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  1. #1
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Bike Pro USA Tandem Race Case

    So, I think we scored in getting a full size slightly used travel case + $40 shipping (seller split the $75 Greyhound rate <<< best rate around if you need to ship a big tandem case). It is missing the bags for wheels and gear, but those are easy to get (already have some).

    Oddly, Bike Pro advertises this case as "Tandem Case: 30x72x10 41 lbs" but I weighed it at only 30.5lbs. What's with that?? Hey, 10lbs lighter is great.

    Weight wise it should be good to go just about anywhere as sub-30kg (66lbs) is reachable. However, I was considering trying to build a lighter weight AL replacement for the heavy steel rack they install in the bottom.

    To me, the entire upper part of the case seems a bit on the limp side and could use internal supports, hard side panels etc.

    Anyone tackle doing similar mods to this case? Pics of mods and/or packed tandems in this case?
    Last edited by twocicle; 11-10-12 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Santana Couple
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    Traveled twice with mine and had to put the seats, seat post, pedals, and casset in a small suitcase to get the weight below 70 pounds. No photos that show much but have written up my step by step instructions. Send me your email and I'll get them to you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Perhaps the 40 lbs weight listed includes the side reinforcements that Bike-Pro sold?
    Reinforce/stiffen sides with with heavy corrugated cardboard or fibreboard?
    Great price!

  4. #4
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Thanks. I really didn't want to go over the 30" baggage height dimension as that is already at the limits for some carriers.

    We are just over 25" on the fork height, but with the setback in the normal forward position it looks like that should fit ok on the case's internal mount. IMO it is always best to remove the rear derailleur regardless of what type of case you have (S&S or otherwise)... no point tempting fate to bend your dropouts. With the derailleur off, plenty of room to shift the frame rearward in the case.

    The carbon steerer tube sticking up high is somewhat unprotected. Wonder if there is a good way to add some kind of cover or reinforcement around that? Otherwise I was thinking we might need to pull the fork to pack it safer and use a PVC tube mock up as a fork/holder for the front of the frame. Bikes with steel steerers would not be a concern, but a virtually unprotected carbon steerer in a soft ended case is cause.

    You can see what I mean about the steerer top here on the photo from Bike Pro website...

    I have sent Bike Pro an inquiry about adding the plastic side panels. We'll see what they come up with.
    Last edited by twocicle; 10-01-12 at 12:10 PM.

  5. #5
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    We've flown a number of times with ours with no issues. I don't think it needs further structure on the sides.

    As for the cf steerer, are you taking the stem off?
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Place spacers and spare stem on it?

  7. #7
    PMK
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    We have a similar case. I did not like the way the rail clamped the aft BB area. I purchased the downhill bike drop out mount. This held the bike from the droputs front and rear.

    I did remove the rear der. Bunch of other stuff was dis-assembled, but it all fit inside.

    Also, I bought a few sticks of pipe foam to protect the frame and used masking tape to secure it.

    PK
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  8. #8
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    We've flown a number of times with ours with no issues. I don't think it needs further structure on the sides.

    As for the cf steerer, are you taking the stem off?
    I could leave the stem (alloy) on our cf steerer as end/chip protection, but I'm still paranoid about impact cracking the top of the cf steerer at the headset exit. Am I wrong to worry about it?

    I have padded wheel bags, but wondering if adding more sheets of foam is needed since our frame will also be wrapped? Also, where do you position your wheels?

    Photos of your bike packed?
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-20-12 at 04:44 PM.

  9. #9
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    We have a similar case. I did not like the way the rail clamped the aft BB area. I purchased the downhill bike drop out mount. This held the bike from the droputs front and rear.

    I did remove the rear der. Bunch of other stuff was dis-assembled, but it all fit inside.

    Also, I bought a few sticks of pipe foam to protect the frame and used masking tape to secure it.

    PK
    I was planning to purchase the typical S&S velcro frame wrap material and some S&S compression members (crush preventers).

    Gimmee a link to the "downhill bike drop out mount" (I can't locate it) and do you have a photo with your tandem attached?

  10. #10
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    I was planning to purchase the typical S&S velcro frame wrap material and some S&S compression members (crush preventers).

    Gimmee a link to the "downhill bike drop out mount" (I can't locate it) and do you have a photo with your tandem attached?
    Check out the photo #4 on page 4. It's what they call a rear dropout support.

    http://www.shop.bikeprousa.com/media/instruct_race.pdf

    I have photos, but not real handy to show this detail. Mainly were used as a guide for packing.

