Protecting Your Bike for Truck Transport


When transporting bikes on trucks, we've had only one mishap in over 20 years--truck contents shifted and gouged the top tube of a beautiful, completely unprotected bike. Since then, we have recommended that all Porkers fully box bikes for truck transport. If you box, we will provide tools and professional assistance in the start town for getting the bike out of the box and ready to ride.

If for some reason fully boxing isn't possible for you, then here are some suggestions. At any hardware store, you can buy cheap pipe insulation to protect your frame's tubing. Tape it on the main triangle-top tube, down tube, and seat tube, forks, and chainstays. Cover your rear derailleur and other fragile components. Remove the computer or other accessories from your handlebars and frame.

Experience tells us that, in spite of our recommendation and because of limited car space, those of you on the East/West Shuttle will bring unboxed bikes to the end town for transport on our trucks. Consequently, our semis (the big 18-wheeler trailers) will be outfitted to hang unboxed bikes in rows--they're hung by a wheel, with the opposite wheel secured to the truck floor by bungee cord. STILL, take the above precautions to protect your frame and components. We’ll have space for boxed bikes, tandems, recumbents, too, but we need to know if you’re expecting us to transport one. There’s a place to note this on your June Form.

If you fly your bike to Omaha, please do not take it out of the box until we've trucked it to the start town. If you drive your bike to Omaha, you may not have car space for carrying boxed bikes. In Omaha, we'll have buses and trucks (not always semis) departing throughout the day. Though these smaller trucks will not be outfitted to hang unboxed bikes, our crew will carefully load both boxed and unboxed bikes. We urge you to take the above precautions, protecting your frame and components, if you plan to give us an unboxed bike.

For our return to Omaha at the end of RAGBRAI, we'll have a semi outfitted to hang unboxed bikes, and smaller trucks for boxed ones, tandems, and recumbents.

Bottom line, we'll load your bike in whatever condition you like, but if it's not in a box, we assume no responsibility for damage.

Finally, if you take our advice and use pipe insulation or other packing material, plan to store it either in your hard shell bike case or in your duffel. We can't store it loose on our trucks. All bike boxes should be flattened for weeklong storage.