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Cycling Gear Reviews

Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA Review – Alpe d’Huez Trip

The Scicon Aerocomfort initially didn’t instil comfort with it’s soft shell construction. On surviving a flight to France and road trip to Alpe d’Huez I’m now a convert! Here’s why

Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA Review

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For most people, their road bike is probably one of their most expensive purchases. But unlike a laptop or camera, they way that people regard their bike is often more personal. Whether racing, riding of commuting. The effort that people exert when on a bike, and the victories, however big or small they take on their steed mean that protecting the bike is often a bigger priority than other items

Hence why the concept of a soft bike bag seems a little bizarre. Logic would dictate that you want your bike held within a safe plastic or fibre glass cocoon when travelling. But lots of pro teams are happy to use soft bags. Not least being Bahrain Merida, Team UE and Bora Hansgrohe. If the Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA is good enough for them, it should be more than adequate for me!

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Ok before we go any further Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA is a rather unwieldy name. So from here on out we’ll just call it the Scicon AeroComfort, ok?

Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA – Design

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When you first open up the box on the Sicion AeroComfort everything is nicely folded up, as you would have it for storage. It’s quite nice to see what you’ll be having to store at the end of a journey, and mentally helps you decide where the bag is going to live when not in flight.

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So first things first. What do you actually get in the box, when you unwrap the Scicon black roll? Obviously, the bike bag, QR skewer and bolts for the Thru-axels if that’s how you roll. There is a kit bag as well, which is strapped against your bike, and the manual, which obviously we don’t need.

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But just in case you do need a little bit of help Scicon has printed some helpful instructions on the outside of one of the wheel pockets. But that obviously isn’t an instruction manual, so our delicate egos remain intact if we have to check anything for the next step of packing/construction

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Sicon have also thrown in a branded, TSA approved combination lock. You really do get everything you need right for putting the bike in transit. The only thing they don’t provide is the bike!

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The AeroComfort opens up almost butterfly style, with a central plastic/metal frame at the bottom. Your bike is attached to this base plate, and is essentially free standing within the bag

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There is a quick release or thru-axe bar to the front – with included Scicon branded transit skewers, and again at the rear, where there is mounting for the chain and rear mech

Might be considered daft to many people, but I much prefer keeping my nice zip skewers within the bag, or perhaps even in my own hand luggage, so they can’t be taken from a bike bag. So having Scicon branded secondary skewers in the box right from the get go is a nice touch

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After the front of the bike is secured, the chain is mounted on a T-bar at the rear, and the QR skewer tighted, securing the bike and the drive train

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On the first time of packing the rear mech seems to sit worryingly close to the back of the bag, covered with material padding that seems to fold a little too easily.

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This is not a negative as it turns out, but a design. At the back of the bag is a carefully positioned protection pad at the bottom rear right. You can fold this protection down to install the bike, but when zipped, sits directly over the derailleur to deflect and absorb blows

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The rigid bottom frame of the Scicon AeroComfort fully protects the underside of your bike from any unexpected transit blows. There are also a few additional tethers if you want to strap tools or other items within the bag

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The top tube and handlebars are protected wrapping padding wads on their length. There is a small amount of padding to the saddle as well, but as with the handle bars this is more about providing protection from the anchor straps

In order to protect the bike in a fabric bag. Scicon essentially tie the bike down within the bag. Straps going over the handle bars, top tube and saddle, before having the sides of the bag connect through the frame itself

The wheels are stored within the side of the bag and I have to admit, I’m not the worlds biggest fan out having the wheels on the side of the Aerocomfort form part of the structural rigidity

Yes there are chunky strike deflectors which sit directly over the hubs of your wheels on either flank. Whilst I would have preferred separate bags which were also secured inside the main bag, my wheels did come back unscathed

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One of the things which frequently get’s overlooked on travel luggage are the wheels. Awkward rolling travel bags are a nightmare. Thankfully the Scicon AeroComfort has lovely 360 degree turning wheels, which are a delight to push around a flight terminal

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Around the Scicon AeroComfort are just a series of little details around the easy-grab handles, great wheels, smooth interior material and storage pockets all make your life easier in transit

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The personal / hotel details marker is a nice touch too, in the same dense deflector material we’ve seen elsewhere

But my favourite, minor “we thought about this” feature is a little flight tag loop. Such a small thing, but a dedicated area so that your plane lab is securely attached and doesn’t stick to, and mar the bag is a level of detail I enjoy!

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There are also two additional strap, you can choose the position of, which are eventually stowed before the flight

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Scicon claims the Scicon AeroComfort can be packed in 5 mins. Maybe not the first time it’s used, but we’ll check on the way home when I’m a little more familiar! Ok so all packed, tags in place – let’s fly!!

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Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA – Specification

  • Weight: 8kg
  • Packed Dimensions: 109 x 103 x 50 cm
  • Folded Dimensions: 98 x 41 x 34 cm
  • Features:
  • Integrated bike wheel bag
  • 360 rolling wheels
  • TSA approved
  • 5 mins packing time

Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA – Using the Bag

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Crucially for me the AeroComfort was an utter dottle to get through the airport. The four 360 spin wheels where largely to do with that. You could literally just push and let the bag roll in front of you. Oddly there was slight curling to the RIGHT when I pushed it out in front of me, but when pushing or pulling with the handles or straps there were no issues

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There is a hand strap and a shoulder strap that you can chose the location of around the bag on several metal clips. As a result it is just about impossible to find a way which is NOT comfortable to move the Scicon Aerocomfort around – even if that comes to having to carry up a short flight of stairs

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With some bags, you can find them a little unwieldy going through customs etc. If you pack the Scicon AeroComfort correctly, and with the stow bag held within the bike frame, things balance nicely meaning even when going through oversized baggage things slipped through the Luton and Lyon airports without a blip.

