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Bike bags / boxes

ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
edited October 2010 in Road buying advice
What do you use, and what would you use if you could afford it?

Some say bags - treated more gently?
Some say boxes - may get bashed about, but stronger

There are so many box options, from £500 plus boxes, to cheapo and iffy looking sub £200's.
Bags are the same, from £200 Evo types, to £50 zip ups.

From the view of anyone who has TRIED and USED these, what do you think?

(no speculation, based on guesswork and "what I've read" , please, stick to users' views)


  • Eddy SEddy S Posts: 1,013
    I've got a Bike Box from BikeBoxAlan - great product and great service.

    It just works. And Alan modified mine to take my track bike and dics wheels if I ever manage to get organised to race at a Track World Masters abroad.
    I’m a sprinter – I warmed up yesterday.
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    I hired one from my club this year. After a little searching around this is the one:

    I wrapped my frame in bubble wrap before packing and I'm pleased to report there were no problems whatsoever. The box itself is sturdy and well made, not even Lutons finest baggage handlers managed to damage the box, but more importantly my bike.

    I don't have any experience of other boxes but this done the job well. I'm considering getting one myself, for £130 it's not bad at all.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • I have one of these:

    And this was my write up on Wiggle:

    Bought the box locally as Wiggle wouldn't ship to the Middle East - which seems a touch strange, but I suppose understandable from a shipping cost perspective.
    Used the box to transport my 57cm Ti framed bike from Dubai to Nice, Nice to Bristol, Bristol to Penzance (train) & London back to Dubai.
    The box stood up remarkable well, with very little battle damage. Most of the marks on the box were from the chauffeur drive from my house to DXB airport, as the driver chose to but my wheeled soft bag on top of the bike box, which then slid around for the whole journey, slightly scratching the top.
    The wheels on the box survived fine, which I assume to be a weak point, as spares are provided.
    Packing the bike takes patience the 1st time, as it is quite a tight fit, but you do get better with practice. I found the instructions quite useful, if somewhat bizarre German to English translations in places. Pay attention to both the pictures and the text, as not all of the steps for the suggested approach are in both.
    For me, I changed the method, so I remove the bars from the stem, rather than the stem from forks, as this was easier to rebuild and gave me the room I needed.
    With a slightly smaller bike I could probably have got away with not removing the rear dérailleur - which would simplify the rebuild - but was not a massive issue.
    I packed the wheels (in the supplied bags) on top of the frame, with the back wheels going in first (cassette facing "down").
    I tried to use the wheel 'spacers' which push into the hollow axle of the wheels (where the QR goes), but these seemed to create more bulk (so increasing the pressure on the surrounding components) - and more difficulty packing, so I removed them.
    I also used thin pieces of masking tape to mark the relative positions of the handlebars in the stem, and the seat tube height prior to disassembly of the bike, to aid the re-build process.
    One small tip I found, when you have packed the box & closed the lid, check for any pressure points on the (quite flexi) lid. If you find any, try a rearrange things inside to remove them, as this would be where damage would most likely occur - either to the box, or the component inside.
    I would suggest acquiring some pipe insulation from a DIY shop to protect the frame tubes, some garden wire to wire up the chain and the drop out protectors & some masking tape.
    My biggest surprise was that the airlines had no issue with the size of the box, and checked me in for all three flights with no concerns. On Emirates from Dubai to Nice & London to Dubai this was not a shock, but EasyJet from Nice to Bristol was a pleasant surprise :) I had paid the "Sporting Goods" supplement for the flight though.
    The box is heavy (even when empty!), and with just the bike inside was around 22KG's. I then added other 'bike related' stuff (tools, helmet, shoes, clothes etc) and got the (heaviest) weight up to around 27KG's - which again, the airlines didn't baulk at.
    One side note, I had to use the train to get from Bristol to Penzance, and was not allowed to book a bike place with my ticket, as this was not a "bike".
    I then had a brief "discussion" with a "Train Manager" who wanted to refuse me a place on the train from Plymouth to Penzance as he already had two bikes on board. When I "explained" that this is a large suitcase, that just happens to have a bicycle inside he eventually relented, and opened up a completely empty guards van to put it in!
    Overall, a good buy - now all I need to find is somewhere to keep it!

  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    anyone else?

    must be?!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I race abroad each year on my carbon bike and just use a soft bag for ease of transport. Lag the pipes in foam and take the rear mech off and a few other bits and jobs a good un. Must have made a dozen flights like this and no problems. Less chance of excess baggage cost too.
  • Scrumple
    I have one of these

    £130 and it flies regularly with no issues or damage yet - sure if money is no problem you can spend more - but this is 12 months old now and has done 6 flights long haul with no marks or damages

    I sometimes think that because it is unusual it get preferential treatment
  • ascurrellascurrell Posts: 1,739
    A couple of years ago I bought a 2nd hand bag off ebay [forgot make at moment and still in Spain] for £20 posted.

    I used bubble wrap and some polystyrene in obvious places. What I also did was source a cardboard bike box from Halfords [they're glad to get rid of them] placed the bike in the box and box in bag. A bit belts and braces but well worthwhile.

    I also took the advice from someone else on this forum not to overload it weight wise as the baggage handlers are more likely to be not so careful on a heavy large bag.

    I also have a chainset / chain rear mech protector which I bought cheap from PBK helps keep chain from greasing other areas,
    Hope thi is of some use, Alan
  • I have both a bike box Alan and a a Thule box. Both have been used for trans Atlantic flight without any problems.

    I have a few thoughts and images for the alan box here:

    I'll give a comparison of the two later on today.
  • ademortademort Posts: 1,924
    e been looking at this one it weighs 10.4Kgs and is reasonably priced. ... ail2=17088
    Chinarello, record and Mavic Cosmic Sl
    Gazelle Vuelta , veloce
    Giant Defy 4
    Mirage Columbus SL
    Batavus Ventura
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I used a tifosi bag from

    Put the bike in a frame box then that inside the bag, was great! Cheap too.

    However if I was travelling more often I would probably get a Thule...
  • ScrumpleScrumple Posts: 2,666
    not sure they make a flight case, which was what I meant....
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