Best bike bags 2024: Bags, boxes and cases that will protect your bike when you fly

A bike packed into a bike box
(Image credit: Future / Josh Ross)

The best bike bags, bike boxes, and travel cases for bikes are incredibly well-designed these days. 

Many cyclists travel abroad with their bikes for holidays or to compete. This means flying with your bike which can be a daunting proposition. Most of us have heard horror stories of riders opening their bike bag to find a damaged bike inside after a flight. Choosing the right bike bag or rigid travel case or box will ensure your bike is protected and will make your journey easier, meaning you can relax and just enjoy riding. 

Another thing you might want to consider while travelling with your bike is an insurance option. Even with one of the best bike bags things do occasionally happen. We have a list of the best bike insurance options, some of which cover your bike even when travelling, so if the unthinkable happens and your bike doesn't arrive in one piece, you'll want to have insurance in place to help ease the blow. 

You might also want to check out our list of the best bike torque wrenches. Modern bike components have specific torque specs and some of the options on our list will require some disassembly of your bike before use. Don't get caught at your destination without the tools you need to ensure your bike goes back together exactly how it's meant to. 

With those considerations in mind, please keep reading to see our list of the best bike travel cases and the best bike travel bags available today. We have flown with many of the bike bags in this guide, so that we can properly review packing procedures and durability on a flight. 

Best bike bags, travel cases and boxes: quick list

Best bike bags, travel cases and boxes

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Best for roadies

Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro

The Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro has a rigid internal structure  (Image credit: Josh Croxton)

Specifications

External dimensions: 142 x 53 x 92cm
Empty Weight: 11kg / 25lbs
Capacity: 310 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Internal structure
+
Sturdy handles
+
Easy packing procedure
+
Case wheel removes

Reasons to avoid

-
Soft sides aren't the most protective
-
Support braces are tough to fit and remove

The Road Bike Bag Pro pairs a soft lower and hardcase upper to offer protection without being too heavy. It includes an aluminium tray inside that attaches to the axles of the bike inside the bag, holding it secure and out of harm's way when in transit. This can double up as a workstand too, if you remove the pedals. 

To pack, only the pedals and wheels need to come off, and the saddle may need lowering. Then the frame is secured with a range of Velcro straps and purpose-built padding, the wheels go into individual wheel bags, and there's plenty of space to fill with kit, which doubles up as extra protection. 

There are internal pockets for tools and pedals, as well as an external pocket for the roller-skate-style wheel, which can be removed to prevent damage. 

The internal braces that add structure to the soft lower half are necessary, but they are stiff, so can hurt your hands when trying to get them in and out. The stitching between the upper and lower might also need care, as ours has started to show signs of wear. 

Despite that though, this is still the best bike travel case if you want to avoid any wasted time on your trip. Just check out our Instagram reel for how quickly Josh can unpack his bike for proof. 

Read more details in our full Evoc Road Bike Bag Pro review.

Best for minimal disassembly

Scicon AeroComfort 3.0

The Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 Road Bike Travel Bag requires only the wheels of your bike to be removed  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Specifications

External dimensions: 109 x 103 x 50 cm
Empty Weight: 9kg / 19lbs
Capacity: 561 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Minimal bike disassembly
+
Lightweight
+
Packs down for storage when not in use
+
Strategically placed rear derailleur protection

Reasons to avoid

-
High price
-
The 360-degree wheels can make the bag roam of its own accord

The beauty of the Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 TSA is you can pack your bike without turning a single bolt (unless you have thru-axles); all you have to do is remove the wheels. 

With a rigid Frame Defender metal base, the bike slots in using your quick-release or thru-axles, and comes with plenty of additional padding and a gear bag that's secured to the base under the downtube. 

At 9kg empty, the bike straps into the bag securely, and the 360-degree wheels allow for easy one-handed dragging. With all of that said, we’ve seen baggage handlers stack Scicon bags upside down on baggage carts on multiple occasions so they won’t roll away, so consider some additional padding for your handlebars and shifters.

Read more details in our full Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 TSA review.

