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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 11-11-08, 04:03 PM   #1
artifice
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Travel Case

Shopping around for a travel case for my bike. Chances are I'll be traveling between CO and MN (and with any luck some cycling-specific destinations) this coming summer and will want to bring my bike along. I might be driving, but in the event that I fly, I'd like something durable enough to bring as cargo on a plane.

Wondered what some of you all have- or if you've seen any good deals lately.
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Old 11-11-08, 05:09 PM   #2
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I have a Thule case I have put it on planes and in cars with no problem. It is fairly light and has wheels to help it roll. I wish it sat on end like some of the other cases so it would not be so likely to be walked on in the cargo hold of a plane. I wish the sides were a bit more structurally sound but it works and is not too heavy. I would go another direction if I were to do it over. something that rolls on 4 wheels and sits vertical. good luck
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Old 11-11-08, 05:32 PM   #3
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I have the cheap Team case from Performance and I truly loath it. It will only roll in a straight line and the clasps are really weak. If you get a stand-up case, make sure it has at least one pair of castor wheels that can turn in any direction.

I got it on really great sale, so "you get what you pay for" applies, but I would be irritated if I had payed anything like full price.

Next time around I would go with http://www.coloradocyclist.com/product/item/TRIULZDZ or http://www.rei.com/product/730991 or this http://www.triall3sports.com/velosafeCR.html

People say the BikePro race cases are good, but I feel a little weird about soft-sided cases.

Also, some shops have them to rent (Vecchio's in Boulder).

Definitely wait for a deal.
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Old 11-11-08, 05:45 PM   #4
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Hm, the Colorado Cyclist one looks pretty good for my price range (ideally, under $300).

I might see if anywhere closer to Denver has them for rent- I'm pretty sure I wouldn't utilize that service to its full extent if I had to go to & from Boulder to get it (and, eventually the gas money would pay for the case )

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 11-11-08, 05:46 PM   #5
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if it's only a matter of a one off trip from midwest to west, then don't waste your money. pick up a cardboard box at a LBS.
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Old 11-11-08, 06:28 PM   #6
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Speaking of budgets, wait until you see how much the airlines charge to check it.

There is some good news and bad news about flying from Denver to Europe with a bike, if that is what you mean by cycling destinations.

Lufthansa allows you to check a bike without packing it. They have bike racks and there are direct flights from Denver to Frankfurt and Munich. The bad news is that they use small planes to connect to many of their destinations in Europe and you can't bring the bike through, boxed or not. However, if you are willing to connect via train, you can get to some great destinations in Europe easily from here in Denver, without a bike box.
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Old 11-11-08, 06:44 PM   #7
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Cardboard boxes. Find a Trek Madone box from your local Trek dealer, those boxes are very handy for transport use. They will happily give it to you instead of throwing it away.

Another thing, do not mention it's a bike inside the box unless Airline ask.
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Old 11-11-08, 06:53 PM   #8
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I use a cardboard box for my steel tour bike, and throw it away at my destination. But for my road bike with a carbon fork, i prefer the false sense of security granted by a hard sided case.
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Old 11-11-08, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artifice View Post
Hm, the Colorado Cyclist one looks pretty good for my price range (ideally, under $300).

I might see if anywhere closer to Denver has them for rent- I'm pretty sure I wouldn't utilize that service to its full extent if I had to go to & from Boulder to get it (and, eventually the gas money would pay for the case )

Thanks for the tips!
The Colorado Cyclist house brand box looks very much like this one from Crate Works:

Crate Works PRO-XL-C

However, the innards may be different but it is hard to tell. I have one of the Crate Works PRO-XL-C boxes and it has worked well. Problem is that due to its size, it is awkward to handle. I don't have rollers for it, but even so, it would still be bulky. Plus, here in Taiwan, many of the cabs are compact cars or smaller. Makes it a bit difficult when entering or leaving the country.

Hauling this around a few times was what led me to buy a Ritchey BreakAway...
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Old 11-11-08, 11:11 PM   #10
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A lot of information on this thread.

ProBikeKit has this one priced to move.

