Top Tips for Packing your Bike for a Flight
There can be no question that cycling in Mallorca or in the French Alps is a fantastic experience and should be enjoyed by everyone who enjoys cycling. The only issue is when we have to take our bike on an aircraft. Bikes can and do get damaged when going through the rigours of an airport. They were built for riding and not flying after all.
Hopefully these tips will help you keep your pride and joy in one piece when you take it on a cycling tour.
Don't forget, you can hire bikes on our Mallorca tours which are a much easier option.
Most airlines tend to stipulate the following when putting a bike on a plane:
- Handlebars and pedals should be fixed sideways against the frame or removed
- Deflate tyres slightly to avoid risk of damage
- Bikes should be carried in a protective box or bag
- Only one bike should be carried per box or bag. Other than protective packing, no other items should be placed in the box or bag.
Bike boxes can be purchased and this provides a hard protective case for your bike. Ensure you have plenty of bubble wrap and other packing materials to insulate the bike from the rigors of flight. When the box is sealed your bike should not be able to move inside the box. A cheaper option to a bike box is a bike bag. These tend to come with padding, but do not provide the same level of protection as a hard case.
Vulnerable Parts of a Bike
Your rear gear hanger is the most vulnerable part of a bike when transported by plane. This part is damaged more frequently than any other. As such, along with your pedals, it is a good idea to remove these from your bike. You can tie them to the frame of the bike so that all of it stays together when you put it on a plane. Although we have a comprehensive bike garage and expert mechanic in Mallorca, obviously avoiding the needs for repairs is best.
Beyond Bubble Wrap
Bubble wrap is fine as packaging material but other forms of packaging should not be ruled out. Pipe lagging is great for the frame for example, and zip ties can make securing this easy. Ensure you take spares for the return journey.
If your bike came in a box reuse this to secure your bike. If it did not, ask a local bike shop for one. This provides another level of packaging and protection. The more you have, the better protected your bike will be.
Most airlines will not cover the cost of any damage and few travel insurance policies cover cycles in their policies. It may be possible to have your household cover extended to take into account your bike under the 'content' away from home clause. Although this will cost a little extra it is worth the peace of mind knowing that should the worse happen, you will be able to replace your bike quickly. Most of the time, your bike will arrive in one piece.
Adding different layers of protection will help it further.