Make flying with your bike less stressful
Flying with your bike shouldn’t be an anxiety ridden drama. Follow these simple tips to make your voyage less stressful and more enjoyable.
Make sure that your bike fits in your bike case. Many of the newer bikes have one piece handlebars or complicated cockpits.
My personal favorite case for all of my bikes is the Bike Box Alan Triathlon Easy Fit Aero. This hard shell case is a breeze to pack and allows you to leave rotors on if you have a disc brake bike.
Velcro straps allow you to secure all of your spare bits inside the box. I have seen many frames damaged by loose bits that weren’t secured during transit.
Don’t over pack your case if you are flying into or out of the US. TSA will not be bothered to put everything back the way it was. A cleaner interior means that it’s much easier to inspect and close properly
Know your airlines fee structure for bikes. Many of the US based airlines have eased excess baggage fees for bike cases. Many of the European airline have generous bike case pricing. Book your bike in advance to avoid the arbitrary fees that are common at European airports when checking in.
Ensure that you have transportation that will hold your bike case and luggage. There is nothing worse than arriving at rental agency and realizing that the vehicle that you booked won’t fit your bike case and luggage. In the United States I prefer to rent 4 door pickup trucks as it easy to get 4 bikes and suitcases in the back. In Europe I prefer to rent a mini van if possible.
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack. Nothing is more stressful than trying to pack a bike 3 minutes before you are due to depart for the airport. Pack the night before and take your time.
Remove rear derailleur. Remove your rear derailleur. It’s posted twice because it is very important. A bent derailleur hanger is not the best way to start your journey when you arrive. Use the velcro straps to secure the hanger and chain inside your bike box.