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Air Travel with Bicycle

Old 02-12-19, 09:04 AM
  #51  
iTrod
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Originally Posted by seajaye View Post
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 [[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.
  3. Backpack cases? I'm intrigued by Trash Bag's offering.
Any advice would be welcomed.
I own a Co-Motion case which I have yet to use. You are welcome to borrow it CJ.
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Old 02-13-19, 08:34 AM
  #52  
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If CJ doesn't borrow it, I hope to have my S&S bike ready by then and I'll need a case.

This is a reenactment of Stephen Bilenky working on CJ's bike:

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Old 02-13-19, 09:17 AM
  #53  
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Why not buy a bike in Paris? All that lumber, is it really worth it? In most large cities, you can hire bikes on virtually every street corner. In the country, have a look at this: leboncoin . If you can't read or speak French, just type the bike brand you can't in the search box, or ask someone for help.

You can get some decent bikes, especially after several weeks when the locals have worked out asking a high price does not mean a sale: bianchi ads, Ile de France .
Alternatively go to a bike shop, there are still plenty here.
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Old 02-13-19, 10:41 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by avole View Post
Why not buy a bike in Paris? All that lumber, is it really worth it? In most large cities, you can hire bikes on virtually every street corner. In the country, have a look at this: leboncoin . If you can't read or speak French, just type the bike brand you can't in the search box, or ask someone for help.

You can get some decent bikes, especially after several weeks when the locals have worked out asking a high price does not mean a sale: bianchi ads, Ile de France .
Alternatively go to a bike shop, there are still plenty here.
That is probably what I'd do, if I were doing this....

https://www.leboncoin.fr/velos/1549951464.htm/

In fact, now that I see that ad, I'm having second thoughts. Anyone do PBP on a 40 lb single speed bike?
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Old 02-13-19, 08:24 PM
  #55  
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Yes, with a big tangle of onions hanging off the bars too. Or maybe that was the 40 pound hirondelle retro-direct.

There are lots of crazy bikes on PBP. I really liked the racing tandem trike. And I got hate-dropped by a woman riding a 3 speed commuter bike while she was interviewing other riders. In my defense, that was before the beer I drank at the control a few miles before had fully kicked in.
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Old 02-26-19, 12:39 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by iTrod View Post
I own a Co-Motion case which I have yet to use. You are welcome to borrow it CJ.
Perfect; thanks! Can probably grab it from you during the series some time.

I have a work trip planned to Seattle in July so I am planning on bringing my bike to get practice packing-unpacking, etc. Shooting to ride Seattle To Portland in one day so maybe I'll get good PBP training for riding with thousands of other people and dealing with crowded controles and such...
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Old 04-01-19, 07:42 AM
  #57  
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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.
Definitely not. Twice with my former Scicon Aerocomfort soft case I had busted spokes from airlines. Once I saw it tossed onto a baggage cart outside the plane, then other bags thrown on top of it. Based on how quickly that durable bag got beat up (filthy like tossed on the ground, busted zipper, caster wheels broken off the bottom), I think the airlines treated it worse than I originally suspected. I am now looking for hard cases since I have attic storage at home now. The Ninja case does look interesting though.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:07 AM
  #58  
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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
Despite my bad experiences with a soft case, this looks really cool. Since is has plastic panels inside that may be the deal maker. My fiance and I are going to Montreal to ride soon, and we can potentially save $300, offsetting some of the $1000 investment for two of these. Another few trips and it could pay for itself. Just wondering if I should pack the carbon bike or the steel classic.

Velonews has a good review here. In addition you can rent it to try out, and buy it if you like it. Have you had experience with it and if so can you share a few more thoughts?
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Old 04-01-19, 08:23 AM
  #59  
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I bought a travel bike on the local CL last weekend that came with the hard suitcase. Thanks again BF for convincing me that I need another bike. It's the old seven "touring" frame that has fender/rack eyelets and clearance for 32c tires. If my wife lets me go to PBP this year I'll add some beefier wheels, fenders, rack, lights, and should be good-to-go.

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Old 04-01-19, 09:26 AM
  #60  
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that looks like a really nice bike
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Old 04-01-19, 10:11 AM
  #61  
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It's by far the nicest bike I've ever had. If it works out I may be able to get rid of some of my other bikes. Theoretically speaking of course.
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Old 04-01-19, 02:47 PM
  #62  
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Now the universe knows you have had this N-1 thought so I think it's inevitable. You promised
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Old 04-01-19, 03:03 PM
  #63  
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My wife did ask me which bike I was going to get rid of when I went to go pick up this one, so it wasn't really my own idea.
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Old 04-01-19, 07:07 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I bought a travel bike on the local CL last weekend that came with the hard suitcase. Thanks again BF for convincing me that I need another bike. It's the old seven "touring" frame that has fender/rack eyelets and clearance for 32c tires. If my wife lets me go to PBP this year I'll add some beefier wheels, fenders, rack, lights, and should be good-to-go.
...
That looks like a great bike.

