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Smaller, lighter travel case for Tandem without couplers

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Smaller, lighter travel case for Tandem without couplers

Old 04-02-15, 08:22 AM
  #1  
merlinextraligh
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Smaller, lighter travel case for Tandem without couplers

We use a Bike Pro USA tandem case. It's size and weight pushes the limits of what airlines will accept as checked luggage.

Many airlines do not accept baggage over 115 linear inches, and charge overweight fees in excess of 70lbs (in addition to the bike fee)

The Bike Pro Case is 70x32x10, and weighs a claimed 41 pounds. Linear inches are nominally 112, however, the way the case bulges standing up, at it widest it would be more like 14-15" which would put it just outside the limit. So you're potentially at the whim of the Gate agent as to where they look at for the measuring tape.

Also Delta says the only take single seat bikes (although we've flown multiple times on Delta with the tandem) so I don't want to give the Gate Agent the thought that the case is too big to accept and get them asking more questions.

As for weight, our Robusta, which weighs just under 30 pounds ends up being 75 pounds in the case, with a seat bag, helmets, and a pedal wrench.

We've been charged as much as $300 each way ($150 bike and $150 over weight fee) to fly with it.

My thought is you could have a smaller lighter case for the frame, particularly if you packed seats, seat posts, wheels, pedals, stokers bars in a separate case. ( we get 3 free checked bags each on Delta, so the external bag isn't an issue, and for ease of getting around, 2 smaller cases would likely be as easy as the big Bike Pro case.)

Anybody know of a case smaller and lighter than the Bike Pro that will fit a full size tandem frame?

Carbon fiber Boy's DIY case would be one approach. Another thought I had was to repurpose a Trade show case.
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Old 04-02-15, 10:00 AM
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Bike Friday Travel Tandems Knock down to go in 2 airline Legit suitcases .. Super Rugged 406 _20" wheels are the key to making the cut in small packed size

https://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/tandem

Anybody know of a case smaller and lighter than the Bike Pro that will fit a full size tandem frame?

DIY in cardboard and Packing tape?
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Old 04-02-15, 12:00 PM
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If you are OK with taking the fork off then the box size becomes manageable at probably somewhere under 6ft horizontally. I suggest looking at shipping cases for equipment. I have received & returned shipped equipment in cases like this that seem to work well. One example vendor below.

Shipping Cases - Custom Cases - Carrying Cases - Lightweight Cases - Molded Cases by ATS Cases

Alternatively cardboard boxes for complete single bikes might work as a starter kit for adaptation:
56 x 10 x 32" 275 lb. FOL Side Loading Corrugated Boxes
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Old 04-02-15, 12:15 PM
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Anybody know of a case smaller and lighter than the Bike Pro that will fit a full size tandem frame?
I bought the Crateworks tandem box a few years back because of the weight, just 30 lbs if you leave out the extra cardboard. This allows me to get the bike plus a few other items inside and still stay under the 70 lb limit. The dimensions are pretty much the same as you listed but without the bulging. Crateworks Bike Boxes and Accessories: Pro XL-TC Tandem and Long Wheel Base Recumbent Bike Box

I bought the caddy wheels from Crateworks, but I built my own casters for our last trip that lets me wheel the box on its long edge, making it much easier to get through airports and between terminals.

We've flown with it 3 times overseas and once across the U.S. without problems. It is still in reasonable shape, and Crateworks sells individual pieces for repair if necessary. We've been charged anywhere from $0 (to New Zealand) to as high as $200 (United to Europe) I've noticed that more and more airlines are now identifying tandems specifically in their baggage allowances under sports equipment.

On our last European tour with 100 tandems, I'd guess there were 20-30 Crateworks boxes, a few Bike Pro, a few homemade/cardboard, and the rest were coupled bikes. Interestingly, one team used the Crateworks box for their coupled bike just to reduce the hassle of disassembly and assembly.
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Old 04-02-15, 12:55 PM
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One thing about the homemade boxes is you may not have any insurance if tandem damaged.

Not an airline but FedEx refused to honor insurance when we purchased a travel tandem that was shipped in a regular bike box. Tandem was quite damaged and they said box did not meet a certain standard so no coverage.
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Old 04-02-15, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Bike Friday Travel Tandems Knock down to go in 2 airline Legit suitcases .. Super Rugged 406 _20" wheels are the key to making the cut in small packed size ?
OP has posted in the past that he has/had a Bike Friday tandem.
He races is current tandem in nationals. I expect he doesn't want to take his Bike Friday to race in nationals.
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Old 04-02-15, 03:03 PM
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Fine .. hard Cases will protect the Top dollar gear , cost too much to travel ? Dont.

I've Toured Europe alone several times Discarded the carton when I arrived

got a new one for the return ..
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Old 04-02-15, 03:17 PM
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I wonder if a custom case could be printed for a tandem using 3D printing?
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Old 04-02-15, 03:53 PM
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Hi Merlin,
You can custom build your own case pretty easily as I did last year:

https://www.bikeforums.net/tandem-cyc...avel-case.html

You probably will not save any money building it, but you will save in airline fees and you will get exactly the specification you want. The cases I built last year was perfect for my needs, travels for free, and have held up well over the last four tours. I am now in process of building another set for a friend. Let me know if you choose this route as I have made a few modification to the design which I can post.

Ritterview,
The current 3D printer is too small to print the entire case. The ABS or PLA plastic used in these printers are also too weak and brittle for this purpose. I did print quite a few small parts for my cases where strength is not as critical.

CJ
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Old 04-02-15, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
We use a Bike Pro USA tandem case. It's size and weight pushes the limits of what airlines will accept as checked luggage.

Many airlines do not accept baggage over 115 linear inches, and charge overweight fees in excess of 70lbs (in addition to the bike fee)

The Bike Pro Case is 70x32x10, and weighs a claimed 41 pounds. Linear inches are nominally 112, however, the way the case bulges standing up, at it widest it would be more like 14-15" which would put it just outside the limit. So you're potentially at the whim of the Gate agent as to where they look at for the measuring tape.

Also Delta says the only take single seat bikes (although we've flown multiple times on Delta with the tandem) so I don't want to give the Gate Agent the thought that the case is too big to accept and get them asking more questions.

As for weight, our Robusta, which weighs just under 30 pounds ends up being 75 pounds in the case, with a seat bag, helmets, and a pedal wrench.

We've been charged as much as $300 each way ($150 bike and $150 over weight fee) to fly with it.

My thought is you could have a smaller lighter case for the frame, particularly if you packed seats, seat posts, wheels, pedals, stokers bars in a separate case. ( we get 3 free checked bags each on Delta, so the external bag isn't an issue, and for ease of getting around, 2 smaller cases would likely be as easy as the big Bike Pro case.)

Anybody know of a case smaller and lighter than the Bike Pro that will fit a full size tandem frame?

Carbon fiber Boy's DIY case would be one approach. Another thought I had was to repurpose a Trade show case.
I can't help with the BikePro case size, but did succeed in shedding some pounds and made it much more robust in the process. It came in at 37lbs. See my previous post.
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