Hardshell cases for unis!
Although I had hoped to attend NAUCC (or even ELSBET) for the first time this year, it turns out I ain’t gonna be able to make it. Bummer.
At any rate, in the lead-up to my sad/bad decision to not attend, I had been thinking about how best to get one or two of my uni/munis to Madison (or Zurich). I decided that it made the most sense to box them up and ship them by UPS or FedEx to a friend who lives there. But what if I didn’t have a friend there to receive them on my behalf? That got me searching for better ways to have my uni/munis travel with me – in checked luggage.
I had seen the various soft cases on UDC-US (which seemed like disaster waiting to happen), considered the old shipping box solution (another disaster waiting to happen), and had heard brief mention of hardshell cases for b*kes somewhere along the road. “Surely someone must make a hardshell case suitable for protecting a uni/muni in checked luggage,” I thought.
It turns out that my intuition was right.
A Google search tonight finally turned up a hardshell case by S and S Machine in Roseville, CA. Their standard case is 26" x 26" x 10", which apparently just meets the (US) airline standard maximum total dimensions of 62". (Here’s the link: http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_hard.htm) It appears to be quite sturdy (with full-length piano hinge and solid hardwear), has a flip-out handle and 2 wheels on the narrow side for easy rolling through airports. And, with those dimensions, it looks like it would be perfect for a 24", if not a 26", with tire on, and might even fit a 29" with the tire off the rim. Plus, the 10" width should allow you to leave your cranks on.
The only rub is that the basic case weighs 17 lbs., and retails for $430 (USD). And $430 is a lot of dough!
So here’s my suggestion: UDC needs to partner up with S and S Machine to start mass-producing similar cases specifically for uni/munis. Foam inserts could be designed specifically for uni parts. Alternative materials, construction & fabrication methods (like injection-molded PVC inter-leaving/nesting halves) could be explored. And with UDC’s global marketplace, the price could possibly be halved, if not quartered.
So what do you say Rodger & Josh, etc.? How about supplying the unicycling “masses” with a decent quality hardshell case for a decent price?
The globe-trotting Uni-Community would be forever in debt!
UPD in Utah