Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

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Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby jqdsffjdsoge » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:07 pm

My wife and I are planning a two-week tour in Viêt-Nam next year. We have extensive experience of touring in the UK and in Europe, but this will be our first time we're going to have to load the steeds into an aircraft.

Technically, I can change a tyre, adjust brakes and probably - in a push - adjust a dérailleur. I can also pop out a link from a busted chain and I even trued a wheel once. Even if it didn't last very long.

But anyway, I've seen talk of detaching the dérailleur hanger and placing it against the chainstay. The rest of the preparations, I could probably swing it, like turning the bars, the pedals. But if I start detaching the dérailleur, something tells me we'll come a cropper.

As for transport, I fancy getting a pair of these: http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/b ... ags-33421/

.. and we then find someone to keep them for us, and send them onto us before we fly home (since it'll almost certainly be from a different location than the one at which we arrive).

Your thoughts and experiences would be welcome.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby Neil Wheadon » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:53 pm

The postives and the negatives

Positive. Yes remove the derailler and attach it to the chainstay. All you need to do is unscrew it from the frame and velcro it between the chainstays, don't touch the cable. No adjustment should be needed.

Negatives. Those cases are awfully bit and heavy. You'll almost certainly be over the airplane luggage allowance and will be paying quite a hefty excess baggage charge. Also getting someone to courier them from A to B in Vietnam will be costly and potentially problamatic. I'd consider a circular route departing and returning from the same accomodation, where you can leave/pick up the bag

Good Luck
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby Sweep » Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:04 am

As an alternative, check out this:

http://www.groundeffect.co.nz/product/BAG/TAR

I've got one.

Excellent.

Link features vid with a beginning that has echoes of that unfortunate tech-spook cyclist.

I'd use more extra internal packing/protection than he does - in fact I thought that was central to its design concept.

Pipe lagging, bubble wrap, cardboard etc
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby lisap » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:15 am

Like Sweep I use a Ground Effect bag but I use the Body Bag which folds down to the size of an A4 parcel. Small enough to carry on a point to point trip.

You don't remove the rear wheel and there is no need to remove the derailleur. I change gears so it is close to the rear wheel, pack close foam between it and the spokes and then cable tie it to the spokes. Rear wheel is then bungied to the frame so it can't move.

You don't even have to loosen the handlebars as the front wheel comes off and you just turn the bars sideways. Wheel is packed in cardboard and placed next to the frame. The bag comes with a front spacer to protect the forks without the wheel and I always use foam and duct tape to cushion it. Pipe lagging can be carried and cardboard ditched one end and replaced at the other.

It's a perfect system for someone like me who has very little technical know how other than how to mend a puncture.

Have a good trip.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby Sweep » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:29 am

The Tardis also folds down to an A4 pad - similar size (well a bit smaller) to an old yellow pages or something.

So can be taken on your trip with you.

Or you could even (if flying back from the same place) bury it somewhere.

It's a struggle getting the bike in (that vid says the new one is bigger) but all very neat. And very easy to carry over your shoulder - I've been by bus/train to the airport with it while also carrying two other bags.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby jqdsffjdsoge » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:28 am

Thanks for the advice and links, guys. I confess I'm somewhat concerned about the treatment which will be doled out to our precious bikes. We came back into the UK through Heathrow recently on a non-bicycle trip, and I had to go over to the 'Outsize Luggage' carousel at Terminal 1. As I waited for my rucksack, I noticed a bicycle in a soft bag, which had basically been tossed onto the floor next to the conveyor.

Maybe the bag protected it - I hope so, for the sake of its owner - but I'd hate to think of that happening to ours.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby Neil Wheadon » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:43 pm

You have to look at bikes on flights from the airlines point of view. They are difficult to handle, heavy and the automated conveyer belt system just isn't designed to move them from A to B easily,(Automation keeps flight costs down) As a result they have to be physically lifted onto trollies and airplanes. The options therefore are to either try to protect them as best we can or make them easier to move about and many years ago a baggage handler thanked me for basically throwing a bag over the tandem, leaving the wheels on and it could be wheeled about. However at some point you may get a scratch or ding and this should be accepted. On tours I lead I try hard to make the airlines life as easy as possible. At the end of the day everything is repairable and you get to go touring in fascinating places. My Mercian after 14 years of extensive touring has just gone for a respray and carries the scars of many flights, lamposts, railings etc but we've been to some lovely places.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby simonhill » Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:53 pm

I use a free cardboard box from my local bike shop. Minimum disassembly required - front wheel and pedals off remove handlebars at stem.

One of these boxes can be folded flat and then into 3 for storage. Most hotels will keep for a few weeks but you may have to pay a few $. In some countries it is easy to get these boxes from local bike shops although not in VN. I only know of such shops in Saigon.

I am interested in your trip. Two weeks isn't long in Vn. There aren't many international airports in Vn so where are you planning to fly in and out of? Also beware of internal flights,Vietnam Airlines charge at least US$50 for each bike and over a hundred for international flights.

I have spent quite a bit of time cycling in Vn, so let me know if you have any questions about cycling there.

What was the warmshowers bit in the title about?
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby jqdsffjdsoge » Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:14 pm

simonhill wrote:I use a free cardboard box from my local bike shop. Minimum disassembly required - front wheel and pedals off remove handlebars at stem.

One of these boxes can be folded flat and then into 3 for storage. Most hotels will keep for a few weeks but you may have to pay a few $. In some countries it is easy to get these boxes from local bike shops although not in VN. I only know of such shops in Saigon.

I am interested in your trip. Two weeks isn't long in Vn. There aren't many international airports in Vn so where are you planning to fly in and out of? Also beware of internal flights,Vietnam Airlines charge at least US$50 for each bike and over a hundred for international flights.

I have spent quite a bit of time cycling in Vn, so let me know if you have any questions about cycling there.

What was the warmshowers bit in the title about?


Hi,
Thanks for the response. Two weeks is all we have available, alas. We planned to arrive in Hanoi and TRY to make it to Cambodia.

I didn't explain the warmshowers bit. I thought it would be possible to find someone who'd hold onto the bike case for me, and send them on to me, for which I'd pay of course.
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Re: Air Travel, Boxes and Warm Showers...

Postby simonhill » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:49 pm

Hmmmm, Hanoi to Cambodia, interesting route. Which way are you planning on going?
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