6 essential tips for travelling with your bike

6 essential tips for travelling with your bike

If you’re an avid bike rider but you also love travelling and don’t want to be limited to the places with bike lanes only, there may be a few things to learn before setting off on your next adventure.

If you go unprepared, your trip might quickly take a turn for the worse and bring about unexpected challenges.

For instance, it’s always better to book your accommodation well in advance – this way, you’ll have a better chance to find a place that’s safe for both you and your bike after arriving at your destination.

Additionally, your packing checklist should be well thought out to ensure you won’t forget your toothbrush nor a handy set of tools to make repairs when needed.

Read on for helpful tips on how to travel with your bike and make the experience more manageable.

1. Choose the right bike bag

There are various bike bags available for sale these days. So, while you’re on a mission to check the best bikes reviews, don’t forget to look into the bags that will carry your essentials.

Seat bags and seat packs are among the most popular choices because of how handy they are. Most of them are small-capacity seat bags that make for a perfect place to keep things such as a small repair kit, energy bars, or your wallet. You might also take your head-fi headphones to relax during your breaks.

Your bike bags should also be waterproof. After all, you never know when you’re going to get caught in the rain.

If you’re planning to go on a bike-only trip, you might consider getting a bigger bag that holds 10L or more. It will give you space to carry a decent amount of gear without needing a bike rack, which can add weight or even rattle around on bumpy terrain.

2. Make a packing checklist

If you want to ensure that you won’t forget anything important, don’t hesitate to make an old-school packing checklist using pen and paper or use one of the countless packing templates available online.

When travelling with a bike, you can make two lists: one for the things you need to take to keep yourself comfortable, such as food, a waterproof jacket, a toothbrush, clothes, hygiene products, and other essentials for personal use.

The other list should include everything connected to your bike and its on-the-road maintenance, such as tools, a pump, or your helmet.

Start making your list well ahead of time, so you can go back to it whenever you remember something you should bring with you. Make sure that you have all the equipment that you need, but don’t overdo it.

3. Check your bike

Once you’ve figured out how you’ll pack for your adventure, it’s time to do some maintenance.

Check the tyres first. Ensure that they’re adequately inflated and there are no loose screws on the rim.

Also, check the chain for any cracks or rust. If there are any issues with the chain, you may want to consider replacing it before you leave.

You should also clean and lubricate all the moving parts on your bike and make sure nothing needs tightening.

Go on a test ride the day before setting out on your journey, so you can check if everything is working as it should and still have some time left if there’s something that needs to be taken care of.

6 essential tips for travelling with your bike

4. Zip ties are your friends

When packing your bike, make sure you use zip ties liberally. They come in handy for keeping everything together and in place until you reach your destination – especially if you have something fragile on your bike like a carbon frame or handlebars.

Be sure to tie down everything that can fall off easily, including your water bottle cages, baskets, and rack bags.

Even if you don’t think they may fall off, just stick a couple of zip ties on them anyway. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

5. Get yourself a heavy-duty bike lock

Even if you’re travelling nearby, you can never be too careful about leaving your bicycle unattended, especially if you’re staying in a hostel or motel. It’s best to get a heavy-duty bike lock that you can use to secure your bike at night or when you’re not riding it.

Most bike locks are pretty easy to use, but even still, it pays to practise using yours before you leave home to avoid wasting time figuring out how it works when you have better things to do while away on vacation.

6. Book accommodation in advance

If possible, book your accommodation in advance. If you want to stay at a hotel or similar facilities, it is best to book them as soon as you know your vacation dates.

Booking accommodation in advance will take a lot of the stress off your shoulders when you arrive at your destination.

If staying at hotels or motels, it is best to find out which ones have a storage room for bikes. If a particular place does not provide a bike storage room, it is best to look for another one so you won’t end up worrying that someone might steal it at night if you park it out in the open.

Review everything before travelling

As you can see, there’s so much more to keep in mind if you want to travel with your bike than just packing and going on your way.

You need to think about things such as accommodation, taking proper gear, and checking your bike to ensure that it is in pristine condition before and during your trip.

Travelling with your bike is an excellent way to see new places on a budget, as you’ll already have your means of transportation with you at all times. Safe travels!