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Bicycle traveling case

Old 05-28-22, 07:00 AM
  #1  
Texboy
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Bicycle traveling case

Iím looking for a bicycle travel case. I see in Amazon that these case cost about $500. I see some cheaper ones, but I have to take off the handle bar. I want to avoid the hassle by taking off the handle bar. There are few cases that I like. I can take the front wheel off only. My concern is if I put the front wheel together with a frame inside a case, will frame and wheel be scratched.
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Old 05-28-22, 08:16 AM
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indyfabz
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Padding.
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Old 05-28-22, 10:43 AM
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Padded Wheel bags.
You can pick up some plastic hub protectors from the LBS, they probably have a pile of them that they'll give you.
Do you have a carbon stem or carbon handle bars? If not it really isn't a big deal to take the handlebars off and zip tie them to the frame. 10min job.
It's best to choose the smallest case that you can and do some disassembly (seat post, handlebars, derailleur, and pedals) so you can pack as tight as possible so nothing rattles around. The baggage handlers will abuse your luggage in ways you can barely imagine.
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Old 05-28-22, 10:53 AM
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Tare weight + bike weight needs to be below 50 lb. or you will face weight $$$
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Old 05-28-22, 10:58 AM
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Removing a handlebar isn't all that much trouble. I have a soft padded bike bag that allows me to leave the saddle in place but the handlebar must be removed. I also have another padded bag that allows me to leave the handlebars on the bike, but it is much larger and much, much heavier. The larger bag won't fit through the scanners at the airport, so the bag has to be opened for inspection. In both cases, the wheels have to be removed. I put the wheels in wheel bags inside the wheel pockets in the case and also use cardboard to further protect them. Both bags have frames in the bottom with quick releases that allow me to secure the frame and protect the bottom of the bike. The bag that allows me to leave the handlebar in place allows me to reassemble the bike in less than 5 minutes while the other one takes about 10 minutes to get the bike ready to ride. That case is much easier to handle at an airport and so it is the one I have used most. The other one, which I refer to as the behemoth is a real chore to move around even though it has wheels and I have only used it once on a trip to France

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Old 05-28-22, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by randallr View Post
Tare weight + bike weight needs to be below 50 lb. or you will face weight $$$
For sporting equipment its 100lbs on most airlines but there is a limit on the size of the case.

Also if you're flying first class, or at the top tier for the airline (i.e. Delta Diamond Medallion status and so forth), its 70lbs for standard luggage and any sporting equipment will fly for 'free'.
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Old 05-28-22, 01:02 PM
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With my current box, the wheels sit on top of the frame. A simple piece of corrugated plastic separates the frame and wheels. This isnít rocket surgery.

BTWÖSome/all of the boxes youíre looking at may have a segregated compartment for the front wheel. I seem to recall packing a bike for someone in a box like that after a tour, but that was some 15 years ago.

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Old 05-28-22, 01:08 PM
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Go to youtube and look at some videos of how people pack the various cases. In other words search on those key words. Your questions and concerns will be answered.

I use, and have for at least a decade, a Pika Packworks soft case. It works great - light weight, extremely well designed and well padded. Easy to use, durable, and if packed with just a modicum of care, very protective. I have used hard cases in the past, and while they might be safer (I say "might"), they are very heavy and much harder to transport in a car and store at the destination. And, with the light weight design, you can pack a lot of stuff inside the Pika without exceeding 50lbs. I have a ~22 lb gravel bike and I can pack almost everything I need including a couple changes of bike clothes, shoes, pedals, basic tools, helmet, etc. The heavier hard cases of course wouldn't have as much capacity for that stuff. Pluses and minuses for all types

The Pika, theoretically, is pretty easy to schlep around with just a shoulder strap. I have done that a couple of times. But I'm not very tall (5'-8") and my wife is shorter, so it was hard to carry them with a shoulder strap without them dragging. So we tended to drag them instead of carry. I added wheels to both using a plate of aluminum inside the bag and bolted on 4 simple wheels available in any hardware store, two which swivel. Now, as I understand it, Pika Packworks does offer a wheel option - I'd recommend it.

