Flying with a dropper post- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flying with a dropper post

    I'm thinking of having a brand x ascend II delivered to me while I'm visiting the US, and taking it with me when I fly back to the EU, which would be cheaper than having it delivered in EU (CZ). Would I have any problems with it in a carry-on bag, or checked luggage, like with TSA or maybe customs?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't take it on a carry-on, just to avoid any possible occurrences of "this could be used as a weapon". It's ok to take knives and cutting stuff in your checked luggage, so it'd be safer to pack it in there. Many of us bring droppers on our bikes through checked luggage. Last month I put a fork in my checked luggage that I switched out on my bike after a race, then put the other fork in the checked luggage for the return trip. What I would do is bring a saddle and attach the saddle to the seatpost, so it's clear that it's a bike component. I can't imagine any issue there. No idea if that would be a customs issue, you'd have to look up your own country's rules and see.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    Not a problem for the dropper post mechanically-speaking. A lot of this stuff is shipped on an airplane at one point or another during its journey around the world to the end customers.

    I suspect customs could be an issue, but what OP describes is commonly done with mountaineering gear.

    I used to work at an outdoor retailer in Indianapolis that sold such gear. Every May we'd get a bunch of Europeans in town for the Indy 500 who'd buy a bunch of stuff and then take it back home. Not sure whether they took it on the plane or shipped it.

  4. #4
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    Here's a fairly authoritative source:

    https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...tcanibring/all

    You can send TSA a pic of the item on Facebook messenger or Twitter to get a yea or nay. However, when actually face to face with TSA at check-in, anything can happen.
    Do the math.

  5. #5
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    I'd care for checking the dropper if it's permanently pressurized, as with an internal cartridge. Seems that the Brand-X stuff is pressurized with a shock pump, so I'd bleed some of the pressure and checkit with bags, just in case.

    But I wouldn't worry about carry as a carry-on.

  6. #6
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    ^^^ just in case of what? If you sent your dropper into outer space, the pressure would only be 15 psi higher. On an airliner, much less, even if the windows blew out. I did have a bag of potato chips blow up with a loud bang at ~14,000' in an unpressurized plane. Scared the crap out of me until I realized what it was.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    ^^^ just in case of what? If you sent your dropper into outer space, the pressure would only be 15 psi higher. On an airliner, much less, even if the windows blew out. I did have a bag of potato chips blow up with a loud bang at ~14,000' in an unpressurized plane. Scared the crap out of me until I realized what it was.
    From TSA:
    Except for personal medical oxygen cylinders, you can only carry an EMPTY compressed gas cylinder onboard a plane. To be permitted (in either carry-on or checked baggage), it must be clearly visible to the TSA officer that the cylinder is empty. Personal oxygen is permitted if the regulatory valve has not been tampered with or removed.

    Unless being used for personal medical oxygen, the gas cylinder regulator valve must be completely disconnected from the cylinder (in other words, the cylinder has an open end that allows the TSA officer to visually inspect the cylinder). TSA officers will NOT remove the seal or regulator valve from the cylinder. If the gas cylinder is sealed (i.e., the regulator valve is still attached) and not required for personal medical oxygen, the gas cylinder is prohibited, regardless of the reading on the pressure gauge indicator.
    Also:
    Sports equipment that can be used as a bludgeon (such as bats and clubs) is prohibited in the cabin of the plane and must be transported in your checked baggage.
    SO better bleed the air and check with baggage.

  8. #8
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    Well, it's not a gas cylinder, it's a pressurized strut. You could definitely argue a CO2 cartridge, no matter how small, is a gas cylinder. Ball point pens are often pressurized for gods sake. What about a soda can? How ridiculous do you want to get? The TSA is responsible for aircraft security, the airline is responsible for hazmat safety. The TSA is not looking for dropper posts because they are pressurized. If anything, they'd be concerned a long cylindrical object could be used as a club if on the carry-on.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    I will be checking a bag anyway, so I’ll just put it in there to avoid any complications. The brand-x ascend II that I’ll be getting is a sealed pressure capsule, so I couldn’t remove the pressure regardless. Thanks for the help!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    If anything, they'd be concerned a long cylindrical object could be used as a club if on the carry-on.
    I fly with tools all the time. They absolutely will stop you with a post in your carry on - there is a length cutoff (and it's oddly specific, like 9 7/8" or something), if it's over that it isn't allowed in the passenger compartment.

    I also fly with bikes all the time, without depressurizing anything. They inspect the bike case every time, but never have had a problem with shocks or posts (if that gas cylinder rule applied, you couldn't travel with a suspension bike - even if you let the air out, there's still the ifp charge, which is often higher than air spring pressure).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    I fly with tools all the time.
    I put as many in my carry-on as possible for weight, small multi-tools, pedals, things of that nature, but yeah, I'm careful not to include blades or long objects in the carry-on, like if I bring a longer hex for pedal removal or my wrench for centerline rotors.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  12. #12
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    I and my wife had been not allowed on a flight because my wife had fresh plaster on a cast (she had broken an ankle while we were traveling) so I'm extra careful with anything since then.

    Checking the post should be fine.

  13. #13
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    Pressured gas cylinders often contain contain several thousand PSI and a lot of volume, which equates to a lot of stored energy than can be rapidly released. CO2 cartridges contain liquid CO2 which is ~850 psi at room temp which is a small fraction of the energy in something like scuba tank, 11 liters at 3000 psi. A scuba tank can fill several hundred mtb tires compared to one for a CO2 cartridge. The safety concern with gas cylinders is that they fail and suddenly release that energy. With their much lower pressures and small volumes, droppers, shocks (ifp and air spring), bike tires, etc. don't pose similar dangers.

    That doesn't mean that the TSA is always rational in their decisions and policies, and no matter the policies, anything can happen going through security.

    I remember having to travel to job location with a coworker shortly aft 9/11 and he was outraged when TSA would let him carry on a (corded) circular saw, something he had done on a number of occasions before.
    Do the math.

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