Which travel case for my bike?

Hi, Lee.
I’m looking at having to do some traveling around in the not too distant future and the thought of having to be without a bicycle kind of makes me itch. Do you have any recommendations for travel cases?

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Trico Sports Iron Case

Hi Eric.

Here’s what you want in an airline bike case:

1. It fits your bike.

2. It has a hard shell.

3. It straps together. You don’t want screws around the flange; they’re a huge pain to line up, especially when the box is crazy-full.

4. It has a tow strap and wheels. This is key!

The Trico Sports Iron Case is pretty much the standard. It fits a DH bike and tools.



Happy travels,

— Lee

Whoa, here’s another nice one
I was just writing copy for Thule, and I wrote about their Round Trip Bike Travel Case. This thing is rad: straps, wheels, UPS shippable and roof-rack mountable.


12 replies
  1. Glen says:

    Do you slapped with the extra charge for a bike with that case on airlines? I have heard they can be pretty heafty like $100 each way?

  2. albino rhino says:

    you could also try to pass it off as an audio visual presentation, I’ve used that in the past but before all of the security regs!

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    I’ve heard lots of great stories. Put the frame in a tuba case, carry the wheels in regular luggage. The rules aren’t fair: a harp is oversized baggage; a bike is something way more sinister. But these days I wouldn’t lie about luggage!

    Seriously: You can rent a case from most bike shops. Support the sport with a NORBA membership, and rock the free voucher.

    Put all that deviousness into riding hella sweet sick gnar lines (still in the Norcal mode).

  4. leelikesbikes says:

    Whoa. This just in:

    “Hey Lee,
    Hope you had a nice trip to California, sure sounds like it! … Just wanted to let you know that NORBA has discontinued giving you vouchers for your bike from United Airlines. I got an e-mail saying that they were discontinuing the bike voucher program several months ago. Maybe you know something different?? Also, wanted to mention that when you travel, the airlines open your case and take everything out of it and repack it! (New rules since 9/11) Sometimes they repack the bike great and other times…well…just realize that when you have the airlines repack your bike, they may not be as gentle and careful as you are! Our last trip cost us over $200 (replacing parts and too much weight) The vouchers only covered the cost up to 80lbs. A hard case could be a bit more expensive! We own the Dakine bike case, which is easy to handle, very light, with an extended handle and rollers. We will probably buy another for this upcoming race season. We have had other friends who just pack their bike in a bike box and haven’t had any problems at all! I think traveling with a bike is a crap shoot!…Just thought I would share what little experience we have had traveling with a bike!….Take care, Linda”

  5. mike says:

    It’s always a drag bringing your bike when you travel. The worst part is when they open it up and dig through everything it never goes back right (you cant re-pack it after they inspect it) Now what we have been doing is sending the bike cases via Fed-EX or UPS. It works great, no more lugging the box through the air ports and everything is exactly as you left it. Oh, and you can bring your chain lube.

  6. Steve C. says:

    I just recevied (2) bike vouchers for United in the mail from USA Cycling good for 2007….. and I haven’t even renewed the license yet!

  7. Phillip B. says:

    If you are flying internationally with a bicycle, it is considered a second piece of luggage, therefore you don’t have to pay (unless you have two bags and a bike case). I’ve done that without a problem flying to The Netherlands.

  8. Billy says:

    I just flew United in January with my bike in a hard shell compound bow box, 20″ BMX, I am pretty sure a Tomac 204 magnum frame would fit in it. I told them it was a bike and was not charged. As I was leaving Reno I saw a lot of others using an Ogio Golf bag the “Monster” is their biggest, they weren’t charged either. IF you can get your bike broken down enough to fit in one of those and figure out another way to carry your wheels it might be well worth it.

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