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Old 03-04-02, 07:29 PM   #1
roadrunner
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The best way to pack the bike for the planeride??

Hi everyone:

The last time I took my bike overseas, I packed my bike in a cardboard box I got from a bikeshop. This time, however, I want to bring my more expensive bike, and I'm nervous about doing that. What are your suggestions for packing it for the plane. Should I buy one of those hard shell cases? I like the cases that have wheels...seems much easier in a pinch. I'd like some feedback. Thanks...Schatzi in the U.S.
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Old 03-05-02, 04:31 AM   #2
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I think it depends on the baggage handlers -

I've read that simply turning the handle bars and wrapping the whole bike apart from wheels can work - the handlers know it's a bike and treat it carefully, they can also wheel it on or off easily.

On the otherhand if you get handlers who don't give a damn then the maximum packaging possible is probably better.

The most important thing is insurance...

Richard
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Old 03-09-02, 10:50 AM   #3
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I intend using a hard box because my bike is worth it and because you can load so much more stuff into it and, I believe they are lockable.
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Old 03-09-02, 02:07 PM   #4
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Well, I agree, but what do you do with it once you get to the airport? I like to ride right out of the airport and presently, I'm having difficulty finding a place to store it at the Shannon airport in Ireland. Do you have any ideas?

Hey, how are things up in Maine? I love it there. I have a good friend that I visit in Brooklin on the coast near Blue Hill, ME. I usually head to Old Town in April for the big canoe-kayak sale, but I don't think I'll make it this year.

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Old 03-09-02, 03:18 PM   #5
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Sorry, I have no ideas for storage. When I fly, there is usually a friend at the other end where I can leave the box, or I ship it back home via UPS--if that's where I'm heading. I remember, when I was a kid, there used to be storage at Railroad Stations. Have never inquired about airports. Maybe one of the air frieght outfits, who have a warehouse at most terminals, would have some facilities. I would hope some of the our other travelers would have some better suggestions.

Maine is fine. It's rather hot today, almost 40. Have overcast skies and a bit of drizzle. I get over to Brooklin and Blue Hill every once in awhile. I live about 10 miles from Old Town. In fact, I lived on an island in the middle of the Penobscot River in Old Town, before buying this house in Veazie.
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Old 03-09-02, 05:09 PM   #6
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What kind of case do you carry your bike in? Presently, I'm bidding on a Performance case on Ebay. I looked in the catalog and it sounds great and has wheels. I got a cardboard box from a bike shop yesterday, just in case I decide not to spend the money on expensive transport. The bike I'm taking is an old Schwinn touring bike. It has very few miles on it, and I bought it for about $400 or $500 many years ago. I'd rather take that than my good Cannondale, plus it has wider tires and more gears. The last trip to Ireland I took my Mt. bike, but that was really slow. The roads in Ireland can be rough, so I'll be happy to have the bigger tires on this touring bike.

Thanks for the suggestions on storing the box. I wish other bike travelers would respond.

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Old 03-12-02, 10:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadrunner
Well, I agree, but what do you do with it once you get to the airport?
I have the same problem but the opposite way: After my tour (that starts from where I live), I will bike to the airport. Where should I get my packaging? I really donít know. If I get an old paperbox at a LBS, then how should I transport it to the airport? Cab? Iím as confused as you are. :confused:
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Old 03-12-02, 07:14 PM   #8
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Well, at least we can say that this problem is worldwide. Perhaps a business could be started storing and providing bike boxes to travelers for a small fee. What do you say?
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Old 03-12-02, 08:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by swekarl

I have the same problem but the opposite way: After my tour (that starts from where I live), I will bike to the airport. Where should I get my packaging? I really donít know. If I get an old paperbox at a LBS, then how should I transport it to the airport? Cab? Iím as confused as you are. :confused:
Last time in Europe, I flew back from Frankfurt. I rode into the airport and asked for a used bicycle box......it was no problem.
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Old 03-13-02, 04:52 AM   #10
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Some airports do have luggage storage areas. We're going to Prague and they have one you can leave any size at for a couple dollars a day. If you plan to spend the first and last night in a hotel sometimes they will let you store your box there while you are gone.
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Old 03-13-02, 07:17 AM   #11
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I always fly in a city and leave from another at the end of the trip. This enables me to cover more ground, visit more places and the price differential for the ticket is negligible.

On the way out, I use cardboard bike boxes(2) - using part of the second one and taping it to the first with duct tape, in order to avoid removing the back wheel, the mud guards and pannier holders. If you remove the pedals,turn the handlebars and secure the front wheel to the frame with a nylon tie, the bike arrives in perfect shape and is a very easy to assemble on arrival at the airport. I have done that 4 times with different airlines without damage or problems.

Before departing, if I can't find a box or a bike plastic bag from the airline, I wrap the disassembled bike in a few layers of heavy duty plastic (vapor barrier stuff used in construction which is cheap in hardware stores), secure the wheels to the frame with nylon ties and seal again with duct tape. This also works and I've had no problems yet.

For the panniers and their content, I use a banana box. You can fit whatever you carry in there, as the box is adjustable. Secured with duct tape, it is bagage handler proof.

Overall, this makes for 2 pieces of luggage, the allowed number...

Voilŗ!
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Old 03-13-02, 07:25 AM   #12
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Addendum to the previous post:

Bike shop sell kits with a platic bar to insert in the fork to avoid damage, as well as round plastic discs with a pin that you insert in the wheel hub to avoid puncturing the box. The kit also comes with cardboard wrapping to protect the paint job, but I don`t know this is absolutely necessary, as the finish is protected by the box...
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Old 03-13-02, 07:35 AM   #13
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I flew with KLM to Amsterdam a few times and each time used a big cardboard box from my LBS. However, on getting there, I had to dispose of it and on the way back buy a cardboard box from KLM for the return trip.

Last time I flew easyjet I took both bikes wrapped in "sleeves" made of bubble wrap, with the pedals off and bars turned. On arrival the bubble wrap folded to something the size of a groundmat and could be carried on the rear rack behind my saddlebag. The bikes could still be wheeled but they both suffered minor damage to the brake hoods and my back wheel was buckled on the home trip when a handler put it on the conveyor rather than wheel it through!

Rigid case is best but where do you store it in an airport?
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