16 Feb Have bike, will travel…
Tasmania, Whistler, Bali, New Zealand, the list is endless.
The map is marked, Destinations sought! Let’s go!
Living in Western Australia, quite possibly the most isolated city in the world, means that it is most likely you will be travelling with your mountain bike on your next epic adventure.
Wilson Low of RedBull outlines three key principles when it comes to travelling with your bike.
- Protecting the bike from itself (where components rub against each other and incur damage through rubbing, knocking, or other external forces)
- Reducing the number of loose items and components that can be forgotten or misplaced
- Allowing easier re-assembly of the bike
Here are some other hints and tips for making travelling with your bike easier.
Bike bag vs bike box
Photo Credit: slocyclist.com
When travelling, airlines require your bike to be packed in a case. There are 2 options available:
- Easier and quicker to pack
- Good protection
- Has wheels for easy transport
- Heavier than boxes
- Expensive to purchase
- Lighter in weight
- Does not have wheels
- More difficult to travel with
Travel Tip 1: If you’re a frequent flyer….invest in a bike bag.
Before you start packing….Clean.Your.Bike.
The bike, components and gear should be clean without traces of dirt, mud, soil etc. The last thing you want is to arrive only to have a Customs officer stop you before you exit the airport.
Next, remove the pedals. Store these in a small bag within your bike box or bag.
Travel Tip 2 – grease the pedal threads to make it easier for removing in the future.
Remove the bolts on the head stem clamp (this secures the handlebars to the stem). The handlebars will now be hanging down the length of the forks. Replace the stem clamp and bolts so that you do not lose them. Fasten the handlebars to the side of the fork or within the specified area in the bag. Protect items from rubbing.
For a fixed seat post, simply remove the post and retighten the clamp to the bike.
For those that have a dropper seatpost, push it down to its shortest setting. If you have a large frame, you may have to drop the actual seatpost in order to make the bike fit.
Remove wheels. If using a bike bag, the wheels will be then placed in their own separate wheel pockets. If using a bike box, depending on the length of the bike, you may get away with only removing the front wheel. Make sure you replace both front and rear thru axles.
Travel Tip. 3 – Make sure you let some air out of your tyres. Rule of thumb is to reduce the pressure to 10-15psi inside the tyre.
Travel Tip 4 – Always Always Always make sure you have inserted a brake wedge or piece of cardboard inside your brake calliper.
The rear derailleur should be removed from the frame to avoid damaging it (or the rear derailleur hanger). Wrap it up with a rag or a layer of bubble wrap and secure it with tape – the shifter cable and the chain will still be attached, so make sure you wrap that up with an additional rag and extra tape.
Get in the bag
The frame goes into the bike bag or the bike box.
Secure it with internal straps, padding anything that can protect your bike within the bag or box.
Travel tip 5 – Knee and elbow pads can provide handy protection for handlebars or top tubes.
Lightweight items and soft items can also go into the main compartment to aid protection and cushioning. Think camelback, towels etc. Make sure everything that you place in the box or bag is secure.
Make sure all of the tools that you need are secured in the bike bag or box as well. Remember all sharp, metallic tools must be in your bike bag and not taken on as carry luggage.
Travel tip 6 – Be a weight watcher! Make sure you have confirmed your additional baggage weight allowance. Triple check your fully packed bag or box is within that allocation or you will be using your hard earned holiday funds on excess baggage costs.
With the bike packed, it’s simply a matter of arriving at the airport early, smile to the support desk personnel, check your bike bag/box in, and then awaiting departure to your latest overseas adventure!
Travel tip 7 – Take your helmet as carry on luggage.
Destination MTB trails!