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Clever way to pack a bike

Old 02-19-24, 10:37 AM
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Clever way to pack a bike

showed up in my feed. It shows how to pack a bike for travel aboard high speed trains (TGV) but looks like a viable solution for air travel as well, (The video is in French, but is self explaining such that language shouldn't be a problem.)

I already travel with a Rinko bag (the principle is explained in this excellent Rene Herse post) and gegediagonaliste's (...) ideas might improve things. I'll try to figure out ways to make "travel friendly spacers" that wouldn't take too much space if you carry them, or could be made with a piece of cardboard found somewhere at or close to the airport.

Again, the idea is to be able to bike in an airport, pack and fly. Padded flight bags work well when you fly in/out the same airport (just leave the bag in storage at a nearby hotel, where you spend your first and last nights), but Rinko variants work better for open jaws (i.e. different airports, no obvious logistics).
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Old 02-20-24, 04:32 AM
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I read about Rinko a couple months ago in Bicycle Quarterly; Removing the fork from the frame is a PITA! Better with new style aheadset stems (versus having to adjust an old-style headset 32mm nut when reinstalling, which is so easy to brinnell the cups), but still.

I have a 20" wheel folder, set up for heavy towning, and hopefully touring. It should fold down just barely small enough for checked luggage limits if I unbolt the racks and nest them tight around the bike. (Most airlines now don't charge oversize for a bike, but still charge $30-40 and up for each checked bag; I'd like to do Southwest airlines which has no checked fees, but no oversize above 62".) But a padded bag to hold up to baggage handling, will still be too large to bring on a tour, would need to stash it somehow.

On the train, easy. Didn't even have to check it.

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Old 02-21-24, 05:58 AM
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Very good video, thanks for posting. I do not do Rinko packing, but there are similarities to my S&S bike packing.

A few notes on how I pack, below if anyone is interested:

I remove the chain, keeps things cleaner. And I wear medical gloves when I do that.

Where he is using a bit of inner tube with a knot for bunges, I use either two sided velcro strips or zip ties. And if using zip ties, I carry a small side cutter to cut them. A toe nail cutter also works to cut them. But I can see how bunge or inner tube rubber automatically tightens if things get loose.

His long quick release lever to hold the two wheels together, you can use a threaded rod with wing nuts instead. In USA, 5mm threaded rod is not common, but better hardware stores do have it.

Touring, I use bolt on skewers instead of quick release, mainly for theft reduction. But I mention that here because conventional quick release levers on a skewer can be bent if there is a side impact on a lever. On my Iceland trip, there were two Italians that arrived in Reykjavik, both with bent front wheel skewers and they were trying to find replacement skewers on a Sunday. The bolt on ones I use have no levers. Use a 5mm allen wrench, I carry a spare allen wrench with my spare tubes, besides having my multi-tool, if I need to change a tube I want the 5mm spare wrench handy.

I remove the fork on my S&S bike. I keep both the exploded diagram from the headset manufacturer on my phone and also a photo of the headset parts in the correct order on my phone for reference. If you have a bunch of headset parts with no reference, it can take a bit of time putting the linear jig saw puzzle together again. I travel with the parts on the steerer tube in correct order and correct orientation, a rubber band keeps them on the steerer tube.

And, I have a series of about 8 photos that show how I pack it in the case because there are many many ways to do it wrong, but only a few that work right. The photos can save me a lot of time when I pack it. I took the photos the third time that I unpacked it, I had wished that I had taken them the first or second time that I unpacked it.

Thanks again, very good video.
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Old 02-21-24, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
... (Most airlines now don't charge oversize for a bike, but still charge $30-40 and up for each checked bag; I'd like to do Southwest airlines which has no checked fees, but no oversize above 62".) But a padded bag to hold up to baggage handling, will still be too large to bring on a tour, would need to stash it somehow.
...
Last time I flew with a bike on Southwest was almost six years ago, the oversize fee was not very much at that time, it was much less than Delta or American. I had my folder in an S&S Backpack case, not oversize, so it flew for free on Southwest. But I checked oversize price as I was not sure which bike I wanted to bring for that trip.

Wow, fee has really gone up for oversize or overweight on Southwest.
https://support.southwest.com/helpce...excess-baggage
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Old 02-21-24, 09:01 AM
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Tourist in MSN Interesting. Especially the bit about skewers. (I also use bolted skewers, for similar reasons).

