Gear Review: Thule RoundTrip Pro bicycle travel bag

Awesome soft-sided bag integrates stand, packs compactly

Gear

Thule RoundTrip Pro

Thule’s new RoundTrip pro bike bag combines transportability with work stand functionality.

With an integrated workstand and a foldable architecture that allows it to pack down for storage, Thule’s new RoundTrip Pro may be the most convenient travel bike bag on the market. The $600 carrier is big enough for a downhill bike with riding gear—helmet, shoes, hydration pack tools and pads—yet folds down small enough to be transported in, say, a rental car, or stored at home without taking up much room.

Transformer: More than meets the eye

The RoundTrip Pro gets its assembled structure by utilizing a pair of plastic corrugated panels that accordion and zip into thin sleeves on each of the case’s sides. The fit is extremely tight and requires a little wrestling, but provides rigidity to the case.

Inside the bag, a lengthwise aluminum beam clips into the case’s molded plastic bottom. During transport it holds and stabilizes the bike within the case. Outside the bag, the beam attaches to a tripod knuckle assembly and three aluminum legs to create the workstand.

Thule RoundTrip Pro Stand Multi

The workstand’s main beam provides the attachment point for the bike during transport, while it’s legs slide into elastic loops to provide protection.

The bike attaches to the beam using an adjustable fork mount that accommodates either a 9mm quick release, or a 15mm or 20mm thru-axle. A pair of interlocking closed-cell foam blocks cushion the bottom bracket from the beam and provides tension against the ratcheting strap that cinches down the rear of the frame.

High capacity, low hassle

For the recent launch of their new 36 fork FOX asked us to fly with our personal bikes to Moab, so we could get a feel for the new suspension on a familiar ride. We took our Intense Carbine 29 in part because we wanted to see how the RoundTrip Pro would accommodate a bike with a fairly long wheelbase.

Thule RoundTrip Capacity

We brought two sets of pads—soft and hard—a helmet, hydration pack, shoes and a large tool bag to Moab in the Thule RoundTrip Pro. On the way home we were able to fit an extra fork and still had some storage room left over.

After removing the front wheel, we assembled the workstand and mounted the bike. Next we removed the rear wheel, pedals, handlebar from the bike. We then lowered and rotated the saddle before unclipping the beam from the tripod and snapping it into the base of the case. Though we still had a couple inches of clearance on each end, we unbolted the rear derailleur, wrapped it in a rag and zip tied it to the inside of the chainstays to keep it out of harm’s way.

Thule RoundTrip Pro Wheel Bags

Thule’s well-padded wheel bags help protect the bike inside the case, and can be used on their own without the case. The bags have a zipper pouch for axles and quick releases, but we failed to notice them until we got home.

After padding the handlebar with a few more rags we put the wheels into the well-padded wheels bags included with the case. Thule actually recommends bubble wrapping the frame, but we used more rags and our other gear—hydration pack, helmet, and pads to add protection and prevent disassembled parts from rubbing. Finally, we stored our rear thru-axle, pedals and tools in our shoes, using a pair of socks to clog them inside.

Thule RoundTrip Pro Knuckle

The workstand’s tripod knuckle cleverly clips to the beam for transport and storage.

The last step before zipping the bag shut is packing the workstand’s tripod—you simply remove the legs and slide them into elastic straps on the inside of the case’s sides, then clip the tripod knuckle assembly to the beam anywhere under the bike’s downtube.

Continue to Page 2 for more on the Thule RoundTrip Pro and full photo gallery »
About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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  • Andrew says:

    I’d think for $600 they’d include area-specific shaped pads that were reusable rather than telling you to get bubble wrap and leaving spacing. Even with all the different shapes and sizes of MTB.

  • matthew jezik says:

    don’t waste your money. nashbar sells a pro bike case i just bought for a recent co. trip. i’v got a med 29er, handle bars stayed on, pedals on, seat on and not turned around, the wheels are the only thing that come off. the case costs less than half of the thule.

  • Brian says:

    Would love to see a review of Ruster Sport’s Armored-hen-house. These Thules are too big for some of the smaller airlines.

    • Mtbr says:

      We’ve never seen a Hen House in person, but heard triathletes are into it. Interesting concept. In any case, we got the Thule on without incident on the tiny plane from Denver to Grand Junction, Colo.

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