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  1. #1
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    bike travel bags

    i'm looking at bike travel bags as i figure on doing a number of trips over the coming years involving biking.
    the EVOC looks like an awesome bag and some friends recently purchased them and like them alot
    but they are pricey. found a sale on line at $383.00
    also looking at the SETTE bag at $120.00
    looking at buying two so it adds up.
    anyone have the SETTE and if so how do you like it?

  2. #2
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    With a bike bag you will get dinged every time for baggage charges.

    How To Fly Cheaper With Your Bike - Pinkbike.com

    This is the other option. You never get a special charge for hockey gear.

  3. #3
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    Agree with Shirk. Other thing to look at is to break it down into to bags.
    If you hurt in your efforts and suffer painful dings. Then you are doing it right.

  4. #4
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    it's got to give some protection for the bikes and what's nice about these are the fact you only have to take off the wheels pedals and handlebar.

  5. #5
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    I have a bike bag and I have never had any problems with bikes getting dinged. Having said that I also wrap the frame and rear deraileurs. Obviously a bike box like the Thule one would protect it 100% but I like being able to shove the bike bag in a corner or larger locker when I get to my destination.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToneyRiver View Post
    I have a bike bag and I have never had any problems with bikes getting dinged. Having said that I also wrap the frame and rear deraileurs. Obviously a bike box like the Thule one would protect it 100% but I like being able to shove the bike bag in a corner or larger locker when I get to my destination.
    what brand of bike bag have you got?
    Team Van Go

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    it's got to give some protection for the bikes and what's nice about these are the fact you only have to take off the wheels pedals and handlebar.
    If you are mechanical the extra tear down is nothing, unless you are super crammed for time trying to fit short rides into a very busy schedule. For a week long trip I don't mind the extra time.

    Gotta protect the bike either way. I have a friend that had her Ti Litespeed damaged years ago in a proper bike bag on a flight.

    We are heading to Peru in June, I am going to take our chances on the hockey bag route for our bikes.

  8. #8
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    I've used a Nashbar hard case like the Trico for 10 years

    and just 5 weeks ago went to Cancun on sunwing and they charged me $30 both ways. It is heavier, probably 30 pounds, but the hard shell case will get your bike there safe.
    Packed my FSR squishy, and several hardtail/road bikes and never had any damage. You can also rent one of these from your LBS if you want to try it before you put out the cash for something. Just take a pedal wrench, hex set, and a few rags, and DON"T forget to let the air out of your tires before you check in or you could blow out your tires. (No it never happened to me yet.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    what brand of bike bag have you got?
    I bought it a while ago. It is a Look Pro Travel Bag. I don't know if they are still available or not. It has 2 side pockets to put the wheels. I have traveled a bunch with it and have never had a problem yet.

  10. #10
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    we rented a couple of hard plastic shell case's once before and just found them very bulky and a pain to haul around.
    they did a great job though protecting the bikes.
    Team Van Go

  11. #11
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    Just noticed there is a Serfas hard case on the Toronto/Oakville Kijiji

  12. #12
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    I know I've mentioned it before in similar threads, but I've traveled with the race bike (or pair of race bikes) multiple times using each of these methods;

    - hard shell case

    - soft shell bag

    - disassembled so that it fits in 2 suitcases along with gear

    - wrapped up in one of the big bags they can give you at special luggage services, pedals removed and tires mostly deflated

    While I felt most confident with the hard shell case, the bike(s) arrived intact and undamaged using all of the methods above. As far as charges go (or freebies courtesy of check in staff) belts have been tightening progressively with almost every airline, and therefore what I have paid or not paid in the past probably has no bearing on what you can expect now. I would assume the worst, which is that you will be charged the full fees described on the carrier's web site. Very important to note that it still counts as one of your pieces of luggage. If you do better on fees than the stated policy, count it as good luck.

