TSA at Newark who approved it as a carry on.

So it sounds like the Brompton is slowly but surely making it into the inner circles. But what about the electric brompton bike?
New airline legal Li-Po batteries!

Electric bikes are notoriously difficult to take overseas, as airlines have very strict policies regarding the size of lithium batteries. Previously, the 11ah -15 batteries used to power the electric brompton exceeded the limits imposed by most airlines, making it impossible to travel via air.

Electric Brompton Bike split batteryBut what if you could power the e-Brompton with two smaller batteries working in tandem? Apparently while one large battery is strictly prohibited, several smaller batteries can be allowed on board.
The magic number for brompton travel

As it turned out, a 4.4ah battery is just about the perfect size. Electric brompton bikes can now be fit with two 4.4 ah batteries which are each below 160 Watt hours in capacity and therefore legal to take on an airplane. With a combined 8.8 amp hour total, you'll still have great range and power, and as each battery is under the regulation battery limits, you'll still be able to travel with your electric brompton!
Added benefits

Brompton electric bikeThe smaller 4.4ah batteries have a few other advantages over the traditional larger Li-Po's. Whereas the larger batteries have to be stored inside the Brompton bag, the smaller 4.4ah batteries can actually fit inside the rear pouch. This frees up more room for your stuff in the main pocket of the bag, makes the batteries easier to remove and, as they are now in an isolated compartment, you won't have to worry about the batteries bumping into your laptop and such.

Onwards and upwards in the world of electric folding bikes. To purchase, just follow this link to the Brompton Electric Bike, and select the "8.8 back pouch battery" option at check out: http://www.nycewheels.com/brompton-electric-bike.html

All the best

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