Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
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What nobody mentioned is the importance of practice. Packing a bike is mostly common sense, but you still need to learn some of the pitfalls, and tricks. It's assembly where most people get into trouble. You could learn and know, but run into a surprise or forget a step at the other end.
I do race support and pre-race checks at a number of events, and there are always lots of folks who have assembly issues, running form the simple twisted cables (four cables, lots of room for a snafu), sloppy headsets, omitted HS spacers (lost in box, and not noticed on assembly) bent gear hangers, and so on.
Have a good mechanic walk you through both dis-assembly & packing, and unpacking, assembly & adjustment. Make sure you know all basic gear, brake and headset adjustments, plus a bit of touch up wheel alignment.
Then practice it all, over and over until it automatic. Just as a soldier needs to know how to fieldstrip and assemble his rifle, you want to be able to reassemble and adjust your bike blindfolded (almost) . Plus have some extra knowledge for surprises.
A few tips.
1- disassemble and pack your bike in a clean room setting. Remove all clutter, especially any other bike stuff. Then dis-assemble and pack your bike being sure that every single thing found goes into the box. (I've known folks to forget a front wheel because they put it out of their way on the other side of the room).
2- check your inventory of bike stuff and other stuff before packing and move it to the packing area. There's nothing worse than having everything packed and not remembering if some widget was packed.
3- be methodical. years ago when I was taught to set up production machinery, learned these words to live by "do the same job the same way every time". Working systematically gives you the ability to trust your own work because you didn't have to think about it.
4- pack a bunch of save-the-bike parts, including spare hardware, headset spacers, a set of headset bearings, or balls if loose bearings, a few spokes, and any other small stuff that's easy to break or lose.
5-and probably most important, Plan your trip to arrive at least 1 full day (not Sunday) before your event. Also if using a connecting flight, book your first leg for the flight before the last one that makes the connection, or use earlier flights so there's a later connection. Things happen, from canceled flights to delayed luggage, or missing, lost, or damaged parts, so you want a margin for error and recovery. The last thing you want to have happen is to travel 4,000 miles and be screwed because something happened and there wasn't time to deal with it.
An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions”
- Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN
WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance
Last edited by FBinNY; 02-21-11 at 04:20 PM.