  13. #13
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    I bought a Pika Packworks standard soft bag in 2009 and it's managed to get my bikes across the country a bunch of times (surviving Air Canada and West Jet). The big advantage is it only weighs just over 10 pounds, so with a light FS bike, shoes, helmet, empty Camelback the whole thing weighs under 50 pounds, so you get dinged for over size but not overweight.

    It has internal side pockets for wheels and lots of pockets for stuff inside, and clever ballistic nylon widgets to wrap your bars up, and hold the RD. And it has high density foam in the bottom to support the cranks/BB.

    And through some miracle of science, it seems to fit in the trunk of mid size rental cars.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bike travel bags-2011_0707new0003.jpg  

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  14. #14
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    I agree the hard case that I have has only two wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by trailtrash View Post
    we rented a couple of hard plastic shell case's once before and just found them very bulky and a pain to haul around.
    they did a great job though protecting the bikes.
    and is real pain in the butt dragging it along with a couple of suitcases through the airport. If I had to do it over again I would look for something with four wheels like this one on ebay


    eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

    It would allow me to put a few cases in a little train but still protect the bike. This case weighs 20# which is 10# lighter than my case. I still would not take a chance on a soft case as there is nothing that would spoil a trip/vacation like opening the case and seeing your bike damaged. I would hope that the airlines wouldn't knock off one of the wheels.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash&bern View Post
    Could try putting your bike in a body bag
    My bike has tried to put me in a body bag a couple of times.

  16. #16
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    Could try putting your bike in a body bag
    Ride a Santa Cruz heckler
    And many part bikes : )
    " Team Van Go"

  17. #17
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    As much as I hate to admit it I work for one of Canada's major airlines and I would never pack my bike up into a hockey bag or something similar, because it will be treated as such...........it will get the crap beat out of it and might end up on the botttom of a container under thousands of pounds of luggage. If it is in a bike bag it is actually treated much better.... loaded on top of the luggage and not beat up getting to the plane. As far as getting a deal from the ticket agents... that has gone by the wayside about 2-3 years ago, because they get paid a bonus on charging extra for overweight bagage and oversized luggarge (bikes are either over weight or over sized). The bonus is split between the agents working so they actually police the excess charges trying to maximize there paycheck. When I ship my bike, I forgo the company discount and send it fed-ex for down to the states or purolator for in cnaada, and insure it for 1$ per thouosand (ten bucks = 10 thousand doallars insurance against "ANY" damage....(i ship our bikes out west yyz-yyc atn least 4 times a year) and have never had to use the insurance....(please loose the bikes and let us get $10,000 bikes) You may have spent thousands of hard earned dollars on your rides....is it really worth saving a few bones on transport..........your choice!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I bought a Pika Packworks standard soft bag in 2009 and it's managed to get my bikes across the country a bunch of times (surviving Air Canada and West Jet).
    [...]
    And through some miracle of science, it seems to fit in the trunk of mid size rental cars.
    Over the years, I have owned three soft-sided cases and two hard-shells, and I now use the Pika: best case ever. I think it's the perfect bike case. It's got a perfect set of organizers and folds right down when not in use. Great if you fly and then do a road trip at your destination, then fly back. Takes up little space once the bike is taken out. Very easy to move around in airports and shuttles.

    I have the "stretch" and my medium 5" travel hard tail mountain bike fits in exactly. Mark at Pika had good advice on the sizing and packing.

    Regarding the Evoc: I took shelter from a thunderstorm while riding in the middle of nowhere in Utah last fall...chance had it that a guy had parked a motorhome near the trail I was on. He was a mountain biker from Switzerland and when he showed me his bike, I got a good look at his brand new Evoc case up close. That was the other travel case I was considering. Yes, it has lots of cool features, but it was looking pretty worse for wear after only one international flight -- it had a lot of damage and the material was already giving up. I was instantly turned off and pulled the trigger on the Pika. The Pika is foolproof, no gimmicks, just an elegant clean design with durable materials.

