Oru-Case maiden voyage

US Airlines are pretty much evil. They squeeze us into less and less space, take away past perks such as meals and award miles premiums – they act as if it is your privilege to pay them for their increasingly shallower service.

I’ve watched it deteriorate over the last two decades as I have been hovering around the 100,000 mile travel mark yearly since I started working internationally. One of my gravest days was when Continental merged with United – but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I’m here to talk about traveling with a bike.

Once was a time that you could check your cased bike like any piece of luggage, No more – size restrictions have made it almost impossible to get away from extra charges to fly your bike. Of course golf clubs and skis are still exempt. Beer belly execs are safe to transport their sticks and balls at will as are the snow bunnies because – well you tell me why.  I have my own theories based on socio-economic biases but that too is another story.

I’m here to chronicle my maiden voyage with an orucase.  The manufactures promise that their cases come in under the guidelines of all the major airlines  and will be acepted as checked luggage. The case isn’t cheap – $400.00 – but United would charge me 200.00 each way on a flight – so if it works once – it has paid for itself.

You do have to have a smidgen of mechanical aptitude as the disassembly is a bit more involved than your regular case.

The Orucase is soft sided and padded. My bike is an Orbea Orca 57mm – so it’s not a small bike by any means. Here’s the process:

oru01
Here we go – we need to get that bike into that case.
oru02
First – pop the wheels off.
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Next – remove the pedals.
oru04
Take off the rear derailleur.
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Off comes the front brake.
oru06
Remove the front fork.
oru07
I put all the internal components back on as they came off.
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I thought about taking the chain off – but decided to just gather it up and wrap it and the rear derailleur up in bubble wrap and tape to frame with painters masking tape.
oru09
Wrapped front brake in bubble wrap too.
oru10
thee’s a fold over pouch that your fork goes in.  In order to get it to sit neatly when folded over I ended up taking the back brake off too, which was not in the original instructions.
oru11
Just about there.
oru12
Here’s the fork sitting in that pouch.
oru13
Remove the skewers from the wheels.
oru14
Slide the wheels on either side of he bike – there is a pocket for the pedals skewers etc. I wrapped the seat – still attached to the tube in bubble wrap and set it inside the case in the middle of the frame.
oru15
All closed up
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And here it is with a floor  pump for scale (I was out of bananas.)

So – I leave for Seattle on Thursday – today is Tuesday – I figured I’d pack the bike a day early in case anything weird happened.

It seems pretty safe as long as nobody goes dropping the thing off a ramp – I’m going to get some duct tape and write on it “please do not drop”. Total weight is 34lbs. well under the standard 50 allowed for checked luggage and it is pretty compact.

We will see.

Updates to come.

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8 thoughts on “Oru-Case maiden voyage

  1. Looking at switching from Pika to this. What does your bag measure to?

    Mailed them and they said that the standard was 69″, and the 62 has less protection. My wife’s is a small bike [50cm], and mine is a 54. What would you suggest?

    I really dont want to have to buy the Oru and then still get caught on the sizing, but I dont want to scrounge on the protection either.

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    1. I have a Orbea Orca 57. I was able to get my bike through without extra charges. I recommend checking curbside. I added extra padding to my carbon frame by using water pipe insulation. I also created pvc inserts to go in the dropouts.

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  2. Very compact. Did you wrap up the stem/bars so they don’t contact the frame? Seen the bars stem rattle around and do some serious damage. Keep us posted on the bike’s condition on arrival. Ride safe, man.

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