As summer is just few steps ahead, today, we show you how to disassemble a bike and take it with us on long-range trips. Here, we assess the solutions, the equipment, and the step by step operations to safely transport our beloved bike on a plane.
What should you use to pack your bike for air travel?
The solutions are many and discussed among cyclists. There are those who would not shift the bike from the cellar after it has been placed in a very expensive ad hoc bag, and it is restricted with adhesive tape to prevent it from moving. So, what are the criteria to follow? First, you have to go on the airline and check the transport rules site. There are companies that specifically require the infusion bag or cardboard (like Ryanair) and others that ask only that the bike is packed with film. This is important because it is always possible that you see denied boarding bike at check-in if not packed according to the rules, so it is always best to follow the rules.
However, there are pros and cons of the different packaging solutions:
- Film is comfortable, easily purchased at any hardware store. It allows you to do everything yourself and still offers decent protection. Also, it can be removed easily at the destination’s airport, throw it in the trash, and start the cycling tour. You can also opt for the plastic wrap used in the kitchen, although it breaks more easily.
- Cardboard: it is a corrugated cardboard box specially designed for bicycles (usually called “BikeGuard”). Being rigid, it offers considerably more protection than simple film. I usually wrap the bike and then I put it in the carton. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find, as shop owners usually throw them away to save space. You could try to ask few days before your travel date; maybe they can keep one for you.
- Bag or Hard Case: it offers total protection of the bikes and a quick and practical organization system. Cons are the high cost and size. It is the solution for those with a place available to keep it during the cycling tour, as it’s impossible to carry it during the journey.
In this article, we look at the most common method used by cyclists to disassemble the bike and pack for air transport: packaging with foil and placing in a cardboard box.
Packing a bike for transportation by air is a task of medium difficulty that can take 15 to 45 minutes, based on the complexity of the bike (disassembling a bike with racks and bags is more laborious).
The equipment is as follows:
- Multitool: to dismantle the components. You can use the keys suitable for the screws of your bike;
- Pipe Clamps Ties: classic electrician ties. They are used to tie together the components;
- Shrink Packing: to wrap the bicycle. Traditional film used in the kitchen works well, taking care not to pull too much, because it breaks more easily;
- Pieces of Cardboard or Plastic: to be used to rest between components.
- Scotch Packaging: the classic brown;
- Pluriball: to protect the most fragile components, such as rear derailleur, brake levers, etc.;
Packing a bike for the plane:
- Remove the wheels
- Remove pedals or turn inwards if possible
- Protect the crank set
- Remove the front derailleur
- Attach the front and rear wheel to the frame using plastic cable ties. In this way, the frame and route will be secured together.
- Wrap everything with film
If required by airline’s rules, insert the bike in cardboard and seal it all with packing tape (the brown one).
We have seen how to pack a bike for aircraft safely to travel without worries. Now, all that remains is to reach the destination, remove the packaging, mount the bike, and leave for your new venture.
Happy cycling with Efix’s Ride Sardinia!