Cyclists come in all shapes and sizes: some easily part with their iron horse when traveling abroad, while others prefer to take it with them. Moreover, there are situations where the bike is the main part of the luggage. We have already written about the best way to transport a bicycle in a car, plane and long-distance trains. And today we will tell you about one incredibly practical device that allows you to effectively solve the problem of transporting the bike.
We will talk about the bike case. Today we will talk about the benefits of this accessory, designed for the storage and transportation of two-wheeled vehicles, and identify situations in which the rental bike suitcase will be the best option.
What is needed and what should be in a bike suitcase
Bicycle suitcase is a fairly roomy inside and compact outside case that allows you to transport the bike in the most convenient way. Inside, his bike is securely protected from shocks due to sturdy fasteners (here you need to understand that not always employees of the luggage department are careful with the property of passengers), and outside – solid coating, which will maintain the integrity of the contents.
A special suitcase for carrying a bicycle is needed when it is not possible to pack the bike in a more primitive way. The most common situations are:
- Need to transport an expensive model of bicycle. In order not to worry about your iron friend all the way, you can rent a bike suitcase and quietly enjoy the flight.
- Carrier requirements. Not all airlines allow onboard baggage that is not packed according to the established standards. Sometimes the carrier requires appropriate packaging for specific cargo (a bicycle, for example).
- Complicated route. When you need to make several transplants or change the type of transport (for example, from plane to train, and then another hundred kilometers by car) – it is easier to pack a suitcase in a handy case, so each time not to check the integrity of the contents and re-packaging luggage.
As you can see, a bike carrying case is a fairly practical and convenient device, which is useful for travelers and athletes.
Whatever the configuration of the bicycle suitcase, it must have certain characteristics:
- the presence of wheels for convenient transportation (it is good if they are recessed into the base of the case – in this case they become less vulnerable);
- have alternative methods of transportation (having a strong shoulder strap or a flip-up handle);
- the inner layer should be soft but resilient;
- The inside should have special recesses to fit the outline of the bike, as well as fastening straps that securely hold the contents of the suitcase.
It is good if the outer design of the case includes additional pockets and compartments in which you can store your bike documents and other things. Before you buy or rent a bicycle suitcase, you should study its characteristics in detail. Special attention should be paid to the size of the case and its weight – some companies impose quite stringent requirements in relation to the luggage of passengers.
Special cases for the transportation of two-wheeled vehicles can be classified depending on the type of construction, the density of the outer material and the internal design. According to these parameters, several variants of bicycle cases can be distinguished.
Rather oversized products, which provide a variety of compartments for placing individual components of the bike. As a rule, boxes are a solid and rigid configuration of bike suitcase. A great option for those who travel frequently and have to repeatedly change transport.
Advantages of bike boxes for transporting a bicycle:
- Provide the most effective protection for the contents.
- Unmatched durability and resistance to mechanical damage.
- Significant weight. As a rule, the average weight of a bike box is about 10-16 kg. Considering that inside it will be another 15-kilogram bicycle, the total weight becomes very impressive.
- Significant dimensions. The design of the bike transport box does not fold to compact dimensions. At a time when it will not perform its function, it must be stored somewhere, that is, the house or apartment should provide enough space where the box will not interfere with anyone.
- Cost. A hard box for transporting a bike costs at least 20 thousand rubles. A good and truly high-quality model will cost 30,000 or more.
Bicycle boxes are the most suitable option for active travelers who prefer to stay in the saddle of their bicycle while visiting other countries. It is also a good option for professional athletes who ride expensive bikes and don’t want to take risks on the road.
This is a soft configuration of bicycle suitcase with a rigid frame. Usually equipped with fabric handles. Special bags for carrying a bicycle will be a good option for those who do not travel as often.
Advantages of bags for transporting bicycles:
- Low weight. An empty bag weighs anywhere from 2 to 9 pounds. Despite this, it protects the contents thanks to the soft lining.
