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Colorado Springs, CO
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took my bike box (Trico) on the airplane for the first time this past weebkend. Bike is a Trek Pilot 5.0 (carbon fiber frame)

Anyway, while watching the guys on the ramp load/unload my bike box, I noticed that the bike box always went to the bottom of the pile, big side downlike a piece of plywood, and then other bags were loaded up on it. There is no damage to the frame or wheels -- I packed the bike up per the directions with the dropout spacers and cinched up everything really good. Actually the bike did quite good from the treatment it seemed to be getting on the ramp

I was thinking on how you get these ramp guys to stack the bike box on one of the skinny sides and not pile a bunch of other baggage on top of it. Is there somewhere you can buy THIS SIDE UP or ORIENT THIS WAY or large arrows and BICYCLE - FRAGILE or DON'T STACK ANYTHING ON TOP OF THIS stickers to put on the outside of the box?

I know there is not guarantee that the signage would be heeded, but it might get some attention and stacked properly with some attention.

Or, shouldn't I worry about this because a) I bought a good bike case and b) bikes are strong and can handle normal wear and tear?
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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32,352 Posts
ColoradoVeloDude said:
I took my bike box (Trico) on the airplane for the first time this past weebkend. Bike is a Trek Pilot 5.0 (carbon fiber frame)

Anyway, while watching the guys on the ramp load/unload my bike box, I noticed that the bike box always went to the bottom of the pile, big side downlike a piece of plywood, and then other bags were loaded up on it. There is no damage to the frame or wheels -- I packed the bike up per the directions with the dropout spacers and cinched up everything really good. Actually the bike did quite good from the treatment it seemed to be getting on the ramp

I was thinking on how you get these ramp guys to stack the bike box on one of the skinny sides and not pile a bunch of other baggage on top of it. Is there somewhere you can buy THIS SIDE UP or ORIENT THIS WAY or large arrows and BICYCLE - FRAGILE or DON'T STACK ANYTHING ON TOP OF THIS stickers to put on the outside of the box?

I know there is not guarantee that the signage would be heeded, but it might get some attention and stacked properly with some attention.

Or, shouldn't I worry about this because a) I bought a good bike case and b) bikes are strong and can handle normal wear and tear?
I've been able to at least get "FRAGILE" stickers right at the airline check in desk for luggage
 

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Colorado Springs, CO
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631 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. A few stickers are good, but I want to really advertise that the bike be oriented a certain way so that there won't be anything stacked on top of it. I think a bunch of baggage on a bike box is just looking for problems and I'm looking to do a little defensive action.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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I heart team Zissou!
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2,954 Posts
You do know that any sticker indicating the fragility of the contents of a piece of luggage and/or your preferred orientation for said piece of luggage is like waving a red flag in front of a very irritable bull. You label what you want but I'll wager that you'll only attract the handlers attention to your bike box and they will gleefully give it the "full" treatment as only they know how.

You bought a hard case to protect the bike -- let it go. Just trust the case will do the job and/or your insurance will cover any unfortunate consequences!

A+

Philippe
 

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n00bsauce
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13,627 Posts
It's pretty unlikely that "This Side Up" or "Fragile" stickers will be heeded by baggage handlers. If you're concerned about the weight of bags bowing the sides of your box in and possibly damaging your bike try this. Get some plastic PVC fittings like the ones in the picture. You can get them at Home Depot or Lowes, etc. Buy some rigid PVC tubing that fit in the center holes (you may have to sand the ends down a bit for a fit that's not too tight). Make a dumb bell out of them that's the thickness of the inside of your bike box and place as many as you want/need inside the box at strategic places for support. I use three inside a 26"X26"X10" box made from corrugated plastic to fly my travel bike (take down bike using S&S couplers) all the time and I've never had damage. My corrugated box is A LOT less sturdy than your hardside case.
 

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Premium Member
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20,696 Posts
I'm in the air freight industry and my wife works for a major airline. Trust me the stickers will do absolutely no good. As you said, bike cases are large and they will almost always be put on the bottom. Your best protection is to put crush protectors inside the case. Excel Sports sells them. They are a couple of pieces of PVC pipe with large plastic flanges in each end. Place properly in a case and you'll be able to stand on the case without damaging the contents.

The white disk in this picture is the protector for my Bike Friday
 

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$4000 bike - two bit legs
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1,434 Posts
What I did in the past

brianmcg said:
Label the box "DANGEROUS - CONTAINS EXPLOSIVES", maybe they wont stack anything on top of it. :)
Pre- 9/11 you could convince, cajol, bribe, or fool the people at the ticket counter into thinking your Trico bike box was conference material therefore: fly it for free. I paid a couple bucks at my local print shop to have a half dozen: FRAGILE: CONFERENCE MATERIAL bumper stickers made up. I have them plastered all over the box.

Does it work?? Does it protect the bike?? Who knows, knock on wood, I've never had a problem. But due to the stickers, I was able to bring the bike on an airplane a half dozen times for free. OK...once it cost me a $20 bribe to the porter at curb side check in, but it was worth every penny. A ticket take once questioned my box saying that she knew it was a bike...I said "yes and no". It's bike parts 'cause I was going to the interbike show so it was officially conference material. She smiled. She knew I was lying, but she let me go without paying.

But I love the idea about the PVC piping. I wish I this post was up a few days ago since I just shipped my bike in the Trico via FedEx to Colorado yesterday morning.
 

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gastarbeiter
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1,524 Posts
PaulCL said:
Pre- 9/11 you could convince, cajol, bribe, or fool the people at the ticket counter into thinking your Trico bike box was conference material therefore: fly it for free.
'sports equipment' works like a charm in the post 9/11 world :)
 

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ColoradoVeloDude said:
I took my bike box (Trico) on the airplane for the first time this past weebkend. Bike is a Trek Pilot 5.0 (carbon fiber frame)

Anyway, while watching the guys on the ramp load/unload my bike box, I noticed that the bike box always went to the bottom of the pile, big side downlike a piece of plywood, and then other bags were loaded up on it. There is no damage to the frame or wheels -- I packed the bike up per the directions with the dropout spacers and cinched up everything really good. Actually the bike did quite good from the treatment it seemed to be getting on the ramp

I was thinking on how you get these ramp guys to stack the bike box on one of the skinny sides and not pile a bunch of other baggage on top of it. Is there somewhere you can buy THIS SIDE UP or ORIENT THIS WAY or large arrows and BICYCLE - FRAGILE or DON'T STACK ANYTHING ON TOP OF THIS stickers to put on the outside of the box?

I know there is not guarantee that the signage would be heeded, but it might get some attention and stacked properly with some attention.

Or, shouldn't I worry about this because a) I bought a good bike case and b) bikes are strong and can handle normal wear and tear?
If you have a shipping warehouse somewhere near you live, you might drop by the office and see if they will give you some. I worked for Bass Pro Shops many years ago when I was a senior in high school, and they had a variety of those types of labels.

Other options would be a mailing center like UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc.
 
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