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Didn't really know where to ask/post this but I will be traveling with my (and girlfriends) mountain bike to Europe for the first time. Any recommendations on traverl cases. I have seen cases that carry two bike which could be a good option. I have also seen the "soft" cases which might be easier carrying around once in Europe. Can these things be rented? Anyways looking for ideas. We have pretty nice bikes (Truth & Racer X) so I am a bit cautious, but I think will be way better than renting.
Thanks
 

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our shop rents out Serfas hard cases which are quite nice. the soft bags ive seem are entirely too flimsy. i wouldnt trust my bike in one. typically, the airlines charge ~$25 each way for the "oversize/overweight" package. and shops rent them about ~$75-125 bucks a week. i would check out places like nashbar, and pricepoint to see if they have new ones. it might be cheaper in the end to just buy a couple.
 

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We went 2 yrs ago and we used a version of the corrogated plastic boxes that CO Cyclist sells. From my observations of the condition of other bike holding containers on that trip at the airport, that would be my minimum for airline handling. Other observations, wheels are very good to have to move the boxes around, as are redundant latches and strapping. Also, if you can get a type that somehow nests into each other once you get to the destination, then you're only dealing with one big object after the bikes are out. Don't know your final destination situation for stowing the boxes, but we found in Switzerland that if you're traveling by train, you can send the boxes on to your next or final destination, and they'll hold them, sometimes for a nominal fee. Here's a website with question/answers for bike/airline travel. Have fun. http://www.bikeaccess.net/BikeAccess/BikeBoxs_DB.cfm
 

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Live, Freeze, and Ride
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Get a real hard case!!!

I once put my bike in a box from the local LBS and packed the crap out of it (foam, bubble wrap, etc.).
2 problems
1) TSA opened and removed the contents and repacked it (not good, big dent on frame)
2) Airport luggage handlers drop, throw, and generally abuse anything that is bulky and hard to handle. I watched my bike get...I can't talk about it, it's too painful...

Hard case 2 problems solved
1) TSA opened my TSA approved locks and looked at the nicely pack contents (put a list on top so they can ID things that look weird to them - like pedals)
2) My case took a six foot digger when the handler realized how big it was, he just let it go! Bike and contents were exactly where I left them. And the case has a few scratches.

You'll be stuck with the case unless you can find storage for it, and of course you have to pay for oversize luggage.

Two cases is probably better than one. My case and bike are over 70lbs. A two bike case may weigh in at over 100lbs. That would probably result in a huge charge and would suck to lug around.
 

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i worship Mr T
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durkind said:
Didn't really know where to ask/post this but I will be traveling with my (and girlfriends) mountain bike to Europe for the first time. Any recommendations on traverl cases. I have seen cases that carry two bike which could be a good option. I have also seen the "soft" cases which might be easier carrying around once in Europe. Can these things be rented? Anyways looking for ideas. We have pretty nice bikes (Truth & Racer X) so I am a bit cautious, but I think will be way better than renting.
Thanks
i agree with the others. don't use soft case. a hard case will protect your bikes much better. i'd also recommend not getting the case that fits 2 bikes. they're really heavy and unweildy.

Jersey mentioned that the airline may charge you for overweight/oversize. he's wrong about the charge though. depending on who you get at the tkt counter and what they know and how they are feeling that day and how the sun, moon, and earth are aligned you could be charged anywhere from $0-$125 each way. i just flew from the east coast to the west coast and was charged $100 for an "oversized" bag. they wanted to charge me an additional $25 for overweight but i whined a lot and they didn't charge me the extra $25. woo hoo :rolleyes: however, prior to this trip i had never been charged more than $25.

additionally, i think the standard charge for a bike is $80-$125. you might want to contact the airline you are flying to find out what they will charge you.

as far as hard cases i have the Performance case. works great. my only complaints are that it is heavy (30 lbs with nothing in it) and there is no handle on the long side of the case which makes it very hard to manoeuver into a car. i think the Trico cases are a bit lighter and they have a nice strapping system to hold the case shut but i could get the Performance case for about 1/2 the price so that is what i went with.

i think some shops do rent cases so i'd recommend that you give a call to your LBSs to find out. also, if there is a triathalon shop in your area they often rent cases as well.

enjoy your trip.

rt
 

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Jersey said:
be as skeptical as you'd like. the actual charge for an oversized bag (i.e., one that measures > 62" when you add L+W+H) is $100. then there is an additional charge of $25 if your bag weighs >50 lbs & <70 lbs. if it weighs more than 70 lbs then the charge goes up.

so, the total charge for an oversized, overweight bag (between 50-70 lbs), such as a bike box, is $125. particularly if you tell them it's a bike.

if you can convince them that it is something other than a bike then sometimes they charge you less. i never tell the person at the ticket counter that the box contains a bike and they charge randomly.....sometimes nothing, sometimes $25, and most recently $100.

thus, it is just as likely that you may be charged $125 as $25 and to tell someone that the charge is $25 is incorrect. they should expect to pay as much as $125. if they are charged less, then that's their good luck.

rt
 

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what do people do about storing the box when you reach your destinaton?? I was planning a trip this summer and would love to be able to ditch the box quickly as the only transportation I will have is my bike and public transportation. Do airports ever have storage you can rent?
 

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jeepmtnbiker said:
what do people do about storing the box when you reach your destinaton?? I was planning a trip this summer and would love to be able to ditch the box quickly as the only transportation I will have is my bike and public transportation. Do airports ever have storage you can rent?
no. airports will not allow you to store anything due to security risks.

your only option for storage is to keep it with you wherever you are staying. if you are planning on traveling around and not staying anywhere for more than a night or two then you're in trouble. maybe there is a bike shop in the area that you'll be in that would be willing to keep the box for you?

rt
 

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desert dweller
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I'll add a couple of things.
1) Go to your local bike shop and see if they rent cases. I went to Europe a couple of years ago and used the bike shop rental case. If your a good customer and friend to the shop they may not even charge you.
2) The case they loaned me was a Serfas. It was nice with heavy duty metal clamps that were lockable. Much faster and easier the strap down cases.
3) Stash some extra bungee cords so you can rig your other bags to the bike case when wheeling it around the airport.

mbb

PS: They will nail you for a bike surcharge and/or oversized fee. I got lucky because my bike and case weighed less than 45 lbs (and less than my regular bag). Check the Airline's Bike luggage policy before you go -- you may be able to avoid being double charged.
 

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Got a good deal on Trico cases..

I bought a new Trico case on ebay $215. There are a lot of them up for sale. It worked great on my trip and yes, I got nailed with the $80 fee for the airline-I think it was $80 each way. On the flight out they didn't open it-or at least I couldn't tell...on the way back they searched it, but nothing was damaged or misplaced completely. Placing a note/diagram in there with extra ties etc. is a good idea and remember to let the air out of your shocks and tires. Also, if you can part with your bike for a few weeks before your trip ups is a good idea because you can insure it whereas you can't on the airline. On my trip to CO next summer that is what I'll be doing.

ecibis
 
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