AMB’S TOP BIKE TRAVEL TIPS
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.