By: Lynne Lowry is a cycling enthusiast and Co-Founder of X-BodyTech
I finally did it….I decided to travel to Kauai with my road bike. I have frequently considered traveling with my road bike, but I was always concerned that it would be too hard dismantling my bike or reassembling once I arrived or that it was simply not worth the risk of possible damage to my bike. Although there are always going to be inherent risks of damage to checked baggage, my experience traveling with my bike has been positive. Here are a few tips and suggestions to make traveling with your bike a positive experience.
1. Invest in a good lightweight bike bag. There are a number of options available. After some investigation, I chose the Evoc Bike Travel Pro, which retails around $475.00-$500.00. There are many other less expensive options available, but for me this bag was worth the investment to protect my bike for many trips to come. What really made this bag stand out, in addition to the protection, was it’s weight. Even when I added other items to the bag, I was well under the 50lb limit of a checked bag. I can assure you that I am not a bike mechanic and limit myself to flat tire changes and minor adjustments on my bike, so I was really impressed with how easy it was to dismantle my bike to fit in the bag. I had to remove 4 things to fit my bike in the bag.
If your uncomfortable with the thought of taking apart your bike and putting it back together again, do a dry run the week before and consult with your local bike mechanic is you have any issues. It gets easier and faster every time. Additionally, this bag is a soft bag so it breaks down when you get home to store easily. If interested, please check out this video Video from PUSHYS to see how easy it is to take your bike apart and securely pack your bike.
2. Consider how much you plan to ride to determine if traveling with your bike is worth the effort. I have provided some of my considerations below.
3. Connect with riders via Facebook and Strava to find out the best routes and get recommendations. You may also be able to find/join group rides nearby.
4. Check your airline carriers website to determine additional charges for checking a bike to your destination. When possible, I always prefer a direct flight. Additional costs range from $0 to $100 for shipment depending on the airline or your status with the airline.
5. Have fun, be safe, follow the rules of the road, and explore all the sights and sounds on your bike.
Lynne Lowry is a cycling enthusiast and Co-Founder of X-BodyTech
Julia Priest is an endurance sports coach at Carmichael Training Systems and Co-Founder of X-bodytech.