Author Topic: flying with touring bike.  (Read 2634 times)

jags

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flying with touring bike.
« on: November 11, 2009, 10:51:03 PM »
how do you folk's pack your touring bikes when your heading off on tour flying.
does the rear rack and front  mudguards need to be taken off,
when i seen that film on mark beumont (im spelling his name wrong sorry),seems he had to take racks and mudguards off when useing plains, bit of a pain in the ass if this is the case.
anybody got a idea about this thanks.

rualexander

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 11:19:15 PM »
I leave the rear rack and both mudguards on, although the front mudguard sometimes gets a bit 'displaced' but usually is able to be repositioned ok. I used to always leave the front rack on too but take it off now due to having a couple mangled in recent years. I just take front wheel out (fit a length of aluminium tube as a fork spacer) and strap to frame, pedals off, bars turned sideways, and stick it in a large polythene bag.

Fred A-M

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 12:28:50 AM »
Jags

Depends very much what you're intending on packing the bike in!

Personally, I wouldn't risk a polythene bag due to the risk of damage as cited by Rualalexander - not much fun if your bike is damaged at the beginning of a tour.   My personal preference is a cardboard box as freely available from your local friendly bike seller.

Otherwise, pretty much as advised by Rualexander and contrary to aspertions expressed in the infamous SKS mudguard debate, your front mudguard should be OK with a little straightening - no failures to date despite having packed my bike as such on at least 14 or so occassions.

One point worth considering - the hold luggage limit on the flight - if it is more than 20kgs per passenger, you might want to consider packing your bike in something a little sturdier.  On returning from Cuba where the hold limit was 30kg, a very heavy suitcase must have clearly landed on my bike at some point as the rear derailleur was badly bent.   Thankfully, as it was the return journey, I didn't have the nightmare of trying to source a rear derailleur in Cuba.

Where are you thinking of flying to?
 

john28july

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 12:35:48 PM »
contrary to aspertions expressed in the infamous SKS mudguard debate,  (Fred A M)
Please see a seperate message above regarding SKS Mudguards.
John.

jags

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 12:52:38 PM »
thank's lads well i have the skicon bike box for my road bike  no use for the sherpa.
ah i was just wondering how you guys did it i have all the bolts secured with lock tight dont fancy undoing them.
where am i going, god knows no definit plans, i was hopeing to get to a fell club meet in britan sometime in june ,just for 4/5 days .i would love to cycle the best routes in britan whatever they are but money is tight .nope i'll take thing's as they come if i get away it will be a bonus ,maybe i'll explore my own country ;)

pastafarian

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 01:32:27 PM »
I've never flown with a bike, but have gone by train a couple of times. I can recommend this bag: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/category/accessories/luggage/cycling-bags-and-cases/bike-travel-cases/product/tardis-31674

It is a non-padded bag in itself, but once the bike is packed you can stuff a lot of other things in it. I wrap the bike frame in my sleeping mat, as well as using clothes where I expect parts to rub against each other (the rear rack gets to wear a T-shirt). I also put panniers, water bottles and other things in as stuffing/padding. Bubble plastic works and cardboard also works fine but it's not something you carry with you on tour. The bag itself rests in the bottom of a rear pannier until it's time to return home. Have given some thought to going by airplane myself and if I do I will trust this bag to keep my Raven safe from harm. I know some people use simple cardboard boxes given to them from the local bike shop and are equally happy with that.

billybaxter

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 10:52:15 AM »
I always remove, wheels, racks, mudguards, rear derailleur, pedals, seat and handlebars. Can be done in about 1 hour. Pack in Ground Effect bike bag. I have never had any part damaged. Only minor twisting. Mind you the bike bags get damaged very often. Do not travel by air if you cannot bear the thought of your bike getting minor superficial damage.
Smaller frames may not require rack removal. Stuff old socks around chainwheel and cluster. Can remove chain if using a SRAM split link, otherwise wrap in a rag and tape to chain stay. On return I usually bin the chain.

peter jenkins

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 09:19:42 AM »
I've used a Ground Effect Tardis a few times on domestic and international flights. It's a fair bit of dismantling but makes for a neat package. I cut up closed cell sleeping mats for padding. The bag usually turns up on the baggage carousel because it's so compact, which is not always a good thing, particularly at Heathrow where the chute is steep and heavy luggage can fall onto your pride and joy.

I think that unless you are going to travel often enough to make the purchase worthwhile, a cardbard box is best. It's harder for the airline staff to throw than a Tardis and you can fit a fair bit of clothing inside for padding.

A bit depends on what your plans are at the other end too. A boxed bike is harder to get on a bus or in a taxi. But... if you are going to ride from the airport, a bike out of a box doesn't take long to reassemble and you can bin the box.

pj

travelling

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 11:28:55 PM »
First time i took the bike on a plane i took with me a ctc plastic bike bag and had used pipe insulation to protect everything. However when i got to the airport KLM were a bit iffy about the ctc bag and insisted i put the bike in a klm box, at 15 quid I didn't object to much.All I had to do was remove the seat and turn the handlebars sideways, left the wheels and racks on and so all was well in the world.

