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Bringing a bike on Southwest

Old 04-19-24, 08:25 AM
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Bringing a bike on Southwest

Hi all, I have a conference next week and am trying to figure out how to bring either my folding e-bike (which is actually heavy despite the name Lectric "Lite") or my hybrid bike with 26" wheels (I believe; small sized Specialized Roll 3.0). I'm looking at bike bags but that will be very heavy to lug at the airport as I'm only 5'4" and will have a carry on bag and personal item also.

The reason for bringing the bike is I have a race next month and don't want to lose training progress.

Any advice on how to accomplish this? I hope to take the MARC commuter train to BWI airport, which allows bikes as long as you bring two bungee cords. Thanks for any words of wisdom!



my husband's bike but I have the same one just a little smaller
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Old 04-19-24, 08:40 AM
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Most airlines take a dim view of huge batteries in their luggage hold. SWA may not let that one on.
Over the past ten years, I simply rent a decent bike from a local bike shop.
Usually a three-day rental costs the same as the roundtrip airline charge.
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Old 04-19-24, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by roadcrankr
Most airlines take a dim view of huge batteries in their luggage hold. SWA may not let that one on.
Over the past ten years, I simply rent a decent bike from a local bike shop.
Usually a three-day rental costs the same as the roundtrip airline charge.
That's actually a great suggestion. I just found a shop that rents for $50 per day. A little steep but I think if I just do cross-training on the other days I can swing it. Apparently Louisville had a bike share program that ended this fall. Womp womp.
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Old 04-19-24, 09:07 AM
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Of course, bring your pedals, shoes, helmet, and kit. The shops like to tack on charges.
Never hurts to include your repair stuff, as well, but airlines will not allow C02 cartridges.
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Old 04-19-24, 09:57 AM
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Yeah, I think renting a bike or eBike when you get there is probably a better bet.
And just bring a few items, as roadcrankr suggested. I'd probably try to keep it simple and go without pedals & shoes, but yes to the other stuff. The helmet can be put in your luggage surrounded by clothes and won't take up much volume.
Padded gloves, water bottle, sunscreen, sunglasses, basic tools and maybe a folding lock too.
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Old 04-29-24, 07:54 AM
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Good morning all, thanks so much for the suggestion to rent a bike! I went through Courier Bikes, which was about 2 blocks from my hotel. I LOVED this bike, which the shop owner swapped out clip in pedals for flat ones for me. A few gratuitous photos below. Note: I was drinking bourbon AFTER returning the bike. It was so hard to say goodbye to the bike after 24 hours. I did run a 5k over the Big Four Bridge (converted railway route) into Indiana, too!




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