For Australian Cyclists travelling and touring OS
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I'm off to France next year for a few weeks with my bike which is a Merida carbon road bike. I'm not touring as such but joining up with a couple of tour companies. I've spent this afternoon checking out previous threads regarding bike bags, cases, soft vs hard etc and I've read Aushiker's reviews and I think I have narrowed it down to these two:
Scicon Aero Comfort
If cost wasn't an issue does anyone have any advice about which way to go? I'm leaning towards the Scicon simply because of the reduced amount of disassembly needed. Any other suggestions that I should look at?
Thanks a lot.
I think the amount of money you are thinking of spending on a suitcase for your bike is fairly ridiculous. Is your actual bike really expensive and needs special protection that a case like this can provide? If not, then don't waste so much money. These are things for people with more money than sense or just a lot of money and won't miss it, in my opinion.
I don't have much money at all so i use a cardboard bike box from the local bike shop and so far i have not had any breakages. My bike has been on a few plane trips and train trips in a box. You can pad around the delicate areas, put big arrows showing which way up for your bike. And generally need only take off one wheel. Well at least for my bike that's all i need to do. Not sure about a men's racing bike.
I have one of these which I use for carrying my carbon frame bike where I will be flying back home. I last used it to fly to NZ and then on to Bali and subsequently home. As it turned out mine cost me nothing as I got a full refund for it from Wiggle even though it is still usable and I would be happy to use it again in similar circumstances.
I have documented my experience with a Scicon AeroComfort Plus Bike Bag in Team Milram colourson my blog.
I have also used cardboard boxes where I am making one way flights with my touring bike, but that is a steel framed bike.
Actually yes it is. It's a Merida Reacto 909E which cost me just south of 8K (this is possible proof of me having more money than sense but I can live with that because I love my bike! ), so yes, it will need special protection.
Thanks Aushiker. I read your review yesterday which is why I am leaning towards the Scicon bag.
Tim (off to polish his bike)
If you are really worried about protecting your bike, a cardboard box will protect it better than the Scicon, unless you stuff it with cardboard, in which case you might as well start with a box in the first place. But you get the benefit of wheels on a commercial bag, which is worth having.
Actually, if you are not using a hardshell box, then the best form of protection is foam tubing tied around all the frame tubes, and truckloads of bubble-wrap, polystyrene and packaged air so that no hard surface touches any other hard surface or the outside world directly. I took my bike to Europe this year packed this way in a cardboard box. The box got crushed badly at one edge but there was not a scratch on the bike. Frames and wheels are really strong (even carbon ones), you just have to spread out the point loads and that's what packaging materials achieves.
I bought a bag from Probikekit Australia. It is branded Pro Race but is in every respect identical to Andrew's Scion Aero Comfort bag. I assume Probikekit had copies made by the same manufacturer.
I'm about to make my fifth trip using this bag, and it has been borrowed twice by friends also. It has survived these trips with only a few small holes around the base near the internal frame, which don't affect its utility in any way.
I find the internal frame protects the bike well - along with the addition of some pipe insulation from Clark Rubber. It's very convenient for me to wheel around at the airport too since I travel solo, and managing my luggage and a bike can be awkward. Downside is that is fairly heavy at around 7kg which doesn't help with the baggage allowance.
However I reckon an Enviro Bike Box is worth considering if you are only doing a one-off trip. I'd also contact the lbs - many have bike boxes for hire.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
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