How to prepare your bike for an international cycling event

Planning to travel overseas for an upcoming cycling, triathlon or duathlon event?

Team Re-Claim’s Jason Loh details the process involved in transporting your bike overseas for an international competition.

Cycling enthusiast Jason Loh

STEP 1 — Before travelling overseas

  • Send your bike for a service to ensure it is in top condition.
  • Make sure all tools required to assemble and dissemble the bike are packed and ready to go (allen key set, pedal wrench, torque wrench).
  • Bring appropriate wheels relevant to the course, elevation and road condition.
  • Get a decent bike travelling bag.
  • Remove necessary components of the bike to fit it in the travelling bag (handle bar, seat post, pedals, wheels).
  • Before removing these parts, make sure the original positions of these components are marked in the correct position so you can reassemble accurately.
  • Use sponges or bubble wrap to protect the bike frame and reduce the chances of scratches and other damage.
  • If possible, remove the rear derailleur and hangar from the frame to reduce the chances of being bent from external forces.
  • Use newspaper or unused cloth to wrap the chain to prevent contact with other objects.
  • Deflate the tyre pressure of the wheels.
  • Ensure there are no hanging parts, loose components after placing the bike into the bike bag.
  • Bring your cycling helmet, cycling shoes, water bottles, bike pump, spare tubes and tyres, pitstop sealant for races, water canisters, tyre lever, chain lube, cable tie, rubber band, portable pump, LED blinker and other equipment you may need.
  • Know the weight of the bike bag. Make sure you have bought enough baggage allowance for the bike bag.
  • Zip and lock it up. Ensure the bike bag has your personal information in case it is lost at the airport.


Pack cycling equipment to assemble bike

Now you’re ready to go!

STEP 2 — Upon arrival at race destination

  • Once you get your bike from the airport carousel, quickly check it for damage and notify airline management if there are any problems.
  • At your hotel, find an area that has extra space for you to assemble the bike.
  • When assembling, ensure components and parts are back into their original position according to the markings.
  • Make sure screws and bolts are tightened according to the recommended torque shown on the torque wrench.
  • Inflate the wheels and make sure the wheels are in good condition.
  • If there is any damage, you will need to find spare parts quickly and resolved the issue as soon as possible.
  • Lube the chain. Make sure it is well-lubed and smooth.
  • Go for a quick spin outside the hotel, check the gear shifts and make sure the shifting is good and the riding position is in its original place.


Organise your cycling equipment in advance

Time for the big day. Need to dot the I’s and cross the T’s.

STEP 3 — Race day

  • Ensure seat post and helmet has your race number sticker.
  • Make sure your bottles are filled with water or energy drinks and are placed in their holders.
  • Inflate wheels again.
  • Bring running shoes, helmet, cycling shoes, slippers, towel, goggles, spare goggles, race bib, swim cap, energy gels, sunglasses, visor, bike tools, spare tyre, water canisters, pitstop sealant, masking tape and put into a bag.
  • Cycle to the race venue early to set up your transition spot so that you have ample time to set up without rushing.


Race day preparation is important

And then you’re set for the start line. Good luck and never give up.

Re-Claim provides 24/7, worldwide cover for sports accidents and injuries including equipment cover and international cover for emergency medical evacuation and medical treatment in the case of a sports accident overseas.

Follow Jason on his Journey here 

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What Is The World’s Toughest Sport?

It comes as no surprise that different sports require unique skill sets. Yet, determining the world’s toughest sport can be difficult. What exactly does tough mean?

We’ve gone through what we think are 8 of the most gruelling and physically taxing sports and ranked them out of 10 based endurance, speed, strength, agility, skill and physicality.

Here’s our list. Do you agree?

Pure maths will tell you Ironman Triathlon has to rank up there as one of the toughest sports in the world. It combines swimming, cycling and running and if you consider Ironman as an example, it consists of an open water swim, a stage of the Tour de France and a marathon. Pure steel.

Endurance 10

Speed 3

Strength 4

Agility 3

Skill 3

Physicality 3

Total = 26 tough points


Worlds Toughest Sport Cycling


As Malaysia’s most popular sport, we all know how gruelling Football is. Athletes are required to have blistering speed, sublime skill and the agility to dribble, evade and hold possession. Not to mention the sheer number of matches the pro’s play. It gets 32 on the Tough-O-Metre

Endurance 6

Speed 7

Strength 4

Agility 5

Skill 5

Physicality 5

Total = 32 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Football


Gymnastics also gets on our list. Given each athlete needs to be versatile enough to excel on each apparatus — floor, rings, beam, bar, vault — the stamina and toughness required to succeed is high.

Endurance 2

Speed 3

Strength 9

Agility 10

Skill 9

Physicality 0

Total = 33 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Gymnastics


You may think Basketball is perhaps not that hardcore, but considering the dexterity and strength needed to constantly jump, slam dunk and shoot three-pointers under pressure, it’s no wonder basketball ranks near the top.

Endurance 6

Speed 7

Strength 6

Agility 6

Skill 7

Physicality 3

Total = 35 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Basketball


Ice Hockey perhaps isn’t the most common sport in Malaysia, but watch a game or two and you’ll be wondering how the players aren’t a gooey mess by the end. It tests all aspects of a player’s repertoire.

Endurance 5

Speed 7

Strength 6

Agility 6

Skill 8

Physicality 8

Total = 39 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Ice Hockey


Rugby (Union and League) is immediately recognised as a brutal sport and not just because of the immense levels of physicality involved, but also the deft skills, pace and strategies required to defeat the opposition.

