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How do you transport your bike?

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View Poll Results: How do you ship or transport your bike?
Do you travel with a conventional bike?
26
70.27%
Do you travel with a conventional bike that has S & S Couplers?
3
8.11%
Do you travel with another type of break-apart bike (Ritchey, for example)?
1
2.70%
Do you travel with a folding bike
5
13.51%
Do you use a reusable case designed for transporting a bike?
8
21.62%
Do you use a single use box for transporting a bike?
18
48.65%
Do you ship your bike by UPS/Fed Ex/USPS or any other similar shipping service?
7
18.92%
Do you use the airlines or train service to transport your bike?
26
70.27%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

How do you transport your bike?

Old 08-08-09, 06:31 AM
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How do you transport your bike?

I'm considering a series of fly-n-ride touring trips. These trips would involve air or train travel and three to twelve days of credit card touring. I would like to know what works while transporting a touring bike by air and train.



Please select one of the four options that best describe your primary touring bike that is transported by air or rail;
Do you travel with a conventional bike?
Do you travel with a conventional bike that has S & S Couplers?
Do you travel with another type of break-apart bike (Ritchey, for example)?
Do you travel with a folding bike

Please select one of the two below as your preferred packaging method;
Do you use a reusable case designed for transporting a bike?
Do you use a single use box for transporting a bike?

Please select one of the two below as your preferred shipping method;
Do you ship your bike by UPS/Fed Ex/USPS or any other similar shipping service?
Do you use the airlines or train service to transport your bike?
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-08-09 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 08-08-09, 06:34 AM
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My LBS rents bike carriers for flying. We rent.
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Old 08-08-09, 06:44 AM
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-- Conventional sport touring bicycle
-- Cardboard box (Madone boxes are the best!) ... and these are reusable or one-time use ... your choice!
-- On the airline (or train) with me
-- Numerous flights both domestically and internationally with several different airlines
-- One train trip with Amtrak
-- Several bus/coach trips with Canadian, Australian and US Greyhound (each is different), and another coach company in Australia.



And the information about flying with a bicycle: https://www.ibike.org/encouragement/travel/bagregs.htm

I highly recommend reading that site, and then looking at the websites of airlines you are considering travelling with to see what their bicycle rules and regulations are. Look up the information for bicycles, not just oversized luggage, overweight luggage, and sporting goods. Bicycles often have their own specific category, and their own specfic size and weight rules.

By doing your research with the actual airlines you won't make a foolish mistake by choosing an airline that charges an arm and a leg for a bicycle when you could have chosen one with a lesser charge. You also won't show up with your bicycle box weighing 5 lbs too much and having to frantically make packing changes in the airport.

Last edited by Machka; 08-08-09 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 08-08-09, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by late
My LBS rents bike carriers for flying. We rent.

It sounds like you rent a reusable case.

What bike system is used?
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Old 08-08-09, 06:50 AM
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I usually am not traveling home from the same place I fly out to so hard cases or reusable boxes are not my normal choice, but... I did use the Air Caddy from https://www.shipbikes.com for one trip and it worked out quite well. Their box is a bit expensive for what it is, but works out well and requires little disassembly of the bike. Their shipping rates were better than I found elsewhere and they deliver door to door. They use FedEx, but seem to get a better rate than I could get going directly to the carrier. I see that they will now ship regular hard cases, but I have not bothered to check out the details.

I have flown with my bike and it worked out well but it sounds like that has gotten more expensive lately. So shop carefully when picking an airline.

I used Amtrak for one leg of a recent trip and they were great to deal with. The Amtrak box is huge. I only had to rotate the handlebars and didn't even have to lower the seat or remove anything except the pedals. Just be sure that the stops you use all have baggage handlers or they will not load or unload a bike.

Amtrak will also ship a bike even if you aren't traveling by train. I think that service is called Amtrak Express. I have not used it so I can't say much about it.

Last edited by staehpj1; 08-08-09 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:01 AM
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I have traveled with a standard road bike. shipped to a bike shop for assembly and returned packed by bike shop in a hard reusable case. UPS. very expensive, some minor damage on return. Bent derailleur hanger.

Ritchie breakaway type bike in original soft side travel case, shipped Fed X in original cardboard box, Much less expensive. some minor damage probably due to my packing and or Fed X handling.
Both times a week lead time was required.

I don't have one but, I think your best option would be a Bike Friday with their travel case and take on plane or train with you. Some Dahons will fit in a small travel case (check out Gaelarn bike web site.)

