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Best Mountain Bike Travel Bags

Discover the best mountain bike bags and cases to transport your bike safely and easily to your travel destinations around the world.

Mountain bikers putting together mountain bikes on lawn of hotel on mountain bike trip in Peru

There’s a good chance that affiliate links are scattered throughout this post. If you click on one I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you and I’ll definitely be using it to buy bike gear.

There’s no getting around the fact that traveling with a mountain bike can be a pain. Mountain bike bags are awkward and bikes can be expensive to fly with (although checking a bike as luggage is getting cheaper!)

But even though traveling with a bike can be a headache, it’s absolutely worth the hassle if you’re heading to an exciting mountain bike destination or event. Of course, you can rent or demo a bike, but if you’re like me, you prefer having your own set of two wheels that you’re tuned into and comfortable riding.

In order to get checked onto a plane, though, mountain bikes need to be partially disassembled and packed into a bike travel bag or box. If you are in the process of shopping around for one, I’ve got you covered. In this post, I share the best mountain bike travel bags and cases and give a few pointers on how to choose the best one for you.

Considerations before you buy

Before you decide on which travel case you want to buy, take a moment to think through these considerations:

Dimensions & weight

Pretty much every airline will accept a mountain bike in a travel bag, but not every airline will treat you equally when it comes to overweight and oversize fees. Some airlines – like Alaska Airlines – completely waive bike fees, but others – like American Airlines – will hit you hard.

So before you buy a mountain bike travel case, be sure to check out the fees and size/weight restrictions for the airlines you travel with the most so that you can avoid excessive charges.

Soft-sided vs Hard-sided

There are pros and cons for both types of cases:

Soft-sided

  • Makes it easier to get under airline weight limits
  • Typically cheaper
  • Not as protective as a hard-sided case
  • Can usually fold down to be stored when not needed

Hard-sided

  • Will almost always put you over airline weight limits ($$$)
  • Definitely an investment
  • Provides the most protection (unless you don’t pack it well)
  • Doesn’t pack down to be stored when not needed

Bike length

Be sure to measure your bike before you buy a bag or case! Some mountain bike bags can’t fit your XXL long wheelbase mountain bike.

Check wheel size compatibility

Also, be sure to read whether the bag or case you’re looking at will accommodate your bike’s wheel size. Most bags these days should fit both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels, but just double-check to make sure that’s the case.

Internal frame & bike stand

Some bike bags and cases come with an internal frame that helps keep the bike secure and anchored inside the travel case. If you travel a lot (or plan on traveling a lot) it’s a good idea to get a bike case that has an internal frame for extra security and protection.

Some internal frames, like the one in the Evoc Pro, even turn into a bike stand to help you easily put your bike back together and break down at the end of your trip.

Mountain Bike Bags & Cases

Dakine Bike Roller Bag

1. Dakine Bike Roller Bag

$485

Dimensions: 55 x 13 x 34″ (140 x 33 x 86cm)

Linear inches: 102 linear inches

Weight: 17 lbs 12 oz (8 kg)

Type: Soft-sided

Fits: Most mountain bikes up to 29″ wheels

Notable features:

  • 360° padded protection
  • Rear triangle block for stabilization
  • Derailleur pocket
  • Tool and pedal pouch
  • Lockable zippers (lock not included)
  • Replaceable urethane wheels
  • Internal straps for securing
  • Rolls up for storage when not in use
  • No internal frame or bike stand

I have the Dakine Bike Roller Bag and it works great for airline travel. I’ve taken it across the country and back, to Peru, to Mexico, and Africa, and haven’t had any issues. It’s durable, easy to pack and unpack, and has plenty of extra room to pack additional pieces of gear and clothing if you’re not worried about overweight fees.

The Dakine Bike Roller Bag comes with a tool roll, an extra pouch for pedals, and plenty of high-quality padding to protect your bike from the jostles of airplane travel. Lastly, the bag folds down for better storage when not in use.

