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Bike trunk mounted rack as checked luggage

Old 04-19-16, 07:08 AM
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Bike trunk mounted rack as checked luggage

Exploring various options to get to/from the airport with our bikes.

Because of the time of the day and the fact that we have 2 kids, riding in/out is not a great option. We'd like to figure a way to enter and exit for at least 2 if not 3 bikes.

I am currently looking at the Saris Bones 3, which appears to be folding such that it could count as a regular piece of luggage. Have you ever checked a bike rack?
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Old 04-19-16, 07:43 AM
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never have taken a car bike rack before. Baby car seats, strollers, yes. but not that.
You must be planning to use it in Europe with a car rental?

Might be a bit of an unknown factor of "will it fit on the car properly" at the airport car rental place, probably should be okay as these racks tend to fit most cars and rental cars generally dont have rear spoilers/wings, not the regular type cars that I have rented in Europe anyway.

these details aside, its likely to end up as additional luggage and an extra fee, given you will have the bike boxes and your other checked luggage.
I guess it comes down to what size it is when folded. There may be a service at the airport that wraps luggage in that plastic wrap, I know Ive seen it in Paris and other airports, if it were me I would take some cardboard or campmat foam to help protect it more, luggage handlers can be rough sometimes.
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Old 04-19-16, 07:52 AM
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hmmm... without getting into too much detail -- the departure airport is 10kms from home. A taxi-van might do. Will call to see if this is an option. And we are met by family at the destination airport. They could probably arrange for a rack to take the kids out.

Your point about having to pay for extra luggage is very good. OTOH I think the airline we fly offers a cheap upgrade allowing for 2 pieces of checked luggage.

Googling suggests that not many people fly with bike racks. There may be a reason for that ...
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Old 04-19-16, 07:57 AM
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The GF and I have twice taken two boxed bikes in one van taxi. At only 10Ks, it sounds like the most convenient solution, even if you need two taxis for all four of you.
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Old 04-19-16, 08:29 AM
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I would think folded, it would fit in a size considered regular baggage. Stick it in a cheap duffel bag and call it a day.

If it is only 10km, is just boxing the bikes up at home and sticking it on a roof an option? Unless the airline provides bags, you are presumably going to have to encase it in some manner to get them on the airplane. You aren't talking any considerable distance, but I have no idea what the vehicles are on either end.
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Old 04-19-16, 08:34 AM
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put it in a big plastic bag.. or a plastic (blue) tarp with packing tape & report back on how it went.

saris bones design is pretty tough plastics & that big aluminum tube.


straps need to be kept from snagging on other stuff.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-19-16 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 04-19-16, 08:41 AM
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again, Im dont recall ifyou have mentioned this already, but arent you planning to put all the bikes in boxes for the flight over? I have only ever used boxes, not bags, and appreciated taking my time putting my bike in the box, trying different ways, forgetting how I did the time before etc etc .
Friends travelled to Europe last summer with four bikes, for the return flight, they had a few days in paris, and sourced out bike boxes at bike stores, and organized a mini van taxi to take all four boxes to airport.

the two taxi idea is probably the most feasible. good luck with planning
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Old 04-19-16, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Exploring various options to get to/from the airport with our bikes.

Because of the time of the day and the fact that we have 2 kids, riding in/out is not a great option. We'd like to figure a way to enter and exit for at least 2 if not 3 bikes.

I am currently looking at the Saris Bones 3, which appears to be folding such that it could count as a regular piece of luggage. Have you ever checked a bike rack?
One of the local taxi companies in my community has bike racks on the back of their cars.
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Old 04-19-16, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Exploring various options to get to/from the airport with our bikes...
1. where you flying from/to?
2. same return routing?
2a. where to store trunk rack during tour? or will carry with?
3. what airlines possible?
3b. bought tix yet?
4. if #3b =yes, what say airline website baggage rules?
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Old 04-19-16, 09:25 AM
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We travel with bike bags. (not cardboard boxes, not hard shells, not transparent plastic). Done this. Does the job well (I mean for what we do).

Let me add a couple of things, for the sake of conversation.

1. My wife will have the "great privilege" of leaving from home alone with the kids, to the airport, while I'll ride a European train towards the same airport (Paris to be more specific). So that is a definite plus-one for the cab/friend from home.

2. Our daughters will spend a week with their grand-parents, who'll be waiting for us at the airport or so we hope. This is where it gets a little more interesting as there is no way a compact car can accommodate 4 passengers and two bikes. They are not cyclists, so we either ask them to purchase a rack, we rent them a minivan at extortionate rates or we fly with a rack. Purchasing a rack in Europe delivered to them appears to be the most logical solution.

3. My wife and I will hop on a train towards St-Nazaire (the western end of EV6). We'll have the "great privilege" of carrying the bikes + gear from the terminal to the train station. Our plan is to ride the first 800kms or so with our flight bags strapped to our rear racks (done that, not a problem), to exchange them for our daughters at a location where we eat a sumptuous meal and hope the grand parents still think that it was a cool idea to baby sit for a week in exchange for a dinner (done that, shouldn't be a problem). The grand parents will drive from there home to the sumptuous restaurant with our daughters+bikes+luggage. And, I suppose, a rack. Sometime before of after the sumptuous meal, we'll have our (4) flight bags mailed to our destination hotel, close to the return airport (Sofia), where we'll ride in the terminal at the end of, we hope, a sunny summer with prevailing westerlies

Last edited by gauvins; 04-19-16 at 10:01 AM. Reason: added a couple of precisions and two more instances of "sumptuous" :)
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Old 04-19-16, 11:21 AM
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Have a Nice Trip.
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Old 04-19-16, 11:36 AM
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My my, quite the orchestration there!
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Old 04-19-16, 05:40 PM
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We have with a 2-bike trunk-mounted rack twice to Europe. Once in 2009 and again last year. We used a Thule compact rack model that fit nicely inside my luggage with the rest of my stuff.
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Old 04-20-16, 11:55 AM
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I've occasionally found bike racks at yard sales cheap (the basic metal tubing types that hang off the back of the car). I grab them when I see them and have used them for one-way car rentals to the start of a trip. I then just abandon it/leave it in the car with a "free" note on it. I've thought of bringing one to Europe a few times and leaving it there when I fly home, but haven't done so yet.

Decathlon in France usually has pretty good prices on bike equipment if you want to buy something when you get there: Porte vélo et Rangement vélo | DECATHLON
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