When was the last time you went somewhere new on your bike? When did you last charge into a corner not knowing what would be on the other side? When did you last try and stumble over directions in a new language, or drink a beer that you did not recognise? For many of us, winter is here and riding dry trails is a memory–but adventure is only a short flight away!


Flying with a bike is now easier than ever, and there are a huge range of dedicated bags on the market designed to protect your prized ride. You can make do with a cardboard bike box from your local bike shop, but a dedicated case makes travelling with your bike a lot more enjoyable. A good bike bag should pack up easily, protect your bike, and be light and transportable enough to make carriage stress-free. We tested five of the most popular bike bags on the market to see which one performed the best.

Chain Reaction Pro Bike Bag

Price: 310,49 € Weight: 8,6kg

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The Chain Reaction PRO bike bag is the cheapest bag in test, but is certainly feature packed. The bag includes alloy Crush Protection Inserts which, once fitted in place of your hubs, will prevent your frame and forks from being crushed together during transport. These inserts fit inside slots on the foam blocks in the bag to provide a secure mounting. The bag is fully compatible with 29er wheels and features twelve internal straps and integrated fork padding to keep everything protected. We liked the big wheels fitted to the bag, allowing it to be towed over rough ground, and at 8.6kg it keeps the weight down. For the money it offers most of the features of the more expensive bags and was quick to load and unload, and proved durable in our testing. Like the EVOC and Polaris, side protection is good, but not as thick as the BikND and Bikebox.

Der Chain Reaction Pro Bike Bag in geöffnetem Zustand
The opened Chain Reaction Pro Bike Bag.
Variabilität ist Trumpf: Im Lieferumfang der Chain Reaction Pro werden Metalleinsätze für alle gängigen Einbaubreiten von Federgabel und Rahmen mitgeliefert. Das ist besonders praktisch, wenn man mehrere Bikes besitzt.

The Chain Reaction Pro bag comes with crush-proof adapters for all standards of fork and rear axle spacing. This is helpful if you have lots of bikes
Sicher verstaut: In der Tasche befindet sich ein mit Schlitzen versehenes Schaumstoffpolster, das den Hinterbau mit dem montierten Bolzen sichert und das Bike beim Einpacken in Position hält.

The bag is fitted with a slotted foam pad which keeps the rear triangle protected and the bike upright while packing for a trip.
Einfach Lösungen: Die Laufräder können in zwei gepolsterten Innentaschen verstaut werden. Während der Nabenbereich zusätzlich verstärkt ist, ist der Rest nur leicht gepolstert, macht aber dennoch einen robusten Eindruck.
The wheels sit in two padded sleeves within the bag; the hub areas are armoured, while the rest of the material looks very durable, but is thinly padded.
KEEP ON ROLLIN’ Durch die großen Rollen lässt sich die Tasche auch auf unbefestigten Wegen leicht ziehen.

Big wheels allow the bike bag to be towed easily over round ground.

EVOC Bike Travel Bag

Price: 352,94 € Weight: 8,6kg


The EVOC bag has been the most popular soft bag for a number of years and it is easy to see why. The slide-in plastic stabilizers make the bag stand up, so loading is very quick. Although there are no solid crush-protection inserts for the fork or frame, everything feels very well made, and there are plenty of internal straps to hold your bike in place. The bag has proven durable in many overseas adventures. The best feature is that both bike wheels are stored in the rear of the bag, keeping the weight centered over the bag’s roller wheels; when combined with the class-leading large roller wheels, this bag is a delight to pull around. It covers rough ground easily and makes airports a breeze. If you travel long distances with your bag or need the best roller, then this is the bag for you.

Das Innenleben des EVOC Bike Travel Bag.
The inside of the EVOC Bike Travel Bag.
ROLLT AM BESTEN Durch die großen Rollen und die Konzentration des Gewichts im hinteren Bereich ist die Tasche sehr angenehm zu ziehen. Für alle, die längere Strecken zurücklegen, ist es die beste Tasche auf dem Markt.

The large wheels and rearward weight distribution make towing this bag a breeze. If you face long commutes with your bike bag, this is the best on the market.
STEHT GERADE Die herausnehmbaren Kunststoffstangen stabilisieren die Tasche und halten sie beim Packen aufrecht. Nimmt man sie heraus, kann man die Tasche zum Lagern auf eine handliche Größe zusammenfalten.

