Flying with a bike

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:41 pm

by JScycle

Hey all,

I am going on a trip to Hawaii in January and am hoping to take the bike and do some of the famous climbs.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend some bike bags/cases that they have used that offer suitable protection when flying.

Is a hard case better than a soft case? Is a semi-soft the best compromise? What brands do it best?

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by AlphaDogCycling

I've used my bike pro race case for over 25 years, both domestic US and international without any bike damage. It's a soft shell case. Other friends really like their SciCon case, which is what I would get today

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by Weenie

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by Nefarious86

Hire a bike over there and dodge the ridiculous handling fees?
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by TonyM

My recommendation: Scicon Aerotech Evolution TSA. Hardshell. ... ravel-case

Expensive but a lot cheaper than the value of your bike!
I used it many times now (domestic and international flights).

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by NiFTY

I bought an old scicon aerotech hardcase for 200 aud. Used it to lug bike around the country and to hawaii. Nil bike damage. Would not trust a softcase after what has happened to friends bikes.
Evo 5.02kg SL3 6.77 Slice RS 8.89 viewtopic.php?f=10&t=110579" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

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by imunwired

I have an orucase. Went to Mexico with a carbon road bike. Love the case. No bike fees charged by the airline.

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by sungod

i've used one of these for a few years, about 30 flights so far, the box has has a few cosmetic scrapes but all ok otherwise...

i'd only use a decent hard case, accidents and mistakes happen, nothing is invulnerable but a hard case will take more punishment before the bike is damaged

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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:38 pm
Location: North Wales

by keith

This is so simple. Just get a hard case.

I use a bike box allan, does the job. There are lots of alternatives.

Soft cases will just wreck your bike sooner or later....
Riding my road bike in North Wales

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by topflightpro

There is a thread on this on BikeForums: ... -case.html

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by JScycle

Thankyou all for your replies!
Lots of consideration to do

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by fromtrektocolnago

TonyM wrote:My recommendation: Scicon Aerotech Evolution TSA. Hardshell. ... ravel-case

Expensive but a lot cheaper than the value of your bike!
I used it many times now (domestic and international flights).

second this, but if you don't want to spend the money bike box alan is pretty good. i use the scion but know people who swear by bike box alan
Last edited by fromtrektocolnago on Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Location: PNW

by eaglejackson

My wife and I travel extensively with our bikes. We usually take them with us on the plane though sometimes we send them separately via FedEx (using Destinations include California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan. Cases we've owned and used include Trico hard case and a number of soft cases, such as Pike Packworks, Evoc Bike Pro, and Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0.

The Trico hard case is pretty bulletproof and will protect your bike. But it's heavy and bulky, hard to fit in a vehicle at the destination and big to store. Also, TSA will open it and not always get it back closed properly. My preference is for a soft case, though my wife has preferred the protection of the hard case.

The Pika is very well made and compact. It's pretty straightforward to pack a bike in it. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a TdF winning pro, and said it was what he and his teammates used. In my years of using it (10+) I never had any issues with it, and never any damage to the bikes.

A couple of years ago I bought the Evoc bag to give it a try. It's easier to pack than the Pika. I really like it. I use it with the aluminum bike stand and now with the disc brake compatible stand. The bike attaches to the stand, and the stand fits inside the case. I've not had any damage to the bikes using the Evoc, probably 15 trips.

I bought the Scicon Aerocomfort soft case almost 2 years ago because it's even easier to pack. You don't even have to remove the handlebars. I had my doubts about it though, in particular, whether the bars would get damaged in transit. Since you don't remove them, they stick out pretty far. And sure enough, on my first trip with the Scicon, the bike arrived with the shifters rotated in probably 45 degrees. Both shifters. Clearly the bike had taken hard hits from the side and impacted the furthest out points, namely the shifters. On the return trip home, this time I loosened the shifters so that if they had an impact, they'd rotate easily to the inside. But the bike arrived with broken handlebars - the drops on both sides of the bars, just below the shifters, were broken off. There was no way I was going to use that case again and was able to return it. I am aware others haven't had issues with this pack but I did on both legs of my first trip, so it's not one I would use again.

The Evoc is my go to case now and my wife has switched to it too.

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Location: Scotland, UK

by LePouletTrapu

I've flown a few times with the good bike and I would only ever use a rigid case, got a bike box alan myself and it works great. Made a few mods to it with extra tie down points using long velcro strips so that everything inside is fully restrained and so far no damage to the pride and joy.... The outside of the box starts to look battered pretty quick which puts me off the soft shell options.

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by Weenie

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Location: Denver

by dmp

I've used the Pika Packworks for domestic and international flights for the past 5 years without a problem. I was using a Trico hard shell case before that, but the difficulty of storing it at ones destination led me to switch. I've not regretted it. Highly recommended.

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