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max_29
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys, i'm planning a trip to Ukraine this August to do some riding in Carpathian mountains.
i'm still undecided which bike to take - SS rigid, geared HT or FS, regardless of which i might take - they are all 29ers.
My primary thought is to find a big suitcase to pack a bike, but not sure if i could find a suitcase that big.

Do you have any suggestions or maybe someone from this forum done this?
Any input will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Evil Jr.
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I did both TransRockies and BC Bike Race with the same Swobo cardboard box (yes, I'm that cheap) but I don't know if I'd trust that set-up all the way to the Ukraine.

Plus, that way, it's pretty obvious that it's a bike and depending on the airline, you're looking at up to $300 each way.:madman: :madmax:
 

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My suggestion would be take the FS, as you don't know what you might come across on a trip. ALSO you can pick it down - front from rear tri - and box it up in a wheelbox which would fall within the dimensions restrictions of most airlines. I usually break mine donw and put the frame, wheels, tyres, tubes, bars, cranks in the wheel box and then use a hard bottomed duffle and pack the fork and any other stuff - fill up both extra space with clothes. I've done this twice to Colorado from Barbados and fitted in everything I needed for 3+ weeks.

If you're not going for long it might not be worth it, but to me saving $200-300 each way is a lot.

max_29 said:
Guys, i'm planning a trip to Ukraine this August to do some riding in Carpathian mountains.
i'm still undecided which bike to take - SS rigid, geared HT or FS, regardless of which i might take - they are all 29ers.
My primary thought is to find a big suitcase to pack a bike, but not sure if i could find a suitcase that big.

Do you have any suggestions or maybe someone from this forum done this?
Any input will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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154 Posts
max_29 said:
thanks!
do you have to pay any extra fees if the airline rep sees a bike case? or it's treated as a regular luggage?
I have only traveled in Canada and the US, 4 times with a bike case, each time it was considered over size luggage and was $50 each way, think Europe is pretty random? The only issue we had was weight, over 50 lbs was extra. Case is like 25-30lbs by its self + a full suspension 29er may be pushing it?
 

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sock puppet
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8,104 Posts
it is oversize luggage

anywhere from 50 to 60 bucks Canada to Canada or Canada to USA or Latin America...

Dont know Canada to Europe... It can only be more...

max_29 said:
thanks!
do you have to pay any extra fees if the airline rep sees a bike case? or it's treated as a regular luggage?
 

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Team NFI
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5,303 Posts
max_29 said:
Guys, i'm planning a trip to Ukraine this August to do some riding in Carpathian mountains.
i'm still undecided which bike to take - SS rigid, geared HT or FS, regardless of which i might take - they are all 29ers.
My primary thought is to find a big suitcase to pack a bike, but not sure if i could find a suitcase that big.

Do you have any suggestions or maybe someone from this forum done this?
Any input will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
First off what airline are you flying? Find out policies and fees. be informed because if they can they will take fees from you. Stay the flip away from United and American Airlines unless you like extortion and financial raping.

Best method would be to find two suit cases. This of course is easier if you have a dually.

http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=425479

Regardless go with 2- one for wheels and one for frame. Plus it makes it easier to argue about it simply being either over sized or over weight.Which they will ding you less for.
 

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I will second the Serfas bike box. I bought last winter to transport my touring bike to New Zealand, and it worked great. No damage after a connection through Vancouver, and 2 airports in New Zealand. I also hauled it around on a 3 week bus trip, and it survived that no problem.

I paid $60 to Air Canada each way, and then was charged $50 for an additional bag I had to take with all my camping gear. I would recommend calling the airline as soon as you book your flight and reserve a spot for "sporting goods" and any extra bags you may need. Showing up extra early to your flight and being really nice also seems to help. I have heard some airlines wave the fee if they are in an especially good mood and you get the right check in attendent.
 

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Evil Jr.
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goodluck said:
Showing up extra early to your flight and being really nice also seems to help. I have heard some airlines wave the fee if they are in an especially good mood and you get the right check in attendent.
This is all true. Show up late and grumpy and BAM, that'll be $100 plus it'll be on the NEXT flight to your destination (and if that's the Ukraine, there's, what, a flight there once a week? :D ).
 

