Traveling with a bike
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 58
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    118

    Traveling with a bike

    I am curious. How do you guys do it? Do you suck up the 150 bucks each way or is there a cheaper way of doing it?

    Ive also been looking at tbe biknd helium case, i am told i might be able to pass it off as a golf club bag (free to check in typically).

    Any thoughts or comments?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: froze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    7,232
    First off you have to shop the airlines and ask specifically about the cost to fly with your bike. Some are cheaper then others, but nowadays this stuff is changing fast. Some airlines will even let you take it on board...but their far and few between and getting less and less. Some airlines won't charge a dime but most will charge from $50 to $150. And you have notify them in advance you'll be taking a bike.

    Then there is the problem with where to but the box once you're where you're going the bike is out, some LBS's will let you store it there without charge till you return, or you could find a storage locker at the airport. If a LBS lets you store it there be sure to tip them nicely for doing so when you return to get it.

    There are places on the internet including You Tube that will show you how to break down and protect your bike in a box or bike suitcase.

    Or there is a couple of alternatives; one is to book a motel before arrival and ask if it's ok if they hold a package till you get there, when ok'd you send the bike by mail to the hotel and you arrive a couple of days later and you have your bike, again tip them for holding the bike. Or two, not ship a bike at all and rent a bike when you get to wherever you're going.

    I do recommend you either buy the Iron Case or some LBS's will let you rent one. Anything in a cardboard bike shipping box takes a risk of damage. Also practice taking down and packaging and unpackaging and putting it back together several times before you leave so it's not as time consuming when it comes time to do it for real. Also buy some foam pipe insulation to cover the frame tubes, and bubble wrap for anything not protected by the insulation.

    I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting but you can google most of this.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: onlineflyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,729
    Buy a coupled bike, like the Ritchey Break-Away. Ritchey also sells a special travel case that is about the size of a large suitcase. An alternative is to have a custom bike built with S&S couplers.
    If you focus on the past, you will never see the future.

    Every day I wake up is a good day!

    "I don't need another bike"
    - Anonymous

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: looigi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    7,162
    My wife and I do it like this:

    DC Rainmaker: How I travel with my bike

    It works well for us. Case with the bike, helmet, shoes and a few other items is under 30 lbs so though a bit bulky, it is easy to carry with the shoulder strap. Go to the various airline websites to find out what they charge for bikes, oversize, and/or overweight items. Some people have been able to get these through as normal baggage, though in our experience, the baggage takers are wise to it and recognize them as bikes. Last flight on Southwest cost $50/bike each way.

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    11,979
    It's been a long time since I've flown with mmy bike. In fact I recently sold my hard case. I spent Aug. in California. I took my tenor sax with me because I had some gigs to play & I needed practice time. I sent it there UPS & insured it for a hefty amount. That cost $100+. HOLY CRAP! On the return trip I decided to carry it as luggage. South West decided it was too big & charged me an extra $50. I was pissed beyond words.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 55x11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,065
    Quote Originally Posted by onlineflyer View Post
    Buy a coupled bike, like the Ritchey Break-Away. Ritchey also sells a special travel case that is about the size of a large suitcase. An alternative is to have a custom bike built with S&S couplers.
    Ditto. If you need to bring your bike with you once every few years, suck it up and pay $100 or $150 or whatever it is airlines charge, or ship your bike ahead of time, for similar fees.
    But if you think you would bring your bike with you multiple times over the next 10 years or so, invest in a travel bike like Ritchey Breakaway, or retrofit your existing bike with S&S couplers. I think it makes total sense, and I love my Breakaway.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    29
    In some cases it is cheaper to ship your bike instead of check it at the airport. Check the rates and compare. Your local shop will get your bike ready to ship usually.
    Bike Stop Bicycle Store, Blue Springs, Missouri

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: froze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    7,232
    Quote Originally Posted by charliepuyear View Post
    In some cases it is cheaper to ship your bike instead of check it at the airport. Check the rates and compare. Your local shop will get your bike ready to ship usually.
    That's what I've found. Plus it all but eliminates the theft problem, and you can insure it.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    118
    @froze: thanks for the response. On the one hand i would like the comfort of my own bike but for 300 bucks a trip it is much to bare.

    When renting a bike, do you normally bring your own pedals/clipless shoes with you?

    @online-flyer: the ritchey break away looks nice, looks like the bag they provide is still considered oversized. Do you end up having to pay when you check it in still?

  10. #10
    corning my own beef
    Reputation: JustTooBig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    5,713
    My ti bike is built with S&S couplers ..... even though it's a big (60+cm) frame, it fits in a 30x30x10 hard case. I've checked it as regular luggage with no added fees.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    People who say, "Laughter is the best medicine.." have never been on the receiving end of a morphine drip..

