Guided and Self-Guided
Mountain Biking and Walking Holidays
How to Pack a Bike for Air Travel in Soft or Hard Bike Cases
Thinking of taking a bike on a plane for a cycling holiday? Worried about potential damage to the bicycle or how much it will cost to take all that extra weight on board?
This article shows how easy it is to pack a bike for either plane or sea travel and offers some useful tips on the best type of bike case together with advice on making sure potentially breakable bike components do not get damaged during the journey.
Best Bike Bags for Air Travel
Bike bags for air travel can be either soft or hard cases or even a cardboard box, as discussed in this related bike cases article. Which to choose depends largely on budget and the cost of the actual bike as hard cases may be the best for protecting delicate bike components but cost 3 to 4 times more than a soft bike bag.
Whichever bike bag is used, the method for packing a bicycle is essentially the same as outlined below.
Pack a Bicycle for Air Travel
While some last minute travelers have been known to shrink-wrap their bikes in cling film on arrival at the airport, common sense demands that a bike is partially dismantled before shipping to protect key bike components. This may sound time consuming but only takes around half an hour once well practised. Just follow these guidelines:
Cost of Taking a Bike on a Plane
Most airlines make a charge for taking a bicycle on a plane. Costs vary between £30/$50 to £50/$80 per return journey but to get the lowest price it is essential to pre-book the bicycle as part of the baggage allowance.
Expect to pay a higher cost as a percentage of the air-fare for short haul budget airline flights, popular with UK based mountain bikers heading for the Alps. Long haul destinations like New Zealand are usually cheaper as baggage allowances are greater and bikes can often be taken on board for no additional charge.
Pack a Bike with Confidence
With a little practice, it is quick and easy to pack a bike for air travel whether using a cheap cardboard box or an expensive hard bike case. Take care to bubble wrap easy to bend bike components like brake discs and your trusty steed will arrive in perfect condition for that much needed cycling holiday.
Also of interest to you may be:
Shipping a bike. Some tips and simple instructions for shipping a bike by air or sea.
How to choose the best Bicycle travel bag. The article discusses the types of bike bags and boxes available.
Best bicycle box for air travel. This article looks specifically at hard boxes; the most secure way to keep your bike safe in transit.
Site created by: Alistair J Smeaton.