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Chainring shielding when shipping a bike

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Chainring shielding when shipping a bike

Old 03-27-22, 03:17 PM
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Chainring shielding when shipping a bike


I don't like packing bikes for shipment, and don't do it very often. But when I do pack one, I like to do a good job. The photo above shows my 1967 Dawes Double Blue, about to head to a new home in Arizona.

In the past, I have fiddled with several methods of protecting the big chainring before putting the bike in its box, with varying degrees of success. The problem is that the bottom of the chainring sits directly on the bottom of the box, and in my experience it tends to chew its way through even if you double or triple the cardboard beneath it.

My current approach, which I like very much, is to get a piece of scrap framing lumber and use a circular saw to plunge-cut a couple of side-by-side kerfs, creating a semicircular slot that the ring fits snugly. A standard 7 14" saw blade is a good size match for most chainrings. Bore a couple of holes, zip-tie it in place, and you're done. Because the bottom bracket still has some scope to rotate, the wood is guaranteed to sit flat against the bottom of the box.

I have done a lot of framing and can handle a saw pretty well, but I would not necessarily recommend using a regular framing saw for this. A table saw, if you have one, would be safer and easier.

What approach do others use in this situation?.
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Old 03-27-22, 03:32 PM
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While I have not packed one myself, I did buy one from eBay. They left the rear wheel on, front wheel off. With rear wheel on, the chain rings would not hit the bottom of box. They also took an old seat post and cut a short section to put in the frame for shipping. Here is photo of how they packed it for ideas.
that piece of seat tube was protruding from box, as was the front wheel axle, since front wheel placed to side of bike with no protection. I do not think there was any shipping damage.
I like your idea if taking off rear wheel for smaller box.


Very well packed bike
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Old 03-27-22, 03:41 PM
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i almost always just take the right crank arm off, and pack it separately.
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Old 03-27-22, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
i almost always just take the right crank arm off, and pack it separately.
Cottered too?

I agree since it really helps the whole scenario and narrows the width of the footprint.
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Old 03-27-22, 04:45 PM
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How can it be that I never thought of just taking the right crank arm off ? [slaps forehead]

See, this is why I asked. Lowers the overall height by a good bit, too. But I wouldn't do it for a cottered crank.
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Old 03-27-22, 04:49 PM
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That is a great idea, with the lumber scrap fitted to the chainring via a cut slot in the scrap lumber piece.....will keep the corrugated cardboard shipping carton intact too.

Hey, I believe that most people without a circular/table saw , probably can safely achieve the same type of cut slot by using a drill with an appropriate sized bit and then drilling approximately twenty holes or so of the same size and depth, all lined in a row, immediately next to the previously drilled hole.....then remove the excess with a sharp pocket knife blade or a wood chisel so that all you are left with is one large slot very much like one that would have been made by a circular saw or table saw. Just think like how a termite might carve out such a slot and use a drill and pocket knife, if you find that you don't have enough experience operating your circular saw or table saw to safely attempt it. Yes, it might take you as much as twelve minutes to do versus about two minutes or less for using a circular or table saw, but that potential time saved ain't worth it if you risk getting hurt and going to the ER because you are inexperienced and don't know what the hell you're doing with your circular saw or table saw which you've only used once in the past 8 years.... Be safe and know how to properly use your power tools before attempting anything. Never ever attempt using any such tools unless you are completely focused & concentrating on what you are doing and you aren't in a hurry to get it done because you are rushed for time. I know this all sounds really silly as most of you don't think twice about such tools as you've used them thousands of times but it never hurts to remember that accidents can happen if you get too careless. Eyeprotection and no doing this after or while consuming beer or alcohol. Be smart, stay focused and safe, so you can Ride More!
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Old 03-27-22, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by hazetguy View Post
i don't deal with those kinds of bikes, sorry.
I figured as much, that means you need to expand your horizons.

You know, like this,





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Old 03-27-22, 07:12 PM
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Now that I have a cotter press, my communication with the buyer would include "Do you know how to install a cottered crank?"
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Old 04-04-22, 08:33 PM
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Wow! Thanks for all the hard work, Jon. Chain rings made it here but the bike hasn't yet.

And yes, I have a Bikesmith cotter press.
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Old 04-04-22, 10:59 PM
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I use a piece of plastic tubing or hose slit the long way then slid on and around the chain ring.
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Old 04-05-22, 01:07 AM
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Put the chain in the highest gear. Zip-tie the DS crank arm (pedals are removed and packed in a separate box inside the bike box) to the padded DS chainstay. Nothing moves, no chewed through boxes. No removal of crankarms is required. Also saves some weight when shipping,
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Old 04-05-22, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the hard work, Jon. Chain rings made it here but the bike hasn't yet.

And yes, I have a Bikesmith cotter press.
I hope today will be the day, Every time I ship a bike--not a frequent event--I'm on pins and needles until I hear that it's arrived safely.

EDIT: I see from the package tracking that the shipment was delayed. Despite that, they still insist that it's going to arrive yesterday, possibly by way of some small gap in the space-time continuum. Fingers crossed.
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Old 04-05-22, 06:27 AM
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You could do what you did with the wood scrap, but for the crank spider only after removing the chainrings.
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Old 04-05-22, 08:11 AM
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Shift into the large ring and rear to the second largest- less protrusion.
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Old 04-05-22, 06:16 PM
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I either ship with the rear wheel still installed or remove the crank rings if not. Sometimes, removing crank rings means pulling the drive side crank. The shielding method suggested by the OP leaves one problem - the rings can get bent during transit. That happened to one bike I shipped many years ago and I no longer trust leaving them in a position where such damage could occur.
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Old 04-05-22, 06:29 PM
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Made it to Phoenix

The Dawes Double Blue made it to Phoenix and is grossly intact. Went together easily and nothing missing that I can see. Rides like a champ.


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Old 04-06-22, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by albrt View Post
The Dawes Double Blue made it to Phoenix and is grossly intact. Went together easily and nothing missing that I can see. Rides like a champ.


Very happy to hear it!, Patina a-plenty, but that is a bike with class. And as you say, it has a great ride. Just don't lose those bar-end plugs--against all odds, they've stayed with the bike for more than half a century so far. It's a weighty responsibility.
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Last edited by jonwvara; 04-06-22 at 05:07 AM. Reason: none of your beeswax
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