When on the road, whether it’s for a competition or for transportation of your bike for personal recreation in a new place, you are going to need a case. Bike travel cases come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but the one thing that unites them all is the fact that they have a reinforced cover so that the delicate parts of your bike are well protected and suffer no damage on the way to your final destination. The following are all rolling cases (it’d be pretty damn stupid if they weren’t). I’ve included one bike bag only because it was so innovative and has a Homer Simpson “Doh!” factor 20 (why didn’t anyone ever think of this before?) that I had to throw it in.
These cases do require that you or a mechanic remove the pedals, dismount the handlebar from the frame and remove the wheels, as well as the seat post. Remember to take the necessary tools if you plan to do it yourself.
This is a molded-shell bike travel case that comes in a variety of colors which include black, pink, royal blue, orange, red, light blue, white, lime green and yellow. The company is based in the UK and can accommodate bikes for riders up to 6’2. They can actually custom-build a case for you, if you can’t find anything for your size bike. BikeBox is actually in the process of putting out on the market a motorized version of this box, which follows an electronic tether in the form of a fob you carry around with you. It supposedly responds to voice commands and seems to still be in development. There is a distributer in the States, cutting down on shipping time to your location. Stickers come with the box and there are specialty ones, like the flags, that have a small cost to purchase.
This case looks like one of those cases you would see some concert roadie handling. It has egg crate foam on the inside with extra sheets to make sure you don’t damage your wheels when overlapping the tires. There are adjustable straps and D rings so that you can secure your bike in place, preventing abrasion. They even have tandem and folder bike travel case or bag options.
Here is your ringer, the one case that is not a hard case. Why did I include this one? Because it is inflatable. It comes with a pump that, once you’ve got your bike packed and zipped up, can inflate the cushions in the case around your bike, protecting your ride. There are special covers for your cassette, crankarm and drivetrain, fork and stem. This French company does have distributors in the States so if this is a possibility for you, you’ll be able to purchase one.
Elite’s travel case is called the Vaison. The double thickness of its walls makes it a sturdy option which can fit up to 62 cm sized bikes. It’s got four locks integrated into the fasteners so that you don’t have to worry about putting individual locks on the case. It can also fit mountain and road bikes. You can even carry the case by the handles and the wheels.
If you are looking for a sort of hybrid case, here you go. The Evoc is weird sort of mix of a soft bag-type of case with structure and rubber reinforcement. It also comes in a series of colors that makes it an eye-catcher. Road pad adaptors can be purchased separately for added protection of delicate road and tri bike parts. 29ers can easily fit in this bag and 2.5-inch DH tires are no problem.
The Bike Pod Pro is a Polypropylene hard case that comes in green, black, blue and red. It comes with foam to protect your bike and you secure your tires into the case with tie wraps. It has four latches, of which two have locks on them, and has two sets of swivel wheels for easier rolling. You can throw in your mtb or your road bike in it and it’ll fit just fine.
Sci Con is the only brand I’ve seen that actually has a pretty good variety of bags and cases for bikes. The AeroTech Evolution TSA is a popular hard case that can fit any 62 cm sized bike and even those with extended seat posts. It’s similar in shape to the Polaris Bike Pod but only comes in black. It does, however, have these red straps on the side for better grip and handling. They offer a lot of soft and hard case bags and even an option for a tandem. The Travel Plus Triathlon case is interesting in that you don’t need to remove the saddle, handlebars nor pedals to use it.
An interesting choice for all of you concerned with the size regulations. They make an option (SBT Serfas Bike Transport) that is a hard case but falls within UPS current size requirements, saving you the difference in money between one category and the next. The two options they offer are both hard cases, with one being slightly bigger and heavier than the other. They both have two caster wheels for easy rolling so that you can make your connections with ease.
The company that makes bike racks also makes luggage and they offer the impressive Travel Case 699. Rugged and durable like all their line, the Round Trip Bike Travel Case also includes a gear bag for clothes, tool and other items. They’ve got wheels so that you can rush about without a problem. And I’ve got to say, this is a cool looking box.
The Legendary Iron Case is a grey colored box with seven heavy-duty straps to keep your box closed and your bike protected. It is a very durable case and can accommodate a 63 cm sized bike. You have three layers of foam, recessed wheels and room for your bike and added accessories.