Man wearing mask standing next to luggage cart at airport piled with bags including Dakine Bike Roller Bag
My dad with his Dakine Roller Bike Bag heading to Africa
Evoc bike travel bag

2. Evoc Bike Travel Bag

$595

Dimensions: 54 x 15 x 33″ (138 x 39 x 85 cm)

Linear inches: 102 linear inches

Weight: 21 lbs 12.8 oz (8.6 kg)

Type: Soft-sided

Fits: Most mountain bikes up to 29″ wheels (if you have an XL or XXL bike use the Evoc XL)

  • Collapsable when not in use
  • Heavy-duty rolling wheels
  • Some frame padding included
  • Lockable zippers (locks not included)
  • Rear triangle stabilization block
  • No internal frame or bike stand
  • Heavier than the Dakine bag

EVOC is a company based out of Munich, Germany that makes high-quality bags and gear

The Evoc Bike Travel Bag is similar to the Dakine bag, but it has a longer rear triangle block and it’s also a bit burlier, providing more protection. But that does come with a couple of pounds of added weight.

If you decide that you want an internal frame/bike stand, this bag is compatible with the Evoc Bike Stand Pro, although you’re better off just buying the Evoc Pro Bag below.

If you ride an XL or XXL mountain bike, the Evoc Bike Travel Bag XL fits bigger bikes.

Orucase B2-MTB travel bag

3. Orucase B2-MTB

$649

Dimensions: 30 x 36 x 12″ (76 x 91 x 30.5 cm)

Linear inches: 78 linear inches

Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kg)

Type: Soft-sided

Fits: Most mountain bikes up to 29″ wheels

  • Small and compact for travel
  • Aluminum rails add rigidity
  • Comes with backpack straps
  • Frame padding sold separately
  • Need to really break down bike

The Orucase B2-MTB travel bag is an interesting concept. It’s designed to make traveling with a bike as convenient and affordable as possible. You do need to break your bike down quite a bit more than other travel bags (including taking completely removing the handlebars and removing the fork) but if compact and light is your goal, this could be a great option.

I don’t think I would use it for my mountain bike, but I’d definitely consider using it for a gravel bike or bikepacking bike that doesn’t have a dropper post.

If you’re looking for extra protection, Orucase sells a frame padding kit.

Evoc bike travel bag pro

4. Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro

$795

Dimensions: 58 x 15 x 33″ (147 x 37 x 85 cm)

Linear inches: 106 linear inches

Weight: 24 lbs 6 oz (9.6 kg)

Type: Soft-sided

Fits: Most mountain bikes up to 29″ wheels

  • Removable front wheel
  • Internal frame/bike stand
  • Folds down for storage
  • Lockable zippers (locks not included)
  • Some frame padding included
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

If you travel with your bike a lot, it may be worth investing in the Evoc Bike Travel Bag Pro. It has a few extra key features that the regular Evoc bag and the Dakine bag don’t, namely the removable front wheel and internal frame that turns into a bike stand.

If you’ve traveled with a bike, you know how tiring and awkward it can be to haul your bike bag from one terminal to the next even though it has two rolling wheels. With the Evoc Pro Bag, the front wheel allows you to push it along without doing any work. Revolutionary.

It’s also designed with an internal frame for max stabilization. You can actually secure your bike on the frame outside of the bag and then transfer it to the bike bag. This frame also doubles as a bike stand, making reassembly a lot easier.

The biggest downside to the Evoc Pro, though is that it’s heavy. It may be really hard to get everything under the weight limit depending on what airline you fly, so be prepared to pay some overweight fees.

Thule Roundtrip MTB Travel Case

5. Thule Roundtrip MTB Travel Case

$1,000

Dimensions: 56.7 x 35 x 15″ (144 x 38 x 89 cm)

Linear inches: 107 linear inches

Weight: 29 lbs. 10.1 oz. (13.3 kg)

Type: Soft-sided

Fits: Wheelbases up to 51 inches and tires up to 29″ x 3.0

  • Front wheel for easy traveling
  • Integrated frame/workstand
  • Folds down for storage
  • Rigid side panels
  • Both sides fold all the way down
  • Clever frame padding
  • Very heavy
  • Very expensive

The Thule Roundtrip MTB Travel Case has all the bells and whistles. It’s also the heaviest on this list, so if you choose this bag, choose your airlines wisely (like Alaska Airlines, which doesn’t have a weight limit), or be prepared to pay overweight fees.

