Having your bike with you on holiday is a brilliant way to experience your destination. It may feel daunting, taking your prized bicycle with you on a trip, but rest assured, prepping your bike for travel should not stop you from booking an amazing cycling holiday. Find out how to transport your bike by plane, train or car in the best way possible.
Before you get to the airport, check your airline's rules for flying with a bike. Some airlines count them as a piece of luggage, regardless of dimension, and some airlines have a fee for sports equipment.
It’s best to check and purchase any extra baggage you need before check-in. As a rule of thumb, most low-cost airlines will ask you to pay extra for sports equipment and this will typically cost between 50-100 GBP/EUR per flight. Check out the policies of key airlines below.
Airlines require bikes to be packaged for travel. This can be in a purpose-made bike bag, or a cardboard box. Take the wheels off and let the air out of the tyres, and turn your handlebars 90 degrees for a great fit in a cardboard box. Remove the pedals to slim down the width. Pad it out with styrofoam tubing, or put all your extra clothes and bike accessories in with it. A lot of local bike shops will package your bike for you for a small fee, if you feel like you want a pro to do it.
Trains are a fantastic, eco-friendly and convenient way to get around. The majority of train carriers across Europe and the UK will have designated places for bikes on the trains, so there’s no need to package them up or do any prep work. Just check with your train company as sometimes you need to pre-book bicycle rack spots.
In some super cycle-friendly countries (ahem.. the Netherlands) there are full cars on trains just for bikes. Bring a lock for extra safety and security. Also make sure you remove any small parts like cycling computers or water bottles before you store it.
Travelling by car? Well, you have a few options for carrying your bike. You can buy a ‘clip on clip off’ rear rack that will attach to your boot. If you want a more permanent solution, roof racks are a good choice, and can hold multiple bikes. Of course, if you have a bigger car you can often just pop the front wheel off the bike and throw the whole thing in the back. Bring a blanket to cover it, and make sure you don’t leave a bike on the outside of your car unsecured.
Support and useful information