Oversize baggage fees are the bane of traveling cyclists’ existence, adding up to $400 for a round trip. So, what if there was a way to bring your bike along for the flight without paying that, and without giving anything up? That’s the answer Post Carry founder Marc Mendoza wanted to find, and it looks like he has with his Transfer Case.

Post Carry bike case is small enough to fit in a trunk and avoids airline baggage fees

We first saw the Transfer Case as Marc was wheeling a prototype around at Sea Otter 2017. Since that time, he’s gone into full production, and we’ve taken two international trips with it. Before we get into the review, here’s how it works: By sizing the case around a bike’s frame, he was able to diminish the dimensions significantly. Almost laughably, especially when you view it next to standard hard and soft cases. What’s particularly impressive is that, once packed, his case actually feels more secure and firm than many soft-sided cases we’ve tried.

Post Carry bike case size comparison to standard bike travel bags and hard cases

It’s smaller than a bike box, too. The tradeoff is that you have to remove your fork from the frame, which adds a step both on the disassembly side and reassembly side. Which means you’ll have to have a little baggy to put your headset bearings and spacers in. But, really, other than that there’s little else that makes it any harder to use than a typical case.

There are, however, some added niceties…

The Post Carry Transfer Case comes in two sizes -135L and 150L- designed to fit bikes up to 56cm and up to 62cm respectively. I typically ride a 58-59cm road bike, so I tested the larger 150L case. Empty, the cases weigh a claimed 12lb or 12.6lb respectively (5.4 / 5.7 kg). That means, as long as your bike is under 30lbs, you probably won’t run over most airline’s weight limits, which could flag them to charge more than they should. With a decent road bike hiding inside, I had room and weight to pack my helmet, shoes, cycling kit, a couple bottles and a set of allen wrenches.

Post Carry standard size bicycle travel case review shows how to avoid airline oversize fees when traveling with your bike

Inside and out, the Transfer Case has zippered pouches galore. Inside, they’re meant to hold tools, pedals, skewers, small parts and your wheels. Speaking of wheels, each wheel has its own compartment, one on either side of the bike, each with reinforced center sections to prevent the axles or end caps from rubbing through.

Post Carry standard size bicycle travel case review shows how to avoid airline oversize fees when traveling with your bike

The outside pouches hide a carrying handle and these handy backpack straps!

Post Carry bicycle travel case lets your fly with your bike and avoid excess fees from airlines

While the rolling wheels work just fine, and the bag is very maneuverable thanks to its small size, being able to wear it does make for quicker transfers in some instances. And it keeps your hands free for your roller bag, a coffee, a burrito, or playing on your phone.

Post Carry standard size bicycle travel case review shows how to avoid airline oversize fees when traveling with your bike
This size 58 Look Huez easily fit inside the Transfer Case with its fork nested along the edge under the downtube. It arrived home looking better than this, the disarray was part of my unpacking process.

Included with the case are their top/down tube protector and crankset/chain protector. They cover up the parts and keep things from rubbing on them, and have oversized velcro straps you can use to secure other things to them so stuff isn’t just bouncing around in transit.

The Post Carry Transfer Case retails for $399, and the frame/chainstay protectors are available separately for $40 if you just wanted to add those to your existing setup. While I’ve only used it on a couple trips, they’ve both been long, international trips with multiple layovers in each direction. And in both cases, the bike failed to land at home with me on the first try and had to be delivered by the airline the next day, adding even more opportunities for abuse. So far, so good, which means it comes with my recommendation.

The Transfer Case solves a lot of problems for cyclists, and potentially saves us a lot of money, too. What’s not to like?

But, will the bike fly for free?

So far, I’m three for three without paying to bring the bike. On the first trip, I brought a bike to and from France for a Mavic launch, so it was traveling without wheels. On the second trip, I traveled to Italy with the case empty and rolled down (check their website to see how it compacts when not in use), but came home with a complete bike (including wheels and tires), a new kit, and some pasta. Grand total excess baggage fees? $0. Total damage to bikes? None. Should you expect the same results? Sure, why not?

That said, your results may vary. As with any soft case, the potential for damage is there. Post Carry uses an extremely strong, rigid corrugated plastic sandwiched between high density closed cell foam to create the case’s structure. And it is strong…I tried very hard to bend this cutaway sample they sent for photos, and it’s tough! If you use axle inserts (or leave the thru axles installed, remove the rear derailleur and hanger, take off the brake rotors, add a layer of bubble wrap here and there, and generally not pack like an idiot, my hunch is you’ll see generally good results similar to mine.

