If you’ve ever dreamed about touring through the mountains of France or spending a week biking the trails in Whistler, you probably thought about whether or not you can fly with a bike. The answer is yes! Use my step-by-step instructions on how to bullet proof your bike for traveling on a plane.
What you will need
- Bike Case. I am using Thule RoundTrip Sport (link).
- Pedal wrench or hex key.
- 2 x Dropout Spacers (link).
- Pipe Insulation tube. Home depot is a place to go (link).
- Bubble Wrap. Home Depot (link).
- 4 x long Zip Ties.
- Painters Tape.
- Large Freezer Bags.
- 1 Hour of Time.
Optional: coffee, sound speakers, gloves.
1. Remove pedals.
Use a pedal wrench or hex key to unscrew the pedals from the crank arms. Rightpedals loosen by turning counter-clockwise, left pedals loosen clockwise. Applybike grease to the new pedals and screw them in at an even 90 degree angle. Right pedals tighten by turning clockwise, left pedals tighten counter-clockwise.
2. Place chain onto the large chain ring at crank.
3. Move rear derailleur to smallest ring on the rear cassette.
4. Position crank arms to 3 & 9 O’Clock
5. Remove Wheels. Let all the air out.
6. Insert the spacers into front and rear forks. (To prevent compression damage)
7. Apply the Pipe Tube to chain stay.
8. Place and fully tighten the first zip tie near the front derailleur.
9. Pull chain towards the crank to move the rear derailleur forward. Place and tighten zip tie over the lower pulley as shown. (Zip tie is between two pulleys)
10. Remove the Seat Post.
Marking the seat post and handle bars positions will save you a lot of time when you put the bike back together.
11. Close Shut Both Brake Levers.
Note: DO NOT shut the brake levers is you have disk brakes.
12. Remove Handle Bars.
Take the bolts on the headset out and pull the handlebars off. Leave all the cables attached. Put the headset back together when the handlebars are removed to ensure all the pieces are there.
13. Place the Wheels in the Box (Cassette facing up).
Place the bubble wrap in between the wheels to prevent damage.
14. Place plastic shield over the wheels (the larger hole should be positioned over the cog set). Place one layer of foam over plastic shield.
15. Place the Bike Frame onto the foam layer.
|Depending on your frame style you may need to either loosen handlebars and position along the top tube or remove handlebars completely and position along the fork. |
16. Place the Tools, Shoes and Nutrition (if you take any) into Freezer Bags.
17. Wrap your Helmet. Place it in Box.
18. Place Plastic Bags and Water Bottles into space between the frame.
19. Lay second foam sheet over frame. Make sure no bicycle parts are touching sides of case.
Close the Box. Tighten the Stripes.
Note: don’t forget your Pooch