Best for integrated handlebars

Bike box Alan Triathlon aero easyfit bike box

Like the Scicon bag above, the Aero Easyfit requires minimal bike disassembly (Image credit: Future / Tom Wieckowski)

Specifications

External dimensions: L 133cm x H 94cm x W50cm
Empty Weight: 13kg / 28lb (including 2 x foam padding layers)
Capacity: n/a

Reasons to buy

+
Quality, strong design 
+
No need for front end disassembly 
+
7 year warranty and good spares availability

Reasons to avoid

-
The larger size may cause the occasional issue 
-
Velcro straps may rub the bikes paint 

Bike Box Alan makes a number of hard case bike boxes in Yorkshire, UK. The Triathlon Aero easy fit is the largest bike box the company produces and with a max width of 50cm means there is no need to disassemble the front end of your bike to pack it into the box. 

All that is required is to remove your wheels and pedals and you're good to go, making this box a great option for time trial or triathlon bikes, road bikes with more complex integrated handlebars or cable routing or for people who just don't want the extra hassle. 

The boxes are available in six different colours, we tested the red version. You can also choose customisable stickers and the box carries a 7-year manufacturing warranty as well as a range of spare parts. 

You can read more details in our full Triathlon Aero Easyfit review.

Best for MTB and Road

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: PRO

PRO Bike Mega Travel Case is a large bag with an aluminum base frame  (Image credit: PRO)

4. PRO Mega Bike Travel Case

Specifications

External dimensions: 130 x 25 x 77cm
Empty Weight: 8.1kg / 17.8lbs
Capacity: 348.3 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to pack
+
Lightweight
+
Internal frame

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be cumbersome
-
Soft sides aren't as protective as solid

With room to easily swallow road, TT and mountain bikes, the Pro Bike Mega Case is huge and features an aluminium base frame which connects to your bike at the axles. With so much room inside the case, the seatpost doesn't need to be removed, just lowered, and in most cases, you can get away with simply spinning your bars.

The inside of the bag has plenty of well-padded provisions to hold your frame securely, and even with the four 360-degree wheels at the bottom, the bag tracks easily in a straight line but it can be cumbersome in crowded baggage claim areas or train stations. 

The outer fabric seems to mark a bit in transit, however, it's robust and weighing a hair over 8kg you should be able to get your bike and a bit of extra gear inside before you tip into overweight baggage territory.

Integrated repair stand

Thule Roundtrip Bike travel case on a white background

The Thule Roundtrip bike travel hard case doubles as a work stand  (Image credit: Thule)

5. Thule Roundtrip bike travel hard case

Specifications

External dimensions: 124 x 33 x 85 cm
Empty Weight: 12.5kg / 27.5lbs
Volume: 347.82 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Includes a work stand for ease of re-assembly
+
Packs down small when not in use
+
Rigid but light side panels
+
Specific protection for the brake rotors

Reasons to avoid

-
Case is heavy leaving less weight for the bike without incurring overweight fees

There are some bike travel cases that require a lot of disassembly and others that don't. The Thule Roundtrip Bike Travel Case falls into the category that requires taking things apart but they've been smart to embrace the concept. Parts of the bag that add support and protection come out and assemble into a work stand. There's even a clever triangle that you rotate to match your desired front axle standard. 

You can use the work stand to keep the bike supported and at a comfortable working height while you either get it ready to travel or get it ready to ride. It's a good enough work stand that although we have a list of the best bike repair stands you might be able to get away with a two for one purchase if you aren't much of a home mechanic. 

Best budget bike box

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: BW International

The B&W International Bike Box II uses self tightening velcro buckles for the closure system  (Image credit: BW International)

6. B&W International Bike Box II

Specifications

External dimensions: 120 x 88 x 39cm
Empty Weight: 11kg / 24.25lbs
Volume: 411 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
The hard case offers superior protection
+
No latches or hinges to break
+
Competitive price 

Reasons to avoid

-
Frame not totally secured inside the box
-
Lots of disassembly required

Sometimes simple is best, and that's precisely what the B&W International Bike Box II has to offer. There are no complicated packing procedures - instead, you get a few layers of foam to protect the frame from the wheels and box, and it all fits inside two interlocking plastic sides.

