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Old 05-15-08, 06:06 AM   #1
yoyostock
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How Do You Pack a Bike into a Soft Case?

I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask this, but maybe you tourer/travelers might know: what do you need to take apart, and how do you pack a road bike into a soft case?

I'll be doing a couple of out-of-town trips this summer, but the car(s) that I'll be traveling in don't have bike racks. So I'll need to transport the bike inside the vehicles. I thought those soft cases might be good for that purpose, but have no idea what needs to come apart.

-Do the pedals "have to" come off in a soft case?
-Do the handlebars have to come off, or can they just be turned 180 degrees?
-And if the handlebars do come off, does the handlebar come off the stem, or does the stem and handlebar come off the fork?
-Is it recommended to use one of those rear fork chain gizmos that keep your chain in place while the rear wheel is off?

I'll be traveling this weekend...so if anyone has any advice...please help!
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Old 05-15-08, 08:46 AM   #2
thePig
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Quite a big question, but I will try and qive a few tips. This is what I normally do for travelling with my bike on planes so should be a little easier in a car.

1. PEDALS: The pedals should come off, otherwise they may punch through the bag. You can either take them completely off, or switch them to the inside of the opposite crank. Take a small spanner that fits the pedal with you (rather than a full pedal wrench) and you should be able to use your seat-tube as an extension - test that it fits first.

2. HANDLEBARS: If they are flat bars you can just turn them 90 degress. Sorry not sure about roadbikes but this might still work. I usually rotate the gear shifters and brake levers so they are on the underside of the handlebars so they can't get knocked. I also cover the top of the headset with something soft as this will normally be exposed.

3. WHEELS: I normally try and leave the rear wheel on the bike - check if it fits in your bag. If it does, get the front wheel and strap it to the rear wheel and frame in such a way that the rear derailluer is protected.

4. CHAINRING: Sometimes the large chainring can be exposed and could get damaged - if the bike is dropped on it. You can try and cover it with something, temporarily use an old chain ring, or accept the risk. I have seen about 50 bikes been transported in soft bags and have seen this happen only once.

5. FORK SPACERS: Go to the bike shop and ask for some fork spacers - they should just give them to you. They are a piece of plastic that goes between the forks (in place of a wheel) to prevent damamge. They generally come on all new bikes. Also put one on the rear of the bike if you remove the wheel.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:09 AM   #3
jsmithepa
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Well depends what kind of car is it and how big your bag is!

A Scion/Element can stove 2 bikes as is and 2 pax up front.

A Ford Explorer can take 2 bikes + 2 paxs with front wheels off. 54cm frame, larger frame u may have to take off seatpost.

If it's gonna go inside, I don't see the need for a bag, just some bungee cords-like to secure to handholds.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:28 AM   #4
valygrl
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If it's going in a car, don't use a case! It's way too much trouble. Just stuff it in the car however you can, and make sure your other luggage doesn't squish it. Take however many wheels you have to off so it will go in, and put it in the trunk greasy-side up. Unless your car is tiny, you can probably get it in the trunk.

If you can leave the rear wheel on that's nice, since it helps keep the bike from sitting right on it's derailleur, which is bad. A disposable sheet or blanket to keep the car clean is useful. If it won't go in the trunk then it can go in the backseat, but you will definitely want to wrap it in a sheet or something.

It's really nice if it can go in the trunk so it's not a theft-magnet.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:41 PM   #5
yoyostock
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Originally Posted by thePig View Post
Quite a big question . . . Hope this helps.
Thanks, Pig! That's just the info I was looking for. I've been asking around some of my other riding buddies and have gotten similar advice. Thanks again.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:45 PM   #6
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Regarding the chainring, you can bring along a short length of old bike chain (about a foot) and tape it on the the largest chainring to protect it. - you can also shift to the largest ring so that the existing bike chain protects it.
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