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  1. #1
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    How to travel (fly) with bike

    Has anyone have advice on how to travel on airline with bike? I am going out west early fall but do not want to leave my baby behind. I do not want to ride in Moab without the security of my bike. I know it, trust it and can do without it. Any advice on Moab. Never been there but am looking forward to it.

    Here are some pictures of the 5spot in action in the Watershed area north of Fredrick MD. Anyone been there? It is the rockiest/roughest place around that I have found. The rock gardens are much funner on the 5 spot as compared to my old stumpjumper
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Can you get a hard travel case?

    My wife and I flew out of BWI last year w/ our bikes to the SW. It wasn't that much of a hassle, but the airline did charge 75 bucks each way per bike.

    We used hard cases and locks on the latches so they wouldn't come undone during the trip.

    Have you ever had a chance to ride @ Michaux, PA or GWNF? Even rockier than Gambril/Watershed. Good stuff.

    I'll keep my eyes open in the 'Shed for a 5-spot next time I'm out there.

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Here is a solution

    Try to add these to your bike: http://www.sandsmachine.com

    Pull out the sawsall. I dare you

    I know they get good reviews and Sherwood (Ventana Owner) can add them to his bikes. Probably worth it if you travel all the time with your bike.

  4. #4
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    Travel with care!

    I just flew my bike to PHX Az.from SFO. I rented the Iron case from a LBS for $40 a week. I have a large 5 spot (looks like you have a large too), It's a tight fit, and I removed my rear dr, for the trip. This gave me a little more room and I was not worried about bending my hangar. The Iron case seems to be the best set-up with all of the straps it has. Plus it has three layers of foam to protect your ride. I also deflated the tires, this helped for space.
    Most airlines I beleive will charge for the bike box. (oversize). I flew on America West and I am a IMBA member, so the bike wen't Free! They were going to charge $80 each way. My $20 dollar IMBA membership just paid for it's self!
    One other thing. Don't lock yor bike box. TSA will want to inspect it after you check it in. If it is locked they wiil probably not send it, and you won't know this untill after you arrive at your destination and you 5er, has not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightySchmoePong
    My wife and I flew out of BWI last year w/ our bikes to the SW. It wasn't that much of a hassle, but the airline did charge 75 bucks each way per bike.

    We used hard cases and locks on the latches so they wouldn't come undone during the trip.

    Have you ever had a chance to ride @ Michaux, PA or GWNF? Even rockier than Gambril/Watershed. Good stuff.

    I'll keep my eyes open in the 'Shed for a 5-spot next time I'm out there.

    Dave
    I have not tried Michaux yet but will in the next month or so. I met some folks at Gambril from PA and they said that it is way good. What part of GWNF is the best? Any specific trails or just go there and it will be obvious?

  6. #6
    No, that's not phonetic
    Reputation: tscheezy's Avatar
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    I just flew home with 3 bikes. Alaska Airlines has step-wise size and weight restrictions. Under 50# free, 51-70# $25, 71-100# $50 and linear dimensions (l+w+h) under 63" free, 63-80" $50, 81-115" $75. A normal bike box falls in the 81-115" category. They normally only charge for one aspect (either weight or size), but they can stack charges if they feel pissy (which has not happened to me ever).

    I was able to tape two bike boxes side by side and come in under the 115" limit, so we only paid for a single bike. Tell them it's a break-down tandem (one bike).

    I just go to the LBS and get a used bike box, and package the thing really well. Do the same for the way home. You can store the packing materials or toss them in the mean time. I take a lot of the components off, put pipe insulation over all the tubes, turn the fork around backwards, zip-tie all the parts to the frame, zip-tie the wheels to the frame, basically make it one solid mass of foam and zip ties and drop it in the box. I have traveled with lots of bikes this way and never had a problem. Just make sure TSA can get in there without it all falling apart, because they WILL want to inspect it.

    We just spent a few weeks in Moab. You can see pics of our Utah trip in the following threads, which also have some trail info in them. I am still waiting for all my guide books and maps to show up (book-rate), and I'm not they will before I leave in two weeks.

    Road trip pics 1

    Road trip pics 2

    Road trip pics 3

    Road trip pics 4

    Road trip pics 5

    Road trip pics 6
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  7. #7
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    Saw this on nsmb a week or so ago:

    http://www.nsmb.com/gear/crateworks_04_04.php

    When I flew out to BC last fall I rented a travel case ($5/day) and was charged $65 each way for the case.
    It was not difficult to fit my RFX in the case, I removed the rear derailleur and rear brake caliper to fit it widthwise with my Z1fr (which was tight vertically), the case had 3 layers of foam for padding/seperation. I didn't lock anything in case authorities wanted to peak.

    I liked that I didn't have to bubble wrap everything, I packed my riding clothes around anything I thought would move/get scratched, the bike made it out there and back with no problems at all (broke a front axle out there but that's another story)

    When I travel again I'll still use a hardcase, I just liked the fact that the bike was well protected, cheap if you consider the consequences of getting the bike damaged in any way, for me it came down to peace of mind.


    Clem

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the link to the Crate Works review; I'd been planning on picking one up in the next week or so to try out, so good to know it works as advertised. It's a bit cheaper (and I presume lighter) than the hard cases, folds flat, and seems like it might be less likely to draw an airline surcharge. Although on the latter point, I guess you don't really want to mislead the attendant in this day and age if they ask you what is in the box.

    I asked Ventana about aluminum couplings (their coupled tandem is in steel, and S&S has some kind of exclusive deal with Santana tandems for aluminum ones). Sherwood confirmed that they only do steel S&S. He was kind enough to point out that by removing the rear triangle you could fit a suspension bike into a similar sized box (he said 26"x26"x12" for his 13", and 28"x28"x12 for a 19"). So, has anyone successfully done this with a Turner for traveling? Any downside to removing the rear triangle like that?

  9. #9
    No, that's not phonetic
    Reputation: tscheezy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    ...by removing the rear triangle you could fit a suspension bike into a similar sized box (he said 26"x26"x12" for his 13", and 28"x28"x12 for a 19"). So, has anyone successfully done this with a Turner for traveling? Any downside to removing the rear triangle like that?
    You can take the Horst-link bolts out and fold the chainstays up, and the seat stays down, and essentially collapse the rear triangle against the frame. I did this to ship Barny's bike down to Utah. Taking the other bolts out requires reassembly with locktite and torque wrenches etc, but it would not be a huge deal, just not as covenient as the Horsts. After I added the wheels into the box and other junk, it still turned out to be sizeable and since Alaska Airlines goes by linear dimentions, if you subtract some length inches and add width inches, you have not really made progress. You would be able to disguise the fact it is a bike pretty easily this way though, and maybe skip the handling fees altogether if they don't pull out a tape measure.

    The only downside I can see would be that the frame members would not be bracing each other any more, so they could get crushed, but this seems highly unlikely. Traveling with lots of loose pivot parts also seems a little risky.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

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