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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