How to pack your bike box
We travel to train and race all over the world and we always take our own bicycles. Packing them can be tricky so here are our tips on how to pack your bike.
We both have hard cases bought from Bike Box Allan. Our TT bike frames are both small so we find we don't need to remove the saddle to get the bikes in but we do need to take off the headset.
We start by taking the pedals off (we don't pack the pedals in with our bikes as they are power meter pedals, we carry them in hand luggage). Remove the headset screws and then rescrew them together so you don't lose them in transit. Take the tyres off and then put the frame in the box. You might want to use a chain guard to stop the chain getting tangled. We always put a an old towel or t-shirt around the chain to avoid the grease getting everywhere. Strap the bike in using the velcro and use a few additional old clothes or towels to stop rubbing on the paint work.
Deflate the tyres completely before screwing into the lid as per instruction on the box. We add in additional foam to the one provided by the box manufacturer to give it extra cushioning.
Make sure you have everything fastened in securely. You can add in your bike bottles, shoes and a few other bits and bobs but be aware most of the airlines now weigh the boxes so you do have a weight restriction. Also, if you are carrying CO2 cartridges you can usually only take two per bike box. Again see individual airlines for guidelines on this, we have had our boxes opened before and cartridges removed because we had too many inside.
We always include our name and address on a bit of paper inside each box and we take a couple of cable ties to put through the lock once the box has been inspected and ready to be loaded.
Finally, give yourself additional time to check in your boxes at the airport. Sometimes it is not easy to get the bike boxes on the airport bus so you might need to wait a bit longer and you always need to check your bike and then take it to an oversized baggage area to load it.
Make sure your name is clearly visible on the exterior of your bike box, add a few stickers to personalise it so that you can identify it easily when it comes out the other side. You will be surprised if you are travelling to a race how many people have similar boxes to you!