Travel Bag/Case recommendations?
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  1. #1
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    Travel Bag/Case recommendations?

    I'm looking for a travel bag/case to carry a custom 61cm Ti bike on vacation.

    I've been reading reviews on the Evoc Pro and the Thule Round Trip Transition Pro XT.

    They are both in the same price range, and they both have a bike stand built in (it's an extra $150 purchase on the Evoc), which is a nice plus.

    It's a one-time purchase, so budget isn't a concern. Especially considering how valuable the bike it's protecting is.

    I'd be interested in any thoughts people have about these bags, or anything similar. I'm particularly interested to know how a big bike like this will fit.

    Thanks in advance...

    Edit to add: Not interested in renting. I've had too many problems with this, and the bike doesn't have (and is not getting) couplers. it's a Di2 bike with hydraulic disc brakes.

  2. #2
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    thought thule was solid but heavy. i bought the scicon evolution which is well made , light and travels well through the airport. both are not cheap but i think they'll hold up long term. i have my scicon now several years, other than scruff marks from TSA and airport staff playing football with my bike case its doing its job

  3. #3
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    I have two Performance cases I'd give you if you live in the DC area, I used to travel with bikes until the kids came and bike vacations ended. Plus, since 9/11, traveling with a bike is a hassle. Whatever you get, make sure it has wheels on it. Preferably four wheels. Make sure it has good latches to close the case since TSA won't let you lock it. Learn how to pack your bike. I once watched some French goon yank my bike case out of the cargo hold of a plane and let it drop five feet onto the tarmac at Chuck de Gaulle airport. The bike was unharmed, despite that asshoole's efforts to freck it up.

  4. #4
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    SciCon (pronounced SheCon) or Evoc. Because of TSA I will never use a hard case again.
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  5. #5
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    so one one more note. I happen to think scicon ranks best but its also more expensive. Another case that is almost as good but cheaper is bike box alan.

  6. #6
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    I was shopping last year. I first decided on a hard case and then narrowed it down to scicon or bikeboxalan. I went with bike box just because of price.

    First trip went good. Easy to pack and moves well in the airport. Not so well on carpet. It's very easy to lift with the handles on the side but the onlything is there not very apparent and the baggage handlers may not see them

  7. #7
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    BikeBoxAlan is a brand I had not heard of.

    How does the box latch? With TSA regs, it can't be locked, so I'm hoping the latches would be secure and rugged? How heavy are they, and do you think they would accomodate a 61cm frame?

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    google the website. they're a u.k. outfit. heard about it through my london friends

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    SciCon (pronounced SheCon) or Evoc. Because of TSA I will never use a hard case again.
    What did TSA do?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by burgrat View Post
    What did TSA do?
    his ought to be good. scicon comes with a key lock tsa has access to, i don't even lock mine. can't even imagine what the tsa would do to a hard bike case that they coudn't do and more to a bike in a soft case. i'm curious too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek_5200 View Post
    his ought to be good. scicon comes with a key lock tsa has access to, i don't even lock mine. can't even imagine what the tsa would do to a hard bike case that they coudn't do and more to a bike in a soft case. i'm curious too.
    They will open a hard case and then have to move stuff around to inspect. If you think they take any care at all when putting it back together you're dreaming. With a bag like a SciCon they will unzip, take a look, if they move some small things it doesn't matter because the bike is attached to the frame in the bottom of the bag. Way more likely your bike will survive the TSA morons and baggage idiots if it's in a quality bag compared to a 2 piece hard shell container.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    SciCon (pronounced SheCon) or Evoc. Because of TSA I will never use a hard case again.
    It's funny. Before I started this thread, I was aware of the Scicon brand, but had never really pondered the pronunciation.

    Your comment here got me wondering.

    Looking at their website, I see their logo presented in two different ways.

    The website icon itself, and some of the product logos, appear like they are going for "S.C. ICON", but some of the product logos appear to be as you suggest 'SheCon".



