Is a plastic bike box durable enough for travel around the world? Our CrateWorks bike boxes are veterans of many trips, including the Patagonian Expedition Race in Chile for three years in a row.
The box, made of corrugated plastic sheets, is a bit rough around the edges. But it works fine still to protect our bikes on airplanes and the beds of pickup trucks.
At $229, the box — official name: CrateWorks Pro XL-C Plastic Bike Box — may seem spendy. But don’t let its material fool you. We have abused these light and versatile cases on trips around the world.
They weigh about 22 pounds empty and measure 10 X 29 X 44 inches (inside dimensions). This means 29er mountain bikes fit inside.
Nylon straps with buckles hold them together. There’s foam padding and Velcro to protect a bike and hold the box in shape.
A unique feature, the panels fold flat when not in use. This lets you pack the bike box down for easier storage when there’s no bike inside.
During the Patagonian Race this year, we had to pack and unpack our bikes nearly 10 times, including in sleep-deprived states. Thankfully, the company includes visual instructions on the plastic sheets to remind you where to strap what and how to assemble the box fast.
See the video below for a look at us working with the boxes in Punta Arenas, Chile, before the race start.
Traveling with a bike can be rough. But for one of the lightest, easiest, and least expensive bike transport solutions, we recommend CrateWorks.
—Jason Magness is a contributing editor based in Bend, Ore.