What do you do with bike bag when you land in a new country??
Sorry but i am new to touring.......
What do you do with bike bag when you land in a new country??
Sorry but i am new to touring.......
I dunno. Wish that you used a cardboard box instead?
It depends on whether you are coming back to the same place or not.
I have a hard bike case which I can't take with me. On my out of town tours I've either left it at the hotel and retrieved it for the flight back home or my wife has flown with me and taken it back with her (she doesn't ride).
For the first time, I will have to deal with the bike box (and the second case for all the rest of the gear) on my upcoming Atlantic Coast ride. My plan is to UPS the boxes to my destination.
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I've always flown with an unbagged bike, it's worked out fine for me. The one time I used a bike bag I left it at my sister's house for the duration of the tour. That was the only time I had a problem, the baggage handlers piled a bunch of stuff on top of the bike and the brake levers got pushed off to one side. When I fly with an unbagged bike the handlers put the bike on top of everything else.
I use a Tardis soft sided bike bag and use my gear as extra padding inside. The bag packs down to the size of a phone book and weighs a couple of lbs so it can be easily carried. However, I seldom do that, I either leave it at left luggage office, a hotel if I will be coming back to it or just post it to myself at a convenient post office
ditch it. i left mine on a farm in the middle of nowhere in spain.
I like to use the large disposable box sold by the airlines. It is convenient and requires minimal disassembly of the bike. (Check ahead for availability on your flight). Pedals come off, bars are rotated down and the box is ready to tape up and fly. The assembled bike is protected by it's own wheels, saddle and racks being in place rather than being stuffed into a smaller UPS sized box disassembled. Some non US airlines will provide just a large plastic bag to cover an un-boxed bike with. (Air Canada comes to mind). Indeed, you may have to sign a damage liability release with the airlines to transport a bike this way but, Hey!, a touring bike is to use and enjoy. Not something to worry "what if?"about all the time. I've been flying the bike this way for 40 years with no damage.
Last edited by BobG; 02-27-10 at 08:27 AM.
My bike bag is a plastic foil. After the flight I pack it and use it for the flight back.
Tanks all.... good advice give.
I didn't know airlines would allow a bagged bicycle. On Amtrak I took a 20" folder in a bike bag and put it on the luggage rack at one end of the car without checking it as luggage. Used the bag as a ground cloth under my tent, it rolls up about 4" x 12".
If you are returning to the same town, stay in the same hotel first and last night. Many hotels will store your luggage for free.
"The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."
At the risk of being a pest, I have this problem ahead of me in the next few weeks (flying with a bicycle). Totally disregarding the damage/scratches issue, what would the weight difference be between a box and a bag? From what I have seen online, a bag seems fine. I am wondering how much the actual box would weigh and am thinking about how that would eat into the 20kg allowance...
My foil weighs about 200 gr. I never had a serious damage (approx. 60 flights with the bike). But I don't care about scratches.
Scroll down to "Flying with my Bike" in the next link
I've read a few times about plastic bags but haven't really taken it all that seriously. I thought I'd go with a cardboard box. But if it takes 10% or more of my 20kg allowance, without any net benefit gain, I will avoid it.
I have clothes I need to take home also. I am imagining a packing scenario where I somehow put a couple of my winter jackets or sweaters between the frame/wheels and the plastic bag to provide some padding.
Thank you, nun, I appreciate that advice. I know this topic has been covered extensively on this board. I was mainly after an idea as to the box's weight and didn't dare to ask another 'packing question'! The info you provided has been much appreciated.
Johnyw - thanks for the words of assurance. I'm not quite sure what you mean by "plastic foil"? I am thinking of 'aluminium foil' (used for cooking) that comes in rolls like plastic cling wrap (Glad Wrap). Is this what you mean, or are you talking about a traditional plastic bag?
Chris L brings up a point ... some airlines simply do not have cardboard boxes. In fact, I've only flown with two that have had them. Virgin Blue was very helpful, providing the box and tape and everything for free ... and a box of the right size. United provided a box and tape but I had to pay $15 for the box, and traipse all over the airport and wait in line to ask about a box, and wait in another line to pay for the box, and wait in more lines to get it. When I finally got it, the box was huge!! At first I thought that was great ... I could roll my bicycle right in. But the box was too big and pretty much collapsed in transit. If you're going to use a huge United box, use lots of tape.
