Biknd Jetpack Bike Travel Bag

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Biknd Jetpack
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Tested: Biknd Jetpack Travel Bag

Rating: Vital Review

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Brandon Turman

Most people will agree, it's always a bit of a hassle to fly with your bike. Back in the day I used to break my bike down into two separate wheel boxes, which involved separating the front and rear triangle and pretty much dismantling the entire bike; the whole ordeal made me dread having to fly with my bike. Enter Biknd's Jetpack, built to simplify your life and make air travel safer for your bike. With another Whistler trip in the works, we took the opportunity to see if flying with your bike could actually be turned into a more enjoyable experience.

Jetpack Highlights

  • Robust air protection, heavy duty plastic and foam materials
  • Accessible 360 opening
  • Authorized by TSA for air travel
  • Folds easily for convenient storage
  • Compatible

Review by Fred Robinson // Photos by Brandon Turman

Most people will agree, it's always a bit of a hassle to fly with your bike. Back in the day I used to break my bike down into two separate wheel boxes, which involved separating the front and rear triangle and pretty much dismantling the entire bike; the whole ordeal made me dread having to fly with my bike. Enter Biknd's Jetpack, built to simplify your life and make air travel safer for your bike. With another Whistler trip in the works, we took the opportunity to see if flying with your bike could actually be turned into a more enjoyable experience.


Jetpack Highlights

  • Robust air protection, heavy duty plastic and foam materials
  • Accessible 360° opening
  • Authorized by TSA for air travel
  • Folds easily for convenient storage
  • Compatible with mountain bikes (also compatible with triathlon bikes with integrated seat-posts)
  • Hard rigid base
  • Weight: 8kg/17.6-pounds
  • MSRP: $449.95 USD

Initial Impressions

The Jetpack arrives pretty compactly packed for how big it is. Since the sides are foldable it shrinks down to about 15'x15'x50' for storage when it's not being used. The Jetpack uses a rigid beam down the inside-bottom of the bag to which you fix your front and rear axles as well as inflatable padding on each side of your bike to keep it from being crushed, squished or otherwise damaged in transit. While unfolding the pack we noticed a handy little pouch that can be velcro'd to the beam and contains a set of allen wrenches with plenty of extra room to hold whatever small tools you want to bring along. The side flaps, padding and general materials that compose the pack look and feel rugged, sturdy and ready for the meanest of baggage handlers.

On The Plane

When it comes time to actually pack the bike, you have to start by setting up the Jetpack bike case itself. The Jetpack comes with multiple rear and front axle mounting inserts which cover pretty much every available bike setup we can think of. Since we were packing our DH bike we used the 20mm front and 12x150 rear setup. Installation was a breeze as the inserts just press in by hand.

To get the bike ready, we had to remove both wheels, the pedals, and our stem/handlebar assembly. Leaving the rotors on you attach the wheels to the side flaps which sandwiches them between an air pad on the outside and a foam pad that will keep your frame and wheels from damaging each other. Then you remove the whole bar/stem assembly and fix it to your frame with a velcro pad and strap. This doesn't require you to undo any of your cables or alter your bar setup at all; pretty handy for those who are particular with their setup and don't want to mess with handlebar rotation and lever angles and such.

For this test we used a size large Scott Gambler. This bike is long and slack and in order for the axles to line up with the Jetpack's axle mounts we had to let the air out of the fork to shorten the wheelbase. Having an air-sprung fork we would have done this regardless, but if you have a long wheelbase and a coil-sprung fork, you should note that you may have to remove your fork's spring.

Once we mounted the frame in the box with all the tools and other odds and ends we wanted to bring, we stuffed the remaining space with our riding clothes, pads and shoes and the whole package came in at about 70-pounds (our Gambler weighs in at about 37-pounds).

On the clock, packing the bike the first time around took close to an hour, but after we figured out what goes where and how to do it best we got our time down to 23 minutes, not too shabby. Travel fees varied depending on which airline we chose, the highest being $150 each way and lowest being $50.

The Jetpack comes with wheels on one side and a handle on the other to aid in dragging it around the airport and to your hotel. A very necessary and useful feature which avoids having to rent luggage carts and/or manhandle this box around.

Long Term Durability

After four flights now, our bike and the Jetpack have both come away completely unscathed from the rigors of air travel, which says a lot if you've ever seen how some of the baggage handlers toss your luggage around and how many cardboard bike boxes have been destroyed by those dudes. Our bike fared the same each time we flew with it, which is to say we found it exactly how we left it (with the addition of the “TSA snooped your gear” note).

Things That Could Be Improved

The Jetpack does what it's supposed to do, we have no complaints nor general improvements we can think of. Although at $449.95 the Jetpack is on par with most of its real competition pricing wise, it is still a hefty sum of money for a piece of luggage and that might send some riders searching for a cheaper alternative (of which there are quite a few).

What's The Bottom Line?

Packing is as simple as removing your wheels, pedals, bars, and possibly your fork's spring if you have a long bike. After you figure out how everything you want to bring fits, it only takes about a half-hour to get it all together. Frequent bike flyers will appreciate the ease and convenience, plus the peace of mind which takes the sting out of the price tag a little. Overall, we are definitely impressed with the Jetpack and despite the crying baby in our row and the dude in front of us with his seat at full recline, we're zen and in the zone knowing that at least our bike is stowed safely below.

