Folds into compact 'A4' x 8cm package.
Front and rear drop-out spacers protect your frame 'n' forks in transit.
Spoke Magazine - Jun 11
Now I had used one of these in the past, well kind of. Ground Effect sent one up to Wellington and I was going to fly down to Christchurch for a story in issue 14 of Spoke but when I got to the airport my camera gear combined with my luggage combined with my bike, well it wasn't going to be cheap and the bike and Tardis stayed behind. But that was a 26" wheeled Santa Cruz Chameleon. When I asked Ground Effect if my new XL 29" wheeled Santa Cruz Tallboy would fit in the bag Ground Effect were supremely confident, I doubted a little, as did the people at Easton and Santa Cruz bikes, but lo and behold the XL Tallboy fit snugly into the Tardis, in fact it would easily fit the XXL! I was a little dubious how flying home from the states would go on the bike, but after my four plane changes and being inspected by US and NZ authorities three times all the wear it has to show for it is a scratched bottle cage. Golden. Check out the photos on SpokeMagazine.com here.
Australian Cyclist - Jul 08
Cheapest, lightest and most compact of the lot, Ground Effect's Tardis bike bag may not offer as much protection as some of its more expensive competitors but it's not a lot less. It's so light, easy to store and cheap (just three return trips and you'll pay more in cardboard boxes), it's in a league of it's own. The Tardis comes with packing instructions and Ground Effect recommends the frame is placed upside down with the wheels loaded on either side in the bags provided. Front and rear drop-out spacers are also provided to protect your frame and forks, and there's an internal pocket for stowing pedals and tools. No wheels underneath but a sturdy carry handle and shoulder strap on top. The zips are lockable 10-coil zips. Perhaps best of all, the Tardis disappears into a compact 'A4' storage bag when not in use.
Cycling Plus (UK) - Jun 08
With bikes ever harder to transport on planes, there's no doubt the less noticeable they are at the heck-in desk, the less forehead furrowing will ensue. As the name suggests, the Tardis is small on the outside and big on the inside. The frame is placed upside down, with the seatpost and handlebars removed, the rear mech taped up inside the stays and the two wheels packed in either side in the sleeves. This in itself provides plenty of lateral support, though to best play baggage handler roulette, you should also bolster it with pipe lagging, clothes and locally sourced cardboard.
At 115x70cm, the Tardis is as easy to carry with it's shoulder strap as it is to fit into a car boot, or tie to an Indian roof-rack (touring racks and forks on 60cm+ frames will need to be removed). Fork spacers are provided, chunky zips can be can be locked and there's reinforcing in the right places, with padding around the wheel axles. The real beauty, though, is it's pack size; the bag folds down to a fat A4 sized parcel, weighing just 1.6kg, and can be easily stowed in a pannier, or posted ahead for the end of a tour.
Verdict: The best non-padded bike bag we've tried; 9/10.
NZ Mountain Biker - Feb 06
The Ground Effect Tardis is manufactured from hard wearing Cordura material featuring heavy duty lockable zips, an internal storage pocket, wheel sleeves and foam padding. As well as two grab handles, a longer strap allows the bag to be carried over the shoulder. It weights just 1400 grams empty and measures 1150mm x 700mm.
