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Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate Works(8 posts)

Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate WorksStewK
May 31, 2001 9:46 PM
I've pretty much narrowed my choices to the Trico Iron Case and the Crate Works case. From what I've read, the Crate Works, aside from being cheaper is somewhat less bulky and much lighter, making it easier to maneuver in the airport. But since it's made out of polyethylene, my concern is that some baggage handler could drop something heavy on top of it and damage the frame.

The Iron Case seems much more bullet proof, but weighs 35 lbs and is about $150 more.

My main concern is protecting my bike, but I don't want to get more (or less than I need).

Any thoughts?
re: Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate Worksconfusion
Jun 1, 2001 7:49 AM
Not sure about case choices but from what I have heard it is safer and cheaper to to through UPS or FedEx than most of the airlines.

Check into it because many of the airlines charge additional fees to bring a bike...and probably still are no more cautious with it.

Many people on here ship next day or two day with UPS. It is not that expensive, they care more and I would trust them a lot more than an airlines not to lose my bike.
re: Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate WorksStewK
Jun 1, 2001 8:19 AM
Do you speak from experience?

I just went to the UPS site to see what it would cost to ship a bike from Connecticut to California. The cost is $107 for 3-day air. That's more expensive and slower than taking it on the flight. If I've misunderstood, please let me know.
re: Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate WorksScottV
Jun 1, 2001 8:22 AM
I done several trips with an Iron Case. Bike came out fine on the other side. I always take it with me one the plane that way there is a pretty good chance that it will make it to where I'm going. Yes there are charges but some times you get lucky because many airport desk people don't know this. In fact I have never been charged leaving my home town but always charged coming back.

Unless things have changed the charge is only for domestic flights it usually free on international ones.

How often do you plan to use it? If not often see if a local bike store rents them. That's what I usually do. My LBS only charges 25 dollars CND.
re: Travel Case Advice - Iron Case vs. Crate WorksZag
Jun 1, 2001 8:48 AM

I have the Iron Case and I am very happy with it. I have shipped a bike in a cardboard box before, and it's a real pain to pack and unpack the bike (I am fussy and don't like scratches on the frame), and the bike is not nearly as well protected in a box as in the Iron Case. The Iron Case is very easy to pack, you can unpack and reassemble your bike in less than 15 minutes. It also protects the bike very well, it would take a very hard hit to damage the bike in the Iron Case if it's packed correctly.

As far as the Crate Works case goes, I have never used it, so I don't know anything about it. However, I would be surprised if it was easier to maneuver in the airport, because the Iron Case has wheels, so you just drag it around with one hand like a piece of luggage. Total weight of my case with bike, helmet, tools, shoes, etc. was less than 70 lbs.

Another advantage. My bike flew for free my last trip (Seattle to Norway), so that is definitely cheaper than shipping UPS (about $400 one way last time I checked).
I have the crateworks...Kyle
Jun 1, 2001 9:22 AM
and I've been happy with it. Having said that, my main criteria for a box was that it break down flat (I have a small garage), weight, and price.

I think you have a few of the same misconceptions I did before I bought the Crateworks:

1. On the negative side, it IS pretty bulky and awkward. Though light, I'd be surprised if it manuvers around the airport any better than the Trico. Wheels, I'm guessing, are a good thing.

2. The box is pretty much bullet-proof. Someone would have to drop something incredibly heavy and sharp to penetrate it. I've got a Merlin XL that I'm pretty protective of and I never give shipping it in this box a second thought.

3. I always just ship my bike 7 day UPS (around $35 for the road bike) instead of dealing with the airline. If you're thinking about doing this, the Crateworks will be a lot cheaper due to weight.

Good luck
Crateworks does have an optional wheel attachmentRick Bell
Jun 1, 2001 10:47 AM
I've got the Crateworks XL collapsable box with the wheel kit (only $10 more if memory serves). I've used it once flying from St. Louis to Linz, Austria, where I am now, with 2 connections along the way. The bike came out fine, I also packed a bag of bike clothes and some other accessories in the box. After that one trip with it so far, it came out without any structural damage of course (these things ARE bulletproof), but the corrugated poly shell had some shearing on one edge, exposing the inner reinforcement "bones" (don't know what you call them) of the first layer. Easy to use, and very easy to get around with the wheel kit. It's a set of 2 wheels on a metal L bracket that rests against one of the ends, and it straps on, and the strap has a handle on the other end. Works just like a huge rolling suitcase. I would say the wheels are a must for traveling alone with it.
Used both, like Crateworks moreMarlon
Jun 1, 2001 12:43 PM
Both boxes work well, but I like the Crateworks box more due to its lowered cost, rebuildability, and low weight.

Iron Case: like you said, bulletproof, probably more so than the Crateworks, but whether it's overkill, you'll have to decide. Unfortunately, like you said, it's heavier and it costs more.

The Crateworks box (I used the Pro XLC) is just fine - my method of packing is securing everything according to the instructions (it uses velcro straps along with foam chocks in certain areas) then filling up the extra dead space with clothing, foam, or whatever I have handy. So far, I've had 4 trips across Canada (Ottawa-Vancouver) with the box, and it's borne up well with so damage whatsoever, even with me packing my box with an extra wheelset, floor pump, and toolbox. A friend of mine has borrowed my box and has travelled with his bike to Indonesia and Australia, with no damage either. For its cost and it's protective value, I think it's done a superb job and it's just enough to protect your bike.

Of course, that's just my little opinion:) In all honesty though, I like my box a lot.