For those who travel the world in search of sweet riding spots, we know how much of a bitch it is to pack all your gear. And the most worrying thing? Our bikes. Yes, the most important gear for an awesome bike trip has to be packed safely and securely to reach it’s destination. If not, si bei jialat liao.
Before there were specific bike bags for mountain bikes or downhill bikes, most of us would have to make do with a box. All that has changed now as more and more companies are making bike bags specifically to fit our long wheelbase rigs. Here’s a quick look at the 2 most extreme ends of your travelling options.
If you travel with your bike, then you’d definitely be familiar with either one of these. We’ve heard tales of riders dismantling their bikes to pack it in their luggage, but that’s a different story for another day.
Contender #1 – The venerable bike box, albeit with some minor modifications to help it better handle abuse.
Contender#2 – The mother of all bike bags – the EVOC Bike Bag.
Some svelte bike bags are known to be not DH bike friendly. Not so the EVOC. This one swallows a DH bike with ease. None of that having to take off your dual crown fork or removing the air/spring to compress the fork crap.
With the EVOC, all you need to do is remove the stem together with the handlebar with levers/shifters intact. This way, when it comes to reassembling the bike, you don’t need to fiddle around with the proper alignment and roll of the handlebar. 4 stem bolts back in to the top crown and that’s it.
Be warned though, the EVOC bike is about 8.6kg EMPTY. Factor in the weight of your DH bike and you’re facing serious weight issues.
Don’t get one with plenty of white unless you’re planning to play CSI and intend to track down who left his footprint on your bag.
And no matter bling your bike bag is, be prepared to get plastered with them Fragile stickers at the airport.
You’d think that the EVOC bike is a boat to steer. Not with these wheels. Not only are they monster truck massive, but they are set wider than the bike bag, meaning unparalled stability when pulling the bag along.
Even a separate compartment to store your pedals.
There are ample straps to secure the frame inside the bag.
It also has a raised foam box platform so the BB shell and the chainrings/bashguard are off the floor of the bag.
No problems accommodating DH tyres as these wheel compartments has ravenous appetite, that’s for sure!
And now our limited-edition-team-issue-cardboard-moulded DIY BIKE BOX
This is no ordinary bike box. It has been meticulously taped to reinforce it against abuse and make it water resistant. You never know when it’s gonna rain. You could get away with an unmodified bike box but we’ve seen bike parts sticking out of battered bike boxes by the time we reached our destination. Better to be safe than sorry. The insides have been lined with corrugated board.
The grip handles have been reinforced as well.
20mm PVC pipe, length 110mm to slide onto your front axle. Reuse one of those fork stands so your fork doesn’t rest on its dials, or accidentally smash those poor ants.
Some padding here and there and you’re good to go. Complete bike with both wheels in the box. On our most recent trip to Cikole, local customs at the Bandung airport requested this box to be opened cos they thought it was a brand new bike inside the way the exterior of the box was prepped!
So here’s what we think…
- In terms of mobility, the EVOC wins hands down. The box is a bitch to carry around especially if you don’t have any trolleys around. The massive wheels on the EVOC make pulling it pretty easy actually.
- Obviously the EVOC is gonna cost a whole lot more, but the way it’s built, it’ll probably outlast your current bike. Nah, make it your next two bikes and your kid’s bike. Plus, if you can afford a $10K DH rig, you definitely can afford an EVOC bike bag. Stop giving excuses!
- The bike box would be ideal for the traveller on a budget or if you’re the sort who prefers the least amount of disassembly/reassembly. Just be sure to reinforce it.
- Be mindful of the weight of the EVOC when full. Not all airlines offer the 40kg max on sports equipment like AirAsia.
The EVOC bike bag is definitely a worthy investment if you’re planning to get a bike bag. It has our stamp of approval.
This article was contributed by – The Teacher