Good idea to fly bike in a cardboard bike box

nsmyth1988
nsmyth1988 Posts: 91
edited December 2013 in Road general
Just wondering whether many people have flown without a hard shell bike box I'm flying from canada to ireland in December and should I buy extra insurance for the trip? I was just planning to put insulation round the frame and bubble wrap the carbon wheels?? Many thoughts
"Training is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you're tired. You stop when the Gorilla is tired"

Comments

  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,514
    i use a hard bike case, but there're no guarantees, one flight a plastic bag may be ok, the next will smash a reinforced flight case, accidents happen, as do other nasty things

    airline liability is limited by international treaty, the amount isn't high

    "The airline is liable for damages up to 1,131 SDRs. You can benefit from a higher liability limit by making a special declaration before checking in your luggage, and by paying a supplementary fee."

    sdr is a pseudo currency, currently 1131 sdr is c. 1270 euro

    you have the choice to ask the airline to accept increased liability at checkin (they can say no, they can charge you if they say yes), or take out insurance to give the necessary cover

    not all policies give much cover for baggage, so read the fine print carefully
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I think, as above, it doesn't matter too much. There's the whole school of thought of the clear plastic bag being the best thing to fly a bike in (so the handlers see it is a bike and treat it better - maybe).

    I've flown with both a hardcase and a cardboard box - always been fine.

    Do stuff like remove the rear derallieur and tape it to the chainstay, put spacers in the forks and rear dropouts (make them out of threaded rod or see if your bike shop has any spare from a bike delivery), make a couple of poles from a bit of drainpipe or similar to sit in the box and avoid crushing the whole box.

    Is it a one-way trip or are you returning to Canada? Obviously, it's important to think what you'll do with whatever box during your trip - leave it at a hotel or whatever (or stash a cardboard box on top of a bus-stop in a Spanish airport - that was 20 years ago mind, not sure I'd risk doing that now!).
  • Giraffoto
    Giraffoto Posts: 2,078
    Terrible Idea. I took my bike to Australia in a cardboard bike box and it got stolen three months later.
    Specialized Roubaix Elite 2015
    XM-057 rigid 29er
  • phreak
    phreak Posts: 2,905
    I've used a cardboard box a few times and thus far it's been fine. Plenty of bubble wrap was used, with clothes often put inside the box as well, so plenty of cushioning.
  • Never had a problem with cardboard boxes myself. Many a trip have gone by without any problems.

    This all with Ryanair.
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    I've also used a cardboard a few times, no problems. I made fork spacers out of bamboo rod, just put a skewer through it (bamboo is hollow and fits a skewer perfectly). Also, put a lightweight kids football in the main triangle of the frame, just in case the box is laid flat on the ground with luggage on top.
  • Thanks for taken the time to get back to me! Gona try the cardboard box flying with aer lingus so hopefully it won't be so bad thanks for the tips il make sure to break it all down thanks again
    "Training is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you're tired. You stop when the Gorilla is tired"
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Main aim is to avoid damage to the bike. Don't skimp and expect the insurance to cover you.
    I use a soft bag but use so much foam that I'd be happy to throw the bag down the stairs. Worst I've had is a broken bottle cage.

    I'm liking the football idea - I will add that to my arsenal next time I fly.
  • dsoutar
    dsoutar Posts: 1,746
    +1 for removing rear derailleur.

    Foam pipe lagging on as much of the frame/ bars, chainset etc as poss and shed loads of bubble on the bits you cant. I also use the foam lagging as spacers
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    And zip tie the chain onto the big ring too. Otherwise that chainring will slice through the box.
  • meursault
    meursault Posts: 1,433
    I'm no scientist or flight engineer, but I don't think you would get it off the ground, and in a box just reduces aeronautical properties.
    Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

    Voltaire
  • shmooster
    shmooster Posts: 335
    There have been a few threads on this and the consensus is to use a bike box, I think bikeboxalan was named as a good brand and you should be able to hire them. Mate put his bike in a plastic bag for Marmotte and the frame was broken on the way back, but of course there have been accidents where bikes in boxes get damaged as well. Personally I'd never travel with my bike unless it was in a proper box, and looking at the flights to the alps for Marmotte and the Etape it's rare you see any other container than a proper bike box.
  • bigpikle
    bigpikle Posts: 1,690
    I thought many carriers insisted on bikes in proper bike boxes? Sure I've seen that several times when selecting the sports equipment options.
    Your Past is Not Your Potential...
  • dodgy
    dodgy Posts: 2,890
    Bigpikle wrote:
    I thought many carriers insisted on bikes in proper bike boxes? Sure I've seen that several times when selecting the sports equipment options.

    A cardboard bike box is considered a "proper bike box". It is after all the same box that the manufacturer shipped the original bike in, probably by air.
  • Will the cardboard box was perfect to get everything in! only problem was Aer Lingus didn't take the bike to Dublin now it's Missing in action FML! Home now 3 days and no sign of it
    "Training is like fighting a Gorilla. You don't stop when you're tired. You stop when the Gorilla is tired"
  • nsmyth1988 wrote:
    Will the cardboard box was perfect to get everything in! only problem was Aer Lingus didn't take the bike to Dublin now it's Missing in action FML! Home now 3 days and no sign of it

    I'm guessing there is a lesson to be learned here then…..
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles