We review the BTwin Bike Transport Bag in India and see how capable is this Decathlon bag to transport your bicycle by car, flight, train and bus…
BTwin Bike Transport Bag
The BTwin Bike Transport bag is a budget option for transporting your cycle safely. It is available for purchase at Decathlon and is one of the cheapest options in the Indian market. But does it get the job done?
The bag is constructed of 100% polyester on the outside, while polyamide is used for the inner wheel lining. The tough exterior material is to protect the bike from abrasion due to handling. While the inner liner keeps the wheels from scratching the frame.
This Decathlon product is made up of three individual parts. The actual bike bag in which you store your bike. A smaller satchel bag to store the bike bag. The third is a hard plastic sheet which is inserted as the base of the bag to give it support.
Including everything, the bag weighs in at 3.6 kg, which is pretty darn light compared to most bike bags. But this is because of the non-existent padding.
Dimensions of the bag are, 1350 mm long, 850 mm high and 270 mm wide. Enough to fit a large sized 29er MTB without any problems.
The storage satchel is 380 mm long, 330 mm high and 120 mm wide. Small enough to be stuffed away at home when not in use or even couriered whilst on the road.
As with most Decathlon products, the bike transport cover, comes with a 2 year warranty.
Packs a punch (and a bike as well)
If a bag can comfortably fit a Large frame sized 29er, it should be able to pack any bike. Except maybe an XL or XXL, which probably will be few and far between in India.
So how do you fit an L frame MTB?
You need to disassemble the entire bike. Unlike what is depicted in pictures on the Decathlon website. The seat post and handlebar need to be removed to fit the bike. The fork and rear derailleur can be left on the frame.
This large sized Scott just about made it in the bag. A size or two bigger and you might need to remove the fork as well. Removing the derailleur is optional, depending on the manner in which you plan to transport the bike.
A roadbike can be fit without having to remove the handlebar, but it depends on frame size and model.
The wheels once removed from the frame are stored in the two pockets on either side of the bag. It is advisable to remove the quick release skewers.
While you needn’t remove the pedals, it is sensible to do so. Else, the pedals can get caught between the spokes of the wheels.
While Decathlon sells the bag as ready to use. And to an extent it is. You might want to fortify it, if you are travelling by train or bus. In a car you needn’t bother with the extra effort.
There is absolutely no padding on either side of the bag, just the polyester fabric. Sliding in cardboard inserts on the outer side of the wheel helps tremendously.
It is ubiquitous. Chances are high, that wherever you are, you will find old cardboard boxes to tear down and use in your bag.
There is also no frame protection from components inside the bag. The seat post and handlebar which had been removed will rub against the frame. It will not break the frame, but that tiny scratch might break your heart.
Wrap the frame in bubble wrap or similar packaging material to save the paint from nicks and scratches.
The final packing tip is to tie the loose ends. It is best if you tie up the handlebar and seat post to the top and down tube, so that it doesn’t move around.
As for the small bits and pieces like the pedals, skewers and spares can be stored in the satchel and placed between the fork and crank.
Carrying and storing the BTwin Bike Transport Bag
The bag has two shoulder straps. The stitching and the straps are strong and easily take the weight of the bike. There are two handles on either side of the bag as well to help grip and steady it when lugging it around.
There are plastic sliders at the bottom. Which allows the bag to be dragged a bit. This is of course nowhere as useful as wheels. It is a compromise as wheels would be more bulky and difficult to fit into the satchel when storing the bike bag away.
Carrying the bag isn’t too much of a hassle if you are strong enough to lift the weight and tall enough to clear the bag off the ground.
With the bike in, the bag is big.
In a train it can be stored in the brake van. But that requires a leap of faith in government employees, which might not be possible for everyone. It can be stored on the top bunk of an AC 2 tier seat.
It will not fit below the seat, as it sticks out. Depending on the cooperation of your fellow travellers, you might be able to place it there.
In a chair car coach like the Shatabdi, you can store it behind the last seats, there is just about enough room to squeeze it in.
On Volvo buses, which you can find across the country, from Himachal Pradesh to Karnataka. The bike bag easily stores in the luggage compartment below. In other buses it fits in the luggage rack at the rear.
The bag easily fits in a small hatchback with the rear seat dropped. Even a small sedan like the Swift Dzire accommodates the bag on the rear seat.
The bag isn’t recommended, but can be used for air travel. You might want to pack the insides with extra packing material for added safety if you choose to do so.
Earlier Decathlon was selling the BTwin bike transport bag at 5000 a pop, the price has since been reduced to 4k. Which undercuts the competition by a huge margin.
But there is a catch. This bag is meant for transporting your cycle, only when you are handling it. If the bag is going to be handled by people you don’t know/ can’t trust, then you might not want to use it.
If you are looking for something still cheaper, fear not. You can make one for yourself. Buy strong polyester fabric from your local market and get it stitched. It is a lot more effort, but will be substantially cheaper.
If you are looking for more protection, then there are plenty of options available at higher price points.
Also read our review of the Scott Speedster Gravel 10 and see how it does in Indian conditions. With pollution ever increasing in urban India, it makes sense to invest in a pollution mask, check our review of the Respro Cinqro. Like reading? Read Tyler Hamilton’s ‘The Secret Race’. Before that read this review.