Cool Bike Gadgets: Carry-Less Tools
Taking your mountain bike on an adventure is one of the joys of the sport. Unfortunately getting your bike there isn’t always such a joy.
Despite their robustness on trails, carbon fibre bikes are particularly susceptible to damage in transit – deep cuts, gouges and even vibration can cause carbon to break. On-car carriers that clamp to the frame can cause problems, as can straps around carbon wheels.
Of course, its not just carbon bikes that are vulnerable: all bikes are easy to scratch or can be crushed if you remove the wheels to transport them.
While you can probably get away with wrapping your bike in blankets and putting it in the back of your car for the occasional journey, if you’re planning to travel frequently or if you’re travelling by train or plane then your bike needs to be really well protected (and all the parts kept together!) That’s where this bag comes in.
The Scicon Aerocomfort MTB Bag is a sturdy nylon bag with an internal metal Antishock frame at the bottom that you lock the bike onto. This braces the bike and protects all critical parts from impact and vibration. The internal padded side bags for the wheels (26, 650b, or 29!) feature shield pads to further protect the hubs.
Scicon claim that you can pack your bike in less than ten minutes. Don’t worry, its not a full strip down but while I’m familiar with removing wheels it did take me a bit longer to get to grips with removing the pedals and handlebars and then to work out how to lock the bike into the bag. Don’t leave packing your bike until the last minute!
Here’s a brief step by step of what’s involved:
– Remove the pedals and both wheels
– Open the bag and zip the front wheel into one of the side pockets
– Attach the forks to the internal frame using the quick release skewer provided.
– Lock the rear of the bike onto the internal frame and secure the chain, again using the quick release skewer.
– Remove the handlebars and stem and wrap the padded handlebar protector bag around them. Then use the Velcro straps to secure this bag to the forks.
– Place the foam rolls around the top tube.
– Zip the rear wheel into the remaining pocket.
– Pop your shoes, pedals and Allen keys into the pocket within the bag.
– Zip the bag up.
My problem was that my bag arrived without instructions: I’d have liked a printed guide to follow! There is a ‘how-to’ video on the Scicon website but, confusingly, the bag included a derailleur protector (a further safe guard against crushing) and a seat cover which aren’t mentioned on the video.
This is a soft bag and so it is much lighter – and cheaper – than Scicon’s hard case (7.9kg compared to 11.5kg) – however it still weighs almost as much as a bike and, obviously, weighs considerably more once fully loaded.
Fortunately the Scicon Aerocomfort MTB bag has wheels like a suitcase so you can pull it along. It also comes with handles for lifting. It is very well balanced so I was able to lift it into the back of my car (in fact I found this easier to do than trying to slide the bike in on its own!). It’s quite big, although it fitted into my medium size hatchback with the back seats down, and I could fit other luggage around it, and another bike on top of it.
Scicon say that this bag is suitable for air and rail travel (it comes with a TSA approved padlock!). I haven’t used it in either circumstance, but think that it would be a practical and efficient way to transport your bike, especially if you can cram the rest of your gear into a back pack. Back home, you have a fairly bulky bag to store. The rigid frame prevents the bag from folding small, although it takes up a lot less space than a hard case.
With an RRP of 560 Euros this bag is a hefty investment – but if you want to rest assured that your probably-considerably-more-expensive mountain bike is going to arrive in one piece, then it will certainly do the job.
More Info: Scicon
Price: £442.73, available from Scicon. (Enter Code: TOTALWOMENSCYCLING30 to receive 30% and free delivery)
– Protects your bike really well.
-Easy to move around.
-Could do with some better instructions.
– Quite heavy.
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