Don’t bring a bike unless you have the time, energy and commitment to use it a lot. Airlines (both international and domestic) now generally impose a 25kg weight limit, with extortionate rates for extra kilos, so check the costs and allowances when you book your ticket – and pack light. The specialist mountain-bike shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara offer reassambly and full servicing. When you return home, make sure to clean off mud or soil to avoid problems at customs; a good local operator can wash, service and pack your bike post-tour. Soft bike bags are worth considering; you’ll be expected to deflate the tyres and swivel the handlebars parallel with the frame. Nepali (and Chinese/Tibetan, if you’re cycling that way) customs may want verbal assurance that the bike will be returning with you when you leave the country, but this shouldn’t be a problem and should not cost money. Domestic airlines’ willingness to accept bikes as baggage is always dependent upon available luggage space, so check in early.
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