How Much: $100
More info: www.aircaddy.com
The industry-standard cardboard bike box is inherently deficient and structurally incapable of protecting a bike in shipping. And, legally speaking, every time you ship your precious bike through major carriers like FedEx or UPS, you’re taking your bike’s life in your hands.
That’s the premise behind AirCaddy, the brainchild of Chicago-area bike shop owner Bob Lickton.
Lickton started AirCaddy two years ago after a bad experience trying to file a claim for a customer’s bike that was damaged in shipping. Lickton’s family’s bike shop has been in business for 50 years, and Lickton packed the bike himself. Turns out, both UPS and FedEx have packaging policies that dictate bikes need to be encased in enough foam padding that would require standard rectangular bike boxes to be even bigger—and therefore exponentially more costly to ship—than they already are.
Lickton’s solution? Design a reinforced triangular box with a solid fork-mount system, and then work directly with FedEx to have it certified to meet the company’s packaging policies.
Lickton’s design, which he says is the only bike box certified by FedEx, is exceedingly simple—simply take your bike’s front wheel off, set the bike (with rear wheel and pedals still on) into the box and secure your quick-release fork to a steel mount fixed to the bottom of the box. If you have a 15- or 20-millimeter-axle fork, you can use a Hurricane Componentsadapter to make it play nice with the AirCaddy’s mounting system.
Most mountain bikes will need to have the handlebars removed from the stem, which is fairly quick to do and lets you retain your headset adjustment.