- Price. A bag to transport the bike will cost 5 thousand rubles. Cheaper models cost about 4 thousand, expensive options – in the range of 10 thousand rubles.
- Compactness. When folded, a fabric bag will take up the same amount of space as a bath towel.
- Does not guarantee the safety and security of the bike. With a very strong impact, some components may be damaged.
- In cheaper models of bags, it is desirable to build additional protection for the bike.
- To learn how to pack a bicycle compactly, you will need some skill and practice.
However, bags for transporting bicycles are quite a handy option for those who periodically travel by long-distance trains or fly by plane.
A bike carrying case is only suitable for transporting a bike in a car. As a package that can be handed over to luggage, this option is not suitable from the word “at all”.
Advantages of bike cases for transporting bikes:
- Reasonable price. The budget model will cost about fifteen hundred rubles.
- Low weight. As a rule, the cover is made of soft and thin synthetic fabric, which has an insignificant weight (the weight of the model does not exceed 2 kg).
- Small size. When folded, the cover will take up very little space in the closet or on the mezzanine.
- Cover will only protect your bike from scratches. As for serious mechanical impacts, this type of case will not cope with the tasks.
- Certain inconveniences. It is very uncomfortable to carry a disassembled bike in a soft case.
Nevertheless, if we are talking about a trip by car, the soft case for packing the bike is quite suitable option.
It is impossible not to say a few words about such an alternative option as a box of thick cardboard, which can be used to transport the bike. To say that this is a practical way of transportation, it is not possible. However, a cardboard box can be a good alternative in some cases.
Advantages of a cardboard box for transporting a bicycle:
- You don’t have to pay for it. You can ask for a cardboard box at any store that sells bicycles. They are usually thrown away, so you can get one for free.
- They are lightweight.
- Even very thick cardboard will not protect the structure of the bike from mechanical damage. At most – will prevent scratches.
- Cardboard is not durable. If the box is deformed in transit, on the way back it should be replaced.
Improve the product will help bubble wrap, with which you can carefully wrap all the components of the bike. In this case, you can avoid serious damage. The box is suitable for transporting a bicycle in a car. Traveling by train or plane, it is not the most practical option due to the lack of handles and straps.
When it is advantageous to rent a bike case
Let’s imagine the situation:
- You own a fairly expensive bike;
- You are planning a trip somewhere in Europe for a sports competition;
- You need to effectively pack a bike so as not to have problems with the luggage and keep intact every part of the bike.
Considering that the trip is a one-time thing, buying a hard box for 20-30 thousand is not the best option. So it makes sense to consider the alternatives available, such as renting such a device.
In large cities, there are companies offering such services. The price depends on what model is rented out and how much time (days) this service will require. As a rule, the average cost of renting a bike suitcase is 400 rubles per day.
How to put the bike in a bike suitcase
Before you pack your iron friend in the case, you should check the bike for damage. Some airlines require this of passengers in order to eliminate the possibility of unwarranted claims. Once you are convinced of the integrity of your bike, you can start packing it. The algorithm for doing this is as follows:
- Remove the wheels and unscrew the pedals.
- It is desirable to lower the saddle and handlebar.
- It is important to securely fasten the removed components, so that they do not dangle during transportation.
Separately, you should pay attention to the condition of the wheels during transportation. Most airlines require that the air in the tires be deflated to zero (this is due to the peculiarities of turbulence).
Once the bike is packed properly, you should put an appropriate Fragile sticker on the suitcase.
To narrow down your search, here are some well-proven bike bags that keep your bike safe while you travel:
- Chain Reaction Cycles bag. The type of construction is a padded suitcase with a protective lining. The model is equipped with small wheels and internal fasteners, insulated compartments for small items and parts. Weight of the bag is just over 8 kg, price – about 25 thousand rubles.
