Posted by: Ian | August 7, 2011

The Evoc Bike Travel bag in real life

It’s early days yet but so far I’m impressed with my Evoc bike bag. There’s a very good review of its qualities together with plenty of photos and even a video here. With bigger bikes you can’t leave the seat post in place in the seat tube as indicated in that review. On my 60 cm frame Astraeus I can leave a 30 cm post in (if I push it all the way down) but not a 35 cm post. With Joerg’s larger-framed Cervelo the post just has to come out. Also, I prefer using wheel covers to sticking the wheels into the wheel compartments naked, as in the review photo’s. I got some covers when I bought my new Fulcrums – they ought to be easy to buy (or make) but it may well actually be a nuisance to acquire them. Each of the Fulcrum covers has a pouch that makes a handy place for the skewer. My Fulcrums also came with a pair of blankers that slot into the wheels in place of each skewer and give added protection when it’s packed. Otherwise the review gives a spot-on description of the bike bag.

So what’s it like in real-world use when travelling?

Travelling by plane

The first form of abuse that you face with a bike at the airport could well be an unreasonable charge levied by your carrier. Joerg has used the bike bag twice on the Zurich <-> London route with Swiss Air and not been charged either time. I did the same and was charged £60 each way. In contrast, on our recent holiday Corsican Places let us take the bike for free and had people at the check-in line who confirmed at the desk that we didn’t need to pay and then helped us get the bike to the oversize baggage belt.

The real challenge, though, with air travel comes from the baggage handlers. I don’t know how the bag will hold up in the long term but I’m optimistic. After the flights to date the worst damage sustained has been a scuff tear around one of the corners:

Travelling by train

The bike bag has been on the Paddington to Taunton line a couple of times, where it had a bike reservation and travelled in the guard’s van along with unbagged bikes. It’s also been on the Liverpool Street to Stanstead train, where it fitted discreetly in the space next to a pair of fold-up seats. No problems.

Travelling on foot

The bag is stable and easy to wheel around, and the well-placed straps, together with its light weight, make it easy to pick up when necessary.

Travelling by car

Most hatchbacks would be able to accommodate the bag if you’re prepared to lay it down flat. This may not be practical if you’re travelling with other luggage. Fortunately, it can also be fitted into the back of our Audi Q5 standing up, leaving plenty of room for other cases. It also slotted in upright in the back of our hire car in Corsica, which was smaller. This may be more challenging if the seat post is still in the seat tube due to the increased height, although if it does become a problem it’s an easy one to solve.

In summary, the bag is a cinch to travel with.

Here’s what I put in it.

  • The bike frame.
  • The seatpost with saddle on.
  • A fully-loaded wedgie bag.
  • A frame pump in situ on the frame.
  • Two bidons containing gels and drink sachets in their cages.
  • A top tube bag filled with extra spares.
  • Long hex keys, esp an 8mm one for the pedals.
  • The pedals, removed.
  • Grease for re-fitting the pedals.
  • Anti-seize for the seatpost.
  • Oil.
  • My bike shoes.
  • My helmet.
  • My excellent Lezyne travel floor drive pump.
When I’d loaded the bag up with all of this Paula asked me if I could fit her helmet in too. It went in easily.
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Responses

  1. […] be leaving the Island in a couple of hours and my Astraeus is in the bike bag. A while ago I bought a frame spacer, which is simply a skewer with a sprocket on it that slips […]


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