Hard cases can sometimes be a problem compared to soft bike bags, if you need to get one into the boot of a car the corners of the soft bag can be folded to fit, unlike the hard case, also shifting a hard case/box around a airport can be a real trial. The Vaison from Elite is just the right size so as not to have the above problems, and has the advantage of the hard box protection.
The Size, Not too Big
The internal dimensions are 1170 x 758 x 297 mm, this gives you lots of room for your bike and other bits and pieces, the box isn’t too big to carry around a busy airport, I say carry, but the box comes with a set of wheels so you can pull it around.
The box is constructed with a double-wall for extra strength, there is ample padding with three foam padded separators to go between bike and wheels and four very strong internal straps to hold everything in place, with these the bike will not rattle around inside the box and with the external protection there will not be any damage to your prized possession.
Ease of loading
The box opens fully, you separate the two halves completely so allowing easy access to the interior, with this you can load in the bike then the wheels (and any other stuff) without having to hold one half up out the way like other similar cases, or struggle trying to hold the thing apart like with a soft bag.
The loading could not be made easier, as you know half the battle with going on holiday is the packing, with the Elite Vaison Bike Carrier it could not be easier, specially as it has enough room for any road bike or mountain bike, even with front suspension and disc brake.
How To Load
First open the box out into two halves, first you place one of the foam separators on the inside of the box, next the frame with the stem taken off and placed on top.
A small bike might fit with the saddle and seat pin still in place, but most bikes you are going to have to take it out, remember to mark how far you insert the pin in the frame before you do it. Then another foam divider and then the wheels on top, strap the whole thing down inside and away you go, like I said before, “couldn’t be easier”.
What Do We Think?
This without doubt has to be the best hard box on the market that we have seen so far, maybe there is another, but we have never seen it, yet. It gives the best protection, inside and out, it holds the bike solidly and you can wheel the bike around, it has it all, if you are going away with your bike then this is the hard box (or soft case) you should get.
Any Travel Tips?
The first bit of advice I would give would be to get the best bike carrier that you can, the whole point of taking your bike away is that you will be able to ride it when you get to your destination. Get lots of padding for the bike and don’t forget you can use your clothes for this, fulfilling two functions padding and clothing.
Secondly I would suggest you pack your cycling shoes, helmet, one set of cycling clothes and if the airline allows it, a set of pedals. If your bike goes missing in transit then you can rent a bike or if you are going to a training camp they should have spare bikes for this all too regular eventuality.
Wheels in a Box
Take the pedals out, or better take the chain set off, with the new Campagnolo and Shimano chain sets its not difficult, this protects the chain rings, if the bike box or bag gets dropped on the chain set it will get very badly damaged and the difficulty and the expense of replacing it could ruin your holiday. Also take the bars and stem off and put them at the side of the frame in the box, this also is an easy job to do with a-head stem, two or three Allen key bolts and it just slips off, putting it back is a just a case of adjusting the tension on the top cap then tightening the clamp bolts on the side.