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Old 02-08-12, 03:36 PM   #1
wkndwarrior
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How to ship a road bike without messing up the fit?

I'm thinking about doing a triathlon in my hometown (DC), and I would need to ship my road bike there. But my bike has been fitted to my specific needs, and I noticed some bike shippers would partially disassemble the bike (remove the seat post, handle bars, etc). When I ship my bike, I want to maintain the fit because it works for me and I don't want to mess it up.

Anyone know of a shipper who won't mess with the bike at all, yet know how to package it and ship it safely?
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Old 02-08-12, 06:15 PM   #2
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Taking it apart has more to do with fitting a bike in a standard size box than anything else. A larger box if found would probably ad to the shipping cost.
Putting on the handlebars the same way should be easy, , put the spacers on 1st, then the stem (and any spacer that may be on top) tighten the top cap to remove play & then tighten the stem. For the seatpost, put electrical tape around it to mark the correct height, then once taken out, it is easy to get it to the same height. To be safe measure the height & write it somewhere where it can be found if needed.

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Old 02-08-12, 07:13 PM   #3
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Amtrak Boxes are Big, then both wheels stay on , you turn the bars
and remove the pedals.
Then this would be accompanied luggage,
IE You are taking the Train too.
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Old 02-08-12, 07:19 PM   #4
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Amtrak Boxes are Big, then both wheels stay on , you turn the bars
and remove the pedals.
Then this would be accompanied luggage,
IE You are taking the Train too.
Amtrak is the least invasive way. I have sent several bikes via Amtrak. Remove the pedals, turn the handle bars and shove it in the box. If your bike is a XL frame size you may have to lower the seat post and stem some. Rates are great...~$67 from Seattle to Boston, ~$50 from Charleston, SC to Boston

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Old 02-08-12, 07:57 PM   #5
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Use a sharpie to mark your seatpost, saddle fore/aft position, and handlebars. My seatpost has indexed markings to allow me to easily remove and reset it.
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Old 02-09-12, 02:24 AM   #6
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I use blue painters tape to mark parts before disassembling and packing in the bike case. Makes reassembly very easy w/o needing to measure. I do however keep a copy of the measurements "just in case" (ya know, like when the bike doesn't arrive in time for the race and ya gotta use other gear...)
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Old 02-09-12, 07:24 AM   #7
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Here is an idea to look at
http://www.shipbikes.com/home.html
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Old 02-09-12, 08:52 AM   #8
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Take a piece of electrical tape, run it lengthwise over your seatpost/frame intersection and then cut it (with a razor knife or something) to let the seatpost slide out. When it comes time to reassemble, align the pieces of tape, tighten the clamp, then peel the tape off. Your bars should be fine as long as you just remove the stem - if they're threadless you just have to remember how your spacers are stacked, and if you have a quill stem, use the same method as the seatpost.
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Old 02-09-12, 09:43 PM   #9
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The only two items I can see being affected are seat post height and handle bar angle. In either case some adhesive stickers with reference markings would let you re-install both with no guesswork.

Seat position and angle on the seat post will not be affected and neither will stem length and angle, nor bar reach. I would think it should be pretty straight forward.

Are you over-thinking this or have I missed something?
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Old 02-09-12, 10:10 PM   #10
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Just mark the positions of the removable parts (using masking tape or something like that) as best as you can and then reassemble the bike using your marks. This will preserve the fit. It is easy to do with slide-in parts, like seat post. Rotational fit (like drop bars angle) requires more care, but can also be marked well without too much effort.

There's noting about the bike fit that require any extreme precision, i.e. the precision provided by a several pieces of carefully applied masking tape is far more than enough to restore the original fit.
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Old 02-10-12, 03:56 AM   #11
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Do you have a note of the bike position in case you need to replicate your fit on another bike?
Angles vary a lot between bikes so I use [xy] coordinates, with the bottom bracket at [0,0].
Use a plumbline to mark the x=0 on your top tube then measure up and back for the saddle nose and up and forward for the bars.
You also need to note the bar angle and any aerobar position. Dont use the head-tube as a reference since these can vary between bikes in angle and length. For bar angle, put a straight edge on the lower drops and see where they intersect the x=0 line (or the seatpost)
Plot the position on graph paper and file away for your next bike purchase.
You should be able to adjust the bike and bring it back to the original position without any problems.
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Old 02-10-12, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesw2 View Post
Here is an idea to look at
http://www.shipbikes.com/home.html
The AirCaddy option at the above link seems to require you only to take off the rear wheel for shipping. Check that one out for your needs
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Old 02-10-12, 09:44 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
Do you have a note of the bike position in case you need to replicate your fit on another bike?
Angles vary a lot between bikes so I use [xy] coordinates, with the bottom bracket at [0,0].
Use a plumbline to mark the x=0 on your top tube then measure up and back for the saddle nose and up and forward for the bars.
You also need to note the bar angle and any aerobar position. Dont use the head-tube as a reference since these can vary between bikes in angle and length. For bar angle, put a straight edge on the lower drops and see where they intersect the x=0 line (or the seatpost)
Plot the position on graph paper and file away for your next bike purchase.
You should be able to adjust the bike and bring it back to the original position without any problems.
+1 If you spent the time/money to get a good fit, you'd want to be able to keep that through several bikes, right?
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Old 02-10-12, 04:53 PM   #14
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Italian Cycle Coaching book uses the center of the BB as the place to measure from.
Plumb line thru the BB divides the TT length..
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Old 02-12-12, 01:09 AM   #15
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insist they they (masking) tape the seat post etc where it contacts the frame b4 removing
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