taking a heavy big DH bike on planes

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  • taking a heavy big DH bike on planes
  • jedi

    its sporting goods and have 30kg weight limit iirc


    ok good morning jedi and thanks. 🙂


    no worries 🙂

    don simon

    Call the airline. The last time I flew with bikes with EasyJet, I was told to arrive early. The plane has an overall weight limit and by arriving early and giving them notice they were able to accommodate me and charge me a nominal amount. Different rules probably apply to different airlines too. What have you got to lose by calling them?


    good point don – i always arrive early and heave never had any probs
    not sure what my heckler weighs but with the bike bag it is certainly over 20kgs and i have never had any problems

    Jet2 at leeds have never even weighed our bikes, just ask us to carry them to depatch

    defo get there early


    I flying on Sunday with BA to Vancouver. My baggage allowance is 2 bags at 23kg each, one of which can be my bike. Its going to be a bit of a struggle to get my 20kg DH bike + packaging and bag under 23kg 😯


    Now i think ryan air / easyjey allow for 15kg when you book a bike, which is 33lbs. So how the hell do you take a big dh bike ( say 40 , 45 lbs ) abroad? Do the airlines charge extra etc? What about travel to Whistler etc too, not just budget airlines.? Do you just get there early and risk it? Or agreee to pay more for the weight???

    Any help would be great.

    Cheers and happy Friday!!


    This is such a lottery these days. It did used to be that pretty much all airlines had a maximum limit of 32kg for any one item of luggage, but just recently quite a few have been imposing restrictions of 23kg for any item, including sports equipment (which as Jedi points out, was traditionally excluded from the limit of 23kg imposed on check in luggage.)

    I could be wrong about this but what’s driving the change is less the airline and more the baggage handling contractors and their negotiations over health and safety associated with lifting heavy bags. I think Geneva is the worst for this but then they’re Swiss so what do you expect.

    At 23kg, I can’t see how anyone is taking an 18kg+ DH bike with them on a plane, but it must be possible somehow as all the world cup teams fly to the races and not all their bikes are sub 18kg. I know that those teams end up paying huge excess baggage charges, but from what I understand, the maximum limits can’t be got around by paying excess tolls, they are ‘get it under the limit or it doesn’t go period’ situations!


    The maximum weight limit for any piece of luggage is 32kg. This is the limit for the H&S for the baggage handlers. Anything heavier has to go by freight. Some airlines will let you go up to this limit whereas others will restrict you to 20 or 23kg and then charge extra to get the additional allowance up to 32kg.

    I’m going to take off my pedals, rotors, saddle/seatpost and shock and put it in my other bag. This will save me over 2kg.

    Basically I think there is usually always the option to get up to 32kg but it just might cost you an arm and a leg.


    Put your stem, bars, brakes, cranks, post and saddle in you normal luggage?


    Easyjet is probably the best of the cheapies these days but who knows how long it’ll be before they start chipping away at it

    The 32kg limit is to keep within guidelines of what can be mandraulically [great made up word 🙂 ] handled by 2 men and therefore easily loaded/unloaded without needing specialist lifting equipment

    Easyjet let you go right up to 32kg without extra charge

    I’ve flown with a DH bike a several times and never had a problem. I always pack armour and spare tyres in the bike bag too, despite most airlines saying that the bag must contain only a bike. If challenged, I’d say it was essential packing to reduce damage.

    Another issue we ran into a couple of years back was the interpretation of the EasyJet rules, even contradicting their own website and two different people at check in having different takes too.

    Sometimes they allow a 20kg piece of hand luggage PLUS 32kg of pre-booked bike.

    Other staff will argue that you get a 32kg TOTAL that includes both bike and bag.

    The guys that packed all their gear in a bike bag/box got stung, I was fine travelling with one bag at 20kg and a seperate bike bag under 30kg.

    It’s all in the small print, the booking conditions, the prevailing wind and what time the check in person got up in the morning.

    Of course, there is a potential that you could have ‘forgot’ to pack your bike bag with tyres/tools/pedals/armour when at the counter (where it’s weighed) and have to re-distribute some items (how did they get behind that pillar?) before handing it over at oversize baggage (where it is scanned but has already been weighed!). 😉


    It’s a lottery even with a lighter bike. I used to do an annual Exodus mtb holiday somewhere in Europe and even with the bike was below the overall weight limit in those great pre-911 days – I often packed all the tools, pedals, etc in the cabin baggage (imagine that now – you’d be arrested – screwdrivers and leathermans and stuff in the the cabin!).

