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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

Air Travel with Bicycle

Old 12-06-18, 03:50 PM
  #26  
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It may be dated, but I got charged by domestic connector flights, on the way over,
to meet the long flight carrier Horizon To SeaTac, & SAS.. to AMS
Not the international European Carriers ,, on the way back KLM, (Northwest)..
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Old 12-18-18, 09:31 AM
  #27  
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B&W Bike Box II

I am thinking of going with a lighter hard case, the B&W Bike Box II. Anyone have experience with it?
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Old 12-18-18, 10:58 AM
  #28  
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give up and get an orucase airport ninja https://www.orucase.com/products/the...le-travel-case
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Old 12-18-18, 11:16 AM
  #29  
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I'm curious what cases people recommend too, although maybe this warrants a separate thread because I'm less worried about fees and more just about minimizing potential mechanical issues. (I have an S&S touring bike but it's not the one I would want to have at PBP/another grand brevet.) What would people recommend if I don't want to have to remove my rear derailleur (and would prefer not to take the fork apart though I'm fine taking the handlebars off the stem)? Basically I am terrible at lining up derailleurs and really, really want to have all my gears on a grand randonnee. 51cm-ish bike with 700c wheels, so on the small side but not super-tiny.

The crateworks https://www.crateworks.com plastic box looks kind of tempting -- it's basically a corrugated plastic version of a cardboard bike box with a few built-in tiedowns.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:21 PM
  #30  
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I think taking the rear derailleur off the hanger is the way to avoid derailleur issues. It's just a matter of removing one screw. It will still be in adjustment when you get there and put it back on. Whereas if the derailleur is on the bike, there is much higher chance of having a bent hanger when you get there. That's a much more serious repair.

My shifting problems in 2011 weren't due to the derailleur, I packed my bike in such a way that the adjuster at the head tube broke and shifting was a lot less precise.
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Old 12-18-18, 12:31 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
... What would people recommend if I don't want to have to remove my rear derailleur (and would prefer not to take the fork apart though I'm fine taking the handlebars off the stem)? Basically I am terrible at lining up derailleurs and really, really want to have all my gears on a grand randonnee. 51cm-ish bike with 700c wheels, so on the small side but not super-tiny.
...
Do what you want, but last spring I went on a week long van supported trip, they hauled all our luggage in the van trailer every day. Most people had road bikes since all we had to carry was our water and lunch each day. I worked in a bike shop years ago, so I became the one that everybody went to when their bikes were not working the way they wanted them too. And of the dozen or so bikes in the group, I think three of them had bent derailleur hangers. And two of those bikes I could never get the derailleur to shift right because I refused to try to align a hanger that I might break.

I traveled with a couple friends, they (and I) removed derailleurs from the hanger and did not have to make any derailleur adjustments after re-assembly.

In my case, I also removed the chain because I was packing my folding bike into an S&S case. Maybe it is because I am comfortable doing work on a bike, something that many others are not comfortable doing. But I would much rather disassemble and re-assemble a few extra things that take a few extra minutes if it will reduce the chance of damage like a bent or broken hanger.

And next time you go to the doctor or dentist office, ask them if you can get a half dozen pairs of disposable gloves for working on your bike if it breaks down on the road, they are usually happy to say yes.
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Old 12-18-18, 03:19 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think taking the rear derailleur off the hanger is the way to avoid derailleur issues. It's just a matter of removing one screw. It will still be in adjustment when you get there and put it back on. Whereas if the derailleur is on the bike, there is much higher chance of having a bent hanger when you get there. That's a much more serious repair.

My shifting problems in 2011 weren't due to the derailleur, I packed my bike in such a way that the adjuster at the head tube broke and shifting was a lot less precise.
Oh, huh, I was assuming I'd have to completely re-index it if I took it off; if that's not true then that's less of a big deal. (I miss the sturdy indifference to maintenance of friction shifters, but I also like my modern drivetrain.)

I'm not averse to doing my own wrenching, I'm just extremely clumsy (no, seriously, my proprioception measurably sucks) and have never gotten the hang of doing this one thing. (Well, I'm still getting the hang of adjusting my disc brakes, too, but that's the touring bike.)
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Old 12-18-18, 05:55 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
give up and get an orucase airport ninja https://www.orucase.com/products/the...le-travel-case
Seems a bit pricey. And, I need the psychological benefit of a "hard" case.
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Old 12-18-18, 07:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Oh, huh, I was assuming I'd have to completely re-index it if I took it off; if that's not true then that's less of a big deal. (I miss the sturdy indifference to maintenance of friction shifters, but I also like my modern drivetrain.)
yes, you leave the cable connected,carefully move it inside the rear triangle so you don't mess up the cable or casing, put some padding around it, and tie it off to the frame. No adjustments needed
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Old 12-18-18, 09:00 PM
  #35  
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I am currently in the process of seeing if my latest folder will fit in a standard checked suitcase. I realized I still had the box and sure 'nuff all the packing foam pieces and caps that go over the ends of the axles are still in there. So you may want to check if your LBS has packing pieces you could use.
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Old 12-19-18, 08:07 AM
  #36  
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BuxumBox

One could get this for a mere $1,130 (890 GBP). Only wheels, seat, handlebars need be removed. It weighs in at 27.5 lb and is probably one of the more indestructible boxes on the planet. No need to remove the rear derailleur! For more info: https://www.buxumbox.com

BuxumBox
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Old 12-19-18, 09:01 AM
  #37  
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nice that it has convenient handles to throw it with.

