July 18, 2022
You booked your Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventure; you have your flight lined up, and now you need to pack your bike. This is a very important part of your travels. You will be on your bike all week and want to make sure it’s properly secured so nothing ends up broke or bent upon your arrival. We are going to help you prepare your mountain or gravel bike for takeoff.
Prepping Your Bike for Travel:
Gather everything you will need before getting started. Tools, bike box, bike, and packing materials.
Make sure your bike is clean.
Pack extra supplies – sealant, tubes, snacks, tools, brake pads, hangar, zip ties, ect. Whatever you think you may not have access to when you reach your destination.
Remove the following:
- Wheels – deflate to 10 PSI. Make sure to insert spacers between pads once wheel is removed so calipers don’t get pushed out
- Disc Rotors to ensure a better chance of arriving true
- Bottle Cage
- Seat Post (dropper down)
- Dérailleur — this increases the likelihood the dropouts won’t get bent
- It’s important to protect where parts touch parts. A common way to damage a frame is to pack the wheel in the back and the cassette or hub end caps are touching carbon fiber frame material slowly grinding away the material every time it’s shifted in flight. Spend the time to wrap your frame, forks, handlebars, cranks, etc. with closed cell foam, bubble wrap or something similar. Many MTB bags have built in pads that work great
Make sure you secure the following:
- Seatpost (if removed)
- All accessories
Pro Tips for Traveling with Your Bike:
- Don’t pack your helmet in your bike bag, snap it to your carry-on. Helmets frequently are cracked when packed with the bike.
- When handling rotors and pads, make certain not to touch with bare hands and allow any contamination of greases and oils. Use clean towels to keep the rotors clean.
- Always make sure if a wheel is removed for the packing, there is an axle/frame brake in both the rear and fork dropouts. Without the bracing, frame and forks don’t stand a chance.
- Wheels should go into a wheel bag for added protection.
- Carboard is cheap to acquire but should not be used more than 2 times max. Finding a bag that fits your bike is expensive up front but both considerably easier to pack but also designed to protect the most sensitive components.
- A 30 lb MTB in a bag with your ride gear will quickly go over the luggage weight for bikes. Most airlines limit your checked bike to 50lbs or 23kg. Pack your ride shoes near the top so if you are over by a small amount you have a couple pounds to remove when checking-in. You can always tie them to your carry on.
- If you can keep your tools in your checked luggage (bike or other) that is highly recommended incase the security check doesn’t allow in carry on.
- Leave your CO2 cartridges at home, you can not fly with them.
- Make sure everything in the bike bag or box is secured. Take pictures. Close it up. Shake it. If you hear anything moving, make adjustments, and repeat until everything is fully secure.
- Put your name and conact information in many places in and outside of the packed bag.
Bike bag and case options:
There are many options on the market. Our favorites are the EVOC (most popular), Dakine (EVOC quality for less $$$), and The Chain Reaction (best deal).
Have questions about getting your bike packed or what bag/case to purchase? Reach out to us at Ride@sacredrides.com.