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  1. #1
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    Is 29er with couplers realistic for air travel?

    Hey guys. i've just started to look for an inexpensive steel frame to throw some S&S couplers on. the bike will serve 2 purposes.

    1) it will be my main commuter. i have so many occasions where i won't want to get in the car to go somewhere for something, but it's too far to walk.

    2) i travel quite a bit. particularly to the islands (Roatan, Honduras), and the entire island is 15 miles long. it's expensive to take cabs everywhere since i am a gringo, and it's a hassle to barter for a cab fair where i could just as easily ride. The airline i take allows to bags per passenger to ride free but they have to conform to the TSA regs, (which escape me at the moment)

    i'm ideally looking for a 29er to build as kind of a comfortable cyclo hybrid type deal. Something that i can put bags on and carry a couple things. the thing is, logically, a 26er will fit into a smaller case than a 29er, no?

    i'm 6'3" and 225 lbs, and those 26 wheels just look so tiny under me, plus, i'd like to be able to "hand me down" parts from my 29er when i upgrade.

    so what do you guys think? stick to my guns and find a steel 29er for a couplings retro? or set aside my love for the 29er and go with a 26er to be more efficient?

    also, a steel frame or complete bike recommendation would be awesome

  2. #2
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    Surly made something like that at one point. Can't remember what it was though.

  3. #3
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    Moots can add couplers.

  4. #4
    Noli Me Tangere
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    Not completely folding per se:

    Folding 29er Mountain Bike | English Cycles
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  5. #5
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    nice so anyone with experience fitting one in a tsa approved size case?

    also, i'm thinking something a bit on the "cheaper" side, since it won't be seeing too much action. i will look into the ones above, that one above is gorgeous though!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner View Post
    nice so anyone with experience fitting one in a tsa approved size case?

    also, i'm thinking something a bit on the "cheaper" side, since it won't be seeing too much action. i will look into the ones above, that one above is gorgeous though!
    I don't think cheap and couplers are going to work. My brother has 2 coupler made bikes he uses on vacations and both cost $1500 just for the couplers to be installed. I believe the total frame only price was around $3000.

  7. #7
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    Your last post kind of eliminates Co-Motion, but they are probably the king of S&S couplings.

    The Divide looks pretty nice. Seems like somebody posted one not to long ago.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    Your last post kind of eliminates Co-Motion, but they are probably the king of S&S couplings.

    The Divide looks pretty nice. Seems like somebody posted one not to long ago.
    lol, dang $4k!

    yeah it's a bit steep

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spinning Lizard View Post
    I don't think cheap and couplers are going to work. My brother has 2 coupler made bikes he uses on vacations and both cost $1500 just for the couplers to be installed. I believe the total frame only price was around $3000.
    looks like this is getting pretty unrealistic i have a buddy who's a welder so i didn't think it would be a huge deal. meh, looks like the only choice it to go back to just looking for a plain old commuter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4runner View Post
    looks like this is getting pretty unrealistic i have a buddy who's a welder so i didn't think it would be a huge deal. meh, looks like the only choice it to go back to just looking for a plain old commuter.
    How about a cheap used full suspension frame? Might be a little harder to disassemble...
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bholwell View Post
    How about a cheap used full suspension frame? Might be a little harder to disassemble...
    looked into that too, much harder to disassemble.

    that could be an option though

  12. #12
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    Montague Bikes | Boston Foldable Bike | Fold Bike | Folding Bike | Folding Bicycles

    looks like this thing might do the trick, no?

    the "folded" dimensions are big but it looks like with the wheel off it might fit. i may actually pick one of these up.

  13. #13
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    Everything you need to know...

    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
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    waltworks.blogspot.com

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    great info there, thank you!

  15. #15
    hispanic mechanic
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdb1974 View Post
    Surly made something like that at one point. Can't remember what it was though.
    It was the Traveler's Check, a coupled version of the 'Cross Check. If I remember correctly, it was a limited edition, and sold for around a grand.
    If you can find one of these, it might be perfect for what you need it for, except for complete compatibility with a traditional 29" bike.

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  16. #16
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    There are reasonable cost quotes available for the couplers. A cardboard bike box could be made to be within the TSA dimensions and would be free from your LBS.

    Retrofitting your steel single bike frame costs from $400-$600 or more for steel frames.
    S&S themselves

    Bilenky
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  17. #17
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    no opinion of the Montague Boston i posted above?

  18. #18
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    Surly does make the LHT with couplers now, but it's only 26" wheels. It would be much easier to travel with though with the smaller wheels. Should be about $1000 for the frame.
    Trucker Deluxe | Bikes | Surly Bikes

  19. #19
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    I guess I'm in a but over my head with this idea :-( a bit too rich for my blood

  20. #20
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    Good job! +2 for Bilenky

    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered View Post
    There are reasonable cost quotes available for the couplers. A cardboard bike box could be made to be within the TSA dimensions and would be free from your LBS.

    S&S themselves

    Bilenky
    +2 for Bilenky - His shop converted a couple of Soma fabrications Double Crosses for the Mrs and Me. We've taken them to Europe and Canada. At the time, the frames were around $350.00 each and the S&S conversion by Bilenky was around $550.00. Ended up going the extra mile for the rigid plastic cases and was very pleased with how well they worked.

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=Caffeine Powered;8898759]There are reasonable cost quotes available for the couplers. A cardboard bike box could be made to be within the TSA dimensions and would be free from your LBS.


    Pretty much all cardboard bike boxes are under the maximum TSA dimensions allowed for air travel. For expensive bikes you actually care about, hard case boxes are around 88-90 inches.
    AirlineBagFees.com/bicycles | Find out what it costs flying with a bike on the airlines

  22. #22
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    Even if you get the cost issues under control, a lot depends on how big of a bike you plan to travel with.

    I had a monster cross bike that would take 29er tires. I'm 6'2", and the bike was big enough that getting it into the S&S hardcase was a major PITA, requiring significant disasssebly. Mind you, all S&S bikes are kind of a jigsaw puzzle, but this one was something else. For longer trips, it was still worth it. But for shorter weekend trips, not so much. If I were just going to tool around town and run errands for a couple of days, my vote would be for a Brompton or Bike Friday.

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