Ground Effect Tardis Bike Bag
I bought this bike bag a few months ago but haven't used it in anger as I had to postpone the Mawson Trail trip. The Tardis is a soft shell bag that folds down to around an A4 size when not in use. Your bike wheels are packed on either side of the bag and held in loosely by inbuilt sleeves while the hub and front axle positions on the bike wheels are somewhat protected with some padding to these parts of the bag.
Hardened plastic axle spacers come as standard with the bag in addition to an inner pocket which stores your dismantled pedals. The bag comes with an over the shoulder strap that allows it to be carried in that manner even if somewhat awkwardly considering the weight. I purchased the bag from NZ through Ground Effects at a cost of around $130 NZ.
The photos show the bike packed for the flight down to South Australia for the cancelled Mawson Trail trip. The Tardis does not have much in the way of integrated padding so as seen in the photos I have fairly heavily protected the frame and wheel areas.
The pictures don't show it as I hadn't finished packing but around the bike frame clothes, panniers, camping equipment etc, will be packed to add further protection.
I won't really be able to judge the pro's and con's of the bag until I head to the Outer Hebrides next year as I have no bike trips planned that involve air travel until then.
However its immediately obvious that you wouldn't want to carry the bag very far but that is more related to the bikes weight than the bag itself. The limited amount of padding is an issue but this can be overcome by padding the frame as I have done.
However,this creates the problem of what to do with the padding when you arrive at your destination as the Tardis alone folds down to the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Also, I think the bag needs a bike symbol stenciled onto the outside of the bag in the hope that the baggage handlers might notice and take some extra care. Otherwise, I think the Tardis is a pretty cool piece of gear but the real test will come when I fly overseas with it.