Review: Thule RoundTrip Traveler Bike Bag

Nov 6, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  


There are a number of options for traveling with your bike, but no matter what, the main goal is to keep your bike as safe as possible from the unknown things that happen once it passes the agent when you check in for your flight.

While there's the argument that you can pack your bike and fly with a cardboard box for cheap or free, and I've done that multiple times, it's still a big risk and many airlines won't compensate you if something happens to it. With a good bike specific case, you may not avoid the baggage fee but you're more likely to have your bike arrive intact and have an easier time rolling it around the airport.


RoundTrip Traveler Bag Details
• Soft-shell
• Fits most wheel sizes
• Fork mount with axle adapters
• Internal storage pockets for accessories
• Fits most standard MTB's, wheel sizes, and frame sizes
• Weight: 17 lbs
• Outer Dimensions: 51.5" x 14.75" x 32"
• Inner Dimensions: 50.75 x 14.5" x 31"
• MSRP: $479.95 USD
thule.com
Thule have been making bike cases for quite some time now. While they still make the classic "hard case", they now have a couple soft-shell options that are easier to manage and travel with. The RoundTrip Traveler is the more basic of the two soft-shell options. The bike mounts directly into the case via the fork with whichever axle adapter you need, then it is tied down with several adjustable straps. There is an adjustable block that the bottom bracket sits on, and a strap that runs under it and over the chainstays.

The wheels fit in two zipped outer pockets, one on each side. The entire bag is lined with a durable material on the outside and inside, and the main compartment is lockable. There are handles on both ends and both sides, and small wheels so that the bag can be carried or rolled.

Plenty of adjustable straps keep your expensive pieces of plastic and metal where they should be.


Strap the bike in and off you go.


Performance

Packing my bike up before a trip was trouble free - the frame fit easily into the back, and the straps were simple to adjust, securing the bike to the bag, and bag to the bike. The fork mount is helpful in keeping the bike even more secure, although I did end up flipping the fork around backwards, but it was as painless as putting any bike into a bag could be.

29" wheels with 2.5" tires fit into the compartments, but it was pretty snug, and required partially deflating the tires. The accessory pockets on the inside were perfect for keeping a few zip ties, a multi-tool, pedals, plus the different adapters for forks axles. The wheel pockets have hard plastic pieces where the cassette and axles/brake rotors are to keep from damaging those. I typically don't fly with brake rotors on the wheels, just to be safe, but I decided to risk it this time, for the sake of "testing the bag" and was pleased to have no issue with them being bent either to or from my destination.

I've taken a few flights so far with the bag and it's easy to maneuver around the airport. The wheels roll well and are big enough to not get hung up on small stuff, and I can drag the bag through dirt and grass with ease. The handles on the bag are well placed and aplenty; there are two on each side of the bag, a couple on the front and back, with one on top for good measure.

When it's not in use, the bag can be collapsed by removing two hard pieces of plastic from the front and rear of the bag. The plastic pieces lay flat inside the bag and the bag can collapse - helpful if you're flying in somewhere and need to get the bag sized-down to fit in a car or your buddy's house while you're dirtbagging floor space on a riding trip.


Few things compare to the stress of watching a stranger toss your bike bag onto a luggage belt or slide it onto the baggage claim.


Issues

There are a couple of things that are worth noting, especially when you're spending almost $500 on a bike bag. The first is that some bikes will possibly be a bit long for the bag. With my size medium Yeti SB130, which is a fairly long 29er, I ended up turning the fork around backward and pulling the derailleur off. Although you don't necessarily have to pull the derailleur, I think it's a good idea and an easy way to prevent possible damage. Larger bikes that are a tighter fit may need to have some air let out of the fork to get the front end low enough, as with most bike bags.

I would also like to have seen some extra frame protection incorporated into the whole package. EVOC has a nice wrap that goes around the forward part of the front triangle to give a little extra protection from the handlebars or whatever else may bang against the frame. Something similar would be a good addition and personally, I have been wrapping that part of the bike with some extra to protection like a towel or some other riding gear.

29" wheels with 2.5" tires were a bit of a tight fit. I had to let most of the air out of them but not so much that I dislodged the bead and spilled sealant everywhere, which has happened before. If you're running a higher volume tire, be prepared to air down and then air back up again once you reach your destination, possibly having to re-set the bead if it burps - something that could take a trip to a local bike shop to use a compressor depending on your set-up or what pump you have.

It may be a tight fit with a long bike but take the derailleur off as you should and flip your fork around and you should be good to go in most situations.


Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThule's RoundTrip Traveler bike bag is a solid choice for anyone who travels frequently with a bike in tow. The bag is well constructed, and while it doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles or a work stand like Thule's more expensive offering, it does have just about everything needed to keep your bike safe. Above all else, it's incredibly easy to use, which can come in handy when you're trying to get your bike packed up at the very last minute.Daniel Sapp






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169 Comments

  • + 77
 The price of bike bags is retarded. I see maybe $100 worth of product. I think I'd rather rent a bike than buy a bag and insurance for a cross world biking adventure.
  • + 3
 100 for materials, but what about all the other costs?
  • + 18
 I honestly can't see the advantage over one of these which I have used multiple times with no issues (or the old bike box form your LBS)

www.chainreactioncycles.com/chain-reaction-cycles-complete-bike-wheel-bags-crc-logo/rp-prod106851
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: you win a prize if you can tell me what those four zips at the top of that bag are for...
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: same I ha mine for a while and I can't really complain about it, price is fair, quality is fair. You may need to add a little foam in between parts but same as the Thule which is 4 times the price. Also the wheel bags are quite handy to carry a spare set of wheels to go to races.
  • + 4
 @sewer-rat: well, quality is fair for the price (gratis), but a cardboard box is a royal PITA
  • + 3
 @markjaggard: It's so you can put the bag on a car boot/trunk bike rack - the arms of the bike rack fit through the zips
  • + 5
 @sewer-rat: Unless you have to carry your bag somewhere..last year my Geneva flight was diverted to Lyon and we had to walk a way to replacement buses..i just pulled along my Dakine bag but those with boxes had a bloody difficult time.
  • + 3
 @somemorestuff: Well done (I lied about the prize). It originated on a Neil Pryde bike bag in the mid nineties, the father of all modern bike bags... from a windsurfing company Big Grin
  • + 1
 @markjaggard: At least I learned something today ! I was always wondering what they were for lol
  • + 1
 @markjaggard: yup - I had a neil pride bag back in the day Wink
  • + 1
 @andydd: exactly! I went to Sweden and Norway by train, and all the hauling around of the bag would have been a royal pain in the ass without those (as mentioned in the article) incredibly smooth wheels! Can't recommend putting ALL your gear in the bag with the bike, though, as wheeling it from a to b when it's heavy WILL strain your hands (I had all clothing, bike gear, and tools in the Thule bag).

I can't even complain about the big price tag, because I got mine from Decathlon for 130€, which is fair for what you get. I would NOT pay 400€ for it, to be honest. At below 150€ I think it's a great investment!
  • + 10
 Have you ever bought regular luggage?

Decent quality checked-bag sized rollers start around $250 and go up from there. Bike bags are much bigger, require more material, and are holding a much more expensive payload.
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: I have that bag and I love it
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: have they actually made it big enough yet to fit a modern bike without a major pain in the ass or excessive dismantling though?
  • + 2
 @sewer-rat: That's a good option, wow. Only problem I see is that it doesn't sport a big brand and doesn't look as 'cool' as any of the other trendy bullshit that's produced from TLD, GIRO or whomever.

I'd rock the CRC bag in a heartbeat.
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: I have a similar basic bike bag. I always struggle when trying to fit in my Large sized Downhill bike. But still at a low price this is a solid choice.
  • + 1
 @Stanley-w: yeah you still have to pack carefully and take bars, mech and wheels off- still get armour and clothes in though to pad it out more
  • - 1
 @sewer-rat: That's most likely a cheap Chinese knock-off which is why its so cheap. That's great they're putting one out for people who can't afford the Evocs or Dakines out there. This Thule one seems heavily overpriced for what it offers. I'll stick with my Dakine.
  • + 2
 @markjaggard: the zips work in a dual purpose.... i had to open them to release some stretch pressure on the bag to fit my bike in with the Fox 40's still attached! Got to the French Alps and back all ok in the £80 CRC bag no problem
  • + 9
 I'm not going to get into whether the price is worth it or not, but when a bag costs that much, and baggage fees are as high as they are to fly with a bike, you would have to be a regular traveler with the bike to make it worth it. If you were to use it for a single trip and never use it again, that's $480 for the bag, then @$150-200 to fly the bike each way. You're spending around or over $800. I know I like to ride my own bike, but you could probably find a comparable rental for half or a third of that price at the destination. Obviously, the more you use the bag, the more it's worth the price, but I would think it's just not worth it for most people.

Makes me wonder if renting bike bags wouldn't be a good product for local bike shops. They could buy these at cost, then rent them for $50 a pop.
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: Ive had my eye on that. Do the airlines let you count it as one piece of luggage if the wheels are in separate bags?
  • + 1
 @Kickmehard: Same question. Im heading to New Zealand with my bike in an evoc bag, was hoping to count that as my one piece of hold luggage with a 30kg limit. Will i be charged extra does anyone know?
  • + 1
 @TheR: amen sir. As a rule Thule is stupid expensive. Adding the cost of the bag, plus the exorbitant amounts that airlines charge for oversize bags, and then lugging this thing through the bowels of an airport = completely not worth it. Rent the bike and save money and headaches.
  • + 3
 I am not too sure of that. I purchased the Dakine one (much better in imo) and got to ride my own bike, fitted for me and know it's completely reliable. Renting a bike costs quite a bit and then add some more for the insurance (in case any scratches???). Piece of mind also goes out of the window when you need to take components and stop-ability into account, tires, etc. I would rather take my own bike.

However, I think that the LBS bike boxes (cardboard) which are a FREE option and just as reliable but better for weight saving, IF you pack your bike properly. British Airways nailed me an extra $100 each way for overweight (2.6 kg over) when travelling with my bike in the Dakine. That is because the bike bag weighs a ton. Get the FREE cardboard box and you save yourself at least 10 lbs in weight and can put some of your clothing and shoes in the box.
  • + 2
 @TheR: I thought about that, too. But if you rent a bike for 5 or 6 days of riding at $100/day, you're spending $500-600. I got the evoc bike bag for $350. So $650 with baggage fees for one trip, but I'll be using it a lot more than that! There's only so many destinations within driving distance.
  • + 1
 @Kickmehard: nah you have to wedge em in
  • + 3
 @huntstyle: Oh yeah, if you use it regularly, it makes sense. If you regularly go on trips with a bike, I'd say go for it.

