Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: ankle deep in the gowanus canal
Bikes: IRO Mark V
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Boxing Big Bikes
I need to box my IRO (59 cm) to check it as baggage on Amtrak.
I've tried boxing my bike before, with mixed results. I've read all the web guides on how to box a bike. It's a really easy thing to do. Each time Bicycle Habitat has supplied me with the boxes I needed. But I keep running into the same problem.
The first time I tried, for a weeklong trip to Berlin, the seat-tube stuck out of the top of the box, creating a considerable bulge when I tried to tape it shut. (The front wheel had been removed. I experimented with removing both wheels. This did not fix the problem.) I decided not to bring my bike on the plane.
The second time, I was bringing my bike with me on Greyhound. I encountered the same problem. I decided to live with the bulge, because I assumed (incorrectly) that with Greyhound you handle your own baggage, and I would be able to place the box carefully in the compartment. Greyhound baggage handlers are nasty creatures, and my bike was modestly, but repairably damaged.
So: the hypothesis is either
1) I've been doing something wrong. Hal at Habitat, something of a genius, expected the bike to fit, which leads me to wonder if I've just been orienting parts wrong. I just can't imagine what it would be.
2) The boxes I've been using, which have mostly been for modern-style mountain or undersize road (17"-19" inch frames) haven't been big enough. Does a full-size road bike need a different sort of box? This seems like the sort of thing all those web guides would have mentioned.