For as long as I can remember, EVOC Bike Travel Bags have been the industry standard, and at nearly $800 MSRP, the price for EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro reflects that. My wife and I took our bikes to Europe in these EVOC Bags and we were curious to see if they lived up to the hype.
EVOC Bike Bags
EVOC actually makes a number of bike travel bags for different purposes. There is a road bike specific bag, a BMX bike bag, an “XL” travel bag for fat and plus tire size bikes, and their “Bike Travel Bag” and “Bike Travel Bag Pro.” I opted for the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro for a couple reasons, mainly because we were planning to take various forms of public transportation, and having the add-on front wheel was appealing, and because at 6’2”, I ride an XL mountain bike and the max wheelbase of the Pro is a few centimeters longer than the regular travel bag.
The first thing I noticed about the EVOC Bags was they were obviously extremely high quality. The wheels, handles, pockets, zippers and straps all looked really strong and durable. The second thing I noticed was the setup instructions were terrible. They are the kind of instructions that have pictures but no words, and the drawings of the parts included were outdated in our models.
Setting up the bags for the first time was not an enjoyable experience. (read more below) The battens that provide the frame’s upright stability are very difficult to insert all the way and the process of disassembling the bike and fitting it into the bag was very confusing.
EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro Assembly Steps
Luckily, you as the reader can learn from my mistakes, and pack your bike in the correct order. It is important that you know the tools you’ll need to disassemble and then reassemble your bike, so that it’s easy to put together at your destination. For me that was a T-25 Torx wrench, a 4-, 5-, and 6mm Allen wrench, brake pad stoppers, a small amount of grease, and access to a bike pump at destination since you cannot fly with CO2 canisters.
Tools Needed: T-25 Torx wrench, a 4-, 5-, and 6mm Allen wrench, brake pad stoppers, a small amount of grease
Step 1: Flip the bike over and remove the pedals and wheels. I chose to remove the rotors as well since I had read reviews of rotors being damaged in transit, despite EVOC claiming you can leave them on. I then deflated the wheels, but tried to leave enough air to keep the bead seated to the rim. Be sure to insert brake stoppers into the pads so the pistons don’t close during travel.
Step 2: Attach the EVOC frame mount to the bike while the bike is still upside down. I didn’t think of this immediately, and it was very cumbersome trying to handle the bike right-side-up and mount it to the frame. I also initially didn’t notice the adapters for the forks with boost spacing. There are different size adaptors for all axle types, but for boost spacing, you need to use the additional ring spacers included for the fork. The rear dummy axle does not require additional spacers, just select the same size as your axle.
Step 3: Flip the bike back over so it now sits on the frame. Now you can unscrew the derailleur from the hanger and secure it safely (I just wrapped a towel around it a few times). Remove the handlebar and let it rest on the non-drive side of the bike. You can then insure that all the bag straps are positioned to accept the bike and frame (AKA so they wont get folded under the frame), and careful place the bike and frame into the bag. Now you can secure the bike using the straps in the bag. This may take a little trial and error, but I found it to be very intuitive.
Step 4: Stash the pedals (do not lose the washers) in one of the internal pockets, and zip the main compartment. Place the wheels in the wheel holders, et voila! You’re ready to go. I really wish I had known some of these simple tricks going in, but in hindsight, it was very easy.
Amazon.com Price: $595.00 (as of 12/04/2023 00:33 MST) Details
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Traveling with EVOC Bike Bag
Now, how did the bag perform? At arrival in Zurich and with the addition of two train rides and a bus ride, the bikes came out completely unmarked on the other side. There and back, as it turned out. The only damage we saw was to one of the frame rails, which are made from very light aluminum. But the bags and bikes appear to be pristine.
Carrying the bikes is a breeze. The rear wheels are so stable and sturdy, it was very easy to maneuver even both my wife’s bag and mine at the same time. These bags come with a removable front wheel that we tried at first, but opted to remove since we felt it made the steering more difficult.
I was so thoroughly impressed with the EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro ($795.00). It is a nice way of not carrying any weight though, and we felt that if there was a better positioned handle of the top and front of the bag, it would have been much easier to steer. I think EVOC could add one handle to make steering with the add-on wheel more intuitive, and they could drastically improve the instructions and include a process flow for packing your bike. My XL Specialized Enduro was actually slightly over the maximum wheelbase length of the bag, but I was able to overcome this by fully deflating my fork.