I do think you can find a decent bike to rent for a little less than that, though. I have rented a demo from a prominent shop here in Colorado Springs for $105 a week. That was a few years back, and recognize that's not the norm. But there are also a number of shops in Moab that rent really good stuff for under $100 a day. It's close, but still -- if you're flying out for a one-time trip, I'd say totally worth it.

I did a bike-packing trip across Bavaria in Germany and rented a bike for $20 a day. It was a bit of a dog, but indestructible. Heavy as hell, too. But I went about 230 miles in seven says on it. Fun stuff.

I still think renting bike bags to people would be good business for bike shops. They need to get behind that!
  • + 2
 @markjaggard: The holes are there to put the whole packed bag on a car trunk bike rack to go to the airport. What do I win?
  • + 1
 I have had cheap bags, expensive bags and boxes and tbh the cheap bags are the best because you forgive them when they become a pain in the arse. Boxes are OK if it is 1 flight and a short transfer anything else and good luck on the return journey.
  • + 1
 @doe222: I'm booked to go NZ in December on Air New Zealand. They will charge me an $80 fee for the EXTRA oversize bike bag, as long is it is under 23kg(50 lbs.). I can just make this weight with nothing but the bike in the EVOC bag. Another $80 if over that. That leaves me with one suitcase and carry on, for all gear, clothes, etc. that is included with the airfare.
  • + 1
 @TheR: A few of the bike shops around me rent them out for $40 a week. Fair deal and will definitely be doing that when I visit BC.
  • + 2
 @mburnes: LOL $40 a week for a solid MTB? I doubt that.
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: Worst bag ever. It tips over really easily causing the luggage handler to drag it and scrape the carbon near at the rear axle of your Nomad. I've seen two of them self destruct after just one flight. You are better off with a cardboard box.
  • + 1
 @TheR: they are doing it in UK mate.
  • + 0
 @kamsbry: Not sure about the durability but it seems all bike travel bags tip over easily. Baggage handlers are not rolling your gear around regardless.
  • + 1
 @maddiver: @mburnes: Well, maybe they're doing it here, too. Never checked, but it's a damn good idea.
  • + 2
 @MMOF: I have used the cardboard boxes a few times, tie thule straps around both ways, and you can carry it like a pack sack its big and bulky but not too heavy and they are free, I had a Titus QuasiMoto take the seat mast off two bolts and it fits into a double ski bag, but you need a wheel box too, no free lunch but its your lunch set up for you.
  • + 1
 @doe222: Depends who you're flying with. I flew to NZ a few years ago with Malaysian and they allowed 32kg total, regardless of size or contents, some other airlines charge pretty heavily, some make you pay for each leg of the flight.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: $40 a week for a bag, not a bike.
  • + 1
 @metaam: Damn that's expensive for a bag. Might as well buy one and use it at least 8-10 times.
  • + 1
 @TheR: Lots of shops already stole your idea : ) Usually 35-50 bucks a pop (7days).
  • + 1
 @TheR: I always rent in Whistler, because A, it's so much less hassle, B, is about a wash with baggage fees, and C, I like to beat the shit out of someone else's bike!LOL

I rented a V10 for 4 days this summer and the total was under $300 US. cannot beat that(but you can beat that bike!!)
  • + 1
 @doe222: Some airlines recently changed their policies for carrying "sports equipment" check your airline does not have regulations for luggage dimensions. Check what they accept as "sports equipment?" The chain reaction link above may actually get round the whole "luggage size" problem from airlines. Oh yeah, swimming pool noodles make great frame protection.
  • + 1
 @conoat: I’ve only been to Whistler once, and I rented a pretty nice Rocky Mountain. I remember the price being pretty reasonable. Maybe $50? That was 9 years ago, though.
  • + 2
 @sewer-rat: having just upgraded from that bag to the CRC pro bag, it's night & day. Had to take the forks off my DH rig to get it in. And then you've got another separate part that can come loose and move about. The wheels/handle also sucked, eventually it bent and always scraped the floor no matter the angle. The Pro bag has better space, better fasteners, better protection and a better handle/wheel system. It's basically an EVOC bag for £180.
  • + 1
 @Kirky86: cheers - ill look it up
  • + 2
 @kickmehard Depends on the airline, but most likely not. I've taken my bike from Switzerland to Asia many times over the past few years with Cathay Pacific, always at not extra cost. You want to stay within the 30kg total weight limit though. If you're not sure about your airline just check their baggage policies online or call their customer support.
BTW I've come to appreciate the very good quality but expensive Evoc bike bag. Mostly all bags hold for one trip, but the good ones will hold up for years of frequent usage. That's the big difference between cheap stuff and expensive stuff.
  • + 1
 @TheR: I checked on American Airlines (usually who has the cheapest flights out of Dallas, where I live, since it's their hub), and as long as you're under 50 lbs & 62" they treat it as a checked bag, which makes it $30 each way if it's your only checked bag, or $40 if it's your second. That's not bad at all, and makes the cost of the bag totally worth it after just a couple trips.
  • + 1
 @huntstyle: That 62" is ALL the measurements combined..length+width+height...thats way over a bike bag (I used Greyhound to LA and by taking apart rear linkage and folding in half I got it close to that size and used soft bike bag but I was still over). ..bigger than 62" is $150... Frown
  • + 1
 @metaam: im with emirates, and have got 35kg limit overall, which i was hoping i wouldnt get charged extra for if everything is all thrown in the one bag.
  • + 1
 @doe222: You can probably take another 7kg in the cabin, in your shoes I would also check if there are any restrictions on hold bag dimensions.
  • + 43
 It evocs a vaguely familiar look, don't you think?
  • + 0
 this pun is highly underrated
  • + 13
 I'm a UK - USA expat, my bike has traveled with me lot.
Here's what I learned. Go to your local bike shop - Get two cardboard bike boxes, packing too (buy some tubes and other travel stuff while there, or take beer, make it worth their while.)

