Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

· I drank what?
Joined
·
3,240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Might be doing a race in Europe next year, except I've never traveled with my road bike via plane.

Any good recommendation on cases or how to properly protect it from getting destroyed by the baggage throw..errr handlers?
 

· Clyde-o-Matic
Joined
·
728 Posts
I've taken bikes to/from Europe twice. Did it both times with no damage in a cardboard bike box and no airline fees (one of the few rewards of 100K flying). Make sure you put a spacer (get it from your LBS when you get the box) in the drop outs. Reinforce the box with plenty of tape on the corners and bottom. To prevent the box from crushing get some poster mailing tubes and cut them the inside width of the box. Tape about 6-8 sections of these tubes in the box to support it from being crushed from the side. Finally, after getting everything in the box, I try to pack garbage bags of clothes or other items that I'm taking to also help keep the box rigid. Foam peanuts in a bag also work.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
10,106 Posts
j__h said:
Might be doing a race in Europe next year, except I've never traveled with my road bike via plane.

Any good recommendation on cases or how to properly protect it from getting destroyed by the baggage throw..errr handlers?

Do a search. There are lots of posts on this. If you put in "Trico Iron" you will come up with some of my posts.

The one thing I would add is that some of the US airlines now are charging a surcharge for bags over 50 pounds -- American did this when I flew back from Zurich in April. That is, a weight surcharge over and above whatever surcharge they charge for a bike. A Trico Iron Case weighs about 31 pounds without a bike in it. If your bike is light enough, you may make it under the 50 pound limit. However, if you put tools, clothes, etc. in the case, you surely will trip the 50 pound limit. I think that the Euorpean airlines are OK so long as the box weighs less than 30 kilos (66 pounds). They important thing is to have a copy of the airline's baggage regulations with you when you check in -- the gate attendants often do not know the rules and you may have to argue with them (for example, bikes often get a $50-80 surcharge on domestic US flighs, but go for free on many international flights -- more than one gate agent has tried to charge me for taking my bike on an international flight).
 

· Banned
Joined
·
2,767 Posts
I just did a trip with my Moots in a Sci-Con Aero 53 Plus soft case. It did well. I got the soft case because I figured the TSA monkeys might not have the mental faculties necessary to put things back in their proper place in a hard case. With the soft case, all they had to do was open a zipper and close it. The case has 2 padded wheel pockets, and the bike frame mounts to 2 quick releases attached to a metal frame in the bottom of the case. Muy good.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
Remove CO2

I use an Iron Case and it is great. Yes, you might have to endure the surcharge, but it is better than having the bike damaged in a cardboard box. Under any circumstances, be sure to remove your CO2 cartridges. If you forget, they'll find 'em in x-ray and either open the box to remove them or reject the bike and send it back to the return address. And if they open it, there is no way it will be repacked in a way even remotely acceptable to you or anyone else.
 

· classiquesklassieker
Joined
·
3,113 Posts
j__h said:
Might be doing a race in Europe next year, except I've never traveled with my road bike via plane.

Any good recommendation on cases or how to properly protect it from getting destroyed by the baggage throw..errr handlers?
Do a search - this has been asked many times and you will want to read all the comments.

Your bag WILL get inspected, assuming that you are flying out and back into the United States. So don't get overambitious in packing, and make it as easy as possible for the TSA people to repack your bike. For that reason I recommend soft-shell like the Bike Pro USA, rather than the hardshell cases.

Sure, the hardshell ones are more sturdy, but chances are they won't be landing a C-5 Galaxy on your case any time soon, and more damage is done by improper RE-packing by the TSA personnel than getting a 747 to land right on your bike case.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,116 Posts
I have done both- boxes and a Tri Co. Never had a problem with either.

Be advised that the racing scene is quite different than in the US.

j__h said:
Might be doing a race in Europe next year, except I've never traveled with my road bike via plane.

Any good recommendation on cases or how to properly protect it from getting destroyed by the baggage throw..errr handlers?
 

· gastarbeiter
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
j_h said:
Might be doing a race in Europe next year, except I've never traveled with my road bike via plane
planning early aren't we? where in europe?


orange_julius said:
Your bag WILL get inspected, assuming that you are flying out and back into the United States.
really? sure, my bags have been checked, but rarely have they been opened. i also suggest TRICO.

as a matter of fact, that's what i'm using today. flying in 4 hours :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I just got back from a week-long ride that required me to take my bike aboard American Airlines who, by the way, charged me $80 each direction. I have a Performance hard case which TSA did open and inspect. They seemed to have no trouble getting everything back in order when they closed it up. I would never, under any circumstances, put my bike in a cardboard box or even a soft case because I've seen the way the baggage apes fling suitcases and boxes around. If I used anything less sturdy than a hard case, I'd be a nervous wreck the entire flight until I could inspect my bike. Yeah, a hard case is more expensive. Yeah, it's heavier. But it's not going to get torn open when it falls on the tarmac.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
My Dog Wally said:
I just got back from a week-long ride that required me to take my bike aboard American Airlines who, by the way, charged me $80 each direction. I have a Performance hard case which TSA did open and inspect. They seemed to have no trouble getting everything back in order when they closed it up. I would never, under any circumstances, put my bike in a cardboard box or even a soft case because I've seen the way the baggage apes fling suitcases and boxes around. If I used anything less sturdy than a hard case, I'd be a nervous wreck the entire flight until I could inspect my bike. Yeah, a hard case is more expensive. Yeah, it's heavier. But it's not going to get torn open when it falls on the tarmac.
Wally, was your flight in the States or International?
 

