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Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 11th 03, 05:29 PM
F1
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Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

"David Hill" wrote in message
...
Hello.

My wife and I are travelling to SE Asia this December for a three-week

tour.
We are taking our old mountain bikes turned commuter bikes (beat up

looking,
but great shape mechanically). We can either borrow a bike box from a
friend and have to deal with storing it on the other end, or we can, as

I've
heard from some people, simply check the bikes assembled, with no boxes.

I'm curious to hear from people who have taken the latter route. We don't
really care about scratches, etc., (10 year old frames), but we don't want
to arrive and find our bikes with lots of broken spokes and the like.

Thanks,
D. Hill.


I worked at a major airline for 7 years on both the ticket counter and the
ramp side. I have checked and loaded many bikes. The rigid bike boxes do
their job, but they are heavy and cumbersome. A good solution is the
carboard bike box that most airlines have handy at the ticket counter.
Sometimes the cardboard boxes just seemed to prevent scratches more than
anything else. Numerous times we would receive a bike that has come a long
way away and the box would be very tattered. If the pedals were still on
the bike, they would be sticking out of the box, and sometimes the
handlebars would especially if it was a mountain bike. If you don't mind
the hassle, I recomment the following while using the cardboard BIKE BOX: If
the brake/shifter cables stick up, tape them down somewhere that does not
bind the cable, but will prevent them from getting caught on something and
getting damaged if the box happens to open. Take the pedals off and losen
the handlebar and adjust it so that it is parallel with the front wheel and
also lower the seat as low as it can go. This will allow the loaders to lay
the bike flat on top of the baggage/cargo. The problem with the box is that
it is very cumbersome and gets droppped at times (due to lack of hand
holds), where a plain bike is much easier to handle by just grabbing the
frame. The good thing about the box is that it keeps the cables from
getting caught on various things and the flat sides tend to make it easier
to load where there is a tight area just wide enough for the bike; an
uncovered bike (especially with the pedals on) would bind up on other
carge/luggage when trying to fit it in the tight spot. It will store flat
wherever you are when you arrive and worst case, just buy another one when
you leave. Most carriers have them and I believe they were fairly
inexpensive ($8 I think, but that was a few years ago...). If you don't use
the cardboard box, just follow the same directions as above and tape the
wheels to the frame so they won't rotate. This allows them to move the bike
when it is laying flat by grabbing the wheel (end of the bike if loaded
parallel to the worker). Good luck, it's a jungle out there...


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  #2  
Old August 12th 03, 01:03 AM
Grenouil
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Posts: n/a
Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

"David Hill" wrote in message
...
Hello.

My wife and I are travelling to SE Asia this December for

a three-week tour.
We are taking our old mountain bikes turned commuter bikes

(beat up looking,
but great shape mechanically). We can either borrow a

bike box from a
friend and have to deal with storing it on the other end,

or we can, as I've
heard from some people, simply check the bikes assembled,

with no boxes.

I'm curious to hear from people who have taken the latter

route. We don't
really care about scratches, etc., (10 year old frames),

but we don't want
to arrive and find our bikes with lots of broken spokes

and the like.

Thanks,
D. Hill.



Check with the airline you're using. American Airlines (and
I assume others too) will take a bike as checked baggage and
have a choice of a plastic bike bag for US$10 or a cardboard
bike box for US$20. You'll probably need to turn the bars
and take off the pedals, so take along the appropriate tools
for the return trip.



  #3  
Old August 12th 03, 07:23 AM
Damian Harvey
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Posts: n/a
Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

David Hill wrote:

Hello.

My wife and I are travelling to SE Asia this December for a three-week tour.
We are taking our old mountain bikes turned commuter bikes (beat up looking,
but great shape mechanically). We can either borrow a bike box from a
friend and have to deal with storing it on the other end, or we can, as I've
heard from some people, simply check the bikes assembled, with no boxes.

I'm curious to hear from people who have taken the latter route. We don't
really care about scratches, etc., (10 year old frames), but we don't want
to arrive and find our bikes with lots of broken spokes and the like.

Thanks,
D. Hill.




I just came back from there a month ago. I pinched a bike box from the
LBS, just a cardboard box they ship them in. Take of the wheels,
handlebar and seatpost. Duct tape everything together and wedge it into
the box. Toss the box away at the other end. Then when you are ready to
come home ask the concierge to take you to the "box district" go get a
big cardboard box, then take the bike to the "moto washing district" to
get the bike washed. Shouldn't cost you more than $6 to get it washed
and packed. May I ask where you are going? I went from Kuala Lumpur to
Hanoi. I may be able to offer some more up to date advice than Pumpy.
He's good but when he's wrong he's really wrong.

--
Cheers
Damian Harvey

This space reserved for standard disclaimer, witty quote,
plug for own business in caps and large, bad ASCII art.


  #4  
Old August 13th 03, 04:43 AM
Mike Latondresse
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Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

"sparker" wrote in
:



Not an exhaustive comparison, just my experience. I had my bike
boxed to fly from Vancouver to Paris a few weeks ago.


Flew the same route with Air Canada in June. Put my bike in a bag with
pipe insulation on the tubes, no problem either. Had my 6mm hex wrench
in my packpack to straighten the handlebard when I arrived and they
confiscated it as dangerous...think they have gone a little too far.
  #5  
Old August 13th 03, 10:41 AM
Damian Harvey
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Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

Mike Latondresse wrote:

Flew the same route with Air Canada in June. Put my bike in a bag with
pipe insulation on the tubes, no problem either. Had my 6mm hex wrench
in my packpack to straighten the handlebard when I arrived and they
confiscated it as dangerous...think they have gone a little too far.


They did the same thing to me and my U lock. It was the heaviest thing I
had so knowing that they don't weigh carry on I carried it on. He he.
Silly me.

--
Cheers
Damian Harvey

This space reserved for standard disclaimer, witty quote,
plug for own business in caps and large, bad ASCII art.


  #6  
Old August 14th 03, 10:39 PM
sparker
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Default Best Way to Travel with a Bike on an Airplane

"Luigi de Guzman" wrote in message
m...
"sparker" wrote in message

...

"Now that the sky is empty
And that is nothing new
Instead they look upon us
When they tell me
That we're nothing
I say!

That's when I reach for my revolver--
that's when it all gets blown away--
That's when I reach for my revolver
The spirit passes by this way"
-Moby


I hate to be an ass, but IIRC Moby is covering the classic Mission of

Burma
song. Actually, why be nice, it's a shameless rip-off.


ah, cut me some slack, oldtimer. I'm just a kid.

-Luigi


Heh... Nice try. MoB was before my time. Just giving credit where it is due.
; )



 




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