S&S Couplers vs. standard bicycle case?

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Lynn Monsanto

Hi all,

I'm considering getting S&S couplers installed when I order my next touring frame. They are an
additional $400 but you can pack your entire bicycle into an approximately 2' x 2' x 1' piece of
hard luggage instead of the usual 4' x 3' x 1' bicycle shipping case. The smaller case seem like a
big advantage especially when traveling by train. The only disadvantage (besides the additional
cost) appears to be the extra time it takes to disassemble and reassemble the bike.

However, I'm a bit concerned about luggage inspection on airlines these days with heightened
security. Packing the disassembled bike is a bit complicated and I question whether the people
taking your luggage apart to do the inspections can be trusted to repack your bike correctly so the
bike doesn't get damaged.

Has anyone had any experience with bicycle cases on airlines and European trains, especially with
the new airline luggage security inspection changes?

Any thoughts? Lynn
I have a bike with S&S Torque Couplers and I've traveled with it a number of times on both airplanes
and trains but not since 9-11.

I too have been concerned about the problems I would encounter if the bike was upacked from it's
case for inspection. I exchanged messages with a guy who had experienced the inspection and he said
that he was summoned to be present when his case was opened. He said that they took everything out
and then put it back in. He was there but was not allowed to help with the repacking though he could
tell the inspectors how to proceed. Though he said the inspectors were good humored and helpful,
it's certain that they aren't going to be as good at packing the bike into the case as I am. The
bike fits into that case but it has to be kinda coaxed in there. I can do it but I'm not sure an
inspector with no experience can get it repacked in time for me to make my plane even with me
supplying directions.

Since an airline passenger is allowed two pieces of luggage I pack my bike into the S&S case (I have
the soft sided one) and I pack my panniers, saddlebag, handlebar bag, helmet, etc into a duffle bag.
The duffle is roomy enough that repacking it is not any problem. I have thought that I might
minimize the problem of repacking the bike into the S&S case by packing just the two pieces of the
frame and the wheels into the S&S case and then putting the loose bits (pedals, racks, fenders, seat
with seatpost, tools for reassembly, chain, etc) into the duffle. Even the handlebars could go in
the duffle if I installed cable splitters into the shift and brake cables. Then the S&S case would
only have 4 big items in it to be unpacked and then repacked (2 frame pieces and 2 wheels). With
these few pieces one could include a sheet of simple packing directions and even some pictures
(seems like a digital camera and a computer would allow you to print a photo-illustrated
step-by-step set of directions.). If the bike bits in the duffle were (as much as possible) fastened
together with zip ties or put into a heavy duty clear zip-lock bag then you could feel pretty
confident that you'd arrive with all the pieces.

A friend of mine just told me that when he traveled by plane last week he packed 3 cigars in his
luggage. When he arrived he found 3 cigars in his luggage but cigars of a different brand packed in
a sterling silver cigar case. Very nice he says.

These are my thoughts. I'm gonna pay close attention to the responses you get because there will
likely be some tips I can use.

Good luck,
Bob Taylor
Robert Taylor <[email protected]> wrote:
: These are my thoughts. I'm gonna pay close attention to the responses you get because there will
: likely be some tips I can use.

i've posted on this before

41%24a1866201%40newsreader.visi.com&rnum=1 http://groups.google.com/groups?q=reuteler+s%26s&hl=en&l-

your friend's advice is spot on. i would add that it's not a bad idea to include step by step
instructions (with pictures) on how to put it back in the case. even if you're there it'll help.
i've never been called to inspect but i've usually requested it first.
david reuteler [email protected]
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