There’s something magical about traveling around the world. For many, it is the ultimate expression of individuality and freedom to be able to visit anywhere their heart desires. Others treat it as a deeply humbling experience, having the privilege of experiencing all the amazing things that the various cultures around the world have to offer. The reasons may vary – the excitement does not.
Bear in mind that visiting some places is next to impossible without a personal transportation system. As such, taking your bicycle with you can be a good choice when traveling to more inaccessible locations. Do remember, however, that there are some guidelines for traveling with a bike without any issues, including purchasing a quality mountain bike, getting yourself a proper bike bag, looking for long-range transportation with lower baggage fees, using zip ties when packing your bike, and buying a heavy-duty bike lock. Read on and master the art of traveling with a bike!
Even if you’re only using your bike for recreational purposes, it is vital to invest in a high-quality bike, and it is especially true if you intend to travel with it. A good-quality mountain bike will not only be able to withstand the rigors of any trip but also have better properties to help you along the way. Moreover, investing in a high-quality bike can help you avoid spending extra money on repairs and maintenance.
The truth is that investing in a good mountain bike can be expensive. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a cheap product. You should instead spend several days researching the best mountain bikes under 200 (or whatever your budget is), looking for an affordable model that ticks all the boxes for you. Go for a sturdy frame, wide tires, and disc brakes – these are some of the essential features to look for when purchasing a bicycle for traveling purposes.
This is perhaps the most important tip in this article! Most airlines will make you pay an additional fee if your luggage is shoddily packed. The same applies to bicycles. Some carriers may even refuse to transport your bike altogether, or it will get damaged during the flight with no chance for you to get compensation. To avoid such problems, consider investing in a bike bag.
Bike bags are different from regular luggage in that they are specifically designed to protect your bike during travel. They are made from padded materials and feature straps that allow you to tie the bag securely to your frame and handlebars. Many models also feature rubberized inner linings that make for excellent shock absorbers against sudden bumps and vibrations.
Although there is no standard size for bike bags, most are designed to accommodate 26”-29” bikes. The price range is also vast, depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the bag itself. We highly recommend buying one that comes with a multi-year warranty, is water-resistant, and features reflective piping on its external seams.
The annoying thing when traveling with a bike is paying enormous baggage fees because you chose to take your beloved two wheels with you. If you’re flying with an airline, you should look into their policies before buying a ticket. Some carriers may not transport bikes at all, while others may charge an additional fee for every piece of luggage you bring on board. As such, you should always check airline policies regarding the transportation of your bike before purchasing your ticket!
The same goes for traveling by train. For instance, some trains may not carry bikes at all while others may require a special seat reservation for bikes. When driving or taking the bus, you should check whether your bike will fit into the vehicle’s trunk or under the bus seats.
When it comes to packing your bike, one of the most common mistakes people make is using too much tape in order to prevent it from getting damaged during transit. However, if your bike is properly packed in a high-quality bag, there’s no need to secure it so tightly to your frame! In fact, doing so may cause damage to your frame or fork, especially if there are lots of bumps or vibrations on the way.
It’s better to invest in a good number of zip ties – preferably plastic ones – and use them around the bag straps and frame tubes. Add more zip ties than necessary just to be sure and loosen them slightly so that they don’t cut into the frame tubes too much.
Finally, don’t forget to buy a heavy-duty bicycle lock! Make sure it’s strong and of high quality. Use it whenever you leave your bike unattended. However, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave your bike outside overnight – surely not at airports or train stations.
Moreover, avoid using big locks (e.g. U-locks) as they tend to rub against the tires and can cause them to deflate over time.
There you have it, the ultimate guide to traveling with a bike. If you want to travel the world but worry about getting your bike along with you, this list will surely help! Hopefully, you’ll be able to visit all your favorite places soon – wherever they may be.
Taking your bike with you when you travel can be a great way to get around some of the more inaccessible locations. However, you should always do so properly and not let any mistakes ruin your trip!
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