Planning on flying somewhere nice with your bike? Here is our review of the Bike Box Alan hard case as used by Chris Froome and Laura Trott to name but a few.
If you are lucky enough to heading to warmer climes and are planning on taking your bike with you then a bike specific bag or box is an essential item in order to make sure your pride and joy reaches your destination in one piece.
We have flown with bikes on many occasions and Bike Box Alan remains the best solution we have found. Starting at £448 the box is customisable with regard to stickers and colour – Bike Box actually supplied us with a box for review featuring Cycling Weekly stickers.
If the upfront cost of buying a box is too expensive, the boxes can rented for £60 per week, but considering the box has a seven year guarantee, it will pay for itself overtime if you are planning to go away on multiple trips. It is also worth factoring in the potential added expense of fixing or repairing a damaged bike, the risk of which is considerably reduced with a hard case such as this.
Packing the Bike Box Alan is easy. Tyres are deflated and wheels are held in place by their skewers in special recesses in the lid. Pedals are removed along with the bars. In some cases, you may need to remove your stem too, depending on your frame. The saddle is often removed, but again in some cases can be slotted down into its lowest position, as pictured.
A large number of velcro straps hold everything in place and the anti crush pole is inserted. There is space and velcro tabs for tools such as track pumps and plenty of space for a helmet or clothing. Adding bags of clothing further pads out the box too. A second layer of foam is added and box closed.
It is easy to pack and typically takes 15 mins when you know what you are doing. Aside from the sturdiness of the box and ease of packing, a big advantage is that you do not need to remove your rear mech. This makes packing and unpacking quicker.
The weight of the box is 11.2kg. Most airlines tend to have a weight limit on bikes around 20-30kg, so it is easy to make sure it is under, considering most bikes weigh in the region of 8kgs.
When you actually see baggage handlers ‘handling’ baggage you become very thankful that your precious bike is in a hard case. We took this photo out of a plane window and the benefits of a hard case were obvious. There were worried facial expressions on all my fellow travellers who were using soft cases. The demands placed upon baggage staff mean that carefully and delicately handling every bag/box is not possible.
For more information, head over to Bike Box Alan.
Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when flying with your bike safely packed in a Bike Box Alan.