Wondering How to Ship a Bike for your next Vacation?

Can You Bring Your Bike On Vacation?

If you are a real biker, then you must be aware of the bliss to be had on a bike riding vacation. But perhaps you’re wondering how to take your bike, and more importantly, how to ship a bike without damaging it.

Sure, you can rent a bike anywhere, but it’s not the same as pedaling around on your own bike.

Whether you have to weave through the jam-packed roads in a busy city or explore the terrains of a serene countryside, having the pedals of your bike under your feet will hugely spice up your excursions. The comfort a biker feels on when riding their cycle cannot be matched. 

Some might argue that as long as you get to be on a cycle, ownership of the bike will not matter. Yes, that is definitely a possibility; however, the chances of a biker enjoying their personal ride more are always much higher.


Why Do Bikers Like to Take Their Bike on Vacations?

Why Do Bikers Like Bike Riding Vacations?

There are many reasons why a person would prefer to take their bike with them. For starters, if someone is a fastidious individual and afraid of using things used by strangers, they will surely take using their two wheels over someone else’s anytime.

Secondly, some people can be too fussy about the model or features of the bike they use. For someone so picky, finding a bike that suits their preferences perfectly can be challenging, especially in an unfamiliar place.

The saddle on a bike can also be why someone would prefer to use their own bike. You see, bike saddles are not the most comfortable sitting plane for anyone’s rear. They can exert too much pressure on someone’s perineal area and even lead to injury.

Therefore, some bikers like to be careful about the seat they sit on when riding a bike. And the best way of knowing with certainty that a saddle is well-suited for your pelvic region is using your own. 

In sum, having the option to whizz around a travel destination on your personal bike is like a dream come true for most people. With that said, many people tend to give up on this dream for fear of having to go through a great deal of hassle.

Carrying your cycle with you on vacation may seem like too much effort and trouble, but it’s really not. If you genuinely want to make it happen, you can without feeling burdened. For inter-city traveling, you can just tie your bike over your car’s roof and take it wherever you want.

But you must already know that and wanted to learn how you can take your bike along on international travels. Think of it as traveling with your pet.

ust like how you need to make some prior arrangements to be able to tote your animal friend in foreign lands, you need to arrange for carrying your bike abroad in advance.

But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you might think, and we are here to break down the procedure for you so that you can have your bike by your side on your next vacation.

First Things First: Is It Possible to Bring Your Bike With You On Vacation?

If our unbelievably long disquisition wasn’t clear enough, then we must categorically state that ‘YES’ it is possible to bring your bike with you on vacation.

There are a few ways in which you can take your bike along on vacation, on the roof of your car, on the plane/train you are taking to your destination, or via a courier service.

Carrying your pride and joy over your car’s roof is only possible if you are taking a road trip. And to do that, you don’t need to disassemble your ride, but for the other two routes, you must pull your baby apart for a little while.

Trying your luck and taking your bike in all its glory to the airport, hoping that the authorities will cook up a scheme to fly your bike might not be wise. Prepare ahead of time and dismantle your cycle and stow it safely in a befitting bag or container.

Packing a Bike

There are various types of carriers that one can use to pack their bike. The most commonly used supplies for wrapping a cycle for travel purposes are

  • A plastic cycling bag
  • A cardboard box
  • A dedicated bike bag; soft or hard

A Plastic Cycling Bag

Many people prefer to use a transparent bag to pack their bikes because that keeps the cycle visible, allowing authorities at airports to treat it right and not toss it around thoughtlessly. But if you ask us, using a plastic bag for storing a bike might not be the safest option.

A bike carrier should have some amount of cushioning in it to keep the cycle from getting damaged.

Even if airport authorities treat your bike respectfully because of the transparency of the bag, that doesn’t mean your package will not encounter any other accident throughout the journey.

Luggage transfer between airplanes and airports is not the gentlest process. Things are thrown around, and some may even slip and fall, which means your bike can get beaten up inadvertently during the journey.

Therefore, you should consider using a different carrier or place sufficient padding in the plastic bag to keep your ride safe.

A Cardboard Box

A cardboard box is a pretty ideal solution when it comes to transporting a cycle.

You can put sufficient padding easily without worrying about space, and by labeling the box ‘fragile,’ you can notify operators at airports to handle your package with care. So, it’s a win-win situation. You get to ride your intact bike and that too in a foreign land.

However, some airlines have size restrictions, so you need to check beforehand to choose a size for your cardboard container. Also, one drawback of a cardboard carrier is its vulnerability to the rain.

If your package somehow ends up under pouring clouds, it can get warped and damage your bike. So, be sure to check the weather conditions of the place you’re traveling to in order to not find a drenched bike.

A Dedicated Bike Bag

A dedicated bike bag is the priciest among all three bike transporting options. But it’s also the safest.

If you are a frequent traveler, you should consider investing in a high-quality dedicate bike bag. It comes with specialized compartments for each component and features straps to keep everything in place.

Typically, you can get a hard or soft bike bag. The former one is the more expensive of the two and offers superior protection. The latter is cheaper and easy to store when not in use.

There is also a third bike bag type that gives users the best of both worlds, soft and hard. It is made of a softshell, allowing easy transportation while providing adequate protection to the bike inside.

Of course, transporting a bike or any non-essential item for that matter generally means paying a hefty price.

But the amount you have to pay for flying a bike varies based on the service you choose. That is, the cost of shipping a cycle through a courier service is different than a plane. Let’s take a look at the price gap below.

Shipping Options and Costs

Shipping Options and Costs

Can You Ship a Bike by Plane?

Yes, you can, but you need to pay an additional amount for it that’s other than your ticket price. Most airlines have a 62’/50 rule when it comes to shipping a bike.

If you are using a box to pack your bike, it shouldn’t exceed more than 62 inches in size; otherwise, the airline will refuse to carry it. Secondly, you need to make sure that the weight of the package doesn’t go over 50 pounds.

If you fail to meet any of the two requirements, the chances are the airline will not load up your bike on board, or it will charge you exorbitantly.

Typically, airlines charging 50$ for domestic travel rack up the amount to 100$, and for international trips, the shipping fee can go up to 200$, and that is just one way!

Can You Ship a Bike Via Courier Services?

Yes, you can. The cost of shipping a bike via courier services can vary depending on the company you choose.

A general fee range for posting a bike parcel weighing about 30 pounds is 50$ to 400$. It’s a vast scale, but that’s because every service is different and has different offers.

Most of the expensive courier services offer insurance, which is why their charges are pretty high. Having insurance for your bike during traveling is a smart choice because you can never completely eliminate the possibility of accidents.

Now that we have covered most aspects of shipping a bike, let’s look at one last thing: assembling and disassembling a cycle.

Should You Disassemble and Assemble Your Bike for Easier Shipping? 

If you ask us, we’d say you must disassemble your bike for easy shipping. Doing so will keep your bike safe and make transportation a lot easier.

When dismantling your bike, gather plenty of padding, bubble wraps, and zip ties to pack everything safely. Once you have all the supplies, start taking your bike apart.

Remove the handlebars, then the front wheel and pedals. Secure all the moving parts with zip ties, such as the rear wheel or crank. Be sure when you are wrapping your ride, do it in such a way that you don’t get any metal-on-metal and metal-on-carbon friction in the package.

Once everything in the container, wrap it, label it, and ship it!

The Bottom Line

Don’t go on vacation without your bike if you don’t want you! Thanks to the many shipping options, you can now take your pride and joy with you anywhere.

Last Updated on May 29, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic

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