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  1. #1
    Senior Member auroch's Avatar
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    Bags - Cases - S&S Coupled Bikes?

    Next week I'll be taking delivery of my new S&S coupled road bike
    (don't worry I'll be posting lots of pictures) and in the meantime
    I've been searching through the forums and haven't been able to
    find much info on cases or bags people use.

    What are your experiences? Any advice?

    Right now I'm thinking of getting a soft bag and then getting my own
    hard plastic sheets or cardboard that I can use for protection and which
    are easily disposable/replaceable if needed.

    http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_back.htm

    jeff

  2. #2
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    I have an S&S equipped bianchi. I highly recommend the hard case. For airline travel there is no substitute, and it is reasonably maneuvarable. the cases are kinda pricey and they are a real bugger to get packed. but it's a very secure package once you do.

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    I built one out of 1/4" plywood and covered it with canvas (26x26x10 exterior dimensions). Then use an inexpensive trolley (WalMart) to tote that around. Take off the trolley beforeflying and carry it as carry on luggage. Now they have very little to break off in transit.

  4. #4
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    I've heard good things about the Ritchey Breakaway case for use with S&S equipped bikes. It has a freewheel "cup" built-in that keeps the cassette away from the frame. You can get the Ritchey deluxe case w/wheels from here for $200, http://gvhbikes.com/index.html .

  5. #5
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    I have both cases. I used the soft case recently and had some significant damage: 4 damaged Ksyrium spokes ($40) and a dent in the top tube. This happened even with the velcro tube protectors. I suspect that the TSA rearranged my packing, allowing for the damage.
    The hard case weighs a ton and doesn't pack as well. The optional braces will probably disappear when the TSA does their work. But last time I used it, the damage to the bike was only cosmetic nicks.

  6. #6
    Hauja
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong
    I built one out of 1/4" plywood and covered it with canvas (26x26x10 exterior dimensions). Then use an inexpensive trolley (WalMart) to tote that around. Take off the trolley beforeflying and carry it as carry on luggage. Now they have very little to break off in transit.
    You say you carry it on?Are you using the case for a full size bike?

  7. #7
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    I plan on buying some black Coreflute (corrugated plastic) and making my own at some stage. I just don't think soft bags cut it, and the hardcases are prohibitively expensive unless you travel a lot.

    Plus, it'll be fun Buy some Coreflute...knife...glue....webbing and buckles....and go to town.

    NOW POST SOME PIX OF THE FRAME!
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James H Haury
    You say you carry it on?Are you using the case for a full size bike?
    I'm sure he's referring to the trolley.

  9. #9
    Hauja
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expatriate
    I'm sure he's referring to the trolley.
    Yes, i see that now.

  10. #10
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    I have a Ritchey BreakAway with the soft case. I have only one data point so far as I've had one trip since I bought it. The airline security folks actually didn't seem to mess with things very much. The soft case has internal straps to secure the bike parts. They act like compression straps on a back pack. Everything was in its place and as tight as when I packed it. All I noticed was a bent spoke and I may have done that during packing.

    One thing I would suggest: use foam pipe insulation tubing instead of what is supplied by Ritchey (I don't know what S & S supplies). There's a lot more cushioning and you cut the exact length to cover everything.

  11. #11
    Never Enough Bikes
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    I have the S&S hard case for my modified Trek 520. The hard case has worked fine for over a dozen flights, now. I've told the S&S folks they need to modify the case in a few ways:
    a. Reinforce the side center point, where the wheel hub touches the side of the case. I've duct taped a small metal plate, and it works great.
    b. Replace the locks with TSA-keyed locks. This will allow you to lock the case, and keep it from opening during handling.

    The case is expensive, but it works well with the S&S system.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Bolo Grubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Econoline
    I've heard good things about the Ritchey Breakaway case for use with S&S equipped bikes. It has a freewheel "cup" built-in that keeps the cassette away from the frame. You can get the Ritchey deluxe case w/wheels from here for $200, http://gvhbikes.com/index.html .
    I have seen pictures where someone took a plastic bowl and used that to protect the cassette from damaging anything. He drilled a hole in it so he could secure it to the wheel.


    Quote Originally Posted by Redbeard
    I have the S&S hard case for my modified Trek 520. The hard case has worked fine for over a dozen flights, now. I've told the S&S folks they need to modify the case in a few ways:
    a. Reinforce the side center point, where the wheel hub touches the side of the case. I've duct taped a small metal plate, and it works great.
    b. Replace the locks with TSA-keyed locks. This will allow you to lock the case, and keep it from opening during handling.

    The case is expensive, but it works well with the S&S system.
    what exactly is a TSA keyed lock? I thought you could not lock lugagge any more so that airport security could inspect what is in it?