    PK
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  11. #11
    PMK
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    2006 Co-Motion Roadster, flat bars, discs and carbon fibre fork, size 22 / 19
    2006 Ventana ECDM full suspension mountain tandem
    Some single bikes and a couple of KTM's
    And most important, someone special that enjoys them with me (except the KTM's)

  12. #12
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    So it turns out that this particular case I have is sans side panels. I think they are an important part of the safety structure so I've ordered them from Bike Pro. Comes to $55 shipped. Add 10lbs.

    With the case weight hitting 40lbs + a fairly light (sub-30lb) tandem, it looks like this will still hit the 70lb limit even before adding extra foam, supports, etc. Somethings got to go.

    Question:
    Anyone look at removing that heavy steel track Bike Pro marketing is so proud of? That weighs 9.5lbs on its own and I'm not sure how useful is it anyway. Note the photo above with the red Santana - there is no steel track in that case! I wonder if replacing with aluminum or even pvc pipe for that matter wouldn't be a good alternative?
    Last edited by twocicle; 10-01-12 at 12:12 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    For the CF steerer I'd just get a small piece of high-density rubber sheet from a hardware store, the thickest that you can bend in that small radius, and wrap the tube - can't hurt. If you just spread the load enough to avoid a chip the steerer should be fine; they withstand big loads under normal conditions.
    Rick T
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    I'm planning to get one of these cases. Our tandem weighs 41 pounds in road condition (aka with rear pack), so I assumed something would have to ride in another case. We'd already planned to designate a carry-on as the bike stuff bag (tools to assemble, helmets, first day's clothes). I figure it'll inherit a ziploc with chains, some ziplocs with pedals, probably some ziplocs with left-side cranks (daVinci, so they both come off to pull the chains, and I don't want chain lube flying everywhere), computers, etc.

  15. #15
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p2templin View Post
    I'm planning to get one of these cases. Our tandem weighs 41 pounds in road condition (aka with rear pack), so I assumed something would have to ride in another case. We'd already planned to designate a carry-on as the bike stuff bag (tools to assemble, helmets, first day's clothes). I figure it'll inherit a ziploc with chains, some ziplocs with pedals, probably some ziplocs with left-side cranks (daVinci, so they both come off to pull the chains, and I don't want chain lube flying everywhere), computers, etc.
    By "carry-on" assume that = flying. You might need to think about TSA looking at your carry-on and what they might deny as far as "dangerous items". Somehow a timing crank w/ring might look a tad wicked in the wrong hands and minds.

    As far as a maximum weight target goes for flying some carriers in Europe, 70lbs is the weight threshold for any checked baggage and some carriers limit to only 50lbs!

    Here is a great page with links to most all airline policies:
    http://www.airline-luggage-regulatio...s&categoryid=1
    Last edited by twocicle; 10-01-12 at 12:14 PM.

  16. #16
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Travelling TGV western France with Bike Pro case?

    This fall we are looking at a western France round trip from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to La Rochelle.

    From what we read, they only have a hoaky baggage truck service to ship bigger baggage (aka Bike Pro tandem caes) in parallel to the train route, and that service has a minimum 24hour window to deliver to the destination depot (and who knows what the maximum limit is. they don't deliver on weekends.). Now, occassionally you might get lucky to have a TGV with a baggage car, but it's still up to the conductor to decide to let on the big baggage... no guarantee.

    Question for TGV travellers, anyone have success in the last couple years getting a large bike case on a TGV in France?

  17. #17
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    bump.

    Also, we obtained the hard panels from Bike Pro (Spectrum) and installed those today. Panels +8lbs and a couple ounces. While at it, I removed the bulky middle foam chunks @ 3lbs which nets a 5lb increase. Current case weight = 35.5lbs w/o the fat-yellow middle section foam. With the addition of 6 standard S&S crush towers, S&S velco tube wrap and a bunch of bubble wrap, I think we'll just make it to the 70lb limit.

    I'm still not convinced the heavy steel track is serving a very useful purpose. Removing and replacing the steel track with aluminum TBD, could easily drop 10lbs and allow for more padding (like +2lbs for padded wheel bags) and useful trip tools and supplies.

    PS: Interesting that fully "buffed out" with all foam and panels, my case would weigh only 38.5lbs and not the advertised 41lbs
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-30-12 at 04:25 PM.

  18. #18
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    A question that relates to this thread.

    Is there a commonly available rental car with fold-down rear seats that will accommodate A Bike Pro USA Tandem Race Case?

    With rental cars, the prices are very competitive with four-door sedans, but get out of sedans (eg small SUV, minivans) and the price doubles.

    Does anyone have experience in which they were able to get the tandem case in a standard sedan?

  19. #19
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    We rented a small renault hatch back in France that worked with the Bike Pro tandem case. I don't recall the model (and its been 12 years now so it would have changed anyway).

    A number of hatch backs will work if you only need two seats, and can fold down the back seats.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
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  20. #20
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    A question that relates to this thread.