The clamshell design utilises six self-tightening Velcro buckles to prevent the case from slipping open, and it features a surprising number of handles given the design. B&W International has updated the case with a new plastic designed to flex and not crack, and there are no latches or hinges to break.

With room for up to a 62cm frame, the case rolls on four wheels, two fixed and two free rotating and weighs 11kg with the included padding.

Integrated airbags

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: biknd

The Biknd Helium V4 is a really well padded bike travel base  (Image credit: biknd)

7. Biknd Helium V4

Specifications

External dimensions: 130cm x 37cm x 85cm
Empty Weight: 9kg / 19.8lbs
Volume : 408 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Space to carry two wheelsets
+
Airbag padding
+
Aerobars will fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Disc wheels require accessory straps not included
-
Plenty of disassembly required

Using unique inflatable partitions and strategically placed rigid reinforcements, the Biknd Helium V4 is one of the most well-padded cases of the bunch. With the ability to carry two wheelsets, the Helium bag puts two airbags on either side to absorb impacts while the rigid base and front cover protect fragile handlebar components.

The bag opens flat to simplify packing, and the bike connects to the frame at the axles. There are special compartments for your pump, helmet and shoes and sturdy end caps to prevent hubs from poking through the bag.

Even with the airbags, the Helium is not all that light tipping the scales a 9kg, but it does offer considerably more padding than any other soft case.

Best for low weight

Orucase B2 bike bag

The OruCase Airport Ninja is amongst the lightest bike cases here at 5kg / 11lbs  (Image credit: Orucase)

8. OruCase B2

Specifications

External dimensions: 71 x 89 x 23cm
Empty Weight: 6.8kg / 15lbs
Volume: Not listed

Reasons to buy

+
Super light 
+
Well-padded
+
Carries your bike like a backpack

Reasons to avoid

-
Lots of disassembly required

While many airlines are abandoning the extra fees for checking bikes, some still haven't taken note, and that's where the OruCase B2 comes in handy. Travelling with the OruCase B2, when asked by desk agents what's in the bag we've told them everything from massage tables and trade show gear, to 'it's just a really weird duffel bag’ — just make sure you’re not wearing a bike t-shirt, trust us.  

The OruCase sneaks in under most airlines’ maximum external dimensions limits for baggage and features plastic armour panels that are backed by foam to keep your ride safe. You'll need to remove your pedals, handlebars, front brake, fork and seatpost, and the bag is still a tight fit, but it comes in two sizes to fit a range of frames.  

Weighing in at under 7kg empty, there is plenty of free weight for you to fill the bag with riding clothes (which also work great as extra padding), and there are plush backpack straps to help you get around with minimal fuss.

Best for simplicity

Best bike travel cases, bags and boxes: Bike Box Alan Premium

The Bike Box Alan Original Premium is a little smaller that the Triathlon Aero EasyFit model we have also featured (Image credit: Bike Box Alan)

9. Bike Box Alan Original Premium

Specifications

External dimensions: 116 x 96 x 36cm
Empty Weight: 11.2kg / 24.6lbs
Volume: 400 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Great protection
+
Velcro tie-downs
+
Seven year Warranty

Reasons to avoid

-
Higher retail price 
-
Plenty of disassembly required

The Bike Box Alan Premium is a hard case box that claims to fit road bikes up to 65cm in size. Our 58cm test bike had plenty of room to spare, so we're confident the claim is true. It is a super sturdy, hard-wearing box that comes with a seven-year warranty. 

The solid plastic case takes the brunt of all heavy-handed impacts while your bike is in transit, and the inclusion of an anti-crush pole prevents lateral pressure on your chainstays and forks, should your chosen airline decide to stack your bike at the bottom of the pile. There is a weight penalty, however - an empty box weighs in at 11.2kg. 

Two layers of foam padding prevent damage from within, and the myriad Velcro straps and internal instructions make packaging a straightforward process. 

Removal of your handlebars, seatpost, wheels, pedals, and rear derailleur is required, which does take up some of your precious ride time but for the protection on offer, it's a sacrifice worth making. 

