I've got a quick trip later in the year to Italy and I'm considering biking on my full sized road bike to/from the airport at both ends of the trip. I'll have my trusty Chrome Industries Rolltop 37 with me for clothes/tools but I was wondering if there's a fold-able or collapsible bike bag that I could use to transport the bike that would be small enough to fold up in to my backpack? When I get to Italy, I'll have an 80Km cycle so it would have to be lightweight.

An alternative and front runner for now is, getting a ride/taxi to my local airport with bike in a cardboard box (that they ship to shops in) and then hopefully obtaining a box from Safe Bag when I depart. UPDATE This is not available at the airport I'm travelling to but looks like a good product.

This is an EU to EU flight. Cost of bringing the bike on the flight will be about €100. I'm flying with Ryanair and their bicycle policy is as follows:

Bicycles - MUST be contained in a protective box or protective bike bag in order to be
accepted for travel

Bike rental is not something I'd like to consider at this time. The return flight is quite early so I'm not even sure I'd be able to return a rental I was to consider that option.

Any suggestions would be great.

  • @Frisbee all the none US airlines I've checked (except the super budget options) let you take a bike as part of your normal luggage allowance. – alex Jan 18 '16 at 17:16
  • I assume you've taken into account whether the combination of airline rules (for the airline in question), airline liability limits, travel insurance and your personal acceptance of risk to your bike (given the trip) permits your bike to be carried in a soft carrier? – Chris H Jan 18 '16 at 18:52
  • 1
    Why not just rent a bike in Italy? – Batman Jan 18 '16 at 19:36
  • @alex - that's not true, I checked Aer Lingus and it was 40 euros for the bike (50e if you declare at the airport), each way. – RoboKaren Jan 19 '16 at 2:02
  • @RoboKaren Lingus are a pretty budget option. I saw Frisbee was from the US where even the pricey airlines charge extra for bikes and thought that might clear things up for him. – alex Jan 19 '16 at 2:13

You could pair a Burly Travoy with a bike suitcase if you're willing to put up with a trailer while you're touring:

enter image description here + enter image description here

The bonus is that you get to use the bike suitcase to hold all your belongings in a nice, watertight compartment while on the road. The downside is that it looks wonky. I'm not sure if the Travoy is designed for hundreds of miles of touring. It's certainly heavier and more unwieldy than an axle-mounted trailer. And you'll likely get hit with extra baggage fees for the bike suitcase.

In any case the Travoy+bike-suitcase combo what some Bromptoneers and other folders do, albeit our bikes are much smaller and so it's actually workable since we don't pay extra fees for our bikes. Here's a youtube video of someone doing it with a Tern.

Alternately: there's nothing that stops you from doing this with another type of trailer (such as an axle-mount). Or that would stop you from designing your own bike suitcase with detachable wheels so that it turns into a trailer (or trailer into a bike suitcase):

  • p.s. Would people prefer that I put the youtube videos inline? – RoboKaren Jan 18 '16 at 20:36
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    I've tried a trailer like this, made from a sackbarrow and clamps. It was truely hideous to ride with, mostly due to the small wheels. Your pictured one has slightly bigger wheels, but the ride will be awful and the handling of the bike will be altered. – Criggie Jan 18 '16 at 20:46
  • yes I prefer the youtube clips inline. They'll show a frame from the video file, which shows me if its worth clicking or not. – Criggie Jan 18 '16 at 20:48
  • @Criggie - The Travoy has an articulating mount at the seatpost that takes some of the horribleness off but I still agree -- axlemounts are preferable. – RoboKaren Jan 18 '16 at 20:58
  • I like the suggestion, the product looks very interesting but I think I'd like to ride without a trailer as I'm only there for a short visit. – ynnekkram Jan 19 '16 at 6:21

Check your airline's policy on how bikes should be packaged, but I've managed to fly with British Airways Budapest-London using a giant polythene bag, which I just wheeled in and taped up as the front quick release had jammed. The bag itself was small enough to fit in the bottom of a pannier when folded, and doubled as a groundsheet for camping

CTC (Cyclists Touring Club) provide documentation showing the best way to use it; lower saddle, twist handlebars, remove front wheel and attach to frame, remove derailleur and cover any vulnerable bits with pipe insulation - all things that can be done at the airport if you're riding there.

  • Gidday and welcome to SE Bicycles. Good first answer. I look forward to your future contributions. – Criggie Jan 19 '16 at 20:20
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I've finally found what I'm looking for, both of which are manufactured by Ground Effect. There are two models which I'm considering, either the Tardis or Body Bag. Thanks for all the suggestions! Right now I'm leaning towards the Tardis but both fold down in to A4 sized packages which is exactly what I'm looking for.

This is a service recommendation and is not going to help our American readers, but...

airshells.com rents bike transport cases on many European airports, including Dublin. So, you ride to the airport, pick up the case there and check it in. At destination, leave it at left luggage office - which costs some money but saves a lot of hassle. I rented a case from them for a 10 day trip, and the service was excellent. On return flight the case was handled roughly and lost one wheel, there was absolutely no problem for me.

  • What about Italy? That would help the OP the most. – RoboKaren Jan 18 '16 at 22:44
  • Just to update, my issue is whether or not they have it from Dublin airport. I've emailed them for further information as based on their site there's no booking option from Ireland. – ynnekkram Jan 27 '16 at 14:00
  • This was available from Dublin but they have no storage available at my destination so I'd have to bring it with me. Thanks for the suggestion. – ynnekkram Feb 9 '16 at 9:12

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