We've collected some tips to help you pack your bike in any case that will help minimize damage and get you and your bike to your destination in one piece.
The Orucase team has been flying domestically and internationally with bikes for the last 15 years, and has learned the tricks of the trade for flying with bicycles. Read our list below, and check out last week's blog post on:
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SOFT AND HARD BIKE CASES? DO I NEED A HARD CASE TO PROTECT MY BIKE? DO SOFT CASES EVEN WORK?
Here's our list of tips for packing your bike in any case:
Whether you're using a hardcase built to double as a fallout shelter, a cardboard box, or our Airport Ninja, we recommend using dropout protectors. These will protect your frame from compressive loads when baggage handlers drop, throw, (or practice their shot put throws) your case. The protectors can be taped to further secure them. Any local bike shop should have these laying around from shipments.
Do not leave home without these!
Remove Rear Derailleur
Removing your rear derailleur will help ensure that your derailleur hanger makes it to your destination in one piece. In theory, removing your derailleur will not affect your shifting, so don't feel uncomfortable removing it if tuning up your shifting is out of your skill range for now.
the bike shop wanted to charge me retail ($4500) to take the hanger off...
Carry A Spare Derailleur Hanger
Carry a spare derailleur hanger with you. This is an inexpensive piece that can be hard to find on the road depending on what brand bike you ride. It's also one of the easiest pieces to break during transport. One year at National Championships the TSA ended up breaking a derailleur hanger on my Time VXRS. We were in a new location, didn't know any of the local bike shops. Because Time paints over the derailleur hanger bolts, the bike shop wanted to charge me retail ($4500) to take the hanger off... Needless to say I opted not to do that. Luckily, Wheels Manufacturing was 10 miles away. We drove there and everyone picked up a few spares for $20 a piece.
Tighten All Bolts
After removing your seat post, stem, and even bottle cages, be sure to re tighten any bolts. The worst is when through the rattling and shaking around of a flight, or the automated baggage sorting system, that a bolt becomes loose and disappears.
Shoes and Pedals
In a worst case scenario (more common than we'd all like) of a bike not making it to your destination on time, having your pedals and shoes in your carry on can make it much more enjoyable (and easy) to set up a borrowed or rental bike. This can make the difference in being able to ride or not. Besides, it's much more likely that you'll find a size 54cm bike versus a pair of 41.5E shoes with custom insoles and your speedplay pedals with 2 wedges...
Skip The Baggage Fees
The Orucase Airport Ninja is the only bicycle case designed by cyclists to avoid excess baggage fees. We build every bike case to order in house, this allows us to accommodate every customer's unique needs, while building the highest quality product. We can build cases for any sized bike. The best part is that compared to a traditional hardshell case design ours requires only one additional step in packing, the removal of the fork! The next time you get charged $150+ each way traveling with your bicycle, remember that the Airport Ninja Bike Case is the solution to stop paying bike fees!