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Packing my bike for airplane travel

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I will be travelling with my bike by plane.  

 

I have a hard plastic bike box, but have gotten different advise on these 2 points:

 

1.  Should I remove the rear derailer, or just wrap it in bubble wrap?

 

2.  Should I remove the handle bars with the stem from the headset by loosening the screw at the top of the stem, or leave the stem in place and instead remove the handle bars by opening the face plate (2 screws at the front), take out the handlebars, and then screwing the face plate back on?

 

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

 

 

post #2 of 8

Case.jpg

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 8

1) in this picture they took off the handle bars with the stem (but it is an old school/system stem)

2) rear derailleur is on, so what you do is push the chain (chain in normal position through the chainring) up towards the seat tube and top tube joint and attach it doing a nod it with some old tube you might have, so then the derailleur is going to move forward, chain looking like a triangle.    

 

don't forget to budget money for the extra airline charge !  


Edited by vspa - 9/15/11 at 8:58am
post #4 of 8

Dismantle your bike only enough to fit into the case without force. Make sure you pack the required tools to reassemble upon arrival. Another method of shipping your bike would be. Go to your LBS open up their dumpster and remove the box and packaging materials used to ship bikes to the US from China. Ship your bike to your destination Hotel or residence VIA UPS or some other trust worthy carrier.

I know you already have the plastic box. Someone else may be thinking of traveling with thier bike and could save a few bucks using the original packaging materials. You can ship a bike almost anywhere in the US for around 30.00. How much is the airline going to charge you combined with the price of the case?   

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by li rider View Post

I will be travelling with my bike by plane.  

 

I have a hard plastic bike box, but have gotten different advise on these 2 points:

 

Thats because there is always more than one way to skin a cat (or pack a bike) and there is no wrong or right way (or even a best way).
 

Quote:

1.  Should I remove the rear derailer, or just wrap it in bubble wrap?

I have done both of these with equal success.  The rational behind removing the derailluer is that it is one less protrusion to be hit by something else, and therefore there should be less chance of bending the hanger.  I have only ever used cardboard bike boxes and tend to remove the derailleur and tie it (and the chain) up with buble wrap to the chainstay  Since you have a hard case it shouldn't matter whether you remove the derailleur or not.

 

Quote:

2.  Should I remove the handle bars with the stem from the headset by loosening the screw at the top of the stem, or leave the stem in place and instead remove the handle bars by opening the face plate (2 screws at the front), take out the handlebars, and then screwing the face plate back on?

 

It doesn't matter neither way will cause or prevent damage more than the other.  Removing the bars from the stem, leaves the headset as it is, but you might need to tinker to get the bar angle right at the other end.  If you remove the stem and bar together then the bar angle will be fixed but you will need to readjust the topcap to remove play in the HS bearings.  I usually leave the stem on the bike and take off the bars.

post #6 of 8
Hi

I fly with my bike in either a carboard box or my Scion AeroComfort Plus bag depending on the nature of the trip. With the Scion I don't remove the rear derailleur because the bag has a protector for same. In the cardboard box I remove the derailleur for the same reason suggested early .. one less thing exposed to a possible accident.

306

Andrew
post #7 of 8

And to help you decide what airline to fly, you can use this chart here http://www.airlinebagfees.com/bicycles/charts/

post #8 of 8

 

 

Like Dave, I try to ship my bike ahead. I only use the airlines as a last resort not only for cost savings, but the fact that, I swear, the airlines hire baggage handlers by how much damage they can do as a prime job requirement and how much stuff they can steal or lose as secondary and tertiary requirements.

 

I use the 'free cardboard box' from the LBS or my old bikes that I have had shipped to me and double up on the side and bottom walls. (partial box within a box).

 

I block the dropouts with a saved piece of 1/2" PVC pipe, held in place with the QR skewars.

 

Wrap the tubes with cardboard or bubble wrap/remove and pad bars, pedals stay attached and are padded. Derailleur padded. Wheels and frame zip-tied to backer plates of cardboard.

 

If I get fancy, I roll up some cardboard 'anti-crush' blocks and insert them between the side walls of the box.

 

Maybe I've been lucky, but FedEx/UPS have yet to damage anything or lose it.

 

 

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