Post Carry has several videos on their website showing how to pack and use it, measuring guidelines to ensure your bike will fit, and more.

PostCarry.co

21 COMMENTS

  1. What’s the mtb sizing? If it maxes out at a 62cm road frame I’m guessing this won’t fit a modern 1200+ wheelbase mtb without also having to remove the rear triangle.

    • I agree. I think domestic US flights are probably more apt to apply a dimensional limit as well as a weight limit than international flights. This bag is not even close to 62 “linear inches”.

      Also, the backpack design might leave your hands free for coffee, burritos, or playing with your phone, but have fun getting through doorways. Not a deal breaker, but let’s keep it real.

      • @Sevo: “Although most U.S. airlines have a 62” linear dimension limit for standard size luggage – which Transfer Case is slightly above – it’s up to the airline counter agent at the airport to assess your Case and decide to charge you.”

  2. The sizing chart is hidden at the bottom of the “Order Now” form and it has an obvious typo on the last line for the larger size case.

  3. I’ve been using Post’s Transfer Case since last February when Marc shipped me a prototype, and already it’s saved me thousands of dollars in baggage fees. It’s also the easily the most convenient bag I’ve ever travelled with.

    I work in the industry, and my travels often involve transferring from taxis to planes to subways and sometimes even to the backs of motorcycles or bikes while bouncing from city to city and country to country. This bag fits in most vehicles, avoids most airline fees (most have no clue there’s a bike inside), pivots upright to help with squeezing onto packed subways, and turns into an (albeit wide) backpack for short jaunts on two wheels or up stairs. Over the course of ~20 flights I’ve been charged an oversized baggage fee once, and that one time I was traveling on a US airline wearing a cycling cap and a T-shirt with a picture of a bicycle on it (i.e. I was asking for it). Living in the city where storage space is at a premium, I also appreciate how tightly it packs down for storage. Protection is excellent, and as far as features and construction is concerned, Marc has really done his homework.

    Any bag that can fit a standard, non-collapsable frameset and standard sized wheels is going to exceed most airlines dimensional limits, and for sure you’ll want to avoid certain airlines (Delta, United, American) to maximize your chances of getting through unscathed. That said, renting a bike wherever you go or having a separate collapsable bike involves it’s own expenses and compromises. For those wanting or needing to travel with a non-collapsable bike, I’ve found this to be the best option available.

  4. I love the form factor and I don’t mind the simple disassembly, but I’m wondering about the grease on the fork. How do you make it not leave it’s traces everywhere? Do you just use a garbage bag or is there a dedicated pouch?

    • Hi Thomas,

      The Transfer Case comes with a plastic bag (used for packaging of the Frame Wrap and Chainstay Guards) which is the perfect size for sliding over the fork to prevent grease from getting on the fabric. Other than that, it’s possible to pack your bike without any additional padding, sleeves, or having to scavenge swimming tubes or zip ties at your location.

      • Thank you, Marc. Obviously, this grease is principally meant to stay on the fork, so a follow-up question: how often would I then need to add grease to the fork in order to compensate for that what is lost on the inside of the plastic bag? Or is this a factor I could neglect?

  5. Looks great. But, what about if your bike has a hydraulic brake system with internally routed front line through the fork? In this case it may be difficult to detach the fork without having to deal with emptying the fluid. Is this correct? Or is there enough wiggle room with the brake line to place the fork aside while not having to detach any lines?

  6. Used one of these over the summer. Fantastic bag! I did get a $25 charge with Alaska with it however. My only gripe was about the handle positions for rolling, but mine was a prototype and it was fixed for the current production.

  7. Alaska has regular bag fees for Bicycles(but not do not charge for oversize), that would be the $25. Have printed this and taken to airport when they tried to charge overage fees.

    Individual sports equipment pieces
    Each checked piece listed below is subject to our standard checked baggage fees and waivers. We’re glad to waive the oversize fee or overweight fee for the items listed in this section. If contents unrelated to the equipment are included, additional baggage fees may apply. Refer to our Checked baggage policy for checked piece charges and waivers.

    Archery
    Bicycles
    Boogie boards
    Bowling
    Golf Clubs
    Skis/Snowboard
    Fishing Equipment
    Hockey/Lacrosse Equipment
    Pole Vaults
    Scuba Equipment
    Skateboards
    Surfboards/Paddleboards
    Windsurfing Equipment

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