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Bike travel case

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Old 06-02-16, 02:35 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Quick update on the Biknd "jetpack": bike/wheels made it to NC & back just fine.

Bag took a bit of a beating on the way back, had some scratches on the external fabric but no tears and everything worked out.

Was able to fit bike/wheels, helmet, tools, frame pump, shoes, and kit in the bag - came in at 50 lbs even. Paid the $150 "bike fee" but the team paid for that anyway.

I wish the bag had more wheels on the bottom, my wimpy programmer hands got a bit beat up from wheeling the bag around the airports!

Anyway I highly suggest this bag for anyone doing bike travel. Also, it was 20% off on Competitive Cyclist, so that was nice.
Why did you pay the bike fee? Did they ask what was in it?
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Old 06-02-16, 02:45 PM
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Yeah, they asked.

And like I said I didn't care to put up a fight since the team was paying the fee anyway.

But if you say "no" and they say "show me", what then?
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Old 06-02-16, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Yeah, they asked.

And like I said I didn't care to put up a fight since the team was paying the fee anyway.

But if you say "no" and they say "show me", what then?
You say "No" and/or something to the effect of "They are my personal belongings".

Only TSA has the right to enter your luggage, not airline personnel. If they really want to see what is inside then they need to have a TSA agent come over and open the bag.
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Old 06-02-16, 04:12 PM
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Maybe next time.

But when you pay the "bike fee" aren't you getting a little bit (~$1k) of insurance on the item, which is not covered for regular baggage?

Wouldn't cover the bike obviously, but a lot more than nothing.
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Old 06-02-16, 04:59 PM
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I assume the box is over 62" W+L+H so regardless of what is in it - if they want - they have a fee for that. Some times when they know what's in it they charge less. I always get stuck paying for bikes, but sometimes reduced rate (last trip payed $150 on Delta to LAX to DUS) and not all airlines are the same. Some are free. But the wheels I told the story, showed them how cool the container was and no charge although it was a bit over the 62.
I researched about every airline I could for the team last year and found the free bikes also had higher ticket prices. So we paid for the team.
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Old 06-02-16, 05:03 PM
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Yeah the bag is way over 62", I think it was 80-something.
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Old 06-02-16, 05:59 PM
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Late to this but for the airlines I use the Velosafe. They actually make two versions, one smaller than the one Doge had a pic of. It's literally the only case that I haven't seen them manage to break a bike in.

The biggest problem is if TSA open up the case. All the other ones require a pretty tight sequential re-assembly. Damage comes from that being done wrong or the case being dropped or stacked wrong. With the Velosafe the bike is locked and strapped in, they can pull stuff out around it and check. Plus it's reinforced with aluminum channel, almost impossible for them to crush no matter how hard they try.

The really best case is to find someone to ship the bike to and go FedEx or UPS. That way you can pack it yourself and it never gets opened. Regular cardboard box is good for this. Same cardboard box is probably the worst option for an airline if TSA has a go at it.
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Old 06-02-16, 06:24 PM
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I sent my bike out to AZ via a BikeUSA (I think?) soft case. Case was fine, but as mentioned above, when TSA opened it they somehow managed to not put anything back causing the fork to come free - some scratches on it but overall was fine.

Southwest is $75 for an oversized bike IIRC
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Old 06-03-16, 04:51 AM
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southwest is 75$ each way
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Old 06-03-16, 06:11 AM
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I haven't traveled with a bike, but I do have to travel a lot to conferences with a large booth set up. My case for that is actually a very large rifle case - so it get searched by TSA everytime.

Anyway, it's always overweight, so I always have to pay a fee, which ranges from $80-$125 each way.
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Old 06-03-16, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Yeah, they asked.

And like I said I didn't care to put up a fight since the team was paying the fee anyway.

But if you say "no" and they say "show me", what then?
I don't know, never traveled with a bike, was just curious how it went down. I know some bags are marketed as 'ninjas' so as not to get charged the bike fee. Some people also say something like 'trade show displays' when asked. I'm not that clever.

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Old 06-03-16, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by rankin116 View Post
I don't know, never traveled with a bike, was just curious how it went down. I know some bags are marketed as 'ninjas' so as not to get charged the bike fee. Some people also say something like 'trade show displays' when asked. I'm not that clever.
Yeah I had these big plans to scam them, but it didn't happen.. the "ninja" cases require you to take off the cranks, fork, more than I wanted to deal with.
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Old 06-03-16, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
Late to this but for the airlines I use the Velosafe. They actually make two versions, one smaller than the one Doge had a pic of. It's literally the only case that I haven't seen them manage to break a bike in.

The biggest problem is if TSA open up the case. All the other ones require a pretty tight sequential re-assembly. Damage comes from that being done wrong or the case being dropped or stacked wrong. With the Velosafe the bike is locked and strapped in, they can pull stuff out around it and check. Plus it's reinforced with aluminum channel, almost impossible for them to crush no matter how hard they try.

