5BBC - New York's Five Borough Bicycle Club

The 5BBC Bike Case

Five Borough Bicycle Club - NYC


Take your bike with you on vacation.

The club has purchased a Trico hard-shell bike case that you can borrow for free, so you can take your bike with you safely on airplanes, trains, and buses, or use it to ship your bike via UPS. Most standard road, mountain, and hybrid bikes fit in this case. (Sorry, your recumbent or tandem is just not going to squeeze in this thing!)

If you've never seen one of these cases, it looks like a large hard-plastic suitcase, with wheels on one end and a strap for dragging it along. This thing is BIG - it fits in the back seat of a NY taxi, but it takes up the WHOLE seat (you sit up front with the driver, but don't plan on taking a friend along with you in the cab). When your precious bike is packed in this case, it will be safe from even the surliest luggage handler.

Getting your bike inside the case takes some practice - you make sort of a cycle sandwich by layering all the parts of your bike with big pieces of foam that come with the case. It's not as bad as it sounds, and we'll help you.

Each time you borrow the box, the first two weeks are free; after that it's $20 per week. (No back-to-back rentals or other weasely behavior to dodge the $20 fee will be tolerated!)

Here's how to borrow the bike box

  1. The box can be borrowed by 5BBC members ONLY. If you want to join the club just so you can borrow the box, that's OK with us, but you MUST have your club membership paid up to date before you can use the case.
  2. Make a reservation. Email info@5bbc.org to arrange to borrow the box and to schedule pick-up and return times.
  3. Phil can temporarily pencil-in the dates you want, but NO reservation is confirmed until we receive a $100 deposit from you. You can pay by the deposit by check ONLY if it will REACH US at the club office 25 days or more before the day you pick up the box. (That gives us time to clear the check.) If it's less than 25 days until your trip, the deposit MUST be in cash only.
  4. Pick up the bike box at the club office at the time you and Phil arranged. If you're borrowing the box for more than two weeks, you must pay the $20 per extra-week fee in advance in cash. We'll ask you to sign some paperwork - you promise to take good care of the box and be responsible for its full value (about $300) if it is lost, stolen or seriously damaged. We also ask you to understand that even though this is a terrific carrying case, we can not GUARANTEE that your bike will be safe. (I've shipped my own bike in an identical Trico box eight times without a problem.)
  5. Return the case at the pre-arranged time. Please note that rental is in one-week increments, which means that if you are late getting the box back to us, we are going to charge you for a minimum of one extra week of use. (It also means that if another club member is waiting for you to return the box so they can go on vacation, they will probably kill you.)
  6. When you return the case safely, we will return your $100 deposit. Again, please note that if the box is lost or severely damaged, you are responsible for the FULL cost of the case, not just the deposit. Even if the airline or UPS ruins the case, you're responsible to the club. (You'll have to chase down the offenders on your own).

We bought the box in part because when we did our survey of club members many of you said you would like the club to buy more gear that you could borrow. We'll see how things go with the bike box, and then decide if there is more gear we should buy.

Be sure to read the article in this issue with some tips on how to travel with the bike case.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think.

Bike case instructions

Click here to download the bike case manual

Five Borough Bicycle Club, 891 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025