Ask Pinkbike: Creaky Seatposts, Handlebar Suggestions, Shock Setup, and Flying With a Bike

May 5, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



Creaky Thomson Post

Question: Pinkbike user adrian-amoranto asked this question in the Mechanic's Lounge forum: I have a Thomson dropper seat post that has started to develop a creak. Has anyone else had this issue? How do I fix it?

bigquotesA seat post's creaking can come from a few different places, but it's usually the post/frame interface or the seat clamp hardware and rail interface that end up creaking and groaning. Measure your seat height (or make a witness mark on the post) and pull the post out so you can clean the inside of your frame's seat tube. Remove your seat and take apart the rail clamp assembly for a good cleaning, and make sure you remove all grime from the opposing bolts and the barrels that they thread into, and anywhere two different pieces come into contact with each other. Don't forget to wipe clean the bottom of the lower rail support and the top of the post's head as well - that's usually were noise can come from, and you can spot it by looking for any blemishes where the two have been rubbing against each other. Next, apply a very,very thin layer of thick grease onto the threads of the opposing bolts, all over the two barrels, and every single contact surface, including where the seat rails are clamped. Go very lightly - excess grease will only cause dirt to stick to it - and wipe away any and all grease that you can see after you've put the post back together and reinstalled your seat. If your frame is aluminum, apply a bit of grease to the post before you slide it in. If your bike is carbon, use a touch of carbon assembly paste but never grease. You should be noise-free now. - Mike Levy

Thomson Elite dropper post review

A good cleaning and re-greasing of all the bits shown here should eliminate any pesky noise.






Flat Handlebars

Question: Vesko7o asks in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I want to get myself a new flat handlebar for cross country use (daily riding and racing). I also have a BMX and from it, I have found that 710mm and 9-10 degrees back-sweep is perfect for me. I like the Easton EA70 wide flat bar, but the problem is, I haven't seen it in person. I will be grateful if you suggest to me, some flat bars that are durable and relatively light.

bigquotesI almost always ride flat bars when I am on 29ers, so I have developed some favorites over the years. Your first choice of an Easton EA70 Wide is an excellent one, with a race-proven bend and with well-engineered, tapered wall thicknesses to keep it comfortable. Niner's Flat Top bar is another excellent choice. It has a nine-degree sweep and a minimal, five-millimeter rise that makes it easier to find a perfect hand positon. The aluminum Flat Top runs $65 USD, while the RDO carbon model costs $198 USD. Finally, the world's most over-engineered flat bar has to be the Syntace High5. Like the Niner Flat Top, the High5 has a tiny bit of rise to it, which gives it that additional adjustability. Syntace designs the bar so the bend begins closer to the handlebar clamp, so its eight-degree sweep puts the hands in the same place as a nine-degree bar, but with the wrist in the eight-degree position. The High5 takes some fiddling to arrive at the perfect hand position, but if you can get it right, it is an excellent performer. Syntace makes the High5 in aluminum for $89, and the Vector Carbon model for around $229 USD. All of those suggestions are competitively light weight (the links take you to their tech pages) and I think you'd be happy with any of the three. - RC

Niner RIP 9
Niner's Flat Top RDO carbon handlebar is wide enough to handle technical descents, and comfortable enough for all-day rides.




DebonAir Air Pressure

Question: Noggin14r asks in the Bike, Parts, and Gear forum: Looking for some advice or experience of using RockShox Monarch RT3 debonair. I have just received an Titus El guapo 29er with this shock fitted. At the first hurdle of setting sag it seems a bit odd. I weigh 76kg (168 lb) and I have it at 250psi, which has it sitting around 35% sag. The staff at my local bike shop are advising that I should have it pumped to 300psi. I reckon that might bring sag to more tolerable 30%, but once I add my gear I'll be back to 35%. Anyone else had any experience with this shock?

bigquotesThis question seems to come up fairly regularly, as riders that are used to airing up their shock to a number close to their body weight are find themselves running pressures that are 50psi (or more) higher after switching to a Monarch DebonAir shock. The DebonAir's increased air volume in both the positive and negative chamber of the air can is the reason for this change, and rather than having a max air pressure of 275psi like previous versions of the Monarch, the DebonAir can take up to 350psi.

Adding or subtracting air only takes a minute or two, so why not pump the shock up to 300psi and sit on it with all of your gear on to check the sag for yourself? I'd bet that will get you close to the desired 30% sag, and if not, simply add a little more air. You may also want to make sure that the shock has the correct tune for your bike - there should be a red and blue box printed somewhere on the shock body that denotes the compression and rebound tune, which you can then check against the frame manufacturer's recommendation to make sure everything is as it should be. - Mike Kazimer

RockShox DebonAir air can - 2014
The RockShox Monarch DebonAir offers improved small bump compliance, but does take a greater amount of air pressure than previous versions.




