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Old 12-24-19, 11:35 AM
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@downtube42, a couple of thoughts on travelling with your bike. I don't think couplers on your bike will save you that much money and will be a lot more hassle compared to just putting it in a full-size bike box and shipping it. I just got an S&S bike this year and have only traveled with it 3 times so I'm not exactly an expert, but I'm pretty sure you won't be able to get all the stuff on your list in one S&S hardside case and keep it under 50 lbs. You'll have to check 2 bags, not a huge deal, but on 3 of the 4 major US airlines, a round trip flight with 2 checked bags will cost more than shipping both ways on bikeflights, so something to consider. I also wouldn't want disks or especially hydraulic disks with quick-connects on a coupled bike. It takes me at least an hour on each end to disassemble/build the bike (the first time took a lot longer). The less stuff I have to deal with the better, so when I travel with the bike, I leave the dynamo lighting, fenders and rack at home. I have regular caliper brakes on my travel bike that I can set-up and adjust in a few seconds. With mechanical disks, I'd have to install the disks, center the calpers and adjust the pads, which I would guess adds at least 10 minutes per wheel. Same thing with hydraulics except you have to hope that the quick-connects worked, otherwise you have to bleed the hoses. Not only would that take a bunch of extra time, you would need to pack all the equipment to be able to do it in the first place. Totally not worth the hassle for me when rim brakes still work just fine. Fenders another half-hour, rack another 15 minutes, etc. Each thing doesn't take that long, but when you add it all up it's more time than I want to spend fiddling around with my bike for a 1-2 day ride, which is what my trips have been. Even for a 1,200k I would just keep it to the basics. For a full-on randonneuse like you are considering, I'd just go rinko with a full-sized box and plan on shipping it both ways. Everything will be so much easier when you don't have to split the bike in half and tetris all the parts into a standard suitcase.
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