Visit www.Biknd.com for more details.


About The Reviewer

Fred Robinson, a.k.a. "Derf," has been on two wheels since he was two years old. He picked up a mountain bike in 2004 and started racing downhill in 2006. He has seen moderate success racing CAT 1 but focuses his efforts on building, maintaining and riding his local trails. He's deceptively quick for a bigger guy and likes steep, fast trails where he can hang it off the back of the bike. As a SoCal native he mostly rides trails covered with loose, traction-less turns and sharp, immovable rocks. Besides downhill, he rides trail bikes, road, and also enjoys the occasional dirt jump session. He is currently a student at UCSD and a wrench at a local bike shop.

Sturdy protection

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

solid construction / air bags / solid mounting / accessories

The Bad:

heavier than claimed

Overall Review:

After seeing an online ad for the new Bikind Jet pack I decided to bet on this Canadian company to protect my new carbon frame on a bike trip to South America. My 10 yr old plastic bike box had been opened by the TSA on a previous trip and not closed properly - so that when I collected it at the airport the handlebars were hanging out. I figured it was time to upgrade to a bag that would be easy for the inspectors to open / close and one that would provide the best protection possible.

It took me a while to pack the bike the first time. Once I worked out a few basic tricks I was much faster when relocating in the middle of my trip and when packing to return home (less than 30 mins in total). I whipped the pedals and wheels off first then attached the bike to the internal frame mounts with

Overall Review:

After seeing an online ad for the new Bikind Jet pack I decided to bet on this Canadian company to protect my new carbon frame on a bike trip to South America. My 10 yr old plastic bike box had been opened by the TSA on a previous trip and not closed properly - so that when I collected it at the airport the handlebars were hanging out. I figured it was time to upgrade to a bag that would be easy for the inspectors to open / close and one that would provide the best protection possible.

It took me a while to pack the bike the first time. Once I worked out a few basic tricks I was much faster when relocating in the middle of my trip and when packing to return home (less than 30 mins in total). I whipped the pedals and wheels off first then attached the bike to the internal frame mounts with the bars still attached. The bike standsin place which makes it easy to then remove the bars.It was a pleasure to leave the stem bolted on and just remove the bars. Bikind supply a sweet little Velcro frame protector that holds the bars in place alongside the frame. I used a small section of pipe insulation to wrap around the fork (lowers and stanchions) to secure the bars to the lower part of the fork using some double sided Velcro (which is damn useful stuff to have).

I decided to be conservative and remove my rotors - a friend opted otherwise (different bike bag) and ended up with a bent rotor....it only takes 5 mins to remove them...inserting the bolts back into the wheel for safe keeping. Super impressed with the inflatable wheel savers and how the wheel is held securely in place thru the axle with this little plastic attachment also protecting the frame. I dropped the saddle and removed the derailuer...with the rear axle sitting solid and well off the ground - I was comfortable leaving the D hanger in place and my bash guard was 1inch off the bottom.I zipped up the first side of the bag...I was totally confident my bike was going to be safe. I threw some light weight gear in and around the bike.

The bag ships with a cool little baggie that included a set of allen keys...and all the possible wheel adaptors you may need. I was impressed with this. I threw my rotors and various spares into that bag and used the Velcro straps to attach to the inside of the rear triangle.

The trip went well and while sitting in Santiago airport watching the baggage handlers struggle to push and shove the 20th bike bag into the airplane...I was pretty stoked to know my bike was as well protected as it could possibly be.

I gave the bag 4 1/2 stars purely because it was a tad heavier than the claimed 18lbs...which for anyone hoping to get under 50lbs makes it pretty tough. I think all the competitorbags weigh in at aroundthe same weight so its only a pound or two difference. Note that everyone on this trip was required to pay $200 baggage fair (USA to Chile) for the bikes so on the return trip I simply threw everything into my bike bag since I was paying the $200 regardless...it weighed 60lbs on the return trip.

I made little marks on my seatpost and bars so that I could easily build the bike up and save the hassle of minor adjustments later.

EDIT: forgot to mention that the bag rolls up into 1/4 of its size - roughly the same as a golf bag - once you are done. I appreciate that as I have enough sh1t taking up space in my garage. Sweet

Specifications

Product Biknd Jetpack Bike Travel Bag
Bike Bag Type Full Bike
Storage Capacity External Dimensions: 80cm x 130cm x 25cm // 360º Opening // One Size Fits all from XC to DH, FR, Road, and Enduro // Compatible with a Triathlon Integrate Seatpost Bike
Materials Inflatable Air Protection Wall-System // Plastic and Foam // Hard Base
Pockets Various // Top Tube Protector // Wheels are Fixed by a Fastening System Inside the Sidewalls
Colors Black
Miscellaneous 8 kg/17.6 lbs // Folds Easily for Convenient Storage // Authorized by TSA // Lightweight and Ultra-Strong Aluminum-Retaining Axle is Easily Adjustable and, with Your Bike in Place, Includes a Safe-Locking Mechanism to Ensure Superior Hold While in Transit
Price $449.95
More Info

Biknd Website

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