Join Date: May 2008
Location: Champaign, Illinois
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Airline flights/extended travel with bike AKA Calling all those with travel cases
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.