Removable plastic rods help stabilize the bag in use and keep it upright when packing; when removed, the bag can be folded down for storage.
OPTIMALE GEWICHTSVERTEILUNG Beide Laufräder werden im hinteren Teil der Tasche verstaut, sodass das Hauptgewicht über den Rollen liegt, was für gute Balance und einfaches Manövrieren sorgt

Both bike wheels are stored at the rear of the bag, keeping the weight over the bag’s wheels and improving balance and maneuverability when towing.
SICHERER SCHUTZ Wie bei allen hier getesteten Taschen sichert auch bei der EVOC ein Schaumstoffkissen den Tretlagerbereich

Like all the bags in the test, the EVOC bag features a foam pad to protect the bottom bracket area.

Polaris Axial

Price: 299,99 € Weight: 8,8 kg

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Polaris have been making hard shell cases for many years, and have taken that experience to produce the AXIAL soft bag. The attention to detail is very high. The AXIAL bristles with neat design features: removable strengthening inserts keep the bag upright for packing, and can be removed allowing the bag to be stored within its own EVA base. When packing the bag, all the straps are well located and foam inserts protect the bottom bracket; everything is well thought out. The packing instructions suggest the seatpost should be removed and secured in a dedicated sleeve, which is a bit of a no-no with a dropper post. It was not a big problem, however, as the bag had plenty of space to keep the seatpost in place. The wheels slot into two padded sleeves on one side of the bag, and there was plenty of space for big 29er tyres. The AXIAL is easy to transport, but with both bike wheels stored on one side, you have to spend a bit more time packing your belongings to ensure that the bag remains balanced. If space is at a premium in your home, the AXIAL packs down to the smallest dimensions in the group, and is easy to store when not in use.

Durchdacht und farbenfroh: Der Polaris Axial.
The colourful Polaris Axial.
EINSÄTZE Die Einsätze aus Polykarbonat verstärken die Tasche und halten sie aufrecht. Das ist besonders beim Öffnen und Auspacken sehr hilfreich.

The polycarbonate inserts provide strength and also allow the bag to stand upright, making it easy to unzip and access the contents.
NÜTZLICHE EXTRAS Zum Lieferumfang gehört eine praktische Werkzeugtasche, in der man alles verstauen kann, was man zum Packen und Zusammenbauen des Bikes benötigt

The AXIAL comes with a useful tool bag, allowing you to easily pack all the tools you need to pack and rebuild your bike.
GROSSE LAUFRÄDER? KEIN PROBLEM! Die gepolsterten Laufradtaschen bieten genug Platz für 29 “-Räder mit montierten Reifen – das ist besonders wichtig für alle, die „schlauchlos“ auf Reisen gehen.

The padded wheel sleeves are big enough to take a 29er wheel with the tyres still fitted, which is important if you are running tubeless.
INTELLIGENTES DESIGN Die Axial-Tasche hat einige clevere Designlösungen: Die Befestigungsgurte sind sehr gut durchdacht und das Bike lässt sich schnell, einfach und sicher im Inneren der Tasche verstauen.

The AXIAL has some great design features; its straps are well thought out, so it is quick and easy to secure your bike safely.

Biknd Jetpack

Price: 450,00 € Weight: 8,0 kg


The BikND is packed full of great features and is by far the most logical bag to load; both sides zip down fully to allow you to work on your bike through a full 360 degrees. We really liked the way the front and back axles mount through an adjustable brace onto a rigid frame, keeping the bike secure in transit; it also helps packing and unpacking too. This can take a bit of time initially, and you may have to let some air out of your shock if your bike is really long, but once mastered it is a very quick process. To keep the weight down to a class-leading 8kg, BikND have used inflatable cells for side protection–a nice touch which offers an extra layer of security not normally found on soft bags. The bag is supplied with an an allen key set and an easy-to-attach frame guard which holds the handlebar. The bag suits a variety of bikes, from road bikes to full-on DH rigs. When loaded it is the most compact of all the bags, and it also folds down neatly for home storage. While not quite as stable as the class-leading EVOC bag when towing (as the wheels are smaller than they should be, and the centre of gravity is a little farther forward than optimal), it still proved itself well on a 1km tarmac drag. The Jetpack is the easiest to pack and with its unique features, it offers unrivaled protection for a soft bag–thus standing out as the overall winner in this test.

Accessible from both sides: The Biknd Jetpack.
Accessible from both sides: The Biknd Jetpack.
STARKES DESIGN Mit Adaptern wird das Bike am verstellbaren Rahmen befestigt, was das Packen erleichtert. Man braucht ein bisschen, um sich an das System zu gewöhnen. Aber wenn man es einmal beherrscht, ist es ganz einfach.

Thru-axles are used to secure the bike to an adjustable rigid frame, making packing easy. It takes a short time to get used to the system, but once managed it is very easy.
ANPASSUNGSMÖGLICHKEITEN Das stabile Gestänge ist leicht einzustellen und beinhaltet Adapter für alle gängigen Standards. Wer ein sehr langes Bike besitzt, muss aber vielleicht die Luft aus dem Dämpfer ablassen.

