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Tall cyclist problems traveling to Dolomites/Stelvio

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Tall cyclist problems traveling to Dolomites/Stelvio

Old 01-30-23, 01:45 PM
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SC Tallboy
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Tall cyclist problems traveling to Dolomites/Stelvio

I am 6’5”/195cm currently riding a 68cm frame and would like to fly to Italy and ride the Dolomites and Italian Alps with my wife. Does anyone rent bikes for tall people in these areas? I could squeeze onto a 64cm and make it work. Alternatively, does anyone have experience flying with a bike my size boxed up? Thanks

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Old 01-31-23, 06:30 AM
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Getting a new bike would obviously be expensive and I am sure you have no interest in that. I am not suggesting that you do so, but I just wanted to let you know that Zinn is also tall and he makes frames that can be packed into an S&S case.
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I have no connection to Zinn other than reading many of his articles.

As far as I know, Delta, United and American are not charging oversize fees for bikes, but each airline has a max size for a bike box. I have only flown with a bike in an S&S case, so I can't advise further.

Have a great time in Europe.
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Old 01-31-23, 09:15 AM
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would be difficult to find a rental that size, and then no telling what you'd actually get when you arrived.

you'll need to check the specifics on each airline website. maybe contact them directly, as there may be some cargo options available that aren't included in the standard oversized/sports baggage details.
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Old 01-31-23, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by SC Tallboy
I am 65/195cm currently riding a 68cm frame and would like to fly to Italy and ride the Dolomites and Italian Alps with my wife. Does anyone rent bikes for tall people in these areas? I could squeeze onto a 64cm and make it work. Alternatively, does anyone have experience flying with a bike my size boxes up? Thanks
My last tour I used electric bike boxes for boxing my bike (not nearly your size). So much room I didn't need to remove racks and fenders. Will one of those work? I had no trouble checking bike on a domestic flight. I even got the box free from an electric bike rental place that thanked me for taking it off their hands.
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Old 01-31-23, 09:07 PM
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I think my next move is to get a bike box and see how small I can get it packed up. Traveling with a bike can be like a ball and chain. I have considered getting s&s couplers for my next ride. Maybe I can convince my wife I need a new one. thx
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Old 02-01-23, 12:55 AM
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I have travelled with a larger frame bike and besides removing the seat post, I removed the forks and attached them at an angle to the downtube and top tube to reduce the length and height needed for packing. You still need a larger box than normal but you can stay within normal bike box maximum dimension.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:30 AM
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I have a friend who is 6'2" or 3" and has fit his suitably large framed bike into bike boxes for flying numerous times over the decades.
If a box length is an issue, you can sometimes gain a few inches by turning the fork backwards, but I always suggest taping some high density foam to the bottom of the box there, or at least to the bottom of the fork (along with that piece of solid plastic that goes where the wheel would be, to stop fork blades getting squished by inwards a side force/impact)
Having some "cushion" under the bottom of the fork blades will reduce any impact drop force to the headset etc if the bike box is dropped vertically onto the bottom of the box, an entirely possible situation.

for what it is worth, re box dimensions and airlines, I have flown with a medium sized bike in boxes many times over 30 years and never had had an airline look at the box and say, "oh we need to measure that"--so take that with a grain of salt, and obviously if you look for a bike box from a bike store, get the smallest one that your bike can fit into--always advantages to this anyway--easier car transport, easier trolly transport within an airport, easier to get through narrowish doors or lines at airport etc etc etc.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by SC Tallboy
I think my next move is to get a bike box and see how small I can get it packed up. Traveling with a bike can be like a ball and chain. I have considered getting s&s couplers for my next ride. Maybe I can convince my wife I need a new one. thx
Have you packed a bike in a box before?

Boxes come in a big range of sizes.

About five years ago was the last time I flew with a bike, decided to not use my S&S bike, as it was a van supported trip on pavement and my S&S bike is for heavy off-road touring. Decided to use my titanium touring bike, as it is light and has good gearing for a trip where all I needed to carry was lunch and water. The bike shop said they would let me know when they had a box available for my size bike. Got a call later to pick up my box. And when I went to pack it, the longer chainstays on my touring bike did not fit in the road bike box. Without a lot of time to get a bigger box, I ended up using my folding bike in my S&S Backpack case, everybody else in the group had fast road bikes. My point is get this figured out earlier than later so you have time to implement plan B.