Polaris Bike Suitcase
Now Only $238.93!!



Please note that due to the nature of this product, a postage surcharge of $76.84 will apply. This is in addition to any regular postage costs, and will be shown in your shopping cart.
More stock due in the last week of July 08. This is a superb bike travel case, designed to protect your valuable bike on air flights created by POLARIS.

* The UK's lowest price!!.
* Polaris semi-hard suitcase suitable for all standard bicycles.
* Skate wheels for easy mobility
* Molded high density 8mm PU Foam.
* Abrasive resistant soft touch Cordura nylon outer
* Internal securing straps and padding.
* Triple safety clasps
* Luggage tag.
* Carry handle.
* Fully padlockable zip closure.

Without question the best bike box on the market. DIMENSIONS: Length 1200mm, Height (tallest) 907mm, Depth 280mm Weight 7.6 kg Technical note this case fits a team XL bike (57cm) with a seatpost in and extended, but without the saddle and should easily fit any road bike up to 60cm frame size, please be aware that the pedals and bars have to be removed for packing....
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Old 11-11-08, 11:13 PM   #11
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Kind of on-topic question:

Are soft-shell cases safe for flying? I'm flying to Switzerland near future (from Canada) and I need to bring my bike. I am also in need for a bike case, but lost in decision making between hard case and soft case
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Old 11-12-08, 06:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botto View Post
if it's only a matter of a one off trip from midwest to west, then don't waste your money. pick up a cardboard box at a LBS.
I'm hoping to travel quite a bit, so I'd like to make the investment of a case. I've also not had luck finding bikes to rent in my size thus far, so I can't rely on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbubbles View Post
Cardboard boxes. Find a Trek Madone box from your local Trek dealer, those boxes are very handy for transport use. They will happily give it to you instead of throwing it away.
Another thing, do not mention it's a bike inside the box unless Airline ask.
I'm not sure I would trust cardboard, considering how the airlines throw junk around!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark13star View Post
Speaking of budgets, wait until you see how much the airlines charge to check it.

There is some good news and bad news about flying from Denver to Europe with a bike, if that is what you mean by cycling destinations.

Lufthansa allows you to check a bike without packing it. They have bike racks and there are direct flights from Denver to Frankfurt and Munich. The bad news is that they use small planes to connect to many of their destinations in Europe and you can't bring the bike through, boxed or not. However, if you are willing to connect via train, you can get to some great destinations in Europe easily from here in Denver, without a bike box.
Well... I was thinking nationally for starters. Yeah, they probably charge a sufficient amount to check it, but that'd likely be the only thing I check: 90% of the time I carry-on my luggage.
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Old 11-12-08, 01:54 PM   #13
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I travel quite a bit for my work and I have recently invested in a Trico Iron Case. So far I have been very pleased. I can pack up my road bike, clothes, pump, spare tubes/tires, etc with ease. The straps allow for the case to "expand a little if you need to and it has locks and wheels. Very sturdy case. However, I don't fly with it so I can't attest to how airlines respond to it. In my research I found that the two airlines I fly most would want $100 each way due to it's size. So instead I ship it Fedex a few days before hand to the hotel or a local LBS for ~$35-40. Then I buy a few things from the local shop to thank them for holding it for me like tubes or a water bottle. Pez had a nice review for it. LINK HERE
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Old 11-12-08, 02:17 PM   #14
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I'm hoping to travel quite a bit, so I'd like to make the investment of a case. I've also not had luck finding bikes to rent in my size thus far, so I can't rely on that.
then pick up a trico iron sports case on ebay. they're reasonable, and the reliable.
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Old 11-12-08, 03:36 PM   #15
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I have the Serfas case and the Scicon Aerotech Evolution. The latter is superb and well worth the investment:

http://probikekit.com/display.php?code=B7000
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Old 11-12-08, 11:38 PM   #16
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just started looking at dimensions and checked bag fees. So far it's oversize on all of the 5 airlines I have checked, and will cost $75-300 to check.

