Best Choice For Flying With Your Bicycle In South Africa

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With such amazing terrain and scenery to be enjoyed on two wheels, South Africa is attracting a growing number of cycling tourists. Should you choose to take your bike with you, it’s crucial to be properly informed as to which airline is best at accommodating bike baggage to avoid additional fees.

Attempting to comprehend the different airline policies, restrictions and allowances when it comes to travelling with your bike, often requires wading through pages of jargon, vague definitions and, sometimes, even websites which send you around in circles and leave you none the wiser.

Thankfully, when it comes to choosing a safe and secure baggage option, SCICON Sports has got you covered, with a great range of bike bags and cases specifically designed with these regulations in mind.

To help guide you through the travel options for those seeking to explore South Africa on two wheels, we have assembled a summary of the main airlines and their bike policies, to help ensure you don’t incur any unexpected charges.

South African Airways

Sports equipment can travel free of charge, as long as the additional piece of baggage weighs no more than 23kg with a maximum dimension of 200cm. Equipment larger than 200cm will be accepted strictly as cargo and the relevant Cargo rates will apply.

South African Express

Passengers travelling individually or in groups will be permitted to include their sporting equipment in the free baggage allowance applicable to the class in which they will travel. The airline will not accept liability for damage to such articles if they are not suitably packed. Sporting equipment in excess of the applicable free baggage allowance of 20kg will be charged in accordance with the current baggage policy, please note more than 32kg per piece is not accepted as excess baggage. If exceeding 32kg, the piece must be checked in as air cargo at specified air cargo rates. It is also worth noting that baggage which is in excess of the checked baggage allowance shall be charged at 1.5% per kg of the highest SA normal direct adult one way economy class fare.


When handing in your bicycle to FlySafair you will be asked to sign a ‘Limited Release Tag’. This tag indemnifies FlySafair (Pty) Ltd from any costs arising from the loss or damage to any bicycles, packaging, or any other equipment included in the packaging. You will need to produce your copy of this tag when collecting your bike. When making your reservation, be sure to include special luggage onto your booking. One piece of Sports Equipment is charged at 285 Rand per flight, while checked luggage of 20kg for 155 Rand can be supplemented for a further 20kg at the airport for 250 Rand.


For those already having arrived in South Africa and eager to explore as much as possible, domestic airlines such as MANGO, offer further potential to discover the nation by bike. Ensure to book your bike prior to travel, through MANGO’s official call centre or on the MANGO website. All bicycles must be checked in at the relevant check-in counter on the same flight as you are booked on, as bicycles cannot be dropped off or accepted before the actual date and flight. The combined weight of the bicycle and the box must not exceed 32kg, or exceed 1.5m (one and a half metres) in width or 2m (two) metres in height/length. When packing the box, no additional items may be included within the container itself. A handling fee will be charged per bicycle per flight when travelling with MANGO,  but does only accept bicycles for carriage under Limited Liability and will not be liable to you for any loss or damages.


One of South Africa’s internal airlines who has taken the time to clarify their policy clearly is Airlink, who confirm that individuals are permitted to include sporting equipment as part of their free baggage allowance; relevant to your class of travel. Like most, they will not accept liability if you do choose to fly with your bike and fail to pack it appropriately. It is best to get in touch before flying as a request for Special Service Requirement in respect of Sports Equipment might need to be agreed, dependent upon your specific flight. Internal flights often have greater restrictions on excess luggage too, so do your research before flying to ensure you are not carrying too much.


Another domestic operator, Kulula love all types of sports and encourage people to play all around the beautiful country of South Africa, so to get the most out of your flight, they have kindly explained their baggage policy with great clarity, so you can take all your gear along for the adventure. You are allowed to travel with one 20kg bag for free when flying with Kulula, though if you are travelling with sports equipment in addition to your free baggage allowance, they do recommend you purchase an extra bag online to cover your sports equipment. The maximum weight is 20kg, though if between 20kg and 32kg, a heavy bag fee will apply and the item accepted regardless of dimensions.