Flying With a Bike


Question: Pinkbike user Aeroza asked this question in the United Kingdom Forum: I have got a bit of an issue. I will be moving over to SE Asia sometime later this year. The problem is I recently brought a new steed and don't really want to sell it. The issue comes with travelling on an airplane, does anyone have any tips, travelled abroad with your bike? I came across an article saying that the airlines wont accept it with shocks? Any tips or advice?


bigquotesYou need to choose between bike bag or a bike box, there are pros and cons for both:

Bike bags can be pricey, and once you arrive at the destination you have a huge bag to store, although they're reusable. A bag will handle the elements well, allow fast and easy packing/unpacking, and protect your bike. A wheeled bag simplifies life on public transport to and from airports because you can grab the handle and get going. For the frequent traveller, the bag works best.

A bike box is cheap (usually free from your local bike shop), upon arrival can be binned or recycled. Getting stuck in the rain with a cardboard box has obvious disadvantages, and are more difficult to drag around. Also packing will take longer as you end up dismantling the bike more and more, wrapping with bubble wrap and pipe lagging hoping that nothing will grind and move around in transit. If you only fly occasionally and get dropped and collected directly at the terminal, the lack of wheels and handles aren't really an issue.

I've never had a problem with shocks, sometimes the check-in staff get militant and make you let down the tires. Nowadays, a certain orange European airline can get moody if you have anything else in their with the bike, like clothes or accessories. The most important thing is to make sure you don't overstep the weight limit as a few kilos extra can ruin a month's paycheck with some airlines. Most important of all whichever you choose, smile and be friendly at check-in, this often avoids any altercations. Or you could post it? - Paul Aston

EVOC Bike Travel Bag
The EVOC Bike Travel Bag is the benchmark for frequent flyers.



Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


116 Comments

  • 151 0
 I definitely misunderstood flying with a bike as flying on a bike and got really excited.
  • 22 0
 thats why i came. haha
  • 3 2
 Nowadays, a certain orange European airline can get moody if you have anything else in their with the bike, like clothes or accessories.
  • 2 2
 is that easyjet?
  • 24 1
 Ok, my five cents on packing a bike. Firstly "FRAGILE" doesn't work, and to be honest many of my bike bags have been torn or ripped, even expensive Evoc - They pull the handle against the proper way and it rips. when you look at packing ideas from certain companies, the bikes are almost in one piece with the wheels removed and bars rotated, it doesn't work like that in the real world. My mates and I make an afternoon of packing our bikes for our holiday, it's the time to get excited after all!. Remove the wheels, slightly deflate the tyres which still provides protection and secure a strong tube or cut down broom stick between both axle spaces to stop being crushed together, remove the discs (pack them safely), remove the handlebars, tape a wine bottle cork between the brake lever and grip - stops the Pistons being pushed and the levers being vulnerable, remove the caliper and place a wedge between the Pistons to stop them pushing together , remove the rear mech with hanger and tape inside the rear triangle, remove the seat and post, remove the pedals. Wrap everything, bars, mech, forks in pipe lagging and bubble wrap like your life (bike) depends on it (and it does). Lagging and bubble wrap weighs and costs nothing, but is invaluable. If weight allowance allows, place body armour and extra clothes inside for extra padding. So far this has worked for me with trips to Spain, Germany, France and numerous whistler trips. BTW, on the way home, when you've had enough of your broken bike and worn body, throw it all in the bag, have a beer and hope for the best!!!
  • 4 0
 Sweet, two bottles of wine should get that job done!
  • 10 0
 Bike Packing Tip: at any hardware store you can get light pipe insulation. You can use that insulation to wrap everything from stanchions to bars to frames. Pipe insulation is also reusable for both bikes AND surfboard travel. I have had mine for over 14 years. Bubble wrap can be a one time use and you are contributing to the End of the Earth which is coming soon (you will know when you see Tippie in spandex on a road bike).
  • 1 0
 Great tip! I have traveled several times back and forth from Finland to Canada, and have also used the pipe insulation as well . Lightweight and really protects the frame/forks. It works awesome and is waiting to be reused for my next trip.
  • 6 1
 If you're going to SE Asia, bike parts are, for the most part, much cheaper than they are in the UK. If you plan to go over your weight limit with your bike in tow, consider that you might be able to get the same parts, brand new at that, for the price of flying these in. Note that if the component is not made in Taiwan or China, then you'll probably won't find it on SE Asia.
  • 8 4
 Bike box ftw. Cover it in tape to keep it water resistant, recycle it when you're done with it and most airports have roller trolleys you can put the box on anyway. Free is always best imo. On a recent trip with friends myself and another buddy used boxes with zero damage.
  • 20 3
 However they then get treated like a box not a bike Wink
  • 21 2
 Something tells me the dude loading the plane doesnt care. I was at lax and they ripped my buddies bike out of his dakine bag and just threw everything back in without a care so whos to say
  • 3 1
 I had an EVOC that I use when traveling with my DH rig. I was flying Southwest and I presented the gate attendant with my credit card because I knew it was $75 extra to check a bike. He says, "well, let's see if it's under 50lbs." I said, "it's not (bag weighs around 20, and a DH rig is almost certainly more than 30 lbs) just let me pay..."

