Everything You Need to Know About Traveling Abroad with your Bike
I've never seen people have so many questions as when they want to travel abroad with their bikes. For many, traveling abroad with their bike allows them the opportunity to explore like never before. Here is everything you'll need to know about traveling with your bike abroad.
The very first step, before proceeding forward, is to rigorously check with the airline companies to make sure that you can in face bring a bike with you on the plane. Some airlines allow you to replace a regular checked bag with a bicycle, some make you pay extra, and other won't allow bikes at all.
The next step to traveling with your bike is also very important. Make sure to have your bike in good condition before you start to pack. Get a thorough service of the bike done prior to packing it away. This will give you more opportunity to enjoy riding your bike and less time worrying about something going wrong. If you want to avoid the hassle of breaking down your bike to shipment, many local bike shops will actually pack it for you.
Of course as with any bike rider there could be a number of problems when you're out riding. Make sure to bring a toolkit, spare tubes and tires, and other necessary equipment for your ride.
There are three main options for traveling with your bike: a bike box, a bike bag, and a cardboard box.
1) The Bike Box is a hard case box designed specifically to carry a bike. The layout of the box allows the bike to be stored in an extremely safe, eliminating most of the risk of your bike potentially getting damaged. The Bike Box does take up the most room out all shipment options.
You do get what you pay for, however, at $741, the Bike Box is not cheap and I only really recommend it for those traveling a lot with their bike.
2) A Bike Bag is a soft case for road bikes. The bag itself is lighter, cheaper, and less spacious than the bike box. However, these benefits all come at the cost of there being a higher risk of the bike being damaged during transport. You can always add extra bubble rap to the bag for extra protection.
The bike bag is the most popular among everyday cyclists who travel. A decent bag costs around $200-$500 depending on the quality and robustness. I would recommend staying on the higher end of the spectrum of price, unless of course a nice bag is on sale.
I would recommend the Evoc Bike Travel Bag 280L 2014 which is being sold by Merlin for just under $400.
3) A Cardboard Box is definitely the most cost effective way to travel with your bike. The cardboard box used is the same kind of box that the bike is shipped in to your local bike shop. Most LBSs will just give you a box to use, and some will even pack the bike for you!
I suggest using lots and lots of bubble wrap while packing your bike into a cardboard box. For more information just watch the video!