Flying with the BYB: No Stress, No Tools, No Extra Fees
From the health benefits to the cost savings to being green, we all know biking is a great habit. Unfortunately, most of us also know what happens to good habits when we travel … and it's usually not pretty.
But what if getting on a plane didn't have to throw a wrench in your routines? What if you could bring your bike wherever you go (and leave that wrench behind?). With the BYB, you can—and it's probably a lot easier than you think.
We've rounded up some resources created by folks who've successfully taken their BYBs on planes (although of course, road trips and train adventures are fair game, too). Here's a rundown of their experiences, along with answers to some common questions about traveling with the BYB.
- Why travel with the BYB?
- Do I need a special suitcase to travel with the BYB?
- Will I need to bring tools to disassemble and reassemble the BYB?
- Will I need to pay extra baggage fees?
- What else should I pack?
- Recommended accessories
Why travel with the BYB?
You'd travel with the BYB for the same reasons you ride a bike at home: for transportation, exercise, and fun. Check out the videos described below for a little bike travel inspiration.
This video from CyclingTips follows editor James Huang's quest to go completely car-free on his 2019 trip to the Eurobike trade show using the BYB. Here's his write-up of the experience.
In the video, James flies into Zurich, Switzerland, assembles his bike in seconds, loads on his stuff, and then stashes his AirPorter Slim in an airport locker. One train, one ferry, and one 40-minute bike ride later, he arrives at his accommodations pleasantly energized from a nice ride (and not at all envious of his travel buddies, who spent the time stuck in traffic).
James points out that he saved money by using his BYB for transportation instead of renting a car or paying for taxis. His BYB also made it easier for him to stay on schedule (despite the gnarly traffic) and knock out quick errands while attending the trade show.
This video from Arleigh Greenwald (known online as Bike Shop Girl) encourages viewers to make a self-care plan for their next family trip (Arleigh now works for Tern, but she bought her BYB before joining the team).
Since Arleigh is a mom to two young children, family trips come with plenty of responsibilities. Bringing the BYB makes it easy to sneak in an outdoor workout amidst all the activity. After all, nobody wants to spend their vacation indoors on a treadmill.
Both James's and Arleigh's videos highlight that bringing your bike traveling is an easy (and free!) way to have fun and make the most of your trip.
From that pastry shop that's just a bit too far to reach by foot to the roadside fruit stand you would never have noticed from a car, bikes help you explore your destination up close and experience your surroundings as locals do.
Do I need a special suitcase to travel with the BYB?
Yes, we recommend that you pack your BYB in the AirPorter Slim. It's specially designed to accommodate a folded BYB and has built-in padding to protect your bike on your flight.
Will I need to bring tools to disassemble and reassemble the BYB?
No. Disassembly and reassembly aren't needed since the BYB folds down small enough to fit inside the AirPorter Slim.
As Arleigh demonstrates in another Bike Shop Girl video, it's just a matter of folding (or unfolding) the bike and removing (or replacing) a pedal. You may also want to let some air out of your tires before packing your bike. Don't forget to pump the tires at your destination.
The whole process is simple enough for a flight-weary traveler to manage stress-free. As both James and Arleigh experienced, it's possible to unpack your BYB and ride away on it in just seconds.
Will I need to pay extra baggage fees?
Probably not. In Arleigh's video about flying with the BYB, she found that her packed AirPorter Slim (which contained the BYB and some accessories and extras) weighed 50.6 lbs (23 kg), and she wasn't charged an extra fee.
On most airlines, the overweight luggage cutoff is 50 lbs (22.7 kg), so you should be able to check a carefully-packed AirPorter Slim without racking up an overweight baggage fee. Bonus points if you fly an airline that allows you to check your bag for free—in that case, bringing your BYB costs you nothing at all.
What else should I pack?
Take any necessary safety equipment, including:
- a helmet, and
- any lights you normally use with the BYB.
It also never hurts to carry spare parts that may be hard to find while you're on the road, such as:
- spare tubes that fit the BYB and
- the yellow plastic C clip that secures the MKS-EZ pedal (this clip is important but easy to misplace).
Besides the AirPorter Slim, here are a few accessories that make traveling with the BYB even easier:
- Go-To Bag: makes a great airplane carry-on that you can attach to the front of the BYB when you're ready to ride
- Luggage Truss: lets you mount your Go-To Bag (or any KLICKfix-compatible bag, rack, or basket) to your BYB's front Combo Mount
- Quick Release CMT: lets you install and remove the Luggage Truss (or other front Combo Mount accessories) in under a minute for easy packing and unpacking.