Easy to manouvre

Topeak Pakgo X Bike Carrier

The Topeak Pakgo X Bike Carrier is a large case that's a similar weight to the Bike Box Alan cases  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Specifications

External dimensions: 127 (H) x 85 (L) x 35 (W) cm
Empty Weight: 12.8 kg / 28.2lbs
Volume: 377 Litres

Reasons to buy

+
Easily rolls
+
Totally protects every piece of the bike
+
Upright design is more manageable

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires plenty of disassembly
-
High Retail price 
-
Massive to store at home

The Topeak PakGo X is a bit like the kind of carry-on luggage you'd recognize on every flight except it's super-sized. Once packed the bike sits with the fork facing the ground and the tail of the bike up in the air. This means a more upright outer silhouette that's easier to manoeuvre.

More important than the orientation of the bike though is the well-thought-out protection. There are a number of protective elements and each one has a label on it. As you are packing it's easy to find which piece goes where and every part of the bike is both protected and securely held to avoid movement in transit. You will need to remove the bar and stem, saddle and seatpost, rear derailleur, and wheels but there's a place for everything. 

The one thing to be aware of is the weight of the case. Topeak lists the weight as 10 Kg for the case only but that's not how you'll use it. Instead, you'll want to look at the 12.8 Kg weight that includes all the protective pieces. Unless you have a lightweight road bike it's unlikely you will avoid overweight fees. 

Read more details in our full Topeak Pakgo X Bike Carrier review.

What to look for in bike bags, travel cases and boxes

There are quite a few considerations when choosing the best bike bag or case for your bike. We'll break these down below, to help you to make an informed choice of the best bike bag for your needs.

Hard or soft shell?

Hardshell bike travel cases were the best way to travel with a bike for quite some time; however, engineers at bike brands are pretty clever and softshell bags are nearly on par for protection, weigh less, and often have removable ribbing so they can be neatly rolled up for storage. 

How much does empty weight matter?

With a plastic base, wheels, internal skeleton, and robust materials, bike travel cases are heavy before you put anything inside, and some are pudgier than others. 

Most airlines will give you 23kg / 50lbs before they hit you with an exorbitant overweight baggage fee, some budget airlines even less. If your bag weighs 12kg empty, when you pack a 6.8kg lightweight road bike, shoes and a track pump you'll be nudging up against that limit. 

What size do I need?

Are you just looking to travel with just your road bikes, or will you be taking trips with your mountain bike too? Are you riding an aero road bike with integrated handlebars or TT bars? Are you riding an XL frame? 

These are all things to take into account when shopping for a bike bag because some of the more compact options are simply too small for certain bikes and frame sizes.

Do I need to disassemble my bike?

No bike bag will take your bike fully assembled, but some require considerably more disassembly and mechanical acumen than others. At the very least you’ll have to pop your wheels off, but some bags also require you to remove your seat post, handlebars, and even the fork. 

That's going to cut into riding or relaxing time once you get to your destination and require you to carry more tools to rebuild your bike. As mentioned above, a torque wrench is essential if you're going to have to reassemble delicate components.

Do I need to worry about wheels and handles?

For something designed to help you move around with a bike in tow, bike travel cases and bike bags can be, unsurprisingly, awkward and cumbersome to move around with. 

If you want to avoid a back injury, a set of wheels should be a minimum requirement, especially if you're walking much after you land - some bike bags even use easily replaceable roller blade wheels, as they're prone to damage when being loaded and unloaded. 

In addition, you'll want plenty of handles to help you hoist your bag onto a conveyor belt or into the back of a car.

Do I need to remove my derailleurs and rotors?

Take them off. Just about every bike bag out there comes with some sort of protection for your rear derailleur and brake rotors, but airlines have a knack for rendering them ineffective. 

Learn from our mistakes and just take them off. The last thing you want is to start your holiday with a bent rotor or a broken derailleur hanger. If you are removing disc-brake rotors, don't forget to put a brake block in the caliper to prevent the pads sticking together or the pistons getting stuck - in a pinch, a folded over business card works, too.

What's the fastest way to get my bike back together?

