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Travelling With Your Bike

Papa Manual

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Ok, i know not many people travel by plane to rides (except me :-) but i'm pissed and bored so i'm going to do a little guide on how to do it.

Right, first of all, work out which airline is cheapest for you to travel with. Then go call them up and ask if you can count your bike as part of your baggage allowance, that way you won't have to pay any extra to take the bike.

Right, next, you need a bike bag. You can pay between £40 and £170 for these. Planet-X do a fairly good one apparently (i have an unbranded one i borrow off a mate).


That Planet-X Bike Bag

Theres another way, you can go to your local bike shop and get a bike box, the boxes bikes arrive to the shop in. Luis (trexrydr) did this the day we went for the london ride (feb 2nd '03). Its pretty effective but harder to carry.

Next up, when you get to the airport, make sure all your tools are in your bike-bag, not your carry-on luggage (even then, don't take anything sharp!) otherwise the B*****d security men at the airport will nab all your stuff.

When you check-in, get the baggage handlers to put a fragile sticker on the bike (when you handle the bike before they take it, handle it VERY carefully, as if there were a sheet of glass inside, then they'll treat it a bit better).

Thats pretty much it. Oh, one more thing, when you go to baggage reclaim, your bike might come out somewhere different because its a bigger piece of luggage compared to most.

Oh well, thats me done,


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Yeah I get to borrow the £200 bike bag from work which is nice. But a cardboard box is good enough and any bike shop should give them away for free as they are just sent to get recycled. Also a good thing to get is fork leg spacers for when you take the front wheel out so that the forks dont get bent during the flight.

And some people say that you should deflate your tyres as the decreased pressure will damage 'them but this is a myth, it doesnt affect nethin.

Oh and one last thing, get to the airport early to check the bike in as they sometimes get a bit pissed if you leave it to the last minute!

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this is really good advice as i'm going to BC soon to do some canadian freeride!! :- :D :D on a hardtail. check my website!

i'll probably go for the box, stuffed full of bubble wrap!! what about discs?? i need summit to shove in the pads/pistons, incase the levers get pulled, but what??

also what tools should i take??

just essentials?

as i don't really wanna get a bike shop to do up a stem bolt cuz its loose, as they will probably charge.

how much is it if the box weighs more than 40lbs??? :D :D


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if its under 40lbs its free

It depends on the airline. Some people try to charge just for having a bike. If they do that say you want it included in your baggage allowance (if you don't have much else with you).

You can't say prices and stuff unless you know the airline! The one i use to get to the UK is free, but another operator charges £20 there and £20 back - b*stards.

Like UrbanPoet says, get to the airport early to avoid trouble. The tyres thing, hmmmmm, well my mate took his bike away last year and the tyres went bang during the flight. Made a loud noise and all, not good. I think its just if you run the pressure quite high. Its best to deflate them.

You should take as many tools as possible Julian, including things like a spoke-key, a small pump, tubes, allen keys, chain splitter, just general common-sense things. Don't take sharp objects though and make sure all your tools go in your bike-bag/bike-box as when i went to London they took nearly all my tools off me saying they weren't allowed on the plane, including allen-keys!

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First thing's first. It can be a b*tch carrying the box, especially if you've got other luggage as well. I taped a piece of wood with Skateboard trucks onto the bottom of the box when I went to America. Worked a treat.

Another thing you can do is (walking with a slight limp) is put a disabled sign on the side of it and claim that it's your in-line wheelchair.

I found that some airlines websites said one thing with respect to oversize luggage/bikes and when I emailed them they said another. I kept the copy saying there would be no extra charge for my bike with me to show them if they kicked up a fuss.

As for the discs/maguras. I just opened the bleed bolt on my magura and re-bled when I got there. You could take the hydraulics in your hand-luggage.

I'm not sure what the situation is for an open disc system.

Hope this helps


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  • 1 month later...
sorry to ask a question...but where can u get the fork saver things so they dont get bent or watever and also can u get a rear one aswell....as i have seen the peeps throw the baggage on the belt and they just dont give a flyin F**k

try your LBS.. they get bikes all the time so they should have a few over for you.

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