    Is there a commonly available rental car with fold-down rear seats that will accommodate A Bike Pro USA Tandem Race Case?

    With rental cars, the prices are very competitive with four-door sedans, but get out of sedans (eg small SUV, minivans) and the price doubles.

    Does anyone have experience in which they were able to get the tandem case in a standard sedan?
    Interesting question.

    For a trip this fall to France, I've elected to get a Peugot Partner from Europcar, and a Opel Astra Sport Tourer from Hertz. Neither were the cheapest but both were reasonable rates and are 4-5 door vehicles (not sedans).

    As you know, the 6 foot length is a likely issue with smaller cars/luggage areas, but in a pinch a bungy cord could hold a 4-door's trunk closed (if the French allow that sort of thing). I would also be interested in hearing if the current hachbacks like the Renault still work with this case.
    Last edited by twocicle; 10-01-12 at 12:16 PM.

  21. #21
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    my case modifications

    Reporting back on our France trip experience.

    On the departure from Spokane, the United Airline check-in agent was not aware of their flat $200 rate (discussed above) for bikes. His co-worker agent that supposedly knew everything insisted our tandem case was oversize and overweight... $470 please. I said fine if that was necessary to get us on our way, but told him we had phoned and triple checked the rate, so if they charged us more we would be disputing it afterward. The agent was pleasant (and so were we). We suggested he call the agent help line, which he did, and he finally found the "bikes overweight exemption" screen. End of story, $200 as we expected. Three route segments later, the case arrived in Paris (CDG) in the oversize luggage area near our regular baggage claim.

    The return trip was more simple. The agent in CDG simply asked the case weight which we said was 38kg (they didn't understand "83lbs") - perhaps a little less than actual. The only reason they asked was to tag it as overweight for the handlers. I was given a bag ticket to go pay the $200 at another counter, then returning to the original agent all ticketing was completed and then they whisked the case away.

    Given the current baggage rates for regular (non-oversize/overweight), the International $200 fee each way for our big case is quite a good deal, since most S&S tandems in our tour group had to pay for 2nd/3rd bag/cases anyway.

    Car rental sizing for the Bike Pro case in France was simple enough. On arrival we had an ugly Peugeot Partner which held the case only by pushing the passenger (stoker) seat forward. The 2nd rental after our tandem tour, was an Opel Sport Tourer wagon, which held the case a little better, only requiring a slight push forward of the passenger seat. Caveat, neither auto would allow more than 2 passengers with our luggage loaded - not a problem for us.


    Case modifications:

    I made some drastic modifications to our Bike Pro case, in order to prevent any crushing of our carbon tandem frame. This involved building a complete internal PVC pipe frame and removed the steel track mount that came with the case. IMO, relying on the steel track mount is a bad idea for such a big case, as it puts all the stress on your tandem frame and fork, and does not provide any crush protection to the upper side panels. My full internal PVC frame prevents crushing from any direction.

    I think this mod is a huge improvement over the original case and at only ~37lbs empty with foam and 2 S&S support towers added. With a light weight tandem, easy enough to come in at 70lbs. Adding tools, bags and other extras, we had it loaded to 83.5lbs which was not a problem flying on UAL to France (other countries and/or airlines may have lower weight limits). United actually allows up to 100lbs as part of their flat rate bike fee.

    P1010790%u00252520%2528Large%2529.JPGP1010802%u00252520%2528Large%2529%2520%2528Medium%2529.JPGP1010809%u00252520%2528Large%2529.JPGP1010814%u00252520%2528Large%2529.JPGP1010815%u00252520%2528Large%2529.JPGP1010817%u00252520%2528Large%2529%2520%2528Medium%2529.JPG

    The following link contains all the photos and the key UAL bike weight exemption screen. I suggest printing it out (we did later at a hotel computer) and carrying it with you, if you are travelling on UAL because their current wording in the publically advertised Sport Equipment section is not clear about the oversize/overweight exemption.

    For larger size and more photos, see: https://picasaweb.google.com/1095507...CLyt7P-Iv9KVbA
    Last edited by twocicle; 04-07-14 at 10:01 AM. Reason: corrected typos

  22. #22
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Reporting back on our France trip experience.


    I made some drastic modifications to our Bike Pro case, in order to prevent any crushing of our carbon tandem frame. I built a complete internal PVC pipe frame and removed the steel track mount that came with the case... My full internal PVC frame prevents crushing from any direction.

    I think this mod is a huge improvement over the original case and at only ~37lbs empty with foam and 2 S&S support towers added.
    The Twocicle PVC gambit looks like a must have. Maybe you could post here the procedures for its construction?

  23. #23
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Maybe once winter settles in I'll have time for more detailed instructions. Since the frame is glued together, I cannot disassemble to provide the exact tube lengths used. Meanwhile, given the photos of my prototype you have a good template representation to work from.

