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Post Carry Co's Transfer Case is an extremely compact bike case – not much bigger than a large suitcase – that can take a full-sized road or gravel bike. It's small enough to pass as normal luggage and avoid airline fees, yet doesn't lack protection for your pride and joy.
For more options, check out our guide to the best bike boxes and bike bags.
US-based Post Carry Co has managed to pack in a host of impressive features in the Transfer Case despite its very compact size. And its compactness doesn't just allow you to dodge bike fees, it also means it can be stored away neatly when not in use, making it really one of the best bike travel cases out there – unless your bike is very integrated.
The Transfer Case comes in two sizes: 135L, as tested, and 150L. The smaller fits drop-bar bike frame sizes up to 56cm, and the larger takes bikes up to 62cm.
At first glance, it is hard to believe that the 135L case, which measures 92 x 72 x 23cm, can fit a bike at all, but once you open it up, the genius design is revealed (along with a slight fear of how up-to-date your bike assembling skills are).
The case has two wheels underneath it, two handles at the top, and one handle on the end for pulling it along.
It also features backpack straps for carrying the bag on your bag – either when it's folded up and empty, or if you're wanting to give your spaghetti arms a rest from pulling the case around.
Those straps can also be stashed away so they won't get caught on anything during your travels.
I can only say that I was blown away by the overall design of this bag. It has padding and reinforcement at the right spots, keeping the weight down but protection at maximum, and you get neat details like the backpack straps and multiple handles.
The case comes in folded form, so the first thing you need to do is unfold it and arrange the side pads into their neat little pockets, securing them with Velcro straps. This gives the bag its structure.
Now, you can start to pack in your bike. I must admit my excitement over saving on airline fees did take a little dip when I started to flick through the detailed packing instructions that come with the bag. (There's also an instructional video detailing the process of packing and unpacking your bike.) Because, yes, this bag does require you to disassemble your bike pretty much completely. I mean taking off the wheels, removing the rotors (or leaving them on at your own risk), fork, rear derailleur, handlebar and pedals.
Even though I am not always the most organised person, I really appreciated the visually marked, multiple compartments this bag has. The wheels have their own zipped, reinforced and heavily padded slots on either side of the bag, and you'll find a padded frame and chainguard inside the bag, which are easy to fit because of the graphics detailing their intended use.
My trip to Spain was nearing, so after getting a basic understanding of what I was meant to do, I set a timer and proceeded to pack my bike. Considering it was my first time, I was impressed that it took me only 31 minutes from start to finish (including the search for tools).
I can see that this process could be quite daunting for someone who is not regularly taking parts off their bike, but I'd argue that going through the process is a very helpful skill and basically forces you to inspect and clean your bike before travelling.
There's a certain number of tools you'll need with you, to ensure you can reassemble your bike at your destination. As a bare minimum you'll need to pack a cassette tool (for Center Lock disc rotors), a multi-tool for all the other bolts, a chain tool and a pedal spanner. I would also add a torque wrench and some anti-seize and carbon paste to the packing list.
Of course, the tools you need depend on the kit on your bike – if you have rim brakes then your life is slightly easier, and if you don't want to remove the rotors, you can leave the cassette tool at home.
It might seem like a lot, but the bag has specific zipped compartments for storing all of your tools, and the instruction booklet even provides suggestions on what to put where.
I was able to fit my bike, tools, cycling clothing for a week (two sets), cycling shoes and bottles in the bag and the total weight was 15kg.
The bag itself weighs 5.4kg, including all of the padded protection. Everything I fitted into the bag sat neatly in its place, and during testing, my bike suffered no scratches – nor was the bag showing any marks after the two flights, and bus, car and train trips I took with it.
As pleasing as the performance of the Transfer Case proved to be, its other major selling point, and one I was curious to test, was the chance to dodge airline bike fees.
I've managed to fly with the bag once so far, completing a return trip to Malaga with Ryanair. I booked the bike in as regular luggage (max 20kg), paying £29 (the rates vary from £17.99-£50, depending on the flight) for each leg of the journey.
