Travelling with the Fly Racing Tour Roller Bag!
Words and photos: Mike Blewitt
I'm lucky enough that I get to travel to a number of cool places to ride my bike. What might be surprising is that given all that time spent packing and unpacking, I don't actually have a great bag to use. While I have collected a vast array of duffle bags from events over the past 10 years, I've never taken a real shine to roller bags. I often end up eschewing them due to the greater weight compared to a duffle bag – and then regret the lack of wheels when it comes time to get around with a bike bag, duffle bag and backpack.
The Fly Racing Tour Roller Bag arrived for a test, and I took an immediate shine to the bag. Firstly, I like that it's not so huge that you could fit all your worldly possessions in it. If you have a bigger bag, you'll fill it up.
The bag is simple but well-executed. The main pocket opens completely, and the sides and top are padded or reinforced. There's a padded sleeve that can velcro in place in one location to act as a separator in the bag, and a few small pockets along the side of the inside. The top flap has external pockets, curiously one of the faces upside down when the bag is upright. Check the zips on that one. There's also a small zippered pocket on the outside near the handle – ideal for stashing the removable shoulder strap. There's a nifty little padded matt that zips out of the side of the bag. I would happily trade the padded nature for having it cover twice the size, but it's still a useful item for getting changed on, even if it's just when putting your shoes on.
Fly Sports have a motor sports focus, so this bag is ideally designed to fit a full-face helmet, boots, accessories and armour. But I found that meant it easily fit a trail lid, knee/shin pads, shoes, a couple of sets of eyewear, 3 sets of kit and jackets, plus a backback hydration system, spares and clothes for a week of travel.
The wheels are large enough to roll over most obstacles in the modern travel world, and far enough apart to be stable as well.
On the road
One thing I really liked about the Fly Sports Tour Roller Bag is how easy to move around it was. Yes, the wheels and handles help for that but so does the overall size. That means moving it in and out of vehicles, hotel rooms and lifts isn't hard work. It's not the size bag where a not-so-small human could fit inside. While for some it might not be big enough, if you're not packing up for a season in Whistler you should find it perfect.
The internal divider is removable, and did tend to move around a bit in transit. So if you're looking for a bag that can easily divide clean gear and dirty kit this probably isn't it. I'd say I got very close to the maximum capacity and my bag still weighed 19.6kg at the airport, so if you know you're the kind of traveller who likes to use every gram of weight allowance, you might need something bigger. For me, I'll reach for this over a gear bag or suitcase anytime.
- Easy to use and transport
- Good mix of pocket sizes
- Can't pack the kitchen sink
- Could use better gear separation
- Can't pack the kitchen sink