Bike traveling case

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

For a number of reasons, I decided on my last trip with overseas my bike about a year ago that I would get a new case. I prefer semi-soft cases for ease of transport and being able to fold and fit in smaller cars. Must have a solid base, wheels, and a straps for ease of pulling and lifting. Currently considering the BIKND Helium V4, the BIKND Jetpack V2, and the Thule Roundtrip Traveler. I am partial to the Hilium V4, but it is also the most expensive of all 3. Not sure the benefits over the other 2 outweight the $200 upcharge.

Does anyone have any significant experience with any of these? What did you like or hated about it?

Any and all advice or personal experience would be tremendously appreciated.
Last edited by dgasmd on Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Don't know about any of those but I doubt anything is better then Pika Packworks.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

by Weenie


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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Mr.Gib wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:39 pm
Don't know about any of those but I doubt anything is better then Pika Packworks.
It has some shortcomings from what I can see, but I've never seen one LIVE:

1. No wheels
2. entirely soft all around
3. the sides are unprotected making the carbon wheels take the blunt of any blow from the sides.
4. No frame inside to bolt/secure the bike to.

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fa63
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by fa63

Personally, I use the Orucase "Airport Ninja", which requires major disassembly but so far it has helped me to avoid airline fees. It is a nice case, but can be a pain to pack and also to carry around without wheels.

It is also not on your list, but I have a buddy who travels quite a bit using a Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0, and he has had nothing but good things to say about it.

Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

dgasmd wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:44 pm
Mr.Gib wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:39 pm
Don't know about any of those but I doubt anything is better then Pika Packworks.
It has some shortcomings from what I can see, but I've never seen one LIVE:

1. No wheels
2. entirely soft all around
3. the sides are unprotected making the carbon wheels take the blunt of any blow from the sides.
4. No frame inside to bolt/secure the bike to.
Right, but you can sling it over your shoulder and carry it like courier bag, and it will fit in just about any taxi. Many times in airports, trains etc., the Pika Packworks allowed me to do things that would have been impossible with any bigger heavier bag.

As to the protection, there is a hard foam frame of sorts. Your right that side protection is minimal and wheels are vulnerable to a side impact, but I have mitigated this by inserting a heavy duty piece of cardboard down the sides to protect the wheels. Between my wife and I we have a total of 30 flights with zero damage. No question a true hard case is better protection but good luck carrying one of those up a flight of stairs in a train station in Italy. :P I do agree some built in wheels would be useful but that would require a solid structure and you would be back to a bigger, heavier bag. At that point might as well go for a hard case.

The real issue is that to use a Pika Packworks bag you must be able to remove the handlebars from the bike and strap them to either the top tube or the fork. This is tough with any internally routed mechanical drive train. ETap solves the issue. I prefer mechanical so I use cable couplers for the shift cables. Bike has external routing of course.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

ParisCarbon
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by ParisCarbon

I know you wanted semi-softshell, but I am using the Scicon TSA hardshell.. Ive travelled to Maui and France several times and no damage has ever occured to my bikes.. Bike and case weigh in just under 50 pounds and within normal travel standards... and the good thing is, it fits perfectly fine in any rental compact car I have reneted with the rear seats folded down.. I can imagine the other scicon stuff is equally as good... working in the airline industry, I know NO ONE cares about your baggage!! I used to go overboard and use Triall3 case.. hardly any disassembly, weighed in like a tank though.. and unfortuneately needed an SUV on the other end, but never worried about my bike inside... it met its death on a Westjet flight back home from Maui... bike survived though, I got in WJs face about it, they said they weren't responsible, in the end I proved they were responsible and I got my full amount back and bought the scicon..

Catagory6
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by Catagory6

i've traveled extensively with bicycles. and i will use a regular cardboard bike box over anything. especially a hardshell case.
i think baggage handlers are more inclined to properly handle a cardboard box, than a hardshell case.
and they are FAR lighter. and don't cost anything. local bike shop is probably happy to give them away.
but you aren't asking about hardshell cases anyway, so i don't know if what i just wrote is applicable at all...

but my vote is for cardboard box.
just break down the bike as much as possible

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Dan Gerous
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by Dan Gerous

From my experience, I would never use a soft shell bike bag. I have been working as a cycling guide the past two years and the number of guest's bikes arriving damaged with soft bike bags is just too high. Broken frames, derailleurs, derailleur hangers, chainrings and so on were seen at an alarming rate while the only issue I have seen with a hard shell case was a stem bolt that rattled loose during the flight, ie, nothing serious. We only had one client arriving with a cardboard box and there was no problem but that's not enough to make statistics.

