Most airlines have started charging US$100-200 per direction, per bicycle for international flights to Costa Rica (I know, the bicycle page on the airline website says bikes can be counted as one piece of luggage on international flights, but read the fine print that often says “Except to Costa Rica”).
The bicycle must be disassembled and boxed (the tougher the box the better, reinforce it on the inside with panels cut from other boxes).
Bike shops In the US will be happy to provide you with a box for free, and if you ask, the little plastic doohickeys that are used to protect the ends of the hubs and the derailleurs when bikes are shipped from the factory. If you want a shop to box the bike for you, they typically charge US$30-$50. Save your box in Costa Rica, especially if your bike frame is large, it may be very difficult to find a replacement when you are ready to leave.
- rear view mirror
- bike shorts
- panniers (with trash compactor bags)
- front bag
- lights-front and rear, but please try very hard not to ride after dark!
Bicycle Tool Kit
(a multi-tool can replace many of these)
- chain links
- chain tool
- screw drivers
- patch kit(s)
- spare tubes
- spare tire (foldable kevlar clinchers) The most common reason to need a new tire is that your brakes wear to the point that they cut the side wall. If you’re 30 miles from nowhere with a six inch gash in the side wall, and no spare, you can use the following temporary repair. Patch or replace the tube. Then cut a ten inch square out of the back of a T-shirt and wrap it around the inner tube several times. Slather the inside of the tire where the side wall is cut with a tube or two of patch glue and insert the tube with the T-shirt splint under the cut in the sidewall. Inflate to about 20 psig. and ride very carefully!
- brake pads (at least one set per week if you’re riding with panniers-no kidding!)
- spare cables, brake & shifter
- half-a-dozen spokes (if you need to replace more than that you’ll probably need a new wheel). You can tape these to your rack or frame.
- spare nuts, bolts and screws to fit everywhere there is currently one.
- if there are two or more of you it’s probably also worth carrying a spare shifter and pair of derailleurs (or at least a rear, as that’s the one most likely to be damaged).
This list is just the bike specific stuff we carry and you should also look over the generic packing list, camping list (if you’re so inclined), camera list, and 25 lb trekking gear packing list for other ideas of what you may need.