|We weren't too sure what RyanAir wanted in
terms of packing and had heard various scenarios from people,
ranging from 'put it in a box', 'put it in a bag', through to 'nothing!'.
When we arrived at Stansted, we did indeed
see people who'd taken the 'nothing!' option, and their bikes were
being accepted. What they looked like at the other end I'm
not sure, but I wouldn't fancy trying it. We'd decided we'd
use our 'tried and tested' formula of pipe-lagging again this
year. As usual, we did the following...
- Pedals off
- Handlebars turned and strapped to the top tube –
note, not loosen the headset or anything like that, merely turn the handlebars
- Front-wheel out and strapped to the main triangle
Note: We didn't let any
air out of the tyres, and RyanAir staff didn't bother either.
We were careful this year
that all our bike tools, pedals, and anything else we could think
of that could vaguely be described as a 'potential weapon' was
placed in the panniers to go on as hold luggage. Sharp
instruments like screwdrivers, scissors etc were being
We wrapped the tubes using pipe lagging, secured
with lots of electricians tape, and covered the transmission with a sheet of
Karrimat (bent over the chain ) and taped securely. As well as protecting the rear mech., it
protects other peoples luggage. We fastened one of the cranks to the chainstay to keep it
from moving, and put our 'home-made' dummy front hubs (made from dowel and old skewers) in
the front forks to stop them from being crushed.
And that was it.
We kept the pipe lagging
etc for use on the return journey, stuffing it in a carrier bag,
wrapping tape around it, and sticking it on the back rack.
It certainly looked impressive (and of course it's light ;-))
RyanAir didn't ask for
payment for the bikes on the way out either (normally £15) - so
that was £15 each to go into the wine kitty :-)