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Taking your bike on a plane

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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

Taking your bike on a plane

Old 08-03-08, 05:29 AM
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round-the-bend
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Taking your bike on a plane

I want to to take my carbon bike to Italy on a plane. Should I buy a hard case or are soft ones OK? I can see hard cases ranging in price from 120.00-500.00. I do not want to spend 500.00!

Are there any other tips I need to know about flying with a bike?
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Old 08-03-08, 05:45 AM
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See if you can get a box that's used to ship new Trek Madones in.

You might have to fork out a tenner, but they are the best cardboard bike boxes you will find, and rank a close second to hard cases, from what I have seen.

Check bike shops that deal in Treks to see what you can find.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by round-the-bend View Post
I want to to take my carbon bike to Italy on a plane. Should I buy a hard case or are soft ones OK? I can see hard cases ranging in price from 120.00-500.00. I do not want to spend 500.00!

Are there any other tips I need to know about flying with a bike?
How much will a new frame cost?

The Madone boxes are good, nicely strapped and thick cardboard.

I use a hard case for my carbon and a soft case (SciCon) for my aluminium bike. I hear the SciCons work well protecting carbon bikes but I have never risked it.

Big advantage on hard cases is the protection, big advantage of the soft case is that they fit into taxis, hire cars etc.

I travel a lot around Asia. Occasionally I go to the "third world airports" (Heathrow, CDG Paris and NY) These are the airports where my case have suffered the worst.

Do a search there are some good packing threads.

If you are traveling just once in a while then renting a quality box is a good option. You may even consider hiring a bike in Italy.

Have a great trip.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:32 AM
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Use the "Search" feature. There are A LOT of threads on the issue.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:49 AM
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Consider renting a bike when you get there.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JMRobertson View Post
Consider renting a bike when you get there.
+1

Get specs of bike you're going to rent and bring appropriate stem, pedals, seat, maybe seat post (setback).

Otherwise I've used a soft bag to fly my bike from NY to Belgium with a lot of extra stuff in the bag (rims, spokes, tools, 50 power bars, tires, lots of gear - about 100 lbs total weight with bag) with no problems. Cannondale with aluminum rims, but that was a long time ago. I haven't flown internationally with a bike recently.

cdr
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Old 08-03-08, 10:44 AM
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Nashbar is selling a great hard case. $199. AND they throw in two good quality wheel bags. It is a good deal.

I just checked and they are now $174!

https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...0Travel%20Case
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Old 08-04-08, 05:25 AM
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When they ask what's in the bag, tell the airline that it's a musical instrument. They may not charge you.
I did it last week. Saved $300 round trip.

Last edited by EventServices; 08-04-08 at 05:25 AM. Reason: detail
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Old 08-04-08, 09:03 AM
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Old 08-04-08, 09:15 AM
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Some friends of mine went to Tuscany last year and rented bikes. You can rent really nice bikes there and they will do a quick fit for you as part of the deal, including putting the correct stem on it (it's a 5 minute change for a competent mechanic).

I used to travel with my bike all the time and let me tell you from experience, it is a royal pain in the ass.
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