How to Fly with a Bike the Cheap and Easy Method
If you are planning to travel overseas for either a cycling competition or on vacation with your bike, at one point, your bike will be on a plane and the thought of how to take it on the plane as baggage can be gut wrenching. In addition to the fees charged by different airlines, there is the issue of packing and unpacking the bike. You have to source for packaging materials and make sure your bike is protected during transit.
Perhaps, you have traveled with your bike before, and you had to remove every single piece and wrap it. The entire process is extremely tedious, time consuming and stressful. So you are wondering if you can fly with a bike using a cheap and easy method. Yes, you can. You don’t have to spend huge sums of money to go on a cycling holiday with family. You can use very little and yet enjoy what professional bike riders experience.
The first step to flying with your bike cheaply and easily is by purchasing the best budget mountain bike. You may have thought that hiring a bike from an individual, or a bike shop is cheap and even decided to do so. The truth is, renting a bike is normally more expensive than some of the best mountain bikes that you would otherwise purchase. Don’t be surprised to get the best mountain bike under 500 or even less. Owning one will be a sigh of relief, such that should it get a slight damage, no one will be on your neck demanding for a new bike. But of course, renting is still an option if you’re still planning to purchase a new bike yet you need to cycle.
Once you have the bike with you, the worry now is what you are going to use to pack your bike.You want a packaging that is not expensive and one that will guarantee protection for your bike. There are many options, and each of them has its advantages and disadvantages although nothing is fool-proof.
However, among the many ways of transporting your bike some are expensive, and others cheap. Well, since you want to fly with a bike the cheap and easy method, the following two bike packaging methods are an excellent choice.
This is probably the cheapest way of transporting your bike. Cardboard boxes are normally available for very little to no cost. The box is light meaning you won’t pay the extra fees airlines charge for additional weight; the cardboard is easily stacked and gives room for storing other equipment. If stored well and carefully, you can recycle it after the trip.
Plastic Bike Bag
Following the cardboard box is the plastic bike bags. These are normally inexpensive, and you can make your own, and thus reduce the cost even further if you don’t want to buy from the retailers. For purchase, check out the CTC plastic bike bags. They normally cost $13.50 though slight variations may occur. The advantages of these bike bags, other than being inexpensive, are that it’s easy to pack your bike in, they are simple and make the baggage handlers handle the bike with more care because they can see it is a bike.
When compared, plastic bike bags are normally better than cardboard boxes because when someone can see the luggage is a bike, they will not stack several suitcases over it, unlike the cardboard box. Besides, when it comes to packaging your bike, it’s easy to pack it in a plastic bike bag than in a cardboard box because you will not have to remove most of the pieces.
You only remove the pedals and the rear derailleur from the main frame to prevent the frame from getting damaged. The only other thing you are required to do when using a plastic bike bag is to turn the bikes handlebar parallel to the frame, to ensure the front wheel is secured from flopping about and to secure the bag top with a heavy tape after folding it.
Survival of the bike considering the two packaging methods
Your bike’s survival seems to be more guaranteed when packed in a plastic bike bag. However, if handled with care, you can safely transport your bike in a cardboard box. Nothing is damage proof, but when you consider the time and the effort you’ll put in when packing and unpacking, the plastic bike bag reigns supreme. As usual, always make sure you have checked with your airline because different airlines have different regulations.
If you have always thought traveling with a bike has to be hectic, this is good news. You can fly with a bike the cheap and easy method and experience what those skilled cyclists do when cycling overseas.