Over that past month I have been lucky enough to represent my country at the World Cyclocross Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Unfortunately going to a CX race is always a logistical nightmare with multiple bikes, wheels, shoes, helmets and more gear than you would take on your normal holiday, It’s never easy until now.
After watching the Jeremy Powers ‘Cross Camp’ movie he mentions the name ‘Pika Packworks’ while packing two of his bikes for an international campaign. With my Europe trip coming up I paused the movie and quickly googled this ‘pika packworks’ brand and found the official site and realized that it was a soft padded bag that can fit two bikes and two wheelsets easily whilst making it small enough to be counted as one piece of luggage. This was the answer to all of my problems!
It’s not cheap when you get slugged with excess baggage charges especially when its $90 AUD per kilo. I sent Mark from Pika an email enquiring about the bag and noting that I had seen it in the cross camp movie. Receiving a quick response I found out that the double bike bag I wanted was a custom made bag for Jeremy…. A few emails later Mark had sent me a quote to build and ship the custom bag from USA to AUS. All of this was done only two week prior to Christmas (because Christmas isn’t already busy enough).
The Total cost for the custom bag and shipping was around $1000 AUD which is very reasonable due to the low Aussie dollar compared to the USD. A week later I received an email saying that he had built and shipped the bag prior to Christmas. This meant that I should receive it just after the new year with about a week to spare and test pack the bikes and wheels before heading to Europe. In the end I realized that I can fit Two (Large frame size 56) cyclocross bikes and three sets of wheels including my helmet and shoes as well.
The construction quality of the bag was to a very high standard and it just works flawlessly. There is foam blocks for the Bottom bracket to rest on and also wheel sleeves so they don’t get tossed around in the bag. Between the two frames there is also a divider that is clipped in to protect the frames from each other. I would recommend using some piping insulation to protect the frames from other objects moving and possibly hitting the frame in transit. It IS NOT designed to put three sets of wheels in the bag but in some cases you have to push the boundaries. There is also two buckles on the top and sides to try and reduce the stress on the zips if the bag is full. These are great and also make for easier transport by the baggage handlers.
The only feature I might add in the future is a small set of wheels that I can clip on and off for transporting it around when having to walk long distances. I would happily recommend this bag to anyone wanting to take two bikes on a plane with them as it is so convienient, small and simple to travel with. I’m sure that I won’t be the only person art the next Australian National series with one of these bags now.
Thanks to Mark at Pika Packworks for making my life easier!!
This is the link to the website http://pikapackworks.com/