bike travel case



kaiost

New Member
Aug 13, 2004
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I'm in the market for a bike travel case (hardshell, multi-use). I don't however have any experience with this, and outside of having read a few reviews, don't know where to begin with the research. I've done a quick search of this forum, but didn't come across a good thread.

So, does anyone maybe have a good overview of what's available? Is there something like an industry standard here? Any particular points to look out for?

I'd be greatful for any insight and advice.

Many thanks!
 

carbonguru

New Member
Sep 14, 2006
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TRICO Hardcases work really well, but are expnsive. Crateworks makes a reusable box that travels really well and has padding inside the box to keep your steed dent and scratch free. It's a viable alternative. :rolleyes:



kaiost said:
I'm in the market for a bike travel case (hardshell, multi-use). I don't however have any experience with this, and outside of having read a few reviews, don't know where to begin with the research. I've done a quick search of this forum, but didn't come across a good thread.

So, does anyone maybe have a good overview of what's available? Is there something like an industry standard here? Any particular points to look out for?

I'd be greatful for any insight and advice.

Many thanks!
 

ieandro

New Member
Aug 19, 2006
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i use a TRICO sports hard case which i brought for about 340 dollars on eBay. It seems a little steep for a case, but for a very good bike (in which I'm sure you have spent a decent amount of money on) it should deserve a fitting case.

I absolutely love the case. It is very strong and professional looking case. it came with three pieces of semi hard foam in which to layer the frame and wheelset. The instructions were right on the money about disassembly procedures and bike placement. I just removed the seat/seatpost, wheels, pedals and handlebars. Just remember to mark the position with a sharpie or marking pen. Oh and the handlebars weren't removed all the way, but rotated to fit when i turned the fork to the side. It even comes with framesavers which were basically bolts and wingnuts that resemble wheel skewers that you installed in place of the wheels so in case some excessive pressure were to come on the frame it would not adversely affect the geometry of the forks. Then again the structure and size of the case shells made it strong enough to withstand even the most harshest of baggage handling and heaviest of luggage. I have 58cm size bike and it fit with some room leftover for accessories such as floor pump, helmet, neccesary tools, two water bottles and a pair of shoes. There are five wide heavy duty nylon straps with quick release buckles that tighten the case. The first time i packed the bike, it really didn't look like both shells would actually fit, but it did. Working one strap on either side at a time did the trick. The foam compresses even more making it more snug around the frame / parts. Anyway by the time i was done, the thing was solid as a rock.
You should always prep and pack the bike carefully with any case just to make sure it doesn't move around. Use bubble wrap or cardboard for the dropouts and keep sharp edges to a minimum. It seems overkill, but it's a just an extra 5 - 10 minutes to prep this stuff. One mistake i made was not removing the wheel skewers. I ended up packing it with it attached and when i went to unpack it, I found the skewers had poked a hole through the foam. No big deal, reallly but skewers are sharp enough.

This case has seen seven countries and dozens of airports and has yet to see signs of abuse.
 

cyclepromo

New Member
Oct 8, 2006
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Some of the crateworks cases have one big advantage. Once you've finished using the case it can be broken down and it lies flat. That can save you some major room if you're traveling or staying in a small place.

The larger hard shell cases are good if space is not a major concern.

Note that proper packing it still required thanks to the baggage handler toss. I hate looking out the windows on the plane and watching them load the bikes in.

kaiost said:
I'm in the market for a bike travel case (hardshell, multi-use). I don't however have any experience with this, and outside of having read a few reviews, don't know where to begin with the research. I've done a quick search of this forum, but didn't come across a good thread.

So, does anyone maybe have a good overview of what's available? Is there something like an industry standard here? Any particular points to look out for?

I'd be greatful for any insight and advice.

Many thanks!
 

bomber

New Member
Dec 18, 2001
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kaiost said:
I'm in the market for a bike travel case (hardshell, multi-use). I don't however have any experience with this, and outside of having read a few reviews, don't know where to begin with the research. I've done a quick search of this forum, but didn't come across a good thread.

So, does anyone maybe have a good overview of what's available? Is there something like an industry standard here? Any particular points to look out for?

I'd be greatful for any insight and advice.

Many thanks!

I flew to France using the B&W touring box. http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4.php?query=BH6910

the box took an absolute beating from the baggage handlers who put it on the conveyor belt instead of outsize luggage. needless to say the box got trapped on the belt coming through the opening. With bags pushing it through it wasnt pretty.

