Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 9 seconds
Bike Travel Bag Comparison
This Bike Travel Bag Comparison article has been updated on 24th March 2011 to include the EVOC. You can check out a video review with scores best bike bag for airline travel.
No one wants to unpack their Very Expensive Pride and Joy (your bike) after a long flight to discover it’s been damaged.
In this Bike Travel Bag Comparison I compare the bike bags that I think best protect your bike on its trip overseas.
I’ll show you 4 products, so the list is far from comprehensive. If you’ve used a product (the BikND Helium is next on my review list) that you think is worth a mention, drop a comment after the post and we’ll get back to you (perhaps you can write a guest review!).
In my opinion, you have four viable options.
- EVOC from Evans Cycles, Wiggle, Chain Reaction or ProBikeKit (don’t forget the road adaptor kit from Wiggle, CRC, PBK) – read the full EVOC Bike Travel Bag review here
- Bike box (from the airline)
- OEM BikePod (similar to Polaris Bike Pod, click here if the link doesn’t work)
- Scicon Aero Comfort (note they might be out of stock at Wiggle)
- Protects bike VERYwell
- Packs down fairly flat
- Fairly agile
- High construction quality
- Slightly more cumbersome than the Scicon Aero Comfort from an agility and compactness perspective.
- Protects bike fairly well
- Packs flat
- Cheap to replace
- No wheels
- Unweildy (i.e. pain in the bum to carry around the airport)
- When packed flat, takes up a lot of space
- Very robust
- Protects bike
- Wheelbase laterally is too narrow, so pod is prone to tipping over
- Does not pack flat
- Handlebars and pedals need to be removed
Scicon Aero Comfort
- Packs down and rolls up – VERY useful
- Wheeled, with strap to tow it behind you – VERY easy to get around the airport
- Bike secures onto a metal frame
- Handlebars and pedals do not need removing
- Bike can sometimes come off the frame, damaging the derailleur
- Sidewalls do not have as much protection as the BikePod (which uses molded EVA)
Polaris OEM equivalent
This is a no-name (i.e. OEM) BikePod from CyclingDeal.com.au. Check the BikePod out here.
- Price (half the price of the Polaris BikePod from Chain Reaction)
- Much less likely to fall over like the Polaris Bike Pod
- Wheels secure to the sidewalls with supplied skewers
- Padding for the frame is supplied
- Weight (heavier than the Polaris by 4 kilograms, e.g. 10kg versus around 6kg)
- Doesn’t pack flat
- Need to take handlebars and pedals off
This is really tough to call. When judging this, I think 3 things are critical to consider
- Overall utility – this takes into account if the bike bag packs flat, is it maneouverable; i.e. how convenient is it
- Protects your bike
Since I originally did this shootout, and then bought an EVOC, I’ve changed my position from being torn between the AeroComfort and OEM bike pod, to strongly favouring the EVOC.
- If you want to be able to pack your bike bag flat, for instance, if you’re travelling in a campervan, or small car, then get a Scicon Aero Comfort. Just make sure you secure the bike to the internal frame, and put bubble wrap on your bike everywhere. Including the derailleur.
- If you have more space (we have a big Mercedes van in 2010), then I am going to recommend the Polaris BikePod or no-name CyclingDeal.com.au one. If luggage (weight) restrictions are a concern, and you don’t mind paying double the price, get the Polaris one – it’s 5kg lighter. However, be prepared for it to continually fall over. If you can handle the extra weight, get the one from Cyclingdeal (or something similar).
I’ve included my original scores below. You can download this file here, and play with it yourself, according to how much importance you place on each metric. Simply change the weightings (and scores, if you wish).
The updated scores are below to reflect the EVOC review.
|Metric||Weight||EVOC||Scicon||Polaris BikePod||OEM bikePod||Bike Box|
|Protection for Bike||30%||5||2||5||5||4|
EVOC wins, and comfortably. The Scicon is a worthy second.
* Any bike box/bag manufacturers that want to have their bike bag reviewed, shoot me an email.
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