If you intend to travel away from home, whether inside your nation or overseas, consider how to transport your bike. How will you transport your stuff, bike, and, of course, yourself to your starting point and back?
If you pick a loop, you will not have such logistical challenges. You can drive to the start of your trip and leave your vehicle in a secure location until your return. However, not all routes are loops; you should not limit yourself to only loops.
If you’re going to fly to your departure location, you could fly with your bike. Most flights will accept motorcycles, albeit the requirements vary from airline to airline. Flying for a full-size bike will cost you roughly $150. Most airlines additionally require that your bike be packaged or placed in a carrier.
Here is a list of major airlines that will accept bikes as baggage if you are traveling with them:
- American Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
Flying with your Bike
Suppose your bike folds up small enough, like in the case of Brompton and Bike Friday, you may escape the expenditures associated with fantastic items. This is fantastic news for those of you on a limited budget!
Another alternative to consider is the transportation of your bike, broken down and sent in a specific case. This is an excellent choice for a conventional frame equipped with S&S couplers.
Couplers may be supplied as an option by the manufacturer of your bike. Co-Motion Cycles is one firm that now provides this service. S&S couplers can be adapted to other frames.
Traveling By Train
Traveling throughout the United States by rail with your bike is limited, especially compared to other places such as Europe. However, it is still an option to consider moving your bike before travel.
Carry-on bike service is available on some Amtrak routes, for example. When utilizing a bike box on other Amtrak routes, you may check your bike for $10, like checked baggage.
This service is only available for bike crates weighing up to 50 pounds and meeting specific dimensions. If you’re wondering where to get a bike box, the good news is that they’re widely accessible and only $15. Adventure Cycling is now a member of the Amtrak Bicycle Task Force, which is trying to extend its services for transporting bikes on trains.
If your journey brings you to Europe, you must follow certain restrictions when transferring your bike on trains. If you stick to local lines and slower trains, you can usually ride your bike without disassembling it.
If you wish to ride your bike on high-speed trains throughout Europe, you must reserve a bike box when you purchase your ticket.
Shipping Your Bike
Another option is shipping your bike. This is a terrific technique to avoid dealing with a large box at the train station or airport. When you mail your bike ahead of time, you can utilize it for traveling instead of relying on bike rentals when you arrive.
It’s not fast or inexpensive, but it’s a safe way to get your bike to your starting point. FedEx and UPS will send your bike for you, but you must use a bike crate. If you select FedEx as your courier, your bike will be insured; this is not true if you use UPS.
When you pick FedEx or UPS to mail your bike, it may be sent locally and abroad. Bikeflights will pick up your bike from your home and provide you with a crate for delivery (at an extra fee). Visit their website for a wealth of information about shipping your bike locally or overseas.
As an adventure cycling member, you will enjoy a 10% discount on bike cases and crates. When you select Shipbikes as your carrier, you will discover that they work similarly to Bikeflights. You have two options:
- Arrange a pickup from your home.
- Purchase a box from them.
- Drop it off at a FedEx station near you.
Travel Cases for Your Bike
Bike cases, both soft and hard shells, are commonly available, with costs starting at about $300. Buying a box and investing this money, on the other hand, is only feasible if you plan to start and end your tour in the same region and have somewhere to store it; otherwise, you will be faced with the dilemma of how to deliver your box to your final destination!
If you insist on buying a box for your bike, a hard-shell case will provide significantly more protection than a soft-shell container. However, hard-shell cases can be pretty hefty, which might result in additional costs, whether traveling with your bike or taking it on trains across the United States.
Shipping with your Local Bike Shop
If you want to keep your bike and box under 50 pounds, a soft-shell case will give you enough protection without adding extra weight. A soft-shell case will be composed of tear-resistant, durable fabric with extra molded plastic protection where your bike needs it the most. When not in use, a soft-shell box for your box is more accessible to store than a hard-shell box.
Finally, the sort of bike box you select should be the one that best meets your demands and budget. Remember that soft-shell boxes are ideal for shipping since they are lightweight and easy to store.
When transporting huge things, the costs constantly rise as the weight increases. This is another reason to avoid using hard-shell boxes when shipping by air or train. The bike crates shipping firms offer are inexpensive and enough for your needs.
Send your bike to your local bike store quickly and easily. Here you will discover an essential service that includes shipping your bike, disassembling, and packaging.
Call ahead to confirm the availability of such services before going to your local bike store; a fantastic option is to have them send your bike to a bike store nearby your location that will assemble your bike for you, ready to pick up. For point-to-point excursions, you may keep repeating the procedure as you go, utilizing the reverse technique when it’s time to mail your bike back home.
When you pick shipping services from local bike businesses, you can be confident that your bike will be handled solely by specialists skilled in bike breakdown and assembly.
To guarantee that you can keep shipping from one site to the next, contact local bike shops in all locations you visit that may require this service.
Box your Bike Yourself
Like many others, if you prefer to disassemble and box your bike, this fantastic website provides extensive directions and videos on how to pack your bike for the most secure and safe journey.
Whatever shipping option you choose to carry your bike from home to the start of your adventure, the same restrictions apply.
When you box your bike yourself, you can be assured that everything has been packaged securely and that your bike’s delicate parts have been adequately safeguarded and packed for transportation.
When you enjoy traveling on your bike, shipping should be the last thing on your mind. Your bike is prized, and you cannot afford to damage it while being transported. As a result, you need to know how to professionally disassemble and pack your bike and choose a shipping firm to insure your bike.
The shipping method you select for your bike will be determined by various circumstances, including whether or not you want to go overseas with your bike. If you plan on visiting other countries while traveling, take the time to learn about the rules for moving bikes by rail. You will prevent additional charges, unpleasant surprises, and the danger of being trapped with your bike overseas.