Best Bike Bag for Airline Travel
In this post I compared four bike travel bags and in this post discuss what I think is the best bike bag for airline travel.
You can get the EVOC using the below links. Disclosure: these are affiliate links.<
- Wiggle + Road bike adaptor kit
- Chain Reaction Cycles + road bike adaptor kit (RBAK).
- ProBikeKit + Road bike adaptor kit
- Evans Cycles
You can watch the video, then read the summary. I've assigned a score to each bag based on a number of metrics, which I've also weighted according to what I look for in a bike bag.
My overall scores are based on the following metrics. Your weightings may of course change according to what you think is important. To this end, I've made my score sheet available for download as an Excel spreadsheet, so you can change your weightings, apply my scores, and see how the scores change.
Keep in mind my raw scores are subjective as well. If I scored a bag poorly in terms of construction/design, this might be according to how it performed in my experience; you might score it entirely differently. As an example, one of my friends would score the Scicon a lot higher in terms of how it protects the bike. However, because I believe the Scicon needs a lot of extra padding inserted in order to protect the bike, I scored it fairly low.
|Protection for Bike||30%|
Keep in mind the pros and cons of the last 4 bags listed are discussed in this post.
To summarise the EVOC:
- Very affordable (for what you get)
- Excellent construction both in terms of quality and how it has been thought out
- Extremely agile
- Lots of padding
- Weight, though at 9kg, it's not terrible. I mainly put this in the cons for balance as it doesn't have any real disadvantages! This is a cracker bag!
So, to the winner! Clearly I rate the EVOC the highest. It's overall utility is very high. It has loads of storage for the bike and cycling/casual clothing (enough for a few days away) and is very adjustable.
It's been well thought out (fibreglass stringers) and protects the bike.
It is designed to survive the knocks of international travel (bash material) and be baggage handler and user-friendly (handles, wheels).
|Metric||Weight||EVOC||Scicon||Polaris BikePod||OEM bikePod||Bike Box|
|Protection for Bike||30%||5||2||5||5||4|
You can get the EVOC using the below links. Disclosure: these are affiliate links.
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I was reading your review on the bike boxes and didn’t tottaly understood the score on the “Protection for Bike” aspect. Why so lame review for the Scicon?
The other aspect is when you refer the bike can get out of the metal frame. If you assembled it as it should, using the sckrewers, there is no reason for the biek to jump out of the metal frame. It’s like saying that your wheels can jum out of your frame…
My 2 cents, on what seems to me a biased review, perhaps trying to justify your choice.
After travelling several times with one, and having used several bike bags and boxes, most of the thimes with no accidents it’s difficult to understand.
Hi Sergio, thanks for the comment!
Let me try and explain my review.
Firstly, and very importantly, there is no bias in the review, nor is there any need for me to justify an overall outcome by tweaking numbers. The review is totally independent. I own both an EVOC and a Scicon. By the way, there’ll be a video review of the Scicon very soon (note that Scicon supplied this to me, whereas I paid for the EVOC).
Next, to your question on the protection aspect. If you look at both bags, it’s very clear that the EVOC provides more protection by dint of its design. The difference in protection is manifold, if you compare them both in the flesh.
With respect to the metal frame: I am just recounting what happened to me. The bag was assembled properly, I can assure you. Additionally, I was overly cautious with the packing in terms of extra bubble wrap and padding (incidentally, something not really required with the EVOC). I think what this really shows is how badly the bags can be treated by baggage handlers, and in this respect, in my experience, so far the EVOC has proven to be a better performer than the Scicon.
As with all reviews, these are my own opinions and are subjective; other people will have different views based on their experiences.
It’s important to reiterate that neither Scicon nor EVOC advertise on this site, and I equally use links to Wiggle and CRC for both, so there’s no inherent bias there.
just wanted to say thanks for the reviews. i’ve just ordered a black evoc from crc (wiggle only had blue and red…) and look forward to trying it out. do you pack clothing etc in with your bike as well? i’m just trying to keep luggage to a minimum for a trip to the pyrenees next year.
I usually pack my clothes in it if travelling domestically (e.g. to the Tour Down Under). If overseas, I am usually going for 3-4 weeks so have a bunch of stuff that requires a second bag. However if you are able to pack light, then there is definitely room in the bag for clothes!
Thanks for checking out the review, and for the kind words!
just wanted to say thank you for the reviews, appreciate your time and effort in posting your thoughts. Am already in the advanced stages of planning a trip to France next year so the decision on ensuring the precious bike travels safely and securely comes to the forefront. I went to the CyclingDeal website and note that the bag/case that you refer to is no longer stocked. However this has been replaced by a couple of ‘hard case’ types from B&W in Germany. The only B&W I’m aware of is Bowers & Wilkins who make great quality speakers! Have you had any experience with this type of hard case? – the pro’s and con’s (apart from their obvious weight disadvantage), or this brand in particular. Anecdotal feedback is ok. My concerns around the EVOC being the ‘soft padding’ nature of the case. Although having never actually seen, touched, felt or used in anger this type of case then I’m not really in a position to have an expert opinion.
thanks for the kind words – you’re most welcome.
