Archive for the ‘Travelling with bikes’ Category

Bike bag on Eurostar
07/03/2011

Eurostar have recently changed their rules on transporting bikes within the passenger compartment. Bike bags now need to be 85cm x 85 cm which is really very small. You can still take a bike in a larger bag on Eurostar but you have to pre-book it in the baggage car

The duffbag Stealth bag  is a very compact 120 x 90 cm. Following the launch of our Stealth bag in 2011 many hundreds of journeys have been successfully completed on Eurostar and TGV.

The video below shows how to pack a bike in the Stealth bag

Dimensions

  • 120cm across the top

  • 76cm across the bottom

  • 87cm from top to bottom

  • Weight 1.9kg

Construction – water resistant outer nylon 600d, special coated PVC liner, heavy duty, lockable, twin slider zips, internal wheel pockets, all seams and straps stitched for toughness and durability.

The picture above shows how small the Stealth bag folds down, many people have folded the bag into their rucksack or panniers and cycled away from the station.

Here is a duffbag Stealth on the old luggage rack on the Eurostar- Eurostar have recently changed the regulation size and racks

A batch of duffbag Stealths in the Eurostar terminal

The picture above shows a batch of Stealths awaiting departure on Eurostar. This particular group took twelve Stealths with them on Eurostar and TGV with them on a cycle tour from Toulon to Calais in 2011 and then a smaller group of six took their Stealths down to Mt Ventoux in 2012. All passed through the Eurostar teminals at London St Pancras and Gare du Nord in Paris without a hitch – Just think… 12 cyclists presenting at St Pancras, all at the same time, to board Eurostar without any problems.

69.95

Want to read a review? Here is what Bike Rumour thought of the Stealth bag when they tested one of our very first versions, we have since modified the bag to include wheel pockets as suggested. Click here for full review

Below is an account of some early development of the bag and how it was tested by bike industry journalist Max Leonard:

Had a very nice road ride on Saturday with bike industry journalist and author Max Leonard. Max is a very nice, very clever and interesting chap with a keen interest in all things fixed wheel, in fact he has written a book on the subject – Fixed: Global Fixed Gear Bike Culture

MAx Leonard

Max Leonard, author and journalist takes a ride with Duffbag

Really cool “snow flake” pattern spoke lacing on Max’s fixie

While we were spinning along chewing the fat Max mentioned that he was planning a trip to France later in the month, travelling via Eurostar and TGV, to Cannes to cover the Cannes Film Festival and was planning on taking his bike to ride between work assignments.

Eurostar, I still love those trains

This sounded a perfect opportunity to test our latest bike bag – The Duffbag Stealth bag, on the French rail network, to ensure that it will pass through without any regulatory troubles. The Eurostar regulations state that a bike must travel in a bag no larger than 120cm x 90 cm. Our stealth bag is just under that, so we are not expecting any problems.

Our latest bike bag from Duffbag – the Duffbag Stealth

The Stealth is cunningly designed to take a bike frame diagonally across the bag, with the forks on or off, with the wheels providing additional protection. There is inevitably some dismantling, which is more than made up by the small package size.

One of the other problems we wanted to solve by not having our bag padded is where do you stow a bag when you arrive at your destination. Rigid boxes are a real pain – expensive, bulky, heavy and what do you do with the thing when you are not using it? Same with padded bags, what to do with them when they are not in use, some you can fold, but there is a limit. Our Stealth bag folds down to a little bigger than a magazine, face on and the thickness of a large book depth wise, the picture below shows what we mean.

Magazine shown for size comparison only

Beyond Paris, the French high speed network of TGV trains are amazingly impressive. The TGV network will only accept bikes in bags, with the same restrictions as Eurostar.

TGV Gare de Lyon, Paris

As with any rules you can run into officials that “interpret” the regulations in a slightly different way, so it pays to test these things first in the real world. We will keep you posted as to how we get on.

Update: Max got along fine as we always thought he would – he wrote about it on Bike Rumour, you can read his review by clicking here

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