Soft vs Hard Bike Case

Traveling with a bike. Bike Box reviews. Bike travel hacks. Organized Bike Events, Gran Fondos, and Cycling Destinations. Self-Promotion of upcoming events welcome.

Moderator: robbosmans

Soft vs Hard Bike Case for Air Travel

Soft Case
19
32%
Hard Case
37
62%
Cardboard Box
2
3%
I ship my bike
0
No votes
Depends on the situation
0
No votes
Something else
2
3%
 
Total votes: 60

jayjay
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:07 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

by jayjay

matcav wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 12:38 am
Yes, Buxumbox would be the best, but it's damn expensive and rather heavy - which can be an issue if you have a max 23kg allowance.
I'm only familiar wir 32kg but so far I only used Eurowings and Lufthansa.

User avatar
Juanmoretime
Administrator
Posts: 307
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am

by Juanmoretime

I travel to California a bit since I have family there. I was able to borrow a great bike from a friend of my son in law that fit me perfectly. I did buy a used bike out there last time there to leave at my daughters house. Have bought several things to "weenie" it up next trip out there later this month. FWIW I bought a 2011 Specialized Tarmac Comp SL2 with less than 200 miles on it and I could tell that was all it had on it. Full Rival.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

It's really interesting that hard cases is beating soft cases 9 to 4. Long ago, I heard that most cyclists overwhelmingly prefer soft cases.

I get the sample set is still pretty low since the poll's been up for only a bit and this could all flip. Or maybe the WW crowd has a preference for hardshell cases? Looking forward to how it pans out.

jayjay
Posts: 437
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2021 8:07 am
Location: Germany
Contact:

by jayjay

This Canyon bag looks pretty good. It has a solid frame and a lot of room for other stuff.
But with 15kg on the heavy side of bike cases and the total length of 162cm could realy suck if you want to get that thing in a car (taxi to/from the airport etc.)

Image

User avatar
jekyll man
Posts: 1575
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:23 am
Location: Pack filler

by jekyll man

maxim809 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:06 am
It's really interesting that hard cases is beating soft cases 9 to 4. Long ago, I heard that most cyclists overwhelmingly prefer soft cases.

I get the sample set is still pretty low since the poll's been up for only a bit and this could all flip. Or maybe the WW crowd has a preference for hardshell cases? Looking forward to how it pans out.
If you look through slowtwitch forum, there's plenty of threads regarding carriers not covering damage if a bag has been used, and not a hard case.

Years ago, like when i first started travelling with a bike (late 90s), bikes were more often than not made from metal of some variety, so damage was typically limited to paintwork, if the bike had been packed with a bit of thought into a bike bag.
Nowadays, your frame ( plus other parts) is more likely to be made of carbon, and any mishandling or poor packing will result in significntly more damage.
The only advantage a bag has over a box is once at the hotel, its not taking up as much floor space.
Official cafe stop tester

User avatar
Nohands83
Posts: 275
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:41 am
Location: Leeds, UK

by Nohands83

First time I took a bike on a plane (15 years ago) I used a borrowed EVOC bag and I ended up with a bent rear hanger - which thoroughly screwed up my trip. Yes maybe my packing could have been at fault but regardless I've used hard cases ever since.

I had Polaris Bike pod pro for around 10 years before selling it last year as it was a really struggle to fit a semi-integrated disc brake bike in there. Great box very compact and easy to pack. Ideal for rim brakes for smaller disc bikes without integration.

usr
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:58 pm

by usr

jekyll man wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 11:18 am
If you look through slowtwitch forum, there's plenty of threads regarding carriers not covering damage if a bag has been used, and not a hard case.
Is there any evidence that if it had been a hard case, they would have covered, instead of pulling some other excuse from thin air?

I use a hard case, the case has been damaged to the point of requiring repairs four times (and one time I watched it fall off the conveyor from about chest height, without damage).

But having watched many ride buddies pack their bikes in some hotel backyard, I think it would be an EVOC if I had to buy again.

Actually I'd probably buy the same that I already have, B&W bikebox2, but not because I think it's the best case but because I'm already so well stocked with spares - the company has been very cool with supplying them and I'd gladly give them more business. Perhaps that could be considered a good role of thumb in general: use a case from a company that's somewhat local to you. Doesn't have to be around the corner, but when you need spares you want to talk to the main offices and not just to some import company intermediary who does not feel particularly connected to the entire transport case market at all.

ooo
Posts: 1591
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 12:59 pm

by ooo

Soft case exclusive 10+ years 40+ flights including trans atlantic with 3 connection.
I am on my second soft case, first case weared out. all alu and carbon bikes and wheels are ok.

this way I can arrive in one city/county and departed from another city/country.
I usualy buy one way ticket, travel around 2-3 weeks, and buy home ticket 1 week before departure

Our airport guys usualy place soft case packed stuff on top hard while carrying around airport

If airline tarrif allow soft case to be checked in as "sport/bike" baggage with weght limit only, soft case will allow you to attach a lot non-bike stuff to it (because soft case is very light, unlike hard cases). and if your airline tarrif have size limit, with soft case it is easier to make it pack it smaller.

