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How to pack a bike for a flight – 8 easy steps

| Blog, Mountain Biking Uk | 07/03/2014 12:00pm

If you’re thinking of taking your bike abroad this year for a riding holiday, chances are you’re going to need to pack it for a flight.

Baggage handlers can be brutal with a normal suitcase, so you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your beloved bike. Here’s our quick guide to packing and padding it well to survive the inevitable onslaught from the plane’s hold to baggage trolley to carousel.

Step 1: Choose your carrying option. Specific bike bags range from a little under £100 up to around £300 and undoubtedly make the process easier if you can afford one and plan to do lots of travelling with bikes. If you’ve blown your budget on your trip, don’t fear! You should be able to scavenge a bike box from your local bike shop (they can be quite partial to a bit of cake in return, we find) – and it will certainly do the job.


Step 2: Wrap as much of the frame as you can in bubble wrap, making sure that the sides are protected at the very least. Leave the cranks attached but put a good thick layer of bubble wrap and cardboard around the large chainring to protect it – and the bottom of the bag/box – from damage.

Step 3: Remove the pedals, wrap them in bubble wrap or cardboard and stick them in one of the bag/box’s pockets. If there aren’t any pockets or you’re using a box, tape the pedals to the bottom of the bag/box or under the saddle to stop them moving around in transit.

Step 4: It’s essential to protect the fork’s stanchions and lower legs from damage. Using pipe lagging or bubble wrap, make sure they’re properly padded, especially the stanchions.

Step 5: Put your wheels in wheel bags or in the specific sections set aside for them in your bike bag. It’s a good idea to take your disc rotors off to stop them getting bent out of shape. If you’re using a box then, again, take the wheels off and separate them from the frame with a couple of layers of cardboard – as many as you can sandwich in is best.

Step 6: Put pad spacers in between the pads to prevent brake lever movement popping the pistons out.

Step 7: Remove the rear mech and mech hanger. Wrap them in bubble wrap to keep them protected and tape or ziptie them to the frame.

Step 8: Remove the handlebar and stem and wrap them in bubble wrap. Ziptie them to the frame, in a safe place.

Extra bonus tip!

You can use  things like knee pads to protect your bike, and if you have enough weight allowance, you can pack out your bike bag with holiday essentials like shoes and clothes.

Now go and enjoy your riding holiday!

MBUK's Ultimate Alpine Ride GuideThis was taken from MBUK’s Ultimate Alpine Ride Guide. Featuring expert info on the 20 best alpine resorts, where to ride, where to stay, what to take, alpine riding skills and the best events to get involved with. The guide is FREE with the latest issue of MBUK which is on sale now.




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This entry was posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 12:00 pm and is filed under Blog, Mountain Biking Uk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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