Flying with bike – bag or box?

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  • Flying with bike – bag or box?
  • tamzin
    Member

    Hello, I’m off to Kerala with my bike in Feb 😀 suppppper excited. I was planning on getting a box for the bike from a bike shop (we’re flying with Qatar, 32kg allowance), but someone’s lent me a bike bag if I want it. It doesn’t have much padding, but obviously I can pad it up. The bag has the bonus of being a million times easier to carry from one place to another…

    Any experiences of what’s better? We’re taking various spares but I’d rather it didn’t get too battered before I even start.

    I’ve always used a £60 standard bag, but with a cardboard LBS bike box cut down to fit inside. Gives the whole thing a bit more protection and structural integrity, which helps when towing it along. Probably adds a kilo or so.

    Never had any issues in about 20 flights, other than one bent rotor (which I left on a wheel).

    Premier Icon skellnonch
    Subscriber

    Are you going with Mike @ Mountainbike Kerela? Just come back, we went over xmas, had an awesomely epic time… I always use a soft bag, pack it well & you wont have any issues, as above, always remove rotors, undo rear mech & strap to chain stay etc. etc. well jealous say hi to Chippy & the crew from Me (Mick)

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I use both, big bag with a cardboard bike box inside. Best of both. But tbh knowing what I do now, I’d get the best box I could find and encase it in a mile of packing tape. Then again it’s possible that’d lead to me knowing more things, which would lead me back to a bag 😉

    tamzin
    Member

    Thanks all! Hadn’t thought of making a bag box hybrid, this I will do.

    Skellnonch, yes I am! Totally can’t wait – would LOVE to see pics/reviews if you don’t mind sharing!

    _tom_
    Member

    I flew to/from Canada with my bike in an Avenir bike bag (hardly any padding) and it was fine. Get some pipe insulation foam for the tubes, bubble wrap everything else. And take the discs off, zip tie together for more resistance to bending.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Evoc bike bag super tough.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    Take a bag. I made the mistake of using a box on a trip to somewhere supposedly warm and dry. It turned to papier-mâché on the way from the airport up to the resort in the trailer. I can just imagine trying to source a new one in Kerala for the journey home.

    For packing I rest the bb on a big chunk of hacked up kingspan. Stops the rings from wearing through the bag base. Each tube gets wrapped in cut to length pipe lagging. Label these with permanent marker so you know where they go and zip tie in place. Scaffolding wrap is also excellent for fat tubes.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    one off box
    repeat Evoc Bag – I’m looking at flying once or twice a month so evoc is the one for me (and a 23kg limit)

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    Evoc bag also bloody easy to wheel around and carry. My view is I’m going on a mountain bike holiday. If the bikes trashed during flight then it’s likely that the holiday is over. I fly with my bike 4-5 times a year. Evoc, brilliant bike bag. Great investment.

    jaffejoffer
    Member

    ive got a bag, from Cycle Surgery i think. inexpensive, circa £100.
    as above, cardboard bikebox inside. then just tie my pads and any other durable kit to the frame, and i sit the crowne of my fork into my helmet which also gives clearance under the bb.

    my mate hired a hardcase box last year, had to take the forks off to fit it in, then somewhere during transit lost the bearings out of the headset!

    i mentioned on another thread, someone was telling me about this service where they collect your packed up bike box/bag a day or two before you travel and deliver it to your digs in the Alps or wherever before you arrive. thus not having to drag it through the airport yourself?

    Premier Icon piha
    Subscriber

    + 1 for the Evoc bag.

    I went with MTB Kerala last year and took my Evoc bag and didn’t have any problems. On a previous flight my bike suffered a bent mech hanger so I take that off now too. I always add a bit of extra padding to bits that look a bit vulnerable. I thought about a bike box but I believed them to be too heavy, a bit big and it’s easier to store a bike bag when not in use.

    Can’t recommend Mike and the team highly enough. I read a review on here and it is spot on. The riding is great with a good variety of trails. The different places you stay mean you get to see plenty of the area. Food is wonderful and varied. Keep an eye out for wildlife and avoid the cobras. I’m sure you’ll you’ll have a wonderful experience. Say hi to the lads from me – Bruce.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    At the other end of the spectrum, if you only wish to comply with the regulations necessary and expect you property to be handled with care…

    http://www.ctcshop.org.uk/ctc-plastic-bike-bag/ —- £12

    …this will suffice.

