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Thread Box:
Bikes on a plane
Thread started by tattiya at 05.11.07 - 12:48 am

Anyone have any suggestions about how to package my bike so I can take it with me by plane? Anyone have a travel case, something, that I can borrow? Help a girl out!

Oh, and I'll be in my hometown of SF for the weekend of the NACCC, LA best represent!

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8 or 9 years ago you could get cardboard boxes from delta that were meant for putting bikes in. you just have to take off the wheels, pedals and handlebars to make everything fit.



ruinedbyidiots
05.11.07 - 12:51 am

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Call the airline (if you haven't already) asked there policy. Some charge $90 each way, some charge nothing. Hopefully you'll get the nothing charge.

Another thought, I don't know what you ride, but I assume it's a little fast sportster, with no gears. ..................consider getting a thrift store suit case that can fit everything in when its all broken down. Wheels, off, peddles, handle bars, seat. Pack it with whatever to protect it. Rags, clothes, disguarded bubble wrap. Might be a stupid idea, but I thought I put it out there. Don't overweight it with tools,

and tools they took my "Y" allan wrench at Dulles in Washington DC out of my carry on pack. but no problem in LA Vegas, NY, Boston, and Atlanta that same year with the same wrench. You might have to pack your tools into your checked in luggage.

Most importantly,,,,,LET THE AIR OUTTA OF YOUR TIRES, the plane is under pressure.



sexy
05.11.07 - 4:43 am

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thanks for the good advice - keep it coming! I've also thought about a hard suitcase and pulling some ghetto packing, but I want to see what other people have gotten away with. Someone suggested saying it's a "art piece" (as opposed to a usable bike), which would waive a possible fee - anyone have any experience with that?



tattiya
05.11.07 - 1:35 pm

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I prefer Amtrak. Hang it up, lock it up. Go get a 20oz beer for $6 and watch the state roll by.



a_bit_of_cheese_for_your_wine
05.11.07 - 3:22 pm

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you might be able to rent an actual bicycle case.... try calling some of the airlines, local bike shops, or a place like REI, or A16 ... someone has got to have one to borrow/rent instead of buying...



adrian
05.11.07 - 5:39 pm

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most airlines will allow a bike box, although some charge for it (in addition to the oversized luggage fee sometimes, I swear it's some kind of deal with the rental car companies) check with the airline to see what their policies are, and then you could probably go to your local bike shop, they're bound to have an extra box lying around.
Disassemble your bike, pad it, deflate your tires, stuff into box. Be sure to write fragile all over it though, so the monkeys working in baggage don't pile a tone of shit on top and damage your bike, , or another idea is to add a sheet of plywood on each side (as long as you're under the weight limit) to help protect the bike.



FuzzBeast
05.11.07 - 5:45 pm

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Same suggestion as Fuzzfeast. Call the bikeshop, Orange 20 for example, ask them to hold a bike box for you. Also ask for the plastic things, they put on the forks and dropouts to prevent them from being crushed.

A couple of your fellow Wolfpack riders work at bikeshops, Tony Z and Beatriz. Ask if they can hold a box for you. I can also ask my LBS to hold one if you want.




sc_nomad
05.11.07 - 7:15 pm

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O.k. here's the deal: If you work at a bike shop... if anyone (Dennis, Tony Z, and/or Bea?) can save a bike box with all necessities associated with it that would be greatly appreciated - I'm pretty sure that this bike box will meet the 62 inches (length + width + height) requirement for checked luggage (no fee!). Anything over those measurements will be extra $50 both ways. I can pick it up. Email (tattiya.k@gmail.com). THANKS in advance!



tattiya
05.12.07 - 1:31 pm

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I'm heading to DC and Philly for a couple of weeks and planning to take my bike on board with me. I'm flying Virgin America and according to their website checking you bike on board as a luggage item is free.

I called around town and it seems like every bike shop does not carry any cases or bags for bikes to bring on board with you.

Wheel World and Orange 20 were willing to pack my bike for me for 60-80 bucks for me. I'd rather not pay anything.

