This is a guest post by Paul Devault (bio at bottom), cycling enthusiast and bike travel writer.
If you love cycling, you would not want to leave your bike when going to another location whether in your country or abroad. You want to go and explore that foreign land with the bike you are used to. So before traveling to your destination, there are a few things you ought to be aware of, and that is what this post will show you.
Whether traveling by car, train, or plane for a holiday, cycling match, or anywhere else like home, the thought of how you are going to carry your bike along can be a nightmare. However, it doesn’t have to. Once you are aware of the tips for traveling with your bike, you will find that it’s so easy to move anywhere with your precious bike irrespective of whether you are going to travel in a car, train, or plane. Moreover the more you go with your bike, the easier it becomes. It requires you to plan and prepare for you to go anywhere on the globe with your bike but when you get used to the routine, you’ll realize that it’s not that hard.
You have heard many horror stories from all over the world from people that traveled with their bikes only to reach the other end without it, with it incomplete, or damaged and perhaps you are scared of going with yours. The tips below will help you prevent any accident and will make transporting your bike more successful and smoother.
Tips for Traveling with Your Bike
Before the date of your travel, ensure you have some basic mechanical skills
You never know. Anything can happen that requires fixing, and there is nothing bad like having a mechanical bike issue in a foreign land with no one near to help fix your bike. Also, since you will have to dismantle some parts of your bike when packing, you will need to replace them after arriving at your destination and this too will require some mechanical skills.
Ensure all the tools you need for your journey are packed
The scissors, precision screwdrivers, cleaning rags, pins, cable ties, a travel floor pump, electrical tape, pedal wrench, chain lube, Allen keys and multi tool are the small tools you will need. So make sure you pack them. Doing so the night before your travel will make sure you don’t forget any of them.
Know the measurements of your bike
Before traveling make sure to note somewhere the measurements of your bike, it can be in your phone or notebook. There is always the danger of the unknown happening, and something may happen to your bike parts while in transit requiring you to purchase a replacement. When you have the bikes measurements, you will not have stress. You will make the adjustments you need smoothly.
Make sure your bike is protected
When it comes to traveling with your bike, protection of the bike comes first. You would not want to reach your destination with your bike damaged. Add some additional padding on your derailleur and frame if you are using a bike bag. If you are traveling with your bike on the carrier, put a cover on it for protection against bugs splatter. Put also a rag on the clamp to protect the wheels and frame rub marks. If you want to transport the bike in your car, use a blanket or towel when packing it to avoid accidental damages on the drivetrain or frame.
Read the Instructions
This applies to both the car carrier and the bike bag. Ensure you have read your touring bike manual so you can be sure of what you are doing when packing your bike. Do not allow any accident to occur because you have packed your bike in the box or bag wrongly or you didn’t attach the bike properly to the car carrier. Always find a YouTube video when you are not sure.
Always make sure you have checked your luggage allowance
If you are air traveling with your bike, be sure always you have enough luggage allowance or prepare yourself to pay some extra fees. Before your trip, check your airline luggage regulations. Also, if you have connecting flights, make sure your luggage allowance is applied to all connections.
When traveling with your bike on the car carrier, be attentive to your environment
If you can write a small note and place it on your dashboard as a reminder, great. Just make sure you don’t forget you are carrying your bike on the carrier. There are cases someone forgets they have their bikes on the roof, and they pass through entrances that have limited space only to get a nightmare. Also when passing through areas with many trees near the road be careful as the branches can damage your bike on the roof.
If you are flying, be careful of forbidden items in your baggage
Put your CO2 canisters and multi tools in your checked baggage. If you forget to do so, you may have to spend quite a lot on those small items when the customs seize them.
Make sure everything is packed the day before your travel
Ensuring everything is packed the day before your travel alleviates the stress that last minute rushes cause. Last minute rushes are what makes people forget some things or make careless mistakes. If you can make a list of the things, you will need before packing, the better. It will help you as you will pack checking it off.
Get a good bag for your bike
The only way to make sure your bike is transported safely is by purchasing a good bike packing bag. There are other options of course like a cardboard box, the car carriers, and boots but a good bike bag will always give maximum protection to your bike.
If you follow the above tips for traveling with your bike, you find it easy and smoother to go anywhere in this world with your bike. If you want to travel for a cycling holiday or exploration and you want to get a new not so expensive bike to travel with, you can check out the best mountain bike under 1000, and you will be ready to get out and explore the world.
About Paul: Hi I am Paul. I’ll mostly talk about cycling. I have in-depth experience in writing about cycling. I also provide some information about bike and bike accessories. In short, you’ll find a lot of valuable information regarding bike and other bike related stuff.
3 thoughts on “10 Tips for Traveling with Your Bike”
Thanks for sharing the tips on traveling with your bike. It just goes to show important it is to have everything planned out well in advance. I’d never thought about keeping the measurements of the bike in the back of my mind because who would ever need that sort of information. Just goes to show that every detail is relevant.
It got me when you said that I should know the measurement of my bike when traveling because anything can happen, and I need to be prepared. Actually, I am planning to buy a rack and mount it on the back of the car to keep it safe while we are driving to the location. But I guess there is nothing wrong with being safe than sorry. I will be sure to get the materials noted down just in case.
Thanks for your useful tips.