Whether you are travelling abroad or within your country; for a vacation, a business trip or maybe a cycling vacation, you may prefer to bring your bike along. But you might be wondering: how do I pack it? Can you send it using one the cargo services to your destinations? How much will it cost? Will it arrive safely?
Well, there are different means you can use to transport your bike including bringing it along on your flight or transporting it using cargo services. The various methods present their pros and cons. Well, for the investment you have made to get the Best Mountain Bike under 500 or the Best Mountain Bike Under 1000, you want to ensure your bike is safe.
This article will highlight the different methods to travel with your bike, pros and cons of each method and also give a guide on how to park the bike to enable you travel hassle free and enjoy your bike rides at your destination.
Options available to travel with your bike
Bike Shipping companies
Many bike shipping companies offer a safe and convenient way for you to transport your bike. These companies have a business account with a cargo or shipping company that allow them to offer cheaper prices for shipping as opposed to if you shipped through the cargo company directly. Their range of services includes packing and shipping.
To ship your bike with these companies, you will visit their website and fill out a form detailing where you are coming from and your destination, the type of bike, whether you need packing services and the company will provide you with a cost estimate and the estimated time of delivery.
Bike shipping companies provide an option to ship from a bike shop, a cargo company location or they may arrange to pick up the bike. In the destination location, you can pick up your bike or indicate your preferred location where the bike will be delivered.
Bikes on buses
Different bus companies have varying policies on transporting bikes. While some companies allow you to bring your bike along in the cargo area, others allow only if the bike is packed in a box, while others do not allow bikes at all. Enquire with your bus company to see whether they will allow you to bring along your bike.
Bike on train
When travelling on train, check the company’s provisions for transporting bikes. Find out whether you will need to box the bike or whether they offer walk on and walk up services. With walk on services you will walk the bike to the cargo area while with walk up the station attendants will take it to the cargo car. Most short distance and commuter trains do not allow you to bring your bike on board while most long distance trains do allow.
Bikes on airplanes
Travelling with your bike on a plane is more ideal for international travels. Different airlines have different policies on packaging and pricing when transporting bikes. Generally, you will be required to package the bike and check it as a bike. The price will depend on the weight of the bike and the packaging especially if it exceeds the free allowable luggage weight.
Some airlines provide specifications on bike package dimensions; otherwise you will be charged extra. In some airlines, if your bike is small enough to fit in a small box it will not be charged as a bike but rather will be treated as regular luggage.
Bike on your car
If driving to your destination, you could decide to bring your bike along in your car. There are different ways of transporting the bike. The first option is that you could dismantle the bike and pack it up in a box, a bike bag or a bike case and put it in your boot.
Otherwise, there are different bike carrier systems for cars. The carrier systems include roof racks, truck bed racks, trunk racks and hitch racks. The type of carrier system you choose will depend on factors such as the size and weight of the bike, number of bikes, personal preference and budget.
While roof racks are best suited for tandems, hitch racks are best for heavier bikes since they offer sturdiness and have a low mounting height. Trunk racks and truck bed racks are affordable, easy to install and uninstall and can be easily shared between cars. It is important to pad the bike before mounting it to prevent damages from bike to bike contact or bike to car contact. It is also recommended that you strip the bike accessories before loading it on the rack.
Travelling with your bike is becoming easier and more common than before. The aforementioned are some of the ways you can travel with your bike. When choosing which method is appropriate for you, consider factors such as whether your travel is local or international, safety of each method and costs of each method against your budget. Ensure you inspect your bike for any damages upon arrival at your destination.
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