Bike

Face Off: 2 Bike Cases for Triathletes

Presenting two very different options for getting your bike from point A to point B.

It doesn’t matter how much training you do or how expensive your bike is, if it doesn’t arrive safe and sound at your race destination, you’re screwed. Presenting two very different options for getting your bike from point A to point B.

Photo: Oliver Baker

Thule RoundTrip Transition

$599; Thule.com

What: The Thule RoundTrip Transition is a hard shell case with an ingeniously integrated bike stand. Prep your bike on the stand, then click the bike holder into the bottom of the case. Two buckles hold the lid down, the wheels are stored inside the case, and pedals stay on.

Pros: Easy and fast packing thanks to the included three-legged stand. We had our bike loaded in 20 minutes. The stand goes along for the ride and makes maintenance on the road much easier. Plenty of room for the two other sports: wetsuit, running shoes, and other gear fit in easily. Padded wheel bags also included.

Cons: Big can be an asset but also a pain in the butt. The Transition weighs 39 lbs. empty; add in a 20-pound tri bike with gear, and you’re already above the 50-pound threshold created by some airlines. Once packed, it tilts and rolls with ease, but picking it up could be impossible. Keep in mind, a case of this size simply won’t fit into some smaller cars (or cabs).

This is for: Quick packers and handy DIY mechanics with bulletproof needs.

Not for: Those who like to travel light and under the radar of oversized airline fees.

Photo: Oliver Baker

EVOC Bike Travel Bag Pro

$595; Evocusa.com

What: With a claimed weight of 17 pounds, the EVOC Travel Bag Pro is the lightest bag on the market. The soft case gets structure from eight rods inserted into side panels, a solid base, and aluminum rails for stability. All platforms welcome—mountain, road, and tri—and wheel slots have hub/rotor protection.

Pros: The Travel Bag Pro boasts an easy setup, simply lower the saddle and remove the wheels, pedals, and bars. There’s room for bike and associated gear, and inline skate-style wheels make for an easy pull and smooth ride. We loved the clip-on front wheel that takes the bag from tilt up mode to three-wheeler.

Cons: Due to tight slots, the support rods can be fussy to install and remove. This made us avoid one of the advantages of a soft bag: collapsing it once unpacked. The Travel Bag Pro’s mountain bike origins meant hassling with the road fork adapter.

This is for: Nimble-traveling triathletes and those racing XTERRA.

Not for: Athletes looking for absolute ease of packing and the armor of a hard shell.

The Winner

Thule. You’ve invested thousands in your sport, and the RoundTrip Transition provides standout protection for bike and peace of mind for triathletes.