Whether you are a professional or an amateur cyclist, if you are planning to fly or drive to your next cycling destination, you are in need of a travel case for your bike. So, for those of you who are ready to test their cycling skills amongst a new crowd, or simply enjoy the perks of roads less travelled, you first need to make sure that you choose a travel case that can ensure it arrives at the destination in one piece and ready to roll. There is no single bike case that will be perfect for everyone. However, there are a number of picks that will surely satisfy your personal wants and needs.
The Big Dilemma: Soft Cases or Hard cases?
As the name suggests, soft cases are commonly made from flexible fabrics like padded nylon, or semi-rigid polymers with specific padding and shaping to hold bikes. They are for sure the more lightweight option for transport of the both. Additionally, they are more compact and easier to pack. Because of their flexible nature, when it comes to soft bike cases, it is best to provide some extra padding of your own to ensure your bike is well supported. As an additional padding option, you can use towels, bubble wrap, foam or some clothes you plan on taking with you on your trip. (Extra baggage space! Yay!)
Surprisingly, flexibility and less weight bring problems too. You need to be extra careful when packing your bike and you need to be aware of the possibility that a careless baggage handler can load other things on top of it. This is not a possibility when it comes to hard travel cases for bikes. If protection is an absolute priority, hard cases go for the win. These are made from resilient plastics and are not as nearly as flexible as the soft ones. Furthermore, hard cases do not always come with the space needed for wheels, which is not such a big issue since there are special separate wheel bags which will do the trick and help you with your transport.
A Slightly Smaller Dilemma: Wheeled or Carried?
Even though technology today strives to make sturdier things lighter, travel cases for bikes can weigh 6-8 kg, and with the bike (and whatever else you stuff inside) you are easily doubling that figure. A larger part of the travel cases do feature wheels for easier transport, but there are few which opt for a simpler, lighter, self-carry style. When choosing the ideal case for you, take into consideration what else you’ll be taking with you and if you can do without wheels, but for most people, wheels are a must-have.
Finally, wheels or no wheels, handlers are still a mandatory part of the bike cases. Honestly, the more of them there are, the better. Bike cases are not always easy to maneuver (even lighter ones) and it is always nice to have convenient places to grab and hold onto. If nothing more, at least look for handles on both sides, the top, and the front.