Interesting. And you much prefer the Topeak Pakgo X over the Alan? I’ve packed an Alan before, and it didn’t seem too fiddley. I’ve been close to buying an Alan for a while but haven’t pulled the trigger. Now I’m wondering which I should get.
It’s tricky because I can’t send hundred of bikes through airlines and see what works. I have the Topeak and I’ve tested it so there’s some amount of confirmation bias.
That said, what I like about it is that it’s basically a hard case (though not as rigid as the bike box allan) with foam padding inside. The bike comes apart and bolts to a workstand which is then supposed to be anchored into the hinge. TSA never gets that part right though and I think that’s okay. The bike is a solid unit that’s protected on all sides by foam. I do think that’s better than the Allan design but I also don’t think it’s perfect. I’d love to see it designed with a better system for keeping it from moving inside the case. Basically something that’s a little more idiot proof. Also, given the size and price, it seems like if you can manage that, you’ll be able to manage the Buxombox Ventoux and that seems more protective without the need to disassemble anything. I haven’t tested that one though and I can’t seem to reach them despite email/phone/whatsapp/Instagram attempts. If that changes I’ll let you know but given the effort I’ve gone through to try, I’m a little stuck.
Have you heard of anyone filing a small claims action in cases where they’ve followed the process but been denied compensation? Curious if this would drive some sort of settlement, just to avoid all the hassles associated with answering the complaint and following the process?
So far I have had great luck with the EVOC bags but that’s been mostly domestic travel and with my MTB. Also fortunate that I don’t have to deal with TSA, in Oz the bike is screened while you are with it so can make sure it gets zipped up okay. Bag with my short travel 29er, tools, food, shoes and helmet comes in around 28kg max which is within the limits here.
I am planning on using the bag to bring my Checkpoint to Italy in October. Seems like the mast will fit, just need to try to get the handle bar off and mounted to the internal sleeve for it. Seems like one trick might be to turn the fork 180 degrees with the bar off. While I protect the MTB a bit I think I will definitely invest in some pool noodles or pipe insulation to wrap the tubes on the checkpoint. That said the location of the wheels seem to do a decent job of protecting the seat stays.
And of course checking my personal policy to ensure it’s got the coverage required.
Great thread and insights.
I talked to a couple of people who were in process with small claims. I’ve done small claims before for other things and at least in a major city, it was a nightmare. I can’t imagine this is a great solution although if works then great. I wasn’t able to follow it through to the end.
I couldn’t quite work it out but I think they dropped the box from quite a height. I never travelled light and always pushed up to the 32kg limit with all my kit. You live and learn.
Great article! I used a soft bag (aerus biospeed) but after two broken frames on cross atlantic flights i switched to a scicon hard case and no damage to my bike in 5 international flights. Case has taken a beating (multiple cracks/slices
to case) but bike has stayed safe. Given damage to the case, i am moving to a buxumbox for even greater protection.
My travel has been shorthaul within the EU, using a ProBikeKit box, which appears to be similar to the bike box alan. I was actually considering moving to a soft case like scion one that needs minimal taking a part of the bike, especially as n+1 will have an integrated cockpit (I hadn’t thought of removing the brakes to give the handlebar more slack though until this thread!) .
I’m not really convinced that the plastic actually offers much more protection, and 4 times faff trying to get it in and secure for travel, and then unpacked and rebuilt!
Scicon hardshell is at a dozen flights with no issues for the bike. My only complaint is that gravel tires don’t fit great with inserts. It has a nice section below the chain stays to velcro a bag or helmet.
I remove the rear derailleur and chain for flight and always carry a spare mech hangar. That’s the piece that feels exposed. The Enve aero bars are much easier to pack with the stem removed from the bike.
I almost always put my helmet in the box along with a few tools secured in the provided bag.
Have you ever tried to reach them? (Buxum) I’ve called and emailed and nothing.
I’ve been in touch with the Buxumbox folks about a couple of bike cases I am hoping to have built up (Tourmalet and Galibier) - have had no issues with e-mail response time. Hopefully they get back to you - their cases seem pretty epic.
I have been a long time fan of the Scicon hardshell case. Annoyance is the wheel slots - my 10 year old case (about 400 flights of abuse) can barely accommodate the wider rubber on modern wheels (a true battle to get them in). When travelling tubeless (with sealant) - often lose the seal and leak sealant in the case. Buxumbox is a slicker solution as no tension on the tire sidewall. That being said - some major impacts to the Scicon case - and never a scratch on the bike.
A friend picked up a buxumbox and I was thoroughly impressed by the build quality.
I will work harder to reach them!
Buxumbox have been responsive and have responded to my email inquiries.
I agree on all counts….scicon is good, but wheels wells are too small for bigger tires. I saw a YouTube video where the guy didn’t even bother putting the wheels in the slots and attaching them with the axels, he just kind of laid them on top of the bike with the covers on them. I’ve been considering doing that myself, anyone ever tried that?
The scicon case would work well with boost qe axles for most gravel tires. I wish my track record for leaked sealant was better.
Could you all not order a buxum soon because I need one on a tight turnaround once we move in two weekz.
Do any bike case manufacturers offer to cover damages incurred while using their case? That would be a huge show of confidence in their product.
So you joke but I heard from buxum and apparently they are just totally overwhelmed. That is always a tough time for companies, I hope they make it through!
Those things look bullet proof. Pretty freaking spendy though.
Too bad no one in the USA makes them. Heck if I could just get the case, I could drop my Evoc Rail in there and work out how to latch it in.
Flying with bikes always scares me a little. So far I have gotten lucky, although “Fortune favors the prepared.” And I have always been well-prepared.
When I asked around for getting extra insurance, I was told “Don’t bother.” for the reasons that you give, fine print.