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  #1  
Old 07-17-2018, 10:31 PM
cribbit cribbit is offline
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Best travel cases

Been thinking of picking one up. Looking around it looks like trico iron case and tri all 3 velosafe are the common ones. Anyone have experience/recommendations with these?
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2018, 10:44 PM
11.4 11.4 is offline
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Really depends on how much you'll use it and where you'll be traveling. The Tricos and Serfas and so on all leave you with a big bulky case to store (or worse, to carry in a vehicle). Life is too short for the most part, above all in Europe.

The padded soft cases will fold up and be a lot more usable in most instances. You have to trust in them, but I regularly travel with both a road and a track bike and put the road bike in a soft case and I've never had any damage -- that's after perhaps a hundred fifty trips. They fit in cars better even with the bike still packed up, and in a tiny European hotel room they don't take up all your floor space.

The third option is a high quality cardboard box. If you only travel once or twice a year, definitely plan on a cardboard box. My favorites are CoMotion, followed by Santa Cruz, then BMC, then just a grab bag of better boxes when I sort through the ones coming out of the shop at a local shop. Definitely get boxes for the better pro bikes -- they're made better and have a little more room. And give the guy building the bikes a sixpack of beer in exchange for not cutting the boxes open -- ask him to pull the boxes open and not cut up the bottom. I've taken team bikes through five or six stops in a good quality cardboard box and they've done fine. Reinforce the box on the inside with collapsed USPS Priority flat rate boxes taped to the main box. That doesn't take any room but gives you tremendous protection wherever you need it most. And get some nice foam (like a 2 inch thick strip that's fairly dense) to line the bottom of the box and the ends with. Then all you have to worry about are the sides. Last, the best protection from scratching and damage is to enclose the frame by itself in a super-heavy-duty polyethylene bag. Bikes often come shipped in them; otherwise use one of the heaviest-duty Hefty lawn waste bags. Remove quick releases/throughaxles, the chain, derailleur, and the crankset. Don't detach the cable on the derailleur; just wrap it up and tape it to the chain stay. Remove the crankset so the bike can rest on its bottom bracket and so it's easy to wrap. You'll work out the small bits right away. Do the same kind of customizing with the soft cases as well.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2018, 10:48 PM
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eBAUMANN eBAUMANN is offline
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do not recommend trico iron case, unless its free, its better than nothing...or a cardboard bike box.
the trico is heavy to start (which limits how much you can pack in it), a pain in the ass to carry/drag around thanks to the location/size of the wheels, and its pretty hard to close correctly/securely, which is important for TSA inspection (you want it to be as easy as possible for them to get in and out).

after 2 trips to france with a trico, i bought a biknd jetpack...while i was IN france the 2nd time...thats how fed up i was with the damn thing.
seriously, it SUUUUUUCKS to drag around everywhere.

HIGHLY recommend the BIKND JETPACK, its great in pretty much every way. zero complaints.
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Last edited by eBAUMANN; 07-17-2018 at 10:51 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2018, 11:08 PM
pobrien pobrien is offline
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I went with the BIKND HELIUM V4 and am very pleased with it. It is really well made and has room for two sets of wheels.

I thought the price was a bit high but figured it was worth it to protect nice bikes. Packs up into a compact size for storage when not in use.

Excellent product.
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2018, 01:31 AM
54ny77 54ny77 is offline
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I have. Hard case that is built like a friggin' tank.

The irony is the most damage I ever had while transporting/shipping a bike was from bike packed in the hard case, where some TSA moron clearly took my bike out of its carefully wrapped state within the case, and proceeded to bend the bottle cage/pop rivot. What a dumbass.

The case can be shipped independently though, I just went east to west via an LBS for something like 75 or so regular priority.

