Review - Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 TSA Road Bike Bag

For 2017, the best-selling Scicon Aerocomfort Bike Bag received some significant design updates. With thru-axle compatibility, added protection, and an overall lighter weight, it makes it even more of a market-leader than before.

Back in 2013, I reviewed the Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 (read the review here). That bag has had some significant use: for transporting bikes on planes, trains, and even yachts. With many of my bikes now having thru-axle designs though, the Aerocomfort 2.0 had required some questionable 'bodging' on my part, to make it usable. I was therefore relieved when the new 3.0 was released earlier this year. This new design is much improved.


Thru-axle compatibility

One of the biggest differences with the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag is that it will accommodate 12mm thru axles on the front and rear of the patented suspension frame system.

To fit thru-axles, you simply remove the QR inserts in the suspension frame, then use your bike's existing axles to secure it to the frame. You can fit 12mm axles up front, and 12mm axles on the rear (if you have 142mm x 12mm on the rear, you need to use a provided spacer to open the suspension frame up to 142mm wide rather than 135mm).

This added compatibility is significant, given that most disc brake equipped road bikes are now using thru-axles. It also means that the bag is more usable for a cyclocross bike (the wheel pockets are also slightly larger, to accommodate cyclocross sized 33-35c tyres).

It is also worth noting that I have successfully used this with a 15mm axle on the fork of the bike; by leaving the QR adaptors in place, and simply clamping the bike in place using a front quick release skewer. This isn't how the system is intended to work, but it gives you even more options for bike fitment.





Added protection

The Scicon 3.0 Aerocomfort design features added protection, compared to its predecessor. This comes in the form of rigid plastic plates around the rear derailleur area, and more padding around wheel hubs and on the hoods/handlebar area.

To make packing easier, Scicon have also neatly labelled the padding strips that go on the handlebar, top tube and saddle; so you can quickly see where each pad needs to go.




New rolling chassis design

The third significant development to the Scicon Aerocomfort Road Bike Bag is an improved suspension frame design. The frame and chassis on the 2.0 was great, but this develops things further.

The new frame features a solid plastic base, which means you can store the provided gear bag safely in the bottom of the bag (containing shoes or similar), without the risk that it will push down on the base and cause the bag to drag on the floor.

The frame also features new wheels, which are lighter, and all-plastic in design. This makes them less likely to scratch things, or rust/bend with use. Replacement wheels are available from Scicon, if you do damage one in transit.




How to pack the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag

Packing of the new Scicon Aerocomfort Road 3.0 Bike Bag is even easier than before:
  1. Remove the wheels from the bike frame and fit these into the padded pockets on either side of the bag.
  2. Attach the bike frame to the bag frame using the appropriate axles. Place the chain over the rear bar of the suspension frame and put it in the biggest chainring on the front. Use the rear derailleur protector.
  3. Add the padding strips to the handlebar, top tube and saddle. 
  4. Strap the bike into the bag with the four straps: over the handlebar sides, saddle and top tube.
  5. Zip up the bag, and lock it with the provided TSA lock.




Summary

Overall, the new Scicon Aerocomfort Road 3.0 TSA Bike Bag shows great learning and development from the Italian brand. The original Aerocomfort was a winner, but this new design goes one better.

It is worth noting that the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag still comes with a great TSA-approved combination lock, and removable carry straps for easy handling. It will accommodate road bikes up to 62cm in frame height, and handlebars up to 48cm wide. Also, despite the added protection, the bag is now lighter, at less than 8 kilograms.

More usable, lighter and more protective. There is a good reason that the Scicon Aerocomfort 3.0 Bike Bag is the bag of choice of dozens of professional cycling teams.




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