Saturday, October 06, 2007

An open and shut case

Having made a couple of trips to the mainland with the bike now I'm getting a feel for what works and what doesn't when it comes to packing a bike for air travel. I've been using a tough Ground Effect Tardis bag for the trips which necessitates a air bit of disassembly and reassembly at the other end.

The biggest lesson I've learned is that taking care when packing really pays off. I wrap the frame tubes with pipe insulation and put pieces of cardboard between the wheels and the frame. Packing spare clothing in and around the components seems to help also. Despite the 'fragile' sticker on the outside, I suspect that the baggage handlers aren't too kind - in four flights I've racked up a broken bottle cage, a broken spoke, a damaged cable guide and some scratches on the paintwork. A hard case would probably do a better job, but the cost, size and bulk has turned me off the idea so far.

Enter the Surly Travellers Check. It's the same frame I'm riding now, but with two couplers to split the frame in two so the whole bike fits in an oversized suitcase. It's a great idea for the frequent traveller. It's out next year, so I might give it some serious thought, depending on the cost.

4.663km so far this year.

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