Travelling with a bike when you're not on it can be frustrating, but BTwin's 1-Bike Transport Cover aims to make it simpler. It's a decent non-plane bike bag that won't break the bank, but could perhaps do with a couple of extra pockets.
It isn't a traditional bike bag, in the sense that apart from scratches it doesn't really offer much protection. If it's dropped, your bike would probably get damaged, and if entrusted to luggage handlers for flying you'd be taking quite a risk even if you padded it out very carefully. It's really designed so you can take your bike apart and put it into a bag that makes it easier to transport on buses, trains and cars.
The construction of the bag is very simple, with a cavernous capacity and two sleeves on the bag for the wheels. The bottom is secured with what BTwin refers to as a 'bag base stiffener' which is pushed through a sleeve at the base to give the bottom of the bag strength and structure.
For carrying, there are two shoulder straps or two handles on the side of the bag. All of these work well and I managed to transport a bike through Euston station and put it on a train with ease and without needing to drag or awkwardly manhandle it. The straps and handles also seem well made and even when I tested it with my heavy mountain bike there didn't seem to be any issues with the stitching being able to take the weight.
I also used the bag for transporting bikes in a car and once the seats were down, even fitted into the back of an Audi A3, which is fairly impressive. When you do need to put the bag down, it has four plastic feet that keep it a few inches off the ground.
Placing the bike in the bag is similar to most other bike boxes/bags, where both wheels and the pedals are removed first. Unlike other bike bags you do not need to remove the handlebar on a road bike (although BTwin points out that some styles/sizes of bike may require this) and it took me about five minutes to get everything in the bag and packed up.
One thing I would like is a sealable pocket within the bag to keep pedals and skewers in; if simply placed in with either the wheels or the frame there's the possibility of scratches or dinks, so you'd have to wrap them beforehand somehow.
There are several things I like about this bag, but perhaps my single favourite element is that it packs down so small, meaning you aren't stuck with a huge bike box lying around the house. Once packed down it fits into its own bag which is no bigger than a regular shopping bag. This means that for me, somebody who lives in a flat in London, I don't get murderous looks from my girlfriend for taking up half the living room with something I use only a few times a year. The base of the bag even folds down and fits in the bag too.
As you might expect for a bag that folds down this small, it also weighs considerably less than traditional bike bags. Given that you wouldn't really use this for planes, where weight is a major factor, the benefit is that it simply makes it lighter to carry.
All in, I really like it. It doesn't have the kind of protection you would get from a traditional bike bag, but at the same time that's not what it's designed for (though BTwin suggests you could pad it out for air travel if you're on a tight budget). A couple of extra pockets would be nice, but overall it does exactly what's needed with minimum fuss at a great price.
A useful alternative to a full-blown bike bag for buses, trains and cars, but not ideal for plane travel
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 1-Bike Transport Cover
Size tested: L 270 x W 1350 x H 850 mm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A no frills travel bag for your bike.
BTwin says: 'A robust, compact carry case. Includes protective outer bag for easy transport.'
This sounds about right. I wouldn't say there is a huge amount of protection from major damage, but it will certainly protect your bike from scratches and dinks.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Road, MTB, and hybrid bikes. Certain sizes may require removal of handlebar.
1 bike compartment, 2 wheel compartments, bag base stiffener.
EASE OF USE
Shoulder strap, long zip opening.
Well made, straps are strong and base keeps everything sturdy.
Did everything I expected; it's not designed as a full blown bike bag, but it does what it needs to.
Seems well made and given that it packs down small, unlikely to get damaged when not in use.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. Easy to use, simple to put together and fits nicely in the back of a small car.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
How it packs down so small, makes it incredibly easy to store.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Could do with some extra pockets.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A useful way to transport a bike without needing to shell out hundreds.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George spends his days flitting between writing about data, running business magazines and writing about sports technology. The latter gave him the impetus (excuse) to get even further into the cycling world before taking the dive and starting his own cycling sites and writing for Road.cc.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.