Pick the better of the two boxes, reinforce all the seems and corners - Duct-tape ftw!
Cut the second box's sides out, put the sided into the other box, to double up your good boxes wall thickness.

So here's the key, pack your bike to be as close to the weight limit too - think its 50lbs international - you're shooting for a 'Oversize / Heavy bag' sticker - The baggage handlers aka throwers - aren't allowed to handle heavy baggage - its stuck on a cart separate to the rest of the luggage . Usually pops out in a designated corner of baggage claim to - no rolling around a conveyor belt system.

You may get charged oversized luggage - It is well worth it to me - nothing tops riding my own bike on new trails.

You may get charged an oversize baggage charge!!
Tho tip two if you're doing a multi leg flight - find a company, I think American Airlines is one that dont charge for bikes - The first company where you check your bags- defines your baggage cost, even if the next flight is a dif carrier - its all on the ticket. Basically you can travel safely with your bike for almost free, if you do it right.
  • + 3
 Exactly what my wife and i have done on 5 or so bike trips... bike boxes are free, weigh a lot less than bike luggage, (so you can easily get under the 50lb limit with other items in with the bike, and have worked great, with zero damage to any bikes.

here's another tip... when doing a road bike trip, we took two bike boxes, and taped them together, and used a 3rd box cut into sheets, to use to camouflage the seams, to make it look like one large box. this with the two roadbikes was still under the weight limit, and the total box size limit... so it was treated as a single bike by the airlines...

the one downside is that you need a place to store the empty box while on your trip... and getting to/from the airport with the large box is a pain in smaller cars.
  • + 1
 @adamkovics: Nah, that's one of the best things about cardboard bike boxes, you can just leave em by the recycling bin in the airport after you rebuild your bike! As long as you're flying out of a city with more than one LBS at the end, you'll always have a supply of boxes.
  • + 1
 @mnorris122: I see your point, but then you've got the hassle of all the work to find, reinforce and pack whatever new bike box you manage to find.
  • + 1
 @fgiraffe: hence the appeal of the bag..........
  • + 1
 BA Qantas allow for bikes as a normal luggage piece if its under 50lb, just flew AA and they charged us $150 each way per bike for an Intl flight and thats with miles status.

It has to be under 62" linear inches to be deemed as normal luggage they said, a standard bike box ended up being 94" or so.

Golf bags on the other hand goes free. I think all US companies are the same though, i checked Delta and United and same fee.
  • + 1
 @tobyb: Correct. Last time I flew, Delta domestically in the US the fee was $150 per bike each way, and it has to be under 75 pounds or they hit you with an additional fee. That's why the advice of "throwing more stuff in your bike bag" really depends on the airline.

Using any of these bags with a non-weight-weenie bike is going to get you over 50 pounds pretty fast.
  • + 1
 @tobyb: Wait, are they measuring the entire perimeter of the box, cuz there's no way a bike box is nearly 8 feet long!
  • + 1
 @huntstyle: Its the sum of length, width, height
  • + 10
 I've spent 15 years now living and traveling abroad with my bike. To be honest if you have a xlarge bike (or in newer geometry terms a medium to large) you are pretty much screwed, yeti's like above are actually pretty small. I had good luck with Evoc bags for years until I got onto a newer bike last year and have had to abandon it. What I've been using for the last year now with an xl supreme 29er is taking evoc's bmx bag and putting my frame and fork into it. Then putting my wheels into a separate wheel bag. Works out well because I have ample weight room and can pack all my clothing ect around the bmx bag, tools into the bottom of the wheel bag and in the end I have more space, with less restrictions. This also massively helps with rental cars (trying to get a car tall enough for a bike box is a bitch!) Fitting a frame box and wheel bag is easy even in small hatchbacks.
  • - 1
 You can always take the forks off..or on dual crowns you can undo/adjust the clamps or even take the spring/air out and compress the fork down....its even possible to take apart the rear linkage and reduce the bike length by about half.
  • + 2
 My longest Geometron goes in an Evoc pro bag, I just need to let some air out of the forks.
  • + 2
 Yeah but if I'm going to remove the forks it doesn't make sense to have such a huge bag, hence changing to the bmx bag for frame and fork. Like I said the plus side of dealing with the smaller bmx bag on planes, trains and rental cars are huge.