As the information above demonstrates, each carrier has their own policies and rules which you will need to be aware of before travelling. Here’s a simple checklist SCICON Sports suggests for those flying with their bike:

  • Make sure you know the maximum weight and size restrictions before booking
  • Check for any potential excess baggage fees
  • Read up on liability of the airline in case of damage
  • Book your bike onto the flight in the required time ahead of flying
  • Purchase a bag or case which will protect your bike, such as SCICON’s Aerocomfort Road 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag
  • If in doubt, call the airline before booking to confirm
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To help simplify your travels with your bike around the world we’ve also collated information for flight costs across the following:

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How to Find a Bargain Cycling Holiday

Cycling Holiday on laptop CATEGORY
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Cycling Holiday on laptop

Heading off on a cycling holiday can be an expensive business. Having worked hard to save up enough money to ride your bike on new and exciting roads and trails around the world, many of us fall into the trap of wasting our hard-earned cash by not shopping around for a better deal.

At SCICON, we want to inspire you to travel and explore the world by bike as much as possible, so we put together these handy tips to help you get the most for your money on your next cycling holiday.

Now is probably a good time to highlight how airline bike bag fees, additional charges and policies can vary significantly. Before you book, check out our articles on how airline fees stack up when travelling in Europe, North America or Australasia, comparing how bike-friendly each airline is as this can save you a lot of hassle and money from the outset.

Avoid the crowds

Many travellers book their holidays around the working week, meaning they set off one weekend and return the following… or the one after. Whilst this may keep your boss happy, it does mean you’re flying during a more expensive period. If you are able to travel mid-week or, ideally at a time inconvenient for most other holiday makers e.g. late at night or early in the morning, you’re likely to find the cost of flights is significantly lower.

Similarly, if you’re open to travelling to and from ‘out of town airports’ instead of more popular ones, you often save more money than the cost of additional onward travel to your destination, albeit with a slightly increased overall journey time.

Book now!

It’s no secret that the cost of travel and accommodation will ramp up the closer to the date of travel you book. However, equally important is having the option to book accommodation which doesn’t require additional travel costs to and from the nearest source of food, nightlife or perhaps most importantly, good riding regions! The earlier you book, the greater choice you’ll have so you will be able to choose a place to stay which suits both your needs and your budget.

If you have the flexibility to book your trip last minute, there are great deals to be had but you also run the risk of not finding something suitable or within your price range so we’d always recommend booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Price comparison sites

Trawling through a long list of airlines and accommodations is not only mind numbing but also ineffective. Various price comparison sites can quickly pull together a list of available flights and places to stay, showing the best prices available for every conceivable option, date range and destination. You can often piece together a great deal not usually offered by any individual airline which involves travelling out with one operator and back with another. You may also find that flying out from one airport and returning to another works out cheaper.

There are a few cycling holiday aggregators out there which will piece a holiday together for you for a fee. This can be offset through lower rates they negotiate with preferred hotels, airlines etc. meaning you can end up with a relatively good deal. These often come with the added benefit of guidance on the best regions and routes to explore, arranged transfers for you and your bike or even a guide at the other end to offer local knowledge on the best flowing trails or traffic-free roads.

Take a look at our Travel Partners here.


Labour intensive it may be, but piecing every part of your holiday together can be the best way to build an amazing holiday without blowing through your budget too quickly. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with independent accommodation and local travel providers as you stand to really bag yourself a good deal if visiting outside peak holiday season.

Off the beaten track

Cycling hotspots such as Mallorca and the Alps cater well for cyclists of all disciplines. The huge amount of riders they see visit every year means that you’re never far from a welcoming shop, cafe or tour guide looking to meet the demand. However, whilst heading to a region less frequented by other riders might mean you find yourself on your own in terms of bike repairs, if you’re confident you know how to maintain your ride and are looking for a real adventure, this could prove to be a great option if you’re on a budget. Check out our post on XPDTN3 exploring Oman here for some inspiration to head off the beaten track.

Wherever you travel to, be sure to let us know all about it using #SeeTheWorld

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Where to Travel for Your Next North American Cycling Adventure

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1. San Francisco and neighbouring California

Known for its steep inclines and an incredible bay area, at first San Francisco may not appear to be a cycling paradise. However, the hills and neighbouring area offer a wealth of cycling opportunity. Head out from the city over the Golden Gate Bridge to the roads and trails that await beyond.

