It started with possibly the best bike-packing product of all time, the Freeload Bike rack. A bunch of Dunedin designers formed Freeload and produced one very cool full suspension compatible bike rack that turned heads wherever it popped up and when the folks at giant Swedish company Thule caught wind of it, well they bought it and all the intellectual property that went with it. Turns out they were so stoked on the innovative crew at Freeload that they enlisted their genius to work on a series of projects, most of these related to the original Freeload rack, including bags and mounts etc. Just under a year ago though, Thule asked the Freeload boys to design a bike travel bag.
The resulting bag, the Thule Round Trip Pro, has been shown at a couple of trade shows, firstly at the Outdoor Retailer show in the States, where Gear Junkie gave it their 'Gear of the Show' award, and as of today it is the recipient of the 'Best Accessory’ award at Eurobike 2013. Freeload have continued to work with Thule on a few more projects and have been dividing their time between developing a few projects outside of the cycling world. After Speaking with Tim at Freeload he said the target weight is around 8kg which puts it in the same ball park with Evoc and Dakine. But the coolest feature is without a doubt the integrated work stand that comes with every travel case. Tim did say you should be able to save a few 100 grams removing the tripod work stand, the tray itself stays though, as it's the integral fastening piece of the design and allows 9mm, 15mm and 20mm forks to be locked securely in place. Once they hit production we will try and get our hands on one and give you the full in depth rundown. For more info on the Round Trip Pro Bag check the PDF here
Full Press Release on the award Below
The brand new Thule Round Trip Pro bike travel case, which features an innovative integrated work stand, has won the Eurobike Award for ‘Best Accessory’ at Eurobike 2013, the world’s leading cycling tradeshow, in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
“Adding this Eurobike Award to the Eurobike awards won last year for our innovative Thule Pack ‘n Pedal bike pannier bags confirm our capability to innovate and bring great products to market in the exciting and growing bike sector. The Eurobike award jury is knowledgeable and competition is challenging in all the Eurobike Awards categories, so the jury's decision means a clear seal of quality in the bike business,” says Magnus Welander, CEO of the Thule Group.
The Eurobike Award is given for particularly innovative design and exceptional product quality. The award is being given out for the eighth time this year and provides the retail trade, as well as consumers, with an endorsement of good design in the widely diverse bike related market. It presents what is innovative and functional as well as environmentally compatible and sustainable.
As epic bike events and unique biking locations continue to draw more cycling enthusiasts to travel around the world for races and adventures, people want to bring their own bikes. Cyclists at Thule used their extensive bike travel experience to develop the two new versions of Thule Round Trip bike cases with top features that bike enthusiasts expect and enjoy from Thule products including secure protection for their bikes and ease of use.
A first for the bike industry, now cyclists choosing the Thule Round Trip Pro, winner of Best Accessory at Eurobike 2013, will also get an integrated work stand that doubles as the secure mounting solution for the bicycle inside the case. So, no matter where in the world, assembling, adjusting and packing bikes couldn’t be easier thanks to Thule’s innovative solution.
Thule Round Trip Pro and Thule Round Trip Elite, which won the Gear of the Show award by the leading on-line publication GearJunkie at the Outdoor Retailer fair in Salt Lake City in July, will be available in select bike shops starting Q1, 2014.
--- About Thule
The Thule brand was established in Sweden in 1942. Thule is now a premium brand that is used around the world. Under the motto Bring your life, Thule offers a wide assortment of accessories to simplify the transportation of your gear and equipment in a secure, safe and stylish way. Roof racks, bike and water sport carriers, roof boxes, accessories for recreational vehicles, trailers for the active life (horses, boats etc), snow chains as well as luggage bags and bike bags are just some examples of what Thule currently offers. Thule is the largest brand in the Thule Group. For more information, please visit www.thule.com