1. wrt to custom rod -- 5mm is probably not critical. As long as the rod is smaller than 5mm, it should do. (and yes this is a neat idea)
2. fork removal -- I've never done that despite having taken train/buses/planes quite often. How much time do you spend removing/installing your fork?
3. My YouTube home page is surfacing all kinds of videos on bike packing (notice the space between words . This one about the
was interesting. Yes, there's the small packed size, but the more striking aspect is the apparent process ease/speed. My estimate is that "my way" takes about 20-30 mins to get from a road ready to a transit ready bagged bike, and probably 30+mins the other way around.
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Old 02-21-24, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
2. fork removal -- I've never done that despite having taken train/buses/planes quite often. How much time do you spend removing/installing your fork?
I doubt I could get my S&S coupled bike into its "suitcase" without taking the fork off. It's a small part of my standard 1-hour-to-unpack-and-reassemble time budget. Maybe 10 minutes for the fork, stem, and bars assembly. It's potentially a much bigger part of disassemble-and-pack, which has ranged from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. As Tourist notes, it's a 3D jigsaw puzzle, and fitting the fork and seatpost aren't always obvious. Once I gave up and packed the fork in my duffle, which got me home quite nicely!
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Old 02-21-24, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
...
2. fork removal -- I've never done that despite having taken train/buses/planes quite often. How much time do you spend removing/installing your fork?
...
.... This one about the Ritchey breakaway was interesting. Yes, there's the small packed size, but the more striking aspect is the apparent process ease/speed. My estimate is that "my way" takes about 20-30 mins to get from a road ready to a transit ready bagged bike, and probably 30+mins the other way around.
I have no idea how much time the fork adds, when you consider having to pack the fork inside the case too, it gets complicated. Thorn (bike frame manufacturer) says that the fork won't fit in the S&S case, but I made it work.

First the front half of frame. Then front wheel on top. And I learned the hard way by wasting a lot of time that the ends of the frame tubes can't be under the wheel or it will be too thick to close the case. This is a 26 inch wheel, so tires can stay on, but I need to deflate them. Note that I even have to remove the bottle cages to pack it in the case.



Then the fork inside the rear triangle. All the headset parts are on the steerer tube.





Etc., etc., etc. I can't fit the rear rack in the case, that goes in other luggage. And can't fit fenders in there either.

Skipped several photos and jumped to the end. Note that I have a DIY center support in there too, as I expect that the airlines will stack more stuff on top of my case, and I do not want it squished too much.




I do not use a lot of extra padding to protect the paint, I use some flexible plastic shelf liner between metal parts so that they do not rub, but otherwise I do not give it much protection.

***

Ritchey Break Away, the Ritchey case is slightly larger than the airline criteria of 62 inches. I did an ACA van supported trip in 2018, two of the other riders had Break Away bikes. One of them said that on one occasion he was charged the oversize fee, the other rider had never had to pay the fee. I started getting really interested in getting a Break Away frame to build up after that trip. I suspect that the airline staff are busy and do not bother digging out a tape measure, I have never seen one do that. But the scale is right there, so they will catch you on weight.

I came home from that trip and found a great price on a Break Away complete bike. It took me five minutes to make sure the frame size was right for me and I clicked order.

This thread was on a Raleigh Grand Prix that was made by Ritchey, it is a Break Away. In post 72 at that thread I said I bought one.
A new credit-card rig? Raleigh Grand Prix

But, Covid hit less than a year later, have not been on an airplane with a bike since, so I have not had an opportunity pack up the bike yet.

That said, the Break Away is a great bike. I built up a dynohub wheel for mine and added dyno powered lights. And to make it fit better I had to buy a new stem, but the stem and saddle were the only parts I had to replace. Oh, and it came without pedals, but I had a set of Ritchey pedals to use. Photo attached:



Considering it is a Campy (Italian) drive train, I had some vintage Reg bottle cages in storage that were also Italian so of course I had to use those on the bike.

One of these days I will get on an airplane with it. But no plans yet.

*****
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Old 02-21-24, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Last time I flew with a bike on Southwest was almost six years ago, the oversize fee was not very much at that time, it was much less than Delta or American. I had my folder in an S&S Backpack case, not oversize, so it flew for free on Southwest. But I checked oversize price as I was not sure which bike I wanted to bring for that trip.