He then proceeds to pick up the bag and slammed the bag on it's end on the scale. I was less than pleased. So, yes, they really don't give a f*ck if it's a nice bag or a box. Irregardless, I'm glad I have the EVOC and find it to work well. And, count on TSA rifling through your bike bag.
  • 4 1
 Definitely an advantage for posting rather than flying with, I think. Seems like that sort of thing happens a little less. traveling, I'll take my bag, but moving permanently, I'll ship my bike, wrapped & packed like it was going to the moon.
  • 2 0
 Boxes are good but you rarely get through without oversize luggage fees. Ditto for EVOC bags. A goalie bag usually slips through without any extra fees but you better be slick with the packing/padding. And never never pack it over 50 lbs or you enter a new realm of $ pain.
  • 1 0
 Air Canada allows up to 70 lbs for a bike with a $50 handling charge. But it goes with an "available space" basis.
  • 1 0
 Frontier used to have a flat rate for bikes regardless of weight as well(well, all airlines did a long time ago, but Frontier is more recent.)
  • 2 0
 Might be worth splitting the bike into two boxes. Wheels and fork into one and frame+ rest into another. Lighter boxes suffer less abuse, should give more margin to fit extra padding, and I think fee wise two lighter boxes are cheaper than one really heavy one.
  • 29 2
 Irregardless ain't a word Wink
  • 4 0
 Just get the biggest bike box you could possibly find, they won't be able to throw it around as easily
  • 1 0
 not anymore, air Canada now adds the 25$ baggage fee to the 50$ each way.
  • 4 0
 If traveling in the continental USA you can box your bike and have it shipped to your destination by FEDEX or UPS ahead of time. I did this while flying to my relatives home. As I remember it was cheaper and I didn't have to go through all of the airport/airlines hassle.
  • 4 0
 Having worked at a bike shop, if you do ship your bike UPS or Fed Ex, get insurance. Can't count the number of bikes I have seen be stabbed by the forklift, fork lowers uneven(cause shit gets packed on top), wheels that have an unfixable "hop" to them. Rock shox turnkey knobs broken, cheaper suntour lockout switches that are not replaceable, the list goes on...
  • 2 0
 If you fly with Virgin Atlantic they will ship your bike for free, but be aware that if you have internal connecting flights on the way back, they may charge you - I got hit with $100 fee from Delta the other year

Also, if you fly with a box take some extra packing tape, as the airport staff will open it up and won't always tape it back up very well.
  • 3 1
 @six66 - Doh! I don't know why I typed "irregardless." I should know better.
  • 1 0
 I flew my bike back from BC with Westjet in a bike box...It arrived with a nice dent in the top tube Frown

Hard cases are the only way I go now.
  • 9 1
 Lots of us fly with our bikes ,but its not for hundreds of miles.
  • 26 6
 Like 3 feet styled with 1/12th of an X-up
  • 24 1
 Check out mister fancy pants with his 1/12th X-up. I am over here with my 1/20th tabletops feeling like a boss.
  • 9 0
 Man, both of you are ahead of me with my 7 degree whips
  • 1 0
 Don't forget accidental one footer airs... i mean on purpose..............
  • 6 3
 The thing about all rock shox monarch's is that they are all for light riders, any rider above 80kgs is going to have problems with sag setup. Rock shox should say in their monarch info "only for sub 75 or 80 kgs riders", but fat or heavy people keep buying them. It is impossible for a 90 kgs rider to achieve 20 or 30% sag without going above the 300psi (or 350 or 275 depending on model) max air pressure.
I have talk to ton of riders that have the same problem. And a lot of bike shops deal with the same issue.
I dont know if it is a shock failure or monarchs are only for light riders.
  • 3 1
 And unless I misread, the debonair needs to be cycled @10% as u pump it up, so air fills neg chamber.
  • 1 0
 So this is odd, but I'm 93kg, have it from yeasterday, sag is at 30% and I have 220psi on my Knolly Endorphin.
  • 5 1
 @milanulrich Leverage Ratios are usually all different. Frames with high LR's need more air to set the sag at 30% for the same rider weight.
  • 1 4
 exactly- people see the large air can and think "that must be a better product" but really large air cans give more air volume aka a more linear spring rate, which, on many bikes, should only be used by really light or non-aggressive riders.

