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To and from the airport with bike boxes Qs?

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To and from the airport with bike boxes Qs?

Old 03-14-18, 03:29 PM
  #1  
Dark Arrow
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To and from the airport with bike boxes Qs?

Gday all

My wife and I are getting closer to our trip to Norway. (Tickets purchased)

This is our first big tour on bicycles. We are booked to land in Tromso Norway and (at this point anyway) will be taking our bicycles in cardboard boxes. Our idea is to dispose of them near the airport after cutting them up neatly. On return there is a bike shop within 4k of the airport that sells boxes 60Kr $10AUD at anyrate I intend to purchase two boxes long before we land there to insure they are ready when we need them. My question is how do most of you pack your bike and get the box to the airport? 4k isnít that far but I can imagine towing to big boxes to the airport on the bikes would be difficult and loading them up before leaving the bike shop with our gear would be equally difficult by foot.

How do you logistically get your bike packed and to the airport at the end of your tour?

Bear
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Old 03-14-18, 03:49 PM
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I usually email a local taxi company in advance and ask the airport delivery rate and if they have a vehicle large enough to transport me and my boxed bike. Virtually all of them do, and the vehicles I've booked have always had room for two boxed bikes.

Prior to departing on my tour, I make arrangements with an English speaking local bike shop (almost all of them have good command of the English language, regardless of whichever country I've toured) in the city at the end of my tour (usually two days before my departure home) to box my bike (being from the States, my limited time in Europe is much too valuable to waste boxing a bike). I ride my bike to the shop and leave it with them. I ask them not to seal the box. That way I can inspect the contents prior to my flight to make sure it is my bike and only my bike in there. I carry my own packing tape so I can seal it myself back in the room after I've added any pointy bits not allowed in carry-on baggage. Depending on distance to my hotel, I'll either carry the boxed bike back to my room or take a taxi.
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Old 03-14-18, 06:36 PM
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Sometimes hotels will have a large enough vehicle too. And they might also store your box.

I prefer to stay first night and last night at the same place and do a loop. Especially if the hotel agrees to store the ox. Saves the stress of finding a box after a long trip.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:43 PM
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Taxi or shuttle bus ... that's probably the most frequent for us.
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Old 03-14-18, 08:34 PM
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Taxi has worked for me in the past, sometimes there's an extra fee for oversize/excess baggage. If the airline you're traveling with allows it (and that's a very big "if"), my favorite method is to bicycle to the airport, pack up the touring gear in a duffel bag, and wheel the bike up to the check in counter with the pedals removed and the handlebars turned sideways. I don't like cardboard bike boxes because the baggage handlers can't see what's in them and they just throw them around and pile things on top of them. If the baggage handlers see a bicycle they just about always treat it carefully, but if they just see a cardboard box they throw it around like a cardboard box. Read your airline's rules very carefully before you try this, and have a copy of the airline's rules accessible when you check in before you try this. spinnaker's ideas are good, too, depending on what kind of hotel you're staying at.
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Old 03-14-18, 09:02 PM
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No friends to drop you off..@ airport? [ I unplanned affair, made a friend towards the end of My trip, she drove me to the airport..
Aberdeen Scotland > AMS> SFO.]

with a lengthened box from 2 regular boxes and the rest of my gear in old plastic chicken feed bags... 20 years ago ..









...

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-14-18 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 03-14-18, 10:43 PM
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I've ridden to the airport with a rolled up bike box strapped to the rear rack.... Once you unroll them and tape the bottom they get 90% of their strength back. Helps if you can buy glass fibre reinforced tape, it's clear with linear (and possibly cross woven) glass fibres. It's strong enough that two strips adhesive to adhesive would be enough to suspend my 90+kg. Failing that, Gaffer tape is a good substitute. Takes me around 30 minutes to demolish each bike and get it in the box now I've had some practice.
Handy tips are:
Don't tape the top until you have checked in. Some airlines like to check you have deflated the tires, don't have a live tiger or a bomb in the box (you are suspicious...only a weirdo would travel with such a huge inconvenient box...)
Get some rubber chair tips to pad the fork ends, bottom bracket, axles.
Get some zip top sandwich bags to put small parts in, tape these to the bike, so if the baggage pixies hole the box, you don't loose them.
Generally it's easier to take the bars off the steerer and drop them along side the frame, install the cap on the forks so they don't fall out.
Taking the cranks off makes it easier to slide the wheels alongside the frame
I've installed self extracting crank bolts,makes getting the cranks of easy and saves trying to get pedals off.
Always get the biggest box you can, if you have to box, as it doesn't generally cost any more excess... 29er MTB boxes are great, my 26" Troll fits in one with the seat dropped and the rear rack and wheel installed!
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Old 03-14-18, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
No friends to drop you off..@ airport? [ I unplanned affair, made a friend towards the end of My trip, she drove me to the airport..
Aberdeen Scotland > AMS> SFO.]

with a lengthened box from 2 regular boxes and the rest of my gear in old plastic chicken feed bags... 20 years ago ..