  19. #19
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    (bump)

    relevant thread since i'm (possibly) looking for a bike bag in Canada. for folks that bought the Pika, did you get it delivered straight from the company? How were the costs? I'm looking for a bag that I can get my hands on within 2 weeks. Live in the West Kootenays, BC and worried about getting a bag in on time from a shop, so hoping to get one from the source.

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcolin View Post
    (bump)

    relevant thread since i'm (possibly) looking for a bike bag in Canada. for folks that bought the Pika, did you get it delivered straight from the company? How were the costs? I'm looking for a bag that I can get my hands on within 2 weeks. Live in the West Kootenays, BC and worried about getting a bag in on time from a shop, so hoping to get one from the source.

    Thanks
    Yes, I ordered mine direct from Pika Packworks. Mark gave me a dead-accurate estimate for shipping time...it came on the exact date he guessed it would. If I recall, it was about a week to ship it, and it cost less than $50 for delivery. There are probably different shipping options, but I wouldn't know any of those details.

    He happened to ask where I was in Canada, and he mentioned that bags shipped to western Canada are sometimes routed through central Canada (Mississauga?), which might add a day or two to the transit times even though BC is pretty close to Utah where the bags are made.

    I suggest that it would be a good idea to contact Mark ASAP if you are on a tight timeline, I think it can sometimes take a week or two to fill the order...

    Have a good trip!

  21. #21
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    thanks for the reply, I'll give him a shout

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    We are heading to Peru in June, I am going to take our chances on the hockey bag route for our bikes.
    We used the hockey bag gig for our trip to Peru and it went great.

    I wrapped the forks in towels and used blocks of wood to space the rear drop-outs. Didn't go overboard on padding everything else as our bikes are already kinda scratched up. If I was flying with brand new carbon I'd still use the hockey bags, I'd just get more foam bits to pad things.

    Four of the other people on the trip had the Pika Pack works bags. Those things are huge and heavy. Sure they may survive a nuclear blast, but read the find print on your airlines baggage rules. Adding the weight of the bike and pack several of the guys had to pay over weight on top of the "bike" fee due to the combined weight.

    Talked about this on the weekend with a pro photographer friend that travels with his bike tons. If he is flying into a spot where he knows he'll find a bike shop he goes with the cardboard bike box and ditches it into recycling when he lands, then finds another box for the way home. If it's flying into remote nowhere's ville then he takes a bike bag. Usually on the remote trips he pre-arranges a place to store the bag, they can really be a pain to store when not in use.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    We used the hockey bag gig for our trip to Peru and it went great.

    Talked about this on the weekend with a pro photographer friend that travels with his bike tons. If he is flying into a spot where he knows he'll find a bike shop he goes with the cardboard bike box and ditches it into recycling when he lands, then finds another box for the way home. If it's flying into remote nowhere's ville then he takes a bike bag. Usually on the remote trips he pre-arranges a place to store the bag, they can really be a pain to store when not in use.
    I have tried all of the above...clear plastic, bags, cardboard, padded boxes and hard cases. My bike was damaged many times on trips...twice had the suspension fork damaged where service was needed (seals, dials, dents), lost a brake another time, brake rotors a couple of times. I have had two hardshell cases broken somehow by ground crews. I've had the bike get lost twice too!

    So far, the Pika is the best method I've used, which is why I endorsed it above. As noted, it adds a few pounds (around 10), but that's actually pretty light relatively speaking. (By comparison, my old hard cases were over 19lbs on their own, so with a mountain bike plus case it was always automatically both oversize and overweight.) Using the Pika, I've always been able to add hydration pack, tools, shoes and some other items and still come in well below the limits. I am careful to weigh things but I'm pretty pleased with how much extra stuff goes in.

    If flying internationally, it's a good idea to check the airlines policies...you might find the first international leg has a higher limit than the second domestic leg, and you could set yourself up for a mid-point overweight charge.