I'd rather take the fork off than mess with it (running coil acs3) makes more sense to me to mess up a small bolt that can be replaced than to take apart the fork.
  • + 1
 I have to take the fork off my Sentinel to fit it in my oldschool rectangular box. I've mainly flown with dual crown forks so I'm used to it. Just as a test i sat my sentinel down in my friends Thule hard case with the internal aluminum frame and it fit perfectly with the fork on but turned backwards.
  • + 1
 Latest 2019 EVOC pro has capability for 130cm wheelbase - easily fits a XXL V10 etc
  • + 4
 In the middle of a trip at the moment. Traveling with a three year old Evoc Pro containing an XL Evil Wreckoning (pretty long w.b.) without an issue. That includes a 2.5 front and 2.4 rear (tires). I used to rent bikes and got tired of the 1-2 hr tune to get the fit and suspension in decent shape. Save for Whistler or Moab, suspension is usually clapped out and base models on rentals. Do you want to deal with questionable suspension after you planned and saved for this epic trip? Drive trains are always skipping, wheels out of true, and forget a decent dropper post. My last rental in Moab had a seat that squeaked so bad I wanted to shoot myself after the first ride. A seat!!! How??? Add in the rare XL size for a rental...I said enough of that noise (get it?). I value my vacation time too much to deal with those headaches anymore.

