Packing your bike and enjoying the best bike holiday of your life!
You've finally planned your dream trip! Travelling thousands of kilometres on your first pilgrimage to the bike capital of the world, Whistler! You know the trails and scenery are amazing, but how do you guarantee you will have a fun and a trouble free week?
Top of the World!
There are so many important things to prepare and pack that will allow you to enjoy the entire weekend! We'll break things down and let you know what you should bring and how to prepare for the unexpected.
We'll cover the following topics:
- Tools and parts
- How to pack it all.
Starting with the bike is the most obvious place to start. You're spending hundreds if not, thousands on transportation and lodging so you'll want to have your bike in tip top shape. At the very minimum, I always throw on a fresh set of tyres, brake pads and give the brakes a fresh bleed. You may want to consider new bearings and a suspension overhaul depending on where you're at in the service interval. Afterall, this is a trip of a life time and the last thing you want is a mechanical to hold you back.
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- New tyres - Pick your casing and tread for your destination!
- New brake pads.
- Fresh bleed.
- Pivot and suspension overhaul (possibly)
Up next is your gear. My biggest bit of advice is, don't be the rider that only brings 2 sets of clothing for 5 days of riding. You'll be riding all day and your gear will stink! You'll want a fresh jersey, socks and liner short for every day on the mountain or trail since a washer and dryer isn't a sure thing. More importantly, you'll want to pack any sort or gear specific for your destination. For Whistler, bringing a rain jacket and a warm layer is key for a good chunk of the year.
Tools and parts.
Tools and parts. This is especially important for a place like Whistler! Your bike will get hammered throughout the course of a week! You'll need the basic tools and spare parts to avoid expensive service and part replacements. Prices fluctuate around the globe, but Whistler is expensive if you need to replace anything on your bike. I would strongly recommend packing a spare tyre if you're headed overseas on your dream bike trip, especially if you're focused on gravity oriented riding. The cost of a basic EXO Maxxis tyre can run around $130 CAD! Packing a spare will save you a lot of money.
You should also plan on bringing a spare set of pads, a rotor, derailleur hanger and shifter cable at the bare minimum. These are all easy to pack and will save you a headache no matter where you go.
Most importantly, you'll need tools! As usual, your multi tool should go everywhere you're headed! You'll need this to reassemble your bike and to do basic repairs. Additionally, you'll want to bring a tyre pressure gauge as relying on shops and other riders is not guaranteed.
Note! Plan to check in your tools. Some airlines won't allow you to carry on tools and you don't want to find out in security that you can't carry them on!
Parts and tools:
Your normal flat kit - Please check with your airline about bringing C02
Derailleur hanger - We do have a good collection, however, you may need to go to your dealer for this.
Tyre pressure gauge.
Most importantly, how do you pack it all?
How to pack it all? Airlines are frustrating - baggage fees, weight and size restrictions, lugging everything around and then watching your bike disappear behind the check-in counter to be handled by someone who has no idea how important it is to you. Yup, it's stressful.
One lonely bike waiting to get loaded.
There are multiple ways to pack your bike. The most cost effective way is a cardboard box, packing foam and a lot of packing tape. This is very common, but occasionally a cardboard box will bust open leaving your bike and gear strewn about (not an awesome way to start your trip). We are big fans of Evoc's bike bags. They do come at a price, but they utilise individual wheel pockets and reinforcements on crucial spots to ensure your bike stays well protected on its journey. It took a while and a few trips, but I now fully trust my Evoc bike bag and travel stress-free knowing my bike is well protected.
Cost effective and perfect for an occasional holiday. Not the most convenient for lugging around on long trips.
Other than a few scuffs and getting dirty, the Evoc bike has held up amazingly! Note the wheels, this bag is convenient to roll around the airport!
Tip! Your mates will be jealous about your Evoc bike bag! When you're not using it, it's extremely easy to 'rent' it out to friends which will help recoup a good chunk of the cost.
You still have all your extra gear and how you pack it depends on your airline baggage policy and restrictions. Fortunately, my airline charges a flat rate for a bike box/bag regardless of size and weight. That gives me more than enough room to pack my in gear in with my bike. I also pack clothing in garbage bags and use that as additional padding in the bike bag - not needed, but certainly doesn't hurt. The garbage bags also double as laundry bags throughout the week.
Shoes, clothing, packs - these all fit in the bike bag. Helmets, on the other hand, I'll typically carry them on rather than check them. This guarantees they won't get smashed or smash my frame.
To view Evoc's bike bags, Click here.
As expensive as bike holidays are, there are few things you certainly won't want to skip! Being prepared will give you a trouble free week and could potentially save you costly purchases and repairs when you're at your destination. Give yourself the best possible week of riding and adventure.
As always, we're happy to answer any further questions you have!
Until next time,