by Maynard Hershon
As some of you will know from articles elsewhere, I now have a travel bike for rides far from home, rides that are airplane trips away.
I'd long wanted a bike that would pack small, thus not alerting airline employees to it's bike-ness. Domestic airlines like to charge $40 or $50 extra per flight just for the hassle of dealing with our bikes. I'd like to save them that hassle.....
.....I learned that an aerospace machine shop in Roseville, California, S and S Machine, makes devices called torque couplers that allow normal bicycles to divide into two sections for travel.
S and Sís Steve Smilanick developed the couplers after years of frustrating travel with his bike.
The stainless steel couplers are brazed into the top- and down-tubes of a new bicycle. In come cases you can retrofit them into an existing bicycle frame. Iíd direct my questions to Smilanick at S and S.
In a few moments, you can pack a full-sized, 700 cc-wheeled bike into a case 10 inches deep and just barely big enough to hold the wheels. The case will not be surcharged at the airport. The bike comes up the conveyer; you grab it off the carousel.
When you put the bike back together using the small tool supplied with your couplers, your bike will act as if it was always one piece. There is no negative aspect, no way to tell the frame separates.
Uphill, downhill, rough roads, anything at all. Just like a bike.
When I last checked, around 30 builders nationwide were approved to build S and S bikes. Among them are: Salsa, Rex, Sycip, Rivendell, Waterford, Co-Motion, Erickson, Sachs, Davidson, LaMoure, and a bunch of others scattered around the country.
Reynolds was my sponsor, remember. Several outfits who build S and S-coupled bikes are Reynolds customers, and are 853 builders to boot, Waterford Cycles among them.
So--I have a green-and-yellow, S and S-coupled, 853 Waterford, made in Wisconsin. Itís beautiful. With its new Campagnolo racing triple parts group, it will do nearly anything a traveling road bike might be asked to do: uphill, downhill, at the baggage claim, anywhere at all.
Publisher: Bob Mack
P.O. Box 283
Mountain View, CA 94042