Are you new to S&S bikes? If so, just about every bit of advice I could provide is already included in previous posts in this thread above.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:00 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Are you new to S&S bikes? If so, just about every bit of advice I could provide is already included in previous posts in this thread above.
This is my first S&S bike. I didn't realize I needed one before reading this thread. Thanks for all the tips. Really great to be able to learn from your experience.
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Old 04-01-19, 08:04 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Maybe that explains it.

I saw a guy flying from Portland to Dallas the other day who was wearing two cowboy hats, one on top of the other. A few days later, on the return flight, there he was again in the same getup.

I suppose he was keeping them safe from the baggage handlers.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/wheel-of-fortune/
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Maybe he's smuggling hair.
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Old 04-02-19, 07:38 AM
  #67  
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Sweet! Although its funny a compact frame is called old, which makes me feel old. I may need to get an S&S bike at some point. I fly a Cessna 172, which is basically like a Volkswagen Beatle with wings. Its very difficult to put a bike in there to go fly and ride. A bike with couplings might allow me to stow it in the rather small cargo area without it coming over the seat and poking me in the back of the head. Might even allow me to take two bikes.

How much would it cost to covert a conventional steel or Ti frame to one with couplings?
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Old 04-02-19, 09:58 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
This is my first S&S bike. I didn't realize I needed one before reading this thread. Thanks for all the tips. Really great to be able to learn from your experience.
One thing I probably did not mention above is that instead of trying to disassemble and reassemble with a multi-tool, you will probably be a lot happier with a real wrench. For me, travel with an S&S bike is for touring (front and rear racks, three water bottle cages, kickstand, etc.), and it is time consuming to do all of that disassembly and reassembly without the right tools. For you where you are not putting that much hardware on the bike will be faster, but still it is more convenient with the right tools. And a few extra M5 bolts for when one disappears.

I need to pull both crank arms off to get the bike into a case. I converted my crankset to self extracting bolts. But the self extracting mechanism fell of the bike somewhere in the middle of Iceland. Needless to say, when I went to pack up the bike to come home, I had to move the self extractor from one crank to the other with out the proper tools to do so. From now on, carrying a real crank puller, no more of this messing around trying to lighten the load.

I have had to tweak a few spokes to re-true up a wheel upon reassembly, I assume you know how to use a spoke wrench?

I have never had a coupler loosen on me while riding, but it has happened to others. Think about getting and carrying a small S&S wrench on PBP. I bought one of these to carry on day rides. Not an S&S wrench, but it will function as one. Shipped from China, expect it to take a month.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Bik...-/172347087480

You are going to love that bike.


Originally Posted by orcanova View Post
Sweet! Although its funny a compact frame is called old, which makes me feel old. I may need to get an S&S bike at some point. I fly a Cessna 172, which is basically like a Volkswagen Beatle with wings. Its very difficult to put a bike in there to go fly and ride. A bike with couplings might allow me to stow it in the rather small cargo area without it coming over the seat and poking me in the back of the head. Might even allow me to take two bikes.

How much would it cost to covert a conventional steel or Ti frame to one with couplings?
I have no clue on a steel frame, but there would also be re-painting. Do a google search to see who does it.

Bilenky can do Titanium frames. I have not had mine done, so I have no opinion on them.
My bike is titanium | Bilenky Cycle Works

But if it was me, I find unfolding my folding bike to be a LOT faster than packing and unpacking my S&S bike. I leave my folding bike folded up in my truck.

My folding bike in the photo below. It was easier to carry it up the stairs at the motel folded, so I spent the half minute to fold it first.

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Old 04-02-19, 11:05 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
One thing I probably did not mention above is that instead of trying to disassemble and reassemble with a multi-tool, you will probably be a lot happier with a real wrench. For me, travel with an S&S bike is for touring (front and rear racks, three water bottle cages, kickstand, etc.), and it is time consuming to do all of that disassembly and reassembly without the right tools. For you where you are not putting that much hardware on the bike will be faster, but still it is more convenient with the right tools. And a few extra M5 bolts for when one disappears.
Thanks for the suggestions. I really only need a set of allen keys and maybe a couple of 8mm wrenches in case the cable splitters get stuck. There's not that much to it even after I add fenders and a rack. I'll probably pack a ratchet and some allen sockets just to make it super easy. I assume I won't have to pull the cassette, but that would add a few more tools if I have to do that.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I need to pull both crank arms off to get the bike into a case. I converted my crankset to self extracting bolts. But the self extracting mechanism fell of the bike somewhere in the middle of Iceland. Needless to say, when I went to pack up the bike to come home, I had to move the self extractor from one crank to the other with out the proper tools to do so. From now on, carrying a real crank puller, no more of this messing around trying to lighten the load.
Campy UT cranks. One bolt removal. Easy.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have had to tweak a few spokes to re-true up a wheel upon reassembly, I assume you know how to use a spoke wrench?