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We even caught a glimpse of the bag being loaded. Scicon do have a stealth version of the bag all in black. Personally, I prefer the visual aspect, as there is the reduced chance that a luggage handler will treat the bag as a regular suitcase

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Arriving at the other side, and collected our Citroen C4 Grand Picasso hire. In spite of being a huge car, I was glad of the soft bags rather than the hard units. While it looks as though they went in quickly, there was a little bit of pushing, squeezing, and jiggling of the seats to get both bags in at first

Then the journey across France. I’ve not actually been to France outside of Paris before. I can certainly see why people love it. Just a result of the drive I’ve started to save my Euros to head into France of next years Tour de France. The driver and mountain goat headed to the Alpe d’huez with me is Dr Ralph Mitchell – a GP and sports medicine doctor, charged with the care of the Wasps Rugby Team. Great chap, but does have the unfortunate habit of saying just about anything and making me realise how much I still have to learn!

We’d clearly chosen perhaps the worse weekend possible to head to the Alps a temperatures passed 44deg C outside the car – all praise the Aircon! Thankfully neither us nor the big bags melted on route and arrived safe at the destination – ready for Alpe d’huez the next day

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We hit the mountain at 0730 in the morning, to avoid the scorching heat of the day. There is a tally at the base of the ride showing in the first six months of the year over 20,000 cyclists had gone up the mountain already. If you want proof of the ability of cycling to drive tourism, you are looking at it!

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More to the point, I can see how Zwift and the other desktop apps to inspire people. Would I fly to a random island in the pacific to try the original Zwift KOM? No. But I honestly don’t think I’d have bothered heading across the Channel to climb Alpe d’Huez if it wasn’t as a result of the cycling and the friends I have made on Zwift. Heck, even through Ralph was in the year above me at medical school, and I knew of him. We didn’t become friends until we realised we both used Zwift.

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Off the back of this ride, I will be doing a write up, looking at how the electronic versions of climbs like Alpe du Zwift compared to the real hill. Got to say though, regardless of potential work out benefits of indoors, the outdoor graphics are hard to beat!

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But if you plan to take your bike travelling – you’ve got to get it there, which brings me neatly back to the Scicon AeroComfort (see what I did there?) When it came to putting my bike back in the Scicon AeroComfort whilst it probably didn’t take five minutes, it certainly was very straight forward. Sometimes designers are able to make intuitive products. The bike bag certainly doesnt need the manual!

When you have returned from your trip, Scion provides a nice storage bag for the AeroComfort 3.0 – which frankly I think is a good place to wrap this review!

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Scicon AeroComfort Road 3.0 TSA – Using the Bag

I really wasn’t entirely convinced when I started this review – not only was a soft bag going to be able to provide adequate protection for my bike but that the Scion AeroComfort 3.0 Road was going to be equal to a hard case. After all, Scicon seems to believe that is the case with the AeroComfort and the AeroTech at the same £699 RRP!

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The way that the bike is rigidly held inside the frame of the bike bag is key to protecting your steed through transit. The only thing that you don’t get from the soft bag is equal compressive strength compared to a hard case. The is, however, one benefit from this – the bag does mean that more of the little knocks which are VERY common in transit are going to be absorbed by the flex and give in the material meaning reduced chance than an impact is actually transmitted to your bike frame

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The Scicon AeroComfort was an utter breeze getting through the airports, as mentioned, a lot of that is due to the plethora of removable handles and gorgeously gliding wheels on the bottom

There will always be people who prefer a hard case from a security perspective. But when a bike box or any travel case is secured by padlocks, that don’t really cause much resistance to someone with bolt cutters, so I’m inclined to feel that the hard case security is psychological. My take is when you are flying you have to put trust in the people you are handing your bags to be honest. Now there is of course the difference between being trusting, and there is being foolish, anything easily removable, like power meters and GPS is obviously going in my hand luggage, but I expect the bike to be in my bag at the end of the journey.

My main concern for my bike in transit is will it be damaged, and I’m quite happy that the Scicon AeroComfort 3.0 Road is going provide plenty of protection whilst in the belly of a plane. There are enough things to worry about when travelling. I wasn’t worried about the Scicon bag, and two flights has borne that out.

Light weight, safe, easy to handle. That’s a 4/5 TG star review without a worry. I think that 5/5 would require separate wheel bags. I was going to say some form of compressive support. But then you are moving towards bike box territory, and you are loosing the benefits then of having a bag vs a box.

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James Gill

Author of TitaniumGeek, which started after smashing off my RIGHT elbow. <br /> <br /> After learning a lot about olecranon fractures, I was introduced to the world Zwift, and slowly transitioned into writing about sports gadgets and the like<br /> <br /> Trying to keep up cycling, swimming and running whilst being a busy General Practice Doctor