    The Pika is so small, that unless I'm traveling with a friend with an obvious bike case, nobody at the airport guesses what it is -- even the larger "stretch" version is just barely bigger than a regular large suitcase, and it looks like a standard bag.

    To each their own, but I wouldn't use a hockey-type bag for a big trip. The only compelling reason is to avoid the domestic fees (within Canada, hockey bags don't get a charge). It's way more work and hassle. Personally, I could really care less about avoiding a mere $50 fee. I don't like traveling for a bike-centred holiday without a proper, easy travel case -- the down-side is pretty big when you think about it. Hockey bags are not insured. No baggage charges, but also no insurance. If (when?) the airline breaks or loses your bike, and you packed in a hockey bag...it's totally your own problem. I've gotten about $2K out of those airline insurances just in the past two or three years (for lost and damaged items on flights). I'm usually covered by two other insurances, but the 2nd and 3rd lines are for excess losses, and they have a large deductible.

    Even though I've always managed to get stuff fixed (eventually), you really can never get back the time you lose due to travel hassles, and that for me, is the number one thing. Spending time wrangling up a cardboard box at the end of the trip sucks -- I've done that before a bunch of times on road bike loaded tours -- it's just a bad way to spend part of a day, for me.

    These days, I'll usually ride right up until 2 or 3 hours from departure and then pack the bike in 10 minutes in an airport parking lot. Squeezing every last drop out of those destinations is worth every penny I have spent on a travel case. I've gotten a lot of "bonus rides" just because it's such an easy system. It's a great feeling to turn an onerous travel day into one more ride on the way to the airport.

    As noted, the Pika is modular and breaks right down when not in use. It rolls up somewhat like a sleeping bag and is super easy to stow. Collapsed, it's the size and shape of "half" a snowboard bag. Before I had the Pika, I had a bigger soft case that way harder to transport when unloaded. That case had parts stolen from a supposedly secure storage area when I arranged to leave it on a trip, which made the trip home pretty sucky. The Pika is the way to go if you want to be both self sufficient on a trip and totally portable.

    If I might add some perspective, your pro photog friend probably has different priorities. ( I'm also a pro photog who has traveled with camera gear plus bike...it's a major headache.) The camera gear alone is a whole other hard case on par with the bike for size and weight. It's basically akin to the convenience of flying with two bikes plus your regular luggage -- think super bulky and heavy. When I'm in that situation, I basically want to jettison anything that isn't 100% essential. If I can buy it, borrow it or get one when I'm there, I'll avoid taking stuff from home on the plane, just to ease the trip. From that viewpoint, a box you don't have to care about is great -- but only in that specific context. For a pure bike trip? I'm not sure it really is a "best practice" for a bike trip where you want to ride all day every day. (Just like I wouldn't go trail riding with a 30 pound camera backpack on, just for fun, but I'll do it sometimes even if it's majorly inconvenient.)

  24. #24
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    good replies guys...thanks

    i ended up ordering the stretch version of the Pika off Mark. Helpful guy. I don't DIY stuff as much as I used to...just more interested in convenience/piece of mind for my bike and don't mind shelling out some dough for it. Should also allow me to take my bike more often when flying other places for work/family in the future

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcolin View Post
    good replies guys...thanks

    i ended up ordering the stretch version of the Pika off Mark. Helpful guy. I don't DIY stuff as much as I used to...just more interested in convenience/piece of mind for my bike and don't mind shelling out some dough for it. Should also allow me to take my bike more often when flying places for work/family too
    Hi I am replying late to this thread and I see you are going with the Pika brand (I've read positive reviews)

    We purchased a pair Dakine bike travel bags 3 years ago and have travelled both by air and land with our DH and all mountain bikes. When we flew we were charged extra for 1 oversized bag (each way). Which was quite a bargoon considering the bags were stuffed!

    We are happy with the Dakine
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