    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    They will open a hard case and then have to move stuff around to inspect. If you think they take any care at all when putting it back together you're dreaming. With a bag like a SciCon they will unzip, take a look, if they move some small things it doesn't matter because the bike is attached to the frame in the bottom of the bag. Way more likely your bike will survive the TSA morons and baggage idiots if it's in a quality bag compared to a 2 piece hard shell container.


    I've heard nightmares about TSA opening hard case bags, removing stuff, and not being able to get it back in and close the bag, and ultimately ended up wrapping the box in duct tape with stuff hanging out.

    Anyway, back to bag choices.

    I don't like the looks of the latches on the BikeBagAlan boxes. They just look prone to being hit and popped open, or even being bent or damaged.

    I had a friend who has a Scicon bag (not box) who said he returned it for QC issues. He ended up with a Evoc Pro and said he highly recommends it (he travels frequently), but can't say if the 61cm frame would fit.

    I can't find much about the Thule online at all. I like the looks of it, and it's similar in price and features to the Evoc Pro I'm considering

    Both of these have a bike stand that is built from the supporting structure of the bag (the stand is optional on the Evoc, included on the Thule). I think I've decided I really like this feature.

    Thule RoundTrip Pro XT
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...ro-xt-_-100505


    Evoc Pro w/Bike Stand
    https://www.evocsports.com/products/...travel-bag-pro

    One downside I can see with the Evoc is it only has two wheels built into the frame. It has a third wheel that clips on to the opposite end. The seems suboptimal to me. Like the bag might get tippy going around turns, etc...

  13. #13
    pmf
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    They will open a hard case and then have to move stuff around to inspect. If you think they take any care at all when putting it back together you're dreaming. With a bag like a SciCon they will unzip, take a look, if they move some small things it doesn't matter because the bike is attached to the frame in the bottom of the bag. Way more likely your bike will survive the TSA morons and baggage idiots if it's in a quality bag compared to a 2 piece hard shell container.
    I had that happen to me even in the days before 9/11. My case popped up the luggage carousel at Dulles with only two of the four latches closed. There was a seat post sticking out of one side of it. I'd put small carbiners on the latches instead of locks. Two of them were missing.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    It's funny. Before I started this thread, I was aware of the Scicon brand, but had never really pondered the pronunciation.

    Your comment here got me wondering.

    Looking at their website, I see their logo presented in two different ways.

    The website icon itself, and some of the product logos, appear like they are going for "S.C. ICON", but some of the product logos appear to be as you suggest 'SheCon".





    I've heard nightmares about TSA opening hard case bags, removing stuff, and not being able to get it back in and close the bag, and ultimately ended up wrapping the box in duct tape with stuff hanging out.

    Anyway, back to bag choices.

    I don't like the looks of the latches on the BikeBagAlan boxes. They just look prone to being hit and popped open, or even being bent or damaged.

    I had a friend who has a Scicon bag (not box) who said he returned it for QC issues. He ended up with a Evoc Pro and said he highly recommends it (he travels frequently), but can't say if the 61cm frame would fit.

    I can't find much about the Thule online at all. I like the looks of it, and it's similar in price and features to the Evoc Pro I'm considering

    Both of these have a bike stand that is built from the supporting structure of the bag (the stand is optional on the Evoc, included on the Thule). I think I've decided I really like this feature.

    Thule RoundTrip Pro XT
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...ro-xt-_-100505


    Evoc Pro w/Bike Stand
    https://www.evocsports.com/products/...travel-bag-pro

    One downside I can see with the Evoc is it only has two wheels built into the frame. It has a third wheel that clips on to the opposite end. The seems suboptimal to me. Like the bag might get tippy going around turns, etc...
    Been through the airport now about a dozen times or so with my scicon. so far no issues with TSA. There's not much to toss around, very easy to look around if you are TSA without disturbing the packing. I think its a well designed case.

    My road bike is relatively small 45 sloping, so that may provide more room and ease to TSA.