    ноожеяз ай вщоw?
    -VaughnA


    A fool and his money were damned lucky to have bumped into each other in the first place.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: froze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    7,232
    Quote Originally Posted by daethon View Post
    @froze: thanks for the response. On the one hand i would like the comfort of my own bike but for 300 bucks a trip it is much to bare.

    When renting a bike, do you normally bring your own pedals/clipless shoes with you?
    I've know guys who bought used bikes once there and used them for several weeks then sold them before they came back, one guy gave his bike to a shelter due to not wanting to waste time selling it. One guy I knew bought a really nice 80's classic Woodrup there, rode it around for 8 weeks then went to a bike shop and had them send it to his home.

    But you have to be careful in Europe because bike thieves are in abundance there so keep your eye on your stuff. And you are responsible for a damaged or stolen bike and gear even if locked, though you can purchase insurance at the rental place if you want. Or check with your homeowners and car insurance agent to see if by chance your rental is covered through them and how is it covered. And because of the vast number of cyclists you need to use hand signals at all times because you may not hear a cyclist come up beside you and then you turn into them.

    In some places renting a bike is difficult and the ones they have are junk so you need to call way ahead of time to the area your going and see if you can find a decent bike

    Most bikes use the standard mountain bike pedal and used my MTB/touring shoes so I could walk in the same shoe, I did bring Power Grip straps (plus a spare set just in case) then I just fastened those onto the pedals, at least the place I rented from used those type of pedals, some have flat pedals with toe clips, but you can bring your own pedals and shoes because I had friends that did this on their trips. But ask first before you go.

    They can provide helmets too but I recommend bringing your own so you don't have a fit issue. Most places that I've heard of include tools to fix flats with so you don't need that stuff. But you will need water bottles (bikes come with the cages), but I bought mine there. But you will need to ask to make sure.

    You can rent pannier is you want or bring your own which you can use to carry your clothes on the plane too, but again ask if you want to rent a set.

    Just make sure you do a bunch of research before you go because all of this I tell you or someone else tells you will vary from one location to the next. Make a list of all the questions you have and go online and e-mail rental places in the area your going so as to eliminate surprises. Note I keep mentioning to ask first, don't assume anything.

    Some rental places will even deliver the bike to your motel or even to the airport. But again ask.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,266
    FYI, Frontier airlines does not charge for bikes unless the bike+case is overweight. They have a somewhat limited route system though.
    Well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion man. - The Dude

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 55x11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,065
    Quote Originally Posted by JustTooBig View Post
    My ti bike is built with S&S couplers ..... even though it's a big (60+cm) frame, it fits in a 30x30x10 hard case. I've checked it as regular luggage with no added fees.
    that box is 70 linear inches total - may be hard to argue with check-in agent when the limit at most airlines is 62 inches. Ritchey Breakaway soft case is 9x26x29, which adds up to 64 inches - a bit easier to argue to let it slide since it's only 2" over the limit. Some S&S bags are right at 62" or under, but require a bit more disassembly.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3
    FWIW, if you are renting a bike, it's a good idea to contact the shop in advance to get your bike reserved so you know you'll have one in your size when you arrive. In my shop, we talk with customers about bike fit, pedals and saddle choices if contacted in advance. That way we can attempt to set up the bike in advance so we're not fiddling with it at the time of delivery.

    If you don't reserve in advance, it's a good idea to bring your own pedals just in case the shop does not have the ones you need. It varies depending on the time of year and the size of the shop. Also, ring your own saddle if you are really picky about it.

    Often weekly rental rates are cheaper than bringing your bike on the plane with you but prices do vary as does quality of the rentals.

    Joe Bartoe
    Synaptic Cycles Bicycle Rentals, Inc.
    SynapticCycles.com

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: GatorInBama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    42
    Or you could get a part time job with the airline and all of your bags will be free!

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Yangpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    216

    S&S Couplers

    For our trip to France for the TdF this year, my wife and I had to decide whether to bring our bikes or rent bikes in France. We decided it was nicer to have our own bikes, but didn't want to risk damaging our carbon bikes. I had my wife's titanium Seven retrofitted with S&S Couplers. I ordered a Moots Vamoots CR with S&S Couplers for me. Each bike breaks down and fits in a suitcase that ships as standard luggage. It takes about 15-20 minutes to assemble / disassemble each bike. They add a little weight to the bike, but do not change how the bikes ride. Since our France trip, we've taken the bikes up to Santa Rosa to ride in Levi's Gran Fondo.