The really best case is to find someone to ship the bike to and go FedEx or UPS. That way you can pack it yourself and it never gets opened. Regular cardboard box is good for this. Same cardboard box is probably the worst option for an airline if TSA has a go at it.
TSA opened up my bag on both flights, but didn't seem to remove the bike itself; with the BikND case the bike is "locked" in to the bag's frame by the skewers, which seemed to be enough to hold TSA at bay.

I'm sure with enough travel I could find the wrong TSA agent in a bad mood and they could ruin my day, but it worked out on this trip.
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Old 06-03-16, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Yeah I had these big plans to scam them, but it didn't happen.. the "ninja" cases require you to take off the cranks, fork, more than I wanted to deal with.
minor correction: with the 2 cases i now use, you only have to remove the pedals, fork, and post/saddle; cranks stay on, and stem stays attached to the bars. with larger cases you wind up removing the pedals, bars and post/saddle; stem and fork stay on

the interesting thing is that i thought the new cases i have which require me to remove the fork would be more of a pain, but as it turns out they are less of a pain. it is super fast to drop the fork out, and when reassembling there is less risk of things slipping when you clamp the stem to the bars vs reattaching the bars to a stem. also, it makes the bags smaller.

my bags are discreet; about 50% of the time i am asked if it is a bike. i say 'nope' and things continue on their way. with other cases? i got asked every time and if you deny it they absolutely know what is up.

with the smaller bags, they simply don't look like they can fit a bicycle, so denying it does not raise any concern. in fact, a buddy (a cyclist) picked me up to take me to the airport a few weeks ago, and he asked me where my bikes were--they're that stealth.

i have a pika pack and scicon aerocomfort (tt/tri) [zero disassembly on that one] that have their pros; i'm thinking of selling them, if anyone is interested.
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Old 06-03-16, 11:34 AM
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With TSA - you can generally ask for a scan at check in, at the bigger airports. You can go over, talk to them. open for them, repack and send the bike on its way. They may open again, but you are at least reducing chances.

On the telling mis-truths to counter clerks. Besides being what it is, I don't see any advantage. The airline baggage sections I've seen offer an advantage being a bike. Two examples.
United:
If it is a bike and oversized (62") - $150 domestic, if it is not a bike $200
If it is overweight and oversized and a bike the same $150, if it is oversized and overweight and not a bike $400
http://United https://www.united.com...olOthrCarriers



Air Canada:
If it is a bike up to 115in, 70# - $50
If it is not a bike and overweight and oversized - $100
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Old 06-03-16, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
With TSA - you can generally ask for a scan at check in, at the bigger airports. You can go over, talk to them. open for them, repack and send the bike on its way. They may open again, but you are at least reducing chances.

On the telling mis-truths to counter clerks. Besides being what it is, I don't see any advantage. The airline baggage sections I've seen offer an advantage being a bike. Two examples.
United:
If it is a bike and oversized (62") - $150 domestic, if it is not a bike $200
If it is overweight and oversized and a bike the same $150, if it is oversized and overweight and not a bike $400
http://United https://www.united.com...olOthrCarriers



Air Canada:
If it is a bike up to 115in, 70# - $50
If it is not a bike and overweight and oversized - $100
When I flew Southwest I asked if I could open it for them knowing they would go through it. The lady told me that wasn't allowed
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Old 06-03-16, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
the interesting thing is that i thought the new cases i have which require me to remove the fork would be more of a pain, but as it turns out they are less of a pain. it is super fast to drop the fork out, and when reassembling there is less risk of things slipping when you clamp the stem to the bars vs reattaching the bars to a stem. also, it makes the bags smaller.
Yeah a smaller bag would be nice.

But how is there less risk of slippage clamping the stem vs reattaching the bars to the stem?

As a side-note when I briefly tried to remove my fork once, it didn't just drop out (Tarmac SL4, stock fork). I guess I could mallet it out but didn't want to try.. too lazy. At any rate I've already picked my bag so it doesn't matter too much for me, just curious about that.
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Old 06-03-16, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post

As a side-note when I briefly tried to remove my fork once, it didn't just drop out (Tarmac SL4, stock fork). I guess I could mallet it out but didn't want to try.. too lazy. At any rate I've already picked my bag so it doesn't matter too much for me, just curious about that.
That is sort of funny because my girlfriend's Tarmac (It is the "new" Tarmac, so the version right after the SL4) had the same thing. The first time we tried to take it apart to pack the bike it took us like 20 minutes to wiggle the headset cap off of the steerer tube. Seemed almost ridiculous, but it has loosened up a bit with successive packings.
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Old 06-03-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
With TSA - you can generally ask for a scan at check in, at the bigger airports. You can go over, talk to them. open for them, repack and send the bike on its way. They may open again, but you are at least reducing chances.
fwiw, at best i have been allowed to supervise the unpacking, but often in practice that isn't even allowed. one certainly cannot *touch* the bike once it has been inspected--no repacking allowed. IF they are nice, you can tell them it is tricky to pack and they may let you watch.

