taking bike over seas...packing

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by B2723m, Mar 11, 2003.

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  1. B2723m

    B2723m Guest

    While reading the thread on airport inspections I've become worried on how I should crate my MTB for
    a trip to France this summer.

    What dooo the inspectors look at? Since this will most likely be the only time I'll take one abroad
    I was thinking of getting a narrow reinforced cardboard box, glueing some 1/8" plywood on the
    insides, removing the seatpost and pedals, turning the steering stem sideways (or removing
    completely) and glueing in foam to hold the saddle/seatpost and handlebars and tie wrapping the
    pedals to the tires. The rest of the bike will be wrapped in bubble wrap.

    What's good/bad with this plan?

    Thanks in advance, brad/texas
     
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  2. Your bike would be well protected I think but if the inspectors want to look at it there's a lot of
    stuff to remove and then try to get put back in time to make your plane AND you'd have to rely on
    the inspectors to repack it. They won't let you touch it.

    Then after you arrive in France what are you gonna do with all that packing material? You can
    discard it but then what do you do on the way back? If you have the perfect situation of
    someone picking you up at the airport perhaps they can keep the packing material for you but
    otherwise. . . .

    You don't really need all that material anyway, bikes are much tougher than they look. A number of
    times I've taken an unpacked bike. Just removed the pedals and chain, turned the handlebars
    sideways, lowered the saddle, and used a bungee from the handlebar to the seatpost to keep the front
    wheel pointed straight ahead but still able to turn so the bike could be rolled on it's wheels. Also
    lowed the tire pressure until the tires were soft. It's a stupid thing to have to do but if you
    don't do it some bag handler may let ALL the air out and the potential for trouble then rises
    greatly. The bike always got there just fine but they won't take bikes this way any more. Sure would
    solve the inspection problem though.

    Air Canada and British Airways used to sell (for $5 or so) a heavy gauge plastic bag large enough to
    put your bike in if you removed the pedals and turned the bars. I've used that and all was fine.
    Even the most fumbly inspector should be able to get the bike back into the bag. Also, when you
    arrive the bag folds up so you can carry it with you fo use on the return trip. Useful too if you
    have to leave your bike outside on a rainy night.

    Another easy, but I suspect expensive, way to deal with the bike is to have it packed by one of the
    commercial packing places and have them ship it by UPS.

    You could also just use a simpler variation of the box plan you already have. Get a nice sturdy bike
    box from a bike shop (they'll almost certainly give it to you. Just remember to get it well in
    advance. Don't go in the day before you're leaving to ask because they might not have one). Pack the
    bike inside (or pay the bike shop to do it). Don't bother with the 1/8" plywood, put an extra layer
    of cardboard on the sides if you're woried about it (get a second bike box and cut big sheets from
    the sides. Don't put any loose stuff in the box, too easy for it to get lost if the box is opened.
    This should get the bike there OK. If you have a place to leave the box until your return you're in
    good shape. If not then you can just discard the box and plan to find one at a French bike shop for
    the return trip. That adds enough worry to diminish your enjoyment a little though.

    A bike is a great thing to have when you're overseas but it's an awkward piece of luggage at best.

    Bob Taylor
     
  3. On Tue, 11 Mar 2003 09:43:32 +0000, B2723m did issue forth:

    > While reading the thread on airport inspections I've become worried on how I should crate my MTB
    > for a trip to France this summer.

    Not had any experience with flying with bikes, but if you've got hydraulic discs, I'd suggest
    packing the caliper with something to prevent the pads getting wedged together.

    Before anybody says anything, no I'm not wittering on about the pressure difference in the hold
    affecting the system but if the brake lever gets yanked somehow, many hydraulic brake systems will
    push the pads together, and they won't come apart without some serious persuading.

    As for packing it, some bike shops do a hire service where you can rent a bike bag, or even a bike
    box, which should save a lot of messing about.

    --
    Huw Pritchard Replace bounce with huw to reply by mail
     
  4. B2723m

    B2723m Guest

    Thanks so far for the replys! I'm lucky because I'll stay with friends in Paris where I can
    store the box.

    I'm off to my favorite bike shop to get a couple of boxes.

    Thanks again,

    brad/texas
     
  5. x

    x Guest

    RE/
    >Another easy, but I suspect expensive, way to deal with the bike is to have it packed by one of the
    >commercial packing places and have them ship it by UPS.

    I naievly sent a broken frame back for warranty that way.

    Would you believe $120 just to the West Coast?