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Old 05-29-22, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Texboy View Post
Iím looking for a bicycle travel case. I see in Amazon that these case cost about $500. I see some cheaper ones, but I have to take off the handle bar. I want to avoid the hassle by taking off the handle bar. There are few cases that I like. I can take the front wheel off only. My concern is if I put the front wheel together with a frame inside a case, will frame and wheel be scratched.
So I think there is a major distinction between best and cheap.

The best one I have seen is the EVOC Road Bike Pro. The bars stay on the bike clamps to a frame and its easy to move around. The next would be the Scion AeroComfort. Very similar boxes, but I like the EVOC because it has a hard plastic top to protect the bike. The scion has a frame that works well enough. I know people who have used both, and neither has had issues with their bikes when they arrived at their destination.

Around here you pay to fly a bike, but if you do, then the over size and over weight fees don't apply. So Weight isn't as much of an issue.
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Old 05-29-22, 05:37 PM
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Post #8 by Camilo really is spot on. He weighs out the options of the hardcase and softcase carriers very well. I have used both types numerous times flying internationally to a number of countries over the past 30+ years. I tend to like the hardcase best because it has wheels on all four corners which make it a lot easier when moving about in the airport and at your destination. Unfortunately, the wheels tend to take the most abuse in transit. I've been lucky in that I've never had a serious problem with that. I always have to take the handlebars off but it's not a problem. I also bubble wrap everything regardless of the type of case. I don't take the rear derailleur off. I do bubble wrap it and then duck tape it to the frame which has already been wrapped with a rag and bubble wrapped. For the wheels I use a padded wheel bag. I haven't used plastic hub protectors but might look into it.

My softsided case I "upgraded" by using cardboard from a TV set box and custom made reinforcements all the way around the case. It works very well. It's lighter so I usually pack a lot of bike clothes and T-shirts as I have more leeway on the weight issue. The drawback is no wheels which mean you have to carry it when you don't have a trolley available. Some do come with two wheels but that really doesn't help that much as you still have to pick it up and pull it. Pulling a hardcase with four wheels is really easy.

To further confuse the matter, I have a long time friend that owns a bike tour company in Asia. He probably travels 30-40 times year internationally mostly in Asia. He uses a softsided case for every trip.
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Old 05-29-22, 06:10 PM
  #11  
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At $500, I'd imagine that most cases will come with bags for the wheels. I have a B&W Bike Case II and it came with those. This box does require removing the wheels, handlebars, seat post, and pedals. But I think that is just about the norm. It only takes me about 20 minutes to have the bike setup for riding after arrival. For concern about scratches to the frame, foam tubing should be relatively cheap. Cut it to size for the various tubes, and then split it down one side. Wrap it around the tubes and then secure with tape.

Good discussion on the other pluses/minuses in previous posts. One thing I didn't see mentioned was getting the case to the airport or from the airport to the destination. And that's one downside to my hard case. It is very big and very awkward. Yes, it does roll easy and that's a big benefit in the airport. But I always have to make a reservation for a van to get the box to the airport or from the airport to the destination. It just won't fit in most regular sized cars. I'd guess a soft-sided case fits in the back seat of most taxis if not the trunk.

I went with the hard case as I felt that was the best way to ensure nothing was damaged/bent during travel. So far, so good. I don't remove or even pad the RD. But I'd more strongly consider a soft case if I were going to buy again.
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Old 05-29-22, 06:57 PM
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Camilo
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Originally Posted by SpeedyBlueBiker View Post
Post #8 by Camilo really is spot on. He weighs out the options of the hardcase and softcase carriers very well. I have used both types numerous times flying internationally to a number of countries over the past 30+ years. I tend to like the hardcase best because it has wheels on all four corners which make it a lot easier when moving about in the airport and at your destination. Unfortunately, the wheels tend to take the most abuse in transit. I've been lucky in that I've never had a serious problem with that. I always have to take the handlebars off but it's not a problem. I also bubble wrap everything regardless of the type of case. I don't take the rear derailleur off. I do bubble wrap it and then duck tape it to the frame which has already been wrapped with a rag and bubble wrapped. For the wheels I use a padded wheel bag. I haven't used plastic hub protectors but might look into it.

