My wife and I are headed to Europe for a couple weeks and plan to ride through England and France (yes, we will ride one of the 09 TDF stages too!). I've gotten a lot of great touring info from you guys/gals, so I'd thought I'd give back a little with a review of the new travel bike case I just got!
It's the Velo Safe II Bike Case - it was on sale for $90 off the regular price (I paid $475). I wanted to make sure it would hold both my wife's bike and my bike while still remaining under the British Airways weight limit (70lbs).
When you first look at it in person, it doesn't really look like 2 bikes will fit in it! And of course, the case didn't come with instructions but luckily, there were some online pics that helped me figure out the possible configurations.
I had to take the pedals off and the bars off - you can leave all the cables attached (that's a major plus). I also had to remove the skewers off the wheels. And the seats will have to either be lowered or removed in order to close the box (although i didn't do it for this test).
So after about 1/2 hour of work, I ended up with this:
It actually holds two bikes and is still under weight (but not by much since the case weighs 35 lbs). The case is definitely high grade plastic with aluminum reinforcement, so crushing the bikes won't be an issue.
Built into the case are two quick release frame drops to keep each bike in place (via the front wheel), which really secures the bikes nicely. In the middle of the case is a large re-positionable velcro'd foam block where the bottom bracket sits. And the case comes with built-in metal loops (internal) to hold the many included velcro straps, which will hold the bike and wheels in place.
The case also has 4 nice casters, and a nylon pull cable - it rolls easily and doesn't feel like it'll tip over. It also has 4 heavy duty twist latches with built in velcro covers, so the latch won't accidentally open during travel. It also came with a couple velcro straps that go around the case for added security.
The only things I'll add to this is foam insulation to cover the bike tubes and the Pedro's Chain Keeper to keep the chains in place.
I'm happy to report this case is a winner and it's less $$ than buying 2 good cases! When we come back, we'll fill you in on how it held up. I also may offer it up for rentals is anyone is interested!