I’m in the middle of working with a small specialist bag maker (from the traction kiting community) to make me a sturdy transport bag for my 29".
He intends to develop 2 styles of bags to suit every size uni - one will be a simple cover to protect it and car seats/bus’s/bedrooms etc and be made from light weight material without any fancy details, the other is going to be a deluxe model with pockets, carrying stap/handles and padding. It will require the pedals to be removed but otherwise will take the uni whole and will be a proper travel bag.
There will be a selection of colours (KH blue for me!!) and as he makes them himself they can be sized to your requirements and any custom features can be added.
So any comments as to what else should be thought about?
Last Monday I sat in the Denver airport watching the baggage handlers load and unload a plane (Ok I had a long layover alright?). After watching the way they dropped a bicycle container (from about 5 feet up in the air to cement), I’m sticking with my solid case container for when I fly with my unicycle. Now for just travelling around (not flying) when you have possession of your unicycle the whole time? Then definitely yes a soft shell container would be pretty good. The only thing I don’t like about the solid shell is that it can be an issue to store once you arrive…
The outline on the photo looks like it will fit your unicycle very snugly. Is the idea that he’ll make them custom size for whoever orders one, or is a ‘one size fits all’ approach being adopted. If it’s just one size, then you’ll have to appreciate that some people have their saddle a lot higher than you, and that handlebars aren’t uncommon on 29ers.
How small will the lightweight bag fold up to? I’ve got a large padded bag for my uni, but if I was to use it for a day out riding, the bag alone would fill my backpack which wouldn’t leave any room for tools, food or water. If your bag was able to fold up small enough to carry then it might just be practical enough to use.
If you were to do the “one size fits most” approach (probably the cheapest option) then you could build the bag for the largest case, i.e. 29er, w/ handlebars and a tall 300-400mm post then have cinch straps all over the place to “shrink” the bag down to the appropriate size like with what is seen on some trekking back packs. Another nice option would be to make at least one of the fat sides of the pack a bit more rigid and have true back pack straps (and possibly waist belt) attached to it so one could carry the pack like a conventional back pack. The idea there might be that if one is travelling with this pack it can actually be functional when you get to your desination and begin riding i.e. you can pack other stuff in it and ride, or make it easier to carry your uni around?
Each bag is made to order so can be tweaked to suit each rider, if you look on the top right of my sketch you’ll see I’ve suggested a pull down strap to tighten the top. I like the ideas of more adjusting straps and particularly the idea of turning it into a rucksak. I thought of rucksack straps so you could carry your uni on your back while hiking up bad terrain but actually using it as a rucksack could be genius.
I agree with the suggestion to make the bag to fit a wide range of unicycles. I can’t think of a reason to want to walk into an airport with a unicycle-shaped bag. I much prefer a luggage-shaped bag, which attracts no attention. Also, since luggage weight and # of pieces is limited, I always use the uni bag to hold my tools, spares, riding gear (pads, gloves, shoes) and hydration pack. This helps pad the unicycle while also making it look more like luggage.
Also consider a wheel or two (a one-wheeled bag might be fun, but I don’t think it would be fun to drag around), or maybe a toughened spot designed for drag if it’s going to be a large or heavy bag.
If you make bags to fit the wheel and make the top (where the seat goes) long enough for a tall unicycle, you could fold/roll it up and fasten with straps or Velcro to accommodate a shorter uni without being baggy or much excess weight.
Was the expectation to remove pedals? If so you need pockets sized to fit two pedals then as well.
That looks like a great design for a more generic bag, good idea about the roll down top.
Also you’re right about the lollipop shape padding to protect the frame - I’ll be needing that on my custom bag as I intend to use it for plane transport.
I’ve found the perfect bag for carting my schlumpf 29er around is actually already available for sale. It turns out that a mountain buggy travel bag is exactly the right size for fitting my 29er. All I needed to do was whip off the pedals. I didn’t even need to put the seat down. It has a bunch of internal pockets, is very durable, comes with a decent strap and doesn’t look unicycle specific, which can be a bonus when flying.
