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  1. #1
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    Not a pretty site


  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Several observations:

    1) Its unfortunate, but the bike's not destroyed. Calfee can fix that;

    2) No way I would ever pack an expensive CF tandem for airline flight in a cardboard box;

    3) doesn't look like they used a support between the dropouts. A 145mm piece of PVC pipe, with a QR skewer might have prevented that.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Good thing it's a nude frame: that'll buff right out....

    Ditto on Merlin's comments, though... an ounce of prevention.

    But, here are some really deep probing questions:

    1. Who set up the bike with the Avid and a rim brake, where only the Avid is connected?

    2. Which cranks are those?

    3. Why is the Cateye blinkey on the right chainstay pointed towards the heavens? After all, LEDs are pretty directional so unless you're trying to ward off flying saucers why would you have a blinkey pointing anywhere but straight back towards on-coming traffic?

    4. What's the deal with the black shorts, black socks and shiny black Nikes? Must be a RAAM / Ultra-distance thing.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 04-28-10 at 05:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    I'll be damned TG has a sense of humor!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I can answer some of those questions...

    1. Personally, I wouldn't have flown with the bike in a carboard box either but people do that all the time all over the world. Manufacturers ship their bikes in boxes all the time.

    2. There was a threaded stud in the rear drop out.

    3. There is an avid brake and a rim brake on there because he purchased both so he can run it either way. The guy who built the bike just mounted them loosely on there so he didn't have to throw them in his luggage. Ditto with the rear light.

    4. I thought he was putting FSA carbon cranks on there but they don't look like mine. Next time I see him I'll ask.

    5. Why he had the frame custom made in Ca, shipped to Texas to be built (by a really good builder who also built his Zipp wheels btw), then shipped back to Ca is a long story...

    6. What's the deal with the black shorts, black socks and shiny black Nikes? Sorry, got nothing on that...

    7. The bummer is that RAAM is just 6 weeks away, it's going to be tough to get it fixed in time...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    5. Why he had the frame custom made in Ca, shipped to Texas to be built (by a really good builder who also built his Zipp wheels btw), then shipped back to Ca is a long story...
    I had my Calfee frame made in CA, built at Fairwheel Bikes in Tuscon, and then shipped back to CA.

    One reason is that Fairwheel has a lot of unique expertise on the components I was using, much more so than Calfee.

    There is another reason to purchase out of state as well.

  7. #7
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't have flown with the bike in a carboard box either but people do that all the time all over the world. Manufacturers ship their bikes in boxes all the time.
    True. However, I think that an unassembled frame in a box from the manufacturer is likely better protected than the typical shipping arrangement of a built up bike in a cardboard box.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  8. #8
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    I have long been impressed how fragile CF seat stays can be. They don't have to be very heavy or thick to perform their normal function, but that makes them susceptible to damage in unusual circumstances. All the nice CF frames on the ground at rest-stops of large organized rides make me cringe.

    The lessons here are: 1) If you must ship your expensive bike, pack it carefully. Imagine all the ways it can be mis-handled and do what you can to guard against damage. 2) If your schedule will allow, it is better and often cheaper (at least in my experience) to ship via UPS or the like than to entrust your bike to an airline. Airlines charge plenty these days, yet accept only limited liability. They may even make you sign a damage waiver before accepting your bike. Sure, the shipping companies will lose or mangle the occasional item, but I feel that the risks are much lower than with the average airline...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    True. However, I think that an unassembled frame in a box from the manufacturer is likely better protected than the typical shipping arrangement of a built up bike in a cardboard box.
    It was in a Schwinn bike box. Actually I believe it was made of two single bike boxes. The box was damaged on the end, not in the middle where it was mated. I have friends who have traveled all over the world using cardboard boxes to ship their bikes in and they swear by them. I use a hard case because I've seen more than one instance of damaged bikes on airlines. I flew to Paris for an event a few years back and my friends bike arrived with a broken fork sticking out of the side of the box. I don't need to see too many lessons like that. I have the same philosophy on bike boxes that I have for helmets. If you have a $5 head, wear a $5 helmet...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  10. #10
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeriderdave View Post
    I have long been impressed how fragile CF seat stays can be. They don't have to be very heavy or thick to perform their normal function, but that makes them susceptible to damage in unusual circumstances. All the nice CF frames on the ground at rest-stops of large organized rides make me cringe.
    Yes, no doubt about it... the anisotropic carbon stays as well as forks that aren't designed to deal with side-loads can be damaged with far less force applied in the wrong direct vs. their isotropic, metal and alloy counterparts.

    However, that said, just looking at the breaks in those says, I'd guess anything short of a 75lb department store tandem's stays would have been damaged by whatever caused the damage to the carbon stays.

  11. #11
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    The bummer is that RAAM is just 6 weeks away, it's going to be tough to get it fixed in time...