Highlight – The popular Alpine Dam and Mt Tam loop allows you to experience one of the most beautiful rides in the Bay Area. Easing you in on the flats to begin, this ride soon starts to head upwards. With challenging climbs and fast descents this loop is a great leg tester that provides amazing views on a ride to remember.

When to go – September and October provides sunshine and clear skies, with cooler temperatures.

Airport – San Francisco Airport

2. Seattle

With incredible scenery through the mountains Seattle has a wealth of roads ready to be explored by bike. Whether it’s the city’s host of developing bike trails or incredible mountain roads that run through the surrounding parks, Seattle is a great destination to head to no matter your style of riding.

Highlights – With Windy Ridge and Mount Rainier National Park both offering riding through forests with mountain backdrops, head outdoors and discover some of what the incredible state of Washington has to discover.

When to go – From late June to early September the city has the best weather, and for the cooler riding months September and October offer perfect times for less crowded streets and cycleways.

Airport – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

3. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

The Lake of the Ozarks offers a whole range of cycling opportunity. For those looking for singletrack and MTB conditions there’s a wealth of trails to be found and ridden in the state park, and for those looking for the roads there’s also plenty on offer.

Highlight – Drive 45 minutes from the Lake and you’ll discover the popular Katy Trail. At over 200 miles long, you can uncover hours of trail riding suitable for all types of bikes and rider abilities.

When to go – September to October will offer firm trails, crisp mornings and sunshine. With minimal rainfall at this time of year it should offer a perfect escape for some Autumnal riding.

Airport – St Louis Lambert Airport is the best for those travelling internationally. The drive on landing will be a feast for the eyes in itself traversing a range of beautiful scenery.

4. Bend, Oregon

Discover this quiet city in the state of Oregon that plays host to similar elevation and climate to that of Boulder, but without the hotbed of professional cyclists and triathletes. There’s many reasons why riders head up high for their training, and the views from the top are just one of them. With a wide variety of terrains to explore in the state there’s numerous opportunities for all styles of riding.

Highlights – Take a ride to see the spectacular Cascade range, which offers several roads to climb as well as a host of mountain trails making it a perfect multi-discipline destination.

When to go – Autumn provides fantastic timing to hit up MTB trails in the area. The cooler weather mixed with occasional rainfall transforms the dusty tracks, making them great for riders on fatter tyres.

Airport – Portland International Airport

Whether travelling with your road, MTB or triathlon bike, there’s a bike bag in the AeroComfort 3.0 range tailored to your needs. Find out just how easy these bags are to pack in our How To Pack video.

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The 5 Best Cycling Destinations in Australia

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Australia has gone from cycling footnote to prime time destination in the space of a few short years. Many credit hero’s of the road like Cadel Evans and Richie Porte for Australia’s rise to cycling prominence, but that still doesn’t account for the main factor: Australia is simply a breathtaking place to ride a bike.

It’s easy enough to say Australia, but considering how monumentally vast the country is, it’s an entirely different matter to travel between its best cycling destinations. Depending on which destination you choose, you may be in for long hours behind the wheel or cross-country flights.

Such extensive traveling means you’ll need to pack your bike away safely in a bike travel bag. Keeping your bike packed up in a road bike bag is the only way to assure yourself that when you get to a beautiful cycling destination like Tasmania, your bike is one piece.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of Australia’s best destinations for cycling.

Australia Ballarat


A conversation about the best places to ride a road bike in Australia can’t begin without mentioning Ballarat. As the host city of the Road National Championships 13 times in the last 15 years, Ballarat is the undisputed seat of Aussie cycling.

What makes Ballarat special may not be immediately obvious, however, after spending a short amount of time there, you’ll get why some of the most successful riders in Australian history champion the region. Once in the city of Ballarat, you can pedal in quite literally any direction and, after just a short amount of time, find yourself rolling along country roads that are remarkably similar to those used in European classics like Paris Roubaix and E3.

The riding in Ballarat is predominantly flat but contains just enough hilliness at times to make you sweat and break up your rhythm. Given that, don’t worry over breaking out the compact crank – a standard will do just fine.

Getting to Ballarat from Melbourne is simple. At just 116km away and connected by highway and train, you can find yourself ready to roll within an hour and a half from the Melbourne CBD. Take the Ararat – Melbourne Via Ballarat line from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne or the National Highway M8.

