|There are a couple of options for travelling with a bike: a specific bike bag, or a cardboard bike box. Not wanting to stir that hornet's nest of pro's and con's; we have a bike bag! Packing the Axial Pod is easy. The bike can be fastened securely to the foam block which raises the bike off of the base and gives ample room for the derailleur and chain rings. The head tube and front axle area fix securely to the bag, then are covered by foam straps to which the handlebars attach, preventing any interface rubbing between the two. I travelled with a large sized NS Snabb, and a large sized Canyon Strive which both fit in easily. There's plenty of room for 27.5" wheels with the tires inflated inside the wheel pockets, and according to the 'How to video' on the Polaris site fitting in 29" wheels is a cinch too.|
At 8.8kgs it's a decent chunk of your airline weight limit, but isn't out of line with its competitors. Even with a weighty downhill bike you should come under the standard 32kg allowance of most airlines. I have taken a few different flights with this bag with no damage to report, despite leaving the derailleur and discs installed for flight. For lifting the loaded bag in and out of various vehicles, the carry handles worked well. But, for long distance dragging/pulling between terminals the handles needed to be positioned horizontally rather than vertically - and lower down. This change of angle would put less strain on your wrists, and placing one lower down would balance more weight on to the wheels and less weight in your hand. After some arm pump issues, I discovered that on smooth airport floors, the EVA base slides easily so you can just drag the pod if your forearms are out of steam.
The pod did become a little lopsided after a few flights but I guess this is the price you pay for a soft, folding bag. The removable plastic strips are easy to install and remove, and being able to fold the bag down to roughly 1/3 of its size is handy when storing at home or in a cramped hotel room. If I had the choice again I would choose the black and charcoal colour-way, as my green pod did get dirty quite easily, especially within the vicinity of an oily chain and headset.
Overall a great, robust bag, that kept my bikes in one-piece. - Paul Aston
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