Also, when it comes to airline over-sized or sports equipment bagge fees, I've been charged exactly 40% of the time, and that is on the worst offender of baggage fees (United). The game begins and ends at the ticket counter. It's not sports equipment, it's trade show support items. It's only the line managers that patrol the customer side that will ruin your plans. The everyday helpful ticket agents always appreciate a friendly smile, a hello how ya doing, and really don't want to charge you extra. You'll have to play a bit more hardball with the line managers.
  • + 1
 @jason3559: Trade Show Support Item - yeah I need to memorise this!
  • + 1
 I've got a cheap bike bag, and I've cut a load of pipe lagging to give cheap, lightweight additional protection...
  • + 5
 $479 is offensive and indefensible. You could buy a full hitch mount rack from Thule or other brands for around that price. Also, I've found from doing multiple trips that if you're going for a week or less to a riding destination with decent rental shops, it's so much easier just to rent instead of meticulously taking apart, padding and packing your own bike. And you get to try out new bikes, what's not to like about that?!
  • + 6
 Depends on where you are going. Rentals are expensive and nothing compares to riding your own bike with proper configuration rather than some rental. Personally I allways bring my bike and if I want to try some new bikes I do a day or two with renting. It will be much cheaper and better that way.
  • + 7
 Man, have you ever bought decent quality "normal" luggage? You can easily spend $500 or more on a big suitcase.
  • + 2
 It's a bit of dough, but once you have it, they are fantastic. When I went to whistler the only bag I checked was my bike bag. 70 LBS on Air canada. Put all my pads, helmet and a foam roller in there, along with my toiletry liquids.. Just took a roll-aboard.. Buddy that used a hard case paid $170 for all his luggage, both ways and had to unpack his hard case for CA TSA, ugh... Mine was $60 on way up, $30 the way back.. Bag is paying for itself.
Also, Alaska Air charges bike bags as a regular bag now. take a bike and a roll-aboard and go riding on lots of trips. they new bags are great, especially EVOC, once you can make the investment.
  • + 1
 It is the flight baggage fees that can be worse. It can cost more than the ticket for yourself to fly with your bike but it depends on the airline. That is why it is discouraging traveling with you bike.
  • + 3
 Looking forward to a company that will put a second set of wheels on the front of the bag by the handle. If any of you have ever walked a considerable distance carrying a bike bag you know how much of a benefit this would be.
  • + 2
 Check the PRO travel case, has four wheels, easy to push around. I've done at least 15+ trips to Europe and Canada with it, solid bag, easy to pack.
  • + 1
 @bicycle019: Is that the plastic Pro Case 2 or the Pro soft shell one?
  • + 2
 I love traveling with my own setup but I've have recently had issues where my 36 was slightly bent due to rough handling. I'd love to see manufacturers provide inserts for the front and rear axles to secure the bike and prevent bending of the frame/fork.
  • + 4
 I use PVC pipe cut to axle length. Axle goes through the middle, and outside diameter fits nicely in the dropouts. Cheap and easy option.
  • - 3
 Or just cut a piece of wood and tape it between the legs/stays. Why wait for someone else to provide you with a solution...
  • + 3
 Dakine's has a block to secure the rear and for the front, the fork sleeve is pretty secure and tied down... now if only Homeland Security knew how to secure it back up after searching through everything....
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: Yes,I used the Dakine for a recent trip to Southern Africa and it worked extremely well.
  • + 2
 For people who travel with bags similar to this. How much time do you spend prepping the bike for the bag, then putting it back together each way? Also where do you build the bike back up? Do hotels let you wheel bikes all over through the halls?
  • + 7
 I wash the bike if I can, or get it clean as possible then it takes no more than 8-10 min to put the bike in the bag or take it back out and have it together. I've built bikes up at airports, parking lots, hotels, at trailheads, etc. Hotels are fine with it typically if you aren't making a mess or being a nuisance.
  • + 4
 @danielsapp: Thanks for the quick reply. Traveling for 5 nights this Winter and debating taking my bike vs. renting. Your reply helps me evaluate the wife-annoyance factor of having my bike there to see what she'll tolerate.
  • + 2
 about 10 minutes once you get used to the system of what to take off first and what to secure in first. I've never had an issue with building up or just storing a bike in a hotel room. If they have a policy regarding bikes, they'll have locked bike storage.
  • + 8
 @yupstate: if you really want to bring your bike, tell her you've got your eye on a new bike and you'd like to rent it while on vacation to see if you like it or not. Just have to make it an attractive option that saves her money...
  • + 2
 @yzedf: Haha, funny but she's less concerned with money and more concerned with sitting in a hotel room watching me put a bike together. Or having issues at the airport or something.
  • + 2
 @yupstate: Can you narrate with a British accent while reassembling? Then it's just like GMBN on Youtube--she'll love it! (I assume.)
  • + 2
 @phile99: LOL, I definitely could, but she might kill me.
  • + 1
 First time you'll take about 30 min I bet just figuring things out. I use a PRO travel case and I have my bike in/out and ready to go in about 10-15 min. Packed/unpacked in parking lots, hotel rooms, and other random places and it goes pretty quick and painless. If the bike is clean I've never had a hotel room problem. If it's really filthy I'd try and clean it up first before trying to roll it in the front door. I've also stayed at a bunch of EU hotels that are called "bike hotels" that have locked and secured bike storage, and usually tools, floor pump, and a work stand as well.
  • + 2
 Hawaiian Airlines won't accept soft bags. Has to be shell or cardboard. Flew from Oregon to NZ this year with a Trico Ironcase (170mm bike) and a cardboard box (dj bike). I've been using the Trico for years and all my bikes (including a large NS Fuzz) fit in it.
  • + 4
 That Trico Case, although bomber, weighs 30 lbs! holy hell. doesn't leave much for the bike before going into overweight charge.. especially on United, they are the worst.. Didn't know that about hawaiian.. take Alaskan, they fly bikes for the same as any other piece of luggage now. solid! shove all your pads and helmet in the lighter soft case and it'll pay for itself in time.
  • + 1
 My friend and I have both used the AirCaddy with multiple bikes. He rides XL frames and it takes a little work to get it to fit but it makes it. The box is only $100 and I have used mine twice with no issues. Plus I am able to fit the majority of my gear in it. Similar to a bike box but I think a little easier. Most new geometry frames need to be installed backwards with both wheels off unless you are riding a small frame.
www.shipbikes.com/clShop1.aspx
  • + 2
 Any recommendations for bike bags to suit bikes with ~1300mm wheelbase?
I'm kinda sick of removing my forks to take the bike on a plane.
Its a faff and it also jiggles around more when the bike is in more pieces
  • + 1
 I recently bought an Evoc XL traveller bag, my 1200mm wheelbase bike (Ragley Bigwig) fits perfectly without removing the fork.
In two weeks i fly again with the bike and i will check how much room i have left.
Yes the bag is expensive. But if you take care of it, it will last a lifetime. It is a good investment if you fly often with the bike.
  • + 1
 This bag fits an XL Devinci Wilson 29. Wheelbase on my bike is 1330. Didn't take to fork off but let the air out of it to lower it down a bit. Pretty easy.
  • + 2
 Check the PRO travel case, my buddy fit an XL Santa Cruz V10 in one without issues.
  • + 1
 An XL v10 is smaller than my my buddies m carbine @bicycle019:
  • + 1
 We just sent our bikes in cardboard bike-boxes fro YYZ, to YVR , Up the Sea-to-Sky, then back down to the island and then back to the AirPort, then only thing that screwed us with the cardboard boxes was when i destroyed my collar bone in Whis. I could not help the wife carry the boxes, had we hard cases I could of rolled them along. But other than the fact that I'm an idiot, the cardboard bike boxes worked pretty awesome for a single trip. They got wet, we rammed all of our clothing in them and neither bike got a scratch. If you are only traveling on airplanes with bikes maybe every-other year, I would say bike boxes will do just fine. If you have a word like "Brett" or maybe"Tippie" in your name and live at airports jetting from continent to continent then blow the wad on a hard case.

One more thing when we got back to YYZ We met another couple that where picking up bikes, they had hard cases, and he quickly mentioned that he envied us with our easy to use cardboard boxes, and we where Jelly of them with there nice hard cases..So the answer is..If you got the cash, the bike industry as got you covered, if you don't, there are always options for the thrifty biker.
  • + 1
 I put a piece of plastic on the bottom at the back end, and a rope to pull from the front, and just drag them. =)
the rope is reinforced on the inside with a little piece of plywood with holes drilled through so the knots don't pull thru the front. I hope that clavicle is healed!
  • + 1
 @shrockie:
Thanks! its healing up, I've broken 2 for 2 now so at least I've got that going for me..

We got some smaller boxes on the island and made "skid-bottoms" for the bike boxes and they survived some dragging, I was just worried about my wife's box, I thought the bike was going to fall through the bottom..

