Biknd Helium bike bag

saibot

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May 29, 2012
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#1
So been thinking about getting a bike bag for air travel for awhile now… going back home for 3 weeks in august so It's about time I decide now.

I been looking at different options and done plenty of research but I always seem to end up with Biknd Helium bike case, which seem to be the best compromise of light weight, good protection (air bags), 2 pair of wheels and easy to drag around in the air port. (or so it seems)

Does anyone here have personal experience with with this bag?
Or do you have an better alternative I might have missed.
(No, not interested in cardboard bike box!!!)
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#4
Quite nice - but honestly, a rinko and cardboard will do the same. You are doing 90% of the exact same procedure - remove deraillers, etc... I saw some people using these. Quite honestly the issue is not damages incurred in transit - it's the baggage handlers attempting to shish-kebab your precious cargo. If it's 'loose packed' it goes with the 'personal transport' items. If it's hardshell packed - you get the benefit of side impact protection. The coolest bike 'bags' I saw on the circuit were definitely the Russian aluminum cases constructed of discarded MIG-29 panels. They made Haliburton cases look like sissy make-up vanities.

I'm going again to Europe in August with my PLA Special - here's how it goes:

1) Rinko and Cardboard.
2) Race like mofo for 7 days.
3) Strip the groupset,wheels and sell the rest.
4) Return with cash, wheels and a carryon.

At 100eu / segment it simply makes no sense to travel with a frameset worth more than 2x the luggage fees.

My next venture -- expendable frames. And they'll still be better performers than 88% of the 'brand' frames available at 3x less the cost.
 

theDude

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Oct 7, 2011
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app.strava.com
#5
I have the Scicon Aero Comfort Plus.

https://tokyocycle.com/bbs/threads/scicon-aerocomfort-plus-bag-シーコン-エアロコンフォートプラス.3315/

(hope that link works, katakana makes it go funny)

I like it. It caters to somebody lazy like me, I only have to take off the wheels. It also weighs under 8kg, so you can top up the weight allowance with a bunch of gear, clothing, pump, duty free crap, etc.

The one minus I've run across is that it is oversized, at least according to JAL. Wheels mostly work, though don't last as long as you'd like with European baggage handlers. No trouble in Asia, though I've replaced most of them by now. Scicon sells them as a pack, Tim put a couple on from Tokyu Hands.
 
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saibot

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May 29, 2012
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#6
theDude Yeah been looking at the Scicon Aero too, but been reading quite a few "mixed" reviews on that one. certainly the issues with wheels seem to have annoyed quite a few people. The Helium seem to top that bag, slightly more expensive though.

Appreciate you input GSAstuto, but as I said, not interested in a cardboard bike box or rinko/cardboard and hacks a like. Definitely not regarding my frame as an expandable either :p
Taking the bike apart is not a issue either for me. Rather take my time and get everything neatly and safely packed if I'm going to leave the bike in the hands of baggage handlers, not like have to pack the bike 5 minute before the flight either.

kiwisimon Yes, read that thread. I want a bag for future trips as well, moving back to sweden later in the fall so renting/borrowing is not an option. Intend to come back and ride here in the years to come as well as tips in Europe, so this will be a long time investment.
You're right that it's pretty expensive, but if I couldn't afford it, I would ask about it.
Also in this case, when it comes to protecting my bike, I rather pay a premium for a good product than look for a cheap alternative with worse protection.

I was mostly curious if someone had some personal experience with the Helium. But if you have experience with any other bags, I love to hear your opinions.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#7
The steel frame of the SCICON saved my bacon grease (so to speak). The Czech handlers even with their Lada inspired forklifts couldn't destroy it other than a couple of the casters. On an assisted event, I was happy to have this unit. On an unassisted event I prefer not having to deal with extraneous baggage or any at all. I saw quite a few people with Heliums and they seemed to be fine. I'm pretty sure any box will work as long as the handlers take some care. Just getting the bike out of the primary baggage handling route, is, I believe one of the keys to avoiding mishandling and /or missed connections. How many pranged strollers or wheelchairs have you seen coming off the belts?
 
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kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#8
theDude

I was mostly curious if someone had some personal experience with the Helium. But if you have experience with any other bags, I love to hear your opinions.
Nope, I use a cardboard box mostly or that big hard case but two of my bikes are splittable so regular suitcase works well as well. I really like the box as (a) light, (b)it has to be carried with two hands, better care (c) cheap.
 

GSAstuto

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#10
That looks pretty good. But I'll still stand behind using a simple rinko and a few pieces of cardboard as being equally protective and less hassle . The cardboard (and tape) can be both acquired (and tossed) at any airport (that I've been in). The rinko bag is easily taken with you. I don't use one of the ultralight rinkos - but just a generic heavier version. The beauty of this method besides the obvious economy is that it will pack the bike into the smallest possible physical size. In fact, my 50cm carbon bike fell within the airline's linear inch measurement as 'regular baggage'. Though, I asked them to put it in with the 'personal transportation devices' like strollers and wheelchairs. Why? They are ALWAYS the first luggage to be removed! Backpack on the carry on and while others are waiting around the carousel forever, you've already got your bike assembled and ready to roll! in fact at Taipei I actually WHEELED my bike through customs! Then landing back at Haneda - RODE HOME.

Cardboard will spread the ballistic loading quite wide. I'd venture to say you can pretty easily conduct the Samsonite Gorilla Test on a bike packed this way with good degree of success. Ballistic Nylon rinko bag is quite rip resistant, and with no straps or other stuff hanging out, it's less likely to get snagged.

For protection on the wheel hubs, what did I use? Plastic plates discarded from the local cafe! I just taped them (with a piece of cardboard cushion under) directly to the spokes.

Been reading good things about Aerus. It a soft case that's slightly bigger than an rinko and folks have been abloe to avoid handling fee on majority of trips. I have a hard case, but have been eyeing this for a bit of time.

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2011/02/how-i-travel-with-my-bike.html
 
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FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#11
Once it arrrives I will post pics of my team bike case - funnily enough alot of Pro Teams do not use these hard cases. Also recently I flew down to Hiroshima for a race, basically used a Rinko bag and pipe installation to protect the bike (was going to post pics)

The bike arrived in perfect condtion - and I wasn't charged for the transportation of the bike. When we flew to France, Begium, Cameroon then back to Belgium, France, Dubai and finally back in to Japan. I opted for the hardcase while many of my team mates again used the Rinko style bags, while boxing the wheels.

Only my case was damaged and I beleive it's because when the ground crew see a hardcase they treat it just like any other suitcase. Softcase are stacked with nothing on them, you're normally asked which side to pack as well - if not then you need to inform the ground crews.
 
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Trek DJ

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#12
Quite a bit less expensive, and less robust, but give the Ostrich OS-500 a thought. I have used it on 15+ flights to AU, NZL, Thailand, USA, Singapore, Malaysia etc. and have had no issues. I was worried about the US flights as they are the roughest, but luckily no issue. Take off the wheels (put them in wheel bags) and add foam pipe-tubing to all the tubes, handlebars off, then use fork/rear triangle supports (or an old hub) and you are set. I use cut up tubes to tie everything down and make sure nothing moving around. I also throw all my cycling clothing in the bag as well to add extra protection.

With 3-4 changes of summer clothing thrown in, the whole thing comes in at about 18.5kg, so well under the 20-22kg limit that many airlines have when flying international. Also higher chance that you can avoid bike charges that Delta/United etc charge for flying as this case is more compact than the full on cases.

Also, if you are only flying 1-2 times a year, Tim's rec on a cardboard box is spot on. Properly packed, the cardboard box will be as effective as any hardcase out there.