Tips on How to Travel With Your Bike
Exploring new destinations on your bike is one of the dreams of many cyclists. This post gives tips on how to travel with your bike.
Traveling with your bike can be challenging. It can be costly, inconvenient and time consuming. This article provides you with tips on packing, saving costs, means of transporting and dissembling to minimize the hassle of traveling with your bike.
This post was contributed by Paul from Bestmtbgear.com.
Image Credit: ZPhotoo via Pixabay.
Tips on How to Travel With Your Bike
Guide to Packing Your Bike for Travel
Appropriately packing your bike will ensure that it arrives intact at your destination. There are three main methods of packing. Below is a description of each and its pros and cons.
- Cardboard box. You could pack the bike in a cardboard box. It is the cheapest packaging option. Cardboard boxes are light and offer ample space. Also, the box can be recycled. However, it offers minimum protection to the bike on its own. To reinforce protection, you may need invest in bubble wrap, pipe insulation and cable ties. It is prone to mishandling at the airport which could lead to damage on the bike and the box too.
- Bike case. Bike cases are expensive but one of the safest options for transporting your bike. The bike case is designed with specific areas designated for the different bike parts and accessories. The dedicated spaces enable for easy inspections at the custom offices. However, bike cases are quite heavy and this will greatly impact the cost of transport.
- Bike bag. Bike bags are lighter than bike cases and are quite affordable. Most have designated storage places and offer optimal protection to the bike. They are one of the best travel options for transporting bikes as they offer a good balance of functionality, protection and price.
To reinforce protection, consider wrapping the bike parts with bubble wrap or foam. Label the bike package with your name and that it is a bike. Bike bags will offer you a blend of functionality, weight efficiency and protection for your bike.
Guide on Dissembling Your Bike
All the above packaging mechanisms require you to dismantle the bike. Dismantling bikes can be a bit technical especially for people without prior experience. Consider seeking help at your local bike shop. It will come at an extra cost but will ensure your bike is safe.
Dissembling enables you to easily pack your bike and also prevents damage. Generally, it is easier to transport the bike when it is dissembled and packed as compared to when it is whole. Below is a step by step guide to dissemble your bike.
- Remove the front tire
- Remove the pedals
- Remove the rear derailleur
- Remove the rear wheel
- Deflate both wheels
- Remove the stem then dismount the handle bars
- If you bike has hydraulic breaks, place a non metallic material such as a cardboard between them to prevent any damage.
Money Saving Tips for When you Travel With Your Bike
- It is generally cheaper to transport your bike using cargo services than by air for local travel.
- Choose bike shipping companies over regular shipping services because they are cheaper.
- Use the lightest packaging material possible that offers optimal protection to minimize on baggage fees for air travel.
- Do market research of airlines and bike shipping companies to get the lowest fees.
- Build your reputation with one airline. Some airline companies offer discounts and perks for frequent flyers. Besides, it will help you build rapport with the attendants which makes it much easier for you to get help if needed.
- Plan ahead for your travels. It helps you to leverage on early bird discounts and gives you more time to consider your options.
Choosing the Means of Transport
There are various means you can use to travel with your bike. These include by bus, by train, on a plane, driving your car or having a shipping company transport your bike. Each method presents its pros and cons. Bike on car and bike on bus or train is ideal for travels across the country while travel by plane is ideal for international and across state travel. You can ship the bike for cross state travels and long distance travels across the country.
For international travels, your bike bag or case will have to pass through customs. Packing the bike in bike bags and bike cases will make it easy for custom officials to inspect it without rearranging the packaging. When travelling by car, you will need to mount the on bike carrier systems. For bus, trains and shipping companies you may or may not have to dissemble and park the bike.
To ensure you enjoy your travel with your bike just like you have planned, choose a packaging material that offers you functionality, protection and that is relatively light. Consider whether you are travelling locally or across border and decide on the most ideal mode of transport. Plan for your travel ahead of time and maximize any opportunity to save on costs.
Got any other tips on how to travel with your bike? Let us know them in the comments 😀 .