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Packing your bike

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Packing your bike

Post  Spindoctor on Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:34 am

Please read this with reference to the Flying Bikes and C02 threads, they are related. But if you do bite the bullet then packing your bike with care and plenty of time is well worth it. After too many flights to remember here’s a quick run through on the process, and a reminder of what to take.

The right kit
A set of hex keys is fine, but if you ever get the change to buy a micro torque wrench of bike scale socket set like this it will prove an invaluable bike travel tool kit.

Prepping the bike
Needless to say the wheels will be off, so make the most of the cleaning access to get to the places you can’t normally get to. (Hotel face cloths are excellent for this. Up end the bike too, on a nice soft surface (hotel carpet is good for this too) to get underneath and clean from a different angle.

This is just one weeks dry cycling in Abu Dhabi!

Chain retention
You bike isn’t going to have a smooth ride, so do what you can with the chain. If you don’t have a magic link to take the chain off, then step the gears into the small cog as you would for a wheel change, and pop in one of these gadgets – it’s actually a chain cleaner, but it holds the chain, which I then put on the big chain ring and stops chain slap damage to the stays in transit.

PBK don’t sell mine anymore, but there is a Pedros version:

Always in a separate bag or compartment. Things to look for: reinforcement over the hubs, and in the case of the photo, two protective rods covering the side of the wheel. When you have an idea of where the bike site in the bag you will have a better idea of where to locate the chunky cassette, but note the removal of the skewers – these add width and point load damage potential, so always take them out.

There are mixed thoughts on tyre inflation. I always partially deflate, but unless you are going on Uzbek Air modern planes have partly pressurised holds, so the stories of exploding tyres and tubes as a result of depressurisation are history now.

For removal of course and always a moments confusion (for me at least) when trying to pack minutes before you need to leave. One is reverse threaded, and they nearly always tighten up. So lube well when you put them in, and it is never a bad idea to take then out periodically, especially in the saline atmosphere of Abu Dhabi. When this happens there is always an anxious moment; am I turning this the right way, is it stuck, or am I tightening this?

The right side pedal has a right-hand thread (removes counter clockwise, installs clockwise). The left side pedal has a left-hand thread (removes clockwise, installs counter clockwise).

There is a good guide here:

It is also a good idea to use a lever arm extender, more leverage means less brute force, and in the image you will see my socket set and hex-key lock in to give this greater leverage.

Bagging it
Things to look out for in a good bag – a mounting block. With restraints to make sure the bottom brackets sits so there is no chance of contact between the chain ring and the bag base in transit. These straps not only keep the frame laterally on the plinth, but stop it dropping off sideways too.

I sleeve mine in bubble wrap, despite the bag having bespoke fork holders, and the essential reinforced base/flap – again to stop impact from the bag base transferring into the frame and forks.

Try and avoid loosening the forks, it can be a nightmare, so it should be possible to rotate the bars by loosening the stem and bar clamp to allow you to slip the bars sideways and rotate them so the bar loops sit under the crossbar. In this position the levers sit well within the overall bag shell, and have increased protection.

It’s a wrap
Note the additional restraints around the frame, and how the ISP fits in pretty well (although I have a bubble wrap sock for it too, just in case)

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Join date : 2011-04-01
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