By now you’ve realised you don’t need to bring your bike on holiday. You’ve done your research and discovered there’s teams of bike shops and resorts hiring out the very latest bike-tech for you to access at ease. What a relief! No more checking if your bike bag is part of your luggage allowance. No more packing. No more lugging around a heavy bag. Bliss!
Sooner or later though, you’re going to need one. So, let’s talk bike bags. If you’re lucky enough, you could borrow one, or get a cardboard-bike-box, that was on its way out from your LFBS for free. But its never going to be your own; one that you can quickly organise at the spur of the moment and live spontaneously. Isn’t that one of the great things of owning a bike?
It’s so bright, you can just make out the Baron’s Dakine in front of him with a tonne of kit
I blame the Baron
Last year we were in France with the LBCC family. There were bike bags galore, no one brought a solid-box, and one that really stood out was the Baron’s soft-bike-bag. First off, it’s light, at 7.7 kilos. It’s easy enough to roll, and has ample room for bike kit and apres-bike-kit. It is the Dakine Bike Bag.
Also, it’s rugged. We’ve all heard nightmare stories of bags being damaged en-route. And according to the very well-informed CyclingTips team, their airport insider-cyclist has some insightful tips – it’s his recommendation to source a softshell rather than a hard-shell case.
The final selling point was transportation. On observation, the Dakine Bike Bag is easy to take around with you. It’s solid wheels make light work of descending the stairs of the Paris Metro.
The Baron was too quick for me to snap a picture, so here’s Glen helping to demonstrate the Dakine in action…
There’s two bikes in the bag (no wheels) with a total weight of 14.2 kilos and Glenn manages with one hand
France was a doddle. How about going a bit further? Okay, how does Asia sound?
We take the bag first to Thailand with a week’s worth of kit, which comprises of: formal clothes for a wedding ceremony, swimwear, pottering clothes and bike-wear. On the way back, we’re bringing two frames and forks from Faber for us to try out – look out for the review. Right, let’s see how we do:
As we pack up the Fabers, we weigh in at 14.2 kilos. That’s roughly half the weight for the bag and half for the clothes. We go on to celebrate the wedding, take a bike ride, read a book by the sea, and before you know it, we’re heading back home.
With all the travelling kit combined: that includes the bikes, we now top it up to 17.2 kilos max; the scales at the airport show 17.2, but eventually levels off to 17.0 kilos. Bingo!
The Dakine Details
If you look around most people using the Dakine Bike Bag are mountain bikers. And if it’s good enough for seasoned MTB’ers, it’s going to be darn good enough for a road cyclist.
Here’s what stands out:
Material: Cordura – the kind of stuff they use on messenger bags
Handles: 6 : 2 on top and 2 either side (the toughened plastic one at the bottom is to support the bag as you stand it up)
Access: Like a suitcase for as much access as possible
Wheel bags: x2 and padded to secure hubs and disc brakes
Handle bar and forks bag: with side pockets to add skewers etc.
Inside fasteners: x2 to hold everything securely locked tight
Padding: it is light, but that’s a soft-bag for you
Storage: Folds up neatly in half to be stored under a bed or in the shed
Transportation: provided it’s filled, it rolls easily and can fit in the boot of a 5-door car, or a 3-door-hatchback, with the back seats folded down
Dimensions in cm: 129.5 (length) x 76.2 (width) x 32 (depth) – note that width narrows slightly to the top
Price: £215 from Cycle Surgery on September 2015
Right, that’s all the good stuff, here’s what we’d like to see:
Structural support to keep the bag upright when not full. Otherwise, the bag sags and limits its ease of rolling. Just the one recommendation? Yep, this bag is that good!
Over 14,000 miles of travel and both the bag and the wheels are in good shape. With baggage claim and immigration only taking 14 minutes, that’s a job well done. Thank you, Heathrow!
Without the structural support of an interior frame, the bag will sag. When would this happen? Well, if you’re picking up, or leaving the bike, then the bag is murder to roll. You find yourself carrying it, and after a while, 7.7 kilos can hurt.The lininig of the bag is white. This is great, as a contrast to your bike and parts. Even if your bike is white, there will still be enough contrast. The down side is that the wheel bags get dirty easily. Avoid this by keeping your bike clean before packing, or be prepared for some elbow grease later. Even with a hard-shell-bike-box, it is alway recommended that you add extra protection. This could be foam, bubbly wrap, or your clothes.space
The Low Down
I’ve had a hard-shell-bike-box, with 4 wheels before. As much as it is easy to roll, when challenged with stairs, the spontaneity of travel, and weight savings, you just can’t beat a soft-bag. The Dakine ticks all the boxes and a little extra bubbly wrap, or plumbers tubing here, or a pair of jeans wrapped there, easily makes this an adaptable bag for the travelling cyclist.
Good to see Cav spinning around the airport too!
:: The review is independent and the club does not have any involvement with Dakine, nor Cycle Surgery. We simply like the idea. You can find a range of reviews here ::
Have an experience with bike transportation we could benefit from? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks!