An expensive but superb bike bag that'll take the hassle out of flying with your bike
May 23 2019
Bike bags and cases
Internal bike frame and well-designed wheel pockets keep your bike secure and safe
Stable and easy to move about
Provides good protection while also not being hugely bulky to store
It's very expensive
You travel frequently with your bike and want a well-made bag to handle airline abuse
EVOC's Bike Travel Bag Pro is fearsomely expensive, but there are few better ways to transport your bike by air. It's really well made, easy to pack, keeps your bike safe and secure and it's really easy to wheel about an airport. It comes highly recommended.
Taking your bike on a plan can often be a huge faff, but EVOC's bike bag takes out a whole load of the stress thanks to an internal frame that prevents your bike from flapping about inside the decently well padded external soft shell. It'll swallow bikes up to a 1,300mm wheelbase, which should cover everything apart from very long wheelbase mountain bikes in larger sizes - and then EVOC offers an XL version of their standard bag.
To use it, you just need to whip off both of your wheels and then use any of the multiple included axle adaptors to secure your front and rear dropouts using your skewers or axles to hold it in place. You could probably get away with keeping your rear derailleur on, but I chose to remove it anyway, just in case.
You'll then need to remove your bars, which are then strapped in place to your top and down tube using a neat harness that prevents them from flapping about and damaging anything. There's also another harness that protects your fork at the front too and your pedals can be popped into an internal pocket to keep them safe.
Happily for anyone with a dropper post, unless you have a really, really tall frame, you can probably leave your seatpost and saddle in place. The frame is then strapped into the bottom of the bag and you use other straps to secure your post and front end.
The bag uses plastic stiffeners at the front and rear, with sturdier items that help protect the wheels in the side pockets, along with hardened cups that protect your disc brakes from being bent out of shape. It all means you can remove the struts to collapse the bag to a much smaller size for storage at home or at your destination, which is a very good thing if you've overestimated the size of a hire car.
The wheel pockets will merrily swallow up to 29" wheels with fairly fat 2.6" or so rubber, but you'll need to deflate them slightly for such things. Fully inflated 650bx2.6" rubber slid in without any issues, however.
At a smidge over 10kg for the bag alone, you should get in under most airline weight limits unless you have a seriously chunky rig.
Thanks to wide-spaced skateboard wheels at the rear and a removable nose wheel, getting it around airports couldn't have been easier. It's super stable and remarkably easy to manoeuvre, plus there are plenty of carrying handles for when you need to lump it onto a baggage conveyor or into a car.
Out of all the bike bags I've used, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro has been by far the easiest to use and made getting around with a bike in the airport much less of a sweaty chore than usual - it was barely any harder to wheel about than a standard case. It also gave me enough faith that my bike was going to turn up unharmed at the other end, with quality materials throughout. It even dealt with being dragged down bumpy country lanes without complaint too.
While it's very expensive, it's well worth the investment if you fly frequently - and if you don't there are plenty of people that'll happily rent you one for a pretty reasonable amount.
Jon was previously the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.