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I have been using the Trico Iron-Case and it worked great! Fits my 29er, but you need to let a bit of air out of the tires (which isn't a big deal). I even fit an extra suspension fork in addition to my rigid fork in there.


Wish I had a shot with the wheels in it.

It is hit and miss with airlines. We were told that we would only have to pay $50 to fly with our bikes with United. Like golf clubs, bikes are treated as an "exception" item. Really, the idea behind that is bikes are supposed to be an exception (due to their size and weight), so you pay a special fee for them. However, the airlines don't understand that, and will often try to charge you for a) a bike as an exception item, and b) overweight luggage. Its a scam in my books, by default a bike is going to be over size and overweight, hence there being a special rule for travelling with them. Any modern day bike case is going to weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 30 lbs on its own (without the bike). I guess they assume we all have sub 20lb bikes including all of the other gear that gets stuffed in the box! Go early and be prepared to argue and hold up their lines if things get ugly :)

United would not process our luggage until we paid. We got suckered with some crazy $150 fee. It was ridiculous. It worked out better coming back on a different airline (Air Canada). They didn't charge us a dime to fly with our bikes.
 

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Top left: Reba 29 wrapped in beach towel
Mid Right: Salsa carbon bars wrapped in beach towel
Bottom: Worst gel ever + assortment of colourful socks
Rear triangle: A MEC pillow with green floral patterns, the only one left, I swear, and striped undies.

On another note: that pillow had some crazy recycled materials inside. At night in the tent if you moved it around it lit up with all these flashes from static electricity building up, a little concerning.

Somewhere under the lower piece of foam I stashed my Broat-esque slingshot bathing suit.
 

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sock puppet
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nice pajamas..

nspace said:
I have been using the Trico Iron-Case and it worked great! Fits my 29er, but you need to let a bit of air out of the tires (which isn't a big deal). I even fit an extra suspension fork in addition to my rigid fork in there.


Wish I had a shot with the wheels in it.

It is hit and miss with airlines. We were told that we would only have to pay $50 to fly with our bikes with United. Like golf clubs, bikes are treated as an "exception" item. Really, the idea behind that is bikes are supposed to be an exception (due to their size and weight), so you pay a special fee for them. However, the airlines don't understand that, and will often try to charge you for a) a bike as an exception item, and b) overweight luggage. Its a scam in my books, by default a bike is going to be over size and overweight, hence there being a special rule for travelling with them. Any modern day bike case is going to weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 30 lbs on its own (without the bike). I guess they assume we all have sub 20lb bikes including all of the other gear that gets stuffed in the box! Go early and be prepared to argue and hold up their lines if things get ugly :)

United would not process our luggage until we paid. We got suckered with some crazy $150 fee. It was ridiculous. It worked out better coming back on a different airline (Air Canada). They didn't charge us a dime to fly with our bikes.
 

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I can echo nspace's experience with fees. When travelling with my road bike this summer, every time I turned around it seemed that I was handing an agent $100. One thing I learned is that you have to call ahead to inform the airline that you will be travelling with a bike - if not, then they might not allow it on. Also, see if you can pre-pay all the fees for the return flight. Our flight back from France was with another airline, and it was 150 Euros to check in the bike. That's like a trillion-bazillion Canadian dollars.

It is easy to go over the airline's weight limit with a bike case. With my bike (an R3), my shoes and a few tools, I was right at the limit. But, having your bike on a trip is much better than not having a bike on your trip.

 

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Evil Jr.
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smarty said:
It is easy to go over the airline's weight limit with a bike case. With my bike (an R3), my shoes and a few tools, I was right at the limit. But, having your bike on a trip is much better than not having a bike on your trip.
That's one advantage with the cardboard box option is that the total weight ends up pretty low. I think my Misfit with tools and sundry soft goods to keep things tightly packed came in at around 30-35 lbs. :thumbsup:

But then, it's still only a cardboard box. :skep:
 
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