Good day everyone,
Once again (for the 3rd time) I'm in the process of getting a new bike. My old touring bike (while I like it and used it quite a bit) turned out to be a difficult thing to bring on airplanes, hence I never did. This year, I decided to dig deep in my pockets and get myself a fantastic touring bike, which I have always wanted, but never had the money for (Custom built Surly LHT Deluxe). As most of you know, this bike frame has the S&S couplers will break down and can fit in "standard airline check in luggage" as to avoid fees.
Well, I have an issue with that statement. Let's take Air Canada for example, my carrier of choice (helps to work in the airline industry). Air Canada's baggage policy states that the overal dimension of a checked-in luggage must not exceed 62 inches in total. Most check in luggage has a rectagular shape. The ID of my luggage is 30" x 18" x 14". While this is within regulations, it will not fit my 26' wheels that I will have on the touring bike. Of course, I can take the tires off (or deflate them) which will bring them to about 21' in diameter. I need more of a "square" suitcase.
What I looking into is how to pack this bike. My first choice would be a hard case, preferably 24 x 24 x 14 (inches), but I haven't found any that are unde $300. Another option is to pack it on a soft case, then pack it again in cardboard. I've seen a few guys do that, including Daren Alf (bicycletouringpro.com) who packed his Co-Motion Pangea in a custom made cardboard box and shipped it as regular check in bag. This doesn't seem very secure. I would hate to damage my new $2200 bike (It's custom built so it's a bit better than the standard Surly LHT).
A case would be ideal for me, because:
1. I fly a lot. I work for an airline and I can find myself in odd countries / places at least 4 - 6 times per year touring
2. My tours will be about 7 days max
3. I will start / end at the same airport so I can leave my case there (for a small fee)
4. I DO NOT WANT TO DAMAGE MY BIKE...
Here's my best option I have found so far, but I can't even find a place to buy it from..
Thank you so much