With rigid side panels that fold all the way down for easy packing, an internal frame that doubles as a workstand, and a front wheel to make traveling with your bike a breeze, this bike bag is really impressive. That is if you can swallow the price tag.

Thule Round Trip Transition Bike Case

6. Thule Roundtrip Transition Bike Case

$1,000

Dimensions: 54 x 37 x 15.5″ (137 x 39 x 94 cm)

Linear inches: 106 linear inches

Weight: 40 lbs (18.1 kg)

Type: Hard-sided

Fits: Most mountain bikes

  • Extremely durable
  • Integrated frame/workstand
  • No front wheel
  • No extra padding included
  • Very heavy
  • Will most likely put you overweight

The Thule Roundtrip Transition Bike Case is a burly beast and if you’re really worried about protecting your multi-thousand dollar bike during transit, it could be a good option. However, despite providing the most protection out of all the bags and cases on this list, it definitely has some downsides.

Because it’s constructed with an ultra-protective hard shell it comes with added weight. A lot of added weight. When fully packed with a mountain bike, the Thule RoundTrip Transition can easily be 70-80 lbs, which would be considered overweight for many airlines. Be sure to check overweight fees and weight restrictions on your airline carrier before choosing this case.

Another downside is that there is no front wheel. Do you want to lug a 70-80 lb bike down airport corridors?

Lastly, the Thule Case doesn’t come with any frame padding like the other bags on this list do. You’ll need to get creative with packing materials or purchase a frame padding kit.

Related: Tips for flying with a bike and the best airlines to choose

Tips for packing your mountain bike bag

1. Give yourself plenty of time

The first couple of times you pack and unpack your mountain bike will probably take a good 45 minutes to an hour (at least it should!). So give yourself plenty of time, go slow. I recommend watching some YouTube videos like this one by BKXC if you’re not sure how to break down your bike.

2. Use extra padding

I always pad my bike as well as I can when packing my bike bag. Bubble wrap works really well or head to your local bike shop and ask if they have any soft foam frame protection that comes on new bikes.

If you’re not worried about paying overweight fees, you can also pack your clothes in packing cubes and stuff them around your bike frame.

Discover the best mountain bike travel cases & packing tips to transport your mountain bike safely and easily to your travel destinations.

3. Use pad spacers between brake pads

New bikes typically come with little plastic pieces between the brake pads to prevent them from getting damaged and/or prevent brake fluid from leaking out if the brake levers get squeezed.

It’s a really good idea to do this for your bike when you pack it up into your bike bag as well. You can buy them online or simply use a small square of cardboard.

4. Zip tie any loose parts

I always use and pack a handful of zip ties when I’m traveling with my bike because they are super handy. I zip tie anything that is loose so that it doesn’t rattle and cause damage (or break) en route.

For example, I wrap my chainstay with bubble wrap or a cloth and then zip tie the chain tight onto the chainstay. I also remove the derailleur from the derailleur hanger and zip tie it onto the chainstay as well.

Image of rear triangle of mountain bike with derailleur removed and chain zip tied to chain stay in preparation of packing it in bike travel bag
Use lots of zip ties to secure loose parts like the derailleur and chain

5. Remove the rotors

I highly recommend removing both the front and rear rotors before packing your bike up. Rotors can be easily bent during transit, even if the bike case has specific rotor pockets or padding. Removing the rotors only takes a few minutes and it can save a ton of hassle and headache!

Pro-tip: remove both rotors and wrap in bubble wrap or a clean cloth. Screw the bolts back onto the wheels so you don’t lose any during transit.

Do you own a mountain bike travel bag? Which one and what are your thoughts? How does it perform on trips? Let us know in the comments!

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Discover the best mountain bike bags and cases to transport your bike safely and easily to your travel destinations around the world.
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12 Comments

  1. I’m just saying…if your last name is Timbers and you’re not doing something outdoors related for your job, you’re just not doing life right!