    That is lousy. Perhaps he can work a deal with Calfee for an expidited repair, in exchange for some publicity at RAAM. If Calfee fixes the bike as good as new in time for RAAM makes a nice marketing piece for Calfee.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    That is lousy. Perhaps he can work a deal with Calfee for an expidited repair, in exchange for some publicity at RAAM. If Calfee fixes the bike as good as new in time for RAAM makes a nice marketing piece for Calfee.
    Calfee is one of our sponsors so we have our fingers crossed.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  13. #13
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    I see from the photos that the TSA Inspected tape is all over that box.

    I have put the bike on a plane in everything from a plastic bag supplied by the airline at check in to a hardcase without any problems. I think it is mostly just luck to have your bike arrive without a problem. The question I have is did the TSA inspection compromise the original packing job? A well packed cardboard box should be fine.

    A friend just came out from Texas for the PCH 1000k and he said the TSA's inspection was the cause of his needing a Campy 10 speed wheel upon arrival in SLO. (Homeyba do you have a spare?) While I am not sure, I believe he travels with a hardcase (single bike).

    The question may be how to pack your bike so the TSA can inspect it and throw it back in the box without any care and still have it arrive in one piece. If that is the case, you might be better off going with a clear plastic bag. The TSA would not have to open it (hopefully) and the baggage handlers might be more careful with something they perceive is fragile rather than something that they think can be thrown out of the back of the plane.

  14. #14
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reversegear View Post
    IThe question may be how to pack your bike so the TSA can inspect it and throw it back in the box without any care and still have it arrive in one piece.
    I always worry about that, and I'm not sure there's a lot you can do, other than add lots of protection, like pipe insualtion, and padded wheel bags, so that you have a fighting chance when they throw everything back in the box willy nilly.

    In my admittedly non random sampling, I have found that the bike is much more likely to get TSA inspected if you pack water bottles in with it. My guess is they see the bottles on X-RAy, and then want to verify nothing bad is inside them. I pack my waterbottles seperately now.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  15. #15
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    Sad but true: you gamble every time a bike goes on a plane, indirectly (shipping) or directly (luggage).

    On a recent trip, a TSA monkey broke something that was well packed and well secured--and perfectly visible, so as to not need to take it out--in a hard travel case. How it broke is unknown--either through disassembly, re-assembly, or at some point en route as a result of s&^%$y re-packing job.

    It was clear they hoisted everything out, as the frame tie-down straps and wheels were not how I placed them originally.

    Bummer for the Calfee tandem owner, hopefully they'll get it repaired or get a temporary replacement bike somewhere in the interim in order to do the race.

  16. #16
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    True story. When we shipped our Calfee tandem home from Rome last year, we had to take it to a special large x-ray machine. The couple on front of us had CF tri-bikes (in soft cases) that they were taking to Australia. The baggage handlers had problems getting them through the x-ray tube because they were oversized. Their solution...two guys pushed and one guy pulled each bike through the tube. The owners were freaking out. So much for the subtleties and finesse of Lufthansa. So, pack your bike in an 800 lb gorilla proof container. Cardboard doesn't get it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    The bike is at Calfee right now. He's hoping to get it back by the end of the month (May). We'll see.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  18. #18
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Why are the TSA people so obsessed with opening bags and boxes? It seems like in the rest of the world, the security people are happy to rely on the x-ray image most of the time, and our bags don't get opened. Every time we fly through the US, those guys always open everything up. I'm not convinced that this means that they are any better at catching any items that shouldn't be there. Soon they will make restrictions that every bag and box must be made of see-through material, but I'm sure they'd still then want to open up half of them and mess with our careful packing jobs. Grrrrrr. Rant over.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    When will people learn. If you have something large and valuable, crate it properly and ship freight. Putting a fully built bike in a cardboard box to ship with any carrier is mistake unless you really know packing.. like not use duct tape. This breaks my heart..sorry man..

  20. #20
    Senior Member ftsoft's Avatar
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    I've shipped my bike every which way and to my mind cardboard bike boxes are about as good as anything else.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    For those of you following this, the bike was just shipped from Calfee and is being re-assembled. It'll be ready to ride this weekend! Talk about a fast turn around! Just under two weeks! I won't see it until next weekend but I'll try and get some pics of the repair.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  22. #22
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    This reminds me of a Calfee dragonfly that I had seen after it had been flown on a plane. Inspectors at the airport had carefully unpacked the bike from it's shipping container and then carefully repacked it. Unfortunately they had put the rear wheel back in with the freewheel facing (touching) the frame. Looking at the frame, I would have to say that there must have been some major turbulence during that flight. The airline, I'm not sure which one it was, wasn't keen on paying for the damage.

    It's surprising that airlines haven't developed better practices involving searching luggage. I'd be willing to sit handcuffed if I could just watch and make sure that airline employees knew how to properly repack any of my bicycles.

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