However various other airlines have seen bikes as nothing other than cash cows and have thrown obsticles in the way in so many ways just to make it akward to either exclude bikes or make sure you pay through the nose.

depending on the destination depends on you baggage limits and how many pieces of luggage are allowed. One thing I did find was that quite often it varies on cost from the website to the actual person at check in with check in being more bike friendly

blair

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 08:21:35 AM »
I've mostly used the standard (Oz) airline box (1400x900x400mm, I think)
This holds most bikes with the front wheel & saddle/seatpost removed, and the handlebars rotated
or sometimes removed and left dangling.
Leaving the rear wheel on provides a degree of protection for the drive train.
It has the advantage of being light & has plenty of space for clothes, tents etc.
It's a bugger to trundle around the airport, but I've seen people attach a pair of wheels,
which makes life a lot easier.
RoseVersand sells these, or some luggage shops have them for use with suitcases.
It's something else to cart around on a tour, though.

Last trip away, we used soft bike cases, a lot more substantial than a Tardis.
They worked OK, and were a lot better than the cardboard boxes around the airport,
but the bikes needed more disassembly, and the bags weighed over 6kg, which
contributed to the $200 each way in excess baggage charges (grumble).

I'm a bit wary of putting a dérailleur equipped bike in any sort of soft case, they are
too easy to bend out of shape, and getting them fixed is expensive & time-consuming.

Anyway, we've bought BikeFridays with the hard suitcases, (which we will leave at a hotel
in Paris on the next trip) so that solves that problem...

StuntPilot

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 12:07:01 PM »
Useful and comprehensive info for packing and flying with bikes ...

http://www.airline-baggage-fees.com/sports/bikes/
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 12:09:08 PM by StuntPilot »

John Saxby

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 03:23:14 PM »
Useful indeed, and thanks, Stunt!

Some additional info:

1)One airline not listed is EVA Air, a Taiwanese carrier. We're flying EVA between Toronto and Brisbane in January & March 2018. EVA's fares are much better than any of the other carriers, by a factor of at least 40%, sometimes more.

BUT, their bikes-on-planes allowance is much more restrictive than, say, Air Canada's:

     > total linear dimension allowed is 80" / 203.2 cms.  This means a box of 40 x 30 x 10. My current box is 85", well within AC's limit of 115". I think I can fit my Raven into the 80" limit, with some disassembly.

     > weight limit: up to 23 kgs. Cost for that is Cdn $130.  Over that limit, cost is about $400, but no larger box is allowed. (By comparison:  On our last trip to Australia, Feb 2017, AC's fee for my bike was $75, but for some reason AC did not charge me. My bike was one of my 2 pcs of checked luggage.)

2) A note on Virgin Australia: In early April 2017, we travelled from Gold Coast (Queensland) to Sydney on a domestic flight by Virgin Australia, connecting to our Air Canada Sydney-Ottawa flight. I had checked Virgin's bikes-as-baggage policy before booking our flights, and Virgin's policy is essentially the same as AC's. (My bike box measured 85" and weighed a little over 23 kgs.)

     > I had printed the Virgin policy before flying, and I had double-checked it by phone with a Virgin employee before flying in April, to let them know that I'd be putting a bike in the hold. Just as well, because the otherwise-helpful staff member at the check-in counter did not want to accept my bike, as it was more than 23 kg. I showed her Virgin's policy, but she wasn't impressed. I gave her the name of her colleague and the time of my recent conversation, and told her that I had booked Virgin six months earlier because the policy allowed my bike. Eventually she reluctantly agreed.

bikepacker

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 01:43:27 PM »
how do you folk's pack your touring bikes when your heading off on tour flying.
does the rear rack and front  mudguards need to be taken off,
when i seen that film on mark beumont (im spelling his name wrong sorry),seems he had to take racks and mudguards off when useing plains, bit of a pain in the ass if this is the case.
anybody got a idea about this thanks.

If you want to be happy learn to be alone without being lonely.
If you want to enjoy the world see it from the saddle of a bike.
If you want to experience beauty camp alone in a spectacular place.
If you want release your anxieties cease excuses and take actions.

jags

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 04:21:49 PM »
when i done the Camino in Spain they managed to break my skycon box unbelievable  :'(
seen a guy at the airport with his mountain bike  and panniers  he hadn't it wrapped up like that no damage .
ah well not to worry i doubt i'll ever be taking my bike on tour again. :'(


anto.

bikepacker

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Re: flying with touring bike.
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 08:01:57 PM »
ah well not to worry i doubt i'll ever be taking my bike on tour again. :'(


anto.

I was hoping you might join me for a hostel and bunkhouse tour of Scotland next year. Have a think about it.  ;) ;)
If you want to be happy learn to be alone without being lonely.
If you want to enjoy the world see it from the saddle of a bike.
If you want to experience beauty camp alone in a spectacular place.
If you want release your anxieties cease excuses and take actions.