Special Delivery: How to Ensure Your Bike Arrives Safe

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09/3/2006| 0 comments
by Kevin Dessart

Special Delivery: How to Ensure Your Bike Arrives Safe

Training for a race takes dedication and effort. But come race day, all that work can be undone by something like a bike damaged in transit or a poorly rebuilt bike at the race course. It can happen more often than you think. Making sure your bike arrives safe and sound and ready to ride is often one of the last things you?re going to think about in the chaos of packing for and traveling to a race. It shouldn?t.

had an unfortunate experience with a cardboard box?the first and last time I?ll ever use one. I had a flight that connected through <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
where it was raining. The airline?s baggage handlers left my bike in its cardboard box outside in the pouring rain for what must have been an hour. By the time I retrieved my bike from baggage when I got home, the cardboard had disintegrated. My frame was scratched and the seatpost, saddle, and shoes that I had packed in the box had fallen out and were gone.


Bike Packing 101

Pull off the pedals, seatpost with the seat still attached, front wheel, and handlebars (depending upon what sort of case you use, you may have to pull the rear wheel off as wheel). Regardless of what type of bike case you choose, be sure to overly protect your rig by picking up some foam tubing from a bike shop (most new bikes arrive at shops wrapped in protective foam that?s tossed away) to shield the various parts of the frame. Detach you rear derailleur and wrap it in foam blanket (again, pick one up from the bike shop). If you don?t, you risk breaking your derailleur hanger from any sideways pressure placed on it.


Finally, make sure you mark all the measurements on your bike with electrical tape: seat height and handlebar angle are the most important. This is because, over the course of hundreds of miles of riding, your body has adapted to the exact fit of your handlebars and seat. Get those measurements wrong when you unpack the bike at a race and your bike won?t ?feel? right on the course. The discomfort will lead to a less than optimal performance in a shorter race, but in an long distance race, the discomfort could eventually become debilitating.


For more on the latest nutrition, fitness, and performance news stay tuned to Roadcycling.com.


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