Hitting the road is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Now that summer is officially here, there is no better time to pack in some vacation time than now. Going on a road trip provides plenty of opportunity to visit new places, meet new people and try delicious cuisine. For mountain bike enthusiasts, however, the trip wouldn’t be complete without riding new and incredible trails. However, transporting a mountain bike is one of the biggest problems they usually face.
Transporting mountain bikes can be a hassle and stressful at times. But it opens up a lot of opportunities to ride new trails and see places you wouldn’t have travelled to with your bike.
Listed below are some tips that will make transporting mountain bikes easier. Take note of these tips to reduce the stress of travelling with your mountain bike.
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Start with a clean bike
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No one wants to go on a holiday with a grimy bike. Be sure to clean your bike at least a few days before the trip. Cleaning your bike is not only done to keep it looking good. Rather, it also helps keep the components lasting longer and keep it in good working order.
Using a garden hose, wash your bike to remove loose dirt and grime. Use a sponge to clean the frame. Don’t forget to clean the wheels as well. Also, clean the drivetrain. You want to get into those as much as possible. Dirt, grime and dust can make your bike prone to skipping and chain issues.
If you and your family are planning to head out on new adventures with your bike, then you’ll need to invest in a bike rack. Cars are not intended for transporting mountain bikes. Unless, you own an SUV or a truck, there isn’t enough space to load a fully assembled bike. Even if your bike does fit inside your vehicle, there may not be enough space for your family and your belongings.
There are a wide variety of bike racks available in the market. But in this blog post, we’ll focus on the main types: trunk-mounted, roof-mounted and hitch mounted.
Trunk-mounted racks can be fitted to the rear of almost any vehicle. They are held on by straps with hooks around the lip of your car’s trunk.
This is probably the most popular option for transporting mountain bike. However, it is also the least secure way. If the bikes are not loaded properly, the car paint or your bike could get damaged. Since the racks are attached to the vehicle’s trunk, you’ll have limited access to the back of the car.
Roof racks are perfect if you are looking to bring more than 1 bike. This type of bike rack is installed to your vehicle’s roof using a set of roof bars. Since there is enough space up there, you can load as much as 4 bikes. It also works well with just about any bike size. This is generally a very stable and secure system. Some are even lockable to keep your bikes secured.
Since the rack is installed on the roof of the vehicle, that means you’ll need to lift and hoist your bike up onto the top of your car. Also, be cautious of car parks and low entrances.
With the hitch-mounted racks, bikes are being carried behind your car. They mount to the receiver hitch so no base rack is needed. This type of bike rack is capable of carrying up 5 bikes. Make sure, though, that you choose the right size so as to ensure that the rack can support the weight of your bikes.
Hitch-mounted racks are usually more expensive as compared to other bike rack styles. Despite the premium price, bikers from different parts of the world prefer the hitch-mounted racks for transporting mountain bike. Why? Because they provide the easiest and most convenient way to load and unload bikes. In fact, some are so well-designed that bikers can load their bike with just one hand.
Transporting via plane
Every airline has a different policy. When transporting mountain bike internationally, it is important that you check with the airline regarding baggage policies. Some airlines prohibit bikes on planes; while others charge an extra fee.
If you have a bike bag, then you won’t have a hard time transporting a mountain bike. These bags usually come with an internal metal structure to support your bike’s frame. They are also very lightweight. Most bike bags weigh between 3 and 8 kg; thus, ensuring that you stay within the baggage allowance. Since the bag isn’t that big, you will need to disassemble the bike and then assemble it again once you arrive to your desired destination.
Bike cases are usually made from fibreglass or plastic, and lined with foam. This prevents the bike from being harmed or damaged by knocks and shocks. It provides the highest level of protection; hence, making it the most expensive option. Because it is big and bulky, they are also heavy. If you chose to pack your bike in a bike case, be prepared to pay for excess baggage fees.
Packing your bike in a cardboard box is the cheapest option. However, it provides the least protection to your precious bike. To protect your bike, we recommend wrapping the parts in bubble wrap, pipe insulation and tape.