• jules

    if you are traveling in a car with one roof rack and another spot in the boot/back seat, always put your companion’s bike on the roof.

    • lowercasev

      I’d say go the other way – I’d rather smash my own bike than an expensive S-Works with Lightweights!!!

      • jules

        that reminds me of a tip – take your Lightweights off the bike when transporting by car (especially with a rear-mount rack). i’ve forgotten (mine are not LWs though) and the PING noise made by stones getting flung into them will make you sad.

    • Derek Maher

      Hi Jules,Another hazard are those car park entrances which have height bars installed.I have seen a few race teams get their bikes wrecked arriving for a race.

  • Lounge

    What are the rules regarding flying with CO2 canisters?? I thought you weren’t allowed to take them even as check-in?? Am off to Europe this week with my trusty (but a bit heavy) EVOC bag. French Alps here I come!!!

    • lowercasev

      It depends on what airline you are with. Some airlines let you travel with 3x cannisters checked in. Give them a call or check their FAQs to make sure!

      • procaf

        My Last trip to NZ in March Qantas made me take CO2 canisters (4max) in my carry on. not checked in.

    • bonesx

      not such a big issue, when you consider there’s a life vest with a C02 canister in it under every seat on the plane. But best check with your carrier.

  • Ross

    Timely article as I am off to France in July. What is your recommended bike case? I’m about to pull the trigger on a Scicon AeroComfort 2.0, it seems to have good reviews.

    • lowercasev

      I’ve only ever travelled with an Evoc – no complaints with it as a travel bag, in fact, I have two of them. Most of my team mates have a Scicon bag. The only annoying thing is that their bikes have a habit of jumping off the wheel/fork clamp things mid flight… I’m sure everyone has an opinion on what bag to use… :-)

    • JBS

      I second the call for the Evoc. Tried boxes and hard cases in the past, but for maneuverability and light weight the Evoc wins hands down. Throw some pool noodles or pipe insulation around your frame and the bike should be good short of attack from a forklift.

    • DNK

      Scicon Aerocomfort 2.0 is great. Takes only about 10-15 minutes to pack or unpack as you only remove wheels and skewers. I’ve brought bike to Europe with no drama. it’s a bit of an awkward shape (as handlebars remain in place) so if you plan on hiring a car make sure it has enough luggage space – hatchback – I have had challenges fitting it in a sedan boot. Airlines have had no problem, part of normal checked baggage, about 20 kg packed.

  • Unbelievable

    I have my garage remote button attached to my car key with a mini-carabiner, and whenever I depart with bikes on the roof, I unclip the garage remote and stick it in the glove box so that I can never drive the bike into my own garage roof. Putting the remote in the glove box when you are leaving, and you have just put the bikes on the roof, is pretty easy to remember – as opposed to when you arrive home tired and hungry at the end of the day…

  • Voon Ming Wei

    do not overload your bike bag!

    it can be quite tempting to stuff everything into your bike bag (clothes, accessories etc), but a big and heavy bag has a higher chance of being hurled around by frustrated baggage handlers! usually i’ll put my cycling clothes/shoes and bike tools in a separate duffle bag. bike bag only contains the bike itself and track pump.

  • Ross

    I notice you and your friend seem to have two carry-on bags each, is that allowed or is the one on your back actually checked luggage?

    • lowercasev

      Hi Ross – that’s two checked pieces each. We travelled around Europe for 4 weeks – 1 bike bag, 1 70L backpack and one small bag as carry on. :-)

  • Thanks for the tips and thoughts! Always a lengthy discussion and debate regarding what bike bag/box etc… I put together a webpage with a few tips a little while ago that may interest some : A friend also constructs bike boxes out of corflute (lightweight material that housing advert boards are made from) – they are fantastic and strong, lightweight and with wheels easy to move around airports / railway stations etc

    • Jessi Braverman

      Thanks for sharing this, Clare. Definitely a great resource for those new to bike travel!

    • Anon N + 1

      Dear Clare,
      On the website at the link, you mention “partially deflate tires.” Why do we need to do this?
      Although you mention the 30kg maximum weight limitation, you do not mention the 62 inch/157.5cm maximum luggage size limitation imposed by most airlines. I believe none of the boxes/cases you suggest will satisfy this limitation.

      • jules

        deflating tyres may be necessary as cargo hold is at a lower pressure than the cabin/sea level atmosphere. for all intensive purposes, this increases the tyre pressure and may lead to them going pop. that could scare the passengers and cost you a few bucks.

      • Hi Anon, Thanks for the message.