The fee for a bike would have been £65 per flight, which means I saved £72 on the trip. I still had to take the bag to the oversized luggage belt, but that wasn't that much of a hassle.
I contacted Easyjet and British Airways for a comment, and both confirmed that there is no definite way the airlines will treat this bag. You can get away without paying bike fees, but it is likely you will still need to take the bag to the oversized luggage belt because, I was told, it needs to be handled differently from regular luggage.
As I travel more with this bag, I will update this review accordingly.
The bag retails for $400 (about £325 at current exchange rates). As high as that seems, it's not the most expensive bike bag out there. Hardcases can cost twice as much, such as the Topeak Pakgo X, which has gone up to £849.99 since we tested it, while even soft models can be more expensive, such as Merlin Cycles' Elite Travel Bike Bag at £429, up from £380 in 2020 when Nick tested it, and Evoc's Bike Travel Bag at £424.99, up from £399.99 since Dave tested it in 2018.
There is a caveat to this, though. Post Carry Co doesn't have a European/UK distributor at the moment, which means your bag is subject to some fees at the border. The bag on test arrived with a £62 duties and taxes bill, but even so the price is competitive, and the delivery from the US took only a couple of days with FedEx.
I've thoroughly enjoyed using the Transfer Case. It has its limitations and little niggles that mean it's not for everyone, but I think it offers something unique to the bike travel bag market.
As a smaller person, I appreciate the compact size which makes for easier handling. The design also means the bag weighs less, so you are not throwing your back out when lifting the bag into a car or onto the luggage belt.
It does require a quite comprehensive disassembling of the bike in order to work, but the process is very simple after you've done it once – and Post Carry Co has provided excellent instructions to help.
Overall, I think the Transfer Case can really revolutionise the way you travel with your bike, and is ideal for those who want to travel with the lowest possible cost, who don't mind a little bike mechanics, and who don't have much space to store a full-size hardcase. It's beautifully designed and full of neat details that really elevate its already decent value.
Excellent compact case allowing savings on airline fees, for quality-appreciating cyclists equipped with basic mechanic skills
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Post Carry Co Transfer Case
Size tested: 135L
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
To quote Post Carry Co: "The Transfer Case is an extremely compact travel case for your full-sized road or gravel bike. It's small enough to pass as normal luggage and avoid airline fees, yet fully protective for travel. Bring your bike to your next adventure."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
From Post Carry Co:
Dimensions: 92 x 72 x 23cm
Fits tire sizes up to 40mm tire width (700c wheels) and up to 47mm tire width (650b wheels)
Approx. Packed Weight 17kg or 37.5lbs. (Packed with a road bike, tools, and cycling clothing)
Exterior Fabrics 600D polyester & 1680D Ballistic Nylon
Interior Materials PE Foam
12mm Polycarbonate Honeycomb
420D Polyester Liner
Included with Transfer Case: Frame Wrap, Chainstay Guard, Step-by-step Packing Guide, Spare Name Tag
The 135L bag is 5.4kg (tested) and the larger 150L weighs 5.7kg.
It's the most comfy bag I've ever used, both on the back and rolling about.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The bag performed very well at its intended purpose of safely transporting a bike, and is a very innovative design. It's easy to use, light to move around, and also saves on airline bike fees.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The thought-through design, multiple ways to carry, compact size, weight, and ease of storage when not in use.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing – but if my bike had an integrated headset and/or integrated seatpost, using this bag would be an issue.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
This bag retails for $400 (about £325 at the current rates). Hardcases can cost more than twice as much, such as the Topeak Pakgo X at £849.99, and even softcases such as Merlin Cycles' Elite Travel Bike Bag and Evoc's Bike Travel Bag are more expensive at £429 and £424.99 respectively. Just be aware you will encounter customs fees when ordering this bag as it comes from the US.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There are some limitations to this bag because of its size and the way you need to disassemble the bike, but if your bike fits in, this well-designed bag not only saves you money (likely) but also doesn't take up unnecessary space in your flat when not in use. It's excellent quality and a prime example of great, purposeful product design.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, Ultra-distances
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.