10 tips for travelling with your bike on a plane April 09 2014
TraVelo’s 10 Top Tips for TraVelling with Bikes on Planes
- Most airlines allow passengers to include bicycles as part of their checked baggage allowance and as long as the weight of your bike in its bag/box is within their weight requirements, you shouldn’t incur any additional baggage fees.
- Get your bike serviced before you leave and whilst you’re at it, make sure you can remove the pedals and adjust the seat post. Over time these components can seize-up and fighting your pedals off your bike is the last thing you’ll want to be doing on your way to the airport.
- Give your bike a good clean before you leave and pack a basic cleaning kit such as baby wipes and chain lube to keep your bike looking its best. Also, this’ll prevent the rest of your gear from getting covered in road grime and grease.
- Pack a basic tool kit including a set of allen keys, pedal wrench and puncture repair kit in case you don’t have access to these at your destination. Electrical tape is also very handy and wont leave sticky residue on your frame.
- Use your clothing as extra padding for your bike by packing it around the more vulnerable components, such as between the rear dropouts. Additionally, empty water bottles double as great vessels for storing sunglasses and bike computers whilst travelling.
- To keep your steed extra safe, particularly if transporting your bike in a cardboard box, use bubble wrap to protect the frame and folded cardboard as extra support between rear dropouts and forks.
- To save some extra weight and bulk, it’s worth investing in a compact floor pump with good pressure that’ll fit in your back pocket (Lezyne make a great micro floor pump).
- When you are not riding your bike, a medium-sized hatchback car will fit two people and two bikes (packed in their bag/box stacked on top of each other) reasonably comfortably. If you are relying on taxis, request a van or a large wagon to transport two passengers with two bikes.
- The most convenient way to transport a bike is in a soft bike bag as they are lightweight and pack down well when they are not in use at your destination. Additionally, they usually feature wheels and handles making them exceptionally easy to maneuver around airports.
- Don’t forget to mark or measure the height of your seat-post and the angle of your handlebars before your remove them so you can easily put them back the right position when you reassemble your bike. Also, you’ll need to deflate your tyres before flying but it’s worth leaving a bit of air in them in order to maintain the shape of the tube and its position in the rim.