Some people insist that soft cases get treated better by baggage handlers. Either way, the anti-crush posts that S&S sells seem like a good idea.
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Old 12-19-18, 09:12 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
nice that it has convenient handles to throw it with.

Some people insist that soft cases get treated better by baggage handlers. Either way, the anti-crush posts that S&S sells seem like a good idea.
Go ahead Eric, rain on my parade!

The good folks in England who make this say that they have never had one of these get crushed in transit. They do have an integrated anti-crush post mounted in the center of the box. And, they say my dismembered body will fit in the box after Susan finds out that I bought it.
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Old 12-19-18, 11:35 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
...
Some people insist that soft cases get treated better by baggage handlers. Either way, the anti-crush posts that S&S sells seem like a good idea.
I do not know if my S&S backpack case is treated better than a hard case or not, but that is what I use for my S&S bike and for my foldup bike.

I made a center support of two 1 inch diameter dowels that are screwed (with wood screws) to some thin (perhaps 1/8 inch thick) plywood rectangles to provide support in the middle. You can see my center support in the photo where it protects my foldup bike from getting crushed in the middle.



It fits a bit tighter than you would expect for a folding bike in that case because the wheels are 24 inch, not 16 or 20 inch.
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Old 12-21-18, 10:53 AM
  #40  
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At the end of the Mac & Cheese, the mechanic told me that the Thule RoundTrip Pro XT is what I should get because it comes with a bike stand, is one of the easiest to pack and provides adequate protection as long as you do a good job of packing. He said the hard-sided cases are a lot harder to pack and thinks the baggage handlers don't handle them as carefully as a soft sided case.
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Old 12-21-18, 04:06 PM
  #41  
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iTrod should get that so I can use the stand to put my bike together
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Old 02-05-19, 03:51 PM
  #42  
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Bump. I just put a deposit down for Bilenky to chop a bike in half. Those in PA will find out soon which bike it is. This is going to be a busy spring...

I'll probably try to borrow a friend's S&S case for France, but a few questions for those who have cases:
  1. I've heard mixed reviews about the S&S hard cases. Yes, packed correctly, they're the best, blah blah blah, but the latches will get ripped off and beat up, etc. But are they actually the gold-standard?
  2. Does anyone actually own the Co-Motion case? . I've only seen two reviews [https://mamilmusings.com/co-motion-c...el-case-review, https://bicycletouringpro.com/co-mot...video-review/] but it actually looks pretty good. The fact it looks like regular luggage is very appealing to me.
  3. Backpack cases? I'm intrigued by Trash Bag's offering.
Any advice would be welcomed.
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Old 02-05-19, 05:01 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
Does anyone actually own the Co-Motion case? . I've only seen two reviews [[url]https://mamilmusings.com/co-motion-co-pilot-travel-case-review, https://bicycletouringpro.com/co-mot...video-review/] but it actually looks pretty good. The fact it looks like regular luggage is very appealing to me.
I own the Co-Motion case for my S&S bike -- it's fantastic, super-sturdy, etc. Definitely recommended. My only problem with it for this year's adventures is that the bike that fits in it isn't the one I want for brevets. Possibly I should get the brevet bike chopped in half too, but I figured I wouldn't fly with it that often -- but now I'm contemplating up to three trips with it this year. (Florida brevet week, Million Meters of Milk, PBP).

Last edited by antimonysarah; 02-05-19 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 02-05-19, 06:04 PM
  #44  
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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.
https://www.bikeforums.net/20604600-post30.html

My touring chain whip is small and light. But not as strong as a shop one if you need to remove a cassette.
https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/8...ip-travel.html

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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Old 02-05-19, 06:34 PM
  #45  
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Aircaddy makes a dandy cardboard case that's really easy to load and it's light. It also protects the bike quite well and is relatively cheap. We've used them for three European trips via British Airways. Zero luggage cost.
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Old 02-08-19, 08:32 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
I own the Co-Motion case for my S&S bike -- it's fantastic, super-sturdy, etc. Definitely recommended. My only problem with it for this year's adventures is that the bike that fits in it isn't the one I want for brevets. Possibly I should get the brevet bike chopped in half too, but I figured I wouldn't fly with it that often -- but now I'm contemplating up to three trips with it this year. (Florida brevet week, Million Meters of Milk, PBP).
Thanks for the recommendation. Tandems East isn't too far from me and I could pop over to NJ and probably check it out in person before I buy.

::chants "get it chopped! get it chopped!"::

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
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.

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 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.
The packing sideways vs. packing vertically is something I didn't think about, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. I'm leaning towards the Co-Motion case now. I do appreciate your brain-dump, definitely things to think about. A rear dummy axle would be great assuming that I can thread it through whatever other parts are nestling into the rear triangle.