Also, Specialized uses noticeably crappier/thinner cardboard than other brands..
  • + 1
 I have a Thule RoundTrip Pro Bike Case and it’s worth every penny, I bought mine on clearance though and saved a lot of $$$. Mine has a built in bike stand inside the case which is awesome when it comes time to assemble my bike. I still pack my bike frame with pool noodles, for the extra security.
Took my bike to Maui last year and I’m taking it to the Dominican Republic next week for vacation.
They wanted $100 a day???? to rent a bike in Maui (I was there for two weeks) so the bike bag made a lot more sense financially.
Regarding the weight limit with flying and being over charged. My bike bag weighed in at 53lbs and the limit is 50lbs, but my wife travels so much(frequent flyer perks) so I wasn’t charged a surcharged for going over the weight limit.
  • + 1
 I have the Bikend one. I have used it, my friends have used it and even got a free replacement one when it was damaged when a friend used it so our group has two to use. They maybe expensive but lot cheaper than my bike so why wouldn't I pay to protect it.
  • + 1
 My brother and I split the cost for an evoc bike bag on sale from CRC/ We got it for $300 USD. We used it for a trip and my brother said it went awesome. The bike bag is well made and offers great protection. It even looks badass.
  • + 1
 My two cents, I always air down the shocks , front and rear and compress the suspension. protects the slidey bits and makes the bike a little more compact (remember to cycle the shocks a couple of times when airing back up) means taking a shock pump though. If my trip only allows 4 or less days of biking I'll rent. A bike bag with wheels is great for transfers but storage can be a bit of a pain I generally go overweight and oversize, yeah it costs a bit more bit i can jam all my gear in there as well. Be a pain to loose it, Oh, and take some pics of it before closing up, JIC. One thing I learned there is no perfect setup, every trip/ destination is a little different and what worked well there may not be as functional here.
Still, biking on new trails with new views and experiences is all worth the effort!
  • + 5
 Thule's prices are beyond.
  • + 1
 I love by Dakine bag as per here > www.google.co.uk/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwiNuOnCwb_eAhXJve0KHdqMATYYABABGgJkZw&sig=AOD64_2RKm4rhfE2GZYQvPDq6R9cVb06uw&ctype=5&q=&ved=0ahUKEwiFnOXCwb_eAhXWFsAKHfQNBkEQ9aACCDU&adurl

Alas its discontinued now, the wheels along the long base make it far easier/lighter to move than the traditional designs.
  • + 2
 use the more expensive version of this, this summer was barely able to fit a large dune in it, ended up taking the rear shock out to get it to fit in, also left the workstand at home as that was weighing too much.
  • + 1
 Really confused why he rotated forks? Surely that makes the bike longer and exposes brake to damage. I’ve been using Biknd bags for last 5 years between UK, Singapore, New Zealand and Canada with no issues and only have to remove wheels and bars. Fit both my xc yeti and DH TR500.

