Bike Packing - Continued

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
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Kobe
#1
Adding to the whole bike packing conversation(s) by adding some tips/photos based on experience traveling w/bike quite a bit, and also based on the type of damage I see regularly on customer bikes.

Even if you are using a hard case, some of these tips may help. If you are using a softcase like a Ostrich OS-500 they surely lessen chances of damage.

Key tips

1) Use extra headset spacers to keep the HS tight (replicate the stem)
2) Use fork blocks and rear spacer blocks. Available at your local shop for sure as all new in box bikes come with them. If you have a set of old hubs, those work great/better than the plastic blocks as you can use your QR's to tighten down.
3) Keep the chain on the big ring (if you use a soft case without a inner frame especially) to prevent damage to the chainring teeth. I sometimes go as far as zip-tying the chain on the outer chainring.
4) Lock the crank horizontally in the 3/9 o'clock position. lock it with a cut up tube, on the non-drive side crank/chainstay.
5) Used lots of foam tubing, especially around the seatstays/chainstays which are most prone to damage
6) Dont toss flat tubes. Use them as tie-wraps
7) Rear Mech. - I sometimes take it off...sometimes dont. Most likely better to take it off.
8) If you have a spare RD hanger, always bring it. I always bring a spare seat collar as well.

Not in the photos, but I put my ride clothes/casual clothes in bags and pack around the frame and crankset. Also put another bag over the crankset to avoid getting grease on stuff.

Total weight with clothes/shoes/helmet is ~20-21kg. Sometimes down to 18kg with summer gear.

Hope that helps those that travel with their bikes.
 

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stanc

Maximum Pace
Sep 4, 2011
255
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58
Brighton
#3
Thats pretty much exactly what I intend to do with my bike. I will be doing a test pack over the weekend & will post a few pics. I have loads of old tubes & hadnt thought of using them as ties, thanks for that. Cable tieing the chain to the ring seems a sensible precaution to me. I think I will leave the bars on but turn the brifters in to get them out of the way. I have new bar tape that needs to go on so that'll give me something to do on my first day in Tokyo.
 

Trek DJ

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Jan 27, 2009
215
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118
Kobe
#4
Just to clarify:

1) for the chain/ring, the only time I have had damage was from when a handlers dragged or dropped the bag and the bottom few chainring teeth were slightly bent. So the reason for leaving it in the big.

2) RD, benefit of leaving it on is that you can keep the chain in tension and from flapping around. Risk to the hanger is higher though.

@stanc: all good, just make sure to protect the area where your front brake touches your frame. Taking off the brake is a cinch, so that could be a nice way to prevent downtube damage.
 

stanc

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Sep 4, 2011
255
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Brighton
#8
Here are a couple of photo's from my first test pack. I'm quite happy with how it went. A few notes, I am using an old 105 hub as a fork spacer, There is a large piece of foam stopping the front brake from getting near the frame, I need to pad the drive side pedal and crank as it is the lowest point on the bike, The rear mech and non drive side pedal will be removed for the flight and the left crank will be padded and I will be adding some bubble wrap as well. Total cost of foam about 1000 yen
 
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FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#9
@stanc

Speaking from experience I would strongly suggest removing both pedals, its a very easy job and removes a strike point. I would also remove the bars, depending on your preference you can either totally remove the stem (My preferred choice) or just remove the bar clamp, this again removes a strike point. The last thing you want is for one of your Sti shifters to take the brunt of a strike or impact.
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#10
Speaking from experience ... I would also remove the bars, depending on your preference you can either totally remove the stem (My preferred choice) or just remove the bar clamp, this again removes a strike point. The last thing you want is for one of your STI shifters to take the brunt of a strike or impact.
Maybe I did it differently/incorrectly, but I found that removing the bars ended up damaging my brake cables.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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Yokohama
#11
Maybe I did it differently/incorrectly, but I found that removing the bars ended up damaging my brake cables.
Sounds like your brake cables may have been cut too short..... but between 2010 and 2012 I traveled with both Fuji and Champion Systems with team bikes in soft cases bearing the brunt of French, African, British and Chinese baggage handlers and not once was any of the team bikes damaged.

If you are worried about damaging brake lines then the simple solution is to actually release the brake cable at the caliper, that way you have more slack and don't have to worry about potentially damaging the housing or inner - oh and if you do remove it tape the bars to the frame!

Bikes and wheels packed for 3 days in Dubai, 1 week France, 3 days, Belgium, 2 weeks Cameroon, 2 weeks other African nations, Then back to Belgium, France and then Osaka...... notice the lack of hard cases.

 

stanc

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Sep 4, 2011
255
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58
Brighton
#14
@stanc

Speaking from experience I would strongly suggest removing both pedals, its a very easy job and removes a strike point. I would also remove the bars, depending on your preference you can either totally remove the stem (My preferred choice) or just remove the bar clamp, this again removes a strike point. The last thing you want is for one of your Sti shifters to take the brunt of a strike or impact.
Removing both pedals might be the best route. I will see how that works before I unpack it all for the clubs turbo session on Weds. I will also see how taking the bars off works, I will at least be stripping the bar tape & turning the brifters so they are not a point of contact. A question that comes to mind, if people are dismantling their bikes to this degree, are they also travelling with torque wrenches?

BTW I am also repairing my bike box in case I chicken out & use that.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
5,528
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193
Yokohama
#16
I will at least be stripping the bar tape & turning the brifters so they are not a point of contact
I really don't see the point in doing that, just take the bars off - less work and won't mess with the Sti truing. If you loss off the Sti you will lose cable tension and will have to readjust the cable tension when resetting - it will be impossible to put them back exactly the same height as when you originally had them.
 

stanc

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Sep 4, 2011
255
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58
Brighton
#20
Just rotate the bar in the stem so they are pointing downwards. Agree with FE, no real point in much else oh and BTW @FarEast hates the word "Brifters"
After thinking about the advice offered here I have decided to take the bars off to reduce the leverage on the forks. After the turbo session on Weds I will do a second test pack & post another couple of pics. As for the B word, that was sort of deliberate, its a horrible word :)