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Thread: Bike housse

  1. #1
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    Bike housse

    Just looking for some suggestions on housse. I see a few soft cases sold commercially. They all seem to be around 600 denier. This seems like it would be pretty bulky to roll up and carry on the trip with you. Does anybody have any commercially made ones they have had good luck with?

    I'm also considering making my own. Pricing out the material looks like it would be about the same price, but I could design it myself. I'm thinking something more in the 250-400 denier range would be good. Obvioulsy, I would like some durability, but being able to easily carry it on tour in the panniers or on the rear rack is the most important. Anybody made their own with materials they like.

    All suggestions are very much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    IHMO, you probably only need it strong enough to stay together and encase the bike (in the correct dimensions, of course). I read of people using very heavy (6mm+) plastic bags + duct tape to make their housse. I would consider a ripstop nylon for a bag....much easier to lug around than cordura. You can add duct tape or sew thicker material like cordura at pressure points.

    When I was researching for France, I found a website with instructions for making one. I can't find it now. I have to do more work to find it, but, it won't be tonight....maybe you'll find it sooner. You might search this (touring) subforum first. I'll edit this post if/when I find it.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    do you mean this: http://www.mayq.com/Best_european_trips/Housse.htm ?

    i've never made it, but marked it for research.
    (i'm looking for THE best way to package a bike for flight)
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I was kicking around the idea of making a housse as well, but then I found the perfect one for sale. It is super light and rolls up tiny so it is absolutely no problem to carry around in your panniers no matter how long you are on the road. Let me find where I bought it and I'll get back to you.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I found it. It is here: http://www.veloplus.ch/AlleProdukte/...hevonBACH.aspx

    I bought two, and I love them. You only need to pop off the front wheel, and take off the pedals, and you are good to go. They are a god-send. You can also see how small it packs up in the second photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Thanks for the responses everybody! That pattern is almost exactly what I was thinking of, right down to using velcro rather than zippers. I think that pattern would come out almost exactly like the link you have shown becnal. From what I have priced out for material, it looks like I could make that for about $45 CAD. Quite a bit cheaper than the commercial one, even before the shipping. Also, it seems like that commercial one is 160cm, quite a bit bigger that SNCF supposedly allows. Have you used this one successfully on French trains becnal?

    I was also toying with the idea of making the strap so I could wear it like a backpack as well. Kind of hard to describe, but I'll try. On the long side of the bag, sew webbing into the bottom 2 corners. About 2/3 of the way up, in the middle, have the webbing run through a D ring. This would all be one piece of continous webbing. That way, I could leave it looped enough to wear like a backpack, or pull all the slack in, and wear it one strap over one shoulder. I would also add a small hand hold on the opposite side to help stabalize while wearing over one shoulder. Just thought it might be easier to wear it like a pack sometimes. Any thoughts on this?

    I'm leaning towards a rip stop nylon, or heavy duty supplex (like what mtn bike overshorts are made of), as I think this will provide the best toughness, lightness, packability.

  7. #7
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Go for lightness instead of toughness. Will you be taking it on trains or planes or both? I just noticed your location, so I would imagine planes more often.
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  8. #8
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOLOCOMan View Post
    It seems like that commercial one is 160cm, quite a bit bigger that SNCF supposedly allows. Have you used this one successfully on French trains becnal?
    Yep. No one minds a few centimeters here or there. The main thing is that the bike is covered.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal View Post
    Go for lightness instead of toughness. Will you be taking it on trains or planes or both? I just noticed your location, so I would imagine planes more often.

    Actually I'm thinking more for trains. I can always just box it up for a single flight. I want something that will let me move around on trains easily. Ride a certain area in Europe, train to another area, ride, train etc. Figure this would give me more flexiblity. That's why like you, I want something as light and packable as possible. Willing to give up protection for practicality of carrying it with me on the bike. Also why I had the idea of the back pack type straps.

    I assume that first link you gave me is in Euros? Makes it a little steep in $CAD, even before the shipping, duty etc. I'm all for letting the professionals do the work, but I'm starting to lean towards making my own. I figure I can make my own for less than a 1/3 of the price, and I can design it exactly how I want it.

  10. #10
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    No the first link was in Swiss francs. That's much cheaper!

    Oh, if you are coming to Europe, then you can just borrow one of mine. When are you coming?
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  11. #11
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    Ah yes, now I see the CHF. Didn't look closely enough. I'm most likely looking at next spring. Possibly this fall, but most likely spring 2009. I know I'm getting way ahead of myself. I figure it would be handy here too. I could ride to somwhere from my house, and then take the bus home. Buses here can be picky too, and I figure this would satisfy them.

    Thanks for your generous offer though. I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say how much we appreciate your willingness to help everyone. I've seen how often you offer spare bikes, help with trains, now lending housse etc. Your generosity is incredible. Your are a huge asset to this place.

  12. #12
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Well, just make sure you fly into Frankfurt when you do come, and we can go for a ride.
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  13. #13
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal View Post
    I found it. It is here: http://www.veloplus.ch/AlleProdukte/...hevonBACH.aspx

    I bought two, and I love them. You only need to pop off the front wheel, and take off the pedals, and you are good to go. They are a god-send. You can also see how small it packs up in the second photo.
    Do you have any problems with things banging into one another? I had my bike in a box on last tour and the wheel scratched the fork, the only place I did not cover in bubble wrap. Of course that was on an airplane where the bike might get more abuse than on a train.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  14. #14
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    After seeing Becnal's response, I'm not going to spend any time looking for that pattern. This is great!
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  15. #15
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    Just to update on what I ended up doing. After much research (and trying to get an acquaintance who makes backpacks for a living) I ended up ordering the Ground Effect Tardis. It just arrived today, and I ran home to see how everything fit. It is something that will need some trial and error to make everything fit i nthe best way possible, but I am really impressed so far. I had to remove the wheels, handlebars, and both racks, but once that is done, there is still lots of space to fit other things in (tent, shoes, helmet, etc.) It's not quite as small or light as I originally wanted, but I think it's a good compromise. It's about 1.5kg and folds up to an A4 package (whatever that is) in the real world, it seems to take up less than half a 20 litre pannier, so not too bad. It comes with a shoulder strap, and two handles. Best of all it is only 115x70, so the trains shouldn't give us any hassle. Overall, I think it's going to work great, heavier and bulkier than absolutely necessary, but tougher than I was expecting in that size and weight. Since I will be doing air and train travel, I decided a little extra toughness wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It will be extremely easy to carry around due to it's size as well.

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