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  1. #1
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    Trico Sports Iron Case...a good investment for air travel?

    I'm considering purchasing a couple of these cases for my wife and I, our first trip with them will be to Vegas and St. George this March. I read/heard the case itself gets high marks by owners for construction, durability, protectiveness, etc. And with its large dimensions it seems like one of the only hardshell cases that will fit my largish frames with long-travel forks.

    I know that the airline fees for checked luggage and bikes have gotten ridiculous, but from my research it still seems like most airlines are still cheaper than UPS/Fedex. And even with the high fees, bringing the bikes we own is still cheaper than renting high end bikes for a week.

    From my reading on here and elsewhere there is no consistency within a single airline, let alone between airlines, regarding restrictions or application of fees. I've seen size limitations (80" in most instances) but I've also read that standard is "relaxed" for bikes on most airlines. Some charge a fee if it's oversized, some do not. There are weight limits too, but this is also sometimes waived for bikes. Or sometimes they charge an extra fee. Kind of hard to plan for a trip (or decide if I can even afford it) without knowing exactly what the fees are in advance.

    My main concern is this: are airlines going to continue accepting large cases like this one as checked luggage? Or are those of us with large hardshell cases going to be out of luck in the future? I don't want to make a $600 investment in cases if they're not going to be useful for the long term.

    Anyone done any flying in the domestic US with hardshell cases within the last couple of months? Anyone with insider airline knowledge? TIA for any input.

  2. #2
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    Alternative to checking ur bike on the plane

    I have the Trico case and since 2001 have not put it on a plane. It does a good job of protecting the bike if you pack it correctly. I have a 19" FS bike and I have to let the air out of the fork and compress it and remove the rear derailleur to get it in the box. So I remove the handlebars, brake rotors, pedals, seat post, and brake calipers and then add additional foam/bubblewrap to insulate the parts from contact within the case. It fits but I have to tighten the compression straps really tight to close the case. Hauling this through terminals and getting through security without some tool from the TSA opening it to have a look and then not repacking correctly is not worth the risk to check it as baggage. Not to mention the claim limits on checked luggage if they lose or damage your $4k bike you will not get replacement value.

    I use http://www.sportsexpress.com/ and almost always get a discount from the quoted rates. This has been cheaper for me than checking it as baggage and much less hassle and risk. I have also used FedEx service myself to ship the case to my destination. They can track it the whole way for you and you can insure it for the full replacement cost if you choose.

  3. #3
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    I've checked out Sports Express, unfortunately they seem very, very expensive. The website quoted a price of over $1100 to ship two cases to and from me to Las Vegas. That would have to be one helluva discount in order to make it worth doing that over taking them on the plane.

    Fedex pricing isn't too bad at $115 per case each way, but the published Air Tran fee is $79 for bicycles so it's still cheaper for us to fly them for our upcoming trip, at least. I can see the hassle it could/will be in the airport, but I just can't afford the "sports valet" service just now.

    Thanks for your input, I'm gonna bookmark the Sports Express guys for future reference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleaner
    I have the Trico case and since 2001 have not put it on a plane. It does a good job of protecting the bike if you pack it correctly. I have a 19" FS bike and I have to let the air out of the fork and compress it and remove the rear derailleur to get it in the box. So I remove the handlebars, brake rotors, pedals, seat post, and brake calipers and then add additional foam/bubblewrap to insulate the parts from contact within the case. It fits but I have to tighten the compression straps really tight to close the case. Hauling this through terminals and getting through security without some tool from the TSA opening it to have a look and then not repacking correctly is not worth the risk to check it as baggage. Not to mention the claim limits on checked luggage if they lose or damage your $4k bike you will not get replacement value.

    I use http://www.sportsexpress.com/ and almost always get a discount from the quoted rates. This has been cheaper for me than checking it as baggage and much less hassle and risk. I have also used FedEx service myself to ship the case to my destination. They can track it the whole way for you and you can insure it for the full replacement cost if you choose.

  4. #4
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    That quoet seems very very high

    I last used them in 2007 and shipped my bike to/from from FL to Chicago for $80 each way including extra insurance for full value of the bike which added on top of "shipping".

    I used the ground option and it took about 3 days each way. I know everyone has tacked on fuel surcharges but no way it went from less than $100 to more than $500. I suggest calling them and verifying what your options are. (if you are doing international shipment this could be an accurate quote)

    I can also tell you that unless you have a corp account with FedEx, you will get charged much more than if you are able to use a corp acct. So whatever your price is for FedEx, Sports Express should be getting a better rate than you would as a retail customer of FedEx.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, the quote seemed very high to me as well. I'm in central PA, so it's not like I'm shipping from a third world country. That price was for ground shipping, the rates went up from there. Sports Express' single case, one way rate ($230) is twice what Fedex would charge me ($115 without a corporate account) to ship, which seems like a big markup. Maybe a phone call is in order to find out the real deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleaner
    I last used them in 2007 and shipped my bike to/from from FL to Chicago for $80 each way including extra insurance for full value of the bike which added on top of "shipping".

    I used the ground option and it took about 3 days each way. I know everyone has tacked on fuel surcharges but no way it went from less than $100 to more than $500. I suggest calling them and verifying what your options are. (if you are doing international shipment this could be an accurate quote)

    I can also tell you that unless you have a corp account with FedEx, you will get charged much more than if you are able to use a corp acct. So whatever your price is for FedEx, Sports Express should be getting a better rate than you would as a retail customer of FedEx.

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