One of the most asked questions we get is- "I have never travelled with my bike, how do I do it?"
We have put together this guide for you to walk you through the process!
- Should I bring my own bike or rent a bike where I am going?
We really recommend bringing your own bike on trips with you! There are a few reasons for this. The main one is that it's the bike you are comfortable on and know well. This is helpful when riding on unfamiliar terrain. Also, there is not always a high end bike available to rent in the countries that we work in, so it is usually best to bring your own.
2. How the heck do I travel with my bike?
There are a couple of different ways to pack up your bike and bring it with you.
One is to get a bike specific travel case. We really like ones made by Evoc and Dakine, but there are others that are great as well.
You can also just go to your local bike shop and ask for a bike box. Most bike shops will be able to help pack up your bike for you either in a box or a case.
If you travel a lot with your bike, a bike specific travel case is a worthy investment as they can last for many years. Bike boxes are cheap and easy, but might be a little less durable. They also might not pack down as easily for storage at your destination.
3. What about if something happens to my bike? Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is great to have, but most that we have seen will not cover the full cost of your bike if something happens to it. Many homeowners and renters insurance will cover your bike if you are traveling, but make sure to call and check before you leave. Another great option that we love is Velosurance. They offer a yearly policy that will cover your bike whether or not you are traveling.
4. Where will I store my bike bag/box while I am out riding?
All of our partners in each country will be able to store your bag or box in a secure location. If you are not on a World Ride trip, the pro tip is to book the same hotel both before and after the bike portion of your trip and make sure they have secure luggage storage.
5. Don't the airlines charge a lot for bikes?
Within the past few years, a lot of domestic airlines have changed their bike policies (yay!). This means that your bike can now count as one of your regular checked bags, which the fees are usually much less than what bike fees used to be. The key part of this is that your bike in the bag needs to weigh 50 pounds or less. A normal mountain bike and bike case are right around 50 pounds together. Don't stuff all of your extra gear into your bike bag unless you know that there is a higher weight limit!
6. How do I protect my bike during travel?
Most dedicated bike travel cases are pretty secure, but it's never a bad idea to go overboard with extra packing material. Bubble wrap, foam pipe insulation, and reusable zip ties all come in handy. Don't forget spacers for your brakes and some tools to build up your bike once you land.
7. How do I navigate the airport with a bike and all of my stuff?
Luggage carts are your best friend! You can't exactly pack light when you have a bike and all of your gear.
8. Anything special to keep in mind when coming home?
Although we haven't had any issues with this, we have heard that customs doesn't like a really dirty bike because who knows what kind of things you might be bringing back in all of that dirt! Make sure to wash your bike if its extra dirty before you pack it up to bring it home. Bring a spare rag with you and just wipe it down if you aren't able to give it a full washing.