I saved a lot of time and money on tarrifs (single checked in bagage as sport item with non bike stuff attached to it inside soft case), if something will happend after 10 years of doing this, even if I will not get any compensation, overall financial outcome is expected to be positive
Last edited by ooo on Thu Dec 14, 2023 7:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
'

skinnybex
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:07 pm

by skinnybex

I highly rate my Scicon Aerotech 3.0 softbag. I do remove my rear derailuer and chain since I run Sram AXS and I use my quicklinks 4-5 times before changing.I'll also sometimes remove the rotors if I have connection flights and the bag will be handled numerous times. The bag does fine with the wheels protecting the sides of the frame although I've heard of spoke damage from a friend where the bag must have taken an impact. The saddle covers the top since it stay attached. The only concerning area I've had is the brake levers which I've had move out of place so I usually loosen them slightly. All in all it takes 5-10 minutes to quickly reassymble and tighten. I also keep insurance on the bike I travel with incase of fatal damage from the airlines. Most horror stories I seen and heard are because the bike bags fall off the luggage trolleys after being unloaded from the aircraft while being taken to baggage carosel.
23’ Cervelo Soloist / 6.88kg - 1x Crit Bike
22' Cervelo R5 / 6.35kg - Climbing Bike
22' Cervelo Caledonia 5 / 7.55kg - Travel Bike
21' Cervelo Aspero / 8.06kg - Gravel Travel Bike
23' Cervelo Aspero 5 / 8.25kg - Gravel Race Bike

Jaisen
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2022 2:01 am

by Jaisen

jayjay wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:48 am
This Canyon bag looks pretty good. It has a solid frame and a lot of room for other stuff.
But with 15kg on the heavy side of bike cases and the total length of 162cm could realy suck if you want to get that thing in a car (taxi to/from the airport etc.)

Image
Yea this bag looks really nice, and it even allows you to keep pedals on. I wanted it but they don't ship to North America, only Europe. So I bought the Topeak Pakgo X instead.

damond
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

one more for the buxumbox. Me and and a friend got 2 of those custom made to fit Giant frames with ISP and that thing is absolutely amazing.

Makes me comfortable enough to take my 13k€ bike flying around the globe.

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

ooo wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 6:26 pm
Soft case exclusive 10+ years 40+ flights including trans atlantic with 3 connection.
I am on my second soft case, first case weared out. all alu and carbon bikes and wheels are ok.
Can you share what bags these were?

ooo
Posts: 1591
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 12:59 pm

by ooo

I don't think you can buy it globally, but you should be able to find something very similar:
bag is very basic from Polyester Oxford 210D PU 1000 / 650 grams $25 167x117 cm,
what makes it stable is diy additional bubble wrap, plastic straps, elastic straps,
most important to make all moving parts non moving.
I usualy take off front wheel pedals and bar, insert seatpost, and fix everything with elastic stuff
you can also use cling film (or food wrap) to fix everyinth inside ... lots of it... works good, but it is not environment friendly, I have to do it on the way back if there is no other options

this is not my pictures (I will try to find them later)

Image

Image
'

User avatar
nickf
Posts: 1476
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:34 pm

by nickf

Orucase airport ninja user here. Has been on a few domestic flights in the US and transatlantic flights a number of times without issue. Only the bike goes in the bag, nothing loose for TSA to screw up. Never get charged any fees, not even on domestic European flights.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



Eterna7m
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:25 pm

by Eterna7m

ooo wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2023 10:36 am
I don't think you can buy it globally, but you should be able to find something very similar:
bag is very basic from Polyester Oxford 210D PU 1000 / 650 grams $25 167x117 cm,
what makes it stable is diy additional bubble wrap, plastic straps, elastic straps,
most important to make all moving parts non moving.
I usualy take off front wheel pedals and bar, insert seatpost, and fix everything with elastic stuff
you can also use cling film (or food wrap) to fix everyinth inside ... lots of it... works good, but it is not environment friendly, I have to do it on the way back if there is no other options

this is not my pictures (I will try to find them later)

Image

Image
This seems okayish for train rides but I'd never use this on planes. No first hand experience but this takes the whole soft case bag to another level 😄

Post Reply