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Old 08-08-09, 07:22 AM
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Shipped my conventional bike to NM from WI via UPS in a reusable case rented from a LBS. I shipped it 2 & 1/2 weeks ahead of time.
It arrived halfway into the week of the tour. I rode one of the tour staff's bikes for the first few days.
UPS....never again.
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Old 08-08-09, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
It sounds like you rent a reusable case.

What bike system is used?
They have a plastic hardshell case.It's not one of the real fancy ones, but it works well enough. Bike system? Went I went to Europe, I used a service that specialises in shipping bikes for vacations. It cost a fortune, but it was a
once in a lifetime trip and (for me) a bike that would be hard to replace. 167.5 cranks are hard to find, and they don't make the handlebar pads I use anymore.

Domestically, I'd just show up at the airport with the case.
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Old 08-08-09, 08:22 AM
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I am a bit curious...

It seems that using cases is pretty popular. For me flying to and from the same location is the exception rather than the rule. Most often I am on a point to point route rather than a loop. Do most of you hard case users fly to and from the same location, ship your case ahead to the end point of the trip, take a train back to your start point to fly home, or what?
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Old 08-08-09, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Herb
I don't have one but, I think your best option would be a Bike Friday with their travel case and take on plane or train with you. Some Dahons will fit in a small travel case (check out Gaelarn bike web site.)
FWIW, my Dahon Helios just isn't a bike I would want to use for serious loaded touring. Maybe for some routes and credit card touring I might consider it.
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Old 08-08-09, 12:06 PM
  #11  
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I just flew to the UK to do a credit card tour and carried my bike in a Tardis bike bag from Ground Effect.
It couldn't have been easier. The Tardis is a big Cordura bag and I used my gear as extra padding around the bike. The bag folds down to a telephone book sized package that can easily be carried, stored or shipped

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=97930&v=E4
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Old 08-08-09, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
I am a bit curious...

It seems that using cases is pretty popular. For me flying to and from the same location is the exception rather than the rule. Most often I am on a point to point route rather than a loop. Do most of you hard case users fly to and from the same location, ship your case ahead to the end point of the trip, take a train back to your start point to fly home, or what?

That's why I go with cardboard. You have the option of tossing the cardboard box ... or hiding it somewhere and hoping it'll be there when you get back ... or in some cases you might be able to fold it up and bring it with you. I've done all three of those options ... and I've also done trips where I was able to leave the box with a friend/family member.
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Old 08-08-09, 06:24 PM
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I've been pimping Aliant Air Cargo over on CGOAB because they did a bang-up job shipping my C'dale tandem (read: no couplers) inexpensively and with nary a problem. I hope others can benefit as well.

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Old 08-09-09, 03:20 PM
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I've flown twice with my bike and both times I just wheeled the bike up to a check in counter and chucked it in a bag and it went on the plane. No damage...cept for a nick in my Brooks saddle :|

Took my bike on the SNCF from the UK to Calais with much *****ing necessary but in the end it required the same bag and once I took an SNCF train from just North of Bordeaux to Massy (near Paris) without so much as a bag but it cost me an extra 24 euros. I suggest calling ahead to confirm it's possible to bring a bike and if they say no ask another person especially in France.
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Old 08-11-09, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by nun
I just flew to the UK to do a credit card tour and carried my bike in a Tardis bike bag from Ground Effect.
It couldn't have been easier. The Tardis is a big Cordura bag and I used my gear as extra padding around the bike. The bag folds down to a telephone book sized package that can easily be carried, stored or shipped

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=97930&v=E4
I had one of those for a while, but it was too small for any bike with 700c wheels (MTBs were OK, just). Maybe they've been redesigned.

One thing I WON'T do again is rely on an airline's official policy of allowing you to purchase a box at the airport. On occasions I've actually phoned te airport ahead to confirm that there would be a box there for me, been told it would be OK, and arrived at the airport only to find that there weren't any. In Wellington last year I actually had to ride from the airport back to the city to obtain a box, then get it back to the airport and pack it in time for my flight. Never again.

From now on I'll either grab a box from a bike shop before I arrive at the airport, or, if I'm taking my MTB, I'll use the tardis bag that I probably have stored at home somewhere.
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Old 08-16-09, 04:10 PM
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Any more opinions?
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Old 08-16-09, 05:31 PM
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Be aware of the costs involved (which vary widely between airlines) and the facilities available.