  15. #15
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    Leaving Pearson in Toronto they actually had me open my box in front of them in a special section. Your right they need to look around but there only concerned what they can't see. Mostly the bags I had in there. I attached my saddlebag to the seatpost and had another bag wrapped around a strap and my bike. I learned that was a mistake and that took the most time to check. Now I just strap my bike to the case, seatpost and handlebars are all secure and strapped down and everything is easy to see. At most they have to move around some extra padding around my fork or derailleur.

    Don't put to much other stuff in there. Maybe a laundry bag with your clothes and just place it on of the frame last. Put my other stuff in my luggage. When they open my box everything is viable and right in front of them. Just don't put too much other crap in there.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    I'm looking for a travel bag/case to carry a custom 61cm Ti bike on vacation.

    I've been reading reviews on the Evoc Pro and the Thule Round Trip Transition Pro XT.

    They are both in the same price range, and they both have a bike stand built in (it's an extra $150 purchase on the Evoc), which is a nice plus.

    It's a one-time purchase, so budget isn't a concern. Especially considering how valuable the bike it's protecting is.

    I'd be interested in any thoughts people have about these bags, or anything similar. I'm particularly interested to know how a big bike like this will fit.

    Thanks in advance...

    Edit to add: Not interested in renting. I've had too many problems with this, and the bike doesn't have (and is not getting) couplers. it's a Di2 bike with hydraulic disc brakes.
    Evoc is a good case.
    The most important thing to remember is that no case will safely take a bicycle through NYC airports.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Evoc is a good case.
    The most important thing to remember is that no case will safely take a bicycle through NYC airports.
    Good to know. Thankfully I have no desire or interest in taking my bikes there.

  18. #18
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    I have a BikND Helium, wonderful case that has given me zero issues.

    https://www.biknd.com/

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Good to know. Thankfully I have no desire or interest in taking my bikes there.
    I can understand that... but we have some great cycling nearby. Iím 8 miles from lower Manhattan. We have lots of punchy, short sharp climbs and everything else you might want to ride. Beachfront. Farm country. Estate alley. The highest point on the eastern seaboard is just over a mile from me. The skyline views are incredible. Every day the roads get more bike friendly and drivers are generally pretty considerate. Strangely, and I do pick routes strategically, I can have stretches where I barely see cars... Even when Iím looking at the skyline! We also have incredible mtb riding. We donít have much gravel... Some. But not much. NYC and Newark are legit high risk airports for terrorist attacks and travel warnings are clear about that. We heard and smelled the Tower hits... The debris littered our local beaches. We also got anthrax attacked... But it is such a beautiful place to live and ride. Very diverse. Lots of cycling culture. I have never had a car do dumb crap like yell or throw anything in thousands and thousands of miles...
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  20. #20
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    For my everyday travel bike (I do 3-4 week trips adding up to about 8 months out of the year), I have a Ritchey BreakAway CX and am looking at going S&S Coupler on a ti frame I have to replace it. The Ritchey case is not going to last too much longer and the steel CX frame is a bit on the heavy side. Otherwise, they work well. I just think the S&S system will be a little more durable in the long run and more compact. This is important when you fly around in 208s and other small aircraft. The TSA net setup they have keeps everything more or less together as you packed it, so there's less for them to screw up. Also, the slightly smaller packaging makes it look more like a normal suitcase, as opposed to the barn door that is the Ritchey case.

    However, as you said, you're not interested in couplers. I have a clamshell case that I take my non-coupled bikes around in. TSA has ruined a couple bikes over the years, including an aluminum Storck (dented downtube) and a carbon Trek (cracked seatstay). The Ti bikes I've traveled with have yet to get a scratch, but then again they weren't the internally tapered, thin-tube type, which may have made a difference. So, with ti bikes, I have fewer worries about them ruining the frame.

    That said, they have managed to destroy a couple shifters with their poor re-packing. If you can, do your best to protect them (and the derailleurs) as much as possible.

    I fly Alaska Airlines as much as possible, since they're very fair on bikes compared to most carriers. Having a big and heavy bike box/bag is just an excuse for many airlines to start laying on the charges. Add that to your calculations when choosing.

