The Ritchey BreakAway Deluxe Travel Case was designed to fit the Ritchey BreakAway series of travel bikes, but will also work with any S&S style of travel frame. It measures 8.5"x26.5"x31", so its compact size is far smaller than a typical travel case. This makes it less expensive to travel with because some airlines will consider this luggage if you can keep it under the 50lbs mark. The compact size also make hauling the case/bike around airport terminals, rental car areas and any form of mass transit much easier than a standard travel case. Although we can never guarantee what airlines will charge, it is usually much less than a full size bike case and again, depending on the airline, sometimes considered luggage.
The BreakAway travel case features handles and wheels to make travel easier. It also includes a packing kit to help protect bike and frame tubes. Solid Cordura construction with reinforced corners hold up to airline baggage handlers and TSA inspections.
I've taken approximately 50 trips with my Ritchey bike and this bag. After the first 10 trips, I developed a packing procedure and it fits easily now. I've reinforced the top handle with an aluminum plate when the handle ripped out. The baggage handlers like to use this handle to throw the bag. The bag shape is maintained by a rigid coroplast spine. The baggage handlers will bust this coroplast eventually, but it takes them a while. The baggage handlers also ripped my pull-handle out - torn on the seams. I sewed it back together. I've also found that I need to cover the rear axle/dropout area as it began rubbing a hole in the side of the bag. I've only been charged at the airport once, and that was on US Air in Austin Tx.- I'll never fly them again. It wasn't because the bag was too big, it was because it was a bike, and "bikes cost $100...period!" Considering the beating I've subjected this bag to, it's held up pretty well.
Pros: lighter and cheaper than the alternatives
Cons: soft sides
The case works very well and holds both my bike and all the gear I need to ride. I travel on business often and have found having a bike makes travel much more bearable). I even figured out how to get a helmet in there... So far I've had zero mechanical damage to my bike.
The downside is the durability of the bag. After only a few trips there are extensive rips in the fabric. I patch them with black duct tape, but after so many patches the suitcase makes me feel like a vagabond.
If I were to design a Rev 1 of this case, I'd seek out some photos of well-traveled cases, identify common key wear spots and reinforce those with heavy plastic (primarily corners, I guess). Also upgrading to a stouter grade of nylon may help avoid some of the rips. It may increase the cost a bit, but given the contents, it's probably worth it.
Pros: works well
Cons: after several trips shows significant wear.