I wouldn't bother lying (art equipment). One quick look and once they see something other than art equipment = red flags up the ying yang… you'll be scheduled for a good six hour session behind closed doors… wear clean underwear. Then you'll be on "the list" and get pulled every time you fly.
If you're sick of the costs, and hauling it through the airport, then I'd say rent. Just call a few places well ahead of time to find out what bikes they have on hand, reserve one, get chatty and see if they'll get it set up the way you like.