It could be genius, but only if well thought out and done to a very high standard. A decent quality proper rucksack isn’t very expensive, but generally does the job a thousand times better than other bags with straps put on as an afterthought. If it doesn’t fit snugly when worn, have a camelback pouch, comfy belt or waterproof pockets of different sizes, then it isn’t likely to be used when riding. As a general rule, multi-purpose things sound good, but in reality don’t do as good as specific bits of kit designed for that one purpose.
Some cheap backpack type straps to help carry it from the train station to the car park or whatever would be very useful. But I wouldn’t try getting it to compete with Camelback or any of the dedicated backpack suppliers.
Every single one of your questions/concerns were addressed in his initial post…wait for it…wait for it…if only any of you could LEARN TO READ!
The implied suggestion to increase the picture size is a somewhat valid point. However, for you and others for future use. If you’re using Opera or Chrome or possibly FireFox (I’m not sure) you can increase the size of the page including pictures with the browser’s built in zoom feature. This allowed me to zoom in to read the captions perfectly. If you’re not using one of those browsers (that’s kinda stupid, but…) you can download the picture and open it with whatever image program you use and zoom that in.
It’s understandable that many of you couldn’t read the original captions, and therefore missed out on things like the extra pockets (for pedals or whatnot, the he explicitly stated must be removed) and the cinch strap on the back of the saddle. It’s understandable, but not an excuse for not attempting to read them and THEN ask your questions.
And…seriously…“a zipper would be necessary”?..do you REALLY think that both his plan, and the bag maker would forget how to get the unicycle in??? SERIOUSLY?!?
And John…stop foisting your silly, pointless ideals onto the rest of us unasked…I’ve read SEVERAL threads now where someone asks a question, and you “answer” with something that has NOTHING to do with what they asked, and only imparts the knowledge that YOU ARE GOD AND ALL OTHERS ARE STUPID…I don’t like you taking this position, because then where am I supposed to go?
I have a question for all the frequent fliers in the uni-world: is there a concern about bent cranks in all these packaging options? I ask because I’ve seen in my short career trying to freemount large unicycles that it’s very easy to bend the cranks even in a gentle upd where the unicycle lands pedal-first in a sideways fall.
As we’ve all seen, baggage handlers can be rough with our goods so it seems highly likely to me for crank arms to take lots of hits. Am I worrying too much about a minor risk, or are there reports of people getting bent cranks during travels with their unis?
Hey AscenXion: Chillout! And you’re not 100% right about people’s questions anyhow. Believe me I know how to read. I just re-read the initial post and I stand by my question. According to the first post (see quote above) this could imply that he is building a bag for different size uni’s each of which would have 2 style options… So perhaps it’s a language thing? So I think my “one-size-fits-most” question was certainly a valid one… Ride gently out there…
Probably less than you think. Cranks get bent from UPDs because the pedal puts a leveraging force on them. The pedals are off for travel. If your bag is made of a weak material, a bigger danger is the crank making a hole in the bag. This is an even worse problem with other protrusions, like axle ends if the cranks are off, so keep this in mind when packing.
A well-made, dedicated unicycle bag, which this thread is about, should have reinforcement around the cranks/axle because that area can be a place of high friction in transit. Built-in padding can help too, though the owner can also add padding if he/she wants.
Or not. At least two of us don’t agree with you.
For health reasons, I highly recommend that you LEARN NOT TO READ my posts. You seem to be getting too stressed out, and it could be affecting your health. Seriously. Are you always pissed off, or only when you post to these forums?
As I read in the first post (which I will go out on a limb and assume you also read) Splodge was asking for comments/feedback. Presumably to aid in designing bags people would want to buy. A made-to-order custom bag will be expensive to make (and buy). If he would rather make batches of sizes that will fit a wider range of equipment, his costs will be lower. If they choose to go the fully-custom route that’s up to them, but they know the higher cost will lower the # of sales.
Most of my suggestions were related to air travel. I rarely use a bag for other types of travel though I know some people do. It is up to them to use or ignore all our advice or comments.
Or bitch about them. Sorry if I upset anyone else.