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Can I fly with this piece?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Can I fly with this piece?

Old 02-23-06, 09:31 AM
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Zurich
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Can I fly with this piece?

So I'm heading out on a trip in a few weeks and I'm going to fly with my bike. In the past I've just used cardboard bike boxes from local stores, but I'm interested in purchasing this case from performance. It's super cheapo, but it looks like it might do the job. Anybody know anything about this case?

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4415
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Old 02-23-06, 09:33 AM
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Have you seen the way airport baggle handlers toss luggage? I wouldn't fly with anything other than a hard case. Of course, I always DHL my bike ahead of me.
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Old 02-23-06, 09:38 AM
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I've never had any problems just using a cardboard box with packing on the inside...plus I'm taking my "beater" bike, so I'm not worried about it gettting ripped up.... I'm actually flying into the Raleigh/Durahm airport...how is it?
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Old 02-23-06, 10:08 AM
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Since you've dealt with this issue before you already have infinitely more experience with it that I. But, I have some concerns about it, which I'll express here, and leave it for others to ignore/comment on.

Firstly, I agree with the first response. It's a soft case, and airport luggage handlers aren't known for their gentle nature. Not caring because it's your beater bike is one thing, but it's possible that major damage could be done. Like bent or broken wheels, handlebars, fork, ect... I'm not thinking that the bike would be much good for you if it's destroyed in the process.

Another issue I've been concerned with regarding transportation of bikes as luggage really extends to even hard cases: security checks. Without getting into whether the policy of randomly checking luggage is good or bad, it is the current policy and as such I would imagine that a bicycle case would certainly invite someone from TSA to look into it. My concern on this subject is not theft of anything that might be in there (although, I've heard some claims that this is a possibility), but the fact that most people doing this would not necessarily have experience with this type of case. From what I've seen of the hard cases such as this there is a very specific place for most of the enclosed equipment. If they don't open it properly, or don't take care in closing it, I could imagine things inside easily getting damaged. From what I can tell, a traveler has little or no recourse to address damage done to luggage as a result of a security check.

This may be a totally unfounded concern. As I've said, I've never attempted to do this myself. In anycase, I would probably just go with some sort of delivery service like the previously mentioned DHL, FedEx, or... UPS.
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Old 02-23-06, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by feltdude
Have you seen the way airport baggle handlers toss luggage? I wouldn't fly with anything other than a hard case. Of course, I always DHL my bike ahead of me.


I just ran a quote from Dallas to London on DHL...$541.00. You pay that kinda dough to ship or do you not ship overseas?
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Old 02-23-06, 10:30 AM
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I've been using a padded Performance bag for years. The majority of the flights have been to/from JFK, so rest assured the bag & bike has been tossed, kicked, and generally abused. For the most part, the bikes in it have fared well - but i usually cover them in xtra cardboard, and the like.

OK, now that I've said that, I would NOT recommend using the bag you've linked to. That seems fine if your traveling on a train where you can't bring bikes (like the TGV/Thalys/ICE) but it doesn't seem to have any protection for the bike.

I just got a TCR Comp, so i'll be buying a Trico case (don't like the looks of the performance case).




Originally Posted by Zurich
So I'm heading out on a trip in a few weeks and I'm going to fly with my bike. In the past I've just used cardboard bike boxes from local stores, but I'm interested in purchasing this case from performance. It's super cheapo, but it looks like it might do the job. Anybody know anything about this case?

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4415
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Old 02-23-06, 10:53 AM
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I have traveled many times both with a full-size bike hard case and with my S&S coupled bike in a much smaller hard case.

First, the soft case you are asking about has no padding whatsoever. It is a layer of cordura nylon and a layer of PVC plastic, according to the description. It's basically a big floppy bag. Baggage routinely gets dropped, stacked on top of or under other bags, and tossed around even by the most respectful of handlers. I do not believe this bag offers any substantial protection, even for your beater. A cardboard box with some foam or bubble wrap padding would be surperior, in my opinion.

