Here I want to share my experience traveling with the Aerus Biospeed bike travel soft-case (made by Blue Cycles).
For my last race in Myrtle Beach I was looking for a case. I reviewed a number of options, but decided on the Aerus Biospeed after reading positive comments on forums.
Overall, the case worked perfectly. It is light, but protected my bike well and I would recommend the case to others.
Airline Travel Fees
One claim made by many online is that the case will help you avoid oversize or bike charges. I found this to be completely untrue. My experience (on Delta) was that the agents were almost anxious to tell you they know it’s a bike. Maybe they are on commission for the $200 EACH WAY, that they dinged me for? Yes, you read that right — Delta Airlines charged me $200 each way to take a 32 lb bag that is only about 5 linear inches into their oversize category. I need to do a post comparing the fees of the airlines. [Dec 3rd Update : See my comparison of airline fees for bikes ]
I took a few shots of the packing process so you can see how it all comes together. Actually these are from the unpacking after we got back.
Your case will come with packing instructions. You can also find the packing instructions online here as well. Be sure to follow the instructions — they might have something I miss!
Step 1. Remove your pedals, and put them in a ziplock back — I put all the small parts into ziplock baggies first, and then place them in the bag’s internal side pockets. These pockets do not zip shut so it’s possible that some items may come out during travel. But, they are as deep as the full height of the case.
Step 2.. Remove your AeroBars/Handlebars, and make sure you screw the stem cap back onto the stem so you don’ t lose the bolts! Am I paranoid about this? Yes! You don’t need to disconnect any cables so this step is pretty straight-forward. And when you put the bike back together you won’t have to make any adjustments.
3. Remove your seat post with the seat attached. Note: First mark your current seat position! The seatpost will also slip into one of the side pockets.
4. Remove the rear derailleur. This is the one step that might be confusing to most people. But the rear derailleur removes by simply unscrewing it from the frame with an allen wrench. Take a good look at how it is attached to the bike before you remove it — there is a little adjustment screw that fits against the frame. Once you’ve removed the derailleur put it in the provided grey back and strap it to the frame. I might have to make some kind of little closure strap for the bag — the derailleur fell out on the return trip.
Again, don’t disconnect any cables, just wrap the whole thing into the bag.
5. Remove the skewers from your wheels (put them in a bag!) and put the wheels in the side pockets of the case. The wheels fit perfectly, and the little snap straps hold them in securely. I also liked that they put extra padding inside and out where the hubs rub against the case.
6. Use the provided blue top bar pad & strap to secure the aerobar to the frame. Several people mentioned that you could also buy foam piping insulation to protect other areas of your bike. That seems like a great idea, but I just used the one provided pad.
7. Fit the bike into the bag. The crank fits securely into a slot in the foam at the bottom of the bag. There’s a strap that attaches the bike and holds it in position. It was a little tight getting this strap to fit, but once in place the bike felt secure.
Once the bike is strapped in you’re pretty much done. Here’s how it looks when it’s all put together:
With the bike all packed up there is a extra little room for your tool bag. There is room to fit your helmet in there as well, but I wouldn’t recommend it. My Rocket Air came home with a big crack in the rear plastic housing.
Once packed up my case weighed in at 32.8 lbs.
A few recommendations.
- Don’t pack your helmet in the bike case.
- Be aware that the TSA will probably open the bag and things will be moved. My bag had a TSA inspection notice on both flights. So, make sure things aren’t too loose.
- Make sure you don’t leave anything out, and remember to take the tools you used to dis-assemble the bike. I used little ziplock bags for all the small bits and put them in the side pockets right away.
- Be sure to mark your seat post position – I think I rode the race a bit too high because I forgot to mark it well before I removed the seat.
- Screw any bolts you remove from the bike back in position right away, the last thing you want is to get to the race location and realize you have no way to attach your seat!
All told, a great case. I like it, even if it didn’t save me those excess baggage fees.
And, now that I have it all together my morning running mate wants a little attention: