Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Making your own Custom Bike Case

    I'm considering modifying an old suitcase into a folding bike carrier for plane trips instead of getting a pricey bag. I was wondering if anyone can tell me about their experiences building/modifying their own cases. So does anyone have any cool ideas? Pictures and Layouts would be great!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    52
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Some good threads on this topic on the Dahon Bags and Luggage forum

    http://www.dahon.com/forum/index.php?showforum=8
    In my shed: Santa Cruz Bullit and Superlight, Ritchey BreakAway

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Mid-Atlantic
    My Bikes
    A bunch
    Posts
    891
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The 30" Samsonite roller seems to be the size chosen for most 20" folders. You could work from those dimensions. My suggestion is unlined that can be wiped down quickly and hard-shell that will protect the bike better.

    That case has been sold at discount at some outlets. You might find one on eBay or craigslist.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use a standard Samsonite F'lite for my Bike Friday. BF wanted $250+ for their version. I bought the Samsonite in Ebay for $100. I also spent $10 for some felt fabric to wrap the parts while in the case...

    I don't recommend building a case/box. An old suitcase will be fine.

    My Samsonite gets searched about 1 every 5 trips... A homemade case/box will virtually guarantee a TSA search every time(assuming you're in the US).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    221
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    I use a standard Samsonite F'lite for my Bike Friday. BF wanted $250+ for their version. I bought the Samsonite in Ebay for $100. I also spent $10 for some felt fabric to wrap the parts while in the case...

    I don't recommend building a case/box. An old suitcase will be fine.

    My Samsonite gets searched about 1 every 5 trips... A homemade case/box will virtually guarantee a TSA search every time(assuming you're in the US).
    Have you recently used the F'Lite on a domestic flight and was the fact that the suitcase is 2" over the 62" limit ignored at check-in. When you declare the value which I assume is well over $1k for a BF, do you tell them that it is for a bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My Samsonite has never been measured by the airlines. I've never had to pay an oversize fee.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    221
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    My Samsonite has never been measured by the airlines. I've never had to pay an oversize fee.
    Not to nit pick, I know international flight are much more liberal with size and weight, are you refering to domestic airlines?

    Thanks

    SG

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    yes, I'm talking about US domestic. I've flown with my BF last year on over 30 flights and never had a problem with weight or size.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    221
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    yes, I'm talking about US domestic. I've flown with my BF last year on over 30 flights and never had a problem with weight or size.
    Thanks

  10. #10
    Aging Gearhead
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Baja Georgia
    Posts
    73
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After considering building a case for my Dahon Speed 8, I went to Goodwill and got an older plastic Samsonite for $5. I am now considering building a case for my 26" wheel travel bike but the concerns about enhanced TSA scrutiny are compelling. Does anyone know of any off-the-shelf luggage that will hold a 26" inch wheel?

  11. #11
    Aging Gearhead
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Baja Georgia
    Posts
    73
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    BTW, I don't know the name of my $5 Samsonite but it is a typical 29" model (i.e., 29" long) and it holds my Speed 8 with room for shoes, bottles, tools, etc. I do remove the (non-folding) pedals first, though.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here are a few tips for dealing with the TSA.

    1. I put a note that is visible as soon as the case is opened that reads "Attention TSA if you have any problems packing this bike, please call me on my cell phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx".
    2. If you pack any small parts, put them in clear baggies. That way the TSA can see the contents without removing the bags..
    3. If you use CO2 to inflate your tires, don't pack any. CO2 is a big no-no on airplanes...

  13. #13
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What is the width? Even disassembled I seem to need just under 12" and all suitcases I've seen are no more than 10".

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The Samsonite F'lite is 31" x 21" x 12"

  15. #15
    Folding bike junkie! Wavshrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    754
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hickey
    The Samsonite F'lite is 31" x 21" x 12"
    Great suitcase, I have 2 of them. Unfortunately while I can fit my Dahons or Swft in them my Bromptons won't without disassembly. However my Brompton fits fine in my Briggs and Riley 28" expandable (but so do my Dahons, Downtubes, BF and Swift. Briggs and Riley is much pricier but I have never had an issue with it while traveling and its warranty it is the BEST in the business. I try to use my F'lite though where possible as it is "slightly" lighter in weight but much crappier quality AND the F'lite DOES NOT HAVE TSA approved locks. So I always have to leave it unlocked or the TSA will break the case like they already did once. It has never been measured for size either.

    To add to the TSA list by Dave Hickey I also put a diagram (photo) of how all the things should be arranged back in the case. They already ruined 1 wheel by not putting it back in properly. I also have a checklist of all parts on so they can verify what they need to put back. I also use bungee cords to hold it all together and a few zip ties.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dave Hickey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree about the locks on the Samonite case...They are not TSA approved. I got around that by buying a luggage strap with a TSA approved lock. I used a couple small screws and washers to attached the strap to the bottom of the case. It works great.....
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Senior Member cheg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    1974 Raleigh International (RIP), 1975 Raleigh Twenty Folder, 1983 Diamondback Ridgerunner, 2008 Davidson Custom Titanium, Burley Duet Tandem, 1981 Shogun Touring Bike
    Posts
    798
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by harrington
    I'm considering modifying an old suitcase into a folding bike carrier for plane trips instead of getting a pricey bag. I was wondering if anyone can tell me about their experiences building/modifying their own cases. So does anyone have any cool ideas? Pictures and Layouts would be great!
    Here is a walk through on packing my folder in a standard 29" Samsonite. The modification I made was to add the center post made of galvanized pipe fittings to prevent the sides from pushing in. I've made 3 round trips from Seattle to Florida with it. So far so good.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    221
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Wavshrdr
    Great suitcase, I have 2 of them. I can fit my Dahons or Swft in them .
    Hey Wav, Glad to have you back. I still waiting for my "Swifty" to be worked on. I know that the Swift will fit in the 31" F'Lite but was wondering did you already try fitting it in. If you did, were you able to fit it in without disassembling the fork? What about the fenders and rack?
    I am assuming you will be carrying a water bottle. I would like to carry at least 2, one could go on the stem riser, where would the 2nd go. What about getting an attachment to the saddle? My seatpost will already have a rack attachment.
    Like you, I'm getting the TransIt seatpost rack from Performance. I would like to go with one with side panniers but since I would be folding it up several times a day, would it interfere with the folding since I would have to point them to the front of the bike and they would have to go through the top tube. If I decide to go w/o the pannier, I can get either QR or allen bolts. Is the QR version as stable as the allen bolted one? The QR has a 25lb capacity while the other has 20lbs. They look the same except for the hookup. Sounds strange, maybe it's a misprint.

    SG

  19. #19
    too many bikes
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    660
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    @cheg . I use PVC pipe for "centerposts" ... much lighter than galvanized pipe. I use three centerposts with plastic "flanges" made for closet clothes hanging rods.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •