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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-19-14, 08:04 AM   #26
Carbonfiberboy 
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Hi CFB,

I'm curious to hear an update on your experience bringing your very slick bike box onboard the Condor flight to FRA. Was the size, or weight an issue with Condor? Having traveled to FRA with Condor many times, I've found the ticket agents to be particularly watchful about luggage weight.

My wife and I travel to Germany frequently, and use Condor (LAS-FRA) quite a bit. In fact, this summer we're planning to bring our un-coupled tandem with us to Germany. However, rather than returning to the US with the bike, we plan to store it in Germany (we will use a cardboard box for this trip) so we have our bike there ready to ride whenever we travel there.
Our box was under airlines' size limits for sports equipment and under Condor's weight limit as packed. All the baggage agents who helped us loved the box with casters. We liked it too. The box was a total success. In Frankfurt we watched all the bikes get unloaded from our Condor flight. The baggage handlers picked up each bike and threw them into a pile on a cart at least 8' away. I wouldn't think that any bagged or cardboard boxed bike survived that. The thrown bikes included our wooden box and a couple of plastic cased bikes. Our box suffered minor damage: the captain's seatpost punched through the top of the case - that's how hard they threw them. Bike was undamaged. They also ripped the wheels off our two suitcases.

We had trouble getting out of Seattle on our Condor flight: a minor maintenance issue which Condor couldn't solve, having no ground crew. Our flight was delayed about 36 hours and then had to put down in Cologne since the air crew had been aboard too long. We were deboarded and reboarded with another air crew for the short Frankfurt leg, when meant that all duty-free liquids were confiscated and some passengers lost all possessions inadvertently left on the aircraft. Otherwise our travel was uneventful.
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Old 06-19-14, 02:13 PM   #27
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Our box was under airlines' size limits for sports equipment and under Condor's weight limit as packed. All the baggage agents who helped us loved the box with casters. We liked it too. The box was a total success. In Frankfurt we watched all the bikes get unloaded from our Condor flight. The baggage handlers picked up each bike and threw them into a pile on a cart at least 8' away. I wouldn't think that any bagged or cardboard boxed bike survived that. The thrown bikes included our wooden box and a couple of plastic cased bikes. Our box suffered minor damage: the captain's seatpost punched through the top of the case - that's how hard they threw them. Bike was undamaged. They also ripped the wheels off our two suitcases.
Well, your experience with the box getting tossed around causes me to reconsider my use of cardboard. I'm somewhat handy with wood, but not nearly as experienced as I believe you are given the earlier posts. If it's not too much trouble, would you post additional photos of your box? Perhaps I can see how you handled all the joints, as well as the mounting of the casters.
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Old 06-19-14, 03:27 PM   #28
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Well, your experience with the box getting tossed around causes me to reconsider my use of cardboard. I'm somewhat handy with wood, but not nearly as experienced as I believe you are given the earlier posts. If it's not too much trouble, would you post additional photos of your box? Perhaps I can see how you handled all the joints, as well as the mounting of the casters.
I don't think more photos would tell you much. The ply is 1/8" mahogany door skin. The corners are 3/4" X 3/4" fir cleats, as are the stiffeners. I think the stiffeners could have been smaller, maybe 1/2" X 1/2".

These are the Grainger caster parts I used:

Stem Caster Mounting Socket, PK5 Item no: 5VT35
Swivel Stem Caster, 13/16"W, 2"D Item no: 4X948

I glued a thick mounting block to the bottom of the box at each end, drilled a hole for the mounting sockets, and epoxied them in. I drilled out the socket just a little to allow the caster to be removable.

My baggage experiences on this flight are definitely minority, however I did meet bike tourists in campgrounds with similar stories. And of course there's United Breaks Guitars.
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