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Choice of Bike Travel Bag? Leaning Between One of Two

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Choice of Bike Travel Bag? Leaning Between One of Two

Old 01-21-20, 01:45 PM
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Psychocycles
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Choice of Bike Travel Bag? Leaning Between One of Two

Does anyone travel frequently with their bike? I'm looking to buy a travel bag / box & am having a hard time choosing between two different concepts: The large bike bag that allows for minimal disassembly (Sci Con TSA Aerocomfort 3.0) or minimal bike bag that slips by the airlines fees (OruCase B2 or Ninja). I'm a little concerned about the safety of the bike with the OruCase but it seems like people have experience with it & haven't had issues. Disassembly is annoying but if it helps me save up to $300+ per trip, I'm willing to disassemble (I do most of my own bike maintenance so the level of disassembly required for the OruCase isn't an issue).

Thoughts? I hear it's a trend for airlines to waive bike fees as long as the case weight is <50 lbs, which leans me towards the Sci Con bag, but I like the airline flexibility of the OruCase.
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Old 01-21-20, 03:52 PM
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I will be watching this thread since Iím also considering purchasing bike boxes to travel overseas. I donít have any personal experience but a cyclingtips article I saw a couple weeks ago had several people in the comments saying that they had seen or had bad experiences with the Sci con bag and cracked seat stays. The Bonza box is the one Iím currently pondering, but still weighing options for our trip.
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Old 01-21-20, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kydeadhead
I will be watching this thread since Iím also considering purchasing bike boxes to travel overseas. I donít have any personal experience but a cyclingtips article I saw a couple weeks ago had several people in the comments saying that they had seen or had bad experiences with the Sci con bag and cracked seat stays. The Bonza box is the one Iím currently pondering, but still weighing options for our trip.
It's very much paralysis by choice because not only do we have to choose between one of several different types of bags, once we've made up our minds on what type of bag we want there's tons of different brands/models available. Another consistent theme I'm seeing, which I'm not sure if it's true or not, is that as long as your bag weight is under 50 lbs, more and more airlines aren't charging the bike fee anymore regardless of bag size. I'm leaning heavily on the side of the OruCase but I am a little concerned that the protection it provides is slightly less than others & it requires so much disassembly that might get annoying after a while.
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Old 01-21-20, 04:30 PM
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I've had great luck avoiding airline fees with my OruCase Ninja. Bike has been protected well, with no damage even after some very poor TSA re-packing jobs (they _always_ inspect the bike). Some downsides - I have to almost completely disassemble my bike (including crankset and rear rim brake) to fit it in the bag, and my airline has now removed the bike fee, so I could go with a bigger case.
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Old 01-21-20, 05:07 PM
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How heavy are these cases anyway? Somewhat easily you can throw the seatpost (with saddle attached), pedals and tires into a carryon or checked regular suitcase. Most of us would therefore have at least 30lbs to spare before that 50lb limit kicks in -- do some of the cases weigh more than this?
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Old 01-21-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
How heavy are these cases anyway? Somewhat easily you can throw the seatpost (with saddle attached), pedals and tires into a carryon or checked regular suitcase. Most of us would therefore have at least 30lbs to spare before that 50lb limit kicks in -- do some of the cases weigh more than this?
Depending on the make/model, some cases are 31 lbs (14 kg) by themselves. My bike weighs 18ish lbs without accessories, so that's pushing it very tightly indeed. I have now added a new model to the list - the Pika Packworks EEP Standard, as it seems to meet the same criteria as the OruCase but without the extreme disassembly requirement (fork & front brake can remain on the frame).
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Old 01-21-20, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by VinceB
I've had great luck avoiding airline fees with my OruCase Ninja. Bike has been protected well, with no damage even after some very poor TSA re-packing jobs (they _always_ inspect the bike). Some downsides - I have to almost completely disassemble my bike (including crankset and rear rim brake) to fit it in the bag, and my airline has now removed the bike fee, so I could go with a bigger case.
Which airline do you use? I've been looking at the various policies and it seems that of the big 3, American is by far the best for bikes. It's making me reconsider my small & concealed idea & instead go for the blatant bike bag but with better protection/less disassembly. Downside is that if American tickets are $$ over other airlines, I'd be stuck....
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Old 01-21-20, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene
How heavy are these cases anyway? Somewhat easily you can throw the seatpost (with saddle attached), pedals and tires into a carryon or checked regular suitcase. Most of us would therefore have at least 30lbs to spare before that 50lb limit kicks in -- do some of the cases weigh more than this?
The Bonza bike box I am considering is listed at 12kg , and its a hard sided case,the bags are usually lighter,so a road bike is pretty doable.
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Old 01-22-20, 08:27 AM
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Between my wife and I, we have the Ninja, Evoc Pro and Pika Packworks.