It would be cheaper to disassemble and pack in several "of-size" bags.

hmm..
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Old 11-12-08, 11:58 PM   #17
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The only way I know of to get your bike on a plane and not pay the oversize/bike charge is get an S&S coupled bike or a folding bike. I *guess* you could split the bike up into more than one luggage item, but airlines are now charging per bag. lame.

Southwest is the current lowest-priced - $50 per direction.

You can retrofit your bike if it's not aluminum.
http://www.sandsmachine.com

I guess if you are really going to travel with it more than a few times, it might become cost effective, with the new higher rates. Don't forget to price buying the luggage, too.

I got curious - looks like $300-500 for the retrofit, then another $400 for the hard case or $235 for the soft case. Plus another say $60 in accessories, shipping, tax...

If it costs $180 (low estimate) per round trip, that would take 960/180 = 5.3 round trips with the coupled bike for it to break even.

If you wanted to get a whole new bike, Bike Friday makes folding bikes that are airline compliant, but it would take a lot of trips to make that actually pay for itself.
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Old 11-13-08, 07:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
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just started looking at dimensions and checked bag fees. So far it's oversize on all of the 5 airlines I have checked, and will cost $75-300 to check.

It would be cheaper to disassemble and pack in several "of-size" bags.

hmm..
Even if it weren't oversized, it carries additional fees on most, just because it is a bike. Surf boards get this treatment too.

What I find amusing is that I have status on United that waives my bag fees, but when I asked about bikes, they told me that would be up to the person checking me in. So, they are leaving policy decisions up to how well I tip the curb-side agent.
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Old 11-13-08, 07:30 AM   #19
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yeah, it would actually be cheaper for me to buy a bike to keep in MN and just ride it when I'm there
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Old 11-13-08, 07:34 AM   #20
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yeah, it would actually be cheaper for me to buy a bike to keep in MN and just ride it when I'm there
N+1....there you go!
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Old 11-13-08, 07:44 AM   #21
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yeah, it would actually be cheaper for me to buy a bike to keep in MN and just ride it when I'm there
it's what i did, but then again i have an ocean to cross.
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Old 11-13-08, 08:13 AM   #22
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Two seperate instances...

#1
I flew out of oakland to boston with a complete bike in a box. I told the agent that although this is a round trip flight, the bike was not coming back with me. She waived the fee. Maybe you can craft up a story like that somehow?? I'm under the impression that the agent can waive things right there on the spot without getting someone else's approval.

#2
Things might be different now that airlines charge for everything... but last year I brought my frame in one box and the agent tried to charge me. She said, "if it has two wheels, its a bike." I argued that it was only the frame and picked up the box effortlessly with one hand. She waived the fee.
Maybe instead of having two bikes and since it seems like you are shuttling back and forth to MN/CO, you can have two sets of wheels and ship only the frame???
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Old 11-13-08, 08:15 AM   #23
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If you are flying Trans-Atlantic fly BA - no fees for bikes.
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Old 11-13-08, 08:19 AM   #24
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If you are flying Trans-Atlantic fly BA - no fees for bikes.
only problem - you have to fly via heathrow. no thanks.
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Old 11-13-08, 09:21 AM   #25
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Two seperate instances...

#1
I flew out of oakland to boston with a complete bike in a box. I told the agent that although this is a round trip flight, the bike was not coming back with me. She waived the fee. Maybe you can craft up a story like that somehow?? I'm under the impression that the agent can waive things right there on the spot without getting someone else's approval.

#2
Things might be different now that airlines charge for everything... but last year I brought my frame in one box and the agent tried to charge me. She said, "if it has two wheels, its a bike." I argued that it was only the frame and picked up the box effortlessly with one hand. She waived the fee.
Maybe instead of having two bikes and since it seems like you are shuttling back and forth to MN/CO, you can have two sets of wheels and ship only the frame???
Yeah, I'd considered a few scenarios like that. Problem would be if they told me "too bad" and still slapped me with a $300.00 fee.

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it's what i did, but then again i have an ocean to cross.
yeah, since its only a couple hundred miles- maybe I'll just ride it?
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