Pro Bike Gear Mega Review
Cons: Not the most protective, cheap feel
Manufacturer: Pro Bike Gear
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pro Bike case was an interesting beast when it comes to scoring. This was one of those pieces of gear that never stood out as fantastic in any area, but it also had no fatal flaws. Packing process, weight, and ease of storage were notable highlights, while protection and ease of rolling/carrying were less awesome. We worry that this travel case will get lost in the middle of the test class; despite its middling scores in most metrics, this can still be a viable option for some riders.
The packing process for the Travel Case Mega was fine. There isn't anything wild going on here. We do have a few criticisms, but the travel case gets the job done.
The first step is to remove the mounting stand from the bag. It is secured by a few straps that hold it to the bottom of the bag. Next, you need to adjust the fork, and rear axle mounts to the appropriate length. Our extra-large 29er fit on this track with some room to spare. We think the majority of bikes should fit on this mounting stand, but we might be wary of extra large, aggressive enduro bikes (the bulk really should fit).
Next, secure the top tube cover/pad and Velcro the handlebars onto the pad. Install the drivetrain cover over your chainring and derailleur. The drivetrain cover is fairly unnecessary. It is intended to keep grease and grime off any other items in your bag, but it ended up just falling off. We recommend not even bothering. Next, bring the bike/mounting stand and place it in the case. Use the straps at the bottom to secure the mounting stand. Zip the bag up and put the wheels in the wheel pockets. We loved these wheel pockets as they are cavernous. Our 29-inch wheels went in with no hesitation and with room to spare; they are the best wheel compartments in the test by a longshot.
The packing process was pretty simple and didn't require much thought. It was easy, and while removing the mounting stand was as hassle, it is easier to work when the stand is removed, and you have more space. It is a bit of a clunky process to put the stand back in the case when its time to load. It's also a little hard to feed the straps to secure the stand as you've got a bike in your face when you're stretching for hard-to-reach areas.
The Pro Bike case scored in the middle of the pack in terms of protection. There were some highlights and lowlights.
The mounting stand design offers nice levels of protection. It can, and did, lead to a more difficult packing process, but it definitely has a more secure hold. When your fork and frame axles are fixed to the stand, it isn't going to shift around. One serious area of concern is the handlebar mounting position; this is an issue we have found with many other travel cases. The bar is secured to the top tube pad with a couple of bands of Velcro. There are a couple of reasons this is a bad idea. First, the hold is very weak. The two Velcro bands grip a wide handlebar in a very narrow stance. Also, the proximity to the fork/stanchions is very dangerous. It would be very easy to cut up your fork if the bar wiggles in the Velcro.
Ease of Rolling/Carrying
The Pro case rolls on hard plastic wheels with an approximately two inch diameter. These wheels swivel for easy steering. This case handles just fine on smooth surfaces such as an airport floor or a nice, concrete, train station. They are far worse on cut up and cracked cement. This bag does not roll well rough on poor surfaces.
The Pro Bike case weighs 17 pounds, 13 ounces. This measurement was taken with a Park Tool digital scale. The bag was empty except for the packing materials required to load a bicycle.
The Pro Bike case has no security features. There is no integrated locking system. You need to add your own lock to join the zippers.
We don't put a huge amount of stock into security features on a bike travel case. They can serve as a nice deterrent for the opportunist thief that wants to stealthily sneak into your bag. That said, it is far more likely for someone to steal your entire bike case and crack it open later.
Ease of Storage
Unless you're extremely lucky, your travel case will spend far more time stored at your residence than it will be toting your bicycle around the world. The Pro case has two things going for it. This means it is easy to fit in tight spaces, and it will be an easier endeavor than the big, bulkier bags. In addition, heaving it onto high shelves or up into the attic will be a little less exhausting.
The Pro Bike case delivers a nice value, and sits in the middle of the pack in terms of price among test cases. While we feel some of the top options justify the price tag, we think the Pro Bike case performs better than one or two of the more expensive options. Solid performance at a solid price point; what's not to like?
There is a lot to like with the Pro Bike Travel Case Mega; this is a no-nonsense bag that gets the job done well. This case holds your bicycle in a secure manner, although we do have some concerns. The loading process was relatively easy, and it's easy to store in your residence. We do feel that there are better options on the market, but this case gets the job done at a reasonable price tag.
— Pat Donahue