There it is, complete save for the pedals.
This is as far as I was hoping to break down my bike. Detached the front wheel, handlebars and saddle. Notice how my gargantuan front rack protects the front forks from getting all banged up! Convenient!
Well, the box was three inches too short for the bike to fit. I wanted to keep the back wheel on to protect my big ring, the back fork, if that’s what you call it, and that way the chain stays attached. No dice. So I took the back wheel off and bagged the chain. My bike was now sitting on the front rack and the big ring, with the derailleur exposed. So I detached the derailleur and taped it to the inside of the back rack along with the chain. Then I stuffed it all in a box. The bike was too tall, so I detached the extension on my handlebar stem.
Well, the box was bowed uncomfortably, as you may have noticed. I was worried whether I would have a functional bike when I got to Portugal, but, unsure of what to do, I simply boxed it up. Then this happened.
A picture is worth a thousand words, no? The wheels were really cramping my style. After a moment of concerned research, I realized I could gain some space if I removed the quick-release pieces of the wheels.
I had to pull the bike out again to repack it, so I took a picture- behold, the work of art I shall reconstruct on the far side of an ocean! Provided all the pieces make it there at the same time, intact…
Voila! Box and carry- on.
I had to weigh all this. There is a 32 kilo weight limit for Air Portugal, which is about 70 pounds. United airlines has a 50 pound limit. Here is how it all initially broke down:
Bike: 34 pounds
Yellow pannier 1: 7 pounds
Yellow 2 (carry-on) 9 pounds
Black pannier 1: 13 pounds
Black 2: 11 pounds
Hey, that’s only 74 pounds, right? Put a few pounds in a carry-on, call it good right? Wrong. The cardboard box weighs 10 pounds! So, I loaded up a checked bag to about 18 pounds to add to my luggage. The bike box weighs about 60 pounds. So, United airlines allows one free checked bag. I was quoted $200 for overweight OR exceeding dimensions. Boy am I excited to see how much they stick me for on the flight to New York! As I mentioned, I have already payed an extra $120 for the bike to fly to Portugal. We shall see.