    I have used one twice, from Oz>Indonesia>UK with Ait Asia and, uuh, another airline.

    Worked for me.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    i sit the crowne of my fork into my helmet

    😯

    Presumably this is the lid you then throw away before you head out riding? It is isn’t it? 😯

    nikk
    Member

    I doth sitteth the very crowne of mine forke inwards to mine helmete, forsooth!

    andrewh
    Member

    Proper hard case box. Don’t even think about a bag.
    My bikes have now made 11 flights between them in boxes, no problems at all. Last trip to Oz my bike was fine in a box, as were five of the six of other people’s which all went in bags. Two friends had bikes wrecked by Delta airlines in bags recently.
    So, that’s 100% success for boxes, 62.5% success for bags. My bikes are never, ever going in a bag.
    .
    I’ve got two ‘proper’ bike boxes, cost me £50 each, one off ebay, one off the classifieds here, money very well spent to protect several thousand pounds worth of carbon. Won’t need them again until Oct 2015 so if you want to borrow one in Feb you are welcome (Based in South Lincs)

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Proper hard case box. Don’t even think about a bag.

    Whats the weight on the box?

    My Bike and Evoc bag come in at 22kg, my limit here in Oz is 23kg.
    10/10 successful flights with the evoc for me but they do seem to handle with care here.

    Premier Icon turboferret
    Subscriber

    +1 for the Evoc, flown dozens of times in the past year all over the world and a bit with several different bikes, never a spot of problem. Very easy to pack and wheel about too.

    If you’re going to be flying relatively frequently then I’d certainly say it would be a good investment.

    I looked into boxes before deciding on the Evoc, and it seems that a cheapish box is very heavy, and a light box is very expensive. Offset the excess baggage cost from transporting the box and it can become a pretty expensive exercise. The Evoc seemed like an excellent compromise and I don’t regret my choice.

    If it’s a one-off, you might want to consider hiring a box – these guys have very good boxes available: http://bikeboxalan.co.uk/

    Cheers, Rich

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Other option I use very successfully with a carbon mtb:

    Home

    Strong and light, folds flat when not in use. Doesnt need a massive strip down of bike and wheels to use it…

    HTH

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    +1 for Crateworks box. Brilliant thing, tough, reasonably light, bike is suspended inside the box so if anything”s dumped on top the load is on the box, not the bike frame. Made from a sort of corrugated plastic stuff, fold flat for storage and really well thought through.

    andrewh
    Member

    One of mine is a Crateworks and that is my favourite of the two.
    Whenever I’ve flown I’ve had a limit of 32kg so the weight of the box is less of a concern, although the Crateworks one isn’t as heavy as the other anyway.
    .

    it seems that a cheapish box is very heavy, and a light box is very expensive

    Light, strong, cheap. Pick any two. Obviously applies to boxes as well!

    davidisaacs
    Member

    “easyJet ?@easyJet Jan 10
    Cyclists of Europe: From 11 Jan our weight limit will be back to 32kg. Thanks for your feedback”
    Also check out
    http://www.bikingandalucia.com/information.asp#bike
    I always used a cardboard box from the LBS, free, sacrificial, has hand holds, and is fine as long as it does not get wet!

    Premier Icon GDRS
    Subscriber

    I go bag with box lining…..BUT……the fail safe anti crush extra is to get either the plastic frame spreaders bike shops chuck when they unpack a bike for assembly or an old pair of hubs if you have them knocking around. These stop your forks or stays being crushed. I also take off the hanger and the disk rotors.

    Small pre and post flight faff. Never any problems.

    Premier Icon skellnonch
    Subscriber

    I use plastic pipe like they use for waste pipes on washing machines for between forks/rear triangle just put your skewers in & clamp up. Also spray can lids are good for ends of hubs & stopping your cassette from eating through the side of your bag.

    I used an lbs cardboard bike box and wrapped it completely in cheap duct tape to give it some reasonable waterproof qualities.

    ‘From a distance it looks like brushed steel’ say my chums. 😉

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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