...

Getting to the airport on this end is no dramas.. It's just getting back on when we are finished.
We have at least one friend (I think) but in case not haha we are only 1k from the train that goes directly to the airport.

Thank you to all with your replies..

Bear
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Old 03-15-18, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark Arrow View Post
....dispose of them near the airport after cutting them up neatly........how do most of you pack your bike and get the box to the airport?......
why dispose of "near" the airport? after arrival, find a quiet spot to assemble,
ask one of the cleaning staff about the box. they'll likely take it from you to
get the recycling money, or direct you to the recycling collection point.

flatten & roll the box, bungee to rack, ride to airport a couple hours early to
pack. carry tape and twine, and a pair of scissors from the $1 store.
get some extra cardboard to make compression tubes.
don't forget while riding you're much wider now.
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Old 03-15-18, 05:16 AM
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Taxi.
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Old 03-15-18, 06:00 AM
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I have done what others have done. Roll up the box attached it to the bike and ride it to the airport. Once at the airport tape the box back together, stuff in bike and you're ready for check-in. Tromso isn't that big of a town, shouldn't be a problem riding a short distance with the box strapped to the bike.
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Old 03-15-18, 06:01 AM
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I can fit two full size bike boxes in the back of my Ford Fusion, any full size sedan should be able to accommodate you. Ride to the airport the day before, rent a car. Alternatively, have you asked the shop if they can provide a ride? Not sure about Norway, but shops here generally have large vans, at a distance of 4k they may be willing to help you out, or at least drop the boxes off there for you.

And as others have said, there generally isn't a need for any elaborate deconstruction on arrival. Just leave your boxes somewhere looking neat and out of the way, and cleaning will take care of them. Or, if they have a bike assembly area, leave them for the next person. My box was gone in Iceland before I even left the building

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Old 03-15-18, 07:45 AM
  #13  
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As mentioned by others, I'll spend the last night at a hotel, ideally close to where the bike is boxed (but on one occasion in Panama City, I borrowed a hand truck to wheel the boxed bike many kilometers through the city). At that point, we have enough time before my departure that the hotel can see the bike box and assist me in arranging a taxi of suitable size to carry the bike box.

On the inbound leg, I've most often assembled my bike in the airport, but also sometimes gotten a taxi from the airport. Usually those taxis can fit inside, but at least twice box and all was placed on top of a taxi sedan - in New Delhi India and Urumqi China.
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Old 03-15-18, 09:58 AM
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Anecdote: Bike in Recycled Amtrak box, when I got to SFO airport,, the staff of United wanted to sniff test my MSR fuel bottle, for any petrol vapors..

it passed, they, supplied a fresh (UAL) box, Gratis..
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Old 03-15-18, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
I've ridden to the airport with a rolled up bike box strapped to the rear rack.... Once you unroll them and tape the bottom they get 90% of their strength back.

Saves expensive taxi fare. I've wondered if it's possible to lash end of box to the rear rack & just drag it behind with plastic pieces protecting box from road abrasion?
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Old 03-16-18, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
Saves expensive taxi fare. I've wondered if it's possible to lash end of box to the rear rack & just drag it behind with plastic pieces protecting box from road abrasion?
Reckon it would just be annoying...

One other handy tip... avoid the boxes for chinese made bikes, they ain't made of anything resilient... see if you can get a box from one of the big Taiwanese manufacturers like Giant or whatever, they have to meet some kind of durability standard, the Chinese ones just need to be box shaped.
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Old 03-17-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Just leave your boxes somewhere looking neat and out of the way, and cleaning will take care of them.
I've never been a cleaning person, but I bet this totally sucks for them. They're there to do normal cleaning and probably making a poor wage doing so, not our servants there to clean up extra random crap after us because we're too lazy to deal with it ourselves. As capable functioning adults who made the choice to bring our boxes there and can clean up our own messes rather leave it for others to deal with, ideally we're all disposing of them ourselves.
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Old 03-17-18, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I've never been a cleaning person, but I bet this totally sucks for them. They're there to do normal cleaning and probably making a poor wage doing so, not our servants there to clean up extra random crap after us because we're too lazy to deal with it ourselves. As capable functioning adults who made the choice to bring our boxes there and can clean up our own messes rather leave it for others to deal with, ideally we're all disposing of them ourselves.

We will not be making any messes for anyone,, but if someone is able to assist with disposal for sure we will take them up on it. Going to the shops today to see if we can find some suitable boxes.