    They sent the wrong size frame, so I had a chance to try it again my way (using their box...) and it
    was about $30 - including residential pickup.
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  6. Andy Simpson

    Andy Simpson Guest

    "B2723m" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks so far for the replys! I'm lucky because I'll stay with friends in Paris where I can store
    > the box.
    >
    > I'm off to my favorite bike shop to get a couple of boxes.
    >
    > Thanks again,
    >
    > brad/texas

    Once you have your box packed successfully, take a polaroid/digital picture of what it looks like -
    it saves time when you try to put it back in the box for the return trip. I usually get my bike into
    a single box, reinforced with tape.

    Andy
     
  7. In article <[email protected]>, (Pete Cresswell) <[email protected]> wrote:
    >RE/
    >>Another easy, but I suspect expensive, way to deal with the bike is to have it packed by one of
    >>the commercial packing places and have them ship it by UPS.
    >
    >I naievly sent a broken frame back for warranty that way.
    >
    >Would you believe $120 just to the West Coast?
    >
    >They sent the wrong size frame, so I had a chance to try it again my way (using their box...) and
    >it was about $30 - including residential pickup.

    I once sent a relative to ship a frameset that was already packed up, sent it from a private
    shipping store via UPS. $75 for Ground service across the country for a lightweight frame and carbon
    fork. They provided no service other than sticking a label on it. That seems like thievery to me.

    --Paul
     
  8. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (B2723m) wrote:

    > While reading the thread on airport inspections I've become worried on how I should crate my MTB
    > for a trip to France this summer.
    >
    > What dooo the inspectors look at? Since this will most likely be the only time I'll take one
    > abroad I was thinking of getting a narrow reinforced cardboard box, glueing some 1/8" plywood on
    > the insides, removing the seatpost and pedals, turning the steering stem sideways (or removing
    > completely) and glueing in foam to hold the saddle/seatpost and handlebars and tie wrapping the
    > pedals to the tires. The rest of the bike will be wrapped in bubble wrap.
    >
    > What's good/bad with this plan?

    Bad: it's big, heavy, and what are you going to do with it in France?

    I flew to and from France last summer, with my bike in a simple non-padded bike bag. No damage,
    despite one layover in each direction (so a total of 6 baggage handlings). That way I wasn't stuck
    with a box that I didn't know what to do with once I got there. You *cannot* leave the box at the
    airport and pick it up when you're on your way out.

    If you really feel like you have to have a box, then simply buy a bike case from Nashbar or someone.
    Or you can just use a standard bike box, or one that's made for this purpose- there's one that's
    triangular shaped, but I can't recall the brand. You can collapse it down once you get to your
    destination.

    See this bike for a nice example of how it should be stripped down and prepared for whatever
    container you put it in. Note that there are supports between the dropouts.

    http://tinyurl.com/7adb
     
  9. > Once you have your box packed successfully, take a polaroid/digital
    picture
    > of what it looks like - it saves time when you try to put it back in the
    box
    > for the return trip. I usually get my bike into a single box, reinforced with tape.

    It can also save time & hassles in the event you have to make a damage claim. ESPECIALLY photograph
    the outside of the box, to verify the condition it was in when it left your hands. They will often
    try to claim that the box you provided was already in poor shape when you gave it to them.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReaction.com

    "Andy Simpson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "B2723m" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Thanks so far for the replys! I'm lucky because I'll stay with friends
    in
    > > Paris where I can store the box.
    > >
    > > I'm off to my favorite bike shop to get a couple of boxes.
    > >
    > > Thanks again,
    > >
    > > brad/texas
    >
    > Once you have your box packed successfully, take a polaroid/digital
    picture
    > of what it looks like - it saves time when you try to put it back in the
    box
    > for the return trip. I usually get my bike into a single box, reinforced with tape.
    >
    > Andy
     
  10. Jedharrison

    Jedharrison Guest

    My last 2 flights I used a hardshell case (Las Vegas/Quebec/Vegas) and Bikeshop cardboard boxes
    (Vegas/Brussels/Nice/Vegas). Never were the boxes opened, though they did get run through the Xray.

    I'd recommend the bike shop box (as you have decided), cover the frame in foam pipe insulation (if
    you care about your paint ), and tie things together with strips of old inner tubes so they don't
    shake around in the box.

    B2723m wrote:

    > While reading the thread on airport inspections I've become worried on how I should crate my MTB
    > for a trip to France this summer.
    >
    > What dooo the inspectors look at? Since this will most likely be the only time I'll take one
    > abroad I was thinking of getting a narrow reinforced cardboard box, glueing some 1/8" plywood on
    > the insides, removing the seatpost and pedals, turning the steering stem sideways (or removing
    > completely) and glueing in foam to hold the saddle/seatpost and handlebars and tie wrapping the
    > pedals to the tires. The rest of the bike will be wrapped in bubble wrap.
    >
    > What's good/bad with this plan?
    >
    > Thanks in advance, brad/texas
     
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