If you’re about to kick start your cycling season by getting away for some early season sun, or have a big event planned this summer, getting to your destination with your bike in perfect condition is the first step for a successful trip.
We’ve put together some pro-tips from our seasoned Mechanics & Tour Guides to help you travel safely with your bike this season.
- Invest in a pro bike bag or case. The two best options when packing your bike for a trip abroad are a hard-shelled box or a soft bike bag specifically designed for the task. They offer a number of advantages over a cardboard bike box including better protection and more space for all the rest of your cycling gear.
- Prep your bike before it goes in the case by removing parts. Take off your pedals, seat post and bars. Remembering to mark the seat post with tape before you remove it! Unscrew the rear derailleur; this makes all the difference, particularly in a soft case. There is no need to take it off the chain, once it’s loose, wrap it in a small towel, and tie them together to the chain stay. The towel will prevent the frame from being scratched, but still allow the derailleur enough movement to protect it from damage.
- Protect the BIG ring. You can securely hold the chain on the big ring with a couple small cable ties, and it will form a sheath to keep the chainring safe from an impact dents, saving you from a big-ring-mauling by distributing any stress on the teeth over a wider area.
- Brace the forks and drop outs. In reality, crushing is an uncommon cause of damage during transit, but the forks and stays are vulnerable to this with their wheels removed. While more expensive bike bags and boxes may come with some form of bracing, most will not. You can use an old hub for this, or ask your local bike shop for a throw away plastic spacer.
- Add some of your bike gear for extra padding. To finish packing, add some cycling clothes between the frame to provide extra padding, along with spare water bottles, energy bars. DO NOT pack your shoes and helmet in with your bike if possible. Taking these in your hand luggage means if the worst happens and your bike is delayed or lost in transit, you can get set up easily on a rental bike at your destination.
- Take out comprehensive insurance. If you take care while packing your bicycle, you also want to be covered if anything does happen to it. We’ve partnered with Yellow Jersey Insurance to protect you and your bike while travelling. Yellow Jersey Insurance covers your bike and box while in transit. They even cover the cost of a rental if yours doesn’t turn up in time for an event, or if it has been damaged by the airline and can’t be ridden.
- Ship your bike in advance. Save time, hassle and money and send your luggage door to door with our global luggage delivery partner, Luggage Mule. Their service guarantees your luggage will be delivered on time at your destination, leaving you to beat the bag drop queue, luggage carousels and travel hands free. Send up to 30kg and track your luggage from door to door with Luggage Mule online tracking facility. Once the trip has come to an end, they collect from your hotel and bring your bike back home.
- Leave your bike at home and use one of our rental bikes! You can take the hassle out of taking your own bike completely by adding bike rental to your next tour using our fleet of professional maintained bikes.