April 13, 2008

Hacking bikes for less hassle

I travel a lot with my bikes and I know all too well that traveling with bikes is a bit of a pain in the rear at times. There are very few airlines (zoom airlines is one of those few) that have the decency to allow sporting goods on planes for free, and more often than not, a rather hefty fee is to be expected. Air Canada charges $50 for example and others treat bicycles as excess, oversize luggage and charge accordingly. In general, airlines seem to be looking to get to your bucks in any way possible. But that's business I suppose. S and S couplings (sometimes called BCT couplings) are the light at the end of the pitch dark tunnel of flying with your bike. The couplings were developed by S&S Machine Company of Roseville CA. The bicycle torque couplings allow you to break down your bike to fit a normal suitcase. The couplings are placed on the top tube and the down tube and only take minutes to take apart with the specialized wrench that comes with the couplings. This allows you to travel with your bike without any of the typical hassles of oversize luggage, such as extra costs and major headaches. All of a sudden there are no issues with bus drivers, cab drivers or just people waiting in line. No one gets to give you the "stinkeye" because no one realizes that you're traveling with a bike. All they see is another suitcase. S and S couplings have been around since 1994, and seem to be getting more common and popular. The only downside seems to be that the couplers will only work on a steel or titanium frame. The couplings will not affect the stiffness or strength of your frame and they have been approved by big names in the industry, including the lately gossip ridden Greg LeMond. I want S&S couplings on my next steelie, but it will have to be a nice one because the couplings are not cheap to install. According to Billenky Cycle Works which has been "hacking bikes" since the introduction of S&S couplings, the price for a single bike is roughly $450. But perhaps that is a reasonable price. The couplings will pay for themselves in about 5 flights with Air Canada.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

allt er nú til!!!