There comes a time in every rider’s life when they suffer what is known as traveler’s regret. It usually happens when a cyclist is on vacation somewhere without their bike and they realize they’re in a city that has either some spectacular singletrack or great road riding opportunities.
Traveling with a bike can be expensive, cumbersome and a huge headache, yet it can also be incredibly rewarding. Having ridden in cities all over the US, it seems like I’ve tried every option for traveling with a bicycle – from shipping it ahead of time to using a $500 hardshell case. But a new option has made it easier for more people to move about the world with their favourite rides, without spending $500 on a case.
American company Crate Works starting out producing bicycle travel cases that were slightly more permanent than a cardboard bike box. They were cheap in price and meant to be used a few times before being replaced. Then they came out with corrugated plastic versions of the box, and today they’re using corrugated high-density polyethylene.
The Crate Works Pro XL-C World Traveler is a $265 CDN bicycle carrying case made from CORR-X, a 6mm high-density polyethylene. It has five pieces of compression foam and lots of tie downs to secure any time of bike quickly and easily.
There’s no question one of the highlights of this case is the price. $265 for a case of this quality is a great price, and considering most people will only travel with their bikes two or three times a year, this case will last you years. The box itself is a very smart design as it uses lightweight polyethylene. That means it’s stronger than regular cardboard yet light enough and it folds to make storage very easy. The other nice thing is it comes with a chain tensioner and chain cover so you won’t have to worry about your chain getting tangled during travel.
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If there was any one negative I found it was the fact wheels don’t come stock on this case. They are an add-on option, but I didn’t have them and found moving the box through an airport with a bike inside was difficult without wheels. A box worth $279 should come stock with them, and my guess is that in the future they will.
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If you’re a professional racer and you travel with your bike on a plane 10 or 15 times a year, I’d recommend more of a permanent hard-shell case. But for 90 per cent of the general riding public that’s far more case than anyone will ever need, so the Crate Works XL-C is the perfect fit.
The price makes it affordable for all riders and the fact it folds down flat means storage isn’t a hassle. If you travel with your bike or if you’re a bike club with members that travel occasionally, consider getting one of these Crate Works boxes. Even if you don’t travel by plane, a box like this would be useful for someone taking a bus or even just a car, as it would allow you to pack the bike down to a small size and keep it protected.
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