Does anyone have a large suitcase I can borrow that can fit a disasemble bike? My fixed is light as hell.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I really want to ride around DC my hometown and smash through Philly.



goosegoose
06.23.10 - 9:27 pm

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Check with Josef at flying pigeon. He just got in some bikes and may have boxes.



Foldie
06.23.10 - 9:38 pm

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I might have to do that as last resort. However I wanted something rather then a bike box that I can easliy use again without worring about taping it back up again when retuning.



goosegoose
responding to a comment by Foldie
06.23.10 - 9:43 pm

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And I am pretty sure they are going to charge you $50 to check a bike which is not bad compared to other airlines.

bicycle mag airline chart



Foldie
06.23.10 - 9:47 pm

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I would just rent a bike, you'll end up paying less.

I have a folding bike on sale on craigslist, it's in North Hollywood in the "San Ferdnado Valley" tab, and it's lavender with a pic.

Good luck!



Girl Power
06.23.10 - 11:20 pm

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Damnit. Virgin Atlantic probaly has a diffrent policy then Virgin America. This is what I read:

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com:80/en/gb/passengerinformation/baggage/sports/cycling.jsp


It is $50 for Virgin America according to there policy.

I wonder why is that.



goosegoose
06.24.10 - 1:19 am

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Thank You for the information.

I'm going to Madison to kill in Bike Polo. Hopefully.



Alfredo
responding to a comment by goosegoose
06.24.10 - 10:30 am

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I cant speak for everyone but ... I cant cheat on my bike that way ...



OsnapsonJC
responding to a comment by Girl Power
06.24.10 - 11:05 am

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Agreed, it's just not the same when it's not you own bike. And I doubt you can rent fixed gear hipster bikes... or can you?



goosegoose
responding to a comment by OsnapsonJC
06.24.10 - 11:09 am

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if you're bringing a fixie, there's not much to break on it, so i'd personally opt to pack it in cardboard with clothes and bubble wrap. be sure to brace the fork and rear dropouts so they dont get pushed in. i plan on getting some garbage hubs or axles at the bike co-op and using them as braces.

i also believe you can rent a bike box for less than $100. i plan on doing this for my road bike because i love it more than my fixie.



tortuga_veloce
06.24.10 - 11:30 am

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i believe alaska only charges $50 for the oversize charge, with no additional "bike charge."

also, the last time i flew with them, they served me free microbrew ale. and the seats are cushy.



tortuga_veloce
06.24.10 - 11:49 am

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You're a gentleman! :)



Girl Power
responding to a comment by OsnapsonJC
06.24.10 - 12:06 pm

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Here's the real info you need:

take off the wheels
pull out the stem/bars and tape it to your downtube.
pull out or push your seatpost all the way down
take off pedals
zip tie everything together securely
the air in your tires will actually help protect your rims, so don't deflate (soft is good)
place something between your chainstays/fork (a hub is ideal, but anything to fill the gap is ok. i used my saddle for between my chainstays and cupped my forked in my helmet.)
secure your crank arms flush with the chainstays.
cover the axles on your wheels so they don't stab thru. bike shops have plastic covers specifically for this, or whatever you can find.
use whatever lightweight material to pad sharp corners
i wrapped mine in a 6x8 tarp but you can also use plastic sheeting or trash bags and secure it with packing tape.
call it tools, supplies, anything but a bike and you're good to go.
Don't take it from me; this is how most polo players choose to transport their bikes.



kryxtanicole
06.24.10 - 12:14 pm

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Bump.



braydon
03.22.11 - 3:16 pm

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Wow Krista, where did u learn all that? Sounds like great advice...



JOKER
03.22.11 - 4:23 pm

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I just bought several nice old touring bikes from an elderly gentleman who can no longer ride. He shipped his and his wife's bikes all over the world. Some crazy stories there, but he also gave me several of his old school Bike Traveler boxes. They're monsters--they can hold these large 58-60 cm bikes--with the racks installed. You only need to remove the front wheel and loosen the headset to turn the bars to fit everything in. They seem very old school, as I'm sure bike luggage has gotten leaner and meaner over the years.