Another option than S&S is a Ritchey Break Away frame. I however have no clue if any Ritchey frames are built in your frame size. Their cases are slightly over the typical 62 inch airline criteria, but the Ritchey owners that I have talked to have said that they almost never had an airline pull out the tape measure, usually did not get charged an oversize fee. And as I noted above, last I heard, Delta, United and American still have no oversize charge for a bicycle, but you should check that before you get your airline ticket. Different airlines have different maximum size criteria.

I bought my road bike in a box, not at a bike shop. Thus, I was the one that pulled it out of the manufacturer's box. The first two photos below are the bike as it came out of the box packed by the manufacturer. I suggest removing rear derailleur for packing to avoid bending a hanger. Third photo below showing the rear derailleur, which was not removed from the frame, but it did have a plastic guard that kept the derailleur away from the side of the box to protect it. Small cardboard box had a lot of the small parts. Not apparent in the photo, there is a plastic fitting in the fork dropouts to keep the fork from puncturing the cardboard box and sticking out. A few days before you try packing it, make sure your pedals can be removed. Some bike shops install them really tight and you might have trouble removing them. If you have not removed pedals before, one of them has left hand thread.







If you remove the fork from the frame, I always put my headset parts on the steerer tube in the correct order to make sure that it is easy to figure out how to reassemble the headset. Photo below is from my S&S bike fork.



The rubber band is to keep the parts from sliding off the steerer tube.

If you use zip ties to tie it all together, if you do not have a small side cutter to remove the zip ties, a toenail clipper works great.

***

If you try packing it with both wheels off, do some internet searches for Rinko Bikes. I have not tried packing a bike that way so I am not trying to explain it here.

***

Or, pay a bike shop to pack it. And another bike shop on the other end to assemble it, store the box, and repack it later for return flight.
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Old 02-01-23, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SC Tallboy
I am 65/195cm currently riding a 68cm frame and would like to fly to Italy and ride the Dolomites and Italian Alps with my wife. Does anyone rent bikes for tall people in these areas? I could squeeze onto a 64cm and make it work. Alternatively, does anyone have experience flying with a bike my size boxed up? Thanks
I'm only 191 cm tall and have used a 58cm frame for years along with 60-61 frames.

I've boxed up bikes much larger than that, so, this is not your problem.

Your Gunnar probably has a very short reach (390 ish) but tall stack (700 ish). If anything, I would wonder whether you would be able to STRETCH into a modern 61cm road bike.

Your best bet is to take your Gunnar with you rather than adapting to a different geometry.
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Old 02-01-23, 08:05 AM
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re bike boxes from a bike store
often a friendly bike store will have no problem unboxing a bike that they need to assemble anyway, so if you are at the right place at right time , and are friendly, you can see them take bike out of box.
Take a photo of how front wheel is ziptied to the frame, and how handlebars are placed etc etc.

you can also ask for all the plastic protection do-dads , they just get thrown out anyway, but seeing how these do-dads are placed and used is a great help to a new bike boxer if you have never done it.

I also have had to return and get a bigger box, as the one I thought would work was juuuuuuust too small.
So as wisely stated by Tourist above, do all this stuff well in advance, and be prepared to spend a few hours figuring out how to do it, making mistakes, having to take bike back out and mucking around with different ways.
Basically though, follow the general layout done by bike manufacturers boxing their brand new bikes, they have it figured out the best way,
zip ties zip ties and zip ties
foam bits and most importantly, those few plastic bits--totally worth holding onto for your return trip--rd protector, fork insert thing, disk brake protector round thing
some zip ties are reuseable, very handy, they have a little depressable release thing to open them.
and of course, tape.
oh, i always reinforce with tape the "grab here" openings on side of bike box, or they can rip easily. Also reinforce the bottom and corners, less damage from dragging on pavement, especially if you plan to reuse the same box on return flight, it will hold up a lot better, especially if any rain is an issue on tarmac, sitting in a puddle or whatever.

it is all doable though
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