To Do List – Prepping and Packing a Bike to Fly

We’ve created this checklist to help us remember everything that needs to be sorted when flying with a bike to ride. Traveling with a bike is awesome but it can be a pain with out the right prep. Let us know any top tips or handy hints in the comments

6 weeks before trip

Make a start on a trip packing list.

Evaluate Bike and make a plan for bike prep for trip. Look at replaceable/servicable components like suspension, drive train, tyres, brake pads and decide if replacement or maintenance is required.

Make a packing plan. Decide on how the bike will be packed for travel (box? Bag?) and make a list/order/obtain any materials

Make a full and detailed note of all suspension settings and tyre pressures normally used. Include frame number etc

Get suspension serviced including bearings

Are different tyres needed for destination conditions? Any other components like mud guards, clothing like waterproofs, gloves, protection?

Check spares stock and order if needed
Brake pads
Other Spares

1 month before trip

Test fit any non standard parts required for destination to ensure compatibility and parts needed are identified. Document in packing list

2 weeks before trip

Put bike through basic service.

Replace pads and tyres if desirable to cope with trip.
Top up sealant

Better to do pre emptive maintainence now rather than waste priceless riding time faffing during trip.

1 week before trip

Final shakedown ride and final check on riding kit, trail gear, packing tools etc. Last chance to solve problems and make last minute purchases

Thorough clean and lube in preparation for packing.

Take photos of bike (including frame number) plus all kit and save in case of insurance claim

Pack bike

Ian did a live video on facebook as he put Natalie’s bike into its bag for a trip to NZ. You can access it HERE or via the image below. (It was Movember hence the dodgy ‘tash and “erm” he does say “erm” a lot too!!)

Click image to goto video

1. Compress dropper post
2. Remove pedals sandwich bag and pack
3. Remove chain sandwich bag with quicklink or spare pins
4. Remove Wheels (replace axles in frame/fork or put QR in sandwich bag and pack with pedals and chain)
5. Remove Brake Discs. Bolts and other fixing hardware in sandwich bag and pack with other parts. Pack Discs carefully ensuring risk of bending is minimised.
6. Deflate tyres (if tubeless set up keep enough air to prevent burping)
7. Pad wheels (if required) in prep for packing in box/bag
8. Remove rear derailleur, pack/pad with bubble wrap and tape in rear triangle.
9. Remove crud guards and pack
10. Secure cranks with tape to frame and pad chainrings if required
11. Pad frame where required in prep for packing in box/bag
12. Pad fork surfaces with rag or bubble wrap
13. Remove handlebars and tape/fix to frame (pad if required)
14. Pack frame and wheels into bike box/bag.
15. Extend dropper post to support bag if required.
16. Check pedals, chain, axels, discs, disc bolts and crud guards are packed in box securely to minimise potential for damage to them or packed bike
17. Pack all required tools/spares for building and packing bike at destination in with bike securely ensuring minimal potential for damage to them or packed bike.
18. Pack any packing materials required for repacking bike at destination for trip home in with bike securely ensuring minimal potential for damage to them or packed bike.

Have an awesome time!

You may find these posts interesting too

Packing List – traveling with bike

Flying with CO2 canisters

Travel tips from a baggage handler



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