Last weekend we did a test pack to make sure everything we needed for our Cuba trip fit in our O-Bags and rolled-up B-Bags.
This weekend it’s go time – packing the Bromptons for the plane.
I scoured the Internet for info about packing one’s Brompton for air travel. Most bloggers took numerous precautious – taking off parts (clamps, seat, air pump, pedals), wrapping the bike in sheets/bubble-wrap/foam/cardboard, duct taping moving parts, et cetera. Then again, there are only a few – not hundreds – of blogs about flying with Bromptons. Perhaps only the paranoid blog about it?
So we asked Eric at Curbside Cycle, who has traveled lots with his own Brompton. He assured us we didn’t need to do anything except put the bikes in the B-Bag. Brompton’s nylon travel bag has 5mm of padding and a steel base, so it does have a decent degree of protection. However, Eliessar, the mechanic at Curbside, is from Cuba and warned us that the airport handlers there can be rough. He suggested lining the bag with cardboard for extra fortification.
We heeded Eliessar’s advice and the most common tips from other bloggers.
Steps to packing the Bromptons for air travel:
- Let air out of tires.
- Unscrew C-clamps. This is to prevent them from being bumped and bent and therefore unusable, thus making the bike unrideable. So we took them off and put them in the zippered pocked inside the B-Bag.
- Socks/tissues between fenders and tires. The idea behind this is if somehow pressure is put on the fender, it won’t break (sock/tissue keeps it in place). Considering I already broke my front fender, I know they’re easy to damage so thought we should take this precaution.
- Wrap Pedals. Just because they’re new and a little sharp. Don’t want them ripping the bag or the other stuff in the B-Bag.
- Stuff things in the crevices between the wheels and frame. Sandals, sunscreen, shampoo, etc.
- Line B-Bag with cardboard on 5 sides (everywhere except the base).
- Put bags of clothes down sides and on top.
We packed super light, only bringing four outfits each. Pier’s pile is a bit bigger than mine because his clothes are bigger. Those few clothes were easily stuffed into the B-Bags with the bikes. Plenty of room for more.
And we’re done…
So that’s it. Fingers crossed the bikes arrive in Cuba a-okay!
And for a more recent version of how we pack our Bromptons now (2019), check out this post: Packing the Bromptons for Mexico.