Bike Bag, Hard Case or airport box for Europe trip?

Bicycle related chatter & discussion
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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 15 Dec 2011, 15:23

I know this has been done before but I can't find the thread. Jo & I need a bike bag for Europe next year and also for TDU in Jan.

I'm looking at the EVOC Bike bag >> http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=64766

Now I know lots of people will have an opinion, so lets hear 'em! BTW, we'll be transporting carbon road bikes.

wallman
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Postby wallman » 15 Dec 2011, 16:02

I'm pondering this myself for the US next year so I'll be interested to see what pops up. I haven't done much thinking beyond deciding that while I'd be happy enough with a cardboard box when the bike is in the luggage hold, I'd really want a bag with wheels on it for all of the in-between bits.

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 15 Dec 2011, 17:02

Stuart,

I have this bag. http://www.torpedo7.com.au/products/R7B ... -case-2011

At $199 it is the cheapest one i could find and the most economical in value. I had it delivered to me at work for $80 and tossed it in the car and straight home. Order to delivery was 7days. I have done Adelaide, Noosa, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast Airports. Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar. It weighs 9kg and i got my aluminium Trek, shoes, track pump, tools, helmet and three sets of kit in it. it weighed in at 23.9kg. I know the new S Works and a smaller track pump is going to drop about 3kg.

You are welcome to drop over, pick it up, take it home and try it out. I just need it back the day before we go the Adelaide. Call me, call me now! Our operators are standing by.

I have travelled with a carboard box. Never again.

Cheers

Douglas

rhys
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Postby rhys » 15 Dec 2011, 17:47

My advice would be to get a hard case that you're able to try out properly before you buy it. It will be considerably dearer, but for the peace of mind it's definitely worth it. Imagine getting to Europe and having your pride and joy unrideable.
I've been looking for one for a while as my next job requires that I fly a lot rather than sail, and this is the kind of thing I will be chasing. After QANTAS pinched the fork tip of my beautiful old Look and dinged up my BMX on separate occasions, I don't want to take chances anymore.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 16 Dec 2011, 05:02

Wouldn't taking Pinnies to Italy be a bit like taking coals to Newcastle?

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jimmy
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Postby jimmy » 16 Dec 2011, 06:27

I've got a bigfoot hardcase if you want to borrow it.

James

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 16 Dec 2011, 09:42

Thanks for the offers Dougie & James. Dougie, I may take you up on your offer to check out the case. James I'd like to check out your case some time soon too. My only reservation about a hard case is having to then transport two of them around Europe in a small car. I just can't see there being room unless we always pack the bikes back into the cases when we move locations, which I don't see being ideal or real practical.

My original plan was to get a bike bag that folds down small and also take a smaller suitcase for my other stuff so I'm not dependant on the bike bag for carrying my clothes etc. I know this means more weight though. My other thought was to pack everything into the bike bag and then buy a cheap sports type bag in Europe to transfer clothes etc into. If we were just going to one location all this wouldn't matter but we'll be moving around every 5-7 days and early on every second day as we follow the Giro for a while.

Anyone have any direct experience of travelling OS to multiple destinations via car with your bike?

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weiyun
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Postby weiyun » 16 Dec 2011, 18:32

If you have to cart it around in a small European car, then you might care to consider a pair of throw away airline cardboard box (pack at the airport) or Biknd's Helium <http://www.biknd.com/>. Any full sized rigid or semi-rigid case will be unmanageable unless you have a wagon or SUV.

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 18 Dec 2011, 16:21

One of the problems in Europe, esp Italy is that if you have a car, you have to keep the bike up top on a rack and security is a big issue. In the bigger cities, you can't just park the car and wander off for a bit. Even in England there's big problems with bike (& parts!) theft. In York for instance, the police have a special unit which targets the bike gangs. They recommend that you use three different types of lock when securing to an immoveable object. Minimum two, but three is best. Make sure you have insurance which will cover any loss. As the economic situation deteriorates, so the risks will increase.

We rented a van with dark tinting and curtains and kept the bikes inside. Chained and locked. It was a bit more expensive, but gave us a lot more flexibility and security.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 19 Dec 2011, 11:07

@Karzie Yes, have already thought about this and realise we need a vehicle we can leave the bikes inside. We will mostly be staying in rented houses in Nth Italy & France, in small towns. (We've done the museums / galleries big cities etc tourism bits before!). Will definitely look into insurance though. Did you get any and if so who with?

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 19 Dec 2011, 14:09

@Stuart - We paid for everything on Platinum Visa, which has pretty good travel insurance built in and reports of claims have sounded pretty positive. I didn't factor the bikes into it because a) They weren't as valuable as your bikes, just nuisance value to lose. I think they would have been covered by platinum, but never actually asked.
b) I thought the risks weren't worth the costs. I had good vehicle security (latest model VW) comprehensive insurance (thru the car company - I'd have to look up the details, but pretty standard) and would have covered loss from the car, and I had three different locks for the two bikes (only one more than one for each bike!). An HT cable with combination lock, a chain with padlock and a bicycle U-bar. As it stands, that would probably have protected them for about a minute and a half from a professional bike thief. There's a good . They seem to suggest the stainless steel lockable skewer is pretty effective, in combination with an 'Almax' chain and monoblock padlock.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 19 Dec 2011, 14:29

First up, the case decision is made. We are buying some beautiful, DHBC colours (bright red) Evoc bike bags from Wiggle (they are on special with free shipping as they obviously can't sell the red ones). At least they'll stand out on the luggage carousel.

As far as insurance goes, we'll be getting a French registered, leased (rather than hired) car / van via - the insurance only covers E850 of items in the car and has a whole list of exclusions, so we'll need to get extra cover. We could get cover in Australia that would include the full value of the bikes when used OS. This however costs big $$ (around $60 / month just for Jo's bike) and you have to pay for a minimum of one years cover but it does cover crash damage, rather than just theft. Anyway, we'll look into travel insurance I guess. As for locks, I might need to buy them there to cut down on weight, although we can take 32kgs with us, it depends on any onward flights and weight restrictions on them (more likely 23kgs).

@Karzie - did you have a campervan or just a van? Where did you hire it from?

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Karzie
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Postby Karzie » 19 Dec 2011, 14:47

@Stuart - We hired a campervan thru a small company in London called , whom I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Really good rates if your driving history/insurance history holds up in the clear light of day. They don't have a huge number of vans, so you've got to book early or fit in with the other bookings.

We didnt' always sleep in the van of course, as we found it was reasonably cheap to stay in serviced apartments. There's a glut at the moment 'cos there's no tourists (there's no more money left in the world, but don't tell anyone that...) so competition for our Aussie doallars seemed fierce! If you make your own meals from local produce (I'm married to a fantastic chef) you can save heaps. Great to go to the markets too and haggle and check out all the local varieties of food. We met some real characters. They can also point out all the good local restaurants. There's a really strong Slow Food movement developing in Europe.


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