Shipping Bike from USA to Europe - and back

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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zazo
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:25 pm
Location: Slovenia

by zazo

If that is true, maybe we should put our bike cases into cardboard boxes for max safety :-)

Hope your bike gets there without a scratch.

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HammerTime2
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Wherever there's a mountain beckoning to be climbed

by HammerTime2

zazo wrote:If that is true, maybe we should put our bike cases into cardboard boxes for max safety
Wow, that's some real out of the box thinking, or in this case, in double box thinking.

by Weenie


xnavalav8r
Posts: 2643
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm

by xnavalav8r

seanblurr wrote:I will be flying home to the states from Italy with my bike in a cardboard box, unable to find a hard case out here in Italy. After some internet research it seems some people prefer to fly with the cardboard box because it "needs" to be upright, and baggage handlers are less likely to stack things on top of it… lets hope thats true! Wish me luck…


If you are counting on the baggage handlers to adhere to the "fragile" or "this end up" marking on the box, you are going to be sadly disappointed. Bike boxes won't fit through the conveyor system in the upright position. I'd be willing to bet a case of your favorite beer that the box will come out of the oversized baggage handling chute on its side. I have seen this too many times to count. And I have seen bike boxes at the bottom of the baggage carts, buried in suitcases waiting to be loaded on a plane. I literally watched my bike fall from the airplane cargo hatch to the ground because the baggage handlers were sloppy.

If you must use a cardboard bike box, try and use a box in a box. If you have a removable derailleur hanger, remove it and the derailleur. Put dropout protectors on the frame and fork dropouts. Buy some foam pipe insulation and put it over all the frame tubes and fork legs. Zip-tie all parts to the frame so nothing rattles around loosely. Put small parts in a sealed padded envelope or smaller box within the bike box. Fill the gaps in the box with packing paper or foam to prevent things moving around. Put as much Styrofoam onto the box corners as you can while still fitting the bike. Then strengthen those corners (inside and out) with fiberglass-reinforced packing tape.

Your bike can survive a trip in a cardboard box. But it is not ideal. All it takes is one delay and your cardboard box is sitting outside on the tarmac in the rain or, worse, next to a plane being hosed with de-icer. Your cardboard box them becomes a bowl of oatmeal with a bike inside.

Dalai
Posts: 1491
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:54 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by Dalai

HammerTime2 wrote:Some PM extracts from before and after Dalai landedf in the United States. I had warned him abiut the TSA.

Anyhow, his wish was granted, as per the immeidaltey preceding post, the TSA waited until the return flight to damage his bike, as I only now have learned.


In TSA's defence, I think the damage was due to the baggage handlers... Didn't see anything they did that could have caused my particular problem.

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carbonLORD
in the industry
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:31 pm
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by carbonLORD

I go back and forward from Chicago to Amsterdam and fly Aer Lingus through Dublin usually. I have a C59 and a S-WORKS Venge and use the Thule Round Trip case. Aer Lingus used to charge only $50 but I read they raised it to $100 now. KLM charged me $200 once but I had to get the C59 back to the States so I paid it. My next flight will definitely be Aer Lingus so I can confirm in 2 months when I head back to Chicago again with the Venge. TSA usually opens it up and inspects. They usually only open it slightly and swab the area for bomb residue. Once I was lucky enough to observe them at work in Chicago where they allowed me to confirm it was closed and secure which was nice. A friend of mine usually puts a note inside that asks to please mind the way it was packaged and to take care which seems to help when its in a cardboard container. Thule Round Trip case is awesome and fits my 60cm traditional Colnago with Zipp 404's, cycling shoes and helmet in a pod case, and comes in just under the 55lbs limit though the folks at Aer Lingus are really friendly and usually do not ake a big stink about a few extra lbs weight, with my baggage. HTH.
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seanblurr
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Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:47 pm
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by seanblurr

Looks like I won't have to use the cardboard box after all coming home from Italy. I was able to find an Elite case locally... This thing is huge!
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seanblurr
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:47 pm
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by seanblurr

Still paranoid even with a hard case...

Image

I tried to offset the wheels to the opposite side of the rear mech to give it as much freedom of movement as possible. I don't have access to a torx for the rear D so I am praying the excess of bubble wrap will protect it enough.

Image
Last edited by seanblurr on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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rmerka
Posts: 618
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:23 pm
Location: Austin, TX

by rmerka

One thing I'll never forget to take with me again on a trip is an extra derailleur hanger...and a pump. Ok two things :D

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carbonLORD
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by carbonLORD

seanblurr wrote:Still paranoid even with a hard case...

Image

I tried to offset the wheels to the opposite side of the rear mech to give it as much freedom of movement as possible. I don't have access to a torx for the rear D so I am praying the excess of bubble wrap will protect it enough.

Image


But how is the weight, or are you paying now for excessive baggage (over 55lbs)?
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seanblurr
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:47 pm
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by seanblurr

Specific cost for a bike regardless of weight up to 70lbs for Delta.
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de zwarten
Posts: 839
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2006 7:32 pm
Location: belgium

by de zwarten

I would ALWAYS take off the RD. A torx is no money in this respect.

seanblurr
Posts: 309
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by seanblurr

All went well on the flight back from Italy. I even managed to have free luggage ;-)
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