Saddle height and bar roll aren’t something you often think about until either one is a little bit off, and the last thing you want to do on your riding vacation is to pull over constantly and faff with minor adjustments. A couple of dots and lines with a paint pen will allow you to replicate your preferred position on the bike first try, every time.

Should I add extra padding?

Yes, we have just spent the last few hundred words saying how great the best bike travel cases, bags and boxes are, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of added peace of mind. 

Some bags come with foam tubing, however pipe insulation is perfect for an extra layer of protection. You can also pop into your local bike shop, and if you ask nicely, they're likely to have plenty of spare packaging from a newly unboxed bike.

If you have a few spare kilos in your bike bag once it's packed, throw your shoes, riding clothes, bars and gels and whatever else will fit without tipping your bag over the limit. If you've paid for 23kg / 50lbs, you may as well use it, although be aware that some airlines stipulate that a bike bag should contain nothing but your bike.

Do I need to deflate my tyres?

When you’re packing your bike, take a second to let the air out of your tyres. Airlines don’t allow anything pressurised into the cargo hold because it violates civil aviation safety regulations.

Before the engineering types slide into the comments, yes we know that the cargo hold is pressurised to ~10,000ft which will only add ~3-4psi to your tyres, and it’s extremely unlikely a tyre will burst in transit.

The reason you need to take this step, is because if you do send your bike through with the tyres inflated, there is the distinct possibility that an airline employee will pull your bag aside and attempt to deflate them. At the very least, it'll mean someone heavy-handedly rummaging through your neatly packed case, but we’ve heard horror stories of bags and tyres cut.

Avoid the drama and just let the air out. If you're running tubeless, drop them to a reasonable PSI that won't result in a sealant shower. 

Is there anything else I should consider?

If you need to remove your handlebars, put the faceplate back on your stem so you don't lose the four bolts. 

If you need to remove your stem, refit the top cap, then a zip tie around the steerer will keep your fork, headset and spacers from rattling loose. Be careful not to damage the steerer when cutting the zip tie off. 

If you have Di2, unplug the battery. At the very least, it'll save some battery life, but it may also prevent your tightly packed derailleurs from shifting in transit and overworking the motor. 

If you have an internal seatpost wedge clamp, remove and pack it safely. You don't want to spend the first hour of your trip fishing it out of your frame.

Take a spare derailleur hanger with you. For the price, it's worth having a spare anyway, not least when thousands of miles from home. 

Some airlines will let CO2 cartridges through, but others will stop the bike and remove them. If you're going to risk it, make them easy to find so the baggage handler doesn't have to empty your entire bag. 

If you're using zip ties to hold things in place, you'll need cable cutters or scissors in your case for unpackaging at the other end. You'll also need more ties for the return journey. Maybe pack a screwdriver that'll allow you to undo the zip ties without cutting them. Not only does it save you zip ties, it saves the planet from a little bit of single-use plastic. 

Take your tools. If you're having to disassemble your bike to fit it in the box, you'll need to reassemble it at the other end - make a note of the tools used and don't forget to pack them. Especially your torque wrench. You don't want a 90km/h descent of Alpe d'Huez with badly torqued carbon handlebars. 

Bottles are a great hardshell for storing potentially damaging things - e.g. allen keys, or items that will pop if crushed - gels, suncream, toothpaste. Wrap them in a carrier bag, though, or you might have oddly flavoured water on your first ride. Shoes are equally useful for this. 

If you've got space in the bike bag, wrap your cycling kit in plastic bags and fill the gaps. Not only does this leave room in your other bag, it will act as padding. 

Don't forget food. Your riding holiday is likely going to involve increased mileage, and speaking from experience, you can't always trust the local tuna sandwich. 

How we test

The crew at Cyclingnews is a dedicated group of cyclists who, just like you, care deeply about their bikes. When we travel, we have to trust baggage handlers just like you. 

We're lucky to be able to travel a lot in the course of sharing all kinds of relevant cycling technology with you, so we take the opportunity to try out different cases and hope we get a working bike back at the other end. 

Every experience informs the next and we are sharing a collection of options we think are the best available for a whole range of different needs.