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EVOC Bike Travel Bag

Rolling in Style

Words by Matthew Lee. Photos by Morgan Taylor.
June 24th, 2014

Traveling with a bike is always a mix of joy and fear. On one hand, you don’t have to worry about the condition of rental bikes at your destination, you know the ins and outs of your gear, and you can start riding as soon as you get your rig pieced back together. The flip side to this is the constant worry of your bike being brutally damaged somewhere in transit.

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The bag in all its red glory…

EVOC has come up with a rather elegant solution with their aptly named Bike Travel Bag. Designed to swallow up anything from a wispy road racer to the burliest DH sled, it offers a good level of protection without sacrificing manoeuvrability or ease of use while at the terminal.

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Big wheels on smooth-running bearings ensure getting from the parking lot to the oversize bag drop is a breeze.

The construction of the bag is quite rugged. A hard plastic bottom and durable PE board sides ensure that crushing and bending forces are kept to a minimum. The bag is held aloft with a series of fibreglass rods, which also add protection to the ends of the case. Finally, the outer shell is made of 600D PVC coated nylon, which keeps the water out and resists tears.

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A closer look at one of the PE sideboards. They’re strategically placed to help protect your hubs and rotors.

On the inside, the bag is big enough to house all of your riding gear along with the bike, so you don’t have to use valuable suitcase space on things like helmets and riding shoes. This is a definite perk when returning home as you can keep dirty riding clothes separate from everything else and save on doing some heavy-duty laundry. Straps help secure everything down to keep it in place during transit, and there are also a few internal pouches for things like pedals and tools.

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There’s so much room for activities! Or bike gear. Whichever, really.

The bike is also further protected on the inside thanks to a movable block that supports the BB, and keeps your chain ring from contacting the bottom of the bag, Fork stanchions are wrapped in yet more foam and high-strength tarpaulin.

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A closer look at the support block. Big ring? Small ring? Doesn’t matter, that sucker is protected.

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Up-close with the fork protection system. Plastic plating protects the dropouts, while the stanchions are wrapped in more padding.

So how does it compare to something like a standard cardboard bike box? Having maneuvered through airports with both the box and the EVOC bag, I can definitively say the bag makes things a million times easier. Dragging a cardboard box stuffed to the brim with cycling gear on top of all your standard luggage is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. What’s worse, after (barely) making it through the ticketing gate, I had to open up my carefully sealed box and display the contents to ensure I wasn’t smuggling anything.

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Big zips make opening the bag for inspection mercifully simple. You’re also able to keep sticky fingers out with the integrated lock rings.

In contrast, I was able to swiftly move through the terminal with the EVOC bag, and upon checking it, went with the old “sporting goods” line, which saved me the rather steep bike shipping fee. From there, it was a short jaunt to the oversize luggage drop, where it subsequently disappeared into the bowels of the airport. Grabbing it on the other end of my trip at the oversize baggage pickup was just as simple, as there was no mistaking it for anything else. Since then, I’ve used it on a wide variety of day and overnight trips. The bag will just fit underneath a Greyhound bus, stacks nicely in the bed of a truck, and doesn’t arouse suspicion when brought on board a ferry. Wins all ’round then.

I’ve found it really difficult to find faults with the bag. That being said, it does take up a lot of space even when packed down, so those who have limited square footage to spare may want to take some measurements before picking one up. The only other barrier is cost. With a price tag of $550 MSRP, it can be a bit hard to swallow shelling out that much cash for what amounts to a (very good) bike suitcase.

With all that in mind, the EVOC Bike Travel Bag makes a whole lot of sense if you plan to venture far and wide with your bicycle. It’s durable, reliable, and makes dealing with the headache of travel just that much easier. Anything that makes traveling with a prized possession simple is good value in my books.


No dealing with tape or cardboard on either end of a trip? Sounds like it’s just the ticket for the jet-set biker…

 

  • Steve Potter

    Looks interesting, but $550??? Does it fly itself to the destination as well? I think there’s a reason why mostly sponsored athletes and journalists use these things.

    How long did it take to pack the bike inside? I can do a bike with gear in a bike box in about an hour, depending on what needs to go in. What does the bag itself weigh? Generally the limit is 23kg total, so if the bag weighs substantially more than a box, then you’re losing out on some extra carrying capability.

    Also, those carts at the airport will typically carry two bike boxes and some luggage, and are available in the parking area.

    • http://www.somemorestuff.com somemorestuff

      I have had one of these for a few years now, takes about 15min to pack a XC bike, 20min for a DH (bolted wheels).

      You’re just taking off wheels, pedals and bars/stem.

      Never had an issue with bent/broken bits unlike times i’ve used boxes and other bags where i’ve also had to take more off and use a lot extra padding. UK baggage handlers are not particularly careful

      Also the wheels are great, so easy to maneuver and very stable.

      the whole bag folds flat too for storage.

      The only downside i think is it’s quite heavy to start with, so if your bike is more than 17Kg you may not be able to put many other things in the bag as well before you’re pushing the 32Kg limit of some airlines.

      • Jonathan Harris

        I’d agree with that you have to be careful about how much you pack in with you bike to avoid being overweight. My bike flew all the way to Australia and New Zealand in this bag without any issue. Worth the investment.

  • kain0m

    Buddy of mine used one of these for our trip to Canada. Nice bag, well made, but damn is it heavy. Might be worth it for frequent flyers, as long as you can keep within the weight limit. Depending on the airline this can be as low as 23kg, which leaves you with about 10kg left for the bike… he had an SX trail, 31kg with some shoes and the safety jacket…

  • sir HUCK-A-LOT

    For those scoffing at the price, figure this: if you show up with a bike in a box most airlines charge you $100 extra for bike. Thats $200 each trip. You do three trips with this bag and its paid off. I fly a LOT for work, and bring one of my bikes often with me. If you check-in online ahead of time, select how many bags you are checking, all you do at the airport is print bag tags and hand them over. They’ll ask whats in the bag “work materials” and you’re on your way to oversize to drop the bag. Customs will always ask you to open your bike bag so they can see whats in there, so packing things well is important and will save you a hassle.
    The EVOC bag is great for travel, i’ve yet to have an issue on over 15 round trips with it. Bonus is you dont need a SUV or truck rental on the other size. Bag slides into the bag seat of most compact cars at the rental shops.

  • tuskalooa

    I rented the bag off a guy for a trip up to Scotland… solid bag better than the bike box alan imo and lighter too. I think if you travle a lot on mtb trips it’s worth the investment. It does take up space in the boot, but then again the bike box alan does too and cannot be folded down when empty!

  • Matthias H.

    you are not supposed to put the chainring ON the block, but insteat put the bottom bracket there only. if you do it like this author you just ruin the stitching like in the picture. manuals, READ THEM

  • Heathen

    I own one and it is an amazing bag. I fly with my bike quite a bit as I live in a boring part of the world. I started with bike boxes then moved on to the Dakine bag, then the Evoc. I found the bike box worked better then the Dakine bag, what a piece of junk. The EVOC is miles ahead of everything else.