Australia Melbourne


Melbourne is famous for its coffee, CBD, and glorious quality of life – but only recently has it seen an uptick in its cache as a cycling destination. That’s funny enough considering that pristine cycling routes reign supreme in and out of the city, making it arguably the best city in the world for cycling.

Old classics like Beach Road, the painfully steep Arthurs Seat, and anywhere in the Dandenong Ranges are enough to convince anyone that Melbourne is worth the trip. Of course, no bike ride is complete without a fine cup of coffee and a pastry or two. Melbourne’s vibrant cafe scene is world renowned and is the perfect way to fuel your ride, regardless of the distance.

Melbourne is an international destination with a major airport serving connections the world over. Non-stop flights from Sydney to Melbourne take about 1.5 hours and are the perfect way to make use of your SCICON bike bag.

Australia Victoria


It may surprise you to find out that the Alps aren’t only in Europe – they’re in Australia, too! Victoria’s High Country contains what many refer to as the Australian Alps, a region with above-treeline mountaintops etched with fantastic roads for cycling.

In the Victorian High Country, you’ll find more than just brutal climbs in a region also known for its amazing vineyards and vibrant gastronomy scene backed by pristine organic produce. However, if you do come to the Victorian Alps, it’s probably because you’re after long climbs – and that’s exactly what you’ll find there.

Mt. Buffalo, Mt. Hotham, Falls Creek, Dinner Plain, and Mt. Buller all punch in at 15km to 42km in length. You’ll find every imaginable twist, turn, and gradient as you power up the climbs dotting this unique Aussie landscape.

The Victorian High Country is a destination covering lots of land, so your best bet will be to focus on the specific climbs you want to do and head directly to nearby towns like Bright, Harrietville, Falls Creek, and Oxley.

Australia Tasmania


Tasmania is the home of Aussie cycling legend Richie Porte and is, without a doubt, one of the world’s premier cycling destinations. Tasmania is often overlooked in favor of mainland cycling locales, yet it surely deserves a place in your itinerary.

As one of the Earth’s last truly wild places, cycling in Tasmania is rough, rugged, and immensely rewarding. Old growth rainforests, rock-strewn bays of azure water, and apple orchards await you as the road winds up and down. Tasmanian riding is exceptional for road bike riding, especially if climbing is your thing.

To get to Tasmania, you’ll need to take a flight or ferry to Hobart, the Tasmanian capital. The ferry makes for an adventurous overnight cruise, but because of the often rough seas between the mainland and the Tasmanian isle, you’ll want to make sure your bike is packed up tight in a bicycle travel bag.

Australia Adelaide


The Tour Down Under has found its place as the first race of the season for many World Tour cyclists. Titans of the sport like Chris Froome have kicked off their season preparations at the TDU which, as it just so happens, takes place in and around Adelaide.

Corkscrew Road, one of the main features of the TDU, is located within the Adelaide Hills, as are many of the roads featured in the race. From within Adelaide city limits, you can easily reach the Adelaide Hills in 30 minutes or less, depending on how quickly you’re riding.

Getting to Adelaide is simple from Melbourne, Sydney, or Perth, as it’s well connected by train, plane, and automobile. We recommend taking a flight, however, as the distance by land to Adelaide is somewhat imposing. Regardless of how you choose to travel, packing your bike safely inside of a road bike bag is critical to making sure your precious cargo arrives unscathed.

When travelling with your bike, make your journey as seamless as possible by travelling with SCICON. Whether it’s packing your bike into an AeroComfort bike travel bag, using the customised Luggage Trolleys, or transporting your essentials in the SCICON Race Rain Bag, we’ve got a luggage solution for you.

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Where to travel on your next Asia – Pacific cycling destination

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A look at some of the best cycling destinations in Asia Pacific to take your bike and the #SeeTheWorld on your next cycling holiday.

Mount Fujii

1. Wuling, Taiwan

Featuring high mountain peaks and tropical rainforests, Taiwan has a distinct and diverse cycling landscape. With over 250 mountains higher than 3000m there’s a wealth of roads to discover and to test your legs.

Highlights – Every year hundreds of cyclists descend on the island for the annual Taiwan KOM Challenge – a 108km ride with over 3000m of elevation gain. Join the challenge and tackle Taiwan’s highest paved road or spectate as others take on the mountain. For those wishing to discover a quieter piece of the island, Sun Moon Lake offers stunning views alongside smooth tarmac.