I think I want to try to bring fenders for this bike, but if the ones I want won't fit, I might have to get Raceblade Longs. I used to have them on a different bike and while they aren't as good as 'real' fenders, I think they would serve the purpose for PBP.

I also really like your idea of the old tube guard to protect the couplers from letting in grime. I'll have to borrow that one!
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Old 02-08-19, 09:16 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
I've heard mixed reviews about the S&S hard cases. Yes, packed correctly, they're the best, blah blah blah, but the latches will get ripped off and beat up, etc. But are they actually the gold-standard?.
Knock on wood, my S&S case has never had any problems.

TSA has done a number on bike parts, opening things up and then mashing them flat (leads to scratches, kinked cables and cracked cable splitter, wheels that are out of true coming out of the case but which relax back into true, damage to shifters). As a result of their security theater, the case has two bulges where the wheel axles have been pressed against the hard case sides. I've thought about trying to iron them back into shape, but so far it ain't broke, so I don't need to fix it.

I'll note that I've got the interior case struts and frame padding which does a pretty good job of protecting what it covers. They were part of Bilenky's package. But there's inevitably gaps, and Murphy's Law insures loose tools, wheels, and chain bits find the gaps and chip the paint anyhow.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:25 AM
  #48  
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[QUOTE=iTrod;20710968]One could get this for a mere $1,130 (890 GBP). Only wheels, seat, handlebars need be removed. It weighs in at 27.5 lb and is probably one of the more indestructible boxes on the planet. No need to remove the rear derailleur! For more info: https://www.buxumbox.com[/QUOTE]

Might be a fine box (if you're an internet millionaire), but it looks like you're going to be stuck paying oversize and overweight airline fees with that monster. OK, my bike is big, and I've got a pound of Brooks saddle on it, but my 17 pound S&S case with bike, tools, pump, and saddle bag weighs 48-48.5 pounds when I check it. You'd need a light bike with few to no accessories to keep a 27 pound bike bag under 50 pounds checked weight.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:06 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
...
The packing sideways vs. packing vertically is something I didn't think about, so thank you for bringing that to my attention. I'm leaning towards the Co-Motion case now. I do appreciate your brain-dump, definitely things to think about. A rear dummy axle would be great assuming that I can thread it through whatever other parts are nestling into the rear triangle.

I think I want to try to bring fenders for this bike, but if the ones I want won't fit, I might have to get Raceblade Longs. I used to have them on a different bike and while they aren't as good as 'real' fenders, I think they would serve the purpose for PBP.

I also really like your idea of the old tube guard to protect the couplers from letting in grime. I'll have to borrow that one!
You could probably use a piece of threaded rod and four nuts with washers to reinforce your dropout spacing. (And of course, the right sized wrenches to remove it after your trip.)

Do not ship a bike with a skewer in wheels. Too easy to damage it. When I was in Iceland I met two Italians at the Reykjavik campground that had bent front skewers and were trying to figure out how to replace them on a Sunday in Reykjavic when a lot of businesses were closed.

When I pack up my folding bike into my S&S case, I remove the rear derailleur. I just do not see any upside to risking any damage to the replaceable dropout. I did a ACA week long trip last spring, I mentioned in the initial introductions that I had worked in a bike shop decades earlier, thus became the default mechanic. Out of about a dozen riders, I think three had bent hangers with poor shifting.

I assume your bike is 700c. I think some people take the tires off the rims to make the wheels fit better. My expedition bike is 26 inch wheel, thus smaller rims, I leave the tires on the rims.

If you know how to true up a wheel, it might come in handy to have a spoke wrench that fits your nipples just in case it gets handled roughly and needs a bit of truing. I have had to true up my expedition bike wheels after flights, but it was a very minor tweak to only a couple spokes.

Do not carry your tools in a carry on, security might think they are sufficient to sabotage an airplane and confiscate them. I carry my tools in a checked bag. And all of my lithium batteries are in a carry on.

I am not sure if I mentioned this above, bike shops sometimes put pedals on REALLY tight. A few days before you disassemble your bike, make sure that you can get your pedals off so if you can't you have time to deal with it.

You saw photos of my expedition bike loaded down above in post 44, the photo below was my luggage before I went to the airport on that trip. The black bag is the S&S backpack case, the olive green bag was my other checked luggage, the yellow Ortlieb duffle was my carry on and my handebar bag was my "personal item". I wore my helmet onto the plane to prevent it from getting damaged in a checked bag. Only one airline employee commented on the helmet, he said - the planes are pretty safe these days - with a smile on his face.



Good luck on your trip.
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Old 02-08-19, 06:15 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by iTrod View Post
I am thinking of going with a lighter hard case, the B&W Bike Box II. Anyone have experience with it?
I jut bought one of these. seems light and sturdy(ish). the thing that i am afraid of is that closing it is really fiddly. and it took me a long time to figure it out when i dry fit the bike. i worry that TSA will get it open, and half ass closing it and it will get damaged because it is not packed correctly.
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