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Travelling overseas with bike

Later this month i'm off to Nice for IM. This is the first time i'll have flown with my bike. I'm hiring a bike box from BikeBoxAlan so i'm prepared. However, i've spoken to the airline who have told me that the tyres must be deflated, which poses the question - How will i inflate them again once i'm over there.

I'm taking a small pump to deal with any punctures during the race, but it's no good for sticking a full load of air to start with, its a get me home sort of pump. I doubt i'll be able to fit my track pump in the bike box and anyway the combined weight of the bike and the box already takes me over the 20kg limit set by the airline. I was thinking about taking cannisters (even though i've never used them before) but do you pack them in with your hand luggage or in with the bike to avoid them exploding, plus are they a problem when going through customs???

So how do people get around this?? I was thinking of taking the wheels with me to the Expo with the hope there will be someone with a pump there.

Any advice on this matter would be appreciated.


  • pataallenpataallen Posts: 94
    i've got a very smally pump from halfords, can get 140 with it. i wouldn't rely on cannisters to get you up to pressure! are you sure weight limit is set to 20kgs, doesn't seem much given that most bike boxes are best part of 10kg?
  • wyno70wyno70 Posts: 189
    When I checked with my airline the bike box was exempt from a luggage allowance. All it has to do is be below the max which I believe is 32Kg.

    This is on the basis that I have paid £60 extra for the extra bag.

    Might be worth a phone call to your airline as you have no hope in the world of a bike + box coming in at under 20Kg!
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    full answer... (?)

    depends on the size of the box. I just went to Austria 70.3 with a bike box, and I could have fitted the kitchen sink in it! I certainly got my bike pump in it as well.

    Failing that.... on arrival... are there any other triathletes staying at tye same hotel do you know? check out tritalk.com, ontri.com (US centric but...), and BCTTT.com amongst others, slowtwitch maybe? There will be threads on those possibly you can jump in and ask.

    OR... local bike shops/services or at worst at the race site there WILL be a bike shop.

    As for letting your tyres down, you wouldn't want to get there and have two tyres burst before you start anyway You may well need to let your tyres down overnight before the race if racking is the dayt before - expanding air in the hot Nice sun etc... needing a pump up before the race start on the race morning.

    FTR I brought CO2 cannisters back with me, in the bike box, no probs.

    YMMV natch!

    Good luck!

  • IronABSIronABS Posts: 66
    Cheers for the advice guys - i have phoned the airline and as the bike is classed as sport equipment it must come in at 20kg or its £10 for every kg over 20 (their regular bagage allowance is 22kg)!!! If i can fit it in i may just bite the bullet and pack the track pump and pay the fee otherwise i'll be gambling on using whatever bike support there is at the race expo.
  • diddsdidds Posts: 655
    Conhead said:

    Do not put co2 in your bike box, I know Didds got away with it but all airlines forbid the transportation of Co2. I'm not sure which airport you're travelling from, but if it was Manchester for example they x-ray your box with you stood there and if they spot the co2 they make you open the box and take it out.


    FWIW I do agree with CH, despite what I did! I didn;t take CO2 with me, then bought some at the expo, at 5 Euros a cannister (two). I am so tight I just couldn't then just chuck them away!

    FTR, I flew out of LHR and it wasn;t x-rayed. I flew back from Vienna, and they did, and had no problems with the,

    BUT ... really CH is right.

    That charge varies per airline with BA charging £50 each way

    FTR, it was £80 LHR-VIE flying lufthansa (and austrian airlines codeshare DUS-VIE), and 80 Euros back with BMI (Austrian airlines codeshare). BA strikes cost me a bloody small fortune in the end :-( Bike box was NOT included in the hold allowance.

  • jibby26jibby26 Posts: 261
    I hate to say it but our supreme leader Conehead is misinformed on the CO2 front

    They are the same cannisters as in lifejackets. So there will already be 300+ on the aeroplane. If they question the fact you have them you can point out that you are allowed to take 2 with your own self inflating lifejacket either in your checked bag, hand bag, or on your person. I travelled with 2 cannisters to and from Barcelona through Gatwick with no problems.

    Regarding the track pump, one option is to pop along to Aldi/Lidl and see if they have them. I had one of their track pumps and it was made from thin steel/aluminium and really quite light, and only about £5. Not particularly durable, but will do the job well enough for 15-20 inflations before your on borrowed time.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    I wonder if this varies from airport to airport.

    I've only taken the bike abroad once, and I stuffed co2 into the bike box. I used it to reinflate the tyres when I was rebuilding it... then deinflated them once it was checked in..

    I did have the unbelievable task of trying to find a track pump on the day.... so def worth taking one with you.
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