Author Topic: overseas travel  (Read 3097 times)

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Offline commuter

overseas travel
« on: March 04, 2012, 05:56:04 pm »
Hi
I will be retiring in a few years and I would like to do a large circle tour of the world to include, but not limited to, places like Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, parts of Europe and then home. My question is what is the best way to ship your bike on a tour such as this?

Thanks in advance
Steve

Offline DaveB

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 06:25:33 pm »
Probably Fed-Ex or UPS to the places they serve.

Offline hem

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 08:53:05 pm »
Mostly likely taking as baggage with you. Otherwise you will most likely will end up with some import/export hassles as you move around. Think Bike Friday.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 10:51:38 am »
Figure out which airlines you will be using.  Then call them up and ask if they have bike boxes at the airports you will be going to.  It costs $10-15 for the boxes.  Buy some tape ahead of time.  If for some reason the airline you are using does not have bike boxes available, find another airline that does.  The airlines will sell a bike box to anyone who wants one.  Not just customers on their airline.

Offline tsteven4

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 03:17:36 pm »
Quote
The airlines will sell a bike box to anyone who wants one.

Russ,  As far as I can tell airlines selling bike boxes was something from the good old days.  Do you know of any airlines that still sell bike boxes?  I haven't got a box from an airline since the mid 1990s.  It sure made things easier on the return leg, although we often found that they wouldn't have any when we got to the airport to pick them up.  If I am just looking at the wrong airlines I sure would appreciate knowing it.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 06:20:22 pm »
I'll admit to going on old information and experiences.  Last time I used cardboard boxes from the airlines for a bike was November 2000.  Only plane trip since then was using my own hard plastic case for the bike.  You'll have to call and ask directly.

Offline Rideoregon

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 01:05:04 pm »
I'm with "hem"......Bike Friday makes a ton of sense for your plans

Offline DownTheRoad.org

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 06:24:20 am »
I fly with a bike more than most (I tour professionally) and have seen the rules change through the years.  Airlines used to worry about size but not anymore it seems.  Now, probably because of fuel cost, are concerned with weight. Below is one example of this.

I flew from Australia to New Zealand and met a guy at the check in with a Bike Friday in a large suitcase looking box.  I had my bike in a regular bike box.  After check in we compared the cost of our baggage. 

Each of our packed up bikes came in at about 17 KG and we each had our panniers and other camping gear in another cardboard box (as cyclist often do) and both our gear boxes were about the same weight @ 20 KG.  The airline (that day) allowed 20 KG free and AU$20 X each additional KG.  We each paid about the same. 

The point is the Bike Fridays may be easier to pack but still not save you in baggage fees which are based on weight. 

Also, Policies written on web sites do not seem to matter checking in.  Some flights I take have charged nothing while others charge as much as the seat.  I believe it is all up to the mood of the check in agent rather than policy.  Hearing how other cyclist were charged has little to do with how it will go down for you on the same airline - unless it is the same day.  Checking in early seems to work best for me in reducing cost. 

Tim Travis
Bicycle Touring Continuously Since 2002 - no plans to stop
www.DownTheRoad.org

Offline commuter

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2012, 05:13:55 pm »
To: Down the Road
You seem to have hands on experience, so I have another question for you. What do you do with your bike case when you are touring?

Thanks      Commuter

Offline John Nelson

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2012, 06:25:15 pm »
I don't think Tim uses a bike case.

I had my bike in a regular bike box.

Bike cases are not a very good solution for point-to-point tours. For loop tours, they can generally be left with the hotel you stay at for the first and last night, or with a Warm Showers host.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 06:27:13 pm by John Nelson »

Offline Susan

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2012, 02:07:04 am »
I have flown within Europe, the US and Canada with a normal sized touring bike every year for the past 8 years or so.  I've always used a cardboard box that I just dispose of at the airport or at a motel upon arrival.  When departing, any city with an airport has also had a bike shop where I could obtain a box.  Sometimes I've used two boxes telescoped and taped together so I only had to remove the front wheel, take off the pedals and adjust the handlebars and seat.   I've often packed alot of the rest of my gear into the box as well.  The rest I either pack in a disposable cardbord box or a super cheapo duffle bag purchased at some discounter.   Many airlines limit the weight of the boxed bike to 30kg. 

It's wise to check the websites of the airlines BEFORE booking the flight - the bike transport fees could influence your choice of airlines.   My favorite is British Airways with US$50 per bike, no dimension restrictions (as of summer 2011).  The worst has been Delta Airlines - returning home to Germany from Fargo ND last year I paid almost US$200! 

With all due respect to the posters who suggest a Bike Friday:
I think I would consider one if I wanted the option of using alot of public transportation (bus) but I don't think the airline transport is a big enough issue to let THAT determine which type of bike you use. 

Good luck with your tour!
Susan

Offline tonythomson

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2012, 04:28:19 am »
Hi good advice all round above.  My routine is to find a bike shop in the city I am leaving from - either drag it through the streets walking or fold it up and ride. Not always that easy in a busy town.  Pack the bike in the hotel/hostel I'm staying in and find a taxi/man & van to take me to the airport the day of the flight.  If flying into Australia this means that you can get your bike really clean in case they want to inspect it for bugs etc.

I once cycled from Tel-Aviv to Ben Gurion airport carry a bike box, don't recommend that for sure.

Bring back the good old days when you just turned up at the airport, took the pedals off, let the air out of your tyres and carried all your heavy gear like tools into the cabin as hand luggage.  :P

Have a great time
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline DownTheRoad.org

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2012, 07:04:14 am »
To: Down the Road
You seem to have hands on experience, so I have another question for you. What do you do with your bike case when you are touring?

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.  I have been camping a lot and not on the computer.  So far I have always flown with cardboard bike boxes.  I fly one way and just ditch the box after I put together my bike.

Tim
Bicycle Touring Continuously Since 2002 - no plans to stop
www.DownTheRoad.org

Offline Mark Manley

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2012, 11:18:55 am »
I hav flown my bike to a couple of tours in Asia in the last three years and have used airlines with a larger luggage allowance, Emirates and Gulf, packed my bike in a cardboard box from a bike shop and had no problem, there won't always be this option but it is worth bearing in mind. I once flew it back wrapped in clingfilm at the airport which kept the weight to under 20 kg but it got a couple of scratches on the paint, it depends on how fussy you want to be about it, on a RTW tour your bike will pick up a few anyway.

Offline Rideoregon

Re: overseas travel
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 05:02:30 pm »
If you fly British Air to Europe you may save on baggage fees, but you'll pay a hefty ($$$$) fuel surcharge fee. In the hundreds of dollars. Also, I've never been charged a baggage fee when checking my Bike Friday as long as I keep the total weight below 50lbs. --at least for domestic travel.