Review: Btwin bike bag (or.. how to pack a Surly Long Haul Trucker)

By @Saravana |

Usually people transport their bikes in cardboard boxes, but i felt that having a dedicated bike bag would be better as it is more compact, has more room for accessories and most of all because of the reason that the bag can be stowed away easily at a left luggage counter or in a hotel and can be used for the return trip as well. That last item was the major selling point for me as i didn't want to run around looking for cardboard boxes especially on the return leg of my journeys. The Btwin bike bag being sold in Decathlon looked perfect for my needs so i went ahead and bought it. And here is its review..

The bag in a bag:

The bTwin bike bag comes in a bag of its own. The bike bag which is otherwise big can be folded up compactly and stuffed into its carry bag which is about the size of a laptop messenger bag. 

Bike bag components :

The bag is made of two parts. One is the main shell, which is made of rexin and has very little padding. And the other one is the stiff plastic sheet which needs to be inserted at the bottom of the bag to make its base stiff. As you can see this plastic sheet is foldable and hence compact for storing.

Making the base rigid:

Insert the plastic sheet into the sleeve provided at the bottom of the bag. This makes its base rigid.

packing the bike..

Inside the bag there is one big main compartment where the bicycle frame and other components go. And on each wall of the bag there are pouches to store the wheels. The steps to prepare the bike for storing..
  1. Remove both wheels.      
  2. Remove the pedals.
  3. Remove the rear derailleur. 
  4. For bigger frames, remove the handle bar.      
  5. Lower the seat post, it'll not be necessary to remove it.      
Packing the bike..
  1. Place the wheels in the pouches on either side of the bag.      
  2. Place the frame in the central compartment along with the handle bar and the rear derailleur.   
  3. Make sure to wrap the front and rear derailleurs in some bubble wrap to protect them. 
  4. Place cardboards on either side of each wheel to protect the rim and the spokes.

The final package..

With a shoe thrown in for reference.

Final thoughts:

  • The bag is flimsier than i thought with no protection whatsoever (except at the base). Need extra padding for protection.
  • When folded the size of the bag is very compact. Making it ideal for stowing away somewhere, especially when on a trip.
  • Need to check if the airlines and the courier agences accept the bag instead of the usual cardboard box.

Comparison with a standard bike box (cardboard):

As you can see the Btwin bag is more compact lengthwise. The extra height is probably because i did not remove the seat post (i just lowered it). If i remove the seat post them im sure i can make the bag more compact.

One downside to the compactness is that the ends of the bike frame would be more exposed and chances of them picking up some damage is greater when compared with the cardboard box (the extra length obviously means more gap between the ends of the frame and the box wall) . So be generous with the padding.

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