I have never had a coupler loosen on me while riding, but it has happened to others. Think about getting and carrying a small S&S wrench on PBP. I bought one of these to carry on day rides. Not an S&S wrench, but it will function as one. Shipped from China, expect it to take a month.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Bik...-/172347087480
Check on the spoke wrench, and I'll probably just bring the S&S wrench that came with the bike. I just ordered a tube of the Finish Line™ Extreme Fluoro Grease since that seems important. Not planning to cover the couplers with inner-tubes as you suggest since my riding conditions should be much cleaner.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You are going to love that bike.
I already love it, and I've only ridden it once. I see you're in Madison. Are you joining us for any brevets this season?
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Old 04-02-19, 11:28 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
...
I already love it, and I've only ridden it once. I see you're in Madison. Are you joining us for any brevets this season?
I have never ridden one.

But, last year I gave a tiny bit of thought to the 200k that I think was near Fond du Lac? I put a couple of your 200k rides on my calendar to force myself to think about it this year. But, I am getting on an airplane on Jun 5 to wander about the Canadian Maritimes for a month with my camping gear, so not sure yet if I might find time for a 200k before that. It certainly would force me to get some longer rides in pretty soon if I did one of your May rides. I also put Aug 3 on my calendar. Maybe? But for sure, nothing longer than a 200k.
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Old 04-02-19, 07:51 PM
  #71  
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Oh, good grief, why did I think flying with my brevet bike seemed like a good idea? It's in the suitcase now (Thule Roundtrip Pro XT); need to add some more bubble wrap and figure out if I can/should pack anything else in there, but I have no idea if I'm going to be able to get it back together and I'm terrified for the carbon fork.

Also I just realized I'm going to have to pack it up after finishing a 600k, when I'll be exhausted and my hands will be tired, in time to make a 2pm flight the next day. I may have to hand it to a random bike shop in Florida and have them send it back to me.
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Old 04-03-19, 10:58 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
... and figure out if I can/should pack anything else in there,
...
but I have no idea if I'm going to be able to get it back together and ....
A luggage scale is the travelers best friend. I often find I am taking stuff out, not adding. In USA I aim for 49 pounds, the airline scales always seem to add a half pound.

The only parts that I have to struggle with reassembling are the headset. I keep a copy of the exploded diagram on my phone for reference, and I put all the parts back onto the steerer tube in the correct order and correct orientation. And use a rubber band or two on the end of the steerer so that they do not slide off.

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Old 04-03-19, 11:27 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
A luggage scale is the travelers best friend. I often find I am taking stuff out, not adding. In USA I aim for 49 pounds, the airline scales always seem to add a half pound.

The only parts that I have to struggle with reassembling are the headset. I keep a copy of the exploded diagram on my phone for reference, and I put all the parts back onto the steerer tube in the correct order and correct orientation. And use a rubber band or two on the end of the steerer so that they do not slide off.
Both of those are things I have to do with my S&S bike (which just barely bike + case + tools which can't go carry-on clears the 50# limit for regular bags), but I don't actually need to take the fork off this time (yay! no using up weight to carry a freaking mallet), and it'll be less about weight and more about making sure stuff will survive the TSA inspection -- I don't want to make it hard for them to see what they need to, nor do I want anything rattling around.

Mostly I'm just fretting about getting down there to find a smashed fork -- the S&S has a steel fork.
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Old 04-03-19, 12:06 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Both of those are things I have to do with my S&S bike (which just barely bike + case + tools which can't go carry-on clears the 50# limit ....
My expedition bike and S&S case exceed the 50 pound (or foreign 23 kg) limit. My tools are too heavy to go in the S&S case with the bike, those go in my other checked bag.

My low density stuff (empty water bottles, with no lids on them) go in the S&S case because of the light weight and large volume, high density stuff (steel pedals, Brooks saddle) come out of the S&S case and go elsewhere because they take little room in my other bag.

I am not really sure what TSA is looking for in a checked bike bag, my last trip they left a note that said no and then some unreadable word. A friend of mine thought that the word was batteries. Thus, they might be looking for Lithium Ion batteries. That is something to consider if you have electronic shifting.

Have a great ride.
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Old 04-11-19, 07:04 AM
  #75  
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Great thread.
In late June, my wife and I are flying 1 way into Banff with our mountain tandem to ride south back into the states. Having done this solo that last few years, I've read every airlines rules on luggage that I could find. There seems to be a 62" limit in size and 50 pounds in weight before something gets classified as being over weight or size. With United last year they charged $150.00 if it was over 62" and/or 50# up to 70#. I verified the AND part with their customer service.

Luckily our tandem has S&S couplers and uninflated the wheels are about 25.5" in diameter. I am not quite sure how the packing will go but I suspect that I will have 2 cardboard boxes at 26"x26"x10" and weighing 49# on a certified scale. When we get ready to fly home, I will break it down into 1 box and use bikeflights.
Reassemble will take some time as the fork will come off and I will have to put the headset back in order, restring cables and adjust accordingly. The cranks might even have to come out. Not sure yet. But we have 2 days in Banff to get it all straightened out.

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