During the course of our GT ID4 1.0 bike test for this issue I needed to go to Christchurch and thought why not take the bike for a blast in the Port Hills. While it would hardly be a durability test for the Tardis we would at least get to see how transportable it is and how the bike stands up to four domestic flights. First up, the Tardis comes with its own nylon storage bag for when it's not in use - very handy. And even better, printed on the side of the storage bag are instructions on how to disassemble your bike to pack in the Tardis (useful for the first couple of times you use it). These are simple to follow and the supplied plastic axle spacer tubes are a nice addition. While the Tardis does include foam padding on either side to protect your hubs it is otherwise unlined. So after stowing a wheel in each sleeve on either side of the bag I used a combination of cardboard and a couple of towels to protect the frame and forks where they sit upside down between the wheels. The internal pocket was handy for storing the pedals and a few tools while I also managed to stuff a Camelbak, shoes, a jacket and a couple more items of riding gear in the bag. The first time zipping it all up was a bit of a struggle - it's a compact bag. But the second time I'd already learnt a few tricks and it closed up easily. More by fluke than good planning the Tardis containing bike and gear weighed in under the Air NZ baggage allowance of 20kg, scraping in at 19.8kg. Obviously this totally depends on the bike you're transporting - the 13kg GT gave me a fair amount of leeway. The compact nature of the Tardis means it can be easily carried and handling onto conveyor belts and in and out of cars is simple. It also fit onto the back seat of my equally compact Holden Barina Renta-Racer in Christchurch too.
So after four flights the bike and bag arrived back in Tauranga intact and unmarked. You'll struggle to get bigger freeride or downhill bikes in it comfortably but for anything else (barring tandems!), it's a breeze. I like the compact nature compared to manhandling a cardboard bike box and the lack of padding is easily compensated for by the judicious placement of the odd piece of cardboard or riding gear.
Customer Feedback - Oct 03
I have not long returned from cycle touring the Grampians and Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. The trip was awesome, and it was made far easier using the Tardis bike bag to cart the bike around. Upon arrival and after re-building the bike, I just folded up the Tardis, plonked it into a front pannier, along with my wet weather gear, towel and other sundry items... and I still had room to spare!
Just how much can you stuff into a Tardis? I have a rather large 21.5" Giant MTB. Once you strip the bike down and place it into the bag, everything else just kind of fits around it. All up it weighed about 27kg! And it went right through check-in with no hassles at all. I flew return from Christchurch to Auckland and then onto Melbourne. I was never charged anything for excess baggage, nor for it being a bike. Upon arrival I waited for my Tardis by the oversize baggage area, only to spot it coming out on the normal luggage carousel.
All in all, this is one damn fine bag for carting your bike around.
Active Participating Recreational Athlete, Occasional Cycle Tourist
Christchurch, New Zealand
Australian Mountain Bike - Aug 03
This is what Saul Britton had to say about this compact bike bag after a trip across to New Zealand: "The Ground Effect Tardis has an overall size that belies its ability to contain an entire mountain bike and all of its components, potentially making travelling with your bike as simple and burden free as possible. The Tardis bike bag is manufactured from unpadded heavy-duty Cordura that folds into a compact A4 package when not in use. It has heavy-duty zips and a convenient shoulder strap.
An internal pocket is designed to securely stow pedals skewers and small tools. The Tardis requires some disassembly of the bike. We were required to remove both wheels, the derailleur hanger, seat and pedals and also completely remove the stem from the steer tube. The wheels were stowed internal sleeves beside the frame. Suprisingly, this method of wheel location increased the amount of protection from top-to-bottom loads. The Tardis is surprisingly compact and never caused problems at the check-in counter (chicken counter if you are a Kiwi). If you're after a super compact and lightweight method of packing your bike for travelling, then the Tardis can't be beaten. Packing a bike in the Tardis is the perfect way to avoid the attention of over-zealous airline officials, and with everything complete and wrapped up in such a small package we had no worries about our bike getting damaged from other objects".
Customer Feedback - May 03
Well my wife and I have just got back from a trip overseas and we dragged our bikes with us in your Tardis bags. They were awesome! Really easy to pack once you've done it once and the bikes never got damaged at all and believe me they certainly got thrown around a bit.
A few thoughts that you may find useful. We put a couple of little holes in the bottom of our bags as the head stem and seat post tend to push hard there, perhaps the bags could be reinforced more at the bottom? (Ernie comments - we are hesitant to add any more reinforcement as we have had great feedback on the weight and small size of the bag when folded up. I try to place my cycling shoes over the stem and seatpost to stop excessive wear.)
