FAQ Bike Bags
▹ Packing your Tardis?
- The Tardis takes the hassle out of carting your bike about on public transport. It provides reasonable protection from abuse but won't stop it from getting squashed. Strategic placement of cardboard or closed cell foam around the fragile bits can minimise bumps and bruises. Air travel is hard on luggage, so be prepared for a bit of wear 'n' tear. You'll need to dismantle your bike a little to fit it in. Think of the packaged bike as a sandwich - with the wheels providing structure on the outside, and the frame siting upside down between them.
- Remove both wheels and slip into the internal sleeves. Tighten the straps.
- Clamp your thru-axles, or skewers with the plastic spacers provided, into the dropouts on your frame and forks.
- Remove your disk rotors if they end up clashing with the bike when loaded. Slide some cardboard between your disk pads to prevent them being inadvertently squeezed closed in transit.
- Unscrew both pedals and stash them in the zip pocket.
- Take off your handlebars by undoing the faceplate or removing the entire stem. Secure alongside the forks.
- Whip off the rear derailleur and tape to the chain stay. Removing the derailleur hanger is generally best. If you take out the main derailleur screw instead, be careful when reassembling - it's easy to cross-thread, which is a bad way to start your holiday.
- Fully lower, or take out the seat and seat post.
- Place the bike upside down in the Tardis. Zip up, seat back upright, tighten the compression straps and lock your beast away.
- Road bikes over 60cm and full-noise downhill bikes may need further disassembly to squeeze in.
▹ Packing your Body Bag?
- The Body Bag takes the hassle out of carting your bike about on public transport. It provides reasonable protection from abuse but won't stop it from getting squashed. Adding 'disposable' cardboard stiffening or closed cell foam around the fragile bits can minimise bumps and bruises. Air travel is hard on luggage, so be prepared for a bit of wear 'n' tear.
- Shift your rear derailleur into 1st gear - it's less exposed close to the frame.
- Remove the front wheel and turn your handlebars so they are parallel with the top tube. There's no need to loosen the stem or remove the bars unless you have an extra long frame, or drop bars. Also slide some cardboard between your disk pads to prevent them being inadvertently squeezed closed in transit.
- Unscrew both pedals and stash them in the zip pocket. Clamp your thru-axle, or skewer with the plastic spacer provided, into the front fork dropout.
- Slip the bike, rear wheel first, into the round end of the Body Bag. Slide the forks into the opposite corner. The front wheel should nestle neatly between the handlebars and frame.
- Lower your seat and seat post, or remove entirely.
- Zip up and lock your beast away.
- Road bikes over 60cm and full-noise downhill bikes may need further disassembly to squeeze in. With touring bikes you can often get away with leaving the rear rack on.
▹ Differences between the Body Bag and Tardis?
- The Body Bag requires only minimal disassembly of your bike when packing. Simply whip off your front wheel, seat and pedals.
- The Tardis demands more effort (and skill) to take your bike apart and put together again. Both wheels, the handle bars and rear derailleur need to be removed. The payback though is a more compact package - handy in airports and crowded public transport. More importantly it fits in the standard luggage racks on fast trains like the TGV.
- Both the bags weight less than 2kg. They collapse to an easily stored A4 package when empty - and do a fair impersonation of a picnic rug at your campsite when folded out.
▹ Pros & cons of a bike bag, bike box or hard case.
- Bike boxes are cheap (generally free), relatively light and disposable, but bulky.
- So are challenging to fit in a taxi or bus.
- Difficult to manoeuvre around airports.
- And consequently are more prone to baggage handler neglect.
- Hard cases provide maximum protection, but...
- Are quite expensive (NZ$600 - 1000).
- Very bulky so you'll need to store at your destination. As with a box you'll be challenged loading it into a taxi, bus or metro.
- And very heavy - typically 8-12 Kg. Add your bike at 12-15 Kg and you'll generally blow out your 23 Kg airline allowance. Plan to negotiate or pay for excess luggage.
- They are probably a good option if you own a precious composite or Ti road bike with expensive exotic wheels.
- Bike bags like the Tardis are...
- Reasonably priced at under NZ$200.
- Weigh in at under 2 kilos - providing plenty of headroom before hitting the standard 23 Kg excess baggage ceiling.
- Are low bulk for getting around public places and transport.
- Easy to take with you on tour as they compress to an tidy A4 package when not in use.
- Provide effective protection from the usual sources of transport damage. Remember that a mountain or touring bike is well able to survive plenty of knocks and wear 'n' tear when used in anger.
▹ Will my bike fit in this bag?
- Road and touring bikes, hard-tails, XC and Trail dual suspension (26, 650B and 29 inch wheels) mountain bikes should easily fit into either bag.
- Fat bikes fit also, but you may beed to deflate the tyres to reduce their width.
- Road frames bigger than 60cm may require more parts removed to squeeze them in.
- Full-noise downhill bikes will struggle to fit - due to their moto inspired tyres, long wheel base, high front end and triple clamp forks (which won't swivel 180 degrees as required)