A foldable bicycle is one of the best presents that you can get an enthusiast cyclist. This is because this is not just any other bicycle but a bicycle that has been designed for easy travel by whichever means you may choose to use. The normal type of bicycles can also be disassembled if you wish to transport them, but they will cost you a lot of your precious time. And even after managing to do that, they will still need a lot of space for packing.
Also keep in mind that since the foldable bicycles were made to ease your transportation problems, they are made from materials that make them lighter than the normal bicycles.
If you are thinking of bringing your folding bike along with you while traveling, here are some tips for you. In this article we will discuss important things you should be aware of when packing and carrying your folding bike on planes.
Understand the airline regulations
It is for these reasons that flying with a foldable bike can be reduced to nothing short of any other trip. Although most airlines have regulations that limit what you carry and how you do it, most of these regulations will not limit you from carrying your bicycle with you whenever you decide to take a flight.
Most of the baggage regulations will always linger about the type of luggage, their weight and size and if all of these configure to their rules, they will always be at ease with you.
Concerning the weight of your bicycle, different airlines have different baggage weight limits. Keep in mind that they will always consider the total weight of your baggage, if you have any other luggage. You should therefore ensure that you don’t exceed the maximum limit and if you plan to, be ready to face the extra charges.
The size of your package after folding the bicycle is also a matter of concern. Many a times, this will be dependent on the size of the bicycle wheels since these are some of the few components that you cannot fold. I however know of some people who have flown with as big as 29” wheeled bicycles, which means that with the right packaging, this also should be nothing to worry about.
Secure and pack well
After ensuring that you know and understand all the rules regarding transportation of bicycles from the airline you expect to use, it is now time to get to the elephant in the room which is folding of the bicycle itself.
There is no specific formula of doing this and you can do it the way you wish but keep in mind that your main objective is to make the bike look as compact as possible and do away with any movements within the package itself. The reason why you should get your bike to be as compact as possible is to reduce the size of the package to the minimum of course for your own comfort and also to avoid setting off any alarms since there are some airlines that take note of that especially if you expect to fly with the small aircrafts.
Securing any moving parts ensures that the bicycle parts do not rub against each other or against the packaging material an action that can result to wearing out of some parts or tearing of the package materials. The wheels and the sprockets are some of these parts. You can choose to be more cautious by adding a cushioning material between any metal parts that may rub against each other.
To protect the packaging material and the baggage handlers, it is also important to safely position parts which may cause such harm. These include the handlebars, the seat post and the pedals among others. You should also ensure that you have a way of protecting the delicate parts of your bicycle like the gearing system. One of the ways of doing this is by loosening it up by ensuring the bike is in the lowest possible gear. Lastly, always remember to deflate the bicycle tires because if deflated, the aircraft compression and decompression cycles can cause them to burst.
Packaging of the bicycle is as important as folding it. Once again, there is no standard packaging material but you can improvise from whatever you have. Whether you choose a bag or a box just ensure that it is strong enough for the task. It is always good to let the baggage handlers to know what you have packed there so that they may treat it with caution but if you don’t intend to, just remember to indicate that that is a fragile package.