When i finally calmed down and assessed the box it had retained its shape and all the locks still worked despite numerous scratches and pressure marks on the out shell. The bike was untouched and in perfect condition.

I wont travel with anything else as saw a number of bikes in soft cases with dented and damaged aluminium frames. cant imagine what would happen to carbon frame in the same situation.

Cant say enough about the negative experience i had flying with the bike but if you have too which i do sometimes then dont take a chance and get a proper hard case and mark it up as fragile and outsize.

Its not cheap but then neither was my bike and travel insurance and airlines wont cover the full cost!!
 

kaiost

New Member
Aug 13, 2004
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Thanks for the excellent advice. I just won an auction on a TRICO Iron Case this morning. Good price as well - 150 swiss francs, about 125 USD for an almost new (or so it was advertised) case.

That brings me to the next step, the actual flight. I've had quite a few friends travel with bikes over the years, and the standard airline policy seemed to be a surcharge on bike cases. The cases didn't count towards the luggage allowance though. I've checked the websites of all the usuall suspects recently though, and it seems they have all gravitated towards NOT charging a surcharge, but counting a bike case as a piece of luggage. This is bad new for me, since 1) bike and case will surely be over 20 kg, the allowance for my flight, and 2) since the flight won't be cross atlantic (I'm off to Singapore), I am only entitled to ONE piece of luggage.

This means if the policy is adhered to, I'd either pay around 650 USD excess baggage fee, or ship the bike over seperately. I'm curious how others (especially ieandro, as the flight was also to Asia) have handled this. Any experiences?
 

ieandro

New Member
Aug 19, 2006
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kaiost said:
Thanks for the excellent advice. I just won an auction on a TRICO Iron Case this morning. Good price as well - 150 swiss francs, about 125 USD for an almost new (or so it was advertised) case.

That brings me to the next step, the actual flight. I've had quite a few friends travel with bikes over the years, and the standard airline policy seemed to be a surcharge on bike cases. The cases didn't count towards the luggage allowance though. I've checked the websites of all the usuall suspects recently though, and it seems they have all gravitated towards NOT charging a surcharge, but counting a bike case as a piece of luggage. This is bad new for me, since 1) bike and case will surely be over 20 kg, the allowance for my flight, and 2) since the flight won't be cross atlantic (I'm off to Singapore), I am only entitled to ONE piece of luggage.

This means if the policy is adhered to, I'd either pay around 650 USD excess baggage fee, or ship the bike over seperately. I'm curious how others (especially ieandro, as the flight was also to Asia) have handled this. Any experiences?
i took United Airlines from Newark to Seoul with stopovers in Chicago and Tokyo. I've also taken my bike on Continental from Newark direct to London. From my experience flights that originate from the continental US and end in an a foreign destination does NOT require an airline surcharge, but your case will surely be counted towards your checked in luggage limit.

The last time I flew to London the weight limit was pegged at 70lbs or about 32Kg. They did lower it to 50lbs or about 22Kg. My case with bike weighed in at just under 55 lbs. or about 24Kg. and thats fully packed with all my accessories inside.
When flying to Seoul it was limited to 50lbs. / 22Kg. When standing in line to check in I was asked if I had a bike inside and I said yes. He then told the check in attendant that it would fall under sports equipment. Maybe that's why i was able to check it in even though it was just above a couple or so pounds. This was also the time I was told that airline surcharges only apply for domestic US flights.

As for the $650 service charge that seems a little outrageous for any airline.
That's close to a round trip ticket to London !! Hope this helps
 

cPritch67

New Member
Apr 12, 2004
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I recently took a flight with my mtn bike for the first time and it is an experience. First, I couldn't get the frame and the wheelset into the Thule case and close it, without seemingly having to sit on the case. So, I decided to pack the wheels separately - thought I might damage the disks if I sat on the case.
The next issue is that security insisted on opening the nicely packed case, so that they could ensure that there weren't any weapons, etc....and when they repack it - they won't allow you to touch the contents or assist - you get what you get - needless to say I was a little stressed watching them repack my $5k bike.
Also, make sure you don't pack any Co2 cannisters - absolute no-no that can catch fire.
Fortunately, I traveled on United and being a member of the US Cycling I was able to use some membership vouchers - so it was free.
All in all, the bike and wheels came through unscathed, but if your a worrywort like me, you may be better off renting at your destination. Although it is great having your own bike with you!

By the way, I packed the wheels in padded soft cases, then placed them in a carboard box - to keep them together and provide additional protection.

Good luck - I suggest wrapping your frame (painted areas) with soft pipe foam.