After trialling a couple of options, the Qantas box got the nod and since it's far too big, I chopped it to a size that was better for my bike. The original dimensions were 1400 x800 x300; now its 1400 x 800 x 255. I chopped it into 2 pieces by cutting down diagonally opposite corners..actually one corner was a "peel" as there was an overlap ( I kept the overlap intact and any damage was to the short end which would be cut off anyway)the other cut was just a slice down at the corner. Then I cut 450mm off each short side and taped it up again using cloth tape. With the new dimensions, my bike fits in just like a glove in total there are ~9 points of contact to stabilise the bike in the box although this may work against me if anything bangs down hard where the bars are.
- The front wheel comes off and a spacer placed in the forks to stop them being bounced and to prevent damage to the box..
- The head stem loosened, bars repositioned to fit snugly and fixed in place.
- The pedals are off and the cranks positioned and tied in place.
- The chain is on big ring and zip tied into place complete with foam under it to spread the pressure on the cardboard.
- The wheel is covered with something to protect it (I used a bubble wrap bag ) and a stopper is put into each skewer hole. In the end I put the wheel on the non drive side not as in the pix. And I had the chain mid way on the cogs at the back. Actually I really wanted it on the biggest cog, but with it also on the 53 chain ring....nah! too long a time for big and big chain stretch.
- The saddle is dropped to be just touching the lid when its closed.
Generally speaking I'm into overkill and tend to pad the bike out rather more than is necessary but have never had any damage to any of my bikes on the many trips I've had over the years.The white tubes from a bike shop are lighter than pipe lagging. The camelback is to prevent spot pressure at the front, the crank is pointing forward to allow as much room as possible for the wheel.
I was happy that it was secure. The gaps on top were filled with bubble wrap
I have a major issue with regard to moving it around. The hand holds are ok if you're 2 metres tall with an appropriately wide arm span and have no other luggage but at 162cm (well ok 160cm) I haven't a hope. I change planes at Rome, having to retrieve my luggage and book it onto the flight to Palermo and who knows whether there'll be trolleys at either of those airports..I've been caught that way before (Moscow airport springs to mind, no trolleys staff with a "you want a what....? attitude). Off to my local Pack and Send I went where Herb put on some polypropylene straps so at least I'll have something to grab onto ($20) and weighed it for me...15kg.
It's now in my car and will stay there til I go to the airport...and yes that is sunshine!
The cats know something is up and are following me around generally getting in the way...
Pippi guarding my carry on luggage.
Flea giving my bag the evil eye