Old 03-09-20, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Evanston, IL
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I'm sure I never want to pack a bike again...

Packing bikes for shipping has always been a struggle for me. I don't do it often enough for it to be second nature or to always have relevant boxes and packing materials handy. I ride largish frames (60+cm), so sometimes boxes I get from my LBS aren't quite tall enough.

Such was the case this weekend. I needed to ship a 61cm Motobecane Grand Jubilé. I was out of foam pipe insulation, so I went to Home Depot and got a couple lengths of one-inch. Got home to find it was really 3/4-inch and wouldn't properly enclose the tubes. In addition, it was the self-adhesive stuff, so since it was too small it wanted to stick to the tubing. Checked the receipt. It scanned as one-inch, so perhaps HD is just trying to short-change its customers in small ways or their contractor screwed up the shipment. Ran to Lowes and got another couple tubes. I used a tape measure in-store to make sure it was the correct diameter. I got a box from an LBS. It was a double-boxed Bianchi box. Seemed perfect. Alas, it wasn't a good fit. To make matters worse, the bike has 27-inch wheels. I needed to pull the front wheel and reverse the fork to get it to fit the box length (with the rear wheel attached), so the front brake and cable stop needed to come off. With the rear wheel attached, the seat tube wasn't low enough. Even removing the rear wheel it was still a bit tall, and the big chainring hit the bottom of the box. I really didn't want to remove the crank if I could avoid it, so I put the rear wheel back on and did my best to pad the top of the seat tube and create clearance by cutting away the inner box in that area. Fortunately, the Motobecane's seat lug treatment is stout, not artistic. As I was taping the heck out of the box and blacking out any bar codes, I noted the box had originally held a Bianchi Donna model of some kind. I should have gone back to the shop to see if I could get another slightly bigger box. sigh

I think it will be okay, though I will be nervous until I hear from the buyer. I think if I ever have to ship a complete bike again I will simply pay a shop to pack it.
Slowest Common Denominator
I prefer you contact me by email (skip.montanaro@gmail.com).

smontanaro is offline