the suspension design of your bike is a huge factor, of course, but if you're a heavier or more aggressive rider, you want a small air can to prevent bottoming out. it's why so many people end up having to put a bunch of air can spacers in the debonair
  • 2 0
 @xeren the Debon air can ups the NEGATIVE spring volume. the positive, or normal spring volume stays the same.
  • 1 0
 ahhh, my bad, @groghunter

well, my comments about air spring size in general still holds, but good to know about the debonair. maybe i was thinking about one of the fox air cans?
  • 1 0
 nm, i was thinking of the cane creek air cans- their positive airspring is on the outside of the can (and on the inside as well from what i've been told)

store.canecreek.com/p/xv-air-can-200x-50-or-57-mm?pp=8
  • 3 0
 Debonair canister actually has both a larger positive and negative air chambers: larger positive chamber for a more linear spring rate; larger negative for a better feeling/more sensitive initial stroke.

And @xeren, large air cans (thus, more linear spring rates) are a great option if you are looking for more mid-stroke support while still being able to use the last bit of your travel on whatever might be tossed at you at that speed. With a less linear shock, trying to achieve mid-support usually makes the bike ramp up too much near the end of the travel.
  • 1 0
 @theminsta isn't mid-stroke support generally handled by damping? when you add more volume without changing anything else, you give up that progressiveness that prevents bottom outs.
  • 1 0
 Mid-stroke support is handled by both damping and spring weight. And it depends largely on the suspension kinematics, but on average, at the same sag, a linear spring rate will provide more mid-stroke support and a more predictable/usable ending stroke. Charts can factually prove this.

Almost all air cans are (relatively) progressive and the reason why larger air canisters are coming out as aftermarket products is because both the riders and manufacturers saw the need for a more linear air spring. This need for larger air cans stems from the riders' desires to have a more usable suspension, rather than bender-style, one-time big hits. Not surprising as linear air springs actually offer a much higher initial sensitivity and more mid-support at the same sag.

But taking your suggestion that damping can somewhat replace spring duties, you can easily increase high speed compression damping to prevent bottom outs, just as you would increase LSC to try have more mid-support (at the cost of small bump compliance). This method is a compromise, and increasing HSC damping would compromise square-edge hit absorption!
  • 1 0
 Larger air volume means lower spring rate, which is why you need to compensate with higher pressure (preload) to get correct sag. Good for light riders, but heavier may want air spacers to get back the spring rate.
The issue is no current shock offers a way to tune progressivity separately. So sadly you can use volume to change spring rate, but then no way to adjust progression after. So a heavier rider may be able to get the right spring rate, but suffer from high progressive spring. Sadly, air volume has thus become a tool to adjust progression and air springs suffer from incorrect spring rates.
  • 1 0
 I've had my el guapo 29er for a few weeks now - I've got a cane creek db air on mine, as a comparison to Noggin14r's mines at 180psi and I weigh 85kg/190lbs (though obviously its not an apples to apples comparison). If Noggin14r has the rocker pivot in the lower mounting position it'll give a more linear feel to the shock - maybe use the higher mount? 300psi seems very high compared to my psi on the same frame but with a db air. Anyone know how the air volumes compare between the cane creek and the monarch?
  • 1 0
 It all depends on the leverage ratio, but nonetheless the Debonair does not work for heavier people on an average allmountain bike.
I had a 190/51mm on a 140mm bike, with 92kg I needed 320psi for 30℅ sag - but it was unrideable. It had a strange feel like solid rubber when hitting hard, and I never could use full travel. Riding on flat ground or uphill in the open position was like a rocking horse. The damping was not strong enough around the sag-position and too much for harder terrain.
SRAM will 2016 change the porthole for compression and the anti-bob resistance. Hope so - better get a ccdb !
  • 3 1
 Sent my bikes to Moab and Whistler in cardboard boxes, it worked but it wasnt pretty. Last year rented an EVOC for a trip to the Shore and will never go back, Some others used hard cases, which work fine as well but the EVOC rules IMO. Btw prudent to depressurized your tires but not all the way for a measure of protection and air shocks and forks should be depressurized though i hear its not necessary!
  • 6 0
 should not need to depressurise anything when taking a bike? Deflating tires can help to shrink the packing size, but there is no aircraft requirement to deflate forks, shock or tires. Its an old myth

the cargo hold is pressurised like the passenger cabin as its effectively part of the same structure, but is not heated which is why your bags come out cold.