And to echo what Catagory6 says, a good tip, with any box/bag is to keep it light, don't fill every empty spaces with your clothes for exemple. If it's light, airport luggage handlers will actually lift it and move it properly. If it's very heavy, there's a lot more chances that they will just push, kick, drag it in ways you don't want to see.

I can see soft cases being interesting as they don't take as much space when not in use (good for small hotels or friend's places with limited space or if you travel by car during your trip and need to drag it along) but they're usually heavier and more of a PITA to carry around when loaded than hard cases...

Personally I use a Scicon Aerotech hard case, it's been across the Atlantic yearly for a few years and so far so good. Easy and quick to pack, not too heavy, wheels are still rolling...

dmp
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by dmp

I know this has been discussed in a previous thread, but I am also using the Orucase. I previously had a Pike Packworks, which was great (no issues with damage) but the gate agents seemed to have caught on that it was a bike case after a couple of years, and its still a bit large to fly under the radar. So far, I have not been charged for the Orucase (6 flights, if I remember correctly, and another one abroad coming up in a couple of weeks), and because it is much smaller it's considerably easier to carry and to deal with in taxis, too. The small size comes, of course, with a price- you need to take the fork out, but its not much of a big deal. It takes a while to pack it the first time, then its pretty easy once you figure it out. I had a hard case for a while (Tri Case) but it was an incredible PITA, and impossible to get in a small car, so good luck in Europe. It weighs a ton, and is hard to store, too- I was thankful to get rid of it. A well designed soft case is really protective and not really that soft- the Orucase, in addition to very dense padding like the Pika, also has polyethylene sheets on the side. You really can sling it over your shoulder (just be careful going through doors- its wider than a backpack!). I fit my helmet, shoes, waterbottles and tools inside the case without difficulty.

Highly recommended, and I think they have a rental program if you want to try it out.

Catagory6
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by Catagory6

Dan Gerous wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:59 pm
From my experience, I would never use a soft shell bike bag. I have been working as a cycling guide the past two years and the number of guest's bikes arriving damaged with soft bike bags is just too high. Broken frames, derailleurs, derailleur hangers, chainrings and so on were seen at an alarming rate while the only issue I have seen with a hard shell case was a stem bolt that rattled loose during the flight, ie, nothing serious. We only had one client arriving with a cardboard box and there was no problem but that's not enough to make statistics.

And to echo what Catagory6 says, a good tip, with any box/bag is to keep it light, don't fill every empty spaces with your clothes for exemple. If it's light, airport luggage handlers will actually lift it and move it properly. If it's very heavy, there's a lot more chances that they will just push, kick, drag it in ways you don't want to see.

I can see soft cases being interesting as they don't take as much space when not in use (good for small hotels or friend's places with limited space or if you travel by car during your trip and need to drag it along) but they're usually heavier and more of a PITA to carry around when loaded than hard cases...

Personally I use a Scicon Aerotech hard case, it's been across the Atlantic yearly for a few years and so far so good. Easy and quick to pack, not too heavy, wheels are still rolling...
always remove the RD, and the hanger if its removable. that's a given. i use my cycling clothes, and regular clothes as frame protection.
i would even go so far as to remove the crankset as well. the specialy tools are easy enough to store inside.
but when traveling within the US, i will just ship my bike, and give it the same packing treatment. i've even shipped wheels in their own box, to my destination point.
airlines don't offer insurance. FedEx does.
and it costs about the same, if flying in the US. well, not over-night shipping.
not to mention, if you're traveling within the US, you have to deal with TSA inspecting luggage. that means, if you have a travel case of some sort, with an unconventional fastening system, there is more chance that an inspector will figure out how to open the case, but not necessarily know how to put it all back together if its packed weirdly, and stuff comes springing out like a jack-in-the-box.
had this happen with a hardshell case.
with a cardboard box, all an inspector has to do is slice the tape, peep inside, and then tape it back up again.
never had a problem when packed in a cardboard box.

