Here's an Australian-made product that makes travelling with a bike easy - and a bit cheaper.
Here at AMB we have tested a number of bike bags designed to keep your bike in one piece if you're hopping on a plane for a holiday or big event. Soft bags, hard cases, basic bags that you add packing too - they all have their pros and cons. In general, travelling with your bike can be a bit of a head ache, even for those who have done it too many times to remember.
Another consideration is cost - some bike bags cost over $1000, and even a basic bike bag might still set you back $300-400, plus make a large dent into your luggage weight limit.
A cardboard box like bikes get delivered in to a bike shop is light and strong - but a little bit awkward to move around, especially more than a few metres. A number of people have often tried to rig up some wheels to make them easier to move around - but this product from Mick Williams in Canberra is by far the best we have seen.
Bike Box Rollers
Mick's design came about when his wife wanted to head overseas and was faced with the typical dilemma - how to take her bike safely.
"First we looked at the good quality bespoke bike bags, while they were very good they were just too expensive and bulky and the cheaper ones had many design flaws," states Mick on his website. "Eventually we went to our local bike shop and got a free and recyclable cardboard box and the only problem was that it was difficult for her to move it about."
So that's when Mick got thinking. He came up with a system to strap on fully adjustable wheels to suit any bike box, and kits for inside to support your bike's fork and frame drop outs, to keep the bike stable and secure within the bike box. The rollers sell for $80, and the packing aids for your drop outs start at $20. It's all really good value!
The wheels have a broad base for support, so the box is unlikely to tip left to right, and Mick says the blue sraps help keep the box stronger as well.
They stay on and are a handy grab area for baggage handlers - which should assist with the integrity of the cut handles on your bike box.
The red straps and wheels need to be removed at check in, and fitted again when you get your bike box back. Mick reckons it only takes a few minutes and we're pretty sure with a tiny bit of practice that would be exactly right.
The whole lot packs down to a small package to put in your carry on luggage. Yeah, it's got metal in it - but Mick reckons none of his customers have been questioned at security. The straps have raised a few eyebrows though!
While the wheels are the real thing that many people will notice, some who frequently use a cardboard box for travel might be more impressed by the mounts for the fork or the back of the frame.
Bike Box Rollers are a simple idea that has been well-executed in aluminium, and they will keep your bike stable in the bike box. Often what causes damage is parts of your bike moving around, and as Mick sells some extra packing straps as well, he's got you covered for keeping your bike in one piece withoutna heavy travel bag or blowing your travel budget on a bike bag.