Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bikes on Planes

First, I have to apologize not getting any pics of my fixie up on the blog. It is running great. I love the performance in snow, I love the elegant look, the quiet ride, and I love the durability. I am now shopping for digital cameras, so I hope to share pictures soon.

I have two work-related trips to South Carolina coming up, and I want to have my bicycle down there to get around. For the March trip, I've decided to load up my recently purchased (1974 good condition) slide-in truck camper (six pack heaven!) and trundle down to Myrtle Beach with my bicycle inside. For my February trip, I can't avoid the more boring option of flying down and staying in a hotel.

Question: How feasible is it to take my bike apart, put it in a bike box from a bike shop, check it as luggage, reassemble in the airport, and merrily ride away? Has anyone ever done this? Short of stealing El Prez's hard-earned Xootr Swift, what are my options?

Please use the comments section to share experience traveling with a bicycle.


Anonymous said...

Yes it is possible. You will have to take off the pedals, seat, handlebars, wheels, fenders, & bags. Packing the bike and reassembling the bike should not take more than an hour if you have the right tools. You will have to find a way to store the box at your destination airport or get another box for the return trip. And these days you will have to pay an extra $50-$200 each way to get the airlines to take the bike. Oh, and if all that were not enough, when you use a cardboard box there is always the chance the baggage handling equipment will do some damage.

El Presidente de China said...

The Xootr fits in a large but not oversized clamshell suitcase. I don't have such a suitcase, but if you can find one, I could probably lend you the rig (depending on when you're going - I need it a couple days for a trip to New York).

Nomad said...

From my research, it is generally cheaper and easier to leave the bike at home and rent a decent one at a local bike shop where you are going. You lose the ability to ride on a bike you know and love, but you gain a lot more flexibility. Plus, you can try out other types of bicycles that you may have been curious about or which are better adapted to the terrain where you are going.

Bianca said...

I also find it easier to rent a bike at the destination in the US. For international flights a bike box counts as one of two free pieces of check-in luggage usually up to ~30 kg for each bag), but for domestic flights they are not so nice.

Joel said...

Thanks Anon., Prez, Nomad and Bianca. I took a look around at bikes and suitcases. Wow those Surly Traveler's Checks are nice option, but not cheap. Flights right now are cheap to some destinations.