If you regularly move your bike around, then you need to protect it adequately. A good quality bike case can potentially save you a lot of headaches and expenses on repairs. If you’re frequently traveling with your bike, there’s no doubt that a bike travel case is pretty much an essential tool. This is particularly important if you’re traveling by air.
Happily, modern bike cases afford excellent protection levels, and you don’t have to break the bank to buy one. The best bike travel case for you will depend on your own set of circumstances. Our review includes a wide range of different choices, and we know there will be a bike travel case that’s right for you and your bike.
So, let’s get to it and take a closer look…
- 1 Top 6 Best Bike Travel Cases For All Budgets Reviews
- 1.1 1 Sci Con AEROCOMFORT 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag – Best Airport Security Bike Travel Case
- 1.2 2 Evoc 2019 Bike Travel Transport Bag Multicolor 285L – Best Lightweight Cross Compatible Bike Travel Case
- 1.3 3 Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case – Best Bike Travel Case with Quality Stand
- 1.4 4 B&W International Bike Sack – Bike Sack (96250/N)- Best Budget Bike Travel Case
- 1.5 5 BIKND Jetpack V2 Travel Bike Case – Best Protection Softshell Bike Travel Case
- 1.6 6 evoc Pro Road Bike Bag – Best Tri Bike Compatible Travel Case
- 2 Best Bike Travel Case Buying Guide
- 3 Speaking of brilliant cycling travel accessories…
- 4 So, what is the Best Bike Travel Case?
Top 6 Best Bike Travel Cases For All Budgets Reviews
1 Sci Con AEROCOMFORT 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag – Best Airport Security Bike Travel Case
The Sci Con AEROCOMFORT 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag is a softshell bag that doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it will cost as much as a lot of people will spend on their bikes. With this in mind, be very careful that you order the correct type since they come in three versions. These are road, mountain, and triathlon.
The Sci Con AEROCOMFORT weighs 17.64 pounds and measures 38.6 x 50.8 x 17.7 inches. This is quite wide in comparison to most bike travel cases, and the wider design has a couple of definite advantages over alternative designs.
The first thing is that being so wide means the only thing you have to take off when packing your bike is the wheels. Frankly, that’s remarkable. We can’t think of any other bike travel case where you can leave everything else in situ.
It is not only the packing and unpacking that is a breeze. Because the case is relatively short, it also makes it much easier to wheel around. This is particularly useful at busy airports.
The Sci Con case has four twin wheels to help you in transit. It also has a selection of handles that make moving it around nice and comfortable. Since this is also relatively lightweight, it’s not unduly heavy or cumbersome to move around.
The case has built-in TSA approved locks and ¾ length zips. This means that not only is your bike likely to be secure, but additionally, it makes inspecting the contents by TSA agents quick and painless.
As well as protecting your bike from thieves, the level of protection for your bike is equally well-considered and impressive. Inside there is a specially designed internal frame defender. In combination with rigid protection shields, placed near the most fragile parts of your bike, and extra padding, you can be assured of high levels of security against damage.
- TSA approved locks.
- Easy to load and unload.
- Internal rigid protection shields.
- Easy to maneuver and transport.
2 Evoc 2019 Bike Travel Transport Bag Multicolor 285L – Best Lightweight Cross Compatible Bike Travel Case
This is another softshell bike travel case. It weighs 18.9lbs, which is just slightly more than the Sci Con case we just reviewed. It is also longer and thinner and measures 59” x 32” x 15”.
Unlike the Sci Con travel case, the EVO bike travel case can transport most types of bikes. This bag is suitable regardless of if you have a standard mountain, road, cyclocross, or triathlon bike. If you have more than one kind of bike, it undoubtedly makes it an excellent choice.
Despite having a soft shell, it has levels of protection that you would typically expect from a hard shell bike travel case. It has very high levels of thick integrated padding, which is then reinforced with additional rubber strips. The case employs a great combination of lightweight but strong and well-padded materials.
Breaking down your bike for transport is relatively easy. You only have to take off the wheels, pedals, and handlebars. This is a quick job and makes this a great case to travel with regularly.