    You can save $150-250 per bike each way over shipping bikes. If you only plan on an occasional trip with your bikes, it may not be a big deal. But, if you fly with your bike a few times a year, that adds up. So, it may be worth looking into S&S Couplers. Retrofitting a steel or ti bike is pretty cheap ($500-700).
    Last edited by Yangpei; 10-13-2011 at 07:23 PM.
    Kokopelli Racing

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by Yangpei View Post
    For our trip to France for the TdF this year, my wife and I had to decide whether to bring our bikes or rent bikes in France. We decided it was nicer to have our own bikes, but didn't want to risk damaging our carbon bikes. I had my wife's titanium Seven retrofitted with S&S Couplers. I ordered a Moots Vamoots CR with S&S Couplers for me. Each bike breaks down and fits in a suitcase that ships as standard luggage. It takes about 15-20 minutes to assemble / disassemble each bike. They add a little weight to the bike, but do not change how the bikes ride.

    So, if you plan on doing occasional traveling with your bike, it may be worth looking into S&S Couplers.
    What bags were you using? Do you mean literal suitcases or still bike bags?

    Any chance you took a picture you want to post =)

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Yangpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by daethon View Post
    What bags were you using? Do you mean literal suitcases or still bike bags?

    Any chance you took a picture you want to post =)


    S&S offers a few different cases. We went with the standard grey bike case.

    More info at Bilenky's site: Retrofits
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Yangpei; 10-13-2011 at 08:01 PM.
    Kokopelli Racing

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: rbart4506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,052
    My wife and I just flew to California, from Ontario Canada, for 9 days of fun the Northern California mountains...

    We had debated bringing our bikes/renting bikes. Shipping was out since the cross border thing made that way to costly and time sensitive. Renting bikes was going to run us at least $50/day minimum. We ended up riding for 8 days so that would have cost us $400 each.

    We ended up bringing the bikes on the plane with us. We borrowed bike boxes from some friends so that save us some coin.

    Flying in on Air Canada it cost us $50/bike plus one extra bag charge of $25.

    Flying out on United it cost us $100/bike. Should have been charged for extra bags, but the guy was nice and waived it.

    So in total it cost us $325 to get the 2 bikes there an back...Not bad!

    PS...Riding your own bike is the Cat's @ss
    Last edited by rbart4506; 10-16-2011 at 03:55 PM.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    11
    I took a trip to Germany this summer and rode in the Vattenfall Cyclassic while I was there. I wanted to bring my own bike but Continental was charging $250 each way. Ridiculous! It just wasn't worth it.

    I ended up renting a bike from a local shop. I cost about a $150 for two days and they provided whatever pedals I wanted and did a fitting when I picked it up. I did have to put down a $300 cash security deposit, but got that back when I turned it in. As much as I would have liked to have had my own bike, the Bergamonts there were renting were pretty nice. Overall a great experience.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    118
    @Yangpei

    That is a beautiful bike! Like in every way! Thanks for posting the picture. That looks like a bag that would be easy to push through security.

    I'm 90% convinced that I'm going to get me a bag! Maybe, when I can afford it again, I'll get a bike that be broken apart easily =)

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Yangpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by daethon View Post
    @Yangpei

    That is a beautiful bike! Like in every way! Thanks for posting the picture. That looks like a bag that would be easy to push through security.

    I'm 90% convinced that I'm going to get me a bag! Maybe, when I can afford it again, I'll get a bike that be broken apart easily =)
    Thanks. I really enjoy riding the Moots.

    Keep an eye out for used bikes with either a Ritchey Break-away or S&S Couplers - they show up on eBay once in a while. You can do a search for "break-away" or "S&S couplers" and ask them to notify you whenever a bike is listed for sale.

    Good luck.
    Kokopelli Racing

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    9
    I can second the vote for the S&S Couplers. I just got a Seven titanium Axiom SL with S&S couplers, and flew from Chicago to Florida. No charge, no problem. Rides like a dream.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: BetweenRides's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    123
    A cheaper alternative to the Ritchey Breakaway is the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. I used to bring mine all the time when my job called for 75% travel. I even took it to Ireland last trip. Standard baggage charge for those that do charge - $25 on United or American. Geometry is custom also - can be made to exactly mimic your main ride.

    These days I'm more inclined to call around and find a shop that rents road bikes. If I can find one my size, I will bring my own pedals and shoes.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: Yangpei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by BetweenRides View Post
    A cheaper alternative to the Ritchey Breakaway is the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket.
    Cool alternative. But, not necessarily cheaper. It only costs $500-700 to retrofit your existing steel or ti bike. Or, there are several bikes on ebay with Ritchey Break-away or S&S Couplers for less than $1800.
    Kokopelli Racing

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. frame coupler / traveling with bike
    By THATmanMANNY in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-28-2008, 02:00 PM
  2. Bike traveling on Southwest
    By azracer in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-08-2008, 07:48 PM
  3. Traveling with a bike?
    By w.e.dane in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-30-2008, 12:53 PM
  4. Traveling (by air) with a bike
    By mightya in forum Commuting, Touring and Ride Reports
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-29-2006, 03:40 PM
  5. Traveling: ship or fly with your bike?
    By Serac in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-07-2004, 01:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.