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We'll be flying to Timberman and need ideas for getting the bikes there and back. I know I'll have to invest in a box of some sort. Any cases you recommend? Also, would you say it's better to ship to a bike shop there or to fly up with it?
 

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I usually go to the LBS and get a carton box from their new bike arrivals. With the help of the LBS guys I dismount the sadle, front wheel, handle bars and pack the bike and components inside the box which I then sealed with tape. The air company will check in you box as a normal luggage. On my way back I dismount the bike more or less the same way. Overall cost should be less than 50$ or even less if you do not need help from the LBS guy to pack your bike.
 

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I haven't had to yet, but I know our local tri shop has a bike shipping program - I know they are even at some of the major IM events, so you just have to drop your bike off at the shop, they will ship it and assemble it at the race, so all you'll have to do is pick it up when you arrive. I'm guessing this costs a bit, but I am checking into it for Steelhead - we'll be driving from NC to MI, and I'm not sure I want to travel with the bike.
 

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Check with your LBS...the ones around here rent bike travel boxes for around $40 a week or so. Check with the airline to see what additional charges there will be to bring the box along.
 

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I just went through this for the first time last week when DW and I traveled from Chicago to Tucson for a triathlon camp.<br><br>
We looked at both renting bike cases through our LBS or buying them. I know we paid around $300 to buy the boxes. Can't remember what the rental fee would have been, but if we had rented and later bought through that store then they would have discounted the rental cost from the purchase price.<br><br>
We ended up buying the Serfas Bike Armor cases. <a href="http://www.serfas.com/product.asp?ProductID=334" target="_blank">http://www.serfas.com/product.asp?ProductID=334</a>. Seems like a fairly sturdy box, has wheels on one end and a strap for pulling on the other.<br><br>
Packing the bike required removing the seat, aerobars, pedals and wheels. Pre-mark the seat height with a piece of tape. Get a set of spacers for the front and rear forks from your LBS, new bikes ship with them and they should have spares.<br><br>
It was $80 to ship the bike on American Airlines, each way. Some fellow campers went via Southwest and said it was $50 each way.<br><br>
We decided to bring it with us instead of shipping because we didn't want to lose use of the bike while it was in transit. Tri-sports.com in Tucson wanted the bikes there three days in advance in order to reassemble. If you're slightly mechanically inclined, you can reassemble the bike and break them down yourself. Took me about 20 minutes per bike on my first try.<br><br>
It made things much simpler for us in that we had two people traveling, so I was able to drop my wife off at departures with the bikes. She grabbed a skycap to help check-in and I went and parked. I wouldn't want to pull the bike from parking through the airport.<br><br>
Mike
 

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I have traveled with my bike & I would never do it myself again. Go to the LBS, find a shipping service. No Luck?, call your local chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - ask for the Team in training person - they ship bikes all the time and probably use a good LBS or company. With my bike the airport security went through everything with a fine tooth comb, and very messily I might add. I couldn't find stuff, they confiscated stuff - tools, C02 cartridges, etc. I get it after (/11, but it was a mess. My pedals got shoved inside something - thought they had been confiscated by some airport doofus that didn't know what they were. And, case did not fit in the cab. Just my 2 cents. I know a lot of people also use Fed Ex for the rest of their gear. I know people going to IMFL that had to choose Bike or suitcase with everything else for the race - cause there was too much luggage for the flight. My friend chose her bike and luckily her stuff showed up the next day, but she was thinking she was gonna have to buy all new gear for the race. eek! Makes my wallet hurt just thinking about it.
 

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On a recomendation from one of the bosses here I am fed exing my bike. I'm renting a iron case from our local bike club for 25$ a week and then getting the LBS to help me take it a part and pack it. Then I'm going to either fed ex it to my friend Liz or to a LBS near her. I'm also fed exing most of my other stuff to her too about a week ahead of time. If you'd like I can ask if she'd be willing to take in your and TJOCF's stuff as well. She works from home so she can sign for it all and I'm spending thursday night there so I can make sure that everything gets there.<br><br>
uh.... or I could have just pm'd you all of this information too I guess oh well
 

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I take my bike with me unless there's a service such as Tribike Transport (come for most Ironman events). If there *is* a service, I would highly recommend it, as your bike will show up at race site usually fully assembled or with some minor putting-together that the helpers will do for you. I did that at Ironman Coeur d'Alene. It was the best decisions I've made.<br><br>
If there is no service, I take the bike with me. I'm fairly adept at taking the bike apart, squeezing it in a box, and putting it back together at the destination. I like having the bike "on me." Putting it together is easy, plus it's an excuse for me at the race site to start focusing on the race, as I go over the bike and adjust and tighten. If anything's out of alignment, then you have plenty of time to take the bike to one of the race sponsored bike mechanics.<br><br>
I purchased a Pro Bike Case (that's the name) for a very, very good deal at PerformanceBikes.com, or maybe it was BikeNashbar.com. It's a decent case. Especially for the deal I found.<br><br>
Taking the bike with you on the plane will cost on average $80 each way. Some airlines do it for $50 while others charge as much as $100. Whatever you do, do NOT offer up that you have a bike and you're wondering what to do with it. Because if the attendant is new or not in the know, they will simply take the box and not charge you a dime. I've also made quick friends with the attendants and had them slip it in free of charge.<br><br>
Also, be sure to lock it with a certified airline lock (whatever they're called), because nowadays security will open the box and look around, so be careful about locking it with any old lock, and be careful about tossing loose items in the box. I tape things to the side and the frame. But watch the locks, because if you don't choose the right ones, you will hear your name over intercom for you to come and unlock.<br><br>
If you purchase a box, make sure it has as many wheels as possible.
 

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I just use a cardboard box, I have borred cases sometimes but prefer to have something I can toss in the trash when I get home.
 
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