Polaris Eva Bike Pod for Brompton air travel ... experience/thoughts?

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Having just become the proud owner of a S6L I'm looking to take it on planes with me as I travel for work.
I see there are 2 wheely case options of which the Eva bike pod appears the lightest (airlines max weight is 20kg hold baggage free).

http://www.polaris-bikewear.co.uk/products/eva-folding-bike-pod/

The alternative is here, but is notably heavier and I'd be close to the weight limit with an 11.5kg Brommie:

http://www.fudgescyclesonline.com/index.php?p=183178

Before I electronically transfer any hard-earned scheckels, any thoughts?

Cheers
FF
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
I have the Polaris. It's very good, but there are a few things to note about it.

First, the pull-out handle is too short for comfort if you're of average height or taller. It's not a big issue over the typical distances you pull it, but is worth knowing. Second, more critically, that handle is far more obvious than the one meant for lifting it, so baggage handlers will use it to lift the case. It will then bend, and jam when they force it back into the case. Don't ask me how I know ...

case-damage.jpg


So, wrap a strap around the case and pull out handle to prevent this. (I now use the shoulder strap to pull it along, which works ok.)

Third, while the case is extremely well-protected at the edges, I worry a little about it being crushed if heavy baggage is thrown on top of it. For this reason, I use cardboard stiffeners:

00-brompton2.jpg


Fourth, the saddle will get scratched unless protected. As you can see above, I use an old t-shirt wrapped around it.

As with any case, remove the hinges as they are the most vulnerable part of the bike. The Polaris case has a special pouch for these.

Finally, I can highly recommend a T-Bag as handbaggage. This has as much capacity as the largest size carry-on roller-bag, and means you have a Brompton bag when you get there.

miami-001.jpg


Hope that helps!
 
OP
Fab Foodie

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
I have the Polaris. It's very good, but there are a few things to note about it.

First, the pull-out handle is too short for comfort if you're of average height or taller. It's not a big issue over the typical distances you pull it, but is worth knowing. Second, more critically, that handle is far more obvious than the one meant for lifting it, so baggage handlers will use it to lift the case. It will then bend, and jam when they force it back into the case. Don't ask me how I know ...

case-damage.jpg


So, wrap a strap around the case and pull out handle to prevent this. (I now use the shoulder strap to pull it along, which works ok.)

Third, while the case is extremely well-protected at the edges, I worry a little about it being crushed if heavy baggage is thrown on top of it. For this reason, I use cardboard stiffeners:

00-brompton2.jpg


Fourth, the saddle will get scratched unless protected. As you can see above, I use an old t-shirt wrapped around it.

As with any case, remove the hinges as they are the most vulnerable part of the bike. The Polaris case has a special pouch for these.

Finally, I can highly recommend a T-Bag as handbaggage. This has as much capacity as the largest size carry-on roller-bag, and means you have a Brompton bag when you get there.

miami-001.jpg


Hope that helps!
Wow!
That's all excellent information! I have a few more questions if you don't mind

How often do you travel with it?
When you say remove the hinges, do you mean the screwy bits?
Which Brompton do you have? I have the s-type and I don't think the T bag fits an S.
When you say remove the handle, is that permanent?

Sorry, so much yet to learn!
 

CopperBrompton

Bicycle: a means of transport between cake-stops
Location
London
How often do you travel with it?
Four trips so far. I used to take my Brompton as hand-baggage in my business class travel days – fits in the overhead lockers on the upper deck of 747s, and in the wardrobes of other aircraft – but didn't fancy chancing my luck with that in economy.

When you say remove the hinges, do you mean the screwy bits?
Where the bike folds, just completely unscrew the clamps and remove them. Otherwise they stick out and can easily be damaged.

Which Brompton do you have? I have the s-type and I don't think the T bag fits an S.
No, it doesn't, unfortunately (I have the M3L, though upgraded to an 8-speed).

I haven't tried it, but you could probably fit an empty S-Bag into the Polaris bag on top of the bike.

When you say remove the handle, is that permanent?
I mean, push it fully in and wrap a baggage strap around it so that it cannot be pulled out. Feed the strap through the fabric handle so that baggage handlers can still use that.
 
OP
Fab Foodie

Fab Foodie

hanging-on in quiet desperation ...
Here we go, first overseas trip ....

Brom in case.JPG


Thanks to the Ergon grips I had to loosen the handlebar, brake levers and gear shifters to rotate the bars to a position where I could close the lid. Also needed to loosen the saddle and re,move both pedals (single sided SPD types).
Takes about 10 mins to get her ready to go from the case. Travelled well so far. Used a baggage strap also as you suggested, a tenner from Argos. Old grunts used to protect the saddle.
20.3kg all-up.
So far so good!
 
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