    Thanks for the review! This helps a lot. I got the go-ahead from my wife to spend the money on a ‘vacation box’ for my bike this week.

  2. i got the old evoc which was waaaay cheaper for almost the same bag as the current evoc (also same weight at 8.6kg). its _just_ big enough for my long mtb.
    I find that you can put rotor protecting discs to avoid having to take them off (bikes generally have these when shipped these days, its quite handy to grab a couple from a trash near a bike shop).

    The only issue id say is the weight, 8.6kg isnt terrible but its still too high to fit within the 23kg limit usually.

  3. Thanks for this run down. I’ve been considering investing in a travel case for some time now, and your pros and cons really hit the nail on the head while being easy to search, compare, and consider. Thank you for compiling this info.

    Many XXL frames these days exceed 130cm wheelbase. I have not personally tested the Dakine or new Thule options with my XXL Sentinel (132cm), but it does not fit in the EVOC Standard or older Thule Roundtrip Pro. I’m hoping to test the Dakine bag in the coming year. If anyone has experience fitting a 130cm+ frame in any bag, I’m all ears!

    With that said, I have a few comments and corrections regarding larger frame mountain bikes that others may find useful:

    -The EVOC XL bag is not intended for larger frames. In fact, the maximum wheelbase is actually SHORTER than that standard bag. It is intended for plus bikes and fat bikes with more volume in width and wheel pockets.
    The wheelbase maximums for EVOC bags are:
    Standard: 126cm
    XL: 125cm
    Pro: 130cm

    -The EVOC Pro and Thule Roundtrip MTB both use rigid mounting rails, so 130cm max is exactly 130cm max. I have not personally tested it with a bike, but inspecting the frame mechanisms in-store, I don’t see a way to squeeze a larger bike. Maybe Problem Solvers or another company could make a wheelbase shortening thru-axle insert for such a thing? Niche market, but sure would be nice.

    -There is no published wheelbase max for the Dakine bag, but it seems to compete with the EVOC Pro around 128-130cm. Without the mounting rails it could be larger. However, several reviewers stated the XXL Transition Spire (135.2cm wheelbase) did not fit in the Dakine bag.

    -Weight: Even the lightest XL-XXL mountain bikes, when combined with a bag, will almost certainly go over the typical 50lb weight limit of most airlines. Either accept that and load ‘er up (additional “extremely overweight” fees usually apply after 75 lbs or even 100 lbs), or start removing parts.
    I’d consider removing the dropper post, saddle and cassette+freehub to save on weight (assuming you have room in another bag). This way the bike still holds the structure of the bag, but you can easily ditch 4-8 lbs depending on your component spec. Many modern freehubs bodies pull out of the hub shell without tools, just be sure to remove any exposed springs/pawls and keep them safely secured (or bring a cassette wrench in your tool bag). Tires would be the next option, but even when flat they provide additional protection for the rim during transport. Plus, tubeless tires can add a huge headache during setup at your destination if they are unseated during packing.

    -Can’t find bike packaging materials in a pinch? Most home/hardware stores sell black pipe insulating foam “noodles” that work great. They come in various lengths and widths with a split down the middle just like the white bike packaging. Not free, but they cost very little ($2-5 USD) and can be custom cut for maximum protection.

  4. Super helpful, thanks! I’m considering the Dakine bag you use. Wondering if I could also use it for a drop bar gravel bike?

    1. Thanks Patrick! I have my eye on the new EVOC pro bag that has a removable front wheel. It would make traveling with a heavy, awkward bike so much easier!

  5. This B & W International Bike Case is a really nice travel box. It is extremely lightweight and has an incredible lifespan. My racing bike fit easily into the case and was very well protected because  its self-reinforced curve structure is suitable for road and gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and downhill bikes. The best feature of this bike case is that it is impact-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and tough, even at low temperatures. Also, this bike case is so hassle-free when walking, as it is designed with four easy-rolling wheels. For my trip, I was able to easily roll my bag with one hand and pull the bike case with the other, which was really nice.

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