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  1. #1
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    What airline-compliant reusable cases for overseas travel?

    With the high cost of oversize baggage, Iím looking for airline-compliant reusable cases that can hold bulkier bike gear, including racks, wheels & panniers.

    My strategy is to ship a semi-disassembled bike by USPS to my overseas destination. This not only helps to avoid oversize charges at the airport, it makes local transportation at my destination much easier.

    Then use two airline-compliant reusable cases to carry everything else as baggage without paying oversize fees.

    Now I just need to find moderate cost cases or boxes that are airline compliant and reusable. Any suggestions?
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Yes, that's the ideal size. I'm hoping to find this size, but in a case that looks like (or is) actual luggage.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  4. #4
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    For luggage that you can carry everything in except the bike, consider a large duffle type sack. But, I would send the racks with the bike because you do not want anything that is too crushable in the duffle.

    I took an Amtrak trip and was limited to two bags since they did not handle luggage where I got on the train. The large red duffle type backpack in the photo includes my four panniers, handlebar bag and all the gear that was in those four panniers and handlebar bag. That red bag met airline size and weight criteria although in this case I took the train, not a plane. The second photo shows the red duffle rolled up on my rear rack.

    IMG_4743.jpg IMG_4744.jpg

  5. #5
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Yes, that's the ideal size. I'm hoping to find this size, but in a case that looks like (or is) actual luggage.
    The ones at http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_hard.htm are expensive, but the 10" model sounds like what you want.

    Also you might consider a soft wheel bag padded with some cardboard.
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...02_-1___400220
    Last edited by staehpj1; 03-27-12 at 10:08 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Tourist in MSN
    For luggage that you can carry everything in except the bike, consider a large duffle type sack. But, I would send the racks with the bike because you do not want anything that is too crushable in the duffle.
    +1

    Large lightweight dufflebag works well. Empty Panniers, helmet, and water bottles go in box. Also, the racks go in bike box, even though they may need to be taken off the bike to fit. Contents of my 4 panniers and camping equipment is divided between the duffle and my rackpack. The duffle goes as checked baggage, and the rack pack with the more fragile items, and the bar bag go as carry-on luggage. The duffle (large yellow bag), weighing about 5-6 ounces is carried in the bottom of my panniers until the return trip.



    The black and yellow duffle bags hold 6 panniers worth of gear. The rackpacks hold the camping gear when on the bikes and bar bags hold valuables. Only 3 bags per person to deal with, 2 of them are carry-on. This was for Amtrak, but we have used the same system several times on tours requiring air travel.

    .
    Last edited by Doug64; 03-27-12 at 11:52 AM.

  7. #7
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    I'm curious. What is the price difference between flying with the full bike and shipping your semi-disassembled bike via the USPS?

    +1 on packing the racks with the bike. It might not even add to the cost. Last summer we shipped a trailer domestically. There was a lot of unused space in the box so we added the racks along with the stove and empty fuel bottle. (I would not fly with these unless you are prepared to have them confiscated.) It didn't add to the cost.

  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I'm curious. What is the price difference between flying with the full bike and shipping your semi-disassembled bike via the USPS?
    United offers this: "Fee for any bag between 63-115 linear (Length + Width + Height) inches: $100 per bag

    Bags with a single dimension more than 62 inches, or overall dimensions exceeding 115 linear inches will not be accepted. If a bag is both oversize and overweight (50 LBS), passengers will be charged both fees".

    USPS will ship a frameset box 44"X24"X8" if it weighs less than 20 LBS for about $80. A second box for wheels & parts would be needed for another $80. Keep in mind that the USPS shipment does need need any further handling between the airport and my final destination.

    The best option for me is to ship a semi stripped frameset USPS for $80. and then to check a S&S case with 30 LBS worth of wheels, tools & parts as checked luggage.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-27-12 at 01:45 PM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

  9. #9
    Senior Member clayton c's Avatar
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    http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm
    I went with British Airways. They do have two allowed checked baggage for free, plus my carry on. Be sure and really examine the baggage regs close because I found a lot had changed since this article was written.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    United offers this: "Fee for any bag between 63-115 linear (Length + Width + Height) inches: $100 per bag

    Bags with a single dimension more than 62 inches, or overall dimensions exceeding 115 linear inches will not be accepted. If a bag is both oversize and overweight (50 LBS), passengers will be charged both fees".

    USPS will ship a frameset box 44"X24"X8" if it weighs less than 20 LBS for about $80. A second box for wheels & parts would be needed for another $80. Keep in mind that the USPS shipment does need need any further handling between the airport and my final destination.

    The best option for me is to ship a semi stripped frameset USPS for $80. and then to check a S&S case with 30 LBS worth of wheels, tools & parts as checked luggage.
    Thanks. I had no idea what the U.S.P.S. charged for something like overseas.

    It really sucks how airlines gouge you now. When I flew to Spain with my bike back in '00 I used a Crate Works box. Inside was my large bike, sleeping bag, pedals and helmet. The tent and two panniers were in a duffel, and I carried on two panniers. Total baggage charge: $0.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    USPS will ship a frameset box 44"X24"X8" if it weighs less than 20 LBS for about $80. A second box for wheels & parts would be needed for another $80.
    Hmmm. It never occurred to me to split the bike into two boxes to keep the size charges low. I wonder how the prices look for doing that for domestic shipping as compared to one larger box. Might be worth looking into. Anyone already done the comparison?

  12. #12
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Hmmm. It never occurred to me to split the bike into two boxes to keep the size charges low. I wonder how the prices look for doing that for domestic shipping as compared to one larger box. Might be worth looking into. Anyone already done the comparison?
    I shipped an entire bike in one large box by Fed Ex a year ago for $79, (from Chicago to TX). Splitting the shipment in the US might not work so well.

    Shipping to Europe by USPS becomes cost prohibitive once the item is more than 20 LBS and the size is over 44"X24"X8. But if you want to ship the frameset by USPS and carry the rest as conforming airline luggage, the combined cost is lower than one method alone. The airlines allow up to 50 LBS without overweight penalties. It makes sense to concentrate the weight with the airline baggage and ship the light-but-bulky items by USPS.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 03-28-12 at 09:48 AM.
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber Cyclocross bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike for severe duty
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road racing bike

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