You should be aware, though, that since this can be used for lots of different types of bikes, at first, it can take a little trial and error to perfect the packing. Thankfully, after a few attempts, it’s usually all plain sailing, and you can have your frame, forks, drivetrain, dropouts, and rotors all packed up in minutes.
Lots of spare room for accessories…
The inside of the case has loads of straps to help you lock the handlebars and frame into place. It also has two separate pockets for wheels anywhere up to 29” in diameter. What’s more, there is a full 295 liters of internal space, so you have lots of spare room to pack additional items for those extended fun tours and trips.
To store tools and accessories, there are dedicated pockets. Plus, there are external zip pockets to keep sundry items. Unfortunately, the side pockets don’t have lockable zips, and there’s no way to attach locks of any kind. It’s a shame. Just remember to not keep anything valuable in them.
The other main zips can be padlocked. Locks aren’t provided, but we don’t think that’s a particularly big deal.
The Evoc bag comes in four different colorways, but this model does not include a bike stand. If you need a bike stand, you can upgrade to the Evoc Pro edition. Considering the small extra cost and the addition of very little weight, it’s not a bad option.
- Suitable for all makes of bike.
- Large additional storage space.
- Dedicated pockets for tools/accessories.
- No locks on external pockets.
3 Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case – Best Bike Travel Case with Quality Stand
The Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case has a soft shell but comes with some very innovative modular protective panels. The result is a bike travel case that comes close to offering the level of protection that you’d generally expect from a hard shell bike case.
Lightweight but strong…
A traditional hard case can weigh around 40lbs. This means that you could get a nasty shock come check-in time when you have your bike and tools inside. However, since the Thule RoundTrip ProXT weighs just 19lbs, it gives you some great options when you fly. Having a case that’s this strong, and this light is undoubtedly a huge plus.
The Thule bike travel case is suitable for any bike. If your bike has a wheelbase under 46” you should be good to go. This means mountain, cyclocross, tourers, and road bikes will fit.
Ease of use?
Packing and unpacking the case is relatively straightforward. The only things you have to take off or break down are the wheels, handlebars, and pedals. We’re sure you’ll agree; it doesn’t get much easier than that.
To pack the case, you simply place the frame on the stand and then put the wheels into the two separate wheel cases. These are on either side of the frame. Then you just need to pull down the top and lock it into position.
The best part?
One of the features we love about the Thule RoundTrip Pro XT Bike Case is that it comes with an integrated repair stand. This means that breaking down and building up your bike is a simple affair. It also makes any extra repairs you might need to do significantly quicker.
- Modular protective panels.
- Integrated repair stand.
- Easy to pack and unpack.
- Smooth wheels.
- Only two rear wheels.
4 B&W International Bike Sack – Bike Sack (96250/N)- Best Budget Bike Travel Case
This is an inexpensive option.
The B&W International Bike Sack is made from strong nylon and has no built-in padding. It weighs just over two pounds. It has a main compartment and two internal pockets to store your wheels. And it has a removable carrying strap, and since it’s so light, it should be easy to carry around, even with a heavier style bike inside.
B&W advertises the sack as being suitable for transporting your bike by either car or train. This makes a lot of sense since it doesn’t have any padding. We’re sure you’ll agree that when traveling by car or train, it is possible to get away with minimal padding.
Traveling by air is a different story…
If you do choose to use it for air travel, we still think it can be a viable option. The bag has enough room that you can fashion your own padding from cardboard, bubble wrap, pipe insulation tubes, or whatever else you might have lying around. It’s not too difficult to give your bike a decent level of protection with a little time and effort.
The bike is big enough to fit most standard-sized bikes, regardless of their type. It will even fit in most cruisers. For less expensive and less sentimentally important bikes, we think it’s fine. However, it’s unlikely we’d use it for our higher-end or vintage bikes.
One other cost of the low price…
To fit the bike into the bag will require more breaking down and more time than the other bags in our review. You will need to take off the saddle, wheels, pedals, and handlebars. When you pack the bag, you also need to take extra precautions to protect your bike’s more delicate areas, like your rotors, chainstays, and crankset.
