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How to Travel with your Bike

How to Travel with your Bike

How to travel with your bike


One of the greatest experiences is riding your bike on roads that are far from your normal training grounds. Traveling with your bike opens up a world of possibilities, the challenge of unfamiliar terrain, and the thrill of adventure. Whether you plan to go by plane, train, or automobile, this article will help you figure out the necessary steps to plan for your trip accordingly.


The easiest way to travel with your bike is by car. You can choose to put your bike inside the car or on the outside with a reliable bike rack like one of these. Personally, my first preference is to place my bike in the car if there is room because it is more protected from the elements inside the car. However, when I am traveling with my family and my bike, I use a hitch rack as it allows for access to the car trunk.


If you are traveling with your bike by train (whether that is in Europe, commuter train, or Amtrak), it is important to check the policies of the train company before you arrive. As some companies may allow you to bring your bike on as is, while others will require a bike box or bag like these from Scicon. Know that most trains have limited space for bikes so may require reservations.


If you prefer to not travel with your bike, then shipping is also an option. However, that usually requires you to drop off your bike for shipment well in advance of your trip, thus limiting your training time with your bike beforehand.


Flying with your bike requires some preparation to make sure your experience is hassle-free. Check the airline policies and fees for bike transport. Measure and weigh your packed bike to make sure it fits within the weight and size restrictions. Use a bike box of bags like these from Scicon. And arrive early to check in your bike and when you arrive at your destination make sure to inspect your bike as soon as you can, just in case you need to file a claim with the airplane company.


Whenever you need to pack your bike in a bike box or bag, then it is a good idea to do the following:

  • Remove your pedals, wheels, and rear derailleur.
  • Wrap your pedals and rear derailleur in protective wrap.
  • Partially deflate tires and shocks.
  • If flying, remove all CO2 cartridges from your saddle bag as these are not allowed on airplanes.
  • Make sure that all riding essentials and tools for building your bike are packed.
  • If flying, pack your ride essential items (pedals, shoes, helmet, GPS computer) in your carry-on so that if your bike doesn’t make the flight you can still rent a bike and ride comfortably.
  • Have a transportation plan for when you arrive at your destination. Bike boxes/bags are quite large and do not fit in standard rental cars.

If you are not comfortable packing and unpacking your bike, then speak with the service department at Playtri. Our mechanics are well-versed in how to pack and unpack bikes for travel and shipping.


If you have any questions about anything in this article or would like to know more about our different coaching options, please contact me at Happy training and racing!



Jim Rowe is a Playtri Level 4 Coach and Coach Education Lead, a USAT LI Certified Coach, an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and an Ironman and 70.3 World Championship Qualifier who works with adult athletes of all abilities from beginners to IRONMAN World Championship qualifiers. Learn more about Jim at

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