S&S travel bike-their hard case or the soft case?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by eflayer2, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. eflayer2

    eflayer2 Guest

    I am considering a coupled bike. S&S sells a soft case with ABS inserts
    and the case collapses to small when empty. They sell a hardshell case
    that might protect better. Which would you buy and why? The Co-Motion
    folks recommend the soft case.
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    eflayer2 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I am considering a coupled bike. S&S sells a soft case with ABS inserts
    > and the case collapses to small when empty. They sell a hardshell case
    > that might protect better. Which would you buy and why? The Co-Motion
    > folks recommend the soft case.
    >


    I bought the soft case. Initially I was uncertain whether the soft case
    would prove adequate, but thus far my (limited) experience has allayed
    my anxiety.

    It must be emphasized: Regardless of whether the case be hard or soft,
    exercising due diligence in packing the bike *significantly* decreases
    the odds your bike will suffer. For me, the damage sustained (purely
    cosmetic) from shipping can be attributed to how the disassembled bike
    was arranged within the case: When the bike was packed loosely,
    jostling of the soft pack caused shifting and scratching.

    S&S offers a 'manual' on how to pack the bike. Read it and experiment.
    Indeed, when the bike is packed properly--that is, when all empty
    pockets are stuffed with clothes and filler, and more vulnerable
    components are shielded by others less fragile and/or wrapped (using
    the velcro wrap S&S sells as an accessory)--I can sit and even stand
    atop the case (as it lays on its side) without damaging the bike.

    luke
     
  3. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Luke wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > eflayer2 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I am considering a coupled bike. S&S sells a soft case with ABS inserts
    >>and the case collapses to small when empty. They sell a hardshell case
    >>that might protect better. Which would you buy and why? The Co-Motion
    >>folks recommend the soft case.
    >>

    >
    >
    > I bought the soft case. Initially I was uncertain whether the soft case
    > would prove adequate, but thus far my (limited) experience has allayed
    > my anxiety.
    >
    > It must be emphasized: Regardless of whether the case be hard or soft,
    > exercising due diligence in packing the bike *significantly* decreases
    > the odds your bike will suffer. For me, the damage sustained (purely
    > cosmetic) from shipping can be attributed to how the disassembled bike
    > was arranged within the case: When the bike was packed loosely,
    > jostling of the soft pack caused shifting and scratching.
    >
    > S&S offers a 'manual' on how to pack the bike. Read it and experiment.
    > Indeed, when the bike is packed properly--that is, when all empty
    > pockets are stuffed with clothes and filler, and more vulnerable
    > components are shielded by others less fragile and/or wrapped (using
    > the velcro wrap S&S sells as an accessory)--I can sit and even stand
    > atop the case (as it lays on its side) without damaging the bike.


    What about when the TSA worker (for those flying from or within the US)
    dumps everything out and tries to repack it?

    --
    Tom Sherman - Earth
     
  4. itsfred

    itsfred Guest

    eflayer2 wrote:
    > I am considering a coupled bike. S&S sells a soft case with ABS

    inserts
    > and the case collapses to small when empty. They sell a hardshell

    case
    > that might protect better. Which would you buy and why? The Co-Motion
    > folks recommend the soft case.


    I had really bad luck with the hard case - the cassette sits upwards in
    the middle of the box, threatening to scratch everything near it. The
    case must be pulled and tugged to accommodate 700c wheels with tires,
    the hardware is utter crap, the wheels wobble incessantly, and once a
    TSA inspector opens it, it's basically impossible to close correctly
    because the top tire sticks inside the lid, capturing the stress relief
    columns with it.

    Since the soft-case just doesn't look airline-durable to me I tried the
    case Ritchey offers for their Break-away bike and and I am VERY happy
    with it. Easy packing, plenty of room, the cassette is neatly hidden
    away instead of sitting up in the middle of the case (as it does in the
    S&S hard case, sturdy reinfrced side panels, interior pockets, strong
    materials, easy for TSA to open and close, and it dissassembles and
    folds up very compactly after you remove the bike.

    In principle it's an inch or two above the airlines maximums but I've
    flown internationally 6 times and never been questioned.

    Fred Roses
     
  5. Joselas

    Joselas Guest

    "itsfred" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > Since the soft-case just doesn't look airline-durable to me I tried the
    > case Ritchey offers for their Break-away bike and and I am VERY happy
    > with it. Easy packing, plenty of room, the cassette is neatly hidden
    > away instead of sitting up in the middle of the case (as it does in the
    > S&S hard case, sturdy reinfrced side panels, interior pockets, strong
    > materials, easy for TSA to open and close, and it dissassembles and
    > folds up very compactly after you remove the bike.
    >
    > In principle it's an inch or two above the airlines maximums but I've
    > flown internationally 6 times and never been questioned.
    >
    > Fred Roses
    >


    Were you using an S&S coupled bike or the Ritchey breakaway bike?
     
  6. Per itsfred:
    >the
    >case Ritchey offers for their Break-away bike
    >
    >In principle it's an inch or two above the airlines maximums...


    Speaking of break-down bikes... Has anybody tried two separate cases?

    I'm looking at my Maverick-style FS and thinking the pieces might even fit in
    standard luggage.

    Seems logical bc you get two bags in the baggage allowance and I'm guessing that
    with two they could be made 100% legal - and fit in somebody's car at the other
    end easier too. Assuming, of course, that stuffing everything else you're
    traveling with in with the bike parts is acceptable.


    --
    PeteCresswell
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Tom Sherman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > What about when the TSA worker (for those flying from or within the US)
    > dumps everything out and tries to repack it?
    >
    > --
    > Tom Sherman - Earth


    Unfortunately, the case is not completely idiot proof.

    luke
     
  8. itsfred

    itsfred Guest

    Joselas wrote:
    > Were you using an S&S coupled bike or the Ritchey breakaway bike?


