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Fly bike back in soft shell case?

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Fly bike back in soft shell case?

Old 01-10-16, 04:30 PM
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sprocketss
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Fly bike back in soft shell case?

I will pack the bike in the soft shell bike transport bag inside a bike box for the start of my tour, to make sure it arrives in one piece, (the soft shell bag folds up so it can be transported on my bike), and use the soft shell to transport my bike on buses and trains.

wiggle.com | Scicon Travel Basic Bike Bag | Soft Cover Bike Bags

I am thinking that I will buy bubble wrap at the UPS store and foam pipe lagging to encase the bike when I am traveling by bus and for the trip back by plane. That would be one less headache, (hunting around for a bike box for the trip back home). Question, should I do this?

I feel it is important to protect the drop outs using frame spacers, this seems a good solution

"To protect the dropouts I simply bought some 8mm studding, some large washers and nuts from a Hardware store. I then cut the studding to size, adjusted the inside nuts and washers to the size of the dropouts, then tack welded the washers to the nuts and the nuts to the studding."

There seems to be conflicting views regarding using a soft case.

This is how others fared...

Flying With A Bicycle In A Plastic CTC Bag | TravellingTwo: Bicycle Touring Around The World

Taking bicycles on planes

Example of how to pack...

How to pack a bike for travel ? Condor Cycles

Opinions?
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Old 01-11-16, 10:12 AM
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Where are you flying? I get the feeling European airlines tend to have a culture that's more bike-friendly than American airlines. If you're flying back from the continent to Britain, for example, the soft bag might work. I wouldn't even think about it with Delta or United.
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Old 01-11-16, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Where are you flying? I get the feeling European airlines tend to have a culture that's more bike-friendly than American airlines. If you're flying back from the continent to Britain, for example, the soft bag might work. I wouldn't even think about it with Delta or United.
Thanks, that would answer my question, I am flying Delta.
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Old 01-11-16, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I get the feeling European airlines tend to have a culture that's more bike-friendly than American airlines.
Every airline is different ime, for example British Airways and SAS are great, Lufthansa terrible as are the budget airlines, Ryan Air et al.
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Old 01-11-16, 04:08 PM
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I have used a similar bag. I augment it with plenty of cardboard and find it pretty adequate. I flew Southwest and doubt that they handle baggage with any greater care than Delta or United. It is a lot bigger/heavier than I really want to haul on my bike though, so the only real advantage over a hard case is that I can mail it ahead or home pretty easily and fairly cheaply.
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Old 01-11-16, 07:40 PM
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I wouldn't count on European Airlines being any gentler with your bike than our domestic carriers.

[
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Old 01-11-16, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I wouldn't count on European Airlines being any gentler with your bike
Those big holes are from the handholds ripping when being carried in a normal way.

I wrap at least two layers of packing tape all around the box at the top of the handholds to reinforce them.
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Old 01-11-16, 10:17 PM
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Got a free box from a bike shop in LA.

Packed it tight.

Southwest Airlines was good back to Houston.

Large Touring bike in a small box.



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Old 01-11-16, 10:31 PM
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Fly bike back in soft shell case?

New bikes come with drop out protection spacers and round wheel protector thingies that prevent the hub ends from pushing through the cardboard. Bike shops throw them away, so will give them away too

I carry pieces of plastic tubing (used for electrical installations) cut to 100mm ((front) and 132.5mm (rear) then just put the quick release (and springs) back on after they've been removed from the hubs.
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Old 01-11-16, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
New bikes come with drop out protection spacers and round wheel protector thingies that prevent the hub ends from pushing through the cardboard. Bike shops throw them away, so will give them away too

I carry pieces of plastic tubing (used for electrical installations) cut to 100mm ((front) and 132.5mm (rear) then just put the quick release (and springs) back on after they've been removed from the hubs.
The plastic tubing is a good idea.

That is also how I get my packing material: fork spacers, axle protectors, rear derailleur protector, and some protective wrapping material. However, I like pipe insulation better.



I also squeeze our empty panniers in the bike boxes.
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Old 01-12-16, 03:40 AM
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Fly bike back in soft shell case?

Unscrew the RD, wrap it in a plastic bag and zip-tie or tape to the chainstay, so it won't get damaged or bend the drop-out in transit.
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Old 01-13-16, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have used a similar bag. I augment it with plenty of cardboard and find it pretty adequate. I flew Southwest and doubt that they handle baggage with any greater care than Delta or United. It is a lot bigger/heavier than I really want to haul on my bike though, so the only real advantage over a hard case is that I can mail it ahead or home pretty easily and fairly cheaply.
Good to know others have gone the soft shell route
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Old 01-13-16, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
New bikes come with drop out protection spacers and round wheel protector thingies that prevent the hub ends from pushing through the cardboard. Bike shops throw them away, so will give them away too
Good to know, thanks for the tip
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Old 01-13-16, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Those big holes are from the handholds ripping when being carried in a normal way.

I wrap at least two layers of packing tape all around the box at the top of the handholds to reinforce them.
Yeah I have seen similar tearing of the hand holds even from my own handling. Looks like normal wear and tear. I have often had boxes look like that and had zero damage.
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Old 01-13-16, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have used a similar bag. I augment it with plenty of cardboard and find it pretty adequate. I flew Southwest and doubt that they handle baggage with any greater care than Delta or United. It is a lot bigger/heavier than I really want to haul on my bike though, so the only real advantage over a hard case is that I can mail it ahead or home pretty easily and fairly cheaply.
I've used a soft sided bike (without a bike box) for a couple of flights to Europe and it worked well. I used my touring gear as padding as well as cardboard and bubble wrap. Spacers for the drop outs are vital and I took off the crank and rear derailleur, and wrapped them in plastic and put them in the center of the bag to avoid damage. I could carry the bag on my bike, but asap I left it at a hotel or went to a post office to mail it on ahead.



edit.....obviously no RD to take off this single speed bike.
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Old 01-13-16, 12:51 PM
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For me a padded flight bag is the best, if not the only option. A hard shell is a logistical nightmare and, because it cannot be carried, leaves you without solution if you have to take the train or bus on tour. A cardboard box is rarely reusable, meaning that you have to hunt for a solution on the return leg of the trip and travel naked on train/buses segments of your trip. (which may not be an option in some cases, where naked bikes are not allowed.)

I carry foam tubes (pipe insulation) and fork spacer (I can leave the rear wheel on). WRT rear derailleur, I don't really know what's the best strategy. I've removed it only to find that it is a real pain to mount back, risking stripping the mount because you are in an awkward position to do the job properly. I now leave it on, shifted to the largest cog. And pray a bit.

I can ride in/out airports/train/bus stations and prep the bike -- I do not want to have to worry about finding transportation to the airport that will accommodate a bike box.

Last edited by gauvins; 01-13-16 at 12:57 PM.
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