Six of the best... bike bags
Travelling abroad with your bike? You'll want to take a look at the best baggage options out there...
Planning a trip abroad with your bike? From training camps in Mallorca, the Canary Islands or Girona to tackling high mountain passes in the Alps and the Pyrenees, there’s plenty of reason to book a trip overseas to start clocking some miles. Maybe you want to tick off a major European sportive.
But for all the excitement waiting at the other end, there is one major stress when it comes to travelling with your bike - it’s your pride and joy, and you’re leaving it at the mercy of baggage handlers.
The last thing you want is to arrive and find your bike is no longer fit for purpose, so you’ll want to get your hands on a good bike bag and pack your machine to ensure it arrives safely at the other end.
If you're looking to invest in a bike bag, we’ve picked out six of the best on the market right now.
EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro
A former inductee into the RCUK 100, the Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro sits is extremely sturdy, thanks to fibreglass support struts that support the corners and hard plastic struts adding rigidity to the wheel compartments.
Those struts can be removed to compact the bike for storage, while it remains relatively lightweight (8kg) which is handy if you’re faced with baggage restrictions.
Another clever feature is the clip-on wheel which can be attached to the front, giving you the option of wheeling the bag or dragging it. If you choose the latter, there's a big aluminium handle at the front of the bag.
Most importantly, it’s well cushioned on the inside, with your bike's bottom bracket resting on a protective block, which keeps the chainrings off the floor of the bag and provides an anchor point to strap the frame down. The bag also included Evoc's 'road bike adapter', which provides additional padding for the fork, and, if you want even more protection, you can get an internal aluminium frame to hold your bike securely in place.
Website: Evoc Sports
UK distributor: Silverfish[monetizer101 search='EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro']
Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 TSA
The Scicon Aercomfort 2.0 takes so much of the hassle out of flying abroad with your bike thanks to an innovative design which allows a bike to be packed down in just five minutes. Want to know more? Check out our review.
The Aerocomfort’s clever design means you don’t need to remove your handlebar or take out your seatpost - it all fits. You can even leave your pedals attached, though sticking them in your hand luggage does give you a fall-back if your bike goes AWOL during the journey.
Inside the bag you'll find an integrated metal frame to which you can clamp your bike using the quick releases, while there are also straps to secure your machine and helping to protect it from impact. Scicon also include a metal rear derailleur protector, saving a potentially fragile part of your bike.
While naturally not offering as much protection as a bike box, the bag is made from a rugged, heavy-duty nylon, with padding in key places. Slot your wheels in the side pockets and you're ready to go, with the grab handles and rubber wheels making the bag easy to pull through a busy airport.
The Aerocomfort 2.0 TSA is designed for road bikes with QRs but if you have a bike with disc brakes, the new Aerocomfort Road 3.0 TSA is compatible with thru-axles.
Website: Scicon Bags[monetizer101 search='Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0']
Thule Round Trip Pro XT
Thule have taken versatility to a new level with the Round Trip Pro XT soft shell case, because this bag can actually double as a work stand for setting up and tinkering with your bike when you get to your destination. No more scrambling about on your hotel room floor.
How? Well it’s quite simple, and makes you wonder why it hasn’t been invented sooner - your bike clamps into a frame in the base of the bag which can then be removed as one. Slots the three supplied legs in (which otherwise are stored securely within the bag) and it becomes a work stand.
It’s convenient, it’s versatile and, most importantly, it does a good job of securing the bike too. While technically a bag, the reinforced plastic panels in the sides mean this semi-rigid design offers more protection than most. Just as well, given the price tag.
Website: Thule[monetizer101 search='Thule Round Trip Pro XT']
PRO Bike Travel Case Mega
The PRO Bike Travel Case Mega is another bike bag to have passed through RCUK HQ lately.
An internal base frame hold your bike securely in place, and it's adjustable so it can take a range of different bikes. When the bike is in place, it’s secure – which, let’s face it, is priority number one – though we did find the soft case a little vulnerable to the baggage handlers when we used the accessories pockets.
Foam pads and a supplied chain cover also work to keep the bike secure and safe – damage to the bike frame was never an issue despite some obvious rough treatment at airports.
UK distributor: Madison[monetizer101 search='PRO Bike Travel Case Mega']
Chain Reaction Cycles Pro Bike Bag
Chain Reaction Cycles promise safe and secure transport with their Pro Bike Bag and, for less than £200, it's comfortably the most affordable option we can recommend here. While not quite as quick to pack as some of the other options we've featured, we've used CRC's bag a number of times we no problems whatsoever.
Sometimes simplicity is the best way but this bag still plenty of thought put into it. For example, the bag comes with a range of protective metal inserts to stop your fork legs and chainstays from being crushed together, while there are a number of padded blocks to strap your frame in place at the fork, bottom bracket and rear axle.
Otherwise, the bag is well padded, with a waterproof interior and rip stop exterior. There are also a number of handles and two large wheels at the rear, though it's not quite as easy to move around the airport as the likes of the Scicon and Evoc bags.
Website: Chain Reaction Cycles[monetizer101 search='Chain Reaction Cycles Pro Bike Bag']
Merida Premium Bike Bag
A long-standing favourite, the Merida Premium Bike Bag features an alloy internal frame for added protection.
It’s been around for a long time now, offered as an upgrade to the original Merida Bike Bag, but that’s a testament to its quality and means you can probably find a good deal if you shop around too.
There are separate wheel bags inside too, while two handles on the front help when dragging it around the airport.
Website: Merida Bikes[monetizer101 search='Merida Premium Bike Bag']