What To Bring
Carrying a few spares can save the day should your bike breakdown in transit or during your trip. Here's what we carry: seat-binder bolt; spokes (that match your wheels); brake and gear cables; tire and tube (especially if you use a hard-to-find size); replaceable rear derailleur hanger (if your bike has one); chain tool (and spare pin if your chain uses them); stem-binder bolt and clipless pedal and cleat screws.
Carry Know-How, Too
Having the right parts to fix your bike will only help if you know how to use them, though. Consider packing a small repair manual in your travel kit along with your tools and parts so you'll have the advice you need to execute essential repairs.
Pad Your Bike To Protect It
You can avoid most damage during shipping by packing your bicycle carefully. Use pipe insulation to wrap and protect the frame tubes. Ask us for a fork block. These pieces of plastic and/or wood fit between the fork blades to prevent bending should a heavy object land on your bike crate. We also have axle caps, which prevent axle ends poking through the box.
When you're packing your bike, pay attention to what's touching what. Ensure that there's as little metal-to-metal contact as possible to minimize damage. Put cardboard between metal parts that might touch. Inspect the packed bike for things that might rub, poke or scratch other parts of the bicycle.
One of the more fragile parts of any bike is the rear derailleur. Protect this by shifting into the largest cog. This moves the derailleur closer to the wheel where it's less likely to get bent on the trip.
It's not funny when you get to your destination and discover that you left your seat or your front wheel in your garage while packing. Before sealing the box, take inventory and make sure everything is inside the box. Also, place loose parts (quick-release skewers, pedals, etc.) in a small box, seal it securely and stash it in the bottom of the bike box. That will prevent the parts moving around and beating up your bike in transit.
Leave The Air In
Don't worry about deflating the tires, something people often recommend because they think they might explode when the cargo bay de-pressurizes. There's no risk to the tires and deflating them will just mean you have to fully inflate the tires before riding. It's an unnecessary hassle and not much fun if all you have is a mini pump.
What To Bring