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Old 05-24-11, 01:40 PM   #1
Leopard_Wrasse
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Airline flights/extended travel with bike AKA Calling all those with travel cases

Hey all,

Looking for help on traveling with my bicycle and the selection of the travel case. A few details:

I'm looking to travel abroad for the next several years, possibly flying with my bike up to twice or three times yearly for the foreseeable future. I'll be staying on various islands around the globe, teaching scuba, and wish to have my bicycle with me. Space is a premium, obviously, since when I'm flying I'm essentially taking all my belongings with me which includes a full set of scuba gear and underwater photography equipment. I'm hopeful to keep this down to 2 suitcases and a carry-on. I can fit all my clothing, scuba gear, and personal stuff into a single suitcase and carry-on. That leaves me one case to fit my bicycle and photography equipment. Can it be done?

The bike is a nicely modified for commuting 58cm cyclo-cross with rear saddle bags, fenders, U-locks, etc. Due to the remoteness of my destinations, acquiring spare/replacement parts will be difficult and expensive. Therefore I'd like to travel with most of the key parts already on hand (spare chain, cables, brake pads, basic tools, etc.). I'm assuming most bike travel cases have enough room for these parts, correct? Additonally, I need to fit my camera housing and flash strobes/batteries/chargers/etc into this same case. Is this possible? The largest item is the camera housing, which fits nicely between the frame of the bicycle. The camera housing needs to be extra secure, however; much more so than the bicycle. It is acrylic and I cannot have it bouncing off the frame during travel for obvious reasons.

Obviously weight is an issue, but it appears to me over-weight fees are more reasonable than 3rd baggage check-in fees. Therefore I'd prefer 2 over-weight bags to a 3rd bag I do believe.

I've been researching these travel suitcases. They aren't cheap. My local shop doesn't carry any on-hand, so I'm left trying to visualize the size and packing ability purely from manufacturer online photos. Certainly not ideal. Additionally it doesn't seem often that these pop up used for sale anywhere. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:05 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Leopard_Wrasse View Post
That leaves me one case to fit my bicycle and photography equipment. Can it be done?
It's your bike and camera equipment so you tell us. As long as you're OK with the fees, and having security occasionally digging through your bike and camera gear, you should be OK. I fly with a bike in a case, but to try to keep the weight reasonable, I put only lightweight low density things in with the bike. I just got some soft cases which I intent to use domestically in the next couple of months.

This aint me, but check this: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/02/h...h-my-bike.html
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Old 05-25-11, 06:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
It's your bike and camera equipment so you tell us. As long as you're OK with the fees, and having security occasionally digging through your bike and camera gear, you should be OK. I fly with a bike in a case, but to try to keep the weight reasonable, I put only lightweight low density things in with the bike. I just got some soft cases which I intent to use domestically in the next couple of months.

This aint me, but check this: http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/02/h...h-my-bike.html
Very informative post. Thanks

To the OP... I am not sure if checking in all your camera gear is a good option. You should have a specific hard camera case for that. Even if you pack it really well, having the bike and the camera together makes me cringe a bit. Can't you hand carry some camera stuff?

Last edited by johnj2803; 05-25-11 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:07 PM   #4
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Yes, my camera currently has its own hard-shell pelican case. I just really didn't want to travel with 3 bags and a carrying. So now I'm thinking I may carry the camera housing in my carry-on backpack, but that would mean I'm pulling clothing and other personal stuff out of that bag and putting it in with the bike. Doable, I supppose, but again I'm left wondering just how much room will be available in the bicycle case after all the bike stuff gets loaded in.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:09 PM   #5
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Nice link Looigi. Thanks. Looks like i would have room for some clothing and such, but not a lot of room. This might actually work...
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Old 05-25-11, 06:23 PM   #6
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Any of you have experience with mountain bikes? I have a titanium framed GT Xizang that's had a rear rack added, and wears touring tires. Different bars from your road bikes.
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