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Gear Review

5 5

Airport tip

Ok, as my teammates said, this is the best bike case in the world. It offers the best protection of any case but it's light and easy to get it around the airport.

When you give this bag to TSA at the airport, hang out and help them check it out. TSA will often deflate the air bladders so that they can do their inspection, but if course they never air it back up. This can compromise the protection offered by the air bladders.

I have found that TSA is always thankful when I stick around to open up the case for them and close it back up. It makes their job easier and I am always at ease knowing my bike is still safe in the BIKND!

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Update: If you load this bag down with a lot of stuff, be careful picking it up by the top straps. My bag ripped along the horizontal seam on the side from lifting it via the top straps. This is pretty much unavoidable because baggage handlers at airports will probably pick the bag up this way, so it's best not to overload the bag in the first place!

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Provided that the TSA guys don't steal your bike since it worths thoursands of $ more than what they can steal from a regular luggage. Next thing you will see you bike running around by the ground crew in area where you can't go down to.

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Good idea but... In quite a few airports, the TSA won't let you get anywhere near to the area where they do the screening.

I own this case and love it, having flown with it 6 times since buying it earlier this year. On one of those trips, the derailleur hanger was damaged - actually cracked - by what was apparently a baggage-handling impact to the rear of the case, which lacks any sort of cushioning in that area. (The derailleur was unbolted from the hanger and dangling, per standard packing procedure.) That was a bummer but the hanger was easily replaced.

More troubling, the impact caused a very slight compression in the U-shaped right (power-train-side) dropout. As a result, my rear wheel would no longer drop into the frame without forcing it, until I had my bike shop actually file the inner edge of the dropout down. The interference was very slight - maybe a couple 1000ths of an inch - but it was there. That must have been some serious impact!

Due to this unfortunate experience, I took to packing a stuff sack with bike clothes in that area of the case, to cushion the hanger area. Problem is, when the TSA unpack it, they NEVER put things back where they were. So on two flights, I begged and pleaded with them to let me observe. No way. Not at those particular airports. At others, I've had just the experience others mention here: the TSA inspectors are actually grateful for the guidance.

Meanwhile, I've gone ahead and fashioned a kludgy protection from pipe insulation foam, which I rubber-band over the case's rear dropout spacer, including the derailleur hanger. It's a kludge and a pain, but I stil love this case!

Sorry for the long comment. I'm pretty sure NO ONE else has had this experience, and this is the only place I've recorded it.

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Glad I checked these reviews. I recently bought this bag and tried for the first time last month. When I picked up the bag at baggage claim the air bladders were deflated. I thought either they were punctured or leaking (odd for both to leak) or the cabin pressure/cold temps in luggage made them go down. Didn't consider that TSA let them out.

Thanks, I'll try to observe TSA next time.

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The bag is good at only few things:

1. Rolling efficiently through the airport
2. Packing it is fast and simple
3. Light weight
4. Small easy to transport

This is where it goes wrong:

1. Construction quality is poor on seams and exterior nylon is not a hi denier to with stand the abrasion of travel and airports. After one trip the seams were bulging apart, the exterior handles are coming unstitched, the glued interior is coming apart from the edges of the plastic base plate.
2. The air bladders don't actually hold air? What a great idea to have air protect your expensive bike while traveling however, each time I retrieved the bike from the baggage claim it was empty. TSA checks every bike bag and therefore you are not allowed to watch the process. They do not simply open the zipper at the top at look inside. The entire bag comes apart and the air is let out so that it can be zipped together again while deflated.
Upon returning home I inflated the air bladders and within a few hours they had half the amount of air in them while packed with the pressure of a bike contained in the case. Bottom line, no air no protection for your bike.
3. The wheels are placed on the exterior of the air bladder with very little padding to protect from the case being stacked or tossed. This is also something that doesn't seem well designed to expose the wheels to absorb all the pressure and weight while its being tossed around. A pair of race wheels with no padding, not a great plan in the packing method of the case.
4. The rear of the case has zero protection for the rear der hanger or drop outs. Zero, none zero which meant I had to pack the case with more padding and try to protect the rear of the bike. This is absolutely not acceptable. It does not give good piece of mind when you open the case and it has no air the the rear der hanger is bent because the bike case doesn't have padding or a ridged area on the rear of the case for additional protection.
5. The straps have to act as a handle as well. This is not very well thought out. No handle on top means the straps act as the conduit for baggage handlers to throw the bike around. This means poor construction yields seams stressed beyond measure within the first trip.
6. Overall this is a better case than some I have used traveling with my bikes however for the cost and overall condition of the case after use, I would not suggest this case at even half the cost.