        Re: Weight/Size – In my experience (on multiple airlines), the bicycle is counted towards your ‘baggage allowance’ in terms of weight, but as it is a special item size is not relevant. For example – consider a surfboard. This is rarely going to fit within the size limitations for standard baggage items, but the weight of the board will be counted towards total overall weight allowance. This isn’t specifically documented on most airline websites so you should check with the airline you intend to travel with, just to be sure.

        Re pressures – there are lots of posts on this…and you can read a lot different opinions and plenty of information about atmospheric pressure etc., depending on your interest in physics! From my understanding, it’s a requirement of the airlines to deflate, but in reality the pressure in the tube is unlikely to increase significantly in the cabin hold (which is pressurised) for it to pop. But people tend to deflate as a precaution. Also, having the tube slightly inflated (i.e. not fully deflated) may give some protection to the rim and or tire. Lastly, given there’s no reason to fully deflate why bother putting yourself through more pumping at the other end…!

        Other thoughts/comments?

  • Anon N +1

    Couplers from S and S Machine. The bike will fit in a square case 26x26x10 inches (approx. 66x66x25.4cm) that satisfies the current maximum luggage size allowance for most airlines. In general, there should be no oversize charge or other extra charge for taking the bike. (I am aware of only one exception: Delta.) It takes about an hour to pack the bike and another hour to rebuild the bike at the destination.

  • Max

    Allen Key’s can’t be longer than 6 inches (~15cm) for US travel, not certain about international travel. I had my allen’s confiscated that trip so i invested in a Multi tool that had the larger diameter allen’s for this purpose.

  • Max

    Allen Key’s can’t be longer than 6 inches (~15cm) for US travel, not certain about international travel. I had my allen’s confiscated that trip so i invested in a Multi tool that had the larger diameter allen’s for this purpose.

  • Rod

    Just a couple of things I have found handy while travelling.
    1. Cable tie the pedal to the frame so it doesn’t move.
    2. To protect the rear derailleur you can unbolt it and put it up in the rear triangle of the frame.

    3. Put the chain on the large chain ring and cable tie a piece of hose over the bottom section of the chain and chain ring. A friend had his bike box dragged across the concrete and the front chain ring ground though the box and the chain ring got damaged.
    4. Don’t forget a torque wrench if you are playing with carbon fibre . I have one of the Trek 5Nm ones, which is very handy. Won’t do everything but its a start.

    • PlodrPete

      Agree torque wrench is a very good idea. Carbon paste in a tiny zip lock bag.
      Removing the RD is easy and really protects it. My wife’s hanger still managed to get bent (lucky the RD was off!), so if you can remove the hanger (and RD combo) instead then that is the best option.
      Quick links on the chain mean you can take it off and carry it in a zip lock bag, also easier to clean the bike.
      Foam pipe insulation cut to match tube length (and split lengthwise) will help protect frame and paint work.
      Bike shops throw out the packing spacers that protect forks and rear stays, they will give them away.
      A small packet of baby wipes or similar to clean your hands afterwards, or gloves :)

      • Rod

        Quick links, yeap forgot how handy they are but don’t forget the link breaker for the way home. Talking of the way home, remember to take extra cable ties etc to repack the bag.

        As we now have disc on bikes, don’t forget to put a spacer in the disc when you remove the wheel from the bike. You should be able to get these from the bike store same as “PlodrPete’s” packing spacers. If you can’t get packing spacers try a piece of all thread and couple of nuts on each side.

        Couple of other things if your mechanically inclined

        1. If your going to be doing hills and flat sections maybe take different cassette to change over as needed.

        2. If you have found the sweet spot with your handle bars, try removing the stem from the top of the fork in lieu of removing the handle bar from the stem. The fork angle doesn’t change but you could end up playing around for a while to get the handle bars back to where you had them. Or as Verita said, take you bikes measurements with you.

        • PlodrPete

          Thanks Rod, I didn’t know you could get a tool to make breaking easier (they can be fiddly!) . Did anyone mention a piece of electrical tape on the seatpost to get the height right without the need to measure?

          • Rod

            Pete, You won’t need the tool to close the link, just put on the rear brake and put a bit of pressure on the pedal to close it up.

    • jules

      torque wrench is completely over-rated. don’t stand on a (allen) wrench to ‘tighten’ a 4mm threaded bolt. the torque is always proportional to thread diameter. you can do this reliably by feel, with a bit of experience.

      • Rod

        I’ll stick to using a Torque wrench and not breaking things.

      • jakub

        There was a test done during one of the bike expos if you can guess the torque by feel. The test included experienced mechanics and if I recall correctly there was only one person who got it right. The variations were huge, so no, it is not over-rated and you simply can’t feel it even if you think so. I would recommend rather spending 50E/USD on decent torque wrench than snapping a thread on your expensive carbon frame.


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