  21. #21
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    The ScIcon website has a place to enter some measurements to determine if your bike will fit their bags. You have to watch a video to see what the measurements are, and there's evidently a different video for each model bag. They do say their bags are designed to accommodate XL bikes.

  22. #22
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    One things I've considered is using 2 cases, one for the frame, components, etc. and one specifically for the wheels. You could do a hard case such as the S&S case and you can fit the rest of the bike in another case/bag with lots of room to spare from clothing, helmet, shoes, etc. You could fit a lot of extras, especially using travel organizers, and this would avoid some of the risk of TSA removing and then trying to replace the wheels/frame/everything in one bag or case (which is often has very little wiggle room, especially with a 61cm frame). It's more money (cost of the bag and possible additional bag fee), but when you consider the thousands an expensive bike is worth, an extra $350 for a hard S&S case isn't bad.
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    Last edited by burgrat; 03-09-2019 at 01:13 PM.

  23. #23
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    We've had excellent experience with both the Pika Packworks (hand-made in SLC, Utah) EEP cases as well as the Orucase Airport Ninja (both soft cases). My current favorite design is the http://www.postcarry.co Transfer Case. It is a *REALLY* well thought-out design with pockets etc. for everything. Very easy to open for inspection, external wheels, and tons of grab-straps on the outside for easy schlepping. Also compacts down into a backpack-like configuration for storage/transport at your destination. I havne't had a chance to actually travel with it but will next month. I'll post my experience. Note: with any soft case, I spend a good bit of time padding my bike's frame tubes, fork legs, etc. with foam pipe insulation. Don't know if it makes a difference, but so far, no damage.

    Regarding soft cases with internal frames... the main critique I've heard about them (and it seems valid) is that if something impacts the case without a frame, the bike can move around a bit to avoid/absorb the force. Not so if it's rigidly locked onto an internal frame.
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  24. #24
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    A little bump to this thread. Does anyone who has used the EVOC Pro know if a 56-ish sized frame can fit in with just hadlebars turned? With an integrated stem handlebar, taking it apart is a major undertaking.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    It's funny. Before I started this thread, I was aware of the Scicon brand, but had never really pondered the pronunciation.

    Your comment here got me wondering.

    Looking at their website, I see their logo presented in two different ways.

    The website icon itself, and some of the product logos, appear like they are going for "S.C. ICON", but some of the product logos appear to be as you suggest 'SheCon".





    I've heard nightmares about TSA opening hard case bags, removing stuff, and not being able to get it back in and close the bag, and ultimately ended up wrapping the box in duct tape with stuff hanging out.

    Anyway, back to bag choices.

    I don't like the looks of the latches on the BikeBagAlan boxes. They just look prone to being hit and popped open, or even being bent or damaged.

    I had a friend who has a Scicon bag (not box) who said he returned it for QC issues. He ended up with a Evoc Pro and said he highly recommends it (he travels frequently), but can't say if the 61cm frame would fit.

    I can't find much about the Thule online at all. I like the looks of it, and it's similar in price and features to the Evoc Pro I'm considering

    Both of these have a bike stand that is built from the supporting structure of the bag (the stand is optional on the Evoc, included on the Thule). I think I've decided I really like this feature.

    Thule RoundTrip Pro XT
    https://www.thule.com/en-us/us/bike-...ro-xt-_-100505


    Evoc Pro w/Bike Stand
    https://www.evocsports.com/products/...travel-bag-pro

    One downside I can see with the Evoc is it only has two wheels built into the frame. It has a third wheel that clips on to the opposite end. The seems suboptimal to me. Like the bag might get tippy going around turns, etc...
    One thing to consider is that airlines will only provide damage reimbursement with hard cases, not fabric ones. I have a Scicon AeroComfort Road 2.0 that I saw being loaded onto my flight, laying on its fabric side with other luggage stacked on top. Scicon cases are designed to be transported upright, but certainly don't count on that being observed by the airlines.
    Last edited by nova_rider; 05-14-2019 at 05:22 AM.

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