Friday, March 6, 2009

Bike Travel Cases Review

If you have been thinking about a cycling trip to Italy the following review of bike travel cases by Thomson Bike Tours may come in handy. Thomson Bike Tours specialize in what they call "performance trips" to Europe ( Note in particular their advice not to ship your bike in advance of your arrival.

Tips for travelling with Thomson Bike Tours
In this month’s special feature we take a look at how to transport your bike across the Atlantic and how to protect it from bicycle-unfriendly baggage handlers. Bike travel cases essentially come in 2 varieties: ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ and we’ve selected a range of hard cases and one soft case that are popular at the time of writing.

If you’re not planning to travel frequently with your bike you may want to explore the possibility of renting a travel case - most hard cases can be rented from good local bike stores for $50 to $100 per week.

If you need assistance in packing your bike before the trip your local bike store should be able to provide this service for a minimal fee.

1. Performance Bike Cargo Case
Features a tough outer case made of polyethylene and an extra layer between your wheels and frame for extra protection. The Cargo Case closes with four industrial-strength clasps that you can lock with standard padlocks. Can also be adapted to mount on any roof rack.
Price is about $290
For more details, check out the Performance Cargo Case on Xoomgear

2. Trico Ironcase Bike Carrier
Claims to be the world’s best-selling ‘hard’ case. Combines a tough Triconium shell and three layers of foam to protect your bike. Weighs 31 pounds.
You can find a review of the Ironcase on Pez Cycling
Price is about $330 to $380
For more details on the Trico Ironcase, check out the Trico Sports website

3. Bike Pro USA Race Case
This is one of the top-of-the-line ‘soft’ cases. The bike is attached to a steel frame in the bottom of the case and is protected by several inches of foam padding all around the bag. Multi-density panels provide progressive shock absorption and impact-resistant side panels offer even more protection. Used by several pro teams to transport their bikes so should be good.
Price is about $400
For more details on the Bike Pro USA Race Case, check out the Bike Pro USA website

4. Sci-Con Evolution Aerotech Bike Travel Case
Italian made, and with minimal disassembly of bicycle required. The Scicon AeroTech Evo case protects your investment by shielding your bicycle from hard hits while traveling. The SciCon Aero-Tech Evo is suitable for any kind of frame. Just remove the wheels and saddle and the bike is packed away. Equipped with combination locks, foldaway wheels and handles with anatomical grip. "Ten out of ten for safety but this level of protection costs".
You can find a review of the Sci-Con Evolution case on Bikeradar
For more details on the Sci-Con Evolution Case, check out the Sci-Con website
Price about $1000

5. Pro Bike Case
This heavy-duty case made with thermoformed ABS plastic, holds any bike frame and a pair of wheels, including larger and more complex road and mountain bikes, with room leftover for your extra gear and tools. It has an Aluminum frame with internal stabilizer that secures and suspends the bike frame to protect it from damage during transit. Thick and soft, open-cell foam covers the entire inner wall surface for further support. Lock it up with four latches, position it using the four grab handles and use the flip-up handle to help you roll it to your destination, on four precision ball bearing wheels.
For more details on the Pro Bike Case, check out the Performance Bike website
Price: $400 – 450

6. Thule 699 Round-Trip Bike Box
The Thule 699 includes rugged wheels for easy-rolling and effortless transport and easily accomodates both road bikes and mountain bikes. Gear bags for clothing, bike tools and components make packing and unpacking the bicycle painless. With a Rugged polyethylene construction this travel case can be locked with padlocks for additional security (locks not included).
You can find a review of the Thule Case on etrailer
For more details on the Thule 699, check out the Brands Cycle website
Price: $380

Please Note: Shipping bikes before the trip is NOT recommendedThomson Bike Tours do not recommend shipping the bike beforehand. We have had several problems in the past where bikes have got stuck in customs and it has taken several days of negotiation to release the bike. The problem is that you have to be able to prove that the bike is used and will only stay in the country temporarily otherwise customs will want to charge VAT before they release the bike. The documentation required to release the bike varies from one customs officer to the next so you can imagine the hassle trying to get the bike out of customs. We've spent many hours in Spanish/French/Italian customs offices over the years and it can take days/weeks to release a bike - so through bitter experience we'd strongly advise against shipping your bike in advance!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi all, think that it's worth to highlight this innovative bike case solution coming from germany

    it's about a carton box, very simple, cheap but really extremely safe and easy to use. it is genial. I work for an Italian travel operator focused on cycling and sport in general, since 2004 we adivised our clients to buy the box cases on and everyone has been satisfied, no one had some trouble also flying with european low cost airlines.

    The extremely low budget of the roseversand cases it is especially thoughts for them who don't travel so often: the budget it is reasonable also for one only trip. sorry for my poor english! see you in Italy