taking a mountain bike on a long haul flight

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  • taking a mountain bike on a long haul flight
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I always did this. As long as you don’t go over the weight limit you’re ok.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    They don’t check inside, but any aerosols of CO2 canisters may show up on X-ray and they’ll get you to open it and turf them out. NB Varies massively by airport, I’ve taken CO2 all round the world in my bike box, but Madrid kicked up a fuss and Stansted won’t allow GT85.

    I always pack ours to the brim.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Some airlines have a weight limit, some don’t, btw.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Some airlines have a weight limit, some don’t, btw.

    They don’t seem to enforce it with bikes, always says 20kg on the blurb, but never had a bike box weighed – they just ask what it weighs and point you at Excess baggage.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    In particular South African Airways, first time doing this, do they check inside the bike bag much? Currently just got shoes, spares and a sleeping bag in with the bike but the Mrs may try and pile stuff in so good to know in advance what the level of scrutiny is.

    thanks in advance.

    andrewh
    Member

    I packed my bag chock full, just using riding kit for padding etc.
    didn’t take co2, gt85 etc or energy drink mix, though taking a tub of white powder through customs wouldn’t be a great idea.
    Aussie customs are quite thorough, had to open it up so he could inspect for clenliness (not allowed to take soil into the country)
    can take some odd stuff on as hand luggage, got a pair of folding tyres through OK.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Denver asked if the bike was clean (worried about contamination), I just said yes and they let me through….

    spooky_b329
    Member

    Ours were weighed leaving gatwick and also leaving vancouver. Vancouver decided they had a lower weight limit, we were lucky to get through without having to bin a few carrier bags of bike clothes.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Generally nothing over 32kg , some airlines impose fees above 23kg (AirNZ for example have a 32kg max weight limit and charge above 23kg). Pack it well, if you are coming this way then spotlessly clean inc shoes – put them in soles up. I prefer a lighter bike box as lugging a super heavy one around is painful.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Yep 32kg is the max allowable for lifting reasons.
    I always used what ever I had to hand to pack the bike – armor, camelback to put loose bits in etc. never had a problem. Always take lid as hand luggage too, only questioned once by Air NZ in auckland who said they don’t allow helmets through security. Security laughed and let me through fine.
    Missus did bike bag to Oz and they managed to squash the rear triangle on a 456 after the plastic spacer snapped, used old axles since then.

    CO2 is the mythical beast of packing sometimes they can see it sometimes they don’t…

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor
    Subscriber

    We had no problem bringing our bike boxes to NZ. We filled the boxes up with pads, sleeping bags and roll mats – pretty much up to the limit. Did have to unpack it a bit to shop MAF how spotless they were 😀

    However someone (Air NZ-Virgin-NZ) squashed the rear triangle on Ella’s Kona 🙁 so she had to buy something much shinier to replace it 😀

    bigrich
    Member

    forget the bike specific bags; they waste of time. go to the bike shop and pick up a free cardboard box that the bikes come in.

    top tip: go to a specialized dealer and see if they have any sworks carboard boxes left over; they double thickness compared to the normal bike box.

    bigrich
    Member

    SAA are cool look:

    “For the following Sport equipment mentioned below, SAA will allow an additional piece, not exceeding 23kg, free of charge per passenger – this is valid to both the Weight and Piece Concept.”

    https://www.flysaa.com/au/en/flyingSAA/baggage/sportingEquipment.html

    that means your bike will go for free! you get 46kg total over two pieces.

    BA, Qantas and everyone else stopped that ages ago. Lucky!

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    You need to notify the airline if you’re bringing CO2 cylinders along. Most have a reference guide for dangerous goods (eg, this is BA’s):

    http://www.britishairways.com/cms/global/pdfs/Forbidden_Items_List.pdf

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    forget the bike specific bags; they waste of time. go to the bike shop and pick up a free cardboard box that the bikes come in.

    Then watch helplessly from the plane window or terminal building as the shreds of a cardboard box that once contained your pride and joy are dragged all over the tarmac… then decide the £60 for a bike bag is most definitely worth it…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Then watch helplessly from the plane window or terminal building as the shreds of a cardboard box that once contained your pride and joy are dragged all over the tarmac… then decide the £60 for a bike bag is most definitely worth it…

    Then watch as your £60 bike bag is dragged all over the tarmac and shredded with bits falling out all over the place. My bad bag lasted 1 trip at the hands of baggage handlers. Boxes have better 7:2

    bigrich
    Member

    Then watch helplessly from the plane window or terminal building as the shreds of a cardboard box that once contained your pride and joy are dragged all over the tarmac… then decide the £60 for a bike bag is most definitely worth it…

    never happened to me, and I fly all over the world with my bike.

    hels
    Member

    It only takes on baggage handler having a bad day….

    Never flown SA airlines but every other airline recently has got tighter and tighter in terms of weight and what they can charge you for. Air NZ always look in the bag but customs are v strict about agricultural hazards.

    Personally, having seen a guy forced to empty all non-bike items out of his bag at the check-in desk as it was overweight, I wouldn’t risk it. Luckily he had somebody with him to watch the bike while he bought and paid for another bag, then paid excess baggage for that.

    It just takes one check-in staff member in a bad mood….

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    never happened to me, and I fly all over the world with my bike.

    Happened to me on both legs of a return trip.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    We’ve got semi-rigid bike boxes, sort of super tough furry board (Polaris is one make). They last really well as they don’t crack or split if bashed, but deform spreading the impact. Lost the wheels / feet off them, but the actual body is fine. Never had any damage to bikes and we both ride abroad several times a year, taking either carbon road bikes or mountain bikes.

    bigrich
    Member

    Happened to me on both legs of a return trip.

    sucks to be you

    strawdog
    Member

    definately a 32kg limit for sports luggage – has happened to me and friends on 2 different airlines – been made to take 500g of items out of a sealed up bike bag whilst theres an angry mob of about 200 people behind you waiting to check in isnt fun, I queried this with the check in people and they said anything over 32kg can only be carried as freight – not sure if this is a universal rule?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    I queried this with the check in people and they said anything over 32kg can only be carried as freight – not sure if this is a universal rule?

    This is the one absolute, it is the limit that they can lift safely. It has been for many years. It’s the only one that they will make you repack or split stuff. You can pay what you like but they will not lift more than 32kg. It has nothing to do with airline policy.

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