Bought many bags in the past -CRC, DHB, Etc but would never go bag Biknd is miles better.
  • + 1
 It will reduce the length of the bike because the fork offset is now pointing towards the rear of the bike. Especially noticable on modern bikes with slack head angles.
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: Yep, you nailed it.
  • + 1
 Out ofg curiosity, were you charged extra for bringing the bike to new zealand? Trying to suss out whether im going to be charged, was hoping to throw everything in the bag and hope it gets classed as my hold luggage with no extra cost?
  • + 1
 I have this same bag. Another reason it is easier to have the forks backward is how the fork mounts to the bag. The axle has to slide in from the left fork leg, when they are backward it is much easier to insert the axle from the side of the bag that opens. There isn’t enough room to slide it in when the fork is forwards.
  • + 3
 FYI - CRC always has their house brand bike bags on sale for the black friday month...1/4 of the cost of this unit
  • + 1
 Think I bought mine for about £30..it lasted a long time...till I buggered up the plastic zip dragging it over kerbs on my way to hotel in Geneva...
  • + 1
 I'm never traveling without my bike again. $500 is a small price to pay to ride my own set up when I'm away. I've never had to pay more than $50 to fly with my bike.
  • + 3
 You are lucky..nearly everyone charges far more these days..on my recent trips to Morzine, the bike was normally more than my seat
  • + 6
 @andydd: that's cause you're British and spoiled with eu plane tickets... it's easy for a bike to cost more than your 100 pound seat. When you're used to paying at least 600 to get basically anywhere in North America the bike feels cheap haha
  • + 2
 @andydd: have a look at flying with BA, if you go economy plus you can take your bike on in normal hold luggage, up to 23kg
  • + 3
 @CONomad: Every US carrier I've flown has charged $100-$250 US per direction (!). Westjet in Canada just considers it a regular checked bag - love it!
  • + 1
 @andydd: you can take 10 bags with BA at least flying to Canada not sure Europe but ive only been charged £30 for bike bag other airways again this was uk to Canada.
  • + 1
 @andydd: I’ve just flown from Glasgow to Melbourne then onto Tasmania with Emirates and it never cost me any extra to take my bike
  • + 0
 @Medacus: Ohh la de dah.. how can a Scotsman afford Emirates Smile
  • + 1
 @CONomad: Very true..just booked flight to Vegas to do some spring cycling..and other stuff..£165..bike is extra £60..I did note that some US domestic flights charge $75..even on short hops like LV to LA
  • + 1
 @ArcticBeast: Did that last year but 2019 flights to US have gone up loads Virgin and BA are now in high hundreds/thousands..Im doing Norweigan..£325 return + £120 for bike (Vegas/LA)
  • + 1
 @Nick-Marotta: Its a lot more now..nearly all the airlines are cutting back on freebies..Virgin was free for bike first time I went..not any more.
  • + 1
 @Medacus: Just what i was hoping to hear. Heading to new zealand in 4 weeks with emirates and panicking that im going to be charged a fortune for bringing a bike.
  • + 1
 Some Airlines are still hit and miss with the fees. I know for going to Europe Lufthansa recommended reserving my bike in advance to go with the 'sporting equipment' I think it was $150 to Europe and 80-100Euro return to Vancouver. I could have taken a chance and showed up with the bike the day of but they said they couldn't guarantee that it would arrive with me (full flights). If I declared the box extra overweight checked luggage at the counter (if I didn't reserve), I THINK the cost would have been even higher.
  • + 1
 @doe222: If my experience is anything to go by then you should be good. I managed to fit everything for my 4 week trip into my Evoc bike bag and my hand luggage (7kg for hand luggage). On the way over I was a few kg over my 30kg checked limit so I was expecting to be charged something at the airport but the check in staff were great, they just let it go. One thing I will say is just make sure you give Emirates customer services a call before you head to the airport so as they know you are coming with a bike
  • + 1
 @CONomad: That is what discourages me from traveling with my bike. Costs are hit or miss and can be very quite expensive. The one thing that is a bummer with that is finding good bikes for rental.
  • + 1
 @Medacus: Cheers buddy
  • + 2
 Could you give metric sizing for the rest of the world?
That would be great!!
  • + 1
 I have a bag, it cost nearly USD$100 here in Chile, the ultimate trick is take off the rear derailleur from the bike and put some plastic tubes instead the hubs.
  • + 1
 Why don't they make a bike bag with 4 wheels? Then you have options of moving it around. 4 wheels is easier a lot of the time.
  • + 2
 $500.00 and it doesn't even say Gucci or Kate Spade. Nope.
  • + 1
 Get airline insurance when traveling to Canada or Hawaii, they seem to disappear from those Airports!
  • + 2
 Does it come with the bike?
  • + 2
 for what it costs, id just get their hard case and be done with it.
  • + 2
 Chain reaction brand bike bag FTW.
  • + 1
 This review is incomplete without any info on how much clothing and other luggage you can cram into it around the bike.
  • + 1
 It's pretty poor form to pack your bag with gear other than a bike - just ask any pro mechanic that has to deal with their athlete's bike. Fortunately, I don't have a mechanic and I can say with certainty that you can drop an assortment of shoes, gear, and another 20 lbs of clothing in there with no issue. I just like to make sure it won't be too much of a nightmare when the TSA opens it up and that it doesn't all fall out - you know they're not going to take any time to repack it properly, especially worth paying attention to if you're trying to pad the bike with any of your gear.
  • + 4
 @danielsapp: I put in a bar of chocolate that says "I Love TSA" Smile
  • + 3
 @andydd: I leave all of their tickets from previous checks in there. Up to a few dozen in one bag.
  • + 1
 @danielsapp: I have never sought to be seen better than that which I am, poor form and all. Also, I'm getting my money's worth on that checked baggage, damn it!
  • + 1
 Doesn’t protect the bit of fork that needs it, home made protection need, cardboard anyone
  • + 3
 If you're talking about stanchions, pipe lagging works pretty well for that.
  • + 1
 @el-nombre: Or go mad with bubble wrap..its light n you can just chuck it when you arrive
  • + 1
 Do you think it would fit a downhill bike, V10?
  • + 1
 Dont bore me with overprized. Show me the competition.
  • + 1
 I’ll stick with my Evoc Pro.
  • + 1
 Also looks like the Pro 2 will take a longer wheelbase (130cm) though it's quite a bit more than this Thule.
  • + 1
 Not TREK bikes compatible
  • - 2
 Ok this bag can fit BMX and midget or child size bike.
But question is, can its fit a grown man sized bike like XL size Geometron or POLE???
  • + 3
 Just fold your Pole and stick in in the suitcase Wink
  • - 1
 doesn't sound like my 26'er will have any problems getting into that bag Wink 26ftw!!
  • - 3
 Waaaa I got a scratch on my carbon. Its just a bike a tool to have fun. Knobs gona cry. Just send it and ride it like it was stolen. They'll be a new model next year and you'll care less about the one you have now.
  • + 0
 make a bike bag that takes my bike apart and then assembles it
  • - 3
 Will it fit Pole Machine?
  • - 1
 And I’m wondering would it fit my Geometron??
  • + 1
 I think the Evoc Pro 2 is the ticket for the big long bikes. Bigger wheelbase, bigger $.
  • + 1
 @DrPete: Thanks.
Found couple local bike shops what renting those bags.
Should try to test fit bike in bag before buying my own.
  • - 2
 I beg you, don’t start it!

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