Riding your bicycle is a great way to explore a new location, whether it be a new local trail or an international adventure that you have been thinking of for some time. A lot of planning goes towards putting the ideal cycling trip together so that you can make the most of your experience.
Part of this planning includes how to transport your bicycle during your travels. There are options to rent different bicycles at various iconic cycling locations around the globe, but nothing quite compares to riding you own ‘trusty steed’ up a famous climb that you have watched the pros race up.
So, what is the best way to transport your bicycle? Apart from riding it, of course, the easiest way to move it from A to B is to place it in a bicycle travel bag. Here are a few tips and tricks to help ensure that your bicycle reaches its destination unscathed. It’s also not a bad idea to make sure that you have the best insurance to suit your cycling needs so that you know you are adequately covered for your next journey.
- Pick the correct bag. The bag should be able to support your bicycle, if you are able to mount your frame inside the bag this is the first prize as it will help to protect the frame. Pouches for the wheels inside the bag, or on the outside of it, are also ideal and will provide your frame with a little extra protection. Wheels on the base of the bag make dragging your bicycle around a lot easier but aren’t essential.
- When you remove the wheels from your bicycle to pack them, remember to deflate them so that they do not pop under the increased pressure when in the hold of the aeroplane.
- Most bicycle bags will require you to remove the seat post and handlebars in order to fit the bicycle in the bag. Many travellers forget the importance of removing the pedals when packing their bicycle; this is a small but key step that one shouldn’t forget.
- Be sure to remove the derailleur from the hanger. The last thing you want is for your hanger or derailleur to get bent en-route to your final destination. Although it’s a fairly simple task to straighten a hanger, replacing a derailleur can be a costly exercise and one that you can easily avoid with this tip.
- There is nothing worse than rubbing brake pads. When packing your bicycle pop past your local bike shop and ask them for a couple of brake pad wedges to place in between the brake callipers if you are transporting a bicycle with disc brakes.
- Bubble wrap your frame as an extra precaution. Most airlines will put a fragile sticker on a bicycle bag, however you never know what goes on in the cargo area of an aeroplane.
- Travel with a small lock that you can use to lock your bicycle bag. One can never be too careful, rather be safe than sorry and lock your bag before you check it in.
Once everything is packed and you are ready to go, do one last check of the bag and make sure that everything is secured correctly. Having put a lot of effort into packing your bicycle, a good last step is to check that your bicycle insurance covers you for your travels. Now it’s time for an adventure. Get out there and enjoy yours!