the passenger cabin is heated using warm air from engine bleed, some times a small area of the cargo hold is heated if transporting animals.
  • 4 1
 even if the cargo area were depressurized it would have no effect on suspension
  • 2 0
 the ambeint pressure would be a lot lower than the pressure of the fork and shock, depending on how much air you have in the fork it could probably overpressurize it, no?
  • 3 0
 you are totally right hampsteadbandit but i know a few airlines in canada make you take some air out of the tires. even though nothing could happen i would not argue with them and just let some out. just be careful if you have tubeless don't want the bead to come open in transit then you'll have a nice sticky mess to deal with
  • 11 0
 I would depressurize the fork & shock. Reason: stanchions slid inside the lowers(or shock body) is cheap protection from scratches to stanchions. I ship forks depressurized & compressed for the same reason, & I got the idea from a fork someone sold me a long time ago.

Also why you should drop your dropper post while transporting your bike, even if you don't need it.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter thats a great idea!
  • 1 0
 Now that I think about it though, I might not do it for the shock. I haven't heard of anyone getting a "stuck down" shock in a long time, but it could happen. I'd probably do a little research, or call the manufacturer & ask. Fork's a no-brainer though. gives you more space in the bag as well.
  • 2 1
 say all the scientific stuff you want, once I flew from Houston to Detroit, i only depressurized the tires, when I took the box apart my 150 mm revelation had only about 60 mm of travel, I think it was Delta, no idea what plane it was though
  • 4 0
 The pressure differential inside the cabin and baggage holds is about 8.5 psi which results in a cabin altitude of around 8000 feet. Boeing 787 is lower. Main difference between cabin and baggage hold is temperature, normally much colder in the hold. Unless your shock / fork / tyres are close to limits I can see no point releasing pressure. Convincing checkin staff this is a different story....
  • 2 0
 I agree with tavaenga, there seems to be very little chance of a pressurized fork / shock / tire doing something strange in the belly of an aircraft.
However, while planning a trip to New Zealand recently, I was reading all the fine print on the airlines websites for traveling with bikes and I did find a few airlines that mention these things specifically, for example:
- Qantas says that the tires must be deflated (but they don't mention shock / fork at all).
- And Air New Zealand says: "Mountain bikes may be fitted with struts containing compressed nitrogen gas. These bikes can only be accepted as checked baggage if the gas pressure does not exceed 200KPa (Kilopascal), or 29 PSI (Pounds per square inch)." and then 2 lines later they say: "Deflation of the tyres is not necessary."

So there is very little consistency from one airline to the next.

Moral of the story is: Just read the fine print for the airline you plan to travel with (and any interline airlines that you will be connecting with).

I did end up flying with Air New Zealand so on my way there I lowered the pressure in my fork / shock / tires (just because it was easy and I didn't want any issues that would delay me). When I packed the bike up to return home I was pretty drunk and couldn't be bothered so I left everything full... Not one airline employee questioned me about it anyway.

-hps
  • 1 0
 @HpSauce did you have any issues with tyres and dirt on them coming into NZ? Just wondered if customs made you pull the bike and check for any dirt on it? I know we can be pretty strict on that normally. Heading off to Samoa from NZ at the end of the month, and thought I better know how clean the bike needs to be coming back
  • 2 0
 @iamwarwick Avoid the hassle. If they are like Aussies, it is hit or miss. My bike was delayed when shipped from Mexico as it needed to go through quarantine (unnecessarily, the bike was pristine clean). I have seen a few people having to wash their shoes at the airport as they had soil in the soles. Other people just go through it with no issue at all. Better not risk it and get it clean.
  • 1 0
 thanks @El-Warpo, yeah I'm leaving NZ then coming back in and know we can be pretty militant at customs on dirt etc. Was thinking I may even ditch the tyres coming back in. But maybe just taking a couple of cleaning brushes with me and giving everything a good scrub out will do
  • 3 0
 @iamwarwick No, I did not have any hassle getting my bike through NZ customs. However, I was well aware of the fact that NZ is very picky about dirt / contaminates coming into their country. So I made sure to clean my bike thoroughly before hand. As well as scrubbing the dirt out of the tires with a plastic bristled brush and water. And then I wasn't satisfied with the tires so I scrubbed them again.