Endurance 7

Speed 6

Strength 8

Agility 4

Skill 5

Physicality 10

Total = 40 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Rugby


It takes a lot of courage to step inside the Boxing ring or MMA cage. Punching, grappling, wrestling, defending, footwork — you need it all. Thus, core skills such as power and flexibility combined with speed and agility is essential. Serious injuries and sometimes death can occur, so naturally you need to be pretty tough.

Endurance 6

Speed 7

Strength 8

Agility 5

Skill 4

Physicality 10

Total = 40 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Boxing


And finally Water Polo. Water Polo has been officially declared the most difficult sport as the players have to be at peak physical capacity just to survive a game. Treading water, evading vicious blows, wrestling, grappling, swimming up to 2km and powering the ball in the back of the net with a rocket arm. It’s no wonder it ranks on top on our tough list.

Endurance 9

Speed 7

Strength 7

Agility 7

Skill 6

Physicality 8

Total = 44 tough points


World's Toughest Sport Water Polo


Other sports considered “Tough” include American Football, Australian Rules Football, Rowing, Tennis and in more modern times CrossFit.

If you compete in a sport you think is tougher, let us know on Facebook

*List compiled based on similar reports from ESPN and Bleacher Report

Best Mountain Bike Trails In Malaysia

Mountain biking is becoming an increasingly popular sport for thrill seekers. Littered with thousands of miles of well maintained trails that meander and wind across magnificent topography and through primeval jungles, hills, mountains and cities, Malaysia has become a hotbed for mountain biking in Asia. Here’s our top picks for the best mountain biking trails in Malaysia.


Taman Bukit Kiara

Best mountain bike trails in malaysia Bukit Kiara

Taman Bukit Kiara MTB Trail. Source:

Our first destination is Taman Bukit Kiara situated on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. The track is 10km long and offers soft switchbacks and medium gradient slopes. It has medium-level ranking, so you will need some know how in mountain biking to get through this cross-country trail safely and efficiently.


Putra Challenge Park

Best mountain bike trails in malaysia Putrajaya challenge

Situated near Kuala Lumpur International Airport is Putra Challenge Park. You can spend an entire day here whizzing up and down the pump tracks, dirt tracks, down hill trails and many other features. Suitable for all levels of experience.


Kota Damansara Community Forest


Kota Damansara Community Forest is roughly 3.8km from Taman Bukit Kiara. There are two trails suitable for mountain biking that take you through a lush primary forest reserve featuring 8km of easy flat tracks and slightly tighter spots. The ride is generally fast, yet easy enough for beginners.


The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia

Best mountain bike trails in malaysia

The Forest Research Institute of Malaysia is a hidden gem for mountain bikers. Set in yet another mystical primary forest within the city, this course is full of wonderful things to see as well as being challenging enough to thrill most riders. The trail is very windy and goes through forest trails, bridges and little streams ensuring a muddy and fun ride. The trail is safe for all levels of bikers.


The Setia Alam Trails

Best mountain bike trails in malaysia Setia Alam Trails

The Setia Alam trails are certainly one of the most challenging trails near the city. The Kuala Lumpur Bike Hash sees hundreds of bikers gather to race through a track peppered with extreme downhill drops, single tracks and rocky gardens. We suggest at least an intermediate level of mountain biking for these trails.


Penang Island


Outside of the Klang Valley, Penang Island has some great surprises for bikers. The small island holds some of the steepest trails around the Penang Hills. This leads to an exhilarating fast single track with roots and sharp corners that are best handled by expert level technical riders.


Langkawi Island

Best mountain bike trails in malaysia Langkawi island

Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge 2013

Langkawi Island also boasts some magnificent trails and hosts regular competitions. It was the home of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge from 2010 to 2014.


Cameron Highlands


Finally, the magnum opus of mountain biking in Malaysia, Cameron Highlands. The highlands boast cool weather and relatively drier and compact trails. There are two major trails here with the easiest being the 8km MNS Cameron Airport Circuit.

The gradient is generally low and the ride is much more scenic than challenging. The MNS Habu Circuit is a whopping 34km of arduous and often treacherous slopes, almost sheer downhill drops and cliffs that require skill, sharp reflexes and steady nerves.

Before your next ride, whether on one of these amazing trails or overseas, check out Re-Claim our blog on Equipment Cover.

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5 Mountain Bike Set-Up Tips To Raise Your Game

Maintaining your bike so it is road or trail ready is just as important as insuring it for damage. Here’s #TeamReClaim’s resident mountain bike guru Kenny Kwan with 5 important mountain bike set-up tips for a safe and enjoyable ride.


Mountain bike set-up tips

Bike Guru Kenny Kwan


1. Brakes

The brakes have got to be responsive but not dead. The last thing you want to do is lock your wheels when braking at high speed.


2. Tyre Pressure

You want to have appropriate tyre pressure according to the following factors:

  • Rider’s weight
  • Rider’s skill level
  • Terrain. IE: hard, dusty, loose pebbles, tree roots
  • Weather conditions. IE: wet or dry


3. Front Fork and Rear Shock Air Pressure

Again, this depends on key factors like rider’s weight, terrain and weather. It is also determined by the kind of mountain biking you are doing. Both downhill and cross country have different set-ups.


4. Correct Transmission Set Up

Can be 3 x 10, 2 x 11 or 1 x 12. It all depends on what event you are riding in.


5. Pedals

Flat pedals or clipless pedals to give you better mobility and performance. This may change depending on your level of experience.

Other elements to look out for when setting up your bike include saddle position, carbon wheel set, closed ratchet hubs and ceramic bottom bracket. These are all things that can enhance performance and skill level.

Mountain Bike Set-Up Tips infographic courtesy of SportsCover Direct in the UK.

5 Mountain Bike Set Up TipsInfographic by SportsCover Direct.

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