Cardboard box options:
- Airline box: BIG, easy to pack, strong. Won't fit in a car/taxi. Generally you ride to the airport, buy a box ($14 in Australia), pack the bike (take of pedals, front wheel, turn handlebars (I take them off), pad and cable tie things together and you're good to go. Mudguards can complicate things, they might need to come off.
- Bike shop box: Smaller (will fit across the back seat of a medium size car, easily in a taxi; fit in the back of a station wagon). Comes with padding/tube protectors. Free. You can pack the bike at home. You have to remove both wheels, take out the skewers, usually take off the handlebars, always take off mudguards, sometimes take off racks. The boxes are generally less sturdy or a little damaged by the time you get them.

Costs vary a lot, traditionally here a bike will be carried as a piece of sporting equipment with a nominal weight of 5kg (out of a 20kg allowance) so you either get charged nothing, or a small fee for an additional checked item if you also check a bag (eg. panniers in a big fold-away duffle bag). Recently the discount carriers have started charging by weight, so over $100 for a bike.

One time I was travelling back from Tassie the same weekend the national triathlon championships were being held there. There wasn;t enough room on my flight for the bike, it was delivered the day after. This is unusual.

Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I'm considering a series of fly-n-ride touring trips. These trips would involve air or train travel and three to twelve days of credit card touring. I would like to know what works while transporting a touring bike by air and train.



Please select one of the four options that best describe your primary touring bike that is transported by air or rail;
Do you travel with a conventional bike?
Do you travel with a conventional bike that has S & S Couplers?
Do you travel with another type of break-apart bike (Ritchey, for example)?
Do you travel with a folding bike

Please select one of the two below as your preferred packaging method;
Do you use a reusable case designed for transporting a bike?
Do you use a single use box for transporting a bike?

Please select one of the two below as your preferred shipping method;
Do you ship your bike by UPS/Fed Ex/USPS or any other similar shipping service?
Do you use the airlines or train service to transport your bike?
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Old 08-16-09, 05:57 PM
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I was worried about how to pack my bike for a transatlantic trip and found the perfect solution. The Ground Effect Tardis bag. It's a tough codura bag that folds down to the size of a phone book so you can carry it with you or post it on for you to pick up. It has no padding so you use your gear to protect sensitive bits of the bike. It worked well for me
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Old 08-17-09, 07:38 AM
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Here's a similar very recent thread I started that involves 1-way car-rentals, boxing, and using Amtrak. It may be helpful; it helped me out...

https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/574562-end-road-tips-get-my-bike-back-home.html
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Old 08-17-09, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by nun
I was worried about how to pack my bike for a transatlantic trip and found the perfect solution. The Ground Effect Tardis bag. It's a tough codura bag that folds down to the size of a phone book so you can carry it with you or post it on for you to pick up. It has no padding so you use your gear to protect sensitive bits of the bike. It worked well for me
Or use a plastic bag the airline provides and carry nothing.

I've bagged boxed and shipped my bike across the Atlantic many times. With boxes you have to start and end in the same place and find a place to store the box. Taking bikes apart with couplers or not means a half day disassembling and another half day of vacation time putting it back together (usually in a noisy, crowded airport).

I turn the bars, lower the tire pressure and take off the pedals as most airlines request and then I chock the front wheel to keep it from turning before I stuff it in a plastic bag. There has been minor damage over the years, but it's a touring bike not an antiquity.

I ride to and from the airport with no time lost. It works great for me!

BTW, check if your airline ships camping equipment for free. Mine does, but charges for more than 20 kilos of luggage, so I pack all my camping gear in the front panniers and never pay for extras.
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Old 08-17-09, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by stokell
Or use a plastic bag the airline provides and carry nothing.

I've bagged boxed and shipped my bike across the Atlantic many times. With boxes you have to start and end in the same place and find a place to store the box. Taking bikes apart with couplers or not means a half day disassembling and another half day of vacation time putting it back together (usually in a noisy, crowded airport).

I turn the bars, lower the tire pressure and take off the pedals as most airlines request and then I chock the front wheel to keep it from turning before I stuff it in a plastic bag. There has been minor damage over the years, but it's a touring bike not an antiquity.

I ride to and from the airport with no time lost. It works great for me!

BTW, check if your airline ships camping equipment for free. Mine does, but charges for more than 20 kilos of luggage, so I pack all my camping gear in the front panniers and never pay for extras.
That's a good option as long as the airline has a bag available. I never rely on airlines for any packing material. I sometimes carry a 6mil plastic bag if I need to pack the bike, but I prefer the Tardis as it makes it easy to carry the bike. I can fit it in Taxis, buses etc so it makes it really easy to get to the airport if riding is going to be a pain. Assembling the bike takes between 30mins and an hour.
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