Buying a bike box

I'm toying with the idea of getting a bike box.  Am not really sure I need one - I'll prob drive down to Regensburg - but will need one for a training camp in Lanzarote in March and having a bike box for R'burg, even if I do drive, would remove the need for much padding out with duvets etc.

The other thing I may try to do is borrow one for March, but it might be worth getting one anyway.

I'd go for a hard box rather than a padded bag, but other than that am not sure what to look for.

Any suggestions?

Comments

  • if you're driving you really really do not need a box or bag. just break the bike down and stow carefully.

    you can hire bike boxes (or borrow) so unless you are going to be doing a lot of travelling with a bike, then think about that instead.

    if you do still want to buy a hard box you won't go far wrong with the DHB one that Wiggle sell - good value for money but still near £170.
  • KeirKeir ✭✭✭
    Agree with FB. Bikle box only worth it to protect the bike from those baggage handlers throwing it around on the plane. A bag won't really do. However hire is cheaper unless you will be flying with your bike a lot.
  • most MTBs won't fit into a box and being less fragile than a road bike are fine in a bag provided you use lots of padding, pipe lagging etc. although one carrier managed to put a dink into the downtube of my MTB despite all the protection - and the bag wasn't damaged so it must have been a short sharp hit that did it.

  • just watch the weight of the hard boxes......  bikes still have to come under 20kgs, and a really heavy bike box could be an issue.

    We have a couple of dakine semi hard bike bags - these roll on their sides so are really stable.
    I had some previously that rolled on end, and they were rubbish as they just fell over.....

    again the location of the wheels can be important, depending on how you get to airports.....(we go by train!)

  • I have a Polaris Bike Pod, ive flown with it 8x now and apart from the wheels having broken last time I used it  (fine to put on luggage trolly) its still good and sturdy.

    The benefit is that its rigid but flexible bike case, not a hard case and is a lot lighter than many bike boxes.  This helps stay under luggage limits, my bike, box & plenty of tri gear inside easy stay under 23kg.  It will withstand impacts a lot better than a bike bag but not break like a bike box may do?

    Bike boxes arent cheap but if you average the cost over 5+ years then its a lot cheaper than hiring. 

    http://www.220triathlon.com/webform/220-triathlon-awards-2011
  • Youre welcome to borrow for March (assuming I can get it to you) if you want to try it out.

    I also have a spare bike bag, its not mine but Lindi's (I gather she doesnt want it back as has another box & bag).  Its been in the loft and has a bit of mould on it (though may clean up ok?)  happy to lend to anyone who's desperate and doesnt want to pay to hire.
  • Agree with FB, drove down to Roth last year with two bikes and nothing more than a couple of old bath towels to stop them rubbing and bouncing on each other with no problem at all, only needing to take the wheels out rather than a greater disassembly needed for bag or box, certainly wasn't driving overly carefully either!
  • Just to follow up on what OC said (and apologies if I'm stating the bleedin' obvious).

    Bike boxes are not the most portable of things, so you do need to give some thought to the whole of your A to B journey (public transport, will it fit into the back of a taxi, hire car, getting it up stairs etc).  The problem can get worse if you are travelling in the company of other triathletes who also have bike boxes.

    They are also quite big, which can mean storing them (either at the hotel/hostel or at home) can be interesting.

    Allow yourself plenty of time to pack said box.  Even with a good set of instructions and having taken apart/off those bits that don't fit it can be a nightmare three dimensional puzzle before the lid will actually close.

  • I have one of the Wiggle dhb boxes and it's been to more IM events than I have and is still in one piece!  Different airlines have different policies re bike boxes; some long haul will count it as one piece of your luggage allowance, others will charge extra for it regardless of what other baggage you have.

    Mine's probably available to borrow in March too

    And have to agree packing it can be the most stressful part of the whole training/travelling/competing experience!

  • I have a semi-rigid bike box that you're welcome to use in March, it's been fine so far. 

    If you're going to Club La Santa though, you might consider hiring one of their bikes.  When I went there last year they had Cannondale road & tri bikes, very well looked after and the cost for the week was pretty good when offset against the cost of taking my own bike and the hastle of dismantling it at either end.  I did take some clip-on tri bars though, and used my Garmin as a bike computer.  You need to book one in advance.

    If you're driving to R'burg, as others have said don't bother with a box.

  • I'm sure others will have lots more tips on how to pack your bike but one is to remove the rear mech as that is quite vulnerable and you don't want to be hunting for a bike shop that has a spare rear mech hanger (or a new frame if you don't have a removable hanger) at the other end.    I think some people may also put those things in between the fork/rear drop outs too to keep them rigid - like they do if you buy a bike mail order.

    Another option is to use a cardboard bike box (as you'd get a new bike in mail order) and plenty of packing - I know people that do this if they are touring - they chuck the box when they arrive - do a weeks cycling and then get a new box from a bike shop near wherever they are departing from.    Personally  though I'd want more protection than that.

  • I've always used the bike bags and even with a carbon fibre bike they've been good.  You do need to pipe lag every part of the frame and anything thats exposed - but it only takes a short time, and the bag is cheap. I dont use it for carrying the bike in the car though - not needed.

  • SyM....es, using Pirate Power in June wrote (see)
    Agree with FB, drove down to Roth last year with two bikes and nothing more than a couple of old bath towels to stop them rubbing and bouncing on each other with no problem at all, only needing to take the wheels out rather than a greater disassembly needed for bag or box, certainly wasn't driving overly carefully either!
    You promised me you would be driving at 20mph and it would be strapped safely in the passenger seat   image
  • It was and Mrs S was stuck in the back, she wasn't best pleased let me tell you! it was 20mph-ish...
  • for anyone who needs a copy - I have a very good document which describes how to break a bike down and pack a bike box or bag. just PM me if you need a copy
  • Hi all - thanks for the replies and sorry I've not responded.  Just recovering from the Worst Day I've Ever Had on a Bike.  Will read back now. image
  • Worst day ever? what happened, nothing painful I hope?
  • Right.  Blimey - even more to think about than I thought.  Thank you very, very much you lovely people for the offers of loans for March.  I'm hoping I might be able to borrow one from a cycling coach who's moved into our village from SA - am assuming he'll have packed all of his up snugly for the trip. .... but I haven't asked him yet...

    The thing that scares me is the dismantling and putting together - might have to do a bit of eyelash fluttering for that.

    Agree that you don't really need one to drive. Last year for Roth J and I both took bikes in the car with no probs. And no dismantling other than taking the wheels off, too.  I think I was just trying to justify any purchase I might make.

    Food for thought...

  • go on ebay, there are loads at the moment.
  • Always my first port of call!
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