I'm traveling to Portland, Oregon to bike the Seattle to Portland ride (STP) later this month. I had planned to ship my bike - take it to a bike shop here, have them take it apart and then ship it to a bike shop in Portland and have the put it back together. Now I'm thinking about renting a bike case and taking it with me on the plane - checking it of course.
Does anyone have any advice on shipping v. taking it with me on the flight? I'd love to hear from those of you who have experience with either. Thanks!
I put my tri bike in my bike case and take it to all races that I have to fly to. I've never had any issues. Bike cases will vary. The one that I have does not require me to take everything apart ... but some will. I take the wheels, seat post, and pedals off. My handlebars are turned sideways with all of the cables still in tact.
It takes me less than 10 minutes to take it apart and less than 10 minutes to put it together. Probably takes 20-30 minutes to pack the bike since I stuff other things in the case like helmet, shoes, pump, etc.
Check out airline charges for it. Southwest charges $50 while others can go up to $150 domestic. Depending on the bike case size, some will fall under the size limit so it flies free like a regular suitcase.
If you are renting one, ask to look at all of the bike cases that the store rents out. They all have their pluses and minuses. Find one that you think will work best for you. For example, a bike case that is small enough to fly for free may require you to disassemble the bike completely. You may not be mechanically inclined enough to want to do that. If you are then that case would fit you best.