    Yes believe it or not I have THREE S&S coupled bikes - a Roark Ti,
    Landshark steel, and Bilenky lugged tourer. The S&S bikes fit just as
    well in the Ritchey case as the Breakaway would.

    Fred Roses
     
  9. jasong

    jasong New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
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    Fred, international flights typically will allow for a HUGE box to carry a bicycle, which can measure as large as a normal bike box and weigh up to 100 lbs. The problem comes in with a domestic carrier and they hit you $125 round trip for exceeding 62" and 50lbs, and they say they have to handle the bag by hand because it's too large for any of the machines. Now you've lost the price of a suitcase and it's too late to change your mind because your there 60 minutes before takeoff.

    Though I've had 0 problems so far, I'm still always scared to travel with my S&S bike after about 10 flights with it. It's a hit or miss. I watched them load mine last time in Paris and they tossed my 70lb box right on top of a bunch of soft suitcases, which could have been your bike. I really am in the dark into what goes on behind the scenes with the baggage, but expect the worst.

    Someone else's suggestion of carrying things in 2 boxes is right on. I carry my handlebars in my normal suitcase which makes life incredibly easier and it virtually doesn't take up space, if considering the volume of the drop bars/shifters. I also go ahead and unscrew the rear derailleur, pull the stem off the fork, pull out the fork, and leave the frame with the bare BB and put the cranks elsewhere.

    I built my own suitcase, FYI. It's 1/4" plywood whose corners use heavy duty galv steel metal corners and has no wheels. I wheel it on a 3lb trolley that I take with me as carryon. This necessitates that they carry this thing by hand and there is less to break off. Though that wasn't my intent when building it (the $400 S&S box was too much for me, knowing it was going to be damaged eventually), it has been a nice side effect. Parts were only around $40-50. Covered in canvas with spray on adhesive, and that still hasn't come off very much. Nice part is that anywhere in the world I can repair this for little money with minimal tools.

    Is there a thread of people that have, for domestic flights, been surcharged for slightly exceeding baggage limits?

     
  10. eflayer2

    eflayer2 Guest

    The problem comes in with a domestic carrier and they hit
    you $125 round trip for exceeding 62" and 50lbs, and they say they have

    to handle the bag by hand because it's too large for any of the
    machines. Now you've lost the price of a suitcase and it's too late to
    change your mind because your there 60 minutes before takeoff.


    What do you mean by this statement? If the bike is in an s and s hard
    case, would it ever incur extra charges?

    I spoke to Sands Machine and asked them point blank which case is the
    best for airline travel. They said a properly packed hard case is the
    best. Of course no guarantees, but that was their advice without
    hesitation. I found a used hard case and took the leap to make the
    purchase. It is one substantial piece of luggage. Hope it works!





    jasong wrote:
    > Fred, international flights typically will allow for a HUGE box to

    carry
    > a bicycle, which can measure as large as a normal bike box and weigh

    up
    > to 100 lbs. The problem comes in with a domestic carrier and they hit
    > you $125 round trip for exceeding 62" and 50lbs, and they say they

    have
    > to handle the bag by hand because it's too large for any of the
    > machines. Now you've lost the price of a suitcase and it's too late

    to
    > change your mind because your there 60 minutes before takeoff.
    >
    > Though I've had 0 problems so far, I'm still always scared to travel
    > with my S&S bike after about 10 flights with it. It's a hit or miss.

    I
    > watched them load mine last time in Paris and they tossed my 70lb box
    > right on top of a bunch of soft suitcases, which could have been your
    > bike. I really am in the dark into what goes on behind the scenes

    with
    > the baggage, but expect the worst.
    >
    > Someone else's suggestion of carrying things in 2 boxes is right on.

    I
    > carry my handlebars in my normal suitcase which makes life incredibly
    > easier and it virtually doesn't take up space, if considering the
    > volume of the drop bars/shifters. I also go ahead and unscrew the

    rear
    > derailleur, pull the stem off the fork, pull out the fork, and leave
    > the frame with the bare BB and put the cranks elsewhere.
    >
    > I built my own suitcase, FYI. It's 1/4" plywood whose corners use

    heavy
    > duty galv steel metal corners and has no wheels. I wheel it on a 3lb
    > trolley that I take with me as carryon. This necessitates that they
    > carry this thing by hand and there is less to break off. Though that
    > wasn't my intent when building it (the $400 S&S box was too much for
    > me, knowing it was going to be damaged eventually), it has been a

    nice
    > side effect. Parts were only around $40-50. Covered in canvas with
    > spray on adhesive, and that still hasn't come off very much. Nice

    part
    > is that anywhere in the world I can repair this for little money with
    > minimal tools.
    >
    > Is there a thread of people that have, for domestic flights, been
    > surcharged for slightly exceeding baggage limits?
    >
    > itsfred Wrote:
    > > eflayer2 wrote:
    > > In principle it's an inch or two above the airlines maximums but

    I've
    > > flown internationally 6 times and never been questioned.
    > > Fred Roses

    >
    >
    > --
    > jasong
     
  11. jasong

    jasong New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Messages:
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    0
    Any of the cases that are over 62" total might get hit. I think the Ritchey case is slightly over, right? It sounds like the S&S is just right, so that wouldn't be an issue.

     
  12. Per jasong:
    >I really am in the dark into what goes on behind the scenes with
    >the baggage, but expect the worst.


    I worked at Honoruru International as a baggage masher for a couple of years.

    I think it's sort of a "one percenter" syndrome: most workers are concientious
    people doing their best under whatever circumstances they have to deal with.

    A very few aren't....and they have the power to really mess somebody up.
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
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