The rigid braces are easy to adjust and come with adapters for all common standards. If your bike is unusually long, you may have to deflate your rear shock.
AUFBLASBARE SCHUTZKISSEN Die Laufräder und der Rahmen werden zusätzlich durch aufblasbare Kissen geschützt. Die Räder können inklusive Bremsscheiben verpackt werden, diese werden dann durch eine Plastikscheibe geschützt (nicht im Bild). So bietet die Tasche für ein Softbag einen hervorragenden Schutz.

The wheels and frame are protected by inflatable cells which provide some extra protection. The wheels can be fitted with the rotors on, protected by a further plastic plate (not shown). Class-leading protection for a soft bag.
RAHMENSICHERUNG Der Rahmenprotektor hält den Lenker mithilfe von Fixiergurten in Position, sodass man sich über Kratzer keine Sorgen machen muss

The padded frame guard has straps to secure the bars in place, so no need to worry about contact or scratches.

Bike Box

Price: 546,00 € Weight: 11,2 kg

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If absolute protection is what you require, then the hard-shelled Bikebox is hands-down the best in the group. Handmade in the UK, and offered with a 10-year guarantee, this has been the box of choice for many Olympic track and road teams. With a hard-shell case and a steel anti-crush pole, you can be sure that your bike will turn up safe and sound. All this protection does come at a cost to practicality, however. As a hard case, it does take more preparation to pack your bike–this is the only box in the group test that requires your forks to be removed. There are also no dedicated covers for forks and bars, so additional clothing is best used to ensure no contact is made within the case. Our medium bike was a close fit, so if your bike is a large or bigger you may need to disassemble the bike further (deflate the rear shock). In use the box is very stable and balanced, the integrated handles are useful, and high quality security clasps keep your belongings secured. The four small wheels make airports easy, but struggle on rough ground. We liked the provision of many straps to secure the bike and the quality of the workmanship. The Bikebox does require more time and mechanical knowledge to pack properly, but once packed, it is certainly the most protective in this group test.

Bietet den größten Schutz im ganzen Test: Die Bike Box.
The Bike Box is the most protective bag in the test.
ALLES DA, WO ES HINGEHÖRT Bei der Bike Box muss man beim Packen etwas besser planen, damit am Ende alles hineinpasst. Die Laufräder finden beide im Deckel hinter der Schaumstoffabdeckung Platz – es müssen aber die Bremsscheiben demontiert werden.

The Bikebox takes a little more thought when packing, but there are plenty of straps to hold everything in place. The wheels fit on one side with a foam cover, but we had to remove the rotors.
ROCKING THE SMALL WHEELS Die Bike Box ist sehr stabil und die Gewichtsverteilung ist gut. Auf hartem, glattem Untergrund rollt sie wunderbar, auf unebenem Gelände ist es aber mühsam.

The Bikebox is very stable and balanced and a joy to wheel on hard, smooth surfaces. However; the small wheels make rough ground a chore.
SICHERHEITSVERSCHLÜSSE Die Bike Box hat solide Verschlüsse – wenn das Rad erst einmal darin verstaut und sie verschlossen ist, kann man sich sicher fühlen. Bei der Firma Bike Box werden die Hardcases übrigens getestet, in dem sie aus einem fahrenden Auto geworfen werden – das dürfte wohl marktführend in Sachen Sicherheit sein.

The Bikebox uses solid clasps, so once your bike is locked up inside you can be sure it is safe. Bikebox test their boxes by throwing them out of a moving car: class-leading protection indeed!
VERSTÄRKUNGSSTREBE AUS STAHL Die Bike Box verfügt über eine Stahlstrebe, die sicheren Schutz vor seitlichem Druck und Stößen bietet – beim Packen muss man bei einigen Rahmen darauf achten, dass hierfür genügend Platz bleibt

The Bikebox is fitted with a steel anti-crush pole, providing massive side impact protection. You have to be careful when packing some frames to ensure space for the pole.


All these bags offer a far more convenient and protective solution than the humble cardboard box, especially if you are a frequent flyer. We were very impressed with all the bags in the test, and would happily recommend them all to protect your valuable bike. If absolute protection is what you require, the Bikebox is certainly the best, but is less practical and harder to transport. The AXIAL had some very nice features and is the most compact when stored; the Chain Reaction PRO bag is superb value, offering all the features of the more expensive bags at a very competitive price. In the end it was the EVOC Bike Travel bag and BikND Jetpack that impressed the most: the EVOC is the most comfortable and capable when towing, but the innovative protective features of the BikND and the 360 degree access nose it ahead to take the overall win.

Words & Pictures: Trevor Worsey

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