Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Vincita B-132 Transport Bag

I will be flying to Vietnam next month and I plan on bringing my Brompton with me. Since it'll be an international flight and, you know, going to a foreign country, I needed a real transport bag for my bike. I can't use the usual techniques for when I travel domestic flights because the airplane ride to Vietnam will be bumpier and I heard baggage handling in Ho Chi Minh City's international airport is brutal.

Brompton has the B Bag but it is very expensive at US$ 215.00 or PhP 9,100.00! That's too much.

And then I found out about this Thai company, VINCITA, that's into making all kinds of bags for bikes. They manufacture handlebar bags, stash packs, panniers, rack bags, and transport bags.
Well, waddahyuhknow! They make a transport bag especially designed for the Brompton! Now, we're talking!

Its called the B-132 Transport Bag for Folding Bike with Wheels. And it priced at just about PhP 2,400.00 (ThB 1,700.00)!
Notice the roller wheels at the bottom?

That silverish lining inside looks like a sako bag up close.
Because it was way cheaper than the Brompton B Bag, I ordered one from Vincita. My package arrived from Bangkok the other day and I was so excited to bring it home and open it!
I especially like it that they put a drawing of a bike on the cover, so that baggage handlers are informed of what they're dealing with.
The B-132's dimensions are 24" x 24" x 14", and weighs a light 2.8 kgs. Its outer covering is made of black water-resistant nylon, while the interior is comprised of a glossy sheet that looks like one of those big sako bags with Mickey Mouse print that you can get in Divisoria. One good thing about the B-132 is that there is foam padding underneath the lining to provide added protection.
The view inside the bag
At the bottom of the B-132 is a hard plastic board that serves as the bag's base. I think the bottom of my bare Brompton M6L will be adequately protected even without having a rear carrier/rack. I liked this feature.
Underneath the B-132 are two skateboard wheels which allow the owner to pull and roll the bag, just like the Brompton B Bag. Vincita also placed plastic runners to protect the nylon covering from hitting the floor.
Straps in the hidden compartment
There are shoulder straps attached on both sides, which can be used if the owner decides to carry the bag instead. What's nifty about this feature is that you can hide the straps if you want to, making it look clean and tidy. Another plus!
Over-all, I liked the features of Vincita's B-132 bag. I think it matches, if not surpasses, the features of the Brompton B Bag.
I tried packing my Brompton inside the B-132 bag to test it, and I had no problems fitting it in.  Perhaps that makes it my only gripe with this product: The B-132 bag is just too roomy, and as a consequence, also bulky. It doesn't "hug" the bike like I imagined it should. When I rock the bag from the outside, the bike wobbles inside giving me the feeling that it is not fully secured in place. Aside from the two straps that tighten the top and the plastic board on the bottom, there is nothing else that would keep the bike from moving during transit. I hope in the future, Vincita cuts an inch from the dimensions of the bag so that it will provide a snugger fit for the bike.

But no worries. What's important today is that the bike is completed padded and covered. I'll probably just support the bike with luggage belts when I pack it for my Vietnam trip.
The bag's sideview
The bag can be collapsed for storage, but it's still bulky
I'm still very much happy with my purchase. The B-132 is made of high-quality materials and a bargain at only PhP 2,400.00! If you have a Brompton, or any similar folding bike, and would like to travel far places with your bike, then this is the bag for you! It is a great alternative to the B Bag. I can't wait to test its durability when I fly to Ho Chi Minh City next month!
My one and half year old daughter with the Vincita B-132 Bag
I'd like to thank the folks at VINCITA (Mr. Yingsak, Gem and Surang Sinhaseni) for being friendly, helpful and accommodating to me. Two thumbs up in customer service. And Vincita has other fine products! Already, I am setting my sights at one of their handlebar bags. I just hope Mr. Sinhaseni finds someone to be their dealer here in the Philippines, so that I don't have to wait that long and spend that much money on shipping costs!

14 comments:

  1. Hi! Mike and I just came back from Thailand. Mike was the one who asked you for questions about the Vincita bag. Thank you very much for the info! Vincita's location's very far from our place-Pratunam.. but Vincita's near the airport. Good thing there's the airport link going to Ramkhamhaeng... though we still got lost when we rode a taxi... Most of the taxi drivers there don't know how to speak english so it was very difficult. Vincita's store is just small and it's like inside a subdivision.. When we got there, they were very nice and accomodating. The girl's very friendly and even offered to drop us off outside the "subdivision". Thanks again and thanks to Vincita as well :)

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  2. Oh, so you did make it! Congrats! Were you able to buy the bike bag you were looking for?

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  3. Hello :D yeah, we got the bike bags we were looking for~ thanks for your help-- i got the B131F 20" folding bike bag, while EiYa got the B131S 16" folding bike bag. My bike only has 16" wheels, but the seatpost can't be lowered much, so i got the bigger bag to accommodate for the height difference. it's holding up very well, despite its surprisingly thin material. The lady[we didn't catch her name] mentioned that they'll be back in manila for the Thailand trade fair this march 2012, probably same as the last one you attended; and she remembered your name when she asked us how we found their store and we mentioned your blog :D

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  4. That's great, Mike! I'm happy na may nakapunta na rin dun! 2 friends attempted but were not able to go kasi nga malayo daw.

    I'm glad you got the bike bags you were looking for. Hope to see you and eiya soon!

    Happy Holidays!

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  5. Vincita will ship a B-132 from Thailand to the USA, but it'll cost a total of $105 landed. Still a bit cheaper than a Brompton B Bag, but still a good deal? Love your blog - It's a real asset for Brompton owners everywhere, and I hope to take my Brommie to SE Asia later this year.

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  6. STILL A GOOD DEAL! $105 compared to $215 is still 105 bucks cheaper! And like I said, the Vincita bag is durable just like the B Bag. So unless you want a harcase, then the B132 is the way to go!

    Thanks, M. Lee, I appreciate it!

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  7. Thanks for the response, Kris. I posed a similar question at the BromptonTalk Yahoo Group and linked to your review. It generated a fair bit of interest, as topics regarding Brompton cases always seem to do. I'm doing quite a lot of air travel this year, so I'd better place that Vincita order!

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  8. Yeah, I saw that! Good luck on your purchase, M. Lee!

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  9. Thanks for posting this one! Will be checking Vincita at SMX this weekend.

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  10. hi Kris, how "portable" do you think the bag is when folded? i'm thinking of using this to store the bike when i get to work, so being able to bring it with me while i bike to work will be important. :-)

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  11. Hi, R! This old version is a bit bulky. I don't think its portable when folded. However, there is a new smaller version coming out, which I think would suit your needs. Wait for it to come out. Vincita told me they'll be mass producing it within this year.

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  12. Hi ,

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