If you're planning to fly to your next cycling location, you'll need a dependable travel case for your bike. Keep your bicycle safe with one of these excellent cases recommended by cycling experts.
Thule Roundtrip Transition
What sets the Thule Roundtrip Transition bike case apart from others is the integrated work stand. This is especially convenient not only for packing the bike, but also for allowing you to work on it on the go. Reviewers at Bicycling and SlowTwitch.com were equally impressed with this feature, in addition to other advantages this bike case offers:
- The roomy interior allows the frame can be packed with the pedals intact.
- The case is easy to open and close.
- Sturdy rear casters make it easy to transport.
- Various fork axle mounts will work with road bikes and 15 or 20 mm thru-axle mountain bikes.
This travel case is a little on the heavy side, however, weighing 38 pounds empty. Most airlines have a maximum weight limit of 50 pounds for baggage. The case is also quite large. The SlowTwitch reviewer noted that he would not be able to fit it in the back of his Mini Cooper. F
Find the Thule Round Trip Transition case at Planet Cyclery for about $600.
Orucase Airport Ninja
Would you like to avoid the extra $200 to $300 fee most airlines charge to transport a bike? Well, there are no guarantees, but a stealthy design like the Orucase Airport Ninja might help you fly under the radar at check-in.
The case is designed to look like a backpack with shoulder straps that allow you to carry it on your back, plus an outer nylon shell. It also features a hard plastic-reinforced sidewall lined with multi-density foam and only weighs just under 12 pounds. It's one of the top five recommended cases by Bicycling for traveling incognito with a bike in tow.
Orucase doesn't provide specific instructions for breaking the bike down, but according to the review on CyclingTips, the compact size requires the fork of the bike to be removed, in addition to all the other standard parts you must disassemble to fit a bike inside a traveling case. Each Orucase is made to order according to the specifications you provide for them about the bike.
There is a catch if you choose the slippery slope of not declaring this luggage as a valuable racing bike or mountain bike that needs special attention and care. If the bike is damaged or lost, the airline could deny your claim for financial compensation. Due to this risk, the Ninja is only recommended for those who fly frequently with their bike.
The Airport Ninja from Orucase online for about $500.
EVOC Bike Travel Bag
According to BikeRadar, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag is the best bike bag on the market. Rated at 4 1/2 stars out of five, the bag is equipped with multiple straps and pockets that help hold the frame of the bike in place. Wide-set wheels on the bag's rigid base allow for easy, stable pulling. Weighing in at 18.9 pounds, the bag offers plenty of wiggle room for staying under the airlines' weight limit restrictions.
The EVOC case accommodates bikes with 650 wheels and 29ers, plus standard 700c bikes including road, time-trial, cyclocross, and triathlon bikes. For a skinny tire bike, EVOC recommends the separately sold Road Bike Adapter to better secure the delicate fork.
The wheels of the bike are stored in separate padded side pockets that provide additional protection for the frame. The heavy-duty, ripstop nylon exterior is lined with 10 millimeter padding. The bag is available in a variety of colors including red, blue, black and multicolored green.
You can find the EVOC Bike Travel Bag at Competitive Cyclist for about $435.
The high-end pick by Phil's Reviews for hybrid, soft-sided cases is the Biknd Jetpack. The sleek design makes this bike case a handsome piece of luggage that weighs only 19.8 pounds. Equipped with sturdy wheels and a comfortable grip handle, the case is easy to transport.
Inside the case, delicate bike parts are protected by inflatable air bags within the walls, helping to absorb shock and redirecting it away from the frame. A lightweight, aluminum retaining axle helps keep the frame positioned securely in place. Each sidewall contains a fastening system to hold the bike's wheels.
This case has a universal design that makes it compatible with a wide range of bikes, from mountain bikes to triathlon models with integrated seat posts.
ProBikeKit.com lists the Biknd Jetpack for just over $470.
Scicon AeroComfort 2.0
The Scicon AeroComfort 2.0 bike bag was featured on the 15 best bike bags and boxes list at road.cc, where it also received a favorable review, despite being labeled as expensive. Although it's a pricier option, this travel case doesn't disappoint, because it's easy to pack and its built-in casters make it convenient to transport.
Once you figure out the best way to make your bike fit inside the bag, you can have it packed up in about five minutes. According to the road.cc reviewer, she only had to remove the bike's wheels. Everything else, including the pedals, remained intact. With ample room inside, small items can be added after the bike is all strapped in, but be mindful of weight limits. The TSA-friendly bag has a lock for security that can be opened using a four-digit code.
The AeroComfort 2.0 bike bag can be purchased directly from Scicon, priced just under $650.
Nashbar Bike Transport Bag
If you fly very infrequently with your bike, you might want to consider a value option such as the Nashbar Bike Transport Bag. At just 5.3 pounds, the bag is very lightweight while still providing ample room for any type of bike. However, the bag doesn't have any padding and wouldn't stand up to frequent use like the more expensive bags do. It sells for about $40 at Nashbar.com.
Bike Hard Cases or Soft Bags
Before you hop on your next set of bike tours, take the time to consider the best travel option for your bike. Hard cases may offer superior protection, but they're also heavier and more expensive. Lightweight, soft bags are easier to transport and more flexible, but may not offer the same level of protection. Ultimately, it's about find the travel bag that best fits your needs and budget.