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Old 02-05-19, 06:04 PM
Tourist in MSN
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,032

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

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Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
... but a few questions for those who have cases:...
3. Backpack cases? I'm intrigued by Trash Bag's offering.Any advice would be welcomed.
This is the first I have seen of that particular bag. But I like one that you can lay down on the side to pack, I think it is easier to get it all in and still have it fit in a 10 inch tall bag. In post 39 above you see my S&S backpack case (supplied by S&S) with my folding bike. Note that I posted that photo because I was showing my DIY center support. I can easily imagine baggage handlers stacking stuff up on the bag in a way that could damage a wheel. The first trip I used Masonite instead of plywood for that center support (Masonite if you are not familiar with it is like glued sawdust). It cracked so I replaced it with plywood.

I am answering a few questions you did not ask, but I learned a lot about S&S from trial and error, I do not know anyone that owns an S&S bike. Sorry I got long winded, but thoughts just kept coming to me.

I suggest you also put a reinforcement between your rear dropouts so that if there is any weight put on the case, the rear triangle of the frame is reinforced better.

My expedition bike is quite heavy, I can't get the bike in the case and keep it under 50 pounds, so I carry pedals and a few other parts in another bag. A luggage scale is the travelers best friend.

And my expedition bike, if it gets some nicks in the paint, well it is an expedition bike so it is supposed to look that way. But if you like the finish of your bike, use something better to protect the frame paint. I use some perforated rubber sheeting sold as shelf liner to wrap around some of the parts, but I do not get too careful about it.

On my S&S backpack case, there are four side pieces held together at the corners with velcro. I have found that I had to strap the velcro together loosely, put it in the bag, then I could tighten up the velco later if it was a bit loose.

I also cut a piece of coroplast (like cardboard but made of plastic) to put in the top and bottom when I pack it. Bought it at Home Depot. That adds some stiffness. My first couple trips I used cardboard, the coroplast was a more recent purchase.

When you take the fork out of the frame, assuming you have to, put all the headset pieces back on the fork steerer tube in order and with the correct orientation. I put a rubber band on the top to hold that all in order. Otherwise, some headsets can be a bit tricky to figure out how to reassemble. I also have found the exploded diagram of my headset on my expedition bike in pdf format and I put that on my phone if I need it.

There is a high probability that TSA will want to look at your bike. I have in the past used double sided velcro to try to tie all the major parts into one big heavy piece that they can lift out if they want to. I plan to switch to zip ties instead, and have already bought a couple bags of zip ties and a small side cutter to use for unpacking it. The advantage of bundling it together so that it is not a bunch of loose parts is (1) if TSA unpacks it and can't figure out how to pack it correctly, they will pack it incorrectly which could damage it, and (2) if things shift around, your paint etc., will suffer.

On my expedition bike I have square taper crank. I have to pull both crank arms off my bike to fit it in the case. I put self extractors on both crank arms, but unfortunately the self extracting mechanism fell out of one crank arm somewhere in the middle of Iceland. When I went to pack up my bike, I needed to move the self extractor from one side to the other crank arm, and of course I lacked the tools for that. From now on I am doing it right, bringing a real crank puller.

You probably will need to remove cages, etc. A good bike wrench or wrenches can come in handy instead of messing around with a tiny multi-tool.

On my folding bike, it fits a bit better if I pull the cassette off. That of course means a cassette tool and maybe a chain whip. My expedition bike as a Rohloff hub, no cassette.

Another post where I have made some comments on packing, and at this post you can see some of my expedition bike in the case.

My touring chain whip is small and light. But not as strong as a shop one if you need to remove a cassette.

I can't fit the fenders into my S&S case. And when I am going for a month somewhere with my camping gear, my other checked bag is not going to have room for fenders either. So, start thinking about what is really important and what is not for your trip. But if you are going somewhere where you will be sleeping indoors, that of course makes your packing simpler. Tent, sleeping bag, cooking gear, etc., that rapidly fills up the luggage.

I worked at a bike shop before I went to college. I have built up most of my bikes from the frame. Thus, packing and unpacking a bike is an inconvenient amount of time, but I do not mind disassembling a bike and reassembling it. But some that are not used to that might want to take detailed notes and photos of how to pack and unpack later for future reference.

I let the air out of my tires when packing it, but I do that to make it easier to fit everything. So people leave the tires inflated. And I have heard that TSA might deflate your tires for you. Plan on spending some time with a pump when you assemble it. In the last photo below you can see my Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pump on the seattube, Toppeak Road Morph G is also a good pump.

I have never had a coupler get loose on me while riding. But some have. Think about whether or not you want to carry a coupler wrench when you ride.

I put a short piece of inner tube rubber over each end of the S&S "nuts" to keep dirt and crud out of the threads. I am not sure what size inner tube that is, I would guess for a 2.25 width tire.

Prior to the inner tube rubber, I used electrical tape around the S&S coupier "nuts" instead, but that was harder to wrap around the couplers when the cables got in the way. You can see how much crud can get into the couplers in this photo. Thus I think it is useful to keep the dirt from getting into the couplers.

You are going to enjoy having an S&S bike. On the trip below it saved me $300 in luggage fees. Also I could take a taxi (Prius) to the airport where a full size bike box would need alternative transport. In many ways the convenience of a 62 inch case instead of a big bike box can be worth more than the savings in airline fees.

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