Soft vs Hard Bike Case

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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

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ultimobici
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Location: Trento, Italia
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by ultimobici

Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro. Takes no time to pack & unpack. If I’m not flying I can leave the pedals on so just need to pop the wheels in or out an I’m done.

Flown a dozen or more times in the last 3 years with zero incident.

https://www.evocsports.com/ROAD-BIKE-BAG-PRO/100409100


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Konsi
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by Konsi

Only one option makes you look like a rockstar though ;)
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ome rodriguez
Posts: 1393
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:16 am

by ome rodriguez

I had a soft case Scicon AeroComfort and sold it after seeing 3 of my friends break their carbon frames 2 specifically on the stays and 1 on the fork.
Now on a hard case Scicon Aerotech, unworried.

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jayjay
Posts: 440
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Location: Germany
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by jayjay

ultimobici wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2023 9:16 am
Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro. Takes no time to pack & unpack. If I’m not flying I can leave the pedals on so just need to pop the wheels in or out an I’m done.
Flown a dozen or more times in the last 3 years with zero incident.
https://www.evocsports.com/ROAD-BIKE-BAG-PRO/100409100
Never a problem with taxi transport etc.?

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ultimobici
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Location: Trento, Italia
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by ultimobici

jayjay wrote: Never a problem with taxi transport etc.?
Nope.


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

by Eterna7m

ome rodriguez wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 2:00 pm
I had a soft case Scicon AeroComfort and sold it after seeing 3 of my friends break their carbon frames 2 specifically on the stays and 1 on the fork.
Now on a hard case Scicon Aerotech, unworried.

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Ah I see you don't use the wheel mounts on the case. Is that because you run tubeless and/or wider tyres and they don't really fit ?
How's the fit like that? I don't know how much space you have without using the "wheel mounts" of the case and using separate bags.

Would you buy that case again?
Had the bike box Alan on my shortlist but that is a bit expensive with the import tax.

ome rodriguez
Posts: 1393
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:16 am

by ome rodriguez

My Zipp 303s fit in the wheel mounts, but I prefer using separate bags to give more protection to the frame. The divider is thick enough protection, but with the separate wheel bags no rotors and cassette are exposed.

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

by skinnybex

Eterna7m wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2023 6:39 pm
ome rodriguez wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2023 2:00 pm
I had a soft case Scicon AeroComfort and sold it after seeing 3 of my friends break their carbon frames 2 specifically on the stays and 1 on the fork.
Now on a hard case Scicon Aerotech, unworried.

Ah I see you don't use the wheel mounts on the case. Is that because you run tubeless and/or wider tyres and they don't really fit ?
How's the fit like that? I don't know how much space you have without using the "wheel mounts" of the case and using separate bags.

Would you buy that case again?
Had the bike box Alan on my shortlist but that is a bit expensive with the import tax.
I've found that 30mm or larger tires wont even fit in the wheel well area. Even if you deflate the tires and try to force them in it's very tight. Also rotors that are 160mm come really close to contacting the opposing tire. Larger cassettes also become a problem si I find that removing the cassette and rotors is easiest but that also means you need to pack those tools when you travel to reassymble. If Scicon updated the case and made a few improvements it would be a no brainer purchase.
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Eterna7m
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:25 pm

by Eterna7m

I travelled with the case and 30mm tubeless wheels and had quite the issues. I somehow managed to do so on the flight there by deflating, putting the wheels in and inflating a bit again but on the way back I struggled so hard that I just removed the tyre and cleaned the tubeless milk.

I also thought that the case just isn't up to date anymore but after seeing omes set up I wonder if it's actually useable.

So you have no issues whatsoever using separate bags ?


aroundtheworldguy
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2023 10:12 am

by aroundtheworldguy

Thanks for sharing your experience - it's really helpful to hear first-hand reviews when evaluating bike luggage options.

diecast
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

by diecast

I'm another happy BikeBoxAlan user. 20+ flights with mine and a few scrapes but going strong. I have even seen it fall off the conveyor belt going up to the plane's hold and everything was ok inside and out.

I'm pretty sure that my bike insurance stipulates that transfers are done in a hard case, but either way I think it was worth the investment. I'm sure most well known hard cases, Scicon etc will be similar.

As ever, there are some caveats.

Firstly, and this is entirely personal, I much prefer to travel with a rim brake bike. I can pack / unpack it in 15 minutes. I always take the rear mech off as I've seen several people with bent/broken hangers.

Disc brakes are perfectly do-able but require a little more care (e.g. I prefer to remove the rotors). There's no doubting the BBA was originally designed for rim brakes. Like other boxes in previous posts, tires bigger than 28mm may not fit in the wheel holes and need to be laid down.

Secondly, the box is pretty big. And 99.9% of the time it's empty, just taking up valuable space. In my experience it doesn't even fit under a bed.

Because of the size, if you are travelling at your destination then some additional logistical planning is required.

I wouldn't particularly want to drag it through a busy metro/subway. Public buses require you to keep hold of the box the whole time, because the caster wheels don't lock so it can roll and with considerable momentum.

The smallest car I've put it in was a 5 door Fiat Panda (with the back seats folded down) and that had room to spare due to its boxy shape. But for the safest bet of fitting two you probably want an estate/station wagon and you'll still need to put the seats down. We have managed 3 adults and 1 bike box in a Skoda Fabia but that was a bit of a squeeze. (Otherwise something like a van/ski resort transfer with trailer etc etc. it all depends on numbers and location.)

There is a newer BikeBoxAlan Triathlon Aero Easyfit box. I've helped a friend pack a bike with an integrated front end into one of these and it's really easy, a piece of cake. But in order to allow this the box is even bigger.
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froze
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:47 am

by froze

You didn't say what your circumstances will be.

Whenever I travel by air, I pre-check to make sure there is a bicycle shop somewhere near where I'll be so I can get a rental bike. Airlines have a history of damaging bikes, and nowadays thieves target bike boxes/cases too, and take them right out of the airport! I just pack my kit, my pedals, and my saddle, no fuss with packing the bike correctly then worry about all the problems that might occur coming and going. Some bike shops in other countries will rent you everything, and you have to rent everything separately, even water bottles, so check ahead so you know what to expect and what you need to pack to avoid additional rental fees vs luggage space.

I forgot to mention, I also pack my saddle bag.

Just an option to think about.

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Cannoli
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Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

by Cannoli

I had the Scicon Aero Comfort 3. The first time we flew with them, the airline cracked my wife's frame at the seat stays. When I went to them to claim damage, they said they would only cover the damage if the bike was in a hard case.

No we have BuxumBoxes and no issues at all. The box has taken some beatings, but the bikes are well protected. I'm sure I would have had another cracked frame in a soft case based on the dents in the box.
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DA7800
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2023 4:18 am

by DA7800

I just squeezed my 700x35c tyres into a bikebox Alan. Not ideal, not designed for tyres this big. Wheels are basically loose with a qr skewer and cardboard crossing some spokes without pressure to just hold it in place while packing. Swapped front and rear around and was able to bodge the wheels in Ok

Lots of foam inside the bag but the 142mm rear end plus wheels that aren't fully in the holes makes the packing tight. It fits and is surrounded by foam, plus the frame entirely wrapped in bubble wrap. Only a single 3hr flight to Adelaide for the TDU so hope it holds up.

Integrated bar on the bike too, but I built the bike with a bit of extra brake hose to be safe, that's no issue.

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