Originally Posted by doge
On the telling mis-truths to counter clerks. Besides being what it is, I don't see any advantage. The airline baggage sections I've seen offer an advantage being a bike. Two examples.
United:
If it is a bike and oversized (62") - $150 domestic, if it is not a bike $200
If it is overweight and oversized and a bike the same $150, if it is oversized and overweight and not a bike $400
http://United https://www.united.com...olOthrCarriers
airlines vary in their fees/policies. my cases are oversized...barely, though they appear fairly compact. at least i assume that is true as no one has ever measured one of them. they're always less than 50 pounds. i think it helps that they're easily lifted and nondescript.

you are right, though; according to that info, you're better off saying it is a bike if you are over 50# or way over in terms of linear inches.

i just flew with not one but two bikes and wasn't questioned on either.

Originally Posted by mattm View Post
Yeah a smaller bag would be nice.

But how is there less risk of slippage clamping the stem vs reattaching the bars to the stem?

As a side-note when I briefly tried to remove my fork once, it didn't just drop out (Tarmac SL4, stock fork). I guess I could mallet it out but didn't want to try.. too lazy. At any rate I've already picked my bag so it doesn't matter too much for me, just curious about that.
well, i just find that the bar-stem interface, esp with carbon bars, is much more sensitive to nailing the torque and to slipping. i've had a bunch of times where everything was good after assembly, then i hit a hard bump and the bars rotated.

if i remove the fork but leave the stem and bars connected to each other, it goes together fast and that fork-stem interface is not terribly sensitive. there's a top-cap that sets the preload and locks things down, then when you have a steerer plug you can crank down the stem without worrying much about it.

just my experience. it's one of those things where removing the fork SEEMED like more trouble but wasn't the case in reality.

as for your tarmac issue--i've seen some cases where bearings seize in a headset, particularly when they aren't serviced often and are ridden in the rain. doesn't sound like your situation. all my bearings have just dropped into any carbon headset--at worst a slight tap would remove them.

i wonder if you are describing the tight fit with the collar that sits on top of the top bearing. when that is in tight (or seized to the bearing), it can feel REALLY tight. a tap on the top of the steerer usually takes care of that and does not do any damage. a mallet is nice, but a palm works, or you could invert the bike and tap it once on the floor.

Originally Posted by dz_nuzz View Post
That is sort of funny because my girlfriend's Tarmac (It is the "new" Tarmac, so the version right after the SL4) had the same thing. The first time we tried to take it apart to pack the bike it took us like 20 minutes to wiggle the headset cap off of the steerer tube. Seemed almost ridiculous, but it has loosened up a bit with successive packings.
sometimes it's the cap or collar...not just the bearing in the frame. this is heightened esp if the bike has been ridden in the rain.
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Old 06-03-16, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
fwiw, at best i have been allowed to supervise the unpacking, but often in practice that isn't even allowed. one certainly cannot *touch* the bike once it has been inspected--no repacking allowed. IF they are nice, you can tell them it is tricky to pack and they may let you watch.
Huh, I did all the unpacking and repacking at one airport. All the guy did himself was look and take swabs for his scanner.
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Old 06-03-16, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic View Post
Huh, I did all the unpacking and repacking at one airport. All the guy did himself was look and take swabs for his scanner.
damn. guess that underscores what a joke TSA is.
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Old 06-03-16, 02:26 PM
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I use the Trico Iron Case. It weighs 31 pounds and is oversized and meets ground shippers standards. I have used it for domestic and international travel with no problems with airlines, TSA or Fedx.

I wrap the frame, fork and handlebars in packing material. That takes some time but if something shifts in transit or during inspection, it is not a problem.

I disclose to the airlines that it is a bicycle. I see little point in managing my life and budget via deception - to each his own.

I did try to get Delta to give us a free return shipment because my wife won a gold medal in Winston Salem and even though the ticket agents were excited for her, they did not agree to the proposal.

I have not been able, domestically or internationally, to touch any items from luggage that was being hand inspected. This goes for bikes and carryons. I would always assume that the best one can do is observe and respectfully offer advice if allowed and required. My experience is advice usually makes things worse. Checkers do as they please, hence the need to have packed in a manner that anticipates that.

I hate taking apart cockpits for bikes. One is always concerned about getting the assembly exactly the same as it was before and with the same degree of reliability. I do not take the stem off the handlebar.
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Old 06-03-16, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
damn. guess that underscores what a joke TSA is.
Same airport
Pipe bomb handed back to passenger Skylar Murphy by airport guard - Edmonton - CBC News
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Old 06-03-16, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
fwiw, at best i have been allowed to supervise the unpacking, but often in practice that isn't even allowed. one certainly cannot *touch* the bike once it has been inspected--no repacking allowed. IF they are nice, you can tell them it is tricky to pack and they may let you watch....
It depends. I generally can get my hands on it, the Global Entry card helps, I can't remember otherwise actually. Try the story - "hey you wanna see some cool bike stuff".

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Old 06-03-16, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

I did try to get Delta to give us a free return shipment because my wife won a gold medal in Winston Salem and even though the ticket agents were excited for her, they did not agree to the proposal.
Funny!

And congrats to your wife!!
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