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  1. #1
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Home Made case for S&S Bike

    Sorry this isn't a strictly folding question, but I thought this might be the best place for it.

    Has anyone made their own case for and S&S coupler equipped bike? (or otherwise found an economical alternative to the S&S cases) After paying for 2 retrofits for me and my wife, I'm afraid there won't me the money left for a proper travel case.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I did use a beefed-up, homemade, cardboard case for a while but now use the soft S&S bag. Much easier to deal with and gives sufficient protection for me. Hardcases are a real pain when empty.

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    Yes, I made my own 26x26x10" case from 1/4" plywood. It's a box with simple hardware, and I put that onto a trolley you can buy at walmart or an office store. I take the box off the trolley and check it. There are a lot of advantagaes to this: you can repair it anywhere using normal tools, and it's quite strong. Weight was around 15-20lbs. I used drywall metal corners and some other metal hardware to make the links between right angles. Used a rope handle reinforced on the inside. Webbing straps on the outside over a canvas covering, spray on adhesive. Cost was around $40-50.

    I couldnīt justify the $2-300 price either, especially since many of those cases don't fit into airline dimensions exactly anyway.

  4. #4
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Check www.crateworks.com

    You could emulate their design in a smaller size. They use heavy cardboard and Velcro or corregated plastic and Velcro.

  5. #5
    Bop
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    I was just thinking about this last night. I have both the hard case and the soft case mentioned by LWaB. I use the soft case for local flights on small aircraft where I get to carry my bike to the plane and the pilot places it (gently) in the cargo area. Having had a couple minor damge problems with TSA re-packs with the hard cases, I can't imagine traveling on a major air carrier with the soft case.

    But... I want to arrive at my destinatiuon and roll up my case, strap it to my rack and ride out of the airport. So I was thinking about some kind of homemade, multi-piece rigid insert for the soft case. And I didn't come up with a difinitive plan. Anybody got an idea?

  6. #6
    Senior Member kesroberts's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. Is the soft case mentioned the backpack case?

  7. #7
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop
    I was just thinking about this last night. I have both the hard case and the soft case mentioned by LWaB. I use the soft case for local flights on small aircraft where I get to carry my bike to the plane and the pilot places it (gently) in the cargo area. Having had a couple minor damge problems with TSA re-packs with the hard cases, I can't imagine traveling on a major air carrier with the soft case.

    But... I want to arrive at my destinatiuon and roll up my case, strap it to my rack and ride out of the airport. So I was thinking about some kind of homemade, multi-piece rigid insert for the soft case. And I didn't come up with a difinitive plan. Anybody got an idea?
    If you look at how the Crate Works box is designed, the Velcro is what holds it together but also allows it to be folded flat. It would break down to whatever the basic box dimension is x perhaps 2" or so thick. However, when I pack my BreakAway, I use pipe insulation to protect the tubes and bits. Somehow, you would have to pack what you used for protectection.

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    there is hope!

    I have been working on this for the last year and a half, ever since equipping my frame with ss couplers. What I've come up with so far, after field tested results, is using a durable plating on soft case ss specific dimensions. I have found a plastic called polycarbonate (shatterproof, bulletproof, etc) at 1/4'' to be quite sufficient, perhaps overly so. Drilling four holes and securing them to the fabric with stainless steel bolts plus WASHERS (very important to prevent wear) can withstand a ROUND TRIP across the atlantic via plane.
    I assume you could just buy the soft case the ss website has, but I stitched mine myself, leading to a rather odd looking but sturdy bag. TSA and customs pulled me aside each time, but ended up laughing and suggesting I file a patent for my design. I was NOT, repeat NOT charged extra or notice any severe damage to the bag itself (besides usual scratches from luggage handling brutes)
    anyhow... hope this helps. fair wind my friend, the diy world awaits.
    ps - overall cost was just under $50 for all materials, though its going up with some modifications i'm currently making (wheels, new fabric, etc)

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    I know this is, ah, 5 years late... but it is possible to have a plated, soft-case design which (though not tested, yet) can turn into panniers. This is a design I am working on as well, though they are clearly an awkward object on a rear rack (at 26"x13"x10") but I just bolted on those ortlieb rack mounts and they seem to fit. dealing with the wind drag though... thats another topic.

  10. #10
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    Post a photo of your creation...

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    FWIW, Polycarbonate could be vacuum molded , but since it requires more heat , to soften,
    and the sheet stock costs more , ABS is what is typically used.

    Vacuum molding consists of a table/box, the form has a bunch of holes in it.

    and a big Oven , like a pizza oven but perhaps larger. the plastic sheet is made soft ,in a frame.

    the frame goes onto the edge of the form , and the vacuum pump is turned on,

    sucking the soft sheet down to the form's shape , then it is cooled in that shape.

    the shape provides strength, so the sheet can be thinner.

    that's what the original case uses to get made, vaccum molded ABS

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  13. #13
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    this is the rack side, where a rope goes through a hole in the polycarbonate plating which ties down to the rack. It bolt on to the ballistic cordura.




    bottom plated side, with swivel wheels.



    This is the beta version of the soft case, sans polycarb plates. I stitched it using found polyprene fabric from philadelphia. It was able to make it to paris, france from philly. Unfortunately it ripped in the corners and is crumbling away quickly. the next step is re-stitch the soft case in a stronger fabric.



    This is the stitching pattern I used on all sides, done with a "speedy stitcher" awl (highly recomended) and coated the stitches with a plumbing grade caulk to make it more water resistant.



    This is the rough sketch... another thought is to have a back pack attachment. But that will come later.

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    sorry for taking so long to reply! I will be stitching the ballistic cordura in a couple of days, then I'll add the plating. any thoughts or comments would be appreciated, but I will otherwise try to finish this as soon as I can.

  15. #15
    my nice bike is at home kraftwerk's Avatar
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    Always good to see an interesting DIY solution!
    In my opinion Plexi- is too heavy, expensive and not very durable really... I would try a different composite type of material.
    Like 1/4" Baltic ply with epoxy impregnated resin and epoxy or enamel paint to add stiffness and durability. It will be waterproof and won't shatter.
    Last edited by kraftwerk; 01-02-12 at 01:37 PM.

  16. #16
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kraftwerk View Post
    Always good to see an interesting DIY solution!
    In my opinion Plexi- is too heavy, expensive and not very durable really... I would try a different composite type of material.
    Like 1/4" Baltic ply with epoxy impregnated resin and epoxy or enamel paint to add stiffness and durability. It will be waterproof and won't shatter.
    You can also buy thin sheets of carbon fiber...
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    kraftwerk.... what is this impregnation you speak of?? and what kind of enamel? I know these would reinforce... but enough to be shatterproof? I mean, we're talking TSA handling big time. But otherwise, polycarbonate was the next best thing recomended to me by the plastics manufacturers in philly that I bought the stuff from (plus it was on sale hehe)

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