When not in use, the B&W sack can be folded down for storage or transport. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t fold into a particularly small profile. It might just tuck into a large backpack, but that would still be a bit of a stretch.
- Suitable for all types of bikes.
- Two separate internal wheel pockets.
- No padding is included.
- No integrated wheels.
5 BIKND Jetpack V2 Travel Bike Case – Best Protection Softshell Bike Travel Case
We like this a lot. At first glance, the BIKND Jetpack V2 Travel Bike Case appears to offer minimal padding. However, when you get closer, you can see that it affords some of the best, if not the best, protection of any soft-shelled bike travel case.
So, how do they do it?
The bike case opens up fully from both sides. This allows you to fit your frame onto the centrally positioned reinforced aluminum rack. The rack will accommodate all kinds and all sizes of bikes.
To fit your bike onto the rack involves minimal disassembly. You only need to take off your wheels, pedals, and handlebars. You leave your saddle in place, which acts as an intelligent protection point for your top tube and headset.
Fancy a sandwich?
Once the frame is in place on the stand, you put your wheels onto the two inflatable pads on either side of the frame. You then put a second inflatable pad over each wheel to create a padded wheel sandwich.
Once the wheels are secured, via the integrated straps, the sides of the case are folded up and zipped in place. This creates a frame sandwich on the inside of the two-wheel sandwiches.
Rather cool, really…
The upshot is that the frame is protected from all angles. Plus, your wheels and rotors if your running discs are well protected. We think this is the best bike travel case amongst all the softshell cases in our review. It’s a brilliant piece of design.
This is a TSA approved travel case. What’s more, to help you out at the airport, it’s also got a set of smooth-running wheels. Add in the five years warranty, and this is a tough package to beat.
- Inflatable padding for wheels and bike.
- Excellent levels of protection from all angles.
- Minimal disassembly required.
- TSA approved.
- Lightweight with smooth running wheels.
- Five years warranty.
- Good value.
- We haven’t got one.
6 evoc Pro Road Bike Bag – Best Tri Bike Compatible Travel Case
This is a hybrid bike travel case. By that, we mean that it has elements of both a hard and a softshell case. While the majority of the bike case is made from soft materials, the top, bottom, and sections of the sides (near the top) are made from hard composite materials.
What does that result in?
This all translates to a bike travel case that provides higher protection levels than most completely softshell alternatives. It also means that there’s a substantial weight saving over a full hardshell case. That’s something that you’ll be grateful for at the airport come check-in time.
The Evoc Pro Road Bike Bag has a central stand to seat your bike. This is great for transportation purposes, but it also makes your life appreciably easier when you need to reassemble your bike.
The only things that need to be taken off to fit your bike are the wheels and pedals. Once you’ve taken your wheels off, they can be placed into the separate padded bags. These provide excellent protection even for disc wheels.
Who can use this?
The bike travel case can transport any type or size of bikes. It’s big enough to carry large frame bikes, and the cool thing is that it is even suitable for tri-bikes. That’s pretty rare and a nice feature to have.
When you need to move the case around, things are made easier by the multiple handles strategically placed on all sides. The case also has a set of smooth-running wheels to help take out some of the effort of moving it around at the airport.
Safe and secure…
Finally, the bag has an integrated lock to keep your bike and accessories safe. There are no external pockets, so you are assured of all your belongings staying secure.
- Integrated bike stand.
- Padded wheels bags.
- Potential weak point hardshell protection.
- Tri-bikes will fit.
- Only pedals and wheels need to be removed.
- Main zippers could be more robust.
Best Bike Travel Case Buying Guide
The ideal bike travel case for you will very much depend on its intended purpose. We know that all bike travel cases are made for transporting bikes between two destinations. However, the types of bikes being transported and the mode of transport is critical in this decision-making process.
Main criteria to consider?
If you have expensive bikes or regularly travel by air, you’ll probably opt for a hardshell case, or alternatively, something that offers very high levels of protection. If your bikes are less expensive, and you possibly mostly travel by road, then you may well opt for a less costly and less padded bike case.
