Looking at traveling with my bike abroad (Mallorca)and looking at either the Bike Box Alan Aero Easyfit or the Scicon Aerocomfort 3, both allow the handle bars to be left in situ, just remove pedals and wheels, which box/bag are people using?
Don’t know those specific products but after having flown with a bike bag and getting a bent rear derailleur hanger, despite copious amounts of padding, I would never use a soft bag again and would only buy a hard case.
We’ve flown with a padded soft cases a bunch of times. Key is preparing and packing the bike which greatly reduces the chances for damage. I supplement the case’s padding with foam pipe insulation, use dropout spacers/protectors like those the factories use when shipping new bikes, split a stout rubber hose lengthwise and wrap it around the bottom of the chainring, remove RD (zip tie to a seat stay, etc… The weight of the packed bike is ~30lb and it’s much easier to lug and fit onto transit busses, taxis, rental cars… I also worked in a bike shop and packed many bikes for shipment in cardboard bike boxes for customers. That’s a similar process.
You can usually pick up a used BBA for about £350, or the BNW(I think) unit which is also a large hard case.
I used a soft case a few times in the past from Glasgow and Edinburgh to and from Amsterdam (EasyJet) and Mallorca a few times (Jet2). Though I did upgrade to a harder case just because the soft case I had was a nightmare to drag about.
Also, if you don’t fly often, you can usually rent a case from a local bike shop for about £40. Jet2 add about £60 return for bike carriage and transfer to your hotel.
It certainly depends on the details and circumstances, but we went the other way, from hard cases to soft. Overall, the soft cases were smaller and much lighter. The size and malleability made it easier to fit on transit transporting the bikes and to deal with when empty.
Here’s a link to an article about the type of bike cases we use. Ours, from Pika Packworks, are essentially identical. We can easily fit our road bikes in the standard size and our mtbs with the fork removed. They do make larger sizes as well. All require removing the bars, so internal routing can be an obstacle to using this and some other cases, including the two hard cases we still have.
I have travelled a lot with a bike and I’d reccomend Bike box Alan, not as small as some softer cases but very robust. You do need to remove handlebars & pedals (check their website for a YouTube on how to pack it) You can rent for around £6 per day via owners on eBay or can usually buy a second hand one for around £350 on eBay unless you pick one that gets into an auction frenzy. The basic one is around £400 new (there is a Jan deal at £367) but with an eye popping £40 shipping charge so I got a used one via eBay.
The poster above is right - put a bit of extra padding / pipe lagging at key points just for peace of mind but you do get space in the box for helmet & shoes.
BA do not charge for a bike box - it goes in as part of your baggage allowance so you’ll need everything else in a cabin bag or pay for 2 bags (or fly business).
BA RULES - (from their website)
You can take non-motorised, non-electric pedal bicycles or push-bikes in a bicycle cover/box as one bag of your checked baggage allowance.
If you’ve already used your free checked baggage allowance, or you are on our economy basic fare that has no hold bag allowance, you’ll have to pay to put your bike in its container in the hold as an extra checked bag.
Let us know if you are going to bring your bicycle. As there is a limit to hold space on smaller aircraft, and it cannot be guaranteed, your bike’s more likely to travel on your flight if you tell us in advance. Call us at least 72 hours before you fly to tell us firstly how big your bike container is and, secondly, how much it weighs. Clothes and other personal items must not be packed in your bike cover/box.
Your bicycle can be transported in a hard shell box, padded case or heavy-duty polythene bike bag up to 190 x 95 x 65cm (75 x 37.5 x 25.5in). Thin polythene covers aren’t recommended as they offer very little protection for your bicycle in the baggage system - and our airport team might ask you to sign a damage disclaimer.
Ensure your bike is clearly labelled with your details on the outside and inside, preferably fastened to the bike frame.
Bike box Alan - Dimensions - 116L x 36W × 96H
Hope that is useful. Mallorca is fabulous - ride the Ma10 from Andratx to Puerto Pollensa.
The BBA is the new ‘easy fit’ one, this only requires the pedals and wheels removing, i did have one of the original BBA’s but sold that on as the new bike has internal cabling and integrated so removing the bars is a bit fiddley.
The dimensions for the easy fit are 133L x 94H x 50W.
I have been to Mallorca before with Jet2 and my old box, no issues, but not been since 2019 so looking forward to the trip!, 1 week on my own followed by a week with the club, some of us are then doing the 312 event…will be my 3rd 312.
I have used my Scion Aero3 twice now without issue. I do add foam piping to forks , over the hoods and to chain stays and over the seat, which I lower a few inches , out of an abundance of caution. Love the light weight, ability to put helmet and energy powders and tools in, either in the additional bag or water bottles retained in cages.