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Bikes on a Plane

woodyonthebeachwoodyonthebeach Posts: 583
edited April 2013 in Holidays
Herro,

Looking for a bit of advice on taking my MTB on a plane.

I am going on holiday in June to Hungary and will be taking my MTB with me. I have bought the following bike bag from wiggle (http://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-elsted-wheeled-bike-bag/). Which has some pretty good reviews.

Is there anything I should bare in mind when packing the bag, or adding additional padding to certain parts of the bag to protect the bike on top what is already

Are there things that I should remove from bike? apart from the obvious. (removing wheels, deflating tyres, removing wheel skewers, lowering saddle....)

The bike I will be taking had Hydraulic Disk Brakes. Will I need to do anything additional to them to prepare them for a flight, I still have the shims that were provided when I bought the bike originally so will be sticking those in as I normally do when removing the wheels to transport it anywhere. Also the same with the Suspension fork, should I lock the fork out.

Also in regards to insurance will normal holiday insurance cover any damage done to the bike whilst in transit or will I need to get something specific if so do you have any suggestions.

Thank you for any help/advice in advance

Woody
The doctor said I needed to start drinking more whiskey. Also, I’m calling myself ‘the doctor’ now

Posts

  • Not all the answers but a good start.

    1. Put the bike onto the biggest rings front and back. Leave the bike with the left crank pointing straight forward. Zip-tie the right crank to the chainstay, so it will not turn.
    2. Take off pedals (left pedal has a reverse thread so turn the spanner clockwise for this one), remove saddle and seatpost from the frame, take off racks or mudguards (not needed).
    3. Take off the front wheel and remove the axel skewer/quick release pin, which should be wrapped in paper and immediately taped to your seatpost, or put in your hand luggage, to make sure it’s not forgotten. Deflate both tyres about half way, still leaving some pressure in to protect the rims.
    4. Remove your handlebars by undoing the allen bolts on the front of the stem. You should be able to remove the bars and twist them round so they slot down beside the bike, on the gear side. If you cannot, you’ll have to unslot the brake and gear cables. To do this, click into the easiest gears front and back to generate slack, then pull all cables out of their slots. Undo back brakes and pull out of the slots. With the brake and gear cables out of their slots you should be able to place the bars on the floor easily. Now, turn the forks backwards.
    5. Lie the bike on its gear side, then take your front wheel and slip the left crank through one side of its spokes so that it sits flush against the left side of the bike, making sure the hub is not against any part of the frame (otherwise it will dent it).
    6. With 2 zip ties (or any luggage straps) attach the wheel to the top tube and the main diagonal down tube quite tightly, but not so as to make the bottom of the wheel stick out.
    The idea is to keep the wheel snug to the frame so it fits the box easily, and keeps the wheel in place so that the hub cannot move and damage the frame.
    7. Raise up your bike and slide into the box. If this looks to be difficult put a crease in the front and back ends of the box, as this effectively lengthens it by about 20cm.
    8. Strap the handlebars on top of the bike, or on the gear side. Here it is often worth adjusting any bar ends so that they prevent the box from being squashed sideways.
    Some people may also need to level off their brake/gear levers to keep them out of harm’s way. REMEMBER - don’t fasten any of these too tightly as its better they move under impact than brake or damage your handlebars.
    9. You can slip your saddle, wrapped in card or bubble wrap, into the back of the box.
    Pedals are best kept with your main luggage. Now close and tape up the box.
    10.The best way to secure a box is with luggage straps, easily purchased from Halfords.
    These are stronger than tape, can be re-used, and you can tie a loop into them to make carriage easier. The added benefit of this is that baggage handlers have something to carry the box with otherwise they can punch a hole in the side without any regard for the contents.

    An Easy Alternative is to ask your local bike shop to do it for you – just give them a few weeks notice.

    Rich https://cycleactive.com/
  • YacobyYacoby Posts: 211
    Is there anything I should bare in mind when packing the bag, or adding additional padding to certain parts of the bag to protect the bike on top what is already

    Spacers for the fork and rear triangle. You don't need it for the fork if you have maxle. I just used an old rear hub.

    Also, one thing to watch is taping your bars to your downtube. I know someone who dented their frame. Maybe some padding between them. I was paranoid, so got some pipe lagging and taped it to the frame, forks, etc. Basically my entire bike. I then padded the bag out with cardboard to make it more ridged.
    Are there things that I should remove from bike? apart from the obvious. (removing wheels, deflating tyres, removing wheel skewers, lowering saddle....)
    Rear mech off is a key one. (I left it taped in the rear triangle)

    Chainring on outer ring.

    Discs off may also help. They tend to get bent quite easily.

    I didn't deflate my tires much. I just said I did. I don't know if it mattered but my view was that they would give more protection to the rim.
    Also in regards to insurance will normal holiday insurance cover any damage done to the bike whilst in transit or will I need to get something specific if so do you have any suggestions.
    Depends on insurance I would assume. No idea, I just tend to make sure my insurance does.

    If you are worried though make sure you give your bike a checkover before leaving the airport. The last company I went with required a carrier report if it got damaged in transit.
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