Bicycle boxes for airline use

The best balance of toughness and lightness for shipping a bicycle was the Crateworks box. Sadly the company that makes them has closed its doors and liquidated its inventory.

Mira wants to help load up the bicycles!

The Crateworks Pro XL box was the best box for shipping a recumbent bicycle. I have one, and have used it for six international flights so far, and it shows very little wear and tear. It has kept the hardware perfectly safe even after agents have opened it for inspection at the airport and tossed the contents around.

Some handy numbers for the Crateworks boxes:

  • Pro XL Box:
    • Folded dimensions: 53 x 31 x 5 inches (134cm x 79cm x 12cm)
    • Weight empty: 22lbs (10kg)
  • Pro XLT Box:
    • Full size dimensions: 71 x 31 x 11 inches (180cm x 79cm x 12cm) – 113 linear inches total)
    • Folded dimensions: 53 x 31 x 5 inches (134cm x 79cm x 12cm) (Same as Pro XL Box)
    • Weight empty: 31lbs (14kg)

Unfortunately I only have the one box. So if I want to go somewhere with another person who also rides a recumbent, things get tricky. I found a solution for my New Zealand trip: Take both bikes completely apart and put the two bare recumbent frames inside one Pro XL box, ziptied securely, and put absolutely everything else in other boxes. The Pro XL just barely passed below the oversize weight limit. But it’s not an easy solution.

Here’s a collection of notes I made as I searched for another airline-suitable box that’s large enough for a recumbent:

Good size with padding:
  • Scicon Aerocomfort Tandem Bike Travel Bag
    • May not be quite big enough for the frame with the rack intact. Would need more disassembly.
Good size but no padding:
  • XL Bike Box (72 x 14 x 32 inches) (118 linear inches)
    • Assuming the fork holder can be used, one could drop foam padding onto either side of the frame and maybe get enough padding
Too small:
  • Bikeboxalan GPRS Race box
  • Buxumbox (fancy aluminum) (claims you can contact them for special tandem size)
  • BIKND Jetpack XL V2 Bike Case
  • SciCon AeroComfort MTB TSA Bike Case MY19
  • Speed Hound Bike Case for Air Travel
  • Thule RoundTrip Traveler Bike Case
  • “Bike Travel Mega Case”
  • Dakine Bike Roller Bag
  • Callaway Odyssey BMX Bike Bag
  • Rock Bros Bike Travel Bag Bike Carry case
  • EVOC Bike Travel Bag
No padding, too small:
  • 26 inch Bike Travel Bag Heavy Duty 1680D Oxford Cloth Folding Bicycle Carry Bag
  • evoc Bike Cover

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