Having a good bike bag in the attic is never a bad idea, and the DB Savage is certainly one of the best ways to ship/fly with a mountain bike that we’ve tried. As the weather here in North America is turning to wet riding day after day, you may be like us and thinking about escaping the clouds for some more Vitamin D and short sleeve riding. Traveling with a bike can be a headache but there are some ways to alleviate that stress, one’s with a protective bike bag. Shipping or flying with a bike has always been stressful for us, will it arrive looking like it was dropped off a 20-story building? Or maybe not even show up at all. During our Bike Park Review Tour we were lucky enough to test several bike travel bags courtesy of CompetitiveCyclist.com and put together a group review of some of the most popular options. For our trip we used BikeFlights.com to ship our bikes multiple times and the DB Savage absolutely did the best job of protecting our bikes during the trip. Read on to learn more about this bag.
Quite possibly the most elegant bike travel bag on the market, the DB Savage Bike Bag is a blend of high durability, steadiness, and compressibility. The Savage Bike Bag may only be available in one size, but it is capable of holding everything from road bikes to downhill bikes and 29ers. The bread and butter of the DoucheBags Savage Bike Bag comes from its race car inspired DB Roll Cage. The roll cage gives the bag its structure and stability while providing an internal framework that protects the bike against most impacts during travel. The DB Roll Cage comes outfitted with adjustable straps that keep the bike secured in place during transport. The locking levers used on the buckles also help the straps from slipping, thus helping to prevent the contents of the bag from shifting position.
DoucheBags Savage includes a handlebar protector which is designed to slide on top of the bar, brake and shifters. This padded pocket also prevents the handlebar from causing unwanted damage to the top tube of your bike. The other end of the handlebar is placed securely in the detachable fork protector, where the padded handlebar protector also fastens to, creating a snug fit. The Savage’s integrated wheel storage compartments are capable of holding 26” – 29” wheels and slotted with rigid PE-Plastic boards and ABS rods that help protect the rotors and spokes. The Savage Bike Bag also has an internal stash pocket designed to store pedals and tools. The Savage Bike Bag is equipped with four wheels for easy transport, with the smaller front two wheels being on a swivel for easy steering.
One downside to all the protection and tech is the heavy weight of the Savage. It weighs 26lbs empty, which means that airlines and shipping providers will certainly be looking to charge you more. Our contacts at Bike Flights informed us that being able to keep your shipment under 50lbs is key to saving the most cash, so you may have to ask if an extra $30-50 in shipping is worth the added protection for how much you ship your bike.
When we first pulled the Savage Bike Bag from the box it shipped in, we were impressed by how good the bag looked, even compressed. Setting up the DB Roll Cage was straightforward as the rails are internally bungeed together and click into place. The hardest part we ran into was figuring out how to begin fastening the bike into the bag, the instructions that are laminated inside the bag are on par with those from IKEA. Once we figured out that the bike block was removable, we were able to pack our size large Canyon Sender 29 downhill bike with ease. The bag was just large enough to clear the frame and still let us pack a few small extras inside. After we got the Sender in between the DB Roll Cage, the rest of the packing went fairly quick. The handlebars and fork tucked away nicely into their respective padded pockets and the adjustable straps went around the seat stays, top tube and saddle and secured the bike. Our 29” wheels slid into the integrated wheel compartments and we were ready to zip the bag up and ship it on its way.
We shipped our bike to and from the East Coast for our Bike Park Review Tour using bikeflights.com and were able to really test the durability and protection of the Savage Bike Bag. The exterior of the bag had escaped any damage during its travels, but most importantly, so did the bike. The Savage Bike Bag has got to be one of the most secure and protective soft-sided bike travel bags on the market. Comparatively, the bike we had in our Dakine Bike Bag wasn’t so luck, the thinner material and padding forced one of the hub adapters through the wheel bag, allowing it to rub on the linkage. Further proof that sometimes spending more is worth it.
The DoucheBags Savage Bike Bag is in a class of its own when it comes to bike travel bags. It offers the protection of a hard case in a soft bag package. Yes, The Savage is quite a bit more expensive than its competition, but with that premium also comes more peace of mind. The protection the DB Savage will offer your most prized two-wheeled possession should make the choice easy. This is all dependent on if you travel by air frequently though, if you only do one or two bike travel trips a year, it may be easier and more affordable to do Bike Flights Bike Box or another less expensive option. In our opinion though, it’s a no-brainer, we love our bike and we want to protect it the best way possible, so we’ll use the DB Savage and be prepared to pay the extra costs for being such a heavy bag.
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.