Touring - Hard Bike Cases??
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12-15-04, 04:54 AM
Anyone got any experience with hard bike cases for transporting? used a soft bag last year to go to europe and got off of the plane with a stuffed rear rim.... I don't want to repeat that experience...
Ideally I'd like a case that could carry 2 bikes (non folding)
Fit within airline max sizes (and perhaps others - eg SNCF)
Be as light as possible (since I'll be flying Asia now and again - 1 piece 25kg max)
Only 2 bike hardshell case that I've seen is:
Colorado Cyclist link (http://www.coloradocyclist.com/common/products/productdisplay2_v2.cfm?PRRFNBR=12217&CGRFNBR=3&CRPCGNBR=3&CI=1,156,3&TextMode=0)
Not UPS'able but it does store 2 bikes. 25kg=55lbs.. Might be close with 2 bikes, given the packing material, and the weight of the case themselves... Road bikes?
12-15-04, 08:54 AM
I have a single bike hard case that I purchased from Performance a couple years ago. Took my bike to Korea a few times, it totally survived when the rest of my "Hold Baggage" was destoyed (I think the movers rolled my stuff all the way there from Virginia).
Not to hijack the thread, but we're looking for a hard case for a tandem, we're planning a trip to Ireland (both North and regular). Any ideas?
12-15-04, 09:46 AM
but what are you doing to do with the case once you got there?
12-15-04, 12:58 PM
yep, I'd seen the case on the net before, looks nice, but heavy.... almost 14 kg unladened, though in saying that I only want it to protect the frame and wheels, if I was travelling with another bike (i.e. my girlfriend as well) I'm sure we could take off a few bits (peddles, cranks etc...) and put it into her luggage to get the weight down. However, I might look into trying building one for myself...
12-15-04, 01:41 PM
I've rented a serfas bike case. Overall, it was a pain in the ass, both to fit my bike in and to carry around. however, my bike did come through unscathed. theres a review of the case I used on www.pezcyclingnews.com
I strongly encourage you to look into a bike equipped with BTC's (see www.sandsmachine.com). These couplers allow your bike frame to split into two pieces for traveling; the frame and both wheels, along with some clothes, shoes, etc... will fit into a regulation size 26x26x10inch suitcase. This is small enough such that it is checked as a regular bag - not oversize so no fees. You can by a custom-made frame built with the couplers or you can have a steel or titanium frame retrofitted by a framebuilder.
I don't know what airline you took, but I flew with my bike from Italy to Chicago, and I just removed the tires and stuck it in the bike luggage. I flew Swiss Air and questioned them extensively, and they not only DIDN'T charge me a dime, they took pride in exclaiming that they are knowledgeable with shipping bikes in their planes. They hand carried my bike to the plane and when I got home, I was so nervous, but there wasn't a scratch on the bike, nor were their dents, knicks, etc. The bike rode like a dream.
I've always had problems with American, United, Alitalia, and Air France with my Specialized bike. There was always a mechanical problem that really messed my bike up once I got to my destination. In one case, it was almost unrideable.... actually, it was unrideable. I couldn't ride more than 10 miles per hour. In every case but one, I used the hard shell Performance luggage. The time I took Swiss Air with my road bike, I just had the soft shell luggage.
I never have problems with my Bike Friday and the luggage it comes in. In one case, I was horrified to see the bike shoot out of the luggage bin when I was waiting for my other luggage at the luggage pick up. I was sure they were going to put it with oversized luggage, but instead, they loaded it up with the other luggage and threw it down the luggage bin. But I never had a problem with the bike, even when it was deposited back to my possesion in that manner.
12-16-04, 03:07 PM
I have used a hard case on several trips both domestic and overseas. I have never had a problem with damage. Once when I was preparing to board a flight to Ireland, I saw the luggage handler placing my bike onto the conveyor leading into the plane's storage hold. He did not place it on the belt correctly, and I watched in horror as my case fell off the conveyor and crash to the concrete tarmac at least seven or eight feet below. When I got to Ireland and opened the case, not a ding, scratch or dent on the bike...just a couple of little scratches on the case.
When I travel with a hard case, I use a circular tour route which begins and ends at the same airport. The only overnight reservation I make on a tour is where I will be staying the night before I fly out. I make sure they will store my hardcase during my trip before I book a room, then leave the case with them during my tour.
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