About the TSA inspections: I have some experience with those, too. On one occasion I took my S&S case to the inspection area and informed the agents what was in the case and that they would need me to help re-pack it if they chose to inspect it. They rolled their eyes and said "we are professionals and are trained to handle any type of luggage, please move along...." Needless to say I hung around and sure enough they opened the case. The inspector's eyes widened and I watched with much anxiety as he unpacked everything, then tried to repack the case. As I was watching him, he called his fellow agents and before long about 4 or 5 of them were standing around trying to figure out what to do. The agent I initially spoke to recognized me and finally asked me for assistance. As I packed the bag I explained to them what it was and asked them why they didn't listen to me in the first place. He replied that *everyone* thinks their bag is special, so they just ignore people's requests for the most part. I think they learned their lesson that day...

On another occasion I was not able to wait around while the bag was inspected and despite large-print notes on the inside and outside of the bag they did not ask for my help. I think this particular time they used their brains and decided not to unpack everything - they just rooted around a little bit and closed it.

I learned later on the TSA website that there is a mechanism for making complaints, but I have no confidence that it would do any good and you certainly wouldn't get any money out of them for any damages.
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Old 02-28-06, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SAB
....

About the TSA inspections: I have some experience with those, too. On one occasion I took my S&S case to the inspection area and informed the agents what was in the case and that they would need me to help re-pack it if they chose to inspect it. They rolled their eyes and said "we are professionals and are trained to handle any type of luggage, please move along...." Needless to say I hung around and sure enough they opened the case. The inspector's eyes widened and I watched with much anxiety as he unpacked everything, then tried to repack the case. As I was watching him, he called his fellow agents and before long about 4 or 5 of them were standing around trying to figure out what to do. The agent I initially spoke to recognized me and finally asked me for assistance. As I packed the bag I explained to them what it was and asked them why they didn't listen to me in the first place. He replied that *everyone* thinks their bag is special, so they just ignore people's requests for the most part. I think they learned their lesson that day...

On another occasion I was not able to wait around while the bag was inspected and despite large-print notes on the inside and outside of the bag they did not ask for my help. I think this particular time they used their brains and decided not to unpack everything - they just rooted around a little bit and closed it.

I learned later on the TSA website that there is a mechanism for making complaints, but I have no confidence that it would do any good and you certainly wouldn't get any money out of them for any damages.
"...He replied that *everyone* thinks their bag is special, so they just ignore people's requests for the most part. I think they learned their lesson that day......"
-Every body's bag is special, to the owners. I don't think it's unreasonable for a traveller to have an expectation that their valuables are going to make it to their destination in one piece, and preferably on a reasonable timeline. I believe that if you happened not to be standing around when they did the inspection they would have simply shoved things back in, forced the top closed, and forgotten about it.

"...I think this particular time they used their brains..."
-I seriously doubt that. Given enough time, even the monkeys at the TSA will accidentally write a Shakespearean play.

"...there is a mechanism for making complaints..."
-The situation I was referring to in my earlier post about a 'complaint mechanism' was the experience of a friend of mine. The reason why I didn't mention it explicitly was because I wasn't sure how relavant it was, but I'll mention it now: Essentially, he suspects that a few CDs which he bought with him were swiped from his luggage sometime between his travels back from St. Kitts. The reason I wasn't sure it was relavant is because I wouldn't be surprised if he left them on the beach somewheres. Regardless though, he was told that he had no recourse if the items in question weren't above 'x' dollars in value. Now, this leaves a couple of options open for consideration. 1) the person he spoke with was being honest with him about the policy. If that's the case, theoretically, a person working for the TSA can steal with impunity, as long as they make sure what they steal is under a certain dollar value. or 2) the person he spoke with was blowing him off. He/she could have done this because he didn't feel like dealing with the issue, or just because he didn't believe my friend. Regardless, I have no faith in TSA when it comes to traveling with valuables, therefore I'll choose to send valuables through some sort of delivery service when possible.
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Old 02-28-06, 05:04 PM
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There doesn't appear to be any padding in that bag, so you might as well use a plastic bag and save the 40 bucks.

I'm looking for a padded soft bag that I can carry my bike around Europe someday, in rental cars, trains, etc. With both wheels off and overlapping, the dimensions of the bike as a package can be suprisingly small (40" x 32" x 7").

I'm going to put the padded soft case in a cardboard bike box with lots of extra padding, foam, bubble wrap, etc for the flight over. For the return I will scrounge or buy a box over there.
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