Travelling with your BMX Bike in 2020
Author: Tim Date Posted:29 January 2020
Travelling With Your BMX Bike
So you’ve been saving up and your ready to fly the coop and ride something different this year, but you never travelled before you don’t know where to start. Travelling with your bike can be some of the greatest times a BMX rider can have, from meeting new BMX riders, riding new parks, spots, trails the options can really be endless when it comes to a BMX Holiday. However, the downside to travelling with your BMX bike can be a little tricky so here is a short list of tips and tricks that can help you get the most out of your BMX holiday.
One of the first things to consider when travelling with your bike is the type of bike bag you’ll be getting. While some BMXers swear by the cardboard box the BMX industry has seen the need for bike-specific travel bags and over the years we have seen a great improvement in the designs. DK BIKES offers the classic “Flight series 4130 golf bag”, this bag is a great option for a first-time traveller as it’s relatively inexpensive and offers a great deal of storage and separated areas for clothing and bike parts. Odyssey has offered a few different designs over the years with their most recent rendition being the Odyssey “traveller bike bag”. This bag separates from the rest by not needing to be checked into oversized baggage. Finally, at the upper end of travel bike bag’s OGIO offers a variety of bike-friendly travel bags at a premium price point. These bags are generally better quality and freestanding which other bike bags are not and require more space to be stored when in transit which can be annoying after days in airports.
Now you have chosen your Travel bag it’s time to pack. Everyone has their own methods however, over the years this method has become the best for me. Starting with the bike (depending on the bike bag) The pedals should be the first thing to come since they require a lot of force to come off, and need the rest of the bike together for stabilising the bike when taking these off. Next is the front wheel and rear pegs, this is so you can lean on the bike enough to get the wheels off. Finally, the forks come out and the stem is left on the bars the bearings are tied into the stem with a shoelace to keep them from falling out, the remaining spacers are replaced onto the steerer tube and fork top cap replaced. Packing the bike into the bag is self-explanatory but frame and wheels first followed by the smaller parts seem to work the best. Most bike bags will come with separate areas for both clothes and bike parts, once the bike is packed and secured with internal straps pack your clothes grab your boarding pass and it’s almost time to get into the air.
As a BMX rider, you probably have some sort of tools to change tubes and fix smaller issues. Thankfully BMX technology keeps improving and so do the BMX specific tools. Over the years several companies have tried their luck with developing a perfect Bike tool. Some brands overcomplicated the design and offer too many tools, and some not offering enough it can be tricky to find the perfect tool for you. When travelling less weight is better and so the fewer tools the better. Tall order offers a tool sporting a 17mm socket with extension for pegs, 6 and 8 mm Allen key. This tool is a cheap option and offers the bare minimum you’ll need to get yourself out of trouble. Next up is the Odyssey travel tool, offering 4/5/6/8 mm Allen Keys, 15mm pedal spanner and 17mm socket extension for wheels with pegs. This tool offers a more rounded coverage when it comes to working on your bike. Finally the Kotulak bike tool from animal offers a 17mm with extension for pegs, 15mm pedal spanner, 5/6/8mm Allen keys, but where it sets itself aside from the others by offering a chain breaker and spoke key. These three tools are all separated by function and price point and really offer three different systems to fix your bike.
Travelling with your BMX is a fun time and a great way to see so much more of your destination, whether it be a short trip only a few hours away or an overseas journey with no end plan insight it’s good to know a few small tips and tricks that can make the process not leaving you thinking you should have been skateboarder. This will hopefully uncover some tricks that have helped many BMX riders over the years, that you might not have heard about.
Firstly When your checking-in some countries will expect you to pay a fee for your bike since it falls into an expensive airport category in certain countries. This can be tricky to get out of, but if you see it coming it can be a simple little white lie that can get you over this first hurdle. For some reason, golf clubs have become the go-to item to be in your bike bag that receives $0 dollars fee at the airport. So when they ask the question “what’s in your bags today?” you can answer with confidence that “there only golf clubs”.
While your checking it’s worth asking for extra legroom and free seat allocation, some airline will give the option but some will wait for you to ask. Remember your a BMX rider and so the more money you save on flights means the more on the trip which is the ultimate goal. This is also a great time to pester the check-in person for extra food and anything else that’s possible to get on that cheap long flight.
Next, you will want to get as much in that backpack you can, bring some grocery bags full of stuff too because after you check-in you’ll be taking that big clunky bike back to the oversized area where it’s not going to be wieghed again since it’s already been checked, this provides you with an option to put whatever in your bike bag you like. Since you probably overpacked and have more weight then your free 23Kg’s. Once you have checked your bike in and overloaded it till the zips are bursting it’s time to get your self to the plane.
The last thing to think about is if you have covered your bike and yourself while your overseas shredding. Most travel insurance will cover your belonging and different levels of cover will cover for more or less depending. However, one thing people won’t think about is covering yourself while you are riding your BMX bike. Like most people outside of BMX insurance companies “just don’t get it” and because of this, it’s important to check the fine print and see if the cover you’ve paid for will cover you for riding your BMX bike away. If not it might be worth looking a little further just in case the worst does play out.