Boxing your bicycle for transportation by air
A box with maximum dimensions of 60 x 32 x 8 inches; Allen keys; a pedal wrench; scissors; adhesive tape; tie wraps; a wedge; Styrofoam pipe insulation to protect the tubes.
Selection of box and disassembly
The box shown below, which is available at most bicycle retailers, is smaller than the maximum size accepted by air carriers. It requires the removal of the handlebars, as indicated in image 3.
If a box of the maximum size is used (available at the Maison des cyclistes), the handlebars just have to be turned.
If you are travelling with a tandem or Quetzal bicycle or any other non-standard bicycle, or with a rigid bag or box, please let us know.
Important note regarding weight of bicycle box
Most air carriers limit the weight of the bicycle box to 20 kg. It should be noted that the cost of any weight in excess of the limit permitted by the air carrier is assumed by the traveller. To find out more, consult the Web site of the carrier with which you are travelling.
Steps to follow
1 Leave enough pressure in the tires to prevent them from being crushed under the bike’s weight (± 60 lbs).
Position the chain on the large chain wheel and freewheel to maximize chain tension.
2 Mark the height of the seat and the position of the handlebars.
Remove the seat post.
3 Remove the handlebars by unscrewing the front plate of the stem. Detach the handlebars and attach them to the top tube. Be careful not to damage the cables or the cycling computer wire. Pivot the fork 90 degrees. Insert a wedge between the fork tips. Unscrew the pedals. Remember that the threads on the left pedal are reversed and that it unscrews clockwise. Once the pedals have been removed, put them in a bag and attach them to the frame.
N.B. If you have a maximum-sized bike box, the handlebars do not have to be removed. Just turn them and rotate the fork 90 degrees.
4 Open the quick-release mechanism on the front wheel. Attach the wheel to the left side of the bike. Insert the bike into the box, including the seat, the pedals and all accessories to be attached to the frame. Use Styrofoam pipe insulation to protect the tubes. The box must not contain any movable objects (pump or lock) unless they are solidly attached to the frame. During handling, loose objects can break through the box and be lost.
5 Identify your bicycle box by writing your contact information on the exterior.
By Mathieu Fagnan, Vélo Mag (Spring 2007)