The padding at the sides by the wheels is a great idea but we still holed out here too. We put closed cell foam on the inside and taped over our hubs but this still wasn't enough! (Ernie comments - this is a definitely a high wear spot, and as you have found no amount of foam padding can avoid it completely. But there is an easy fix. Try and get down on a couple of the little plastic round plugs that come in the wheels of new bikes and fit in place of the skewers. There should be some floating around your local bikeshop).
Other than that the bags were superb.
We also only got stung once for the bikes as mostly people didn't realise they were bikes. Oh and some airlines only have fragile stickers and stickers only stay on the bags about 3 seconds.
Cheers, I hope you can use some of this info.
Todd Adams, Christchurch, New Zealand
Super-tough 1000 Denier cordura nylon for maximum abrasion resistance.
- Composition: 100% nylon with PU coating.
- Waterproofness: 800mm hydrostatic head.
Trip through space with your very own time machine. The Tardis transforms your ungainly treadly into a compact bundle - handy when smuggling it onto planes and trains. Unbolt the stem to release handlebars, whip off the pedals and rear derailleur, then remove the wheels and seat. The frame is cunningly placed upside down with the wheels loaded on either side to protect the fragile bits. Shrinks into a compact package when you get to where you're going. Doctor Who?
> Fits most cross country mtbs (including 29'ers), road and touring bikes.
> Dual compression straps ensure a snug fit for smaller bikes.
> Sturdy carry handles and shoulder strap.
> Internal sleeves locate wheels.
> Lockable 10 coil zips.
> Front and rear drop-out spacers protect your frame 'n' forks in transit.
> Internal pocket for stowing pedals and tools.
> Foam padding at hub protects bag from rubbing.
> Folds into compact 'A4' x 8cm storage bag.
> Dimensions: 115cm x 75cm
> Weight: 1620 gm
Will my bike fit in this bag?
> All hard-tail, lightweight XC dual suspension and 29'er mountain bikes should easily fit into either the Body Bag or Tardis. Some Freeride and most full-noise downhill bikes may struggle to fit - mainly due to their moto inspired tyres, long wheel base, high front end and triple clamp forks (which won't swivel 180 degrees as required). Likewise for road frames bigger than 60cm. All may require more parts removed to squeeze them in.
What bits do I have to remove to fit my bike in the Tardis?
> The Tardis is designed to make transporting your bike just that much easier. Airline travel is hard on your luggage so be prepared for a bit of wear and tear. They will not protect your bike from getting squashed - adding extra bits of cardboard or foam around the fragile bits for stiffening and protection can help minimise bumps and bruises.
> You'll need to dismantle your bike a little to fit it in. Remove the wheels, seat, and pedals first. Use the skewers from your wheels to lock the plastic spacers (provided) into the front and rear dropouts. Also slide some cardboard between your disk pads to prevent them being inadvertently squeezed closed in transit.
> Tuck pedals into the pocket and pop the wheels into the sleeves. Remove your handlebars and place along side your forks then lastly whip off your rear derailleur. Be careful screwing your derailleur back on - it's easy to cross-thread, which is a bad way to start your holiday.
> Check out our YouTube video for the full demonstration www.youtube.com/watch?v=raUiKoRu2Oc&feature=plcp
What is the difference between the Tardis and the Body Bag?
> The Body Bag's best feature is that you need only to whip off your front wheel and seat to fit in your bike, although we reckon it's a good idea to remove your pedals too. You do need to add cardboard down the sides for impact protection, which you can dispose of at your destination then stock up again for the next train/plane/boat. When touring you can get away with leaving the rear rack on.
> The Tardis is much more compact, requiring you to take off both wheels, pedals, back derailleur and handlebars. It doesn't require any extra padding and is easily lugged around. The added hassle of breaking your bike down is easily outweighed by the ease of handling the full bag in its smaller state. The Tardis is the best if you have multiple transits and have to drag your bike around with you. It's also useful on trains and buses as it often fits into the luggage racks. Both do a fair impersonation of a tablecloth at your campsite!