    But a few years ago people started asking me what was in the bag. When I said “a bike – but I’m below the overall weight limit” they slapped on charges purely on the basis it was “sports equipment”. Even when within the weight/number of bag limits. I fly a lot less these days as it is just no fun post-911, everyone is stressed, airports have become queue factories, and airlines are looking to charge for everything they can as their profitability has been hammered.


    Anything upto and including 32.9kg is fine, don’t cut it too close though as I’m sure their scales weigh heavy to anything else I’ve used.


    Other staff will argue that you get a 32kg TOTAL that includes both bike and bag.

    Tell me about that one 👿

    The **** at Geneva airport fecked me for £170 precisely because of this. I argued that I had already paid the surcharge for my bike and they steadfasdly refused to take the bike unless I paid the extra.

    Really there is nothing you can do if you get some arse tickling, **** stabbing, fascist ****, ring smacking, Nazi loving cock wrangler of a Swiss master race fanatic check in sheister. 👿


    geetee – ill be taking a print out of the T-Cs and failing that ill just leave the bike 😉

    bike im taking out owes me less than the fees it would attact – joys of second hand on-one frames


    I get to play this game tomorrow too.

    Bike in bag is 27kg, hold luggage ~ 17kg. Total of 44kg.

    Now reading Easyjets T&Cs I can’t read it any other way than I get a total of 32kg. They even have a little graphic saying Person + bag + skis = 32kg total. At £10/kg excess, I have this horrible sinking feeling i’m gonna get right royally bummed…

    Gonna get there proper early, with a big smile and play the “c’mon I only weigh 63kg…” card.

    Premier Icon steveh

    Jon you get 50kg total 32kg for bike. It’s in a different place from the rest of the terms in the conditions of carriage but this is what you get.

    “Bicycles are subject to the sports equipment fee and exempt from any excess baggage charges relating to the weight of the bicycle.”
    This is from the penultimate paragraph of section 10.

    Geetee1972 they will refund you the money you paid if you have the recipt for it and write to customer complaints pointing our their policy (unless it was years ago before this policy came in).

    Jo SBC

    Steve – even the link you have posted isn’t clear…

    Initially it states:

    “Each passenger is allowed a maximum hold baggage weight of 50 Kgs including any sports equipment, subject to available space. The maximum weight for any single piece of baggage is 32 kgs.”

    which looks all good – but if you go on to read below the table it goes on to say…

    “Payment of the additional fee increases your checked-in hold baggage allowance (including additional item) to a maximum weight of 32kgs.
    Where your total checked-in hold baggage weighs more than 32Kgs, normal excess baggage charges as set out above shall apply in addition to the above fee.”

    Which implies that you can carry 50kg total, but you will be charged for anything over 32kg total.

    That said I travelled Edinburgh – Geneva and back with a bike bag of 27kg and hold baggage of 12kg without any problems last week…


    Passengers travelling with bicycles are recommended to check-in 2 hours prior to departure. Bicycles are subject to the sports equipment fee and exempt from any excess baggage charges relating to the weight of the bicycle

    so long as your hold baggage is under 20kg (and i fail to see how you could be carrying enough to be over given what i have to carry abroad for work with only 20kg to play with) you should be fine


    If you fly with Thomas Cook, (Canadian Affair, Air Transat), you can pre-book your bike onto the out and inbound flights here;-


    Costs £30 each way for 32kg of ‘sporting equipment’ and you can book more than 1 bike onto the flight too 😉

    As Gravity-Slave mentioned above I fill mine to the 32kg max with body armour, helmet, riding shoes et al as technically that is sporting equipment too.

    Just flown EasyJet from geneva last Saturday. Bike bag weighed in at 33kg (29 when I pushed it up with my foot) and holdall 17.5kg. Cost £25 for bike & about £11 for holdall, pre-booked both just 2 days before the flight. Had spare tyres, pedals, fork oil and all sorts in bike bag. No problems.


    Yep same for me a for lemming. Flew back from geneva last weekend, bike bag with spare tyres, pads and helmet at around 28kg and my rucksack in the hold at 15kg. Pre-booked, no issues at all with bristol or geneva airports. That’s with easyjet.


    thanks for all the replies. I read them a while ago but didn;t thank everyone.

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