However I agree for multiple trips a hard case is best and nobody does it better than Scicon.
http://www.rullobike.com have them at a good price.
Or their latest soft case offering. (Looks like it has better padding)
Were it me, and I didn't want to spend the money on a case, I would pack it in a normal carboard box and ship it. DHL, FedEx, etc.
It's important to remember (at least in the US) is that the authorities WILL open the case. If it is cardboard and taped and full of clothes, they will pull all that stuff out and "try" to put it back in. They will get it wrong. Your bike may or may not make it in good shape. Bad gamble to me.
So I have found that on the airlines it's the best to make it super easy for them to open it up, look at the bike, look at the wheels, and close it back up. If you feel confident that a non-cyclist is capable of doing that without damaging your bike in the way that you pack it, then go for it, otherwise pack and ship or have a case that is VERY easy to open, close and look through.
I also have to worry about my Deda Synapsi handlebars. Is there enough room in the case for them to fit as intended with the handlebars turned fully to the side? The aero extension sticks out about 4 inches which puts it just past the normal drop bends. Can the padding accomodate this you think?
Hard case are good but expensive but the airline blokes get super pissed off with them due to the shape. Some are also a bit hard to move around, especially when it comes to putting it in the car if you havent got a mini bus. The airlines also don't like most of them due to the shape for stacking and will most likely slug you excess baggage.
Personally I'd go a cardboard box. Tape up the bottom completely to avoid the bottom falling out when it gets wet. Tape around the handles as they always rip and do a few full laps to support the sides.The baggage handlers will still get annoyed with them; I saw a guy drop mine on its side from head height, but if you've got a bit of foam in there theres no need for concern. My current box, which from memory a giant box inside a qantas box, has lasted for 6 trips which is 22 flights, only needs a bit of extra reinforcing around the handles.
Are you going interstate or overseas as that might change a few opinions? If overseas just use more tape
jimmer23 wrote: LJ, have you found the Sci-On case cumbersome to lug around?
The shape does make it quite awkward to pick up and load in a car when its heavy, but apart from that its fairly easy in the airport etc. The case rolls quite well and I haven't had any of the wheels snap off yet (Christmas will be my 8th trip with one). If a wheel goes then I could imagine it would be a nightmare!
stumpytrunks wrote: try and leave your back wheel in if possible to protect your hanger.
There are special inserts to put in between the rear hanger to prevent it from crushing. Your LBS might have some as they are in most framesets that get shipped. They come in both 'front' and 'rear'. You can also use an old set of hubs with qr's.
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