When you fly with your bike, you never really know who you are trusting your prized possession with, and your bike needs serious protection when going way up in the sky on a big tin bird. A good old cardboard box from your local store does the trick, but will never come close to the ease of a well designed bike bag, especially when you’re running late for a flight, trust us.
Here at Flow we are so often on the road travelling with our bikes to new destinations, events and testing sweet bikes far away from home. A great bike rack for your car goes a long way in saving time and space, and protecting your precious ride, but when it comes to air travel we are even more diligent in assuring that when we get to the other end, we can be on the trails with our bikes in 100% shape as soon as possible.
The Dakine Bike Bag is a nifty option for the savvy traveller, loaded with features that are clearly developed out of plenty of experience and real world research. It is a tight fit, but we have successfully had our Trek Fuel EX 27.5″ test bike in there, and also a Specialized Enduro 650B. Both bikes are fairly long and with big tyres, but in size medium, perhaps larger sizes would need a bit more coaxing to fit in without further dismantling. A downhill bike would be tough, but we’ve heard of them fitting fine with the fork legs removed.
The bag is made from a tough material with a thin layer of padding, it folds in half for storage and weighs 7.7kg.
With both wheels off, and packed in their bags all you need to do is whip off the handlebars and pedals, that’s all the disassembly required. We also undid the derailleur of the hanger and left it dangling on the cable, just for security sake, both disc brake rotors can stay on as the two wheel bags use sturdy padded doughnut sections to house the fragile disc rotors.
Two long straps secure bike inside the bag, and once both wheel bags are inside there is no moving around, creating a solid package.
In comparison to other bike bags we have been using, this one is very easy to manoeuvre around with one hand. Two wheels on one end, and big soft handles are on the other end. It doesn’t always stand up by itself, but you can drag it over pretty much anything. We’ve dragged it through grass, gravel roads, and up and down gutters.
After a couple uses, we were packing and unpacking our bike in only a few minutes. We did however find that the white plastic feeling fabric is slightly abrasive to fragile carbon finishes, so we have been wrapping the main frame in a beach towel to add a soft layer, especially if the bike isn’t 100% clean before packing to reduce the risk of fine scratches in the delicate paintwork.
The Dakine Bike Bag is a real winner, it’s stable, manoeuvrable, protective and easy to use. Under 8kg is good for a bag with protection, and the quality of materials will ensure it will last many flights to come.
Another bag we rate highly is the PRO – http://flowmountainbike.com/tests/tested-pro-mega-bag/
This bag successfully manages to provide protection to a wide variety of bike shapes and sizes, we plan to keep using it, just with a couple extra pieces of foam here and there, but maybe that’s us being over cautious of other peoples bikes… The Dakine Bike Bag is well worth a look.