- Evoc 285L bag. The type of construction – a soft suitcase with a protective lining. The model is equipped with wheels (on one side) for convenient transportation, there are internal fasteners, as well as protective inserts for individual components of the bike (forks and feathers). The weight does not exceed 9 kg. Approximate cost – from 30 thousand rubles.
- Bicycle case B&W. The type of construction – a rigid case made of ABS plastic. The model is equipped with wheels on both sides, there are two separate covers, the inner surface is lined with thick foam padding. The weight of the product is slightly more than 12 kg. The approximate price is 30 thousand rubles.
- Vaude Big Bike bag. The construction type is a soft suitcase with a protective lining. The model is equipped with half-closed pockets designed to store the wheels. On the outside there are comfortable straps that allow you to carry the suitcase on your shoulder. The weight does not exceed 3 kg. The approximate cost is 10 thousand rubles.
- Tifosi bag. The type of construction – a soft suitcase without protective padding. The model is equipped with an insulated compartment for the wheels, a long strap for easy carrying. The bag is suitable for transporting your bike in a car or train. For an airplane is not the most suitable option. The weight is 2 kg. Approximate cost – 4 thousand rubles.
- Bike box Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 TSA. The type of construction – a soft suitcase with an integrated rigid insert. The model allows you to put a bicycle inside without removing the handlebar and seatpost. The case features wheels on both sides, hard protective shields that are close to potentially vulnerable bike components, as well as a vertical frame on a rigid base and separate pockets for wheel storage. The product weighs just over 8 kg. Approximate cost – 40 thousand rubles.
- Vertical bag Veloangar 7. The type of construction – a soft suitcase with a protective lining and a rigid frame in the area of the wheelbase. The model is a fairly compact case with a vertical base. There are wheels, protective fasteners inside the bag, compartments to store the fork and feathers, as well as a separate pouch for the wheels. Weight of the bag does not exceed 7 kg. Approximate cost – 15 thousand rubles.
- RuCase 2.0 bike box. The type of construction is a rigid suitcase, made of impact-resistant plastic. The model is equipped with small wheels on both sides, two wheel covers for storing wheels and protective inserts in the places of greatest vulnerability of the case contents. The weight of the product is 8 kg. The estimated cost is 27 thousand rubles.
- Suitcase Biknd Jetpack. The type of construction is a soft suitcase with a rigid base. The model is equipped with a crossbar that takes the form of a bicycle frame. Inside, there are rigid sides, fixing straps, protective pads for the wheels and other elements that reliably protect the components of the bike from mechanical damage. The weight of the product is just over 8 kg. Approximate cost – 15 thousand rubles.
As you can see, there are quite a few options. Buying an expensive suitcase makes sense when you travel a lot with your bike and own an expensive or very valuable model.
Tips for choosing a bike case for your bike
Of course, the most important selection criterion is directly the “passenger” of the bicycle suitcase. Select a case for the transportation of two-wheeled transport should be based on the design features of the bike. Take into account:
- the size of the bicycle frame;
- the diameter and thickness of the wheels;
- the shape of the handlebars and frame geometry.
We draw your attention to the fact that manufacturers of branded cases do not produce universal models. So, for example, not every women’s bike and its sporty cousin will fit into different cases equally easily. This applies to nainers and other specific categories of bicycles that do not quite fit the standard parameters.
You should also take into account the size of the suitcase itself, for example, hard boxes will almost always fit in the trunk of the car, but it is unlikely to place another oversized cargo there.
Briefcases, cases, suitcases, cases and other products of such a plan are invented for a reason. Their designs are designed with a specific luggage in mind, which means that they provide for the presence of additional fasteners and protective inserts that protect the components of the bicycle from mechanical damage. Accordingly, if it is planned the same flight, where the bike will be for a long time without the attention of the owner, it is better to take care of its reliable protection. It is not necessary to buy an expensive bike suitcase – today you can rent it for a few days, thereby solving the problem of transporting the bike.