I followed the rules when entering the country and checked the "yes I am carrying used sports equipment box" on the customs card so they did send me to secondary to inspect the bike which I fully expected.

The customs inspection lady opened my bike bag, looked at the parts of the tires and bike that were visible and said something like: "Oh, this is good. You even scrubbed the tires. This is very good." Then she let me proceed no problem.

So ya, the tires are definitely the first thing they will check. And it is possible to get them clean enough with a little bit of elbow grease (better than throwing away $70 tires, imo).

-hps
  • 1 0
 Into Auckland I have had light traces of mud so the Customs lady gave them a clean with what looked like soapy water. Next time into NZ was into Queenstown from Oz. New tyres so no problem and the Customs guy complimented my bike!
  • 3 0
 Actually if memory serves, Thomson does not recommend greasing any of the bolts at the seat post head. That may have changed for their dropper, but since it uses the same head design as the Elite and Masterpiece, I doubt it.
  • 1 0
 @seraph

the advise from LH Thomson about their seatposts is as follows

For the seatpost installation into the bike frame:

"A very light coat of grease is okay. Do not use anti-seize as it can lead to slipping. To prevent sticking the post in the frame, remove clean and re-install every 90 days. Do not use grease in a carbon fiber frame."

For assembly of the clamp head:

"Grease only bolt threads. Do not grease under bolt head or washer and do not use anti-seize."

The advise about the bolts is interesting because its the same that all quality component and fastener manufacturers provide - excess grease which smears the bolt head, or actually greasing the bolt heads, affects the setting torque on the bolt
  • 1 0
 We brought our bikes from The States to Italy and used one Dakine Bike Bag and one Thule hard case. The hard case was 1000x harder to pack and the real kicker is that when the TSA opens it they won't get it back together properly. Imagine a jack-in-the-box that you literally have to stand on to close! Also, hard cases are designed for the short wheel base of a road bike and the smaller overall diameter and width of road bike tires. 650b mtb wheel set barely fit and the instructions suggested I deflat the tires (read as Stans Everywhere!). I had to uninstall the fork from an extra small 150mm FS frame to get it in the box. The Dakine bike bag was super easy to pack and easy for you e TSA to peek inside of. And it helps a bunch that it was like 20lbs lighter than the hard case.
Mountain bikes are designed to take a beating, so all your worries about protecting the bike should sit below other logistical issues.
Lastly, airlines are going to charge you about $150 domestically and $200 internationally EACH WAY. Factor that in to your plans.
  • 2 0
 Yeah thule hard case weight a ton ! I did pay that 150$ also.

I bought the crc bike bag for 99$ it does the job. I know pay 50 to put it on airplane.
  • 1 0
 I have paid the same, but is not a rule of thumb, its more like a coin toss, have traveled a few times from Mexico City or Dallas to Frankfurt and viceverse, sometimes they charge sometimes they don't, rules aren't strictly followed, it depends on who attends you too, once i went to Frankfurt a week in advance and told the lady about it, the airport was empty i guess it was a lazy hour, she must've been bored that she spent a few minutes in the system and told me that she found a way that i wouldn't have to pay and i didn't pay, I have always budgeted it though.
  • 2 0
 I have a spring for my rear suspension and it is a pain in the butt to tighten the top cap. Should I just deal with it or is there a easier way. (Cant tighten or untighten on trail, need tool)
  • 1 0
 No way you can pack a bike smaller than the airlines' overall required dimensions (62 total inches adding length+width+height), and super difficult to get a mountain bike + bag under 50 pounds. Excerpt below from Southwest's baggage policy in the US. Expect to pay about $75, depending on the airline. I'm not sure if it's extra internationally, they don't mention it in their policy.

Effective for tickets purchased on or after December 15, 2012, for travel on or after February 13, 2013, the items listed below will be accepted as Checked Baggage for a $75 each way charge. For tickets for travel before February 13, 2013, or for tickets purchased prior to December 15, 2012, the items listed below will be accepted as Checked Baggage for a $50 each way charge.
Bicycles (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat) properly packed in a bicycle box or hardsided case larger than 62 inches in total dimensions will be accepted as Checked Baggage. Pedals and handlebars must be removed and packaged in protective materials so as not to be damaged by or cause damage to other Baggage. Bicycles packaged in cardboard or softsided cases will be transported as conditionally accepted items.
  • 2 0
 I'd also be wary of that "conditionally accepted items" clause. To me it sounds like they won't cover damage unless it's in a hard case, even if it's in a protective bike bag.
  • 2 1
 You seemed to have misread this part: "Bicycles (defined as nonmotorized and having a single seat) properly packed in a bicycle box or hardsided case larger than 62 inches in total dimensions will be accepted as Checked Baggage."

