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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

View Poll Results: flying technique
double box from LBS 3 27.27%
unpadded and pad it with clothing 4 36.36%
slightly padded and still pad it with clothing 4 36.36%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-12-05, 10:44 AM   #1
wangster
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bike flying techniques

I'm flying to LA from NYC for christmas and wanted to know what the general view on flying the bike on an airline is. I'm flying Song(cheapest option) and got an email reply saying that as long as it's under the max size it's no extra charge. I don't think I can fit under the 62(?)in limit though. My options right now are double box with boxes from the LBS,

cheap unpadded bag from performance and pad it with clothes,
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4415

or more expensive slightly padded bag from ebay
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1.

I have a 51.5cm frame and might be able to cut the box down enough to squeeze under the limit but not sure about with the wheels though. Do the wheels fit in the overhead compartment?
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Old 12-12-05, 10:48 AM   #2
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go to you LBS and ask if they have a case you can borrow. if they know you & like you, chances are they have something you can use.
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Old 12-12-05, 10:51 AM   #3
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wouldn't a case be well over the limit? I'm trying to see if I can somehow pass under the radar with a under-the-limit looking package. plus the lbs that might have a case will probably charge me an arm and leg, R&A in brooklyn. The one I go to won't have a case (bicycle station)
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Old 12-12-05, 10:52 AM   #4
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yeah, don't use a bag. you need a hard case, preferrably, and a box at least. my shop loans cases out. if not, buy one, you'll be able to resell it on CL no problem.

(I had been thinking of asking some travelly friends to go in with me on a case- we'd split the cost and have it around for when any of us travels- but no need now since i'm getting couplers. but it's worth considering)

read the other thread on bike flying.

basically, you will be over the limit size-wise. i've tried very hard and have yet to find a way to package 700c wheels and a frame that is under the limit. but as long as you claim it's not a bike, they tend not to charge for it. even if they do charge, which would suck, admittedly, isn't it worth it to have your bike in one piece once you get to the other side??
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Old 12-12-05, 11:09 AM   #5
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The last time I flew with a bike, the airline wanted $45 for it. The same airline didn't charge for artwork, so I packed my bike into a frame box, padded it up with the clothing that I needed (no suitcase to drag around), and wrote "artwork" and "framed (hee hee!) portraits". Nobody challenged it, and I got my bike from NYC to Dallas and back for free.
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Old 12-12-05, 11:28 AM   #6
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I fly with the hard Serfas case. If you can't get a loaner from a shop watch craigslist. I see them for sale on there pretty often (usually for about $150). If you care about your bike the hard case is worth it. Its also worth it to pay the extra bucks and let the airlines know its a bike. If anything happens to your bike you are in a lot better shape.

cardboard box with all the extras (Specifically the drop out spacers and the wide plastic ends to go over the ends of your axles) would be 2nd best.

The wheels will fit in the box. The will not fit in any overhead compartment.... especially during crowded holiday travel.
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Old 12-12-05, 11:54 AM   #7
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don't the bike cases and boxes count as excess size luggage? I just checked the airline site and they charge $100 for excess sized luggage... I'm so screwed.
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Old 12-12-05, 11:58 AM   #8
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Stickyfoot was able to get his through w/o the charge going to the Meat & Greet, he broke down the whole jam, took the fork off, not just the stem & bars, no charge, not sure about how many boxes he ended up with but he did suceed in saving himself the charge.
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Old 12-12-05, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rithem
Stickyfoot was able to get his through w/o the charge going to the Meat & Greet, he broke down the whole jam, took the fork off, not just the stem & bars, no charge, not sure about how many boxes he ended up with but he did suceed in saving himself the charge.
that seems like the best option for me. I think I can cut the box down sufficiently but will have to watch it so the wheels still fit. Should I take the cranks off too?
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Old 12-12-05, 12:17 PM   #10
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I got out of paying once for flying durring the tour de france because of a jetblue promotion! hahah it was awesome. I fly all the time and have never paid >$50 and it's usually only 35. About packing it, I usually get some foam piping... I think it's air conditioning insulation or something and put that arround all of the tubes and for a little bit of padding. I also use all of the plastic frame savers and things that go on the ends of the axles. I try to keep it pretty light so that I don't have too much trouble carrying it arround. See if you can get someone to help you get to the airport... it's a pain in the arse carrying a bike box arround especially if it's full of clothes.
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Old 12-12-05, 12:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wangster
that seems like the best option for me. I think I can cut the box down sufficiently but will have to watch it so the wheels still fit. Should I take the cranks off too?
i would take at least the pedals off, probably the cranks too though.
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Old 12-12-05, 12:37 PM   #12
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i'm flying monday durham--> northwest arkansas, and just bought an unpadded bike bag from Nashbar. I figure I'll disassemble my bike, wrap it in bubble wrap, and then put it in the bag. I don't think I'll make the 62" limit either...
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Old 12-12-05, 12:43 PM   #13
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i shipped mine in a hardcase, ~$45 each way, and no hassling w/ the bike to and from the aeroporto
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Old 12-12-05, 12:48 PM   #14
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Freight Baggage (Travis Po, distributed through The Freewheel bikeshop in SF) makes a case that is under the limit. I've used it with no issues, it comes out on the baggage carousel just like any other piece of luggage. The downside is that you have to take everything except the BB off the bike, wheels, cranks and fork all have to come off and if you use drops you need to bring them in a seperate bag. But you don't have to pay.

With a frame as small as yours I would think that if you take the wheels, bars, fork and cranks off you would be able to fit it in an undersized box.

No matter what you do, make sure you tape pads onto the tubes because sometimes they take it out for inspection. When I flew out of Chicago in May the removed my frame from the box and it looks like they slid it across the floor or something. I now put pipe insulation on all the tubes.
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Old 12-12-05, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judah
Freight Baggage (Travis Po, distributed through The Freewheel bikeshop in SF) makes a case that is under the limit.
Judah - How can someone not in SF aquire said bag?
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Old 12-12-05, 02:20 PM   #16
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I would double box it and FedEx ground it. i know Julie would say otherwise. If I took my own advice a month ago, I would be about $110 richer right now. (I'm factoring in the associated costs of having to take cabs to and from the airport b/c of the giant box.)
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Old 12-12-05, 02:23 PM   #17
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you might find this site helpful as well

http://www.bikeaccess.net/BikeAccess/Default.cfm?Index
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Old 12-12-05, 10:19 PM   #18
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freight bags shipping case is small enough to fly without over sized baggage fees. check freewheel on hayes sf 250$ for the case vs 80$ each way flight.
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Old 12-14-05, 10:05 PM   #19
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Problem solved. Thanks to trackstar. They have a freight bag I can rent for the week I'm gone. $20 bucks, seems like a good deal.
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