My softsided case I "upgraded" by using cardboard from a TV set box and custom made reinforcements all the way around the case. It works very well. It's lighter so I usually pack a lot of bike clothes and T-shirts as I have more leeway on the weight issue. The drawback is no wheels which mean you have to carry it when you don't have a trolley available. Some do come with two wheels but that really doesn't help that much as you still have to pick it up and pull it. Pulling a hardcase with four wheels is really easy.

To further confuse the matter, I have a long time friend that owns a bike tour company in Asia. He probably travels 30-40 times year internationally mostly in Asia. He uses a softsided case for every trip.
I modified our two Pikas with four wheels. I used aluminum stock easily found in any big box or hardware store and the wheels I found there too. I put swivel wheels on one end and fixed wheels on the other. The swivel wheels are in "front" when I pull it, making it easy to steer. I hope you can get the idea from the photos. The Pika's inner padding covers the aluminum strip and the fasteners and they have no effect on the bike at all.

The Pika case I saw with "Factory" wheels used a sheet of thick plexiglass inside a sleeve sewn into the bottom of the case, and the wheels were bolted onto it. I think my modification is better for two reasons: first, there's 4 wheels. The Pika OEM version has only two and the plexiglass sheet is not full length, therefore would have to be modified in some way to add two more wheels.

The second advantage mine has is that the two separate aluminum strips allow the case to collapse more flat when the inner padded structure is taken out. I found that very handy when I stored the cases under the bed of the condo we stayed in this winter. I don't think I could have put it under the bed otherwise.

FWIW, the PIka cases have wheel sleeves on each side. They are well padded from the exterior by the case. If any one is interested, take a look at their web site and Youtube for actual videos of the case in use, being packed.

I put foam pipe insulation around as many of the tubes as I can held in pace with blue painter's tape - easy to remove and holds well. The last photo shows examples of the pipe insulation pads I use and the little padded sleeves I made for the shifters - they fit snug over the levers.




Last edited by Camilo; 05-29-22 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 05-29-22, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
I modified our two Pikas with four wheels. I used aluminum stock easily found in any big box or hardware store and the wheels I found there too. I put swivel wheels on one end and fixed wheels on the other. The swivel wheels are in "front" when I pull it, making it easy to steer. I hope you can get the idea from the photos. The Pika's inner padding covers the aluminum strip and the fasteners and they have no effect on the bike at all.

The Pika case I saw with "Factory" wheels used a sheet of thick plexiglass inside a sleeve sewn into the bottom of the case, and the wheels were bolted onto it. I think my modification is better for two reasons: first, there's 4 wheels. The Pika OEM version has only two and the plexiglass sheet is not full length, therefore would have to be modified in some way to add two more wheels.

The second advantage mine has is that the two separate aluminum strips allow the case to collapse more flat when the inner padded structure is taken out. I found that very handy when I stored the cases under the bed of the condo we stayed in this winter. I don't think I could have put it under the bed otherwise.

FWIW, the PIka cases have wheel sleeves on each side. They are well padded from the exterior by the case. If any one is interested, take a look at their web site and Youtube for actual videos of the case in use, being packed.

I put foam pipe insulation around as many of the tubes as I can held in pace with blue painter's tape - easy to remove and holds well. The last photo shows examples of the pipe insulation pads I use and the little padded sleeves I made for the shifters - they fit snug over the levers.
Yep, I use the same type of foam pipe fitters insulation. Works great. I haven't used the blue painters tape to hold in place. Haven't really needed to. My wheel set up is the same, you steer from the front with fixed position wheels in the rear. The rear wheels are larger and roll better I think but what you did is a vast improvement.
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