Logic would suggest using the webbed shoulder strap that comes with the Bickerton bag but I find using it makes the weight and bulk of the Flamingo (and perhaps any steel-framed bike?) unbearable. I feel like an Israeli soldier on exercise. Beats up my body, bumping around as I walk with about 14 kilos. So, instead use the built in top handle straps. I might experiment in the future using the shortened shoulder strap as the top handles are severe to the shoulders and armpit blood circulation.
Either way, shoulder or top webbing, Bickerton bag shoulder straps are mediocre. I add my own silicon foam from TOKYO HANDS, Japan. These GELTRON pads are not cheap but they are well-made.
The red cloth tape is a marker to remind me which side to have against my body. Is it painless? No, just less painful. Whether the Brompton is any less so I cannot say. I ride a FLAMINGO, a Taiwanese bike with a very similar fold.
In my rush to pack at the airport I lost my TSA combo lock and ended up using a brass combo lock I reserve for Bangkok guesthouse rented room hasps.
I don't like the BICKERTON logo screaming out 'Bicycle inside'. But I suppose it's no worse than Thailand's VINCENTE bags with even more obvious bike logo. Some suggest alerting luggage handlers and Customs what is inside. However, I am trying to avoid duty fees from border guards upon arrival in Vietnam.
In fact, no one takes notice. Customs is non-existent. (no X-ray of incoming luggage). Which if one us carrying pepper spray that one forgot to check, it would be missed too. Two Malaysian Security X-ray checks wouldn't catch it either. Glad I'm a bicyclist not a terrorist.
Vietnam Air did not enquire what was in bag. All my bike and personal bags were several kilos over limit of 20K but they didn't charge me extra. I suggested to check-in staff that we put the 'Fragile' stickers on handles glued back to themselves like a luggage tag. Instead he put them on bag. Of course they both fell of. Cordura type fabric lesson.
Six parts of bike removed and carried elsewhere: seat, pedals, bell, hinge clamps, seat post crimp, clip in fron bag mount (I was uneasy leaving rest of bag mount on stem but the buggers at My Bike Shop seem to have glued it on).
So you wrap the bike 1st in bubble wrap and cardboard;
then put it inside a bag? I just use one cardboard box.
Since the bike + cardboard box is still well under the
weight limit; I can still slip some stuff in there - tools,
lights, clothes, etc. Flown 3 times now using just the box;
no problems. and US luggage handlers aren't known for
being very careful
Yes, I use a small hand truck to roll the box around in the airport.
I think I paid US$20; since I get the box(es) for free - it's a very
cheap bike luggage. After I check-in the bike/box; I fold the green
hand truck and slide it inside my Brompton Demano messenger bag
that I use as my carry on:
Bought a fake (?) IKEA bag for $2.35 tonight in Hanoi for less demanding wrapping it up, such as hospital visit tomorrow to look at bursitus of knee which is cramping my riding and swimming.
First times anyone asked me to check my bike were...
1. ECONSAVE supermarket in Petaling Jaya, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I called his bluff as I was using rolled bike with attached bag as a shopping cart.
2. GOV 'T HOSPITAL, Hanoi refused entry to grounds (but not folded)
No way am I going to lock up this bike or even leave with standard parking with attendants.