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Thanks to all for the very detailed suggestions and personal experiences. I've had a BikePro USA "semi soft" bag for years and have used it successfully despite hating it from day 1. Bought it used and at a good price, so one can only bitch so much. It is big, heavy, bulky in the unnecessary places, hard to carry, tiny wheels that are very impractical for the size of the case, and it is extremely hard to fit in a car with the bike inside. It also provides very little side impact where the wheels rest. Frankly, I've never been worried about the bike itself being damaged in it, but the wheeels on the sides is what gives me heartburn really. Imagine landing on the other side of the word with a broken set of LightWeight wheels. Yeah, you get it......

The OrduCase intrigues me, but I am not convinced just yet. Not to mention that it requires a lot of disassembly and assembly. That is not necessarily a deal breaker, especially if one does not get charged bike fees. The price of these cases is simply ridiculous at best. $450-600 for them is simply ludicrous!!!

I think most people that advocate the hard cases, any of them really, have never had to carry one of those things in addition to your regular luggage, by yourself, for several blocks of crowded sidewalks or cobbled streets, by yourself, and then had to manouver them through train stations, trains, small rental cars, taxis, and several fly of stairs or tiny european elevators. It would make you hate them and the bike so much you'd never use them again. If I was using them to travel within the US with a medium to larger car/SUV for a rental vehicle, that would be an entirely different thing. And yes, while I do want the contents to be secured, safe, and make it to the other side intact, the other issues are just as valid. It MUST be a full package to make it work.

Cardboard box is not an option for me for a number of reassons. I know it works and works well for many, but not going there. The Scicon is one I was looking at a while back, but knowing 2 people that had the stem and handlebars broken from impact cured me of having any interest.
Just my opinion!!

**If someone with a PICA works or the Orducase could take some pictures of the inside showing the space between the side and the foam panel the wheels sit on that would be awesome. Much appreciated in advanced!

dmp
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by dmp

Hi dgasmd- as far as the price, yes, it is high (and up $100 since I bought mine about 1 1/2 years ago), but they're made by hand by a small company of ex-racers in the US, so that certainly makes the labor costs much pricier than if it it were made in the far east. There are a lot of people who think that you and I are overpaid for what we do, too (on the other hand one of my colleagues, when told "that's a lot of money just to put me to sleep", answered "I don't charge anything to put you to sleep- you are paying me to make sure you wake up").

The padding is quite thick and dense. There is a layer about 2cm thick on the layer that rides between the bike and the wheels, then a thick sheet of polyethylene that covers the entire outside on the sides. The wheels go in pockets between these. The entire thickness of the case is encased in more dense padding that's about 5cm thick. The fabric is heavy weight ballistic nylon. I think that you can get a sense of it from the pictures on their website (orucase.com).

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Kayrehn
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by Kayrehn

I use an Orucase too, not many trips done as yet but it is awesome to get away with the bike charges (I told them it was a pair of cymbals Image) The counter staff was dubious it wasn't oversized and I was happy to ask her to measure it herself. Being able to carry it on my back makes it superbly portable. Sliding the fork out of the head tube is hardly much more of a hassle compared to packing it in other cases. Rear derailleurs should always be removed when packing bike in any case.

Cyclingtips.com had an article written by a cargo handler who says that boxes with four wheels have a chance of sliding off conveyor belts, FWIW.

https://cyclingtips.com/2016/06/flying- ... e-handler/




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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

dmp wrote:The padding is quite thick and dense. There is a layer about 2cm thick on the layer that rides between the bike and the wheels, then a thick sheet of polyethylene that covers the entire outside on the sides. The wheels go in pockets between these. The entire thickness of the case is encased in more dense padding that's about 5cm thick. The fabric is heavy weight ballistic nylon. I think that you can get a sense of it from the pictures on their website (orucase.com).
Thanks again. I did look at their website and a couple of videos on YouTube. I can see the padding between the wheels and the frame in all the videos. What I couldn’t see clearly was what is between the wheels and the outside walls. Being all black makes it difficult to see on the videos.

And as far as the costs, what can I say? I’m cheap and love to hang onto my moneyImageImageImage

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fa63
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by fa63

I certainly wouldn't travel with a pair of Lightweights in the Orucase :-)

by Weenie


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