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I am looking to hit a couple parks out west this summer and need to find a travel case for my DH bike. I know there are plenty of them out there but I am worried about fit issues with a DH bike. For those guys who are flying with their bikes, what cases do you recommend? Looking to fit a large frame with a totem.

Thanks!
 

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I used a Thule box last year and didn't care for it at all. I'd bet the best reviews will be for Evoc and similar bags.
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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The Evoc is what I want...been looking for a bike box too
 

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Yes, that's fonetic
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The problem with most cases is that they're too heavy. When you add the weight of a DH bike and a minimal amount of gear it's easy to go over the airline weight limit. I have a friend that was working on a prototype suitcase that wouldn't look like a bike case but would fit a DH frame...Leland?
 

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Bikes are good
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I've been using a Thule for years, and it is bomb proof, although a mess to pack and unpack. I need to disassemble the fork from the frame, and pop the rear shock off it's mount so I can compress the frame. I wonder if it can fit a DH bike though with that huge fork. It will be a large frame.
 

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Yeah, I'm still using the cardboard prototypes while waiting for a bag maker to get the time to sew a set up in nylon and plastic. The key is having 2 bags, each 62" and under 50lb so you get charged normal suitcase prices. You have to pretty thoroughly disassemble the bike but each part gets its own protective pocket.

I haven't seen any plastic cases that make me want to buy them. They're all heavy, expensive, take up a lot of storage room and you pay oversize airlines fees. Until mine is ready for sale I think the best option is to get the largest cardboard bike box your shop has and put some of your small, heavy parts (cranks, pedals, ect) in your suitcase to keep the bike box's weight down. Then pack light, large volume stuff likes body armor and clothes around the bike. You're gonna pay $50-$250 each way (call your airline) for the oversize box and probably need to get a fresh one for each trip.

If any of you are interested in my 2 piece luggage email Jpaks (he usually makes touring bags) and tell him you'd like a set of Leland's luggage. More interest means lower cost per unit and greater priority in his work schedule.
 

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bike rider
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I've been using a Thule for years, and it is bomb proof, although a mess to pack and unpack. I need to disassemble the fork from the frame, and pop the rear shock off it's mount so I can compress the frame. I wonder if it can fit a DH bike though with that huge fork. It will be a large frame.
They key to packing a fork is compressing it. If it's got an air spring let the air out. For a coil remove the coil. Take a toe clip strap and cinch the arch to the lower crown to compress it*. My fork slot is 29×3.75×8" and my Fox 36 180 and 40 Float both fit.

*I use the same trick (minus removing the spring) to lower the front end for climbs.
 

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I have an EVOC case and have used it for 2 trips this year, I can fit my small Turner DHR with a DVO fork in it with no need to compress the fork at all. All I have to do is remove the handlebar, wheels and pedals.

It ends up weighing 76lbs fully loaded with some extra tubes, helmet, pads and shoes. Southwest hasn't cared about the weight so far and charge $75 each trip, which isn't horrible. Just be prepared that your bag might be delayed and put on the next plane due to TSA, also you can't fly with CO2 cartridges.

Overall I love the bag, well made, easy to roll and has protected the bike well.
 

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I, too, have the EVOC case and HIGHLY recommend it.

Flew to whistler with it last year and fit my complete LG jedi with DC fork, wheels, and some pads in the bag, made it weight less than 70lbs for Delta. I put all my other gear and parts and tools in another checked bag. Pricey for sure, but worth it if you plan on flying with your bike frequently.

FYI do not try to fly with tools in a carry on, TSA thinks you might try to disassemble the plane mid-flight.

As for the THULE box, you will have a VERY hard time getting a full DH rig in one of those. We got a FR bike with a SC fork in, barely, and had to put tires and some of the parts in another bag to get it under 70lbs.

My brother wins, though, with his prototype box. $20 bike bag from fleabay, reinforced with cardboard from a bike box, full bike, extra fork, 8 tires, spare parts, tools, under 70 lbs. One-time use only, though. Thing was trashed at the end.
 

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Another vote for the EVOC. Have had many flights on this bag already and it's just the very best available.

Not only for bike protection but also how easy is to pack/unpack the bike.

Just got back from a trip where all my other friends had boxes, the pain on seeing them wrapping and unwrapping their bikes was phenomenal, they are all now getting EVOC's for their next trip.
 

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this appears to be the best bag on the market, IMO.

biknd - JETPACK - bike travel case

It same concept as the EVOC, but executed much better. It has a rigid aluminum frame on the bottom that has actual hard mounting points for your fork and rear dropouts(i.e. your bike isn't just flopping around in the bag). Adjustable to accommodate any combination. Designed with extra large downhill bikes in mind. Rotor protection for wheels, including inflatable cushions between wheels. Also able to be opened from both sides.
 

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Both of those look clearly better than other cases and boxes I've seen. If you only fly Frontier, Alaskan, or another airline that only charges $50 each way that's probably the way to go. If you fly all the other airlines you're paying a premium to not have to disassemble your bike further. That's a personal decision but since I'm relatively poor, travel a lot, and don't mind spending 30 minutes packing and 45 minutes assembling I prefer getting around the oversize charges.
 

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Both of those look clearly better than other cases and boxes I've seen. If you only fly Frontier, Alaskan, or another airline that only charges $50 each way that's probably the way to go. If you fly all the other airlines you're paying a premium to not have to disassemble your bike further. That's a personal decision but since I'm relatively poor, travel a lot, and don't mind spending 30 minutes packing and 45 minutes assembling I prefer getting around the oversize charges.
Honestly, if I was to travel via airline to ride my bike..I would disassemble and pack it up as if I was selling it, and ship it via my employers UPS account for like $30-50 nationwide to the destination. Either way you are running a risk of damage or having your bike lost. I much rather road trip for my riding vacations. On the other hand, if I was to go to euro-land to ride, I would have to devise something clever to bring on the airline.
 

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I own Performance's brand of bike box. I've taken it on more trips then I can remember. I've owned the box for about six years. While my road bike goes in no problem I've to disassemble the DH for it to fit. Building it back up takes about 15 minutes. The box has to finally be replaced due to the airline workers mishandling. The box weighed 36 Lbs with a road bike and 54 lbs with my Podium and 38 lbs with my Dixon.

I would recommend a hard case for airline travel. I've witnessed some crazy **** while talking to people about their experiences traveling with bikes. I think my favorite story (I read this) was a guy took a bike, not in a box to the airport and spoke no English until he and the bike were in the plane.
 

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It's carbon dontcha know.
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Flown all over with my Thule case, fits my XL DH bike and 888 fork no problem.
 

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we have been using evoc bike bags for years. and have done multiple trips from the uk to whistler with them. they are great bags, very well thought out and designed, and make flying with bikes a pleasure rather than a hassle. yes they are pricey, and yes they are quite heavy, but in my opinion well worth it.
 
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