Soft Travel Bags - Protection

For airline travel with soft travel bags / cases (i.e. Orucase / Evoc) - I am not understanding this: If they lay the bag on the side and pile other luggage on it, what will stop it from crushing my bike? or are carbon frames just strong enough to where this doesn’t matter?

I guess I don’t quite realize how strong my bike is (or isn’t).

Yes, it is a complete roll of the dice of the ‘chain of custody’ of people/systems that handles/mishandles your bag. Bikes do get broken in soft cases. Even hard cases. On top of this is TSA who opens up everything these days and is not going to spend 20 minutes carefully putting everything back together!

I looked into Delta’s policies on breakage and they do take accountability, but ONLY if the case is completely hard-sided. Which then means you’re not going to go less than 50 lbs and you are likely paying for oversized baggage both ways.

One little trick I did (EVOC soft sided) was grabbed a narrower back foam roller (18") and placed it through the rear triangle such that if the bike was laid sideways under other luggage it would provide some rigidity. Pool noodles and plumbing pipe insulation everywhere else.

I would also point you to the the experts in shipping bikes and they have some opinions on EVOC and Scicon… | Box or Case

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This. I have had really good luck traveling many times with my Evoc Pro bag. I use the base that locks in the front and rear. I also use pipe insulation anywhere I can get it to protect the frame.
I have no idea what happens in between but the people who take the bag and deliver it back always handle with care and usually ask what is inside.

Seconding I have always had great experiences using the evo bags. Every time I’ve travelled they’ve actually opened it up with me and searched it prior to taking custody, so there’s no worries of them opening it again. Which is crucial because I usually pack the all my stuff in there and encase my frame in protection.

As some have already replied, I’ve only had a good experience with the Evoc Pro bags (we have two of them). Use it for both my carbon frame and steel frame - Never had an issue (we traveled inside Europe with them).

Packing later today for our first trip with 2x Evoc Pro bags. As one of the bikes is a 29er MTB, a hard case didn’t really seem like an option without being huge.

How many of you take your disc rotors off? Have heard this is a thing but maybe it’s not that big a deal.


I don’t understand what a pool noodle will do other than protect from something inside the bag from hitting it?

do you not worry about a stack of luggage? and it being crushed on the side with other luggage stacked on top of it?

ty for the replies.

I have an orucase. I’ll say it’s a huge pain to pack. But, that case is way tougher than it looks. It has very stiff, durable inserts, plus when all the padding is inserted it’s stuffed so full of things that it would take a ton of abuse before so thing would break.

While packing it I hated it, but after actually using it I’m a convert.

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:100: I take them off of the wheels going in my Evoc. I have an AliBaba wheel bag where I just turn them to the inside.

Pool Noodle isn’t as useful as a foam roller. The roller acts as a spacer, i just use pipe insulation in mine. Also I just suck it up and pay the overweight fee (or upgrade to 1st if the price is a wash on delta) and pack an extra 15 lbs of stuff in my Evoc.


I’ve done 1/2 dozen flights with carbon bikes in the cardboard box they came in. Some front wheel off, some boxes are for both wheels off. Haven’t gotten a scratch yet but maybe just lucky. I think that, in general, they don’t pile a ton of luggage on top of bike boxes. Once in awhile though I’m sure stuff gets busted. A guy on my last trip had an evoc bag and it was pretty sweet next to my battered cardboard box.


Totally anecdotal, but I’ve taken my bike on dozens of flights with my Orucase and it’s always been fine. Domestic and international flights.

The only damage my bike has ever gotten was a bent chainring because the TSA moved stuff around in the bag and didn’t put it back correctly. The TSA shoved the bike back in the bag in such a way that the chainring wasn’t protected by the padding in the bag, so I assume the bag hit something hard in transit, which bent the chainring.

The frame itself has always been okay – while I’ve always raced on an alloy frame, I’ve lent the bag to friends with carbon frames as well. Never any trouble with the frames!

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I’ve used an SCICON soft case for around 5 flights now with the only minor issue being my shifters got knocked in on 1 flight (but moved back with no damage). I also pack my clothing in bin bags around the frame and use pipe insulation on all “contact” surfaces that I can.

Thanks, really helpful. Going to take the rotors off, though does mean bringing a rather large wrench as my partners bike has CL and mine 6 bolt.

Still plenty to strap down (pannier/tent) and you’ve got me thinkin about RD and chain off…

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I have roll of 3/4" velcro that I use to strap things down and to supplement the straps supplied with the bag. I took the rear mech off the mount and strapped it between the chainstays and did the same with the rear brake as it was sticking up a bit higher than I was comfortable with.

Brake discs are a pain. I have 6 bolts on this bike and CL on my gravel bike. Easy enough to add a T25 bit to the mini kit, but the CL wrench isn’t as easy.

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I very rarely take my rotors off and have only had issues a few times. Certainly not saying you shouldn’t and I have no doubt they could be bent easily, but I’ve flown with an Evoc Pro bag with my carbon 29er on 100+ flights and knock on wood negligible issues.

I think I’ve had 1 bent rotor and another time had the upper part of the rear triangle get rubbed through the e padding by the cassette and damage the paint.

  1. Soft cases can provide reasonable protection if you pack things around the frame eg clothes, helmet, hydration pack
  2. Buy a roll of “this side up” and “fragile” stickers and apply ALL OVER
  3. Take rotors off: I use a torque wrench with CL rotors to make sure installation is consistent (heavy but worth it) - nothing more annoying than bent rotor on a ride
  4. I use EVOC (non-pro) and find the bag is great
  5. Consider insurance
  6. Direct flights only

I’m assuming you are referring to the CL tool that also doubles as a BB tool. If so, switch to the CL rings that use a cassette tool. Much smaller and you can just use a small adjustable wrench.

Should only cost you ~$30.

Myself and a number of heavy travelers on my team use the Scicon case with good results.

For me, it’s wanting to torque to 40nm and that wrench (mine at least, isn’t small :thinking:

Maybe I should get over that bit and find a smaller wrench…

I don’t believe you can use these with a boost front 15mm axle as they won’t clear with the larger diameter end caps (maybe some hubs will work).

Personally I like the socket for the outer spline ones, it’s light/small enough and you just carry a 3/8 ratchet which is easy enough. I don’t worry about a torque wrench for CL lockrings.