    Start by extracting the foam sheets from the exterior side panels and use the large grey sheets as templates for the outer shape of the PVC frame.

    - The entire stock of 1/2" white Schedule 40 PVC pipe and non-threaded T-connectors needed for this project is really cheap. Visit Home Depot, Lowes, etc. in their irrigation section You'll need 5 or 6 10' lengths of tubing, plus 32 Ts (buy in bags of 10 at HT).

    - The curved grey 1/2" PVC from the electrical section in HT matched the bottom radius close enough so I used this instead of custom bending. The built in joint on one end is stronger too.

    - The 1/2" metal U-brackets for securing the frame to the case bottom are available from the HT plumbing area. Use 5/8" #10 screws, nuts, etc to fasten.

    - Also needed is a PVC primer & cement kit (<$10), a good respirator mask, hack saw or a PVC pipe cutter and a heat *** (HT or Lowes paint dept) to bend the PVC sections for the top radius.

    On the topic of heating and bending the PVC for the top curves, it is best to do an entire radius and then cut it into sections later, than to try creating smaller sections. Using the grey foam as an outline, trace the curve onto a piece of plywood. This is the outer part of the pipe curve. Create an inner arc line by using a piece of PVC pipe or simply measure, then along this inner line add a row of long nails or screws. This is the inner bend radius. At the arc ends, add a couple nails/screws on the outer line which will act as pipe holders. Be sure to provide enough pipe length to allow the ends to run straight. Use a heat *** on 6-12" sections at a time and slowly wrap the pipe around the inner curve of nails/screws.

    - Add however many S&S compression towers you wish to support the middle of the case. I used 2 of these, trimming the pipe to fit the inner case space. Initially I thought of building in PVC supports as part of my frame, but later opted for the movable S&S towers to accomodate gear placement flexibility.

    Once this is all glued up, you'll be surprised how rigid the frame is and the entire case when loaded. With the PVC frame, the case maintains its shape regardless of what is piled on top (even I was guilty of tossing our main suitcases without much care onto the top of the tandem case in our rental cars)... not a problem. As a bonus, the case looks completely standard from the exterior and actually tracks better on its wheels.

    Total cost of materials for these modifications is about $20 for the pipes, connectors, etc, $14 for the PVC glue kit, plus a few dollars more for however many S&S compression towers you use (btw, these are simply 1/2" PVC pipe with a couple end caps - not sure where to source those from to make my own).
    Last edited by twocicle; 10-03-12 at 09:02 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    On the departure from Spokane, the United Airline check-in agent was not aware of the flat $200 rate (discussed above) for bikes. His co-worker agent that supposedly knew everything, insisted our tandem case was oversize and overweight... $470 please. I said fine if that was necessary to get us on our way, but told him we had phoned and triple checked the rate, so if they charged us more we would be disputing it afterward. The agent was pleasant (and so were we). We suggested he call the agent help line, which he did, and he finally found the "bikes overweight exemption" screen. End of story, $200 as expected.

    The following link contains all the photos and the key UAL bike weight exemption screen. I suggest printing it out (we did later at a hotel computer) and carrying it with you, if you are travelling on UAL because their current wording in the publically advertised Sport Equipment section is not clear about the oversize/overweight exemption.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the screen capture you've shared appears to confirm that a "Sports, Bike" fee (shown online as $100 domestic, $200 international) turns your bike bag into a piece of checked luggage, up to the max size (115" W+L+D)/max weight (70lb) limits, plus any fees if it's beyond your allowed quantity of free bags. It does not appear to provide any confirmation that a bike can exceed 115" or 70 pounds - do you have anything to confirm that?

    We're going to fly United domestic on Thursday, with a "medium tandem" BikePro case. It adds up to 116" so I'm slightly afraid of it being rejected as over-oversize.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p2templin View Post
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the screen capture you've shared appears to confirm that a "Sports, Bike" fee (shown online as $100 domestic, $200 international) turns your bike bag into a piece of checked luggage, up to the max size (115" W+L+D)/max weight (70lb) limits, plus any fees if it's beyond your allowed quantity of free bags. It does not appear to provide any confirmation that a bike can exceed 115" or 70 pounds - do you have anything to confirm that?

    We're going to fly United domestic on Thursday, with a "medium tandem" BikePro case. It adds up to 116" so I'm slightly afraid of it being rejected as over-oversize.
    Our experience is that if your bike case looks even vaguely like a bike case they won't weigh or measure it. They really don't want to lift it up onto their baggage receiving belt scale and it probably wouldn't weigh accurately there anyway, being so long. I've never seen an oversize item being measured. They do want you to notify them of the oversize in advance.

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