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Another flying with my bike thread


By Pete B - Posted on 29 July 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

I'm just about to book flights for an MTB trip to NZ in a couple of months and have a couple of questions. I know there's a million of these threads but airlines change their rules and regs quite often.

Anyone flown with their bike on Emirates? There price is good and they have a 30kg checked bag limit which is higher than all the rest of the airlines.

Is there somewhere I can hire a bag from? Preferably a hard case. Or, at a push, does anyone mind lending me their bag for a week in October in exchange for a couple of cases of their favorite brew?

Ive flown to Auckland with my MTB on Emitates in January 2015. I used a Ground Effect Tardis bag. Its a good bag and folds up small when you are not using it however you do need to do a fair bit of dismantling and provide your own padding.

The only damage to my bike was the frame was scratched because i didnt protect the rotors properly.

You can borrow it or even buy it. its in the classified section.

Im going to QT in Nov and thinking of using a bike cardboard box. it offers good protection and minimal dismantling is required. One thing to watch is some bike brand box's (Giant for example) are slightly larger than the Emirates max size. In reality i dont think they would check or care because it is minimal difference.

Ive flown to Auckland with my MTB on Emitates in January 2015. I used a Ground Effect Tardis bag. Its a good bag and folds up small when you are not using it however you do need to do a fair bit of dismantling and provide your own padding.

The only damage to my bike was the frame was scratched because i didnt protect the rotors properly.

You can borrow it or even buy it. its in the classified section.

Im going to QT in Nov and thinking of using a bike cardboard box. it offers good protection and minimal dismantling is required. One thing to watch is some bike brand box's (Giant for example) are slightly larger than the Emirates max size. In reality i dont think they would check or care because it is minimal difference.

I just got back from my second euro trip with carbon bike on a variety of flights.

1) On the big planes where you have a baggage limit of 30kgs just make sure your gear is less than that and you just hand your bike in to the oversized baggage place at the airport.
2) On the smaller planes where you have a lower limit like 20 kgs like going on short tips within europe you should make prior arrangements and pay for the sporting equipment as they call it.

Going to NZ, I'd check with the airline to see if you need to pre purchase a sporting goods allowance.

When it comes to bag, I've used an unpadded el cheapo crap bag and it works fine with a few mods:
a) I built a little mini wooden frame that I mount the bike on using the skewers of the wheels to fasten it on the wooden frame. This frame will take any push load on the fork so you don't get any excess load on the frame or even bend the fork.
b) remove pedals
c) remove handle bar and fasten on the fork and tuck the handles and shifter in so these are not exposed to outside force.
d) Remove the rear derailleur and hang it inside he rear wheel frame to be protected.
e) put in your wheels and zip up the bag
f) Put a strap around the bag and tighten

That's it, now you have a small litttle bag that is easy to carry around and it only takes like 10 - 15 minute to put it together or apart and the only tool required is the little multi tool I guess all riders have with them at all times.

The only thing that's happened to me is that the disk rotors get bent from time to time. I just straighten them with a wrench and they work again. Removing the rotors would be a good idea but I always seem to be able to get the straight again so I don't bother.

The bike I'm taking o/s is an old clunker so I'm not that fuzzed if it gets beaten up a little but apart form the rotors, no damage so far.

Best thing is to have own bike avail at all times when o/s and will do a lot more riding that you would if you need to go an hire a bike every time.

cheers

I just used a cardboard bike delivery carton fri the local bike shop and packed it up with clothes to just under the stated weight limit. Between the two of us we prepaid for one additional checked-in bag, and that was all we needed for a week.

I'm selling my Polaris bike case on eBay now, if no one buys it, you are free to use it.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&id=271...

Cheers
Miguel

Thanks for the advice guys. I've used a cardboard box before but the bike was significantly cheaper so I'd rather have a little more protection round my pride and joy.

The Polaris bag looks good. I'm tempted...

There's also a guy in Curl Curl who hires EVOC bags for $50 a week, this is also very tempting....

EVOC bags give no more protection than a cardboard box!! Just ask they guy that had his carbon bike destroyed by air Canada(it was in an evoc bag)

I actually prefer to buy Qantas bike boxes. They are available from Qantas International for $25. The cardboard is twice as thick as a normal bike box and its longer and wider!

I can get my downhill bike in one of there boxes with the rear wheel still on!!!

It is worth to also consider how you will be travelling once arrived. The bike packed in it's pod may have to be lugged around a lot and perhaps fitted in a small car or carried a lot.

Having something as small as possible with a shoulder strap helps if you need to walk with it. If you rent a car all luggage and bike needs to fit in it.

In one trip we had to fit 4 persons + the driver and all luggage plus my bike in a Mercedes A-Class to get to the airport in Rome. Because I prioritise a small package rather than a padded one we could fit all in to that A-Class (albeit with a fair amount of force)

Hence, look beyond just the air travel and make sure whatever you do will work for the rest of the trip and not become a problem that ruins the experience for you and fellow travellers.

I'd not thought about the qantas boxes. If they're thicker than a standard box then it's another option definitely worth considering, they're probably a shit load lifhter than an EVOC too.

I don't think anything would have protected that bike from Air Canada's baggae handlers!

Where do you get the qants boxes from? The terminal or their offices in Mascot?

Once I'm in NZ I'm doing a bit of a toir with my bro so we'll be using his car with racks on (he lives there) so I only need to package the bike up to get there and again to fly home.

The bike box was quite bulky and I was glad for the shuttle that came to pick us up from Rotorua and Sydney. A regular taxi station wagon would have been too small. That said, I was able to keep the rear wheel on, which meant no fussing with dropout spacers to protect the frame (lefty fork was no issue).

The bike box was also significantly lighter than the bike bag I bought used, 2.1kg versus 4.5kg+ and around 6kg for a hard case. Rather than covering the frame with foam noodles we packed around it with clothes.

Air NZ puts them in a mesh steel fragile goods cage, you pack it in yourself, so no flying about in the hold through turbulence, and they were hand-delivered by trolley to the pickup area rahter than left to the vagaries of the conveyor belt system.

I got the Qantas bike box from Qantas Customer Service at the international terminal in Sydney.

Call before hand and make sure they will sell you one as you need to be either on a Qantas flight or an affiliate flight. I was flying with Air Canada which wasn't a problem.

It cost me $25 and is a lot stronger than a normal box and lighter than an Ovoc bag!

Just check the dimensions first as the Q boxes are bloody big. Great to put stuff in but make sure it fits in the car etc

To suggest a cardboard box offers the sane protection as an Evo bag or whatever they are called evoc, Evo.
Anyway, I have one you can borrow, never had an issue with it... Much more peace of mind with my bikes and it also has wheels so easier to move about!

Thanks for the offer Christine.
I found out a mate has one so he's going to lend me his.

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