i can't say I'm experienced in travelling my bike, but for round the bay i used a Qantas carboard bike box, which worked, well no damage, and that was advised to me by people experienced in it, who used the same setup, ive kept it flat packed to use in the future including the 3 peaks also
Travelled extensively both domestic and international with my lightweight bikes over the last decade. Never had a problem. 100% of 10 000$ bikes are delivered in cardboard boxes.
Bike bags and special plastic bike boxes are overkill. Id never own or use one due to having to lug it around when you arrive at your destination. Cardboard box you just leave next to the bin for recycling and get another one the day before you fly out from the local bike shop for free.
Plenty of tutorials on youtube how to pack a bike. Ive done a few even.
Firstly, good luck with your 3 Peaks adventure! I too had planed to attempt 3 peaks for the first time in 2014, but after a very tough year, coming back from a major crash, training, and competing in a London Paris race, my body just said ENOUGH !
I am now on a bit of a break from training.
I used a Sci con Soft case to transport my Cervelo around the world, and the results were OK, ish.
As you can see from my photos below, I spent a fair amount of time / effort protecting my frame, & bars, using cardboard, & foam padding etc. but the wheels are pretty much 'un-protected'.
On arrival to the UK, I needed to have my rear Zipp 303 wheel rebuilt before I was able to use it, and after a few days of training, my BB30 bearings collapsed.
I have no idea what the airlines did with my bike ( & I really don't want to know now ), but if I flew again, I would be very tempted to go with a hard case, and pay the excess for over baggage.
Of course, there are pros and cons with Hard / Soft options:
Using the Soft case, you will save a LOT of weight, which may allow you to air travel without paying for excess baggage.
My bike weighs a little under 7kg, but by the time I packed it, added shoes, floor pump, helmet etc. my bike bag was at 19kg.
If I travelled using a hard case, this would have weighed a lot more, and cost me heaps ( approximately $60 per Kg to Europe )
You are obviously travelling a lot closer to home, but excess baggage is still expensive, and worth considering.
Good luck with 3 Peaks ! :)
@JDL all bike shops have those noodles in the bin at closing time as they come in every cardboard bike box that delivered the bikes we all ride.
Just wondering Rob - are you flying to Tullamarne, then driving to Falls Creek? It's about 5 hours drive.
Driving from Adelaide instead is about 10-11 hours, but involves a lot less hassle, with cars and bike transport.
The only problem with many cardboard boxes is that they dont fit in the back of small cars very well. I use a soft bike bag (which fits neatly in the back of a small hatch back with the back seats down) and pool noodle type padding on all the frame, and place some corflute sheets on the outside of the wheels. Works a treat and never had my bike damaged on national and international flights.
I'm happy to lend you my bag if you want it. Just send me a friend request and I can send you my phone number.