This week’s blog may be somewhat poorly timed, however, in the lead up to Mooloolaba over the weekend (read the race report to hear all about it!) and some other races over the season, I have had lots of requests for a picture of my bike packed up in a bike bag and lots of questions about how to do it. I am in no way an expert (I don’t even own the bike bag I’ve been using – thanks Scotty!) and there are lots of you reading this who have definitely had a great deal more experience in this than I have. However, with all the travelling I’ve done over this past season and having been new to it myself, I thought that maybe this would be a good opportunity to share how I do it and what it looks like.
Each bike bag is different, some have a hard case and some a soft, some require wheels off only, others require handlebars and seats to be removed. I have only used a soft bag (thanks again, Scotty) which only requires the wheels to be taken off so I can only speak to that but here are a few tips:
- The best tip is pool noodles, and not just any old pool noodle, the ones with a hole in the middle. You can then just slice these on one side and they open to snuggly fit around your frame. Now, cover your bike!!
- Bubble wrap, bubble wrap your chain, groupset, derailleur, and any other bits that can’t be protected by pool noodles. Bubble wrap is also great to protect your wheels.
- Don’t forget to deflate your tyres.
- Once your bike is packed, wrap your bike (over the noodles) with wetsuit, towels, and any other similar gear that you are taking.
- The last tip is for canisters, every person you speak to will give you a different answer, including most airlines! I’ve always flown with them in my bike bag and have never been refused but who knows what you will or will not be allowed to do! Your best bet is to have them easily accessible, in a couple of different spots and have a back up plan in case you need to get more at your destination.
If you have any words of wisdom or hot tips for packing up and flying with your bike, please share them with me and we can add them to this page for all to use!