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Old 10-31-04, 03:08 AM   #1
scroz
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Transporting Bikes Overseas

I am thinking of transporting my beloved Trek with me to the UK when I leave in a couple of weeks but am a little worried about the cost and whether or not it will be damaged by those lunatics in the baggage department in the airports .

Does anyone have any experiences/advice for me (and others) and any idea on what would be the best way to go about getting it there intact and for relatively low cost?

Cheers
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Old 10-31-04, 03:36 AM   #2
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I'd actually be curious to know the same. I've always wanted to take a trip to Europe for a week or so and think it would be cool to have a bike over there.
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Old 10-31-04, 09:29 AM   #3
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First of all, check with the airline you are flying with. Many airlines charge extra for bikes, golfbags etc. so your flight could quickly get expensive. I use a hardcase when I travel abroad with my bike. I pack most of my clothing, both cycling and "normal" clothing into the hard case as well. This gives the bike extra protection (not really needed) but most important, it limits my baggage to only one piece. (hand luggage not included)
Here is a tip. Remove any stickers or logos on the hardcase that says it is a bike in transport. My case does not look much like there is a bike in it, and the last time I travelled with British Airways they did not even charge for the bike!

If you cannot afford a hard case I suggest you get a cardboard bike box from your local bike dealer. Get you bikeshop guy to show you how to best pack a bike in it. Unfortunately you cannot disguise the contents of the box that well..
Again insert most of your clothing in the box to help protect your bike. You can use pipe insulators (easliy obtained at DIY stores) to wrap around the tubes. More than that you cannot really do. The rest is up to those folks in the baggage department....

Hope this helps

Last edited by poululla; 10-31-04 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-31-04, 02:25 PM   #4
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The hardcase sounds like the best idea and even if they're expensive, I doubt it's any worse than paying the airline for transporting a bike. Not to mention, if you fly more than once, it pays for itself saving in luggage costs and damage repairs.
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Old 10-31-04, 04:31 PM   #5
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I have travel 7 times internationally with bikes. Most of the time I just ship it in a cardboard bike box both ways. My local bike shop saves one that a low end cheap model came in that is a big enough for my bike. I have never had any problem with damage. Honestly I think they know they can crush the cardboard box and keep it on top of the pile.

If Im going to ride the bike and come back from another airport the card board is a throwaway. I just check with the town Im flying back from and e-mail a shop or have a local friend contact them and they are cool about helping me with box to get home with.

I also have an IronCase that I have used, but I swear that the Airline guys see it as a challenge to see if they can hurt that thing. It has more scuff marks on it in one round trip than all my cardboard box together.

In the US I use the IronCase and send the bike FedEx (most of the time cheaper than UPS) or UPS. Both are cheaper than the airline and I can track it the whole way and know it is waiting for me.

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Old 10-31-04, 05:45 PM   #6
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So you reckon its either a hard case or a cardboard box. Not one of those soft bags?
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Old 10-31-04, 06:54 PM   #7
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I don't think a soft bag would be any better than a cardboard box. Also in a soft bag they may assume it's not fragile, whereas in a cardboard box they're more likely to realize something fragile might be inside.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scroz
So you reckon its either a hard case or a cardboard box. Not one of those soft bags?
The Soft bags get great reviews. Lance uses onebut Im guessing he in first class or private jet. The Soft bags can mean less tear down of the bike.

Im thinking like cryogenic. I think soft bags says "not fragile". But Im sure there are soft bag users that love them and dont have a problem.

If your only going to fly once with a bike the box is cheep! I have loaned my iron case out for $50 a trip to a few people that the local shop contacted me about. Kind of cool easy money.

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Old 11-01-04, 11:25 AM   #9
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British airways have been known to put the bike in a box for you, at least they did when flying from the UK.
In my experiance though its best to go well prepared. Use pipe lagging etc.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:58 AM   #10
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www.bikefriday.com
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Old 11-01-04, 12:43 PM   #11
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They are wanting to ship current bike. Not buy one.

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Old 11-02-04, 09:31 PM   #12
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I flew Air France Miami-Paris and return july-Sept, this year

I boxed it to Paris, and bought a bag for the return, It arrived in PERFECT condition

both ways. On international flights a bike travels as part of your normal baggage

allowance and no charge
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Old 11-02-04, 10:12 PM   #13
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My daughter's bike has gone by air Canada trans-atlantic 4 times. Twice in cardboard box and twice with bubble-wrap. No damage or charge any time. Although the bubble wrap provides practically no protection, the handlers can see what it is, and treat it more gently. In the cardboard box, scrap hub and QR was put in the forks.
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Old 11-03-04, 04:51 PM   #14
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Check with your LBS to see of they have any H/S cases for rental. Last time I went to Europe(99) it cost me CDN$50 on Air Canada to ship my bike & $25 for a 2 week case rental.
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