Last edited by 54ny77; 07-18-2018 at 01:33 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2018, 09:19 AM
jfranci3 jfranci3 is offline
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Things to consider:
1) Bike cases are HUGE, like 2/3 the size of a sheet of plywood. Ground transportation on the other side of your trip and storing the case are issues.
2) How good are you with tools/bike maintenance? If you're willing to remove your stem, rear derailleur, and fork, you can get a much more portable - ORUCASE is an example.
3) Even $12k bikes come in cardboard boxes and hard cases go to the bottom of the airport luggage pile. Consider a soft case.
4) If you get over 50lb, you're paying more at the airport. Consider weight.
5) Get something that's pure black, put non-bike stickers on it to avoid airport bike fees.
6) Bringing your bike anywhere is usually better than renting (unless it is a mountain bike), renting is more expensive than you think.
7) See if you can rent a case, mine has been sitting in my basement for years.
8) Mailing your bike in a cardboard box is a good idea too. I know bikeflights.com is just a FedEx discount code and works.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2018, 09:41 AM
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fa63 fa63 is offline
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I bought the Orucase for my trip to France this summer. It arrived in Paris just fine, and I didn't have to pay Delta the bike fee (they treated it like checked luggage). That said, not sure I would carry a fancy carbon bike in it as it is not as well protected as some other hard cases. But on the flip side, it is relatively easy to carry it around like a backpack (though I wouldn't suggest walking around for miles with it).
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2018, 10:16 AM
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eBAUMANN eBAUMANN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fa63 View Post
I bought the Orucase for my trip to France this summer. It arrived in Paris just fine, and I didn't have to pay Delta the bike fee (they treated it like checked luggage). That said, not sure I would carry a fancy carbon bike in it as it is not as well protected as some other hard cases. But on the flip side, it is relatively easy to carry it around like a backpack (though I wouldn't suggest walking around for miles with it).
one this to consider with that case...it doesnt really fit larger (56cm+) frames.
great idea/design for sure though.

one thing to consider...a ritchey breakaway.
considering the price of a quality full-size travel case ($400-ish), you could get a used ritchey frameset for not much more...which would INCLUDE a case and guarantee no bike fees. thats what i ended up doing
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:19 AM
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fa63 fa63 is offline
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Originally Posted by eBAUMANN View Post
one this to consider with that case...it doesnt really fit larger (56cm+) frames.
great idea/design for sure though.
I transported a 58 cm frame in mine. It was a somewhat tight fit, but it worked
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2018, 10:26 AM
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eBAUMANN eBAUMANN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fa63 View Post
I transported a 58 cm frame in mine. It was a somewhat tight fit, but it worked
oh yea? thats good to know. i briefly considered buying one but a friend who owns one mentioned it was a tight fit on his 56. that, plus the price tag, pushed me to the breakaway option instead.
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:09 AM
donalrey donalrey is offline
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Pike Packworks - http://pikapackworks.com/ - highly, highly recommend it. It's small-ish enough that sometimes it can pass through the kiosk without any bike fees. Extremely easy to pack your bike as well and it feels very protected inside.

Stay away from hard cases as people mentioned, TSA always f things up when putting it back. It's also bulky and heavy.

Also, the Oru case might pack small but remember you have to take the fork off and literally stuff it in the bag. My gf used this once and I would never trust that bag to fit my bike - a 53cm.
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  #12  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:48 AM
Seamus Seamus is offline
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Any opinions on the Pika with an ISP or Seatmast? Just curious how the top of the bag's padding looks versus the sides/bottoms. Am considering the "stretch" version to accommodate my frame (w/ seatmast). Obviously can and will be adding some additional pipe insulation where needed.
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  #13  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:55 AM
Idris Icabod Idris Icabod is offline
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I'd ask around your friends and borrow one or start a case share cooperative. I had a Trico case and as has been mentioned it is just a huge plastic box with a bit of foam in it. Storage is a pain when not in use. The soft cases look good.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2018, 01:37 PM
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C40_guy C40_guy is offline
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I've shipped my bike many times with the Trico Iron Case. Easy to pack, protects the bike, good product.

When I first starting shipping it, east coast to midwest was $40 by Fedex. Now it's $150+. Turns out the Iron Case is just slightly oversize and Fedex cracked down on this a few years ago.

Most bike boxes, even cardboard, will be oversize. Bikeflights.com can probably help you with this.

I've never shipped a bike by airline. I don't want TSA unpacking/repacking my bike, and the airlines will pay you pennies on the pound if they damage or lose the bike.

With Fedex you can insure to whatever amount you want. (I recently sold a carbon wheel on ebay, shipped it fedex, and got paid for the insured amount after the wheel arrived damaged. I insured it for just a bit more than the auction amount; should have insured it for replacement retail, over 3X my insured amount...)

Bikeflights, by the way, handles insurance just a bit differently, and I haven't sorted that out yet.

Or just rent a bike...or grab a Lime.
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2018, 04:36 PM
marciero marciero is offline
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If you are going the cardboard route, these ebike boxes are awesome. They are much beefier than regular bike boxes, and wide enough to comfortably fit wheels and other stuff. Not only is the cardboard "finished" on the edges, but the way it is constructed-separate top and bottom opening like a box of chocolates- There are two layers of cardboard all around the outside.
At $40 they are cheap enough to ditch at the arrival point on one end of an open-jaw trip if you need to, and, since before assembly they pack flat in a package only a little bigger than a regular suitcase, it is cheap and easy to have them sent to a departure point.
You do have to warn/encourage/politely ask TSA to open it properly. I've left notes on the box and that has worked.
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