Bear
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Old 03-19-18, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
I've never been a cleaning person, but I bet this totally sucks for them. They're there to do normal cleaning and probably making a poor wage doing so, not our servants there to clean up extra random crap after us because we're too lazy to deal with it ourselves. As capable functioning adults who made the choice to bring our boxes there and can clean up our own messes rather leave it for others to deal with, ideally we're all disposing of them ourselves.
Look down me all you want, but that is exactly what airport staff at both Brussels and Reykjavik airport told me to do.

I don't have access to large waste disposal facilities in an airport. Cleaning staff do. Cutting up a box and stuffing it into a trash can (or more likely, multiple) simply makes those unavailable to people with small waste like wrappers, bottles, etc.
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Old 03-19-18, 10:01 AM
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Have you considered padded flight bags? They roll up to the size of a large sleeping bag. While it is preferable to find a place to store them if you ride a loop, it is totally feasible to ride with them attached to your rack. Convenient for open jaws or if you intend to ride trains that require your bike to be covered. (Such as French TGV).

Won't break the bank either. Rosebikes lists their containerbag for less than 100 euros.
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Old 03-20-18, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
Have you considered padded flight bags? They roll up to the size of a large sleeping bag. While it is preferable to find a place to store them if you ride a loop, it is totally feasible to ride with them attached to your rack. Convenient for open jaws or if you intend to ride trains that require your bike to be covered. (Such as French TGV).

Won't break the bank either. Rosebikes lists their containerbag for less than 100 euros.

In honesty we have looked at many options. Bags or soft cases being one of them. It takes us 4 flights to our destination and we are concerned about 4 times or bikes will be loaded and unloaded so thinking a box is our best bet. Also our bikes are around 15 and 16 kilos so have to get under the 23kg limit for baggage. No much room for anything substantial.

Bear
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Old 03-20-18, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark Arrow View Post
It takes us 4 flights to our destination and we are concerned about 4 times or bikes will be loaded and unloaded so thinking a box is our best bet.
You may want to read this.
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Old 03-27-18, 01:23 AM
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We just did the wheels on the box thing. Screwed some plywood to the inside bottom with fender washers then drilled holes for cheap castors. Wheeling the boxes through the airport... Luxury!
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Old 03-27-18, 01:57 PM
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Bear,

I have taken my bike on the airplane several times and I have found there is not one good option. (In fact, I am flying to Heathrow from the U.S. with my bike this summer and am facing the same problem.)

I am a klutz when it comes to disassembling my bicycle, so I look for ways to minimize disassembly. Here are the options I always check out.

First, some airlines will sell you boxes at the airport. If they do, they usually cost about $25 USD. I would check ahead of time if the airline you are taking have boxes and are willing to sell one to you. Note, that even if they do, they may not always have a box available. Also, note that if they will sell you a box, you have to plan for extra time to stand in line to get a box. One way around this is to go to the airport the day/night before and buy a box and then pay for overnight storage. If we are flying out of the same airport, we will always check that out when we arrive which saves us the trouble of doing it at the end of the trip. (If you call the airlines, I have found they don't have good info about bike boxes, thus we like to ask airline personnel at the airport).

Second, even if the airline you are taking does not sell boxes, another airline at the airport might. So I would check with other airlines ahead of time to see if they will sell you one.

Third, I found that the Frankfurt airport (not the airlines) actually sell bicycle boxes. However, I have not found any other airport that does this.

https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en...lky-items.html

Fourth, some airlines will provide a large plastic bag that you can put your bike in. By far, the worst option, but this has worked for me a couple of times.

The airline bike boxes are much bigger than the typical bike box that manufacturers ship bikes in. Generally, you need to take off both pedals and turn the handlebars 90 degrees. You may made need to loosen the brake and gear cables to do this. That is the only disassembly needed. Once you do that, the bike can easily be put in the box. I generally attach an empty rear pannier on the derailleur side to provide some cushion. Make sure you have enough tape and scissors to tape up the box. And remember you generally can't take scissors in your carry-on luggage.

We always disassemble our bikes at the airport. If you are leaving on a morning flight, some airlines will allow you to check the bike the night before, which saves you the hassle of checking it on the day of the flight.

And, finally, every time I hand my bike over to the airlines, I take a deep breath, say a little prayer, and hope that my bike will arrive safely.

Good luck.
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Old 03-28-18, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Look down me all you want, but that is exactly what airport staff at both Brussels and Reykjavik airport told me to do.

I don't have access to large waste disposal facilities in an airport. Cleaning staff do. Cutting up a box and stuffing it into a trash can (or more likely, multiple) simply makes those unavailable to people with small waste like wrappers, bottles, etc.
This has also been my experience at several airports when asking where to put the empty bike boxes. they usually told me "to leave them , and they would take care of them." I do take off or black out any personal information, before "abandoning" our boxes.
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