Wow, fee has really gone up for oversize or overweight on Southwest.
https://support.southwest.com/helpce...excess-baggage
Thanks for that. Y'know, I never considered 2 free checked bags instead of 1. On my 20" folder, breaking up the frame and the wheels may make meeting 62" on each a whole lot easiler. I'd probably pack in one bag, the frame, seatpost and seat, my tall stem and handlebars (unfortunately, my stem does not clamshell open, so no chance of separating the handlebars and stem), and the fork (once the stem is off a folder, the fork just drops out); Under this strategy, I think it would be better to not fold the frame, but leave it long and skinny, with the seatpost, fork, and long stem/handlebars, the latter of which negates the skinny unfolded frame. The stem and handlebars might actually be a better fit in bag number two, the wheels, except then I would need to undo ALL of the cabling, what a mess, so no, need to keep that with the frame; This might be a reason for me converting to a newer stem with clamshell handlebar attachment, but I'd like to keep a long fixed height, as I just recently saw a Dahon telescoping stem that cracked at the tele joint.
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Old 02-22-24, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Thanks for that. Y'know, I never considered 2 free checked bags instead of 1. ...
There were three of us on that trip that flew Southwest. I had a carry on, a personal item, and two checked bags. One checked bag was the S&S Backpack case, which I wore as a backpack. The second checked bag, I used a decades old two wheel cart to roll my duffle bag and personal item with one hand while carrying the carry on with the other hand.

The other two on that trip only checked one bag each, but they had shipped their bikes ahead with Bike Flights, they had full size bikes. Since they had full sized bikes, they had no interest in lugging their bikes around at the airports.

But this was for a van supported trip with ACA, we were camping but the van carried our luggage for us. Thus we could pack heavier. I have not done a self supported (with panniers) airplane or Amtrak camping trip with my folder, have only used full sized bikes for those self supported camping trips.

While I found it easy enough to carry my folder as a backpack on that trip, that would have been most inconvenient if I had to carry the backpack on my bike for hundreds of miles. Some people mail a case ahead to a destination, so there are options but that gets complicated which so far I have avoided.
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Old 02-22-24, 09:55 AM
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Ah, we clever cyclists!

Around 1880 Willian Grout patented his portable bicycle (penny farthing) and its associated slice-of-pie shaped travel case:



The first commercially successful folding bike was Peugeot's 'Captain Gerard' (circa 1900), shown here in its wicker travel case suitable for railways and steamships:



And on the cleverness has gone down through the decades. Most recently, a fellow in Tokyo designed and offers a folding bike sized to specifically fit in the leg space between seats of the Shinkansen bullet trains. This protects you from leaving the bike unattended in the space at the end of the car or the train being booked full and told you couldn't bring your bike. The Iruka:



I've posted my packed and ready to go in half a minute bike before:


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Old 02-22-24, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Ah, we clever cyclists!

Around 1880 Willian Grout patented his portable bicycle (penny farthing) and its associated slice-of-pie shaped travel case:

The first commercially successful folding bike was Peugeot's 'Captain Gerard' (circa 1900), shown here in its wicker travel case suitable for railways and steamships:

And on the cleverness has gone down through the decades. Most recently, a fellow in Tokyo designed and offers a folding bike sized to specifically fit in the leg space between seats of the Shinkansen bullet trains. This protects you from leaving the bike unattended in the space at the end of the car or the train being booked full and told you couldn't bring your bike. The Iruka:

I've posted my packed and ready to go in half a minute bike before:
(above pics)

Penny farthing segmented wheels, raises the question, if the spokes were under tension once assembled, because they certainly are not when disassembled. Spokes that long and skinny (high "slenderness ratio"), even plenty of them, are more subject to buckling under compression, but maybe were loaded that way.

Iruka: Wow, that's pretty large seat pitch (center-to-center seat spacing), way bigger than on aircraft. Yes, I was always wary of my folder in the train luggage shelves, watched it at every stop. Bad enough on same level as seats, worse on the starliner(?), seats on top level, luggage shelves on lower, right next to door.

Your bike: Looks like a Dahon Curl. Have you ever carried on board, or always checked?

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Old 02-23-24, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Your bike: Looks like a Dahon Curl. Have you ever carried on board, or always checked?
I've seen the images (as have probably nearly all of us) of trifold bikes being carried on board aircraft (of select Airlines), but I have never done so.

NOTE: These trifold bikes are larger than any airline's carry-on maximum, and some airlines only let folks carry them onboard and stow them in the overheads by grace. YMMV. The fall-back is gate-checking.

Here it is in an Ikea Dimpa soft bag. The bike is just folded; there was no disassembly. If I had to hand this to a baggage handler en route, there'd be some additional cardboard/coroplast liners and pool noodle padding. That's a 12L Ortlieb Trunk Bag in the image.


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Old 02-24-24, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
I've seen the images (as have probably nearly all of us) of trifold bikes being carried on board aircraft (of select Airlines), but I have never done so.

NOTE: These trifold bikes are larger than any airline's carry-on maximum, and some airlines only let folks carry them onboard and stow them in the overheads by grace. YMMV. The fall-back is gate-checking.

Here it is in an Ikea Dimpa soft bag. The bike is just folded; there was no disassembly. If I had to hand this to a baggage handler en route, there'd be some additional cardboard/coroplast liners and pool noodle padding. That's a 12L Ortlieb Trunk Bag in the image.

