Because of weight limits on baggage (unless “money not too important” also included excess baggage fees - 1% of first class fare per Kg) then a wheel-on trainer is going to be the most likely option. A quick search shows most direct-drive trainers starting at around 18kg which doesn’t leave much for a bike.
I’ve never flown with them but the aforementioned Feedback Sports Omnium Rollers spring to mind. I’ve travelled with them a bit, with bag the maximum weight I recorded (on my batthroom scales, highly unscientific) was just under 7.2kg (1st1.8lb).
I converted it from stone and pounds (1 stone 1.8lbs) to Kg on the ask numbers web site, it comes out with 7.167kg. I’ll see if another site gives the same. Yip other sites give me the same but to different decimal places.
I think a smart trainer will fit the checked baggage weight limit at around 23 kg. Use the original box and put some “fragile” stickers on it. If you are in frequently travel programs you will often be able to bring extra baggage without a fee. Put the bike in a regular bike box. Get an adapter for the different types of sockets.
Flying with a bike is always a horror show. I do it way to often and there are always people who gives you a hard time because of the bike. Especially if you fly with different airlines and have connections in airports that forces you to pick up and check in luggage no matter what (like Mexico City). Adding a heavy, fragile trainer that probably isn’t to resistant to moist and water would make it even worse. When I open the bike box after a flight it feels like how must be to open christmas gifts in hell.
A bit outside the normal consideration, but mixing a folding bike with the Feedback Omnium or similar Minoura FG542 traveling rollers could be an interesting option.
I guess it depends on your actual goals and how close you might get the fit on a folding bike to mimic your intended purpose, but that would take advantage of the trainer and bike being specifically designed for travel in small packages. Brompton in particular seems a premium option from my limited exposure.
I wish I knew. Probably a question for the folding bike companies. I’ve only skimmed them in the past and am not sure how the geo between bottom bracket to saddle and bars would play out.
It might be possible to match it up, but I can also envision limitation with at least some models from details like seat tube angle and other geometry choices with folding and small wheels in mind.
Yea, I have seen stones used a fair bit, but not mixed with pounds in that way. Looked like some autocorrect error to my eyes on first blush. I get it, but it sure looks odd and is not what I expect when most common comparisons in this realm are pure KG/LBS. But that is my issue and formed expectations
Have a bike and trainer for your trips and ship them ahead. Carrying this type of kit around as checked baggage and schlepping it to and through airports is a hassle. Just ship the gear ahead to your hotel and then ship it home.
If you are looking for something to use on say weekly business trips, you’ll likely be better off hitting a gym or spin studio. Even the smallest bike and lightest trainer are going to become a burden after a trip or two.
You can often rent a bike for less than it costs to ship / check it. Bringing a Feedback sports trainer and renting a bike could work. Some locations you can rent a trainer too.
If going back and forth to a work location, same place each time, consider storing gear at work.
Long term, if you plan to travel frequently with the same stuff, have professional cases and have foam inserts made (such as Pelican with high density foam). Else it’s a matter of time before your stuff is broken in transit.