But another tip ... if you're going to attempt to get a box at the airport, plan to arrive at the airport early. If you're doing an international flight, I believe the recommended arrival time is 2 hours before the flight. Get there about 4 hours before the flight. That'll give you time to traipse all over the airport looking for a box, and waiting in line here there and everywhere, and eventually packing the bicycle.
Even if you've got a box, I'd still recommend arriving 2.5 to 3 hours early because you just never know what sort of hassles you might have to deal with.
I normally buy one kind of these:
The bike fits under it. The big advantage is that the wheels are open and the service personal can roll the bike. Alternatively in some airports it's possible to wrap the whole bike in a plastic foil - this is a quite good possibility to pack it. This even prevents scratches.
My recent experience suggests that this may only be true at domestic departure points. They required a box when flying from Amsterdam, which was available from the airport authority for €20, then waived the $50 handling fee. The enormous box did not survive the flight, and parts were missing.Originally Posted by AC packing guidelines section
After reading the info provided by nun, I will be looking at plastic bags and bubble wrap and avoiding a box or hard case. It sounds so much lighter and easier to organise. It will probably prove smaller to either fit into a taxi or on the city-to-airport bus to go to the airport. The second link was excellent and has helped me out no end.
Believe it or not, the wheelsofchance web site is blocked by the Chinese firewall! Maybe the government here doesn't want people getting too many ideas about independent bike touring.
Machcka, the run-around you endured sounds very similar to buying a bag of apples in a Chinese supermarket. Someone gives you a plastic bag; then once you've selected the fruit, another person ties the top; a third person weighs it; then a fourth puts a sticker on and hands it to you. Sometimes these steps are done at seperate locations
I've seen some bike bags for sale here. But as with the OP, I wondered just how much use I'd get from a dedicated bag in the future. Carrying it around on the bike whilst on tour sounded quite frustrating.
here's what i did:
i bought a Performance Bike Carry bag http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._400007_400019
for 60 bucks. took out the hard plastic liner on the bottom. stuffed my bike in it. then put it in a bike box for the international flight so it was pretty secure and well padded. when i got to paris i ditched the box but kept the rolled up bike bag strapped to my rack and used it for the flight home (and as i recall the train ride back to paris from wherever i ended up). the bike definitely got knocked around a bit with basically NO padding. but it worked out okay, in the end.
I invariably get a cardboard box from a LBS close to the airport (the ones they get new bikes in, the bigger the better). Ditch it at arrival.
We've only flown with the Tandem twice.
First time was to Ireland (we live in OH, USA). We used (2) single-bike boxes (from a LBS) cut and taped together to form (1). We really needed to create as small of a pcakage as possible as the Airline stated - No Tandems. The resulting package was smaller than the large, airline-provided, single-bike boxes that we saw when we arrived there. We left our special box at the left-luggage area at Shannon airport. There was a slight problem with this though - as President Bush-II (at the time) was attending a conference there near the date of our return flight - and the airport had closed the left-luggage area for security reasons. It would have been nice if the airport folks had told us that this would be the case when we checked the box in and were given a claim check. Luckily, the chap who had issued us the claim-check 10 days before saw us wheling the bike around and siad "I'll bet that you'd like to get your box ..". He had to look around for quite a while to find it - and we were getting close to missing our return flight.
Last year we flew to Spain and used the plastic-bag method. I used a matress bag that I got from a local store. It was nice and thick. Since this airline accepted non-coupled tandems we just left everything on - except for the pedals. We just turned the bars sideways and zip-tied them to the top-tube. We left the rack-trunk-bag and h-bar bag on the bike. Given the need to not have to achieve the smallest-sized package - I would recommend the plastic bag method. We did a loop-tour (North of Barcelona) and just left the bag at the B&B (Rural Farmhouse accomodation) where we stayed at the beginning and end of the loop.
Have a great tour!