I’ve not had any experience with the B&Ws. If they are similar to the Polaris and OEM equivalent bike pod, pros and cons are:
Pros: protects the bike like a mofo, robustness, longevity
Cons: weight, agility in airport, can’t pack them down in hire car, have to pack bike right down
I can assure you the EVOC is rock solid. There is ample protection for the bike and wheels – go check my EVOC review here –> http://www.velonomad.com/reviews/evoc-bike-travel-bag-review/
I’m about to do a video review for the Scicon Aero ComfortPlus – though I don’t think it is as good as the EVOC, but is better than the pods, but for different reasons.
If you grab an EVOC or Polaris, it’d be awesome (but not essential), if you grabbed them through an affiliate link (the small bits of commission help keep the site going) – WIggle http://bit.ly/hUQXg8, CRC http://bit.ly/hgnQRl
By the way, your name is familiar – do you race in Melbourne?
Thanks for the great reviews on bike bags and pods. Having never travelled with my bike before these reviews have been invaluable to me. Great information.
Currently I am leaning towards the Scicon Comfort Plus as it seems the easiest to use but am also strongly favouring the Evoc in terms of value for money and it also looks fairly easy to pack. I have a Felt TT (with Di2) bike and so as far as taking handlebars and aero’s etc off I prefer as easy as possible. With either of these bags is it possible to just loosen the head stem and tip the handlebars forward at all? I am planning on travelling domestically and internationally. Also you mentioned something about not minding if your wheels take a knock as opposed to the frame in the Scicon review (correct me if i am wrong) – if travelling with race wheels (as i will be), would you suggest more padding or a separate wheel bag? Also as far as getting in more gear ie; wetsuit, shoes, helmet, clothing – which bag rates better? I will go back and double check the weights of each of these bags, in your reviews, as that is another consideration.
Thanks for your time, kind regards,
Hi Georgia, thanks for the kind words!
As far as fitting your TT bike into both these bags – whilst with normal drops you don’t need to take the bars off for the Scicon Aero Comfort Plus, I think for your TT you’ll need to take them off. Obviously they might fit, but since they extend forward more…you might be pressed for space. Plus there’s the risk of impact.
With the EVOC, you need to remove the bars regardless of whether you have a TT bike or normal bike.
With the wheels, I said I’d rather the wheels take a knock than the frame – this was said as the wheels sit on either side of the frame (as they do with the EVOC). I think the protection for the wheels is better in the EVOC so bear that in mind if you’re taking racing wheels. I normally take Mavic Open Pros or Durace clinchers overseas, never tubs. So if you have the EVOC you won’t need extra wheel bags. If you’re buying the Scicon, you might want single wheel bags put inside the bag itself.
Both bags have a bit of space for gear – the EVOC probably has marginally more space but if you pack more in it really starts to pack out and become wide and unweildy.
Hope this helps,
I plan on taking a trip to France this summer for serious climbing. I am taking my bike with wheels that have carbon spokes. I am worried about a potential damage because most soft bags offer little to no protection since wheels are placed on the outside. Protecting the frame is a less of a concern because I could spend the time to bubble and foam pipe wrap it. Also the frame has a seat-mast measured 66cm BB to top. I am leaning towards a hard case like polaris or bike box allan. What do you think offers the best protection for the wheels?
I would recommend a hard case or bike pod.
Or better still, take wheels that you can afford to be knocked – like Mavic Open Pros, Ultegra etc.
I have an EVOC bag and I have used it successfully a couple of times in Australia and now over to Spain. My comment with the bag is that it seems more suited to a mountain bike than a road bike – hence the need for the front fork adaptor. I think the bag could have been a lot more compact and lighter if it was designed only for road bikes. Otherwise the padding and wheel pockets are great and there is plenty of room for extra gear in the bag.
You’re right – this bag started life as a bag for MTB travel. However, I think with the fork adaptor it’s equally suited for road bikes. There are lighter and more compact bags around to be sure, but this bag, as you point out, is really good in the padding/storage departments.
Hello Tim, I’ve seen you have some great reviews, just want to ask for your opinion. I am planing to take my Mountain bike to Europe this summer, just want to mention have to change 3 flights (little bit worried how they handle the baggage). Anyway planing to buy travel bag and I did narrow it down to EVOC or BikND helium, because I have never touched felt and seen any of those bags what do you think would be a better choice, I do like BikND because of air pads just think it’s better protection, but also everywhere I see great reviews about EVOC. In this case price does’t matter also I am not looking for any extra room to put any clothes, just my bike and just looking for good protection of my bike.
I think either bag will be fine. The EVOC offers a bit more room, but quite honestly they both have great protection. BikND is lighter and more agile/portable in transit.
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Have you heard or had any experience with B & W bike case, there a hard case, although they don’t appear to be very big, appear to possibly offer the most protection.
Hi Nick, not yet, sorry. I have heard good things. I’m going to have a look at one and do a Clayton’s review: the review you do when you haven’t actually reviewed it.