Airport – Taipei, major airlines operate flights to this destination, allowing you the chance to explore the city before you head further afield to the mountains.

When to go – To avoid the high temperatures and humidity the country is known for, October to February offers the best riding conditions.

Wuling, Taiwan


2. Adelaide, Australia

A popular destination for those living in the northern hemisphere to visit when the colder months arrive and a hotbed for professional cyclists, Adelaide features a variety of cycling destinations. From its coastal cycling, to riding through the Southern Wine Region or tackling Adelaide’s highest peak – there are plenty of beautiful destinations to discover in the capital of South Australia.

Highlights – During January, thousands of cyclists and hundreds of professional riders descend on the city to take on the Tour Down Under – the first UCI road race of the year. Be inspired and head to the city in January to spectate the act in person. Ride like the pros and take on the city’s two most famous climbs: Willunga which is the climax of the Tour Down Under; and Adelaide’s highest peak, Mount Lofty – both providing an excellent test for your legs. 

Airport – Adelaide airport

When to go – February through to March is the best time of year to visit Adelaide to avoid the blistering higher temperatures of the Australian summer.

Adelaide, Australia


3. Japan

With the Japanese capital of Tokyo home to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games including the cycling road race, the country’s culture is just one of many reasons to visit. With a network of flat cycle routes alongside the Japanese Alps, the country offers a versatile destination for beginner riders or those more experienced and looking for a challenge.

Highlights – The famous Mount Fuji features as part of the men’s World Championship Road Race. Be sure to add this to your route list and take on the climb yourself. The country comes alive from late March to mid-April as blossom season hits, signalling the start of Spring. Experience the beauty of the blossom whilst riding alongside some incredibly scenery. 

Airport – Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto offer a number of destinations to begin your trip and the country has a wealth of speedy bullet trains to take you around the country with ease.

Time of year to go – If you’re planning a longer cycling adventure head over during the months of April-May and September-November to experience the cooler months.



4. Seoul, South Korea

The South Korean capital offers a well maintained network of hundreds of kilometres worth of bike paths allowing you to discover the city and the stunning scenery surrounding it. With lakes, mountains, forests and river paddies – the capital has a wealth of beautiful landscapes to see.

Highlight – The Chilbongsan Trail is a 12km dirt and rock path which sees riders winding their way along the edge of a mountain. It’s a challenging ride but one with stunning views at the summit. 

AirportSeoul Incheon Airport

Time of year – Late Spring (March to May) and early Autumn (September to November) offer the best times to visit the city.



Whether travelling with your road, MTB or triathlon bike, there’s a bike bag in the AeroComfort 3.0 range tailored to your needs. Find out just how easy these bags are to pack in our How To Pack video. #SeeTheWorld

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Easier Than Ever To See The World Thanks To American Airlines


Thanks to a change in policy for those travelling with a bike bag or bike case, American Airlines has made it easier for riders to see the world, something that makes us very happy at SCICON Sports!

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Thanks American Airlines

Restrictions upon travelling with your bicycle are to be relaxed by American Airlines, one of the world’s largest airline operators, who shall no longer be charging additional fees to those wishing to fly with their bike.

As of May 21st, passengers will not be expected to pay the previous $150 one-way cost of checking in their bicycle, previously reserved for the likes of sporting and musical equipment. Instead, the standard $30 fee which customers already pay for checking in a bag which weighs less than 50 pounds will now apply to bicycles too.

Speaking of the change, American Airlines Group commented – “Based on feedback from our customers and American team members, American is eliminating the charge for common oversize sports and music equipment.”

SCICON Sports welcomes the news, which opens the world up to those wishing to explore upon two wheels, making doing so easier than ever before. As cycling’s premier bike bag and case specialist, SCICON Sports is excited for all those who seek to #SeeTheWorld by bike.

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Sarah Crowley Guest Blog – Travel Tips

Sarah Crowley CATEGORY
Professional triathlete Sarah Crowley is a SCICON Ambassador using the products to safely and securely travel and see the world around her race and training travels. Sarah recently penned a blog on travel tips when it comes to taking your bike. Leggi…