The Ninja is great because of its size, but you do need to take everything apart, which is kind of PIA.

The Evoc and Pika are both fantastic, and you do not have to completely disassemble the bike. The Pika is much larger than the Ninja. With the Pika, I can fit my track bike, two wheelsets and tools in there. It's big and heavy then, but it fits. My wife loves the Evoc for traveling with MTBs.

For added security, pipe insulation and foam floor mats can offer greater protection and padding.

There's also this thread in the racing forum about travel cases: Bike travel case
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Old 01-22-20, 08:48 AM
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Crateworks Pro X-CL

I ship because it's more convenient for me than flying with a bike, and my box, bike, racks, panniers, stove and empty fuel bottle are way over 50 lbs.

R.I.P. the days when a bike was one of your two free checked bags.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:09 AM
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I have the SciCon Aerocomfort 2 case and I was surprised how well it works. I was concerned before I first used it, but once everything is packed properly, it became apparent that good design wins out. Absolutely no damage to bag or bike on a couple of trips. Not having to assemble/disassemble the bike is a HUGE benefit.

Most airlines charge an extra fee of $50 or so to handle the bag, after seeing how it is handled (most by hand, some use giant automated bin systems), I have no problem paying the fee for the care and attention.
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Old 01-23-20, 11:01 AM
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I have an Evoc and a Trico. I have taken plenty of flights with each, and my bike has emerged unscathed so far (*knock on wood*).

The Evoc is a lot easier to pack, but I dont trust my carbon wheels in the soft case. All it takes is some baggage handled throwing a bag carelessly on it at the wrong angle and i could end up with a cracked rim. This bag is typically for my Ti bike and Al wheels. I also use it only when i have a direct flight somewhere.

The Trico is the case i use when i have connections or when traveling with carbon bike/wheels. It is a royal b*stard to lug around if you dont have a trolley (trying to drag it around the Gare de Lyon to our train, etc remains a singularly unpleasant memory). But it is fantastic at keeping my bike safe. And honestly, given that i typically fly with my bike out 2-3 times a year at most, I'd rather pay the excess baggage/handling fee for the bike than risk ruining the bike and the holiday by finding something broken when i land. Surprisingly, the Trico fits the back seat of compact cars much more easily (which is great if you are renting a car in Europe or taking a taxi in most countries).

My wife just got a Scicon hard case for herself, which seems to have the ease of packing of the Evoc with the hard shell of the Trico. I am concerned that the shape may be an awkward fit. Delivery should happen soon, will test it and see.

Edit to add: I have also used the Tardis unpadded bag to travel with my bike. It is the smallest/most compact/easiest to lug around solution I have encountered. But i have added boat-tons of padding using cardboard and foam in order to have the confidence to let the baggage gorillas have a go at it, and simply cannot be arsed going through that effort any more.
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Old 01-23-20, 11:22 AM
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@gugie asked me to pick this case up and ship it across the country to an acquaintance.



It was a mighty easy transaction. The person sent me a sticker. I picked it up, then dropped it off at Fedex. And, it was gone.

So, I think $100 + shipping.

Then I think the bike was pre-shipped for travel (not carried on the airline).

The hard cases pop up on Craigslist from time to time.

If one travels a lot, then something like a Bike Friday is the way to go.



The bike, and all the trailer parts fit inside of the suitcase (with a little prep work).
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