My decision to head over to Adelaide for the 2015 Tour Down Under was a rushed one, and the decision to bring my own bike was even more hasty. Perhaps it was influenced by the fact that I’ve been looking for an excuse to test drive the Royd Bike Bag by Australia’s own BOgear.
For the last 9 months I’ve been wearing BOgear’s Spare Camel pack, the ‘Land Rover Defender of backpacks’ on my back, nearly everyday. It’s become a reliable friend, protecting my laptop, camera and books for long rides and short commutes. I knew I could expect the same standard from the Royd.
Yes, it’s a funny name, but it’s a damn serious foldable bike bag. What that translates to is the ability to unpack your bike at the airport and ride away. I sent Dave Bell, designer and owner of BOgear, a message on Facebook asking what the turnaround was on a Royd.
Luckily, he had one on the shelf and I could get it tomorrow. If I didn’t mind AUSCAM Desert camo and purple. After conservatively ordering an all-black Spare Camel, I was also looking forward to getting creative with the Royd, so I was definitely OK with camo and purple.
Thanks to Australia Post, a small package arrived the next day. Looked too small to be a bike bag but sure enough, there was one inside, neatly folded into its own matching pack. Like a Tardis, it was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.
A quick examination of the construction revealed the reassuring high quality I was expecting. #10 YKK zips and 1000D Cordura Nylon throughout. Reinforced stitching and webbing. Plastic buckles. This was going to do the job. Now I just had to get my bike in there.
Please don’t use my attempt at packing a bike for your own reference. This is what happens after trying to do so after a few wines over dinner. Luckily, Dave has numerous instructional videos on his website which you should look to. That’s a Cannondale CAAD10 in there.
With practice, I probably won’t need to remove the forks, but they, the handlebars and the wheels are off. I picked up some plastic dropout spacers, axle protectors and foam padding from a bike shop. Zip-tied everything together and filled it out with my shoes and helmet. And thongs.
Impressively, my bike travelled to Adelaide and back again unscathed. No scratches, dents or wear. Even managed to contain a greasy chain. Travelling with the Royd was a complete success. It’s easy to carry, fully packed, and weighed less than 10kg.
BOgear is 100% Australian-owned and operated. In fact, the Royd is constructed with Australian Made exterior fabric, Australian Made felt (providing the 6mm padding where the axles are placed and the ‘floor’ of the bag), Australian Made webbing and entirely made in the Brisbane shop.
The standard Royd retails for AUD$195 — a reasonable price for such rugged construction and materials. Have a look at BOgear’s range of backpacks, duffle bags, professional-quality messenger bags, pouches and accessories on the website.