Tips for Traveling with Your Mountain Bike

By Liam Neeson | Tips and Tricks

Nov 25

Tips for Traveling with Your Mountain Bike

Let’s face it, a mountain bike is a pretty big and heavy piece of equipment, so what do you do with it when you want to take it on your travels with you? There are some amazing bike trails, all around the world, so you may well want to take your bike to other countries, but transporting a mountain bike brings with it its own unique challenges. You will have to think about protecting your bike from theft and from damage and you will also need to think about the simple logistics of moving your bike from A to B.

We aren’t about to tell you that transporting your best mountain bike is going to be a piece of cake because it certainly isn’t, but if you follow these simple tips, the task will be a lot easier. Whether you plan to take your bike in a car, a train, or an airplane, you will need to take steps to protect it from damage. Here are some great tips that will take some of the stress out of transporting your bike and help you prepare you and your bike for exciting journeys to any part of the world.

Take Your Bike Apart

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The first step you need to take to make transporting your bike easier and safer is to dismantle your bike down into parts so that there are no pieces of the bike protrudingfrom the frame that can easily get damaged in transit.

Remove the wheels, the pedals, the derailleur, and the handlebars, and pack them away separately from the frame. Things like Pedals, wheel forks, handlebars and brakes can be very easily damaged if you leave themattached to the bike,because they can get caught on things and then they may get bent out of shape. It might seem like a big job to dismantle a bike in his way, but it will be a lot better than arriving at your destination only to find that you need to buy new parts or realign existing parts that have been damaged.

As well as taking off the protruding parts of your bike, it’s a good idea to deflate the tyres as well as that will make them less prone to puncture. You should also place some form of padding between your brake pads to stop them jamming together, especially if they are hydraulic brakes.

Finally, whenever you transport your mountain bike, make sure that your name, address, your final destination addressand an emergency telephone number are marked clearly and indelibly on both your bike and on any parts that you have packed separately. That simple step alone could make the difference between you being reunited with your best mountain bike and losing it forever.

How Much Will Airlines Charge?

How Much Will Airlines Charge?

The price that you will be charged for transporting a mountain bike by air will depend on the individual airline, but you might be pleasantly surprised at how little it costs. Depending on the weight of your bike and the dimension’s once you have dismantled it and packed it, it could cost you no less than a regular piece of baggage. It is advisable, however, to check with the airline well in advance of your flight to make sure that they will accept a mountain bike as luggage and to ensure that you know what the cost will be.

The other cost that you will incur will be for a bike box to pack your bike in. The soft, cardboard versions of these are relatively cheap, but a hard-shell bike box will be preferable because it will protect your bike from damage better. This is another thing to check with your airline before you travel because some airlines insist that bikes be transported in hard-shell containers.

Making Sure Your Travel Insurance Adds Up

Making Sure Your Travel insurance Adds Up

A final point is an obvious one, but it is one that many people do forget. Remember to check your travel insurance,before you travel, to ensure that it does cover your mountain bike. Most general travel insurance policies will cover your luggage, but they will not cover sports equipment such as mountain bikes. Double check with your insurers if your mountain bike will be covered and, if it’s not, find out how much it will cost to add your bike to your policy.

Unfortunately, not all insurers will insure a mountain bike for transportation by air, so you might need a separate insurance policy to cover your bike against loss or damage. In any event, it is essential that you do have adequate insurance cover for your mountain bike when you travel so that you know, if the worst were to happen, you would receive full compensation.

Final Reminders

Final Reminders

One thing that is often overlooked by people travelling with their mountain bikes is that you are going to need to carry it around with you when you reach your destination. While dismantling your bike and storing it in a hard-shell bike box is definitely the best option for long distance journeys, for shorter journeys, it might be easier if you don’t dismantle it, so you can wheel the bike when you arrive. You might also want to consider taking a hard-shell container for the long part of the journey and having a soft-shell case, which will be much lighter, for any short journeys that you might be making with your mountain bike while you are away.
There is no doubt that travelling with your bike opens up a whole world of new challenges and more trails to explore, and it can provide some the most exhilarating and some of the best mountain bike experience’s you will ever have. Travelling with your mountain bike does pose some challenges, but we hope that these tips will have made the prospect of taking your bike abroad seem far less daunting to you.

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