Philadelphia area: where to buy a bike case?
I'm hoping to do more traveling with my bike than I've done thus far, including taking my bike on an airplane.
I've been reading comments over on the Touring forum about S&S couplers vs shipping vs oversized cases... and I'm getting to the point that I'd like to see some of my options in real life to get a sense of how they'd work out on my bike.
Can you recommend a shop in the Philadelphia area that has multiple different bike bags/cases to examine and see and handle? I can find a lot on the web, but even with a generous return policy I don't want to spend $50 shipping something that I won't like the instant I see it in real life.
This reminds me of the post by someone who was looking for a shop that had numerous brands of panniers in stock. Don't believe what you are looking for exists. Bike cases are expensive accessories that don't fly off the shelves, especially with on-line shopping options. You would probably be lucky to find one example in a shop. I know Bicycle Therapy used to rent them, so they might have one type in the shop. Guy's is another shop that has an above average inventory of things. Performance is another place to check out. I would call these places first.
I can personally vouch for the plastic case from Crate Works. It's a nice compromise between a bag and a true hard case. Just flew to Italy with mine in May. It's large, so you can fit extra stuff in it, but still "airline legal." But you won't find it in any stores.
Unexpectedly good results from going to a local but high-end bike shop, Cadence, and asking them whether they sold cases. They don't; but they had several cases belonging to customers that they were happy to let me look at.