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Verdict: 
Superb protection for your bike and easy to pack, it's just the price that's the sticking point
Weight: 
11,500g
Contact: 
Scicon Aerotech Evolution bike hard case
8 10

The Scicon Aerotech Evolution hard case box provides excellent protection for your bike when you fly, but it doesn't come cheap.

I'll tell you something about baggage handlers, and this might not be much of a revelation: they don't necessarily give a monkey's about your bike. Sorry, maybe this is a gross generalisation, but they don't always move a bike around like it's their grandmother's bone china. That's why you need to protect your pride and joy with a good bike box when travelling. This is one.

The case is made from ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, if you're interested) which is a tough plastic polymer, and the walls are rigid. Put it in the way of a charging rhino and your bike might be in trouble, but it'll cope fine with most other stuff you're likely to encounter while travelling.

Packing your bike is straightforward enough. I usually take 57cm or 58cm frames and I had absolutely no trouble getting any of my bikes in.

Whip off the wheels and one pedal, rotate the bars downward, take the seatpost out, and the frame fits into the box no problem. You strap the frame in place after first sticking foam pads over the bars and top tube so they don't scratch, the wheels fix to the side of the box with your quick release skewers and have their own covers so they can't damage the frame, and your pedal and seatpost/saddle go into a little bag. Easy! Everything sits perfectly stable in transit.

Once you've done it a couple of times, you'll get your bike boxed up with locks fastened in minutes. And all with no swearing whatsoever. This was a revelation to me. I've never boxed up a bike without swearing before.

With other boxes I've used in the past, I've had to remove all the usual stuff and then take off the rear mech, load the bike in, put the box on its side and sit on it – literally – before I could get the clips done up. You really don't want to treat your bike that way.

Scicon reckon, 'This case can hold virtually any racing bike frame (up to 62cm) as well as carbon frames with seat extensions.'

We didn't have a 62cm bike to hand but a bit of work with a tape measure suggests that's true. Scicon also say you're okay with any mountain bike up to 26in.

The seat extension point is a good one, so I left a seatpost (no saddle) in the frame to check it. The maximum distance from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the seatpost that you could fit in would be about 80cm.

The case rolls easily on four 40mm wheels with proper bearings (the fastening points are slightly recessed so clumsy baggage handlers are very unlikely to knock them off) and you get moulded handles to help you move it around. The small hand strap is useful when you want to load it flat although I think a shoulder strap would be handy too. There are inevitably times when you can't push the case along and picking it up is awkward in those circumstances.

It's worth bearing in mind that this bike box weighs 11.5kg when empty. Currently, EasyJet allow you 32kg /content/news/108383-easyjet-reinstates-32kg-bike-weight-limit for a boxed up bike and the Ryanair limit is 30kg. Sticking within those boundaries shouldn't be a problem. Check with your airline before travelling to avoid expensive surprises, though.

The whole thing measures 114cm x 94cm x 36cm at the widest points, and spare parts are available.

There's no getting away from the price though the calculation on whether it's likely to be worth it will depend on how much travelling you do, how much your bike costs, and how likely you are to find it for less than it's list price if you shop around - quite likely we'd say.

Verdict

Superb protection for your bike and easy to pack, it's just the price that's the sticking point

road.cc test report

Make and model: Scicon Aerotech Evolution bike hard case

Size tested: n/a

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Scicon say, "The AeroTech Evolution is simply the best hard bike case on the market. Designed to optimize load, safety, comfort and handling. This case can hold virtually any racing bike frame (up to 62cm) as well as carbon frames with seat extensions."

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

It's the best bike box I've ever used, but it's also the most expensive. The more you fly with your bike, the more it'll justify the price. Plus shop around and you can find it for significantly less than list price

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

This is the best bike box I've used by a margin.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The ease of getting the bike packed in and the level of protection.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I think it could do with a couple of anchor points for a shoulder strap. You wouldn't want to carry it far, but sometimes it's inevitable.

Did you enjoy using the product? It made life a whole lot easier.

Would you consider buying the product? I would because I'm so bored of using sub-standard bike cases.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

In terms of performance, this is the best bike box I've ever used and I have no hesitation in recommending it. The sticking point is the RRP. Plug the model name into Google and you'll find it much cheaper.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

7 comments

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userfriendly [610 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Is that a red/black Infinito CV Disc you're boxing up there, ya bar steward?  10 I want one!

Well ... if I can afford that bike, I can probably afford that puny box too.

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Gasman Jim [199 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This case is £250 more than a British made BikeBox Alan, and lacks the Alan's anti-crush pole and foam sheet between the wheels and frame.

(I don't work for Alan, I'm just a satisfied customer and connoisseur of bike cases!)

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sethpistol [87 posts] 2 years ago
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I've seen this box take a fair amount of abuse and never fail. Yes it's £700 (or Waaaay cheaper if you shop around!) but if your bike is £3k etc. it's pretty good insurance.

There's loads of copies on the market place including the above mentioned but it's up to you if you want to give your money to the company that had the original idea and continues to improve it... or to a guy who vacuum moulded a copy in whatever quality plastic was lying around and then makes sure every review of the original (or any other case on the market) has a comment pointing to their business on it...

put it this way, would you buy a Chinarello?

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Sammy G [2 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It's also £250 more than another British box the Velovault.

The Velovault has anti crush technology too and foam padding.

It is the only hard case on the market that fits 29er wheels with the tyres on.

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sethpistol [87 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

^  41 I rest my case! (no pun intended)

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velo365surrey [5 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

SciCon Aero Evo

Mine arrived back from Spain. One wheel had imploded into the carcass, and more worrying, one skewer hole imploded, leaving a hole 2.5cm wide. There is little doubt that the airline dropped the bag from a height, though because the shape of the box is not flat, it is highly unstable when on top of a stack.

The box is now unusable. I could drag it on three wheels, but with a 2.5cm skewer hole, the C60 will not travel.

There is a big fault with the wheel system on this box, and all those companies who copied it. The wheels are too small, and there should be 2 on each corner, to allow the box to rotate easily. Suitcase wheels have really developed as have those on children's transport systems. The micro wheels are simply poor engineering. The Sci-con will not ride over a grain of gravel in car parks and hotels.

I did have a bike box Alan, but binned it as I could not get on with the stupid pole. It should have had a short funnel, instead of lying on the floor trying to locate the pole and line up the very flimsy catches on a very flexible carcass. The Sci-con locks are first class.

Reagarding cardboard boxes. Use when you have money to burn. In short a new supplier needs to redesign the bike box without reference to what has gone before. Checkout Rimowa suitcases, that rotate on the spot with featherlight touch.

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oenie [1 post] 1 year ago
0 likes

I just came back from the Ironman Barcelona and the bagage handlers succeeded in breaking off one of the wheels completely and seriously damaging the one next to it.
Possibly by dropping it from quite the height i would assume.
I guess no bike case is really safe from clumsy handlers  17
Now i have to hope someone is going to repay me to get the person i lent the case from a new one ...