Disassembling and boxing your bikeMaterials Needed: Locate a bike box from a team member or from your local bike shop. Pipe insulation Required Tools: Zip ties pedal wrench 4-5-6-8 mm Allen wrenches Masking tape High Density Foam Bubble wrap Zip-lock bag Remove the pedals, seat, and seat post. Shift the bicycle chain onto the small chain ring and largest rear cog. Now remove the pedals by turning the right counterclockwise and the left clockwise (the left pedal is “reverse threaded”). Place the pedals in the zip-lock bag. Take a piece of masking tape and place it around your seat post right above the seat post clamp (see pic below). Loosen and remove the seat post and seat. For your handlebars, place a piece of tape on each side of the clamp and mark it with a felt pen (see pic). Wrap the frame, fork and crank arms (photo), (tape the wraps in place.) Create cable slack. Usually, you have to create cable slack and remove the front brake, or part of it, to be able to remove and move the handlebars. However, you don’t want to undo the cables at the anchor bolts because this means having to readjust everything upon your arrival. If you’re packing a road bike, open the brake quick releases to create slack (photo a). For off-road bikes, unhook the noodles from linear-pull brakes (photo b) or release the cable ends on the cantilevers. To create slack in the shift cables, move the right lever as if you were shifting into a smaller cog and then pull outward on the front derailleur. On many bikes, this will let you release the shift-cable housing from the frame stops, which will provide plenty of slack. Remove the front brake. If you have a road bike with side pull brakes, remove the front brake from the fork, reattaching its nut and any hardware (photo) and wrapping it in paper (do not detach the cable). For linear-pull and cantilever brakes, remove the side of the brake that is attached to the cable and be sure to tape the parts together so they cannot get lost. Removing the brake like this retains your adjustment and lets the brake move with the handlebars. Remove the handlebars. If you have a stem that can be opened to remove the handlebars, do so and replace the stem bolts, snugging them so they won’t fall out and get lost during shipping (leave the stem in place on the bike). For other types of handlebars and stems, you’ll need to remove the bars and stem as a unit. For threadless models, (bolts will be on the side/back of the stem), loosen and remove the top cap, then loosen the stem bolts and remove the stem. Be sure to reattach the top cap and spacers, noting their position for correct reassembly. Also, install a zip tie (or tape) around the top of the fork just above the top spacer (photo) so it won’t rattle or fall out of the frame. If you have a quill-type stem (bolt on top, inserts into steerer tube), loosen the bolt on top a few turns and tap it with a mallet, which will drive down the wedge inside loosening the stem in the frame. For now, temporarily rest or tie the handlebars/stem assembly to the left side of the bike (non-chain side). Remove the front wheel. Unscrew the quick release and remove it from the frame. Many riders use a common flat repair tool to protect their forks from damage. Place the fork protection tool in place between the dropouts (photo). Make sure it's attached securely with masking tape so that it can't fall out during shipping. This will protect the forks from any pressure inward. Tie the bike/wheel together. With the bike resting on the ground, place the wheel next to the left side of the bike with the axle protector facing out. Usually, you will have to weave the left crank arm between the spokes, which is why you wrapped it. Make sure no part of the crank arm touches any part of the rim and that the axle cannot touch the frame tubes. Then zip tie the wheel to the bike in several places so it cannot change position (photo). Position the handlebars. If you are packing a bike with flat bars, you can usually fit the bars on top of the top tube and wheel. Place them so they are as narrow as possible so the bike will pass through the box opening. In addition, make sure that no part of the bars or stem can bang into the frame or rim. Add generous padding or bubble wrap. Then tie the bars in place. For dropped handlebars, try putting them under the top tube and partly inside the wheel (photo) or try resting the hooks on the top tube with the levers facing up. You may need to fine-tune the placement when the bike is in the box if the levers protrude too far. Levers are fragile and expensive, so situate them safely, padding them generously. Also, pay attention to the cables and housing so you do not kink them. Maintain loops in the housing and keep trying until you f ind a handlebar position that is safe and prevents movement. Box it! Tape your parts bag shut and place it in the bottom of the box (it is a good idea to attach the bag to the bike so it cannot move around). Rotate the fork 180 degrees, which will make the package a little shorter. Place some high-density Styrofoam along the bottom of the box. Now, lift the bike and place it into the box so that the parts bag ends up just behind the fork. Wrap the seat/seat post, rest it on the rear wheel and tie it to the wheel so it has cannot get loose and bang up your bike (photo). Pack aero handlebars similarly or wherever they fit best. If you removed it, tie or tape the front brake so it cannot bang into anything. As a precaution, attach your name/address/phone to the bike. Don’t forget to place your return shipping label inside the box. One last thing before closing the box – take some extra high-density Styrofoam and place it along the sides and ends of the box. You’ll want to insert these generously, especially on the inside of the skewers and rear cassette. The high-density Styrofoam provides excellent padding and protection. Then place a strip or two along the top of the bike, using masking tape to secure it to the bike. Close up your bike box and tape securely High-Density Styrofoam for boxing a bike: This can be purchased at numerous stores for about a $1 for a 4 ft. piece. It is an excellent, low-cost solution to padding and protecting your bike. Once cut in half, this can be place inside and around your bike to provide excellent damage protection.
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