It says [...Larger than 62inches in total dimensions will be accepted...]
  • 1 0
 @theminsta For a fee. Reading comprehension please. Over 62 inches is what constitutes the $75 fee. I didn't bother posting the under 62 inches is free because I figured a little common sense goes a long way.
  • 1 0
 Oh wow. What the heck was I reading??
  • 2 1
 @mike levy... Why do you say to never grease a seat post in a carbon frame? I had an issue with a KS lev post seized in a carbon frame. Frame manufacturer told me to grease the heck out of the seat post to prevent it from happening again. It turned out to be an expensive fix...
  • 2 1
 Typically, seatpost slippage is the main concern with a carbon frame. Did you use carbon paste (read as friction) as that should always be used and probably has anti-seize properties.
  • 3 1
 Carbon paste was used initially. It resulted in a new dropper post and front triangle. Frame manufacturer said to use grease
  • 1 0
 Not using grease on carbon is an old myth. Just ask Giant or Calfee. Grease your carbon seat tube, or you will get creaking. Only resort to anti-slip grease if you get slippage.
  • 2 0
 Mikes advice is spot on for fixing any creaking w/ the seat post. I had the same issue with a Thomson post and did everything he just outlined here. The creak is gone and has been for a few months now.
  • 1 0
 I fly alot around Asia with my bike, not a problem at all. Airlines here seem to understand that people take bikes with them. I have never been charged extra, or had any issues with loss or damage, that can not be said for Europe, where they take the piss, charge you a bucket full and chuck your bike around.

Box: I have a standard bike box that i have couverd in silver electric tape, no water issues for me!
  • 1 0
 Ruster sports henhouse, best bike bags ever made, separates your bike and wheels into two different bags that both fit the linear requirements for checked baggage from the airlines. This means you pay no bike fee, just pay for two checked bags. The bag is expensive but after using over 7 times it has more than paid for itself!
  • 1 0
 In Oz it's no more expensive to fly with oversized luggage than regular one. I bought an Evoc and I can get my carbon trance in it under the 23kg limit (including pads, helmet etc in the bag). As an added bonus the oversized luggage is a better quality of service compared to normal bags
  • 1 0
 I'm on my second Rockshox Reverb and have the same issue as with the first one (which was replaced because the mechanism was faulty) and that is that the rail/post clamp interface creaks. The first time I tried cleaning everything and greasing where recommended but to no avail. I replaced the saddle and its been OK for a few rides but the creak has returned. Its an SDG saddle by the way. I'm wondering if some gaffer tape round the rails might work or would that make their OD too big to fit the clamp?
  • 1 0
 The new Evoc Pro is excellent, very easy to pack (takes about 15mins if your careful) now has three wheels so no lifting. that's if you can afford it cos it ain't cheap !
CRC bags do the job well if your on a budget but just take a bit more care when packing.
  • 1 0
 I like to use friction paste on my seatpost to frame and saddle rail to seat clamp interfaces. It prevents creaking and helps hold it tight. I even use it on my bar, stem, and steerer tubes. It works well with aluminum or carbon parts.
  • 1 0
 I´m looking also for a new ! Flat ! Handlebar for my new 29er. Maybe @Vesko7o & @RC the ENVE Sweep Bar is another Competition-Choice. And for more weightweenie-points: www.tune.de/produkt/lenker/turnstange-flatbar ;-)
  • 1 0
 Weird, my Monarch has like 170 psi for 30% sag and I am about 180 lbs. I did the slow pump, cycling through the travel when adding psi to fill the neg chamber. Feels right for me, I couldn't imagine 200-300 psi in mine.
  • 1 0
 Does it have the debonair can? It also depends on the leverage ratio of the bike. I am 95 kg and have the monarch debonair on a 2015 Reign 2, and I found about 290 psi got me 30% sag but I was blowing through all the travel on relatively tame tracks. I added 4 rockshox bottomless bands to the shock and now I have no problems at all, same psi, same sag.
  • 1 0
 Yeah its the debonair can, norco range.
  • 1 0
 whats the best air shock for a fat boy.
  • 1 0
 270psi on mine and I'm 6'6" 240lbs for 30% sag. My frame has a sag meter built in so the shock body o-ring is at like 40% but the frame says 30%. Varying spring rate I'm guessing...
  • 2 0
 Like Alias530 said, 30% shock sag may not be the same as 30% frame sag. More accurate measure is measuring frame sag (this is how it is done in moto). Leverage ratio will play a big role on air pressure and leverage curve on shock sag setting.
  • 1 0
 @k-D-M, I too have the range/debonair. Pretty sure I'm at @200psi for 30-35%.
My issue is the sag ends up being at 40% after a ride. Losing air as it heats up maybe. .
Pb range review liked debonair in mid position..I agree. May need volume spacer
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh - do you ride at a much different elevation compared to where you live, presuming you set it up where you live instead of at the trailhead?
  • 1 0
 racing gravity east dh ,wanting to move to an air shock,trying to find out what would be the best for a 220lb rider.
  • 1 0
 Same elevation, as I'm an oc flat flander. Up and down Laguna mainly.
  • 1 0
 Ok, I have to come clean here. Maybe I have something really wrong going on, even if it feels right.
So I mounted the monarch plus debonair from a Norco Range but it's actually on my Banshee Rune. I checked again last night and noticed that I achieve 30% sag (frame sag which is like 17mm) and I only have 150 psi in there. I am 180 lb geared up so I tried pumping it up to 180 psi and it was stiff as hell at 10% sag. So what gives? My numbers seem to be way off from others. Maybe i'll take it apart tonight and see what's there for spacers.
  • 1 0
 Getting married in Germany in September , flying from Canada. Planning of getting a couple of cheeky days riding at leogong while I am close . Would it be cheaper to hire a bike or bring mine over?.
  • 3 2
 How long are the handlebars of world cup racers (small like troy or sam)???? and if the pros have suspension so tough how can they pump???
  • 2 0
 i spoke to troy a while back and he says he uses 730mm bars (this being over a year ago he might have upped it a little) as he has narrow shoulders, very nice guy might i add.
also, brilliant tuning on them allows them to be plush and still support themselves everywhere
  • 1 0
 300psi for a 168 lb rider? Insane... I have a Debonair shock @ 270psi, I'm 6'6" 240lbs, and I have yet to bottom it out on a 120mm frame.
  • 1 0
 Good chance the dropper post creak could also be something internal, not much you can do DYI, some fork juice does the trick for me
  • 3 0
 not 1 Canadian with a hockey bag it seems.....
  • 1 0
 LOL! I know, right? This is EXACTLY what I did to my bike when I went to Whistler last year. No BIKE fees, just regular baggage fees (took two bags tho).

