Road bike and bus chartering, cycling in Malaysia

I am still trying to find the answer for Road bike and bus chartering in Malaysia.

To be precise, how do I book and pack my road bike into a bus, and what is the bus policy for road bikes?

As we cycle further into Malaysia and beyond, there comes a moment when you need a bus or coach for part of the journey.

Interestingly, no one knows the SOP for bringing a road bike on board a bus. It seems like a hit and miss thingy.

Some common queries from fellow cyclists:

-Does bus companies allow road bikes in the first place? [foldies normally no issue, smaller footprint]

-If yes, how many road bikes can a bus accommodate? Is it 3, 5 or 10? If not enough space for 5 bikes (example), some cyclists might need to book a second bus and forfeit ticket

-Does Road bike need to remove the front wheel? [Not necessary, unless space issue]
-Does road bikes need to be wrapped or covered? [Not necessary. But recommend bubble wrap to prevent frame scratches)

-Do we need to unload our bikes for inspection at Tuas custom?
In theory, Customs expect all goods/bags to be unloaded. On a few occasions, we reach out to Customs officers (Certis) and appeal for bikes to be examined while still in the bus.Β  Some Custom officers will help cyclists out of goodwill.

*Cyclists can submit a bicycle manifest, or email ICA about the bicycles beforehand. Hopefully, this declaration means you do not need to unload the bicycles at Tuas customs.

-I tried reaching out to a few bus agencies, but they are not willing to share their quotations. Is this due to competition?

This is an opportunity to secure cyclists’ good will. There are so many cycling events in Malaysia, more buses are needed!

Image credit KKKL (Road bike and bus chartering)

As you can see from the above examples, many variables are beyond our control!

-Even if there is a bus policy on road bike, the bus driver (and guide) is King. Be kind to them , they do now own cyclists any flavour :p
(the above scenarios apply to folding bikes too)

*Some drivers might expect tips (maybe RM50) to help secure your bikes

Additional tips:

Bus booking app for Malaysia

1)You can buy your tickets online via app EasyBook or online via BusOnlineTicket.com

2)Secure your bikes to the bus, bikes should be standing instead of lying down. If your road bike is lying down, some folks might just stack their luggage on your carbon frame!

Image credit H (securing bikes in bus)

3)Larkin or Singapore? Larkin (10km from Woodlands) has more connections to Peninsula Malaysia (especially East Coast), and bus drivers are more accommodating towards road bikes. You might wish to consider Larkin as your start/end point in future.

*4)Do try to board the bus at the “first” pickup point. This will allow you to have more time to load the bicycles. You might wish to insert cardboard in between bikes to cushion against knocks.


Image credit friend

Example Malacca. Choose Hatten Hotel instead of Casa Del Rio Melaka. I boarded at Casa, and the bus guide was very impatient for me to load up my road bike. I can understand his position, as the whole BUS was waiting for me and two other cyclists πŸ™‚

You should always arrive at least 45 to 60 minutes beforehand. Our Malacca bus was early by 15minutes.

Image credit friend

5) There are many Bus brands. Go with word of mouth recommendation. (some bus brands do not even have space to accommodate three road bikes properly!)

I truly believe if we have more clear cut answers to questions above, more will be taking the bus North to explore Kedah , Kelantan, Penang or even Thailand!

Van Image credit S

6)Meanwhile, for smaller groups (less than 4 pax) and for better reliability, it might be more convenient to charter a van.

7) Packing tips.
Use bubble wrap for bike frames. Use velcro, cable tie or even old tubes (instead of double side tapes). This method is faster too.

Below is a list of options for cyclists to bring their bikes across to Malaysia (and back). In SGD.

-$30 to $40 One way Bus ticket from Singapore to Malaysia (or vice versa)
-$20 to $30 Bus from Larkin Johor (cheaper and more frequency)
-$1150 to $2000 (load up to 20 bikes) KL to and fro. I got different quotations for Private Bus charter

-Van $800 to & fro KL (can load up to 9 or 10 road bikes, but no passengers. Or 4 to 5 road bikes , with passengers.) (per pax maybe $60 or less)

-$350+ Private car to KL(eg Hyundai Starex ). MPV might be able to pack three road bikes inside (or maybe 4 to 5 foldies) (Per pax maybe $120 to $150)

I hope more will be able to share their feedback and experience. Many folks are cycling across the causeway, and going further North. Special thanks to group CSG2MY for empowering cycling freedom.

Do pop by my Malaysia cycling experiences playlist too.

 

ps.. Thank you fellow cycling friends for your inputs (Edward, Shaun, Pierce, Fenny and many more)