· Endorphin Junkie
Joined
·
203 Posts
orange_julius said:
Sure, the hardshell ones are more sturdy, but chances are they won't be landing a C-5 Galaxy on your case any time soon, and more damage is done by improper RE-packing by the TSA personnel than getting a 747 to land right on your bike case.
Don't bet on it. They might not land the plane on the case, but they might just drop the case out of the plane. I had the wheels of one hard case stuffed right through the shell. Two other corners had cracks in them. Looked like it went tumbling head-over-heals out of the cargo bay or off the luggage cart. The bike was unscathed. I shudder to think of what would have happened if I was using a soft case or cardboard box. I'm a die-hard hard-shell case fan. Mine almost always gets inspected, and I've never had a problem with that. I wrap all the tubes in pipe insulation and tie parts together with old dead innertubes. I fly with a bike 1-2 times a year and have for about 10 years. The only damage I've ever had was from the early years when I was using cardboard boxes.

Kathy :^)
 

· I drank what?
Joined
·
3,240 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
filtersweep said:
I have done both- boxes and a Tri Co. Never had a problem with either.

Be advised that the racing scene is quite different than in the US.
I realize it will be, but I'm curious as to what the major differences are. (Other then the fact I'm probably going to get my ass handed to me on the climbs)
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
I have never travelled to Europe but have travelled to Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado (twice) with bikes. The Hawaii flight was with a conventional road bike in a cardboard bike box. The rest of the flights were with a conventional road bike with S&S couplers. This allows the bike to be packed in a box that meets the size limitations for regular checked luggage for domestic flights.

My bikes have always come through unscathed. If you pack properly a cardboard bike box will work well. If you intend to fly frequently with a conventional road bike a hardshell case would be a good investment. When I packed my bike for Hawaii I used two cardboard boxes, one inside the other. All parts of the bike were wrapped with foam pipe insulation. The LBS will give you some large plastic disks that manufacturers stick in the ends of axles where the quick release skewer normally goes. Put these on your wheels regardless of whether you use a hardshell, softshell or cardboard box. Zip tie them on. I used zip ties to attach all the foam pipe wrap on the bike. Take a supply with you. Put a spacer between the rear and fork dropouts. You can get these free from the LBS, too. Otherwise cut a wooden block the width of the dropouts, drill a hole through the center and use the quick release skewer to attach them to the dropouts, just like your wheels. Fill all the voids in the box with styrofoam peanuts. Use bubble wrap between parts like the seat, bars, wheels, etc. to make sure nothing touches. Tape spacers in the box to prevent it from being crushed. Use plenty of tape. Put your name and address on both the inside and outside of the box. I think nested cardboard boxes would be better than a softshell case.

When I travel with my S&S coupled bike it fits in a box made from corrugated plastic that I had cut to the right size. I assembled the box with rivets and straps. It can be easily opened for inspection. The bike and all the parts (seat, bars, wheels, etc.) are all strapped together in one package which can be easily lifted out of the box for inspection and put back in without disturbing the packing. I've had tape put on the box that said it was inspected but I don't think it was ever opened. These were all domestic flights. It might be more likely that more thorough inspections would be made on international flights, especially on the return trip.

Check the baggage rules online for whatever airline you intend to use. They will tell you what their size and weight restrictions are and what their charges are for various types of baggage. Many airlines have had fairly liberal baggage policies for international flights as compared to domestic flights. However, we all know the airline industry is in a state of flux and policies can change on a moments notice.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,076 Posts
Fly your bike for free on United?

teoteoteo said:
Wally, was your flight in the States or International?
Last time I was at the airport there was a couple in the odd-shaped items baggage line. They were just standing in line with two beautiful bikes, one very nice Saeco. Of course I had to investigate. They were flying to Pheonix. United will box them for you and put them on the plane. The dude told me it was free to do. You may want to double check this info before driving to the airport with your bike.
 

· n00bsauce
Joined
·
13,627 Posts
Well, that's not what Uniteds website says about bikes. They say they have to be packaged by the customer and will be charged $85 each way. It would surprise me if United offered a free packaging service much less free transport. Cost and liability would be too great.
 

· Banned
Joined
·
2,767 Posts
Kristin said:
Last time I was at the airport there was a couple in the odd-shaped items baggage line. They were just standing in line with two beautiful bikes, one very nice Saeco. Of course I had to investigate. They were flying to Pheonix. United will box them for you and put them on the plane. The dude told me it was free to do. You may want to double check this info before driving to the airport with your bike.
I'd rather slide naked down a 50ft razor blade than let someone else pack up my bike....especially if that someone else is from an airline.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top