August 9, 2020 at 12:47 pm #33718
Hi Brett, can give some general tips on this (have done it ~10 times):
- Bike flights: I’ve found this is actually better for moving than it is for racing. The shipping times can be off by a couple days (early or late), and you don’t really want your bike showing up before/after youre at the hotel/airbnb. Plus it requires some lead time without your bike, so you’ll want to make sure you have a back-up (a roadie?) you can train on for the last week or so before a race
- I ended up buying a soft case a few years back (the EVOC one; but i’ve heard good things about scicon), its survived asia and south america so far. Fairly straight forward, just have to take the wheels, pedals, and bars off. Plenty of demo videos on youtube, just make sure you get a few rolls of bubble wrap. Also make sure you deflate tires and remove CO2 (explosive in air). Also, since (I’ve heard) you can now count a bike bag as luggage, this should be the cheaper option. I’d also recommend taking off the derailleur as I’ve had mine bent, but that’s personal preference. Also take of disc brake rotors if you have them, have lost so many rotors this way.
- If you do end up going the luggage route, make sure your bag doesn’t have any non-bike parts in there. I used to throw most of my kit and shoes in the bike bag, but apparently that’s not allowed anymore (since theres no fee).
- I’d loan you mine, but sadly I’m not in DC these days 🙃
- I opted not to go hard case because I’ve heard of stuff breaking if its not packed in there super snugly. Not sure how common it is, but each side has its pros and cons. Also harder to store a hard case.
- If you’re feeling kind of insecure about packing your bike (box or bag), you can usually take it to a shop and have them do it. Theres a fee associated ($40 at bike rack if I remember correctly), but its not the worst idea the first time.
- I’d recommend bringing some chain lube with you, i’ve found my chain can dry out while traveling (rubs off on packing materials).
- You’re definitely going to need to do a little spin (like 10′) 24h before your race, so you can figure out if something’s wrong and get to a shop to fix it.