I have now received copies of the Ikea bicycle folding instructions from Christine (a very kind lady who commented on a previous post). The instructions are reproduced here with due acknowledgements to the Raleigh Cycle Company. They have not answered my central query but I am pleased to have them all the same because the absence of a specific answer is interesting in itself.
As instructions go, they are OK but incomplete in relation to the Ikea bike. Those parts of the folding and unfolding procedure that are covered are so obvious as to hardly require written instructions – although the safety note regarding the handlebar stem is worth noting.
What I find interesting is that, apparently, these bikes were supplied complete with Avenir bags which had Velcro straps so that the bag could be carried conveniently on the handlebars. The implication of all this was that the bike could be ridden, then folded quickly without special tools and put in the bag to be carried on the next stage of the journey by bus or train etc. The trouble is, I think this was deceptive. In reality, the handlebars (it seems to me) cannot be folded in the manner illustrated in Pic A in the instructions to allow the bike to fit neatly into the bag. Instead they have to be detached, using an Allen key to loosen a bolt within the hingeing assembly and thus enabling the lower handlebar stem to be withdrawn from the frame. This raises a further question – what was the point of building a folding arrangement (especially that folding arrangement) into the handlebar stem when the whole assembly has to be detached from the bike frame anyway for it to fit in the bag?