Coroplast! I got some of that from a market dumpster, fresh vegetable shipping boxes, saved it for exactly that, if I air travel with my folder in checked. I didn't know what it was called. Now it's obvious, Corrugated Plastic.

I think one Dimpa would take both of my 20" wheels. Looks like a second would take my folded frame and other tubular stuff. They're $6.99 each from what I can see online, really good. But yes, would reinforce on all sides with coroplast.

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Old 02-24-24, 06:13 AM
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Shortly before covid I bought a 4 X 8 sheet of Coroplast at Home Despot for about $20. Getting it home was not that uneventful, but I succeeded. It was rubbing on top of my head as I drove because the cargo space in my vehicle was shorter than 8 feet.

But it looks like it had a big price hike since then.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplas...896S/205351385

Initially I bought it to stiffen up the sides of my S&S Backpack case, I needed two 26 X 26 inch pieces for that. Since then I have found many other uses for it, pretty soon I will probably have to buy another sheet of it.
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Old 02-24-24, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Shortly before covid I bought a 4 X 8 sheet of Coroplast at Home Despot for about $20. Getting it home was not that uneventful, but I succeeded. It was rubbing on top of my head as I drove because the cargo space in my vehicle was shorter than 8 feet.

But it looks like it had a big price hike since then.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Coroplas...896S/205351385

Initially I bought it to stiffen up the sides of my S&S Backpack case, I needed two 26 X 26 inch pieces for that. Since then I have found many other uses for it, pretty soon I will probably have to buy another sheet of it.
Yeah, a lot of things skyrocketed in price during the pandemic, and haven't come back down. 4x8 is a pretty big piece, will do a lot. I'd be limited by the smaller free pieces I get from fresh food boxes, but may be enough. I've already used some to line an old pannier whose fabric is getting a bit threadbare, can see pinhole light through it, from the polyurethane lining completely delaminating from the fabric. Lovely, in that it doesn't deteriorate in water, as the panniers were never waterproof to begin with. Prior to that, I had only seen fresh food boxes that were corrugated cardboard but saturated with wax, those hold up better than unwaxed and can be reused a number of times, but still not as good as coroplast, though perhaps better environmentally. These plastic boxes were in recycling after only a single use, but no economical way to return to Asia from the USA (contained fresh ginger).
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Old 02-25-24, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Yeah, a lot of things skyrocketed in price during the pandemic, and haven't come back down. 4x8 is a pretty big piece, will do a lot. I'd be limited by the smaller free pieces I get from fresh food boxes, but may be enough. I've already used some to line an old pannier whose fabric is getting a bit threadbare, can see pinhole light through it, from the polyurethane lining completely delaminating from the fabric. Lovely, in that it doesn't deteriorate in water, as the panniers were never waterproof to begin with. Prior to that, I had only seen fresh food boxes that were corrugated cardboard but saturated with wax, those hold up better than unwaxed and can be reused a number of times, but still not as good as coroplast, though perhaps better environmentally. These plastic boxes were in recycling after only a single use, but no economical way to return to Asia from the USA (contained fresh ginger).
Prices might come down some, but are going to stay higher than a few years ago. That is the way inflation works, inflation is down to a few percent but won't go into reverse with negative numbers. If it did go into negative numbers, everybody that got pay raises in last few years would be in trouble if their bosses wanted to bring things back down to a few years ago for their costs.

Home Despot has smaller sizes too.

I also use it inside Carradice saddle bags to give it some shape so it does not hang down like a limp sack. I tried a paper cardboard sheet and it performed well, so replaced it with something that water would not degrade.

Have never seen coroplast used for disposable boxes in USA, but it often is used for one time use for signs here, the HVAC company that replaced my furnace wanted to put up a sign on my lawn.
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Old 02-26-24, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Prices might come down some, but are going to stay higher than a few years ago. That is the way inflation works, inflation is down to a few percent but won't go into reverse with negative numbers. If it did go into negative numbers, everybody that got pay raises in last few years would be in trouble if their bosses wanted to bring things back down to a few years ago for their costs.

Home Despot has smaller sizes too.

I also use it inside Carradice saddle bags to give it some shape so it does not hang down like a limp sack. I tried a paper cardboard sheet and it performed well, so replaced it with something that water would not degrade.

Have never seen coroplast used for disposable boxes in USA, but it often is used for one time use for signs here, the HVAC company that replaced my furnace wanted to put up a sign on my lawn.
Paper and cardboard in the USA is still cheap, we have mills.

You might find coroplast boxes being disposed at a market that gets veggies from Asia. My local is one of the very few small Asian markets left in the area, most of the others got bought out and knocked down to put up 6-story apartment buildings.
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