We will start by looking at the different types of case exterior. Then we will look at the other factors that are likely to affect your purchasing choice.
Hard Shell Bike Cases
Hardshell bike travel cases will give you the highest level of protection for your bikes. These days you can expect exceptional levels of protection from these cases. The chances of your bike becoming damaged in transit, including during air travel, are minimal.
But, there were no hardshell options here?
Although we didn’t review a hard shell bike case, we did review a hybrid that contained strategically placed sections of a composite hard shell. The…
…gives similar protection levels as a hardshell case but addresses one of its main weaknesses…weight.
The main issue with hardshell cases is that they typically weigh around 40lbs. They may well offer unsurpassed bike protection levels, but you’re likely to get unsurpassed levels of excess baggage charges to match.
This is why soft shell bike cases are so popular.
Let’s take a look at those now…
Soft Shell Bike Cases
These can offer levels of protection that come very close to a hard shell alternative.
Modern cases have integrated or modular padding. Some also have interior frames to take the knocks and soften any potential impact. However, it was the…
…that impressed us most.
This case uses a tough aluminum base and a series of cleverly placed inflatable pads to create a thick protective layer around the frame and wheels. It’s an ingenious design and one we feel happy to put our trust in.
And the others?
All the padded softshell bike cases in our review are perfect other than for transporting a super expensive bike. In this instance, we would seriously consider a hard case, or we think we would trust the…
One significant advantage of all of these softshell cases, we’ll reiterate here, is that they weigh about half of their hardshell counterparts. This means that with the right shopping around, and the correct packing, it could be possible to fly to your chosen destination with no excess package charges.
Unpadded softshell bike cases have their place and can be the perfect first choice in many circumstances. Although they don’t have any integrated padding, this doesn’t prevent you from adding your own. Thick cardboard, pipe insulation, and bubble wrap can go a long way to keeping your bike safe and damage-free.
They are great for inexpensively transporting less valuable and delicate bikes. If you can perfect your own DIY padding, cases like the…
…can be surprisingly effective in safely transporting your bike.
The final advantages are that unpadded softshell cases weigh substantially less than any of the alternatives. Plus, they can usually be folded away for storage.
Having a bike stand integrated into the case frame makes things much easier for both disassembly and reassembly. It’s also useful if you are using the case to transport your bike between events or races. This is because it allows you to work on modifying or changing components easily. The
…was a clear winner for the quality of its stand.
If you have fewer components that need to be broken down before packing, you can significantly reduce disassembly and reassembly time. Usually, you will need to take off the wheel, saddle, pedals, and handlebars. Anything less than this is a bonus.
In this regard, the…
…excels in making life easy during the breakdown. Because of its depth, you only have to take the wheels off during packing.
Security is surprisingly low for a lot of bike travel cases. In some instances, it’s non-existent. Often, you will be transporting tools, components, and other items, as well as your bike. Consequently, the inclusion of good locks should not be overlooked. The…
….with it’s TSA approved locks, scores top points for security.
Speaking of brilliant cycling travel accessories…
Our in-depth reviews for the Best Bike Lights, the Best Bike Mirrors, and our Best Bike Chains review and Best Bicycle Seat review will show you how these additions can enhance your overall cycling experience. And don’t forget the gadgets! Our Best Bike Computers review showcases the very best in training and route planning technology available to you in 2020.
Back to bike travel cases…
So, what is the Best Bike Travel Case?
So, there you have it. Six cases, all of which we believe have plenty of good qualities depending on your bikes and transportation needs. We hope there was something suitable amongst them for you.
While our top pick may not necessarily be the best travel case for your specific bike and needs, we’re sure you’ll agree, the…
… has lots of great features to deserve the top spot.
Its level of padding and protection put it on a par with many hard shell bike cases. Additionally, it’s lightweight, requires minimal breakdown, has smooth-running wheels, and has five years of warranty!
It’s a real winner in our books.
Enjoy your bikes, and enjoy your rides.