Australian Mountain Bike - - Tested -

Al­ways, al­ways, al­ways check your bag­gage al­lowance and watch for those ex­tra bike han­dling fees that have snuck into bud­get air­line poli­cies over the last year. Ouch! It’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to travel with one checked bag - your bike bag. Di­vide your clothes and other lug­gage into smaller green shop­ping bags, tie up tight, and dis­trib­ute through­out your bike bag. If you don’t have lug­gage scales or bike scales, use bath­room scales while you hold the bike bag and then sub­tract your weight. Don’t bother muck­ing about with elec­tri­cal tape. Save big elas­tic bands from your mail and use them to at­tach bub­ble wrap to your bike’s vul­ner­a­ble spots, like shifters and levers, and rear de­railleur. Vel­cro straps like Lead Out Sports’ Back­coun­try Re­search strap ( lead­out­sports. com) are also very useful. Noth­ing sucks more than ar­riv­ing with brakes that are stuck. If you don’t have disc chocks, a piece of stiff card­board will do. You can buy foam camp­ing mats from Kmart/Tar­get etc for a few bucks. Wrap one over your frame in­side the bag for added pro­tec­tion. Pack the heav­i­est items in the bot­tom of your bag, and try to se­cure them to some­thing like the bag frame (the Scicon gear bag works a treat). To de­flate or not de­flate? Most moun­tain bik­ers run tyre pres­sures low enough that pres­sure changes in flight will have lit­tle im­pact. As for shocks, the an­swer is, it de­pends. If you’re a big unit and run high pres­sures, de­flate them to be on the safe side, and don’t for­get to pack your shock pump.

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