    I have a 1984 steel lugged Trek 720 that I want to get equiped with the S&S couplers and I do plan on going with the hard case for max protection for the bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member auroch's Avatar
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    A TSA lock is one which TSA can open (without cutting)
    Thanks a lot for all the info I've got some ideas in my head.
    Things to save up for:
    -one case
    -one plane ticket to france

    jeff

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by James H Haury
    You say you carry it on?Are you using the case for a full size bike?
    Yeah, it's for a 57cm ti S&S coupled road frame (700c). Space is real tight in these cases, if you are trying to fit everything in one case. A better solution, since you'll probably be taking two pieces of luggage, is throwing the handlebars/stem in the other luggage with your clothes. It virtually takes up no space there (volume of hanldebars,stem) and the STIs/Ergos get better protection.

    The center of this case is quite bomber, because I have it to where the outsides of the wheels that normally hit the drop outs actually hit the hole in the case (QR removed, of course).

    You guys will find from use that the SMALLEST big dimension you can get a big suitcase like this the better off you'll be. Anything that's much more than 26x26 (like the xyz by 32 cases) is going to find real problems fitting in luggage racks in trains in Europe. Same with the buses. The case I made fits quite well in these spaces. If you're a frequent traveller, get in the habit of measuring those spaces. You'll see what I mean. I just don't think that they put much thought in some of the cases designed by the expensive guys. Why build these expensive bikes if they're going to cheat a bit on the dimensions of the case?

    If an airline company wants to be mean, they will measure your case. Then what do you do when they say $125 more and you're about to miss a $600 flight?

    One of the side effects of essentially giving them a box with no wheels is that they treat it with different care. They hand deliver it to some other place instead of many times putting it on the luggage track. Of course, maybe this might result in getting lost in tight time connections? I have seen this box appear on the belt sometimes.

    I'll post pics one of these days. It's a several hour project and was around $50 in parts. Repairable anywhere in the world since it uses all normal stuff. A trolley costs arond $10-15 at WalMart.

  15. #15
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    I have the hard case offered by Sandstone on a Lemond retrofit with S&S couplings. As Redbeard noted, the wheel hub has damaged the case. I used a rubber disk with duct tape, think I will try a metal plate. I also take the handlebars off and put them in the second piece of luggage and then add clothing in plastic bags to the bicycle case to further protect the bicycle. There is no pressure to make sure everything fits when the handlebars are in a separate package. The spacers have been useless as the luggage is always opened by the TSA. (I even taped the top and bottom to the top and bottom of the case so they could open the case and close it. However, when they move the items around the spacers don't line up properly.) I weigh the luggage before the trip to the airport to stay within the weight limits. I have not had any damage to the bicycle on 5 trips. First trip I had to donate the CO2 cartridges which they found. Now, I buy CO2 cartridges at the destination or use a hand pump.

    I was interested in the outcome of this thread, as I often wondered if I should have purchased the soft case. Sometimes the airlines will drop and push around heavy plastic luggage and handle soft-sided pieces gently. I see by the above responses that that may not be true.
    Last edited by outashape; 07-07-05 at 03:08 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasong

    If an airline company wants to be mean, they will measure your case. Then what do you do when they say $125 more and you're about to miss a $600 flight?

    ...

    I'll post pics one of these days. It's a several hour project and was around $50 in parts. Repairable anywhere in the world since it uses all normal stuff. A trolley costs arond $10-15 at WalMart.
    You could glue measuring tape to the sides of your case, and work out the multiplication of the dimesions right on the side of the case with a sharpie. Or did you mean for a case that was actually oversize?

    I, for one would love to see pics of your homemade case

    Thanks!
    Drew
    Last edited by awagner; 10-05-05 at 11:28 PM. Reason: can't spel

  17. #17
    SAB
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    I have S&S coupled steel cyclocross frame, with the hard 26x26x10in case. It's a tight squeeze, although everything does indeed fit. The gorillas at the baggage handling areas treat all bags with equal disrespect. Part of this is not their fault as individuals - they are under much pressure to move bags quickly and the just can't treat each bag gingerly. Spokes don't bend during packing. They bend while the bag is being tossed around. Use the hard case.

  18. #18
    Fatties Fit Fine carless's Avatar
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    I have the soft case:
    http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_back.htm

    But, I use my bike for transportation, because sadly... my Crosscheck isn't a tourer (Giant OCR Touring is). I have converted it to Fixed. I save $50-$60 in limo cost to the airport and $50 in airline charges. I have flown with it twice and once on the train. It is reinforced with cardboard (old bike box) and 6 heavy paper cylinder rolls ( I'm not sure ? think the inside of TP rolls only heavier). I routinely use the bike for errands and commuting, so I'm not worried about dings. The advantage is- I can get wherever and unpack and ride with the case on me or the bike. I plan to paint it with spray paint, maybe fluorescent!
    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
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