Perhaps I'll loan them out to needy traveling ridazz if there's a need--otherwise I'll use one as a 2nd bedroom for my kid.

And I've heard that upon getting questioned by the airlines about "what's in the box?"--respond with only "bike parts." You may be able to avoid the additional "bike" shipping fee. I suppose that would apply to a very well broken down and compactly packed bike, though.



dudeonabike
03.22.11 - 4:36 pm

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when I brought my folder back from japan they made me deflate the tires completely because they said they'd explode in the unpressurized cabin.



trickmilla
responding to a comment by kryxtanicole
03.22.11 - 4:37 pm

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call it tools, supplies, anything but a bike and you're good to go.

Hmmm what do you mean “good to go”?
The box is larger than 62in (length + width + height) some airlines don’t care what is inside…. They take dimensions and weight (usually I am good with the weight) and if it is over the “normal” size, you pay regardless.
Have you been able to fly your bike for free? Some airlines are better than others (from what I found, Southwest is good but I was never able to get a flight I wanted with them) but none of my recent trips have been free.
Go to a hardware store and get some bolts for your fork… I also get some insulation tubing and cut/tape around the frame to protect it.




Kakihara
responding to a comment by kryxtanicole
03.22.11 - 4:39 pm

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Here's my solution: I check my destination's Craigs List for a decent cheap bike, arrange to purchase on arrival and pick it up once I get there. I did this for a week long visit to Boise. Paid $50 for a slightly used dept. store mt. bike (about the same kind I would have to pay much more to rent), rode all over town and country on it and left it with my daughter who was living there at the time.
That bike wound up as a ghost bike in Orange County after daughter moved back to So. Cal.
No, it wasn't the quality of my own bikes, and I couldn't race anybody on it, but this worked for me and I loved avoiding the whole bike transport dance.



Creative Thing
03.22.11 - 6:04 pm

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here's how I've been packing mine for a while using a cheap bag from performance.
http://bitingduck.com/?q=node/19

my girlfriend can fit her bikes (smaller than ~52 cm) into a plain old duffel bag if she takes the fork off. You have to put protectors in the dropouts, but packing clothes tight around the bike also protects it pretty well.



bitingduck
03.23.11 - 12:42 am

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I have a hard shell flight case I will gladly lend to anyone that needs to use it. I was going to ship my bike to the Caribbean but, didn't at the last minute. The "only" time my bikes are NOT covered by my insurance is "when they are in the control of an airline,” so I didn't want to chance it. My full suspension Mt Bike just barely fits, with careful packing. I pictured TSA messing it up, then not repacking it correctly.
The Local Bike Shop in SXM, Tri-Sport has used bikes; and will buy back a new bike they sell for half price. So, depending on your situation, and LBS, this too may be an option.
I have bought bikes in a location & gifted them when I was done with them as well.
I have rented bikes in NYC & DC and been happy with that.



Gern
03.24.11 - 5:53 pm

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larsenf
03.24.11 - 8:10 pm

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sick.



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by larsenf
03.24.11 - 8:11 pm

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[IMG]http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081009065258/uncyclopedia/images/thumb/3/3b/Snakesplane.jpg/300px-Snakesplane.jpg[/IMG]

I'M SICK OF THESE MOTHERFUCKIN' BIKES ON THIS MOTHERFUCKIN' PLANE!!



PRESIDENT OBAMA
03.25.11 - 6:40 am

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That's gotta be a polo rig!

Love it.

Custom steel bikes with couplers are expensive. That looks like $20 at the hardware store including the hacksaw, and a fancy blue flame cigar lighter for welding.





parlorbikes
responding to a comment by larsenf
03.25.11 - 9:10 am

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I wanna make one of these now! To the parking lot. Bring some tabs!



Joe Borfo
responding to a comment by parlorbikes
03.25.11 - 11:11 am

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