Hello Travelers, One of the biggest worries when traveling abroad for a cycling event is the safety of your bike while being transported. The most serious question is always “How do I make sure my bike gets to my destination in one piece?”. We have carefully put together this small tutorial. It is intended to help you pick a good, protective bike bag that is easy to use and then show you how to use it.
Hard cases: They are made from a tough plastic, such as ABS and polycarbonate, and combine strength and rigidity with toughness and stability. They are the best choice for air travel!
Soft Bag with AntiShock: It’s the perfect hybrid bag: a soft bag with an internal metal frame that will protect the critical parts of your bike from shocks, vibrations and impacts.
Tubes are for more than just keeping your wheels rolling: Use a mountain bike tube to protect your bike. Ideally, a 26" downhill tube as they are quite robust and have a lot of inflation volume and weigh very little. Compared to repairing paint or a cracked frame, they cost almost nothing.
Place the deflated tube between (for instance) the frame and the wheels, and then inflate the tube, the tube will expand and ensure that the wheel is less likely to damage the frame. You can also do the same for the wheels towards the outside of the bag/box, you can fold the tube and protect your frame from your handlebar and so on and so forth, the possibilities are endless. Do not over-inflate the tube, you want it to be able to have some give to absorb any impact.
Plane: When traveling by air, a hard case is best, since it is the most compact box, and the easiest to handle. It’s also the most durable and protective, which is a good thing when letting your bike out of your sight. A hard case may require more disassembly of the bike, so be prepared to get help with the reassembly, or practice the reassembly before you travel.
Train: On the train, you have more room, so a larger case is less of a problem, but you may still have to let your bike out of your sight. A hard case, or a hybrid soft case with a support frame to make sure your bike is well protected. Because the case is slightly larger, you do need to disassemble less of the bike, which makes it easier to handle the other end of the trip, and it’s still protective enough for either train or plane.
Automobile: When traveling by car, you have the most control of your bike during the trip, which means you can rely on a case which is designed to protect from scratches and bumps, rather than needing something more fully protective. A soft case require no disassembly in most cases, but is usually only useful for short distance trips.
The bike is key. And having it one piece to ride at your destination, well, that’s sort of important. So having a case which keeps it that way is paramount. The more you have to give up control of your bike, the more protection your case needs to provide. A hard case is best. A hybrid case is a close second, and a soft case when you don’t need don’t need to let anyone else handle your bike. If you are packing a disc wheel, consider using these Zipp Disc Wheel Protector Boards when you pack your wheels, to make sure they arrive without damage.
Road, Triathlon, Mountain Bike, Twenty-Sixer, 650B, Twenty-Niner… There are a lot of options for bikes these days, and they all have unique challenges when it comes to packing the bike. Make sure you check the size of the case, and the fit of the bike. Keep in mind that some specialty bikes, especially Triathlon and TT bikes, may not be able to disassembly as fully as a more basic designs, and may require a larger case. 29’ers often have difficulty fitting a smaller case as well.
The necessary disassembly varies wildly from case to case, and from bike to bike. Less disassembly makes the packing easier and the trip easier to arrange, but often means a larger case, which can increase costs. Finding a good balance between the cost of travel and the rider’s ability to reassemble and tune the bike themselves is important. Regardless of the case, a little practice will allow the rider to pack, reassemble, and tune their bike. Not everybody has the time for that, though…
A good case which balances ease of use, easy travel, and compact size is nice, but it has to fit in the budget as well. Options from both Scicon and B & W make it easy to travel, and do it at a price which lets you still afford the plane tickets.
|Aerotech Evolution TSA||Aerocomfort 2.0
|Travel Plus Triathlon|
|MTB||Yes if < 29”||Yes if < 29”||Yes if < 29”||Yes (all Types)||Yes if < 29″|
|Frame Size||up to 62 cm –||up to 65 cm –||One size fits all –||One size fits all –||One size fits all –|
|Weight||11.50 Kg||8.9 Kg||8.9 Kg||7.9 Kg||2.7 Kg|
|Material||ABS -||Nylon fabric 840 Foam Padded||Nylon fabric 840 Foam Padded||Nylon fabric 840 Foam Padded||Nylon fabric 210 Foam Padded|
|Bike parts to remove for packing||Wheels seatpost 1 pedal||Wheels --||Wheels --||Wheels handlebar -||Wheels --|
Do you have any questions on maintenance or specific dialing in of your bicycle? Packing your bike for a travel date coming up? Come and ask our seasoned mechanics on Tuesday evenings from 7 pm - 9 pm to show you how. The topics change from week to week but our mechanics will be more than happy to answer any questions.