On most airlines the price of flying with a bicycle can easily double the cost of a ticket. We’ve all made it on to a flight without paying a dime and we’ve all also been harangued by airport staff and charged upwards of $200 each way.
Fed up (and living off of cyclist wages) we started Orucase, while racing road and criterium on the domestic and international scene, to redesign the bicycle case for better airline travel from the ground up. Approaching 90 race days a year and another 90 of travel, optimizing how we packed to travel with our bikes became an art. On top of the bicycle fees, we’d have to figure out how to pack enough clothing, and gear into a carry on and a bicycle case without exceeding the overweight charges (even more difficult when you’re lugging around a 20lb plastic hardshell case). Then you’ve got to lug your gear to the airport, carpool with teammates (try fitting 6 plastic hard cases in an SUV), and then find a way to store it all in a miniature hotel room.
We needed a case that could fit a complete road bike, while being as small and light as possible and still offering similar protection and packing process as other case options. After initial prototypes sewn on the kitchen floor we used CAD software to optimize the shape of the case to create the smallest footprint possible. One way we accomplish this is by having each wheel on the opposite side of the frame. This allows us to utilize the dead space inside the front triangle for the cassette and front hub, this alone allows up to make the case 20% narrower. Add in Mil-spec materials like 1000D Cordura, and three different densities of foam as well as plastic reinforcements which allow us to add protection where it is most needed. Top it all off with backpack straps for ease of travel and you have the Airport Ninja by Orucase. With our smallest case below airline limit of 62 linear inches and a weight of only 6 pounds we succeeded in creating a case that is a quarter the weight and a third the total volume of most hard cases.
The Airport Ninja is the way to pack smart, small and stealthily when flying with a bicycle all the while saving up to $200 each way in excess baggage fees. Be an Airport Ninja.