#rockytrailguide: 5 Tips on How to Travel with your bike

Dare to do it!

Be an interstate #rockytrailracer!

I’ve been travelling with my bike to so many amazing places and if you haven’t yet, start venturing to the many amazing venues we have on our calendar for you! Rocky Trail is now racing along the entire East Coast of Australia – come and discover those awesome mountain bike trails and amazing towns and regions with us!

Race and Explore!

We are so proud of the many destination partners that have come on board with our events and you can find a “Destination Guide for #rockytrailracers” for those on our blog! Time to start planning your upcoming weekends on ‘rocky trails’ with us!

We always connect with the local tourism and business community, so check the Destination Guides for what else is on in the region when our race is in town and there are usually accommodation and local business offers for #rockytrailracers too!

Plus, do check out our #rockytrailracer rewards program for our outright Accommodation Partners!

And then the packing begins…

Check all baggage details with your airline

I recommend you check what kind of bike travel regulations your airline has. It’s mostly about oversized luggage allowance and potentially being able to pre-purchase additional luggage. Also be mindful, that your bike will have to be prepared for air travel (see next section).

Here are links to the information from major airlines currently flying within Australia and to NZ:

Get yourself a good bike bag/case

Nothing is worse than hauling a cardboard box through the airport (believe me, been there, done that!). There are quite a lot of bike bags with wheels and straps on the market – in fact, I’ve come across cardboard boxes with a wheel-set up too.

Says Imogen Smith for the AMB Magazine, “The nightmare of travelling with your bike can actually be less than the nightmare of trying to have fun on trails on a clapped out rental bike.” – Check out her comprehensive guide on some luggage options to make the experience a little more pleasureable. Read more…

How to pack your bike for air travel

The main things to look out for are:

  • Protect the bike from itself, so that you reduce any rubbing, knocking or any external forces.
  • Reduce the number of loose items that can be forgotten/lost
  • Think about when you have to assemble it again – keep measurements for seat posts etc.

I always make sure that I have a clean bike to pack up, not only does it make it easier to assemble the bike (potentially in a hotel room setting) later, but certain destinations will be very strict on biohazards too.

Then I take the pedals off, make sure you pack the right allen keys and store the pedals appropriately (not loosely).

Next I take off the handlebar by removing the bolds (and any washers) so that the handlebar hangs limply by the brake/shifter cables. Either keep the clamp and bolts safely or put them back on, but only thread them about half-way.

Next I sort out the seat post – I don’t have a dropper post, if you do, that should be compressed to its shortest setting.

Then the wheels come off and then they are stored in the bike bag/box. Be mindful of taking most of the air out of your tyres, which most airlines require you to do, I leave a bit in to protect the rims. Don’t worry about the shocks.

I also remove the brake rotors from the wheels to avoid them bending, I usually pack it up separately and put the bolts back into the wheel so I don’t loose them.

Then the rear derailleur – I simply undo it and let in hang loosely. I wrap it in a rag or bubble wrap.

I’ve been travelling with a Jetblack Bike Bag for years and it fits my bike, tyres and I fill it up with gels and cleaning equipment if I have spare kg’s on the ticket. I secure all the parts with internal straps, and protective padding. I never travel without my own floor pump. It doesn’t weigh a lot and is very convenient when assembling the bike at the other end.

Do you have any questions?

Talk to us via our online chat – click on the orange circle symbol on your bottom right screen corner and we’ll be right with you! (We always love talking bikes, racing and riding!)

Martin Wisata
Martin Wisata

This is an update from Rocky Trail’s Founder and Race Director. Find out more about the team: