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Buiy soft v hard bike case (or rent?)

caw35slrcaw35slr Posts: 439
I'm heading abroad with my bike and I need a bag or case. The first question has an immediately obvious answer: if I had a choice between soft or hard, the latter would be the obvious way to go.

So I'm interested to hear from people with good or bad experiences of travelling with a soft/padded case: which one, how did it go, what precautions did you take, do you have any regrets.

On the subject of hard cases, does anybody know of any outfit in the South East where I can hire one?

Posts

  • Ashley_RAshley_R Posts: 408
    I'm off abroad in a few weeks, hiring a hard shell case from my LBS, just ask at yours, sure they'll know of one somewhere

    Still worried about my prode and joy being safe even in the hard shell though!! :o
    You can lead an elephant to water but a pencil must be lead
  • The way baggage handlers treat luggage these days I would go for a Hard Shell, I used to compete in Triathlons abroad, and would use nothing else. Enjoy the trip.

    "I am big.It's the pictures that got small"
  • KeithGKeithG Posts: 1,010
    One thing to consider is the weight of the hard case. Its a lot and can put you severely into excess bagage charges. It's worth checking with the airline what they will allow.
    Consider also where you'll store your hard case (at home when you're not using it, if you but one) and at the destination if you hire one.
    I use a soft padded bag and pipe lagging on the frame and it's been OK so far but I accept it is a risk.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,365
    Sigma Sport in Kingston used to hire them out but I don't know if they still do. Worth checking out.
  • KléberKléber Posts: 6,842
    I used a soft bag. Until my frame's seat tube was crushed and the rear hanger bent off. I'd wrapped the frame with pipe insulation and stupid amounts of bubblewrap, as well as bracing the forks and rear dropouts. But the frame was trashed.

    As said above, a hard case can weigh 10kg to start with. Add in your bike, shoes and some padding you're nudging 20kg, ie your entire baggage allowance.
  • fluff.fluff. Posts: 771
    If it's a decent bike I'd go with a hard case, though I took my winter bike in a clear poly bag, so it remained obviously a bike, and it was fine. Soft bags get the worst of both worlds, they offer limited protection, while being something the baggage handlers can throw around with ease
  • stu99stu99 Posts: 177
    You could try these people in Storrington

    http://www.southdownsbikes.com/info/sou ... e_hire.php

    I think Kleber's experience emphasises the risky nature of soft bags irrespective of the amount of padding used. I've seen UK baggage handlers stack suitcases on top of soft cycle bags when unloading from the aircraft hold which convinced me never to consider this as an option. You'd be better off with a cardboard box from Halfords.
  • If you are flying, a hard case. If travelling on eurostar then a bike bag as they will let you take it on the train with you but not if it is in a box.
  • Hmm i have a hard case and have used it several times and it has more than paid for itself- worth bearing in mind if you know you are going to use it more than 5 o6 times it's worth buying. Check the airlines too easyjet and ryanair have a sports equip charge of approx £17 each way which is not bad- BA used to be free but they've changed that now.

    The rest is down to chance or insurance (which is really expensive) A friend of mine had his hard case dropped off a BA plane at gatwick a spike went right through it! thankfully the bike got off Scott free!
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
  • I have a hard case and no problems (apart from the fact that it takes up so much space at home, and you need more space in the holiday accomodation.

    I fly BA and "sports luggage" no longer counts toward the allowance. Problem solved.
  • nickwillnickwill Posts: 2,735
    stu99 wrote:
    You could try these people in Storrington

    http://www.southdownsbikes.com/info/sou ... e_hire.php

    I think Kleber's experience emphasises the risky nature of soft bags irrespective of the amount of padding used. I've seen UK baggage handlers stack suitcases on top of soft cycle bags when unloading from the aircraft hold which convinced me never to consider this as an option. You'd be better off with a cardboard box from Halfords.

    You could do what I do, and use a soft case (I have a Neil Pryde bag), and use a cardboard bike box inside that. I put pipe lagging on the frame and stuuf the box with bubble wrap.
    The bag is then pretty rigid, but with enough give to cushion the bike. Touch wood I've never had a mark on the bike. I 've seen cardboard bike boxes begin to fall apart whilst sitting on the runway waiting to be loaded on to a plane.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    Mossrider wrote:
    I fly BA and "sports luggage" no longer counts toward the allowance. Problem solved.

    But I think your one piece of "sports luggage" has to be within 23kg, which may be a bit tight for some of the heavier boxes if you plan to put kit in as well as the bike.
    Where did I put those scales...
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • oldwelshmanoldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    jocksyboy wrote:
    Hmm i have a hard case and have used it several times and it has more than paid for itself- worth bearing in mind if you know you are going to use it more than 5 o6 times it's worth buying. Check the airlines too easyjet and ryanair have a sports equip charge of approx £17 each way which is not bad- BA used to be free but they've changed that now.

    The rest is down to chance or insurance (which is really expensive) A friend of mine had his hard case dropped off a BA plane at gatwick a spike went right through it! thankfully the bike got off Scott free!

    I flew to usa and israel with ba recently and it is still free.
    By the wasy I am pretty sure when you pay on ryan air and easy jet, the weight allowance is not accumulative as you pay for sports equipment.
  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    Here are some legitimate reasons to hire a bicycle instead of taking your own... it's better for the environment for a start. :wink:

    If you must take your own bike, I'd wouldn't pack it in a soft case. Looking out the window at Luton, I saw baggage handlers literally throwing my own Kestrel about. Luckily it was packed in a homemade cardboard box encased in thick fiberglass.
  • DoomDoom Posts: 133
    If you are flying, a hard case.

    Easyjet baggage handlers destroyed my bike box on a recent trip to the Alps. My pride and joy survived without a scratch but it took me 4months to get anything out of the insurers.

    I would not fly without a hard case as its far cheaper to replace than a new bike.
    FCN: 4
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