I will be traveling on a Trans-Atlantic flight next week and have decided to carry my MTB with me due to not finding any rental bikes in the area.

I am curious as to how flying the bike in the baggage compartment of an airplane would affect a compressed dropper post. Since I will be packing the bike in a travel case, it makes sense that I do not wish to remove any more components than necessary and, if I can compress the dropper all the way down and keep it there; I will not have to remove the seatpost, disconnect the cable, etc...

I should only have to remove/secure the handlebars, wheels, pedals and rear derailleur. I've flown with bikes before but never one with a dropper post and certainly not while fully compressed.

Appreciate any insight and solutions...

  • If you’re still worried, you could remove the lever from the bars so you can feed in some more housing and pull the post all the way out of the frame. That will let you ship it extended.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 3:02

2 Answers 2


I've done this several times with no issue.

At sea level, atmospheric pressure is ~14 psi. The recommended pressures for OneUp dropper posts (a representative post, IMO) is between 250 psi and 300 psi.

The point is, even if your plane climbed so high as to exit the atmosphere entirely, the relative pressure change just wouldn't be enough for me to worry about.

If you are worried about it. You could air down your post to e.g., 200 psi, and air it back up upon arrival. I do this with my tires. I drop them down to ~14 psi before a flight.

  • 1
    Yeah, I typically air down my tires to about the same. This is a Thomson dropper, so it's set at whatever they pressurize to... thanks!
    – jc allen
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 19:38
  • 1
    You could have demonstrated this using standard bars instead of a silly measure based on some long-dead king's thumb length. :P Atmospheric pressure is simply 1 bar (to a good approximation) and you will find markings in bars on any shock pump, as well as guidance in bars in many dropper manual.
    – Szabolcs
    Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 11:14
  • @Szabolcs That's a fair comment, but English-speaking mountain bike media uses nearly exclusively psi. Here's UK publication that mentions bars at the top, but uses psi thereafter: enduro-mtb.com/en/what-mtb-tire-pressure. Aesthetically, I like that PSI let's you meaningly discuss things with integers. If I were waving a magic wand, we'd use kPa over bar and psi
    – Paul H
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:19
  • @Szabolcs the last thing I'll say is that non-digital shock pumps tend to have pretty small gauges. Since (in the US at least), the bar scale is on the inside, it's more difficult to get a precise reading since the gauge's tapered needle is thicker along that scale.
    – Paul H
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:28

For most aircraft, the hold remains pressurised along with the rest of the cabin. So there is a slight pressure drop, the equivalent of being at 1800-2400 metres (6000-8000 feet) above sea level.


This is probably higher than you're used to, but not so high that any particular care needs to go into packing items.

As long as the bike is packed well with protective stuff, and the fragile bits like derailleurs are save, you should be fine.

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