Flying with bike, how many 'extras' can I get away with in my bike bag?

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  • Flying with bike, how many 'extras' can I get away with in my bike bag?
  • cynic-al

    Some are, most, I think, aren’t. Never ‘eard of that one!

    You have checked their rules? Some prohibit other stuff in there, some don’t!


    I few with Air Transat/Thomas Cook and they don’t seem to check what’s in the bag, just the weight. So fill it up with as much as you need to, so long as it’s not over the limit which I think was 32kg. I had my shoes, pads, tools and lock in my bag. Basically anything heavy from my normal suitcase luggage!

    Premier Icon kayak23

    I’ve flown Easyjet a few times. Always wrap my bike in my body armour and kit and rucksack etc. Not had a problem yet. Just make sure its underweight…

    Premier Icon crazy-legs

    I’ve always shoved everything in the bike bag. All my riding kit, helmet, shoes, normal day to day clothing, tools, track pump, CamelBak, spare tyres, all sorts. Never had a problem with it.

    Ha, good stuff, thanks guys.

    Al, airtransat basically say its OK to take your helmet in the bike bag, which is what got me thinking anything else might be a problem. However the majority vote here and with my mates who’ve flown is that I’ll be fine, only weighing in at 26kg.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke

    Use any body armour / riding clothing as padding, eg around stancions, bottom of fork legs, around rear mech etc.

    We normally chuck the lids in too, between forks and bottom bracket.

    I always stuff tools and spares on too. Last year I even took a couple of spare tyres, as padding, of course.

    I’ve got my bike nicely packed away, got the necessary tools for the other end (pedal spanner, shock pump). Also got my riding shoes in there, and my riding rucsac containing my helmet and a jacket.

    Are airlines usually quite militant about people putting extra riding gear in their bike bag?

    (Airtransat for what its worth).



    If your frames mech hanger isn’t removable then I found a good way to protect it is to tape your shoe around it so the hanger is inside and the heel will take any impacts. Seems pretty solid and better than just bubble wrap or something.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    everything goes in mine, tools etc go in the camelback. Only ever been asked at Manchester for easyjet when me and the 5 others in the oversize queue answered “just protective packaging” to the question as to why our bikes were 30-32kg.
    I NEVER put my lid in hold luggage, always goes as carry on. Having seen the state of the stuff that goes on and off planes and the handing that goes on when the bags are being loaded I don’t take the chance. Never had a problem in 20 odd flights doing that.


    I wrapped the rear end in 2 spare tyres, and used my pads round then main tubes. I also had my tools/lube/rags/spares in the side pockets on the inside of the bag. I asked them if they (Sleazyjet) wanted to look inside but they weren’t bothered. My Pitch is a 32-33lb bike, in a bike bag with all those bits it weighed in at 24kg IIRC, so waaaaaaay under!


    Might want to double check your weight limit – not all are 32kg without some excess.


    And don’t forget that somewhere between your house and the airport 5kg is magically added to the bag. Some scientists really should look into that phenomena.


    I’ve never had a problem but don’t be obvious about it

    I saw a bunch of guys at Luton a couple of years ago having to empty their bike bags of everything except the bike, they were being quite vocal about it at the time and I suspect that’s what got them the ‘special’ treatment in the first place.
    Easyjet can sometimes be a bit strict but I guess that’s because people try to avoid excess charges on other bags by shoving it in the bike bag and then getting all arsey about it.

    Travelled last week with bike (not very light Spesh Demo), helmet, camelbak, kneepads, elbowpads and goggles all in a CRC bag. Was shocked to see it weigh in at 29KG, my allowance was 35. I’d have had my sleeping bag and all sorts in there had I realised it was that light.

    Airlines generally won’t bat an eye unless it’s over the limit.


    I’d check with the airline but from my experience make sure they are under the maximum weight for the conveyor belt thing.

    When I flew to Austria I made the mistake of packing everything into the bags to protect te bike. I then ended up havin to remove the wheels from the bags and send them through on their own. Needless to say one of the wheels got squashed.

    That’s my experience Anyhows.


    not travelled with the bike for a while now, but different airlines have their own rules/guidelines for the max. weight limit – last time i did the group of riders in the queue at Liverpool Airport did this – everything was in their bike bags (tools, body armour, camelbaks, spares etc.) and they had to pay big time with weight penalties

    they had to step out of the line and totally repack their kit (putting body armour in their main luggage) to minimise the extra charges (still had to pay something like £100 each)

    with bad luck we ended up getting the very same check-in attendent but she was fine with the two of our bikes even when they were slightly over – turned out the other group had entire tool boxes in their backs, one bag had six extra dh tyres in and were doing the old trick ‘lifting the bike bags off the scales’ during weigh in

    My bag ended up weighing arround 30-32kg. But the bag itself is quite heavy (CRC bag, with a double lining of cardboard bike boxes) and the bikes generaly ~35lb. I usualy put pads (because they’re bulky and good at padding) and tools (because oil/fluids leak and tools are heavy) in with the bike. I figured if they queried it I could argue the bike is useless without the tools to re-build it and the pads are just padding.

    Probbaly more likely to be an issue if you’ve just checked in a 32kg bike bag and no other lugage for a 2 week holiday.


    Decent bike bags weigh 6-8kgs, cardboard bike box half that.
    I alwsays put my pads and some clothing round the bike aswell as pipelagging where required, never had a problem.


    Flew to Mallorca 2 weeks ago with Jet2, I noticed when we had already booked the holiday and were sorting the extra bike cost that the weight limit was 20kg with a £20 per kg excess over this to a max of 32kg. Luckily we were road biking so managed to keep just under even with hard cases. Magically the bikes “gained” 2kg on the way back despite having exactly the same contents, our other luggage was under weight so we got away without paying extra. Just read the small print, it could save you £££

    Premier Icon deus

    i try to make sure it’s underweight, but just in case, make sure the bike bag overhangs the scales and jam a foot underneath it, continue to smile and talk politely to the check in attendant while a couple of kilos are magically lost from the weight 😀


    each time i’ve taken my bike on a flight i’ve used a standard (large-ish) bike box picked up from a bike shop.

    bike plus extra tyres, wheels, clothing, etc.

    once managed to get another frame in there alongside my bike.

    not once been asked to show contents, although the box has always been pretty well sealed with gaffa.


    [/quote]And don’t forget that somewhere between your house and the airport 5kg is magically added to the bag. Some scientists really should look into that phenomena.

    Cause airport kilos are smaller than real kilos. Trading standards should really look into it. 30kg on my suitcase scales is about as close to the wire as I’d go.

    Good advice chaps!

    Specialized Pitch + knee/shin pads + shoes, rucsac, riding clothes, pedal spanner, shock pump, running shoes and a full hip flask in a pretty bulky EBC wheeled biked bag came to approx 29kg.

    No worries at airport although the Citylink driver on the way there gave me palpitations as she was considering not letting me on!

    Made it to a rain soaked Vancouver fine except for the plane getting hit by lightening leaving Glasgow! 😕


    I have never been overweight on the airport scales, even when my bag has been overweight!
    What you do is put your foot against the scale just before you put your bag on it and then ‘adjust’ the pressure excerted by your foot to show a ‘realistic underweight’ reading on the scales 😉

    Obviously you need to keep your foot there until you take the bag off to go to oversized counter or the conveyor starts moving.

    Great story from a couple of years ago was Nigel Page adding a decimal point to the overweight charge sheet Btw check in and payment counter for all of the CRC team stuff, changing 125kg to 12.5kg 😆

    Even easier on the way back, this time including a six pack of canadian beer and lots of jerky 😀

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