www.pinkbike.com/news/fly-cheap-with-your-bike-mitch-chubey-2010.html
  • 1 0
 yeah you gave me the idea just which of my bags smells the least....
  • 12 11
 Flat bars may burn in hell, high cockpit FTW!
  • 1 1
 hahaha as you say, the "0° rise" is bullshit!
  • 1 0
 Thomson posts will creak if you haven't tightened down your seat properly.
  • 6 1
 As will any seat post.
  • 1 0
 Thompson dropper post will creak if the collar at the top of the lower section has come losse. Mine needed some Teflon tape and a strap wrench to get it to keep from coming loose. Then the post got spongie when fully extended and stuck half way up. Now waiting for it to be fixed. $400 and it has problems. Just like government all the money and it sill no work.

One day dropper posts will be made to work...
  • 2 3
 How come every question/answer mentions brands?
One would also expect some general questions about biking, but maybe that is considered a waste of advertising space.
  • 2 0
 Can I have stickers?
  • 2 3
 HANDLEN BAR QUESTION: when does the Truvativ Blackbox bar (hart or smith, 780mm wide and 25°rise) comes in CARBON ?????
  • 4 0
 I can't recommend carbon bars, and I've owned a few and I am happy to run carbon frame, wheels, and cranks. I think they are very strong, but when they get scratched or scored there is no way to tell if they are fine and I lose faith in them. I once crashed a carbon frame and the front tyre hit the down tube and I rode out of it, but if bars fail catastrophically there is no riding out of it.
  • 1 1
 Materials technology reached a point where fibers are so solid... just look at all the tests they're making, trying to crush the bars, to make them bend ... when you've seen that you realise that you don't do crashes that hard every day ...
  • 2 0
 Like I said, I trust carbon for frames, wheels and cranks, just not bars. You only have to crash once, or have some nincompoop at a shop incorrectly torque a bolt and your bars are finished. At least with aluminium bars I'm only